Kensington Confidential

Roaches, cats and trash (more than sixty yards of it), had to be cleared out of one of Mark’s recent rehab projects before demolition could begin. “When we took out the windows you could smell the house from Coral Street,” he remembers. After a full gut rehab the elegant brick colonial has been restored to it’s former glory. In addition to rehabs, Mark builds new construction, all concentrated in East Kensington. The area has changed drastically in recent years but is still a work in progress compared to neighboring Fishtown.

Originally from the Midwest, Mark moved to Philadelphia to work in Commercial Project Management, but when the recession hit he left the job and the city. A few years later a friend sent him a Craigslist ad for a house on the riverside of Fishtown. “I drove out there in a snow storm to meet this realtor. I went on a whim and bought it in cash.” He packed up his tools and moved back to Philly to start work on that house. “I made in six months what would have taken a year.”

One project lead to the next. “Most of it’s been word of mouth, just being on the street everyday, talking to people and meeting neighbors.” He continued working as fast as his cash flow would allow until he was introduced to Direct Mortgage Loan Company. “I had a deal with multiple properties that the bank couldn’t lend on; there was too much vacant land. They turned me on to Jared. That’s when things opened up,” he says. “The money is in the bank the next day when you need it.”

Molly Gavin