Selling a Final Exam? If It's a House, It's Okay

In Urban Studies 310, it's a course requirement: Students learn by purchasing, renovating and then--the ultimate "final exam" --selling homes in West Philadelphia.

Last year 30 to 40 students took this hands-on approach to urban renewal--redoing and selling four of the five houses they set out to complete under the guidance of Dr. William Zucker and Lecturer Hanley Bodek. (Dr. Zucker is the Meshulam Riklis professor emeritus of management, and Mr. Bodek is a member of the Philadelphia Construction Company.)

Now the fifth house, a three-story brick twin at 32nd and Spring Garden Streets in Powelton, is also finished and is on the market. With four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a pleasant backyard, it lists for $79,000. Or, if a buyer meets the City's Section 8 Guidelines (yearly income below $22,000), the price drops to $66,000 under an arrangement between the University and the City of Philadelphia.

As part of their coursework the students have also put together packages for several area banks to help buyers initiate the mortgage application process. Under the course's goals the group's first choice would be to sell to a first-time homeowner, although other buyers can be considered--and one group of potential buyers especially high on the students' list are Penn and HUP employees.

"This is a unique opportunity for full-time employees of the University of Penn-sylvania," said College Senior Joshua Senders, who is spearheading the selling phase. "The University Mortgage Program, administered by the Treasurer's Office, provides 105% financing, which means buyers who qualify for a Penn-guaranteed mortgage do not need a down payment and can put closing costs (up to 5% of the purchase price) on the mortgage." All full-time faculty and staff University and HUP who have completed a six-month probationary period are eligible to apply for such mortgages; Berean Federal Savings and Mellon Bank are the participating lenders.

For more information on this project, Joshua Senders can be reached at 382-9415; or if he is away during the holiday break, those interested can call Mr. Bodek at Philadelphia Construction, 662-1000.


Tuesday, December 12, 1995
Volume 42 Number 15

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