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August 2016
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May 9, 2016

1326 Spruce #2001

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:26 pm
Vacant for nearly 25 years. A high floor condo at Center City one 1326 Spruce St.
Delightful skyline views of this two bedroom, two bath condo with PARKING.
Original condition condominium with fantastic floor plan/layout. Being sold AS-IS.
Asking price is $475,000   A rare opportunity indeed!
1326 Spruce Street 2706-5846KateDevlin2016_1326_Spruce_St_MW-1
Mark Wade

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April 4, 2016

My View/ Experience /Expertise at The Hopkinson House (604-36 S. Washington Square)

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:00 pm


My good friend Tom who introduced me to Center City in 1987 told me that the “Hop House” was known as one of the best values in downtown condo living. Ask anyone today and I think they will repeat that assertion about The Hopkinson House. I call it “The Toyota Of Center City Values”….reliable, dependable, and an easy resale if you need to sell your condo at 604 S. Washington Square. Since that time we have sold probably close to a dozen units at Hop House- And I always find that demand outweighs supply- especially in the spring market when the med students come into town and want proximity to Jefferson Medical Hospital.
My brother and I used to own a unit in the building which we flipped…and I think the management is a strong attribute to the appeal of the building (many of the very friendly front door staff is still around after 20 years). Know that all the corner units in the building are two bedroom units (unless modified from the original plan by individual owners) and a portion of the two bedroom units are 1.5 baths- HOWEVER, those units can be modified and made into TWO full bath units.
All units face either North or South- And I honestly have never found there to be a preference in terms of resale ability, or demand. South units have great sun and the higher floors have killer river views. The North facing units at The Hopkinson House have great views of Washington Square park. The Heat and Central Air are supplied by the building and I believe is done so via a TWO PIPE system, which means the Hopkinson House dictates when the condo building as a whole switches from delivering heat to delivering central air. The condo building does not allow dogs- though they do allow cats. Rental parking is in the lower level, so no one owns parking at Hopkinson House. I have had parking in the building on a monthly basis for a few years as our office is very close- staff is very friendly and helpful. Management is tops in town and really couldn’t be any nicer. A small but well-stocked food market is on the first level of the building and hailing a cab from here is never an issue. Oh, and there is one Kick-A** pool on the roof which rocks! 🙂
The condo association has recently upgraded their hallways (which is a huge visual improvement to the common areas), and has replaced all interior windows and sliding glass doors to individual condo units. What I find interesting is that 604 S. Washington Sq. has more Realtors who live in the building than any other condo building in town- And I think that speaks volumes. One other thing I know is that a TON of info about the building can be found publicly on their condo’s website, which many folks find helpful. Know that I have a number of friends, colleagues, and past buyers who live in the building- So my current clients should contact me if they want additional insight into the “Hop House”.

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March 28, 2016

New construction affecting views?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:20 am
So there has a image1been a lot of talk recently within my circle of condo buyers in town about how the views of south facing units at the Ritz Carlton will be affected by the new building being erected to the south.
This really only affects “A” units at the Ritz which face south and east. I was able to find an image showing what the views might one day look like.
In my opinion, when that new building is erected and buyers can actually see that it will be some 53 feet in distance from the Ritz- the effect on value(s) for the south facing condos will really not suffer a great deal.
I think the “unknown” may be more damning that the reality of what is going to be built.
My suggestion- throw some caution to the wind and look at the “A” units while you can and while their pricing may be a bit suppressed by the “unknown” element – that being partially blocked views.

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March 7, 2016

Here are a few staggering facts about our 2016 market here in town-

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:40 am

Monthly Statistics for the Date Range Selected


Units Listed

Listed Volume

Listed Average


Units Sold

Sold Volume

Sold Average

Average DOM

Mar 2016









Feb 2016









Jan 2016




























Inventory Accumulation for the Last 12 Full Months






Current Inventory *

Inventory Volume

Current Average

Average Monthly Sales**

Inventory Accumulation ***






*Current Inventory is based on the actual available properties on the date this report was created.

**Average Monthly Sales is the average sales for the last 12 full months

***Inventory accumulation (in months) = Current Inventory Units / Average Monthly Sales



Pricing Details of Sold Units for the Date Range Selected

Minimum Prices

Maximum Prices

Average Prices

Original List Price : $1,400

Original List Price: $2,750,000

Original List Price: $443,083

Sold Price : $1,300

Sold Price: $2,600,000

Sold Price: $414,294



Inventory Accumulation figures are only calculated when Report End Month is the current month 

Market Statistics Criteria Used

Date Range: 1/2016 to 3/2016
Price Range: $0 to $9,999,000
Property Category: Residential
Area: 19102

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February 29, 2016

Update on The Ellington Condos at 1500 Chestnut. Always has been a well managed buildling- See for yourself:

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:12 am


Last year the building completed two (2) major capital improvement projects:  1) They replaced our air-conditioning cooling tower up on the roof; and, 2) They did a complete tear off and replacement of the main roof.   (no special assessment necessary).

Also, last fall, they got a new commercial tenant in the 8,000 s.f. basement space – the Philadelphia School of Massage and Bodywork (check it out – )    It’s the only massage school in Philadelphia.

The Board and management are working on another huge improvement project which is to completely upgrade the building’s heating and air-conditioning system.  While the actual work may not begin for 2-3 years from now, they are working with engineering firms to determine the best method for reducing their energy costs.

“Miss Ellie” still mans the front desk with her effervescent smile and gracious caring demeanor.  Just about everyone on the staff has been here 8+ years and they continue to work together as a great team with a common goal – making the Ellington the safest and most well-kept vertical housing community in Center City!

To Which I say: Touche- Ellington Mangagement!!

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February 25, 2016


Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:32 am

Check out this 1999 Article on Mark’s Society Hill Rehab Featured in the Remodelers Show !



It’s More Than Just For Show Mark Wade, Who Buys, Guts And Rehabs Properties In Center City, Was Handpicked To Produce A Model Home For A National Show. Eventually, It Will Be Someone’s $1.25 Million Residence.

POSTED: November 07, 1999

Eleven days till the deadline for completion, and the house on South Third Street in Philadelphia had a long way to go.

Dust was everywhere. Drywall was waiting for primer and finish coats. There were holes in the walls where state-of-the-art security and electronic technology were destined to be installed. The rear courtyard had a crying need for sod.

At the front entrance, Mike Chobert, a painting contractor from the Queen Village neighborhood, was good-naturedly lecturing John Gall on the finer points of stripping the ancient Colonial-style front door.

In the deep shadows of the third-floor bathroom, Ed Mattio, a third-generation plumbing contractor from Queen Village, deftly connected the hot and cold water lines to the pedestal sink without the aid of electric lighting, stopping only to praise the new-age plastic pipe he was working with.

Across the hall, in a bedroom filled with sunlight from Third Street, the developer, Mark Wade, and his Germantown-based general contractor, John Fries, talked details as Fries wolfed down the sandwich he had brought for lunch.”

Click here to read more! 

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February 22, 2016

Like A New Car- New Construction Condos Can Initially Depreciate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:48 am

New condos that have never been occupied are a strong draw for many buyers here in Center City and there are premiums to be paid for that novelty/aspect of any particular new condo in town. And there also is a premium for floor height and view in all of our new construction pieces.

can't keep a Secret

If we do see any initial depreciation of a new construction condominium, we generally see that played out in the premiums paid for floor height and any such depreciation usually occurs within the first year or so.  Buying a new condo then trying to resale within the first year can result in a somewhat mild “hit” on the value of the condo. Sellers are taking away the shine or appeal of the premium paid for a unit being brand spankin’ new and will often see a drop in value. Though usually not a striking drop in value, but a drop in value none the less.  We see this most often in condos where the seller has paid for upgrades that may suit their needs, but don’t always suit the needs or tastes of the buyers that follow.  And sometimes the attribute that pulls the value down is the premium paid for floor height.  Subsequent buyers come at the building looking for an average sale price of a given type of unit and want to pay based upon that figure.  Stronger locations in town, like Rittenhouse Square, have a tendency to be a bit more elastic- they are the first neighborhoods to see a drop in inventory with any influx of buyers to the market. That’s a good thing.

This scenario and resulting depreciation is usually wiped off the books after year one. It is the initial depreciation of a new condo that is loaded towards the front of ownership- like in the first year. Once that hurdle is cleared- the possibility of depreciation lifts as well.

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February 18, 2016

Another Reason to Love Rittenhouse Square: The Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:11 am

Every Saturday (year round) from 10AM-2PM, local vendors including farmers, bakers, cheese-makers, chefs, fishermen (and women), and more line up along 18th St. and Walnut St. to bring fresh food directly to Rittenhouse Square! Neighbors come out to walk their dogs, meet their neighbors, and socialize, while shopping for their weekly produce and more!


Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market is the largest farmer’s market in Philadelphia. Just a few of the things you can find there are: seasonal produce, local honey, baked goods, rustic breads, pastured and sustainably-raised meats, chicken and eggs, goat dairy, yogurt and cheese, seafood and shellfish from the Jersey shore, chocolates, soups, fair trade coffee, candles, and even natural soaps and body-care products.
For more info check out Farm to City and follow The Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market on Facebook.
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February 15, 2016

Buyers are like snowflakes- no two are alike. But here are a few things I often hear repeated by many buyers:

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:57 am
  1.  “The sellers didn’t leave the condo as clean as I thought they might or as clean as I would have liked them to”

The contract/agreement of sale calls for broom swept clean condition with no debris left behind. Beyond that- Even most Rittenhouse Square condos are indeed transferred a little less than spotless.


2) “I will probably never use that Jacuzzi style hot tub.”

I find if the tub is new and never used, buyers view it with a shrug. If it old and used- that amenity really becomes a detractor of value.


3) “I guess I don’t really and truly need a 3rd bedroom”

Many buyers have a 3rd bedroom on their wishlist, though most buyers  will eventually opt for a two bed plus den. Even a fair number are opting for a large one bed with a nice den.


4) “Walk-ability is high on my wish list”

And for good reason. But many buyers realize that just being in Center City gets them out and about – and that is kinda’ the idea to city life. Getting out of your condo and shopping/dining/exploring the city can be done regardless of the proximity. Think Uber for a lift to where you want to go.


5) “The ability to rent the condo is of importance”

Indeed. I also think the appeal and ultimate rent-ability of the condo is heavily based upon interior condition and showing ability in addition to the time of year in which you seek to rent the unit. If it shows well, it will rent well….every time.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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February 8, 2016

How can buyers sweeten their offer in lieu of coming in at a strong price?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:37 am

How can buyers sweeten their offer in lieu of coming in at a strong price?


*Shorten your settlement date- especially if the home is vacant.

*Shorten your contingency dates- have your home inspection in a week instead of 15 days

*Put more money down ( to be held in escrow- go a full 10% if warranted)

*Add an “As-Is” clause- doesn’t mean you are giving up your rights to inspections- just lets a seller know you will not be renegotiating after the home inspection.

* Write a really nice note about how much you love the seller’s home and why you are buying it

*If a property is vacant- but still has unwanted clutter and dirt- tell the seller you will buy as the property sits today and that you do not expect them to come back and clean or get rid of debris.

Many things in a Philadelphia real estate transaction are not logical, but are emotional. Sweeten that emotional pot and you might find you are going to save a few dollars. Happens more often than you think.

Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Fox & Roach Realtors®
530 Walnut Street  |  Suite 260  |  Philadelphia PA 19106
direct: 215.521.1523  |  main: 215.627.6005  |  fax: 215.402.1044


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Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
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