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August 24, 2007

If a Celebrity Dies in Your House, It’s a Landmark!

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:42 am

I love that line. Could you imagine someone throwing that at you to try to overcome or capitalize on a possible downside to a home?

I remember back in the early 1990’s, a listing agent told “Suzy” the REALTOR® and Suzy’s buyers that “this” home was historically certified. As the deal progressed, the buyers could find no substantiating evidence to support such a claim. The listing agent, when cornered, uttered, “No dear, I said historically certifiable”.
 
But that leads to a valid question, especially here in the historic city of Philadelphia. Does the reputation, or historic significance, of a home play into the value of that home…be it a Philadelphia condominium, loft, or townhouse? And conversely, does a less than desirable reputation of a certain home have the ability to suppress the resale value of that home?

I say yes to both.

Pretend a major double murder-suicide kind of something went down in a home, especially in the not too distant past.  Such an event might make a buyer hesitate to become interested in a home, which could draw out the length of time a home sits on the market, and make that home riper for a lower sales price.

On the other hand, the fact that Ben Franklin used to make booty calls to your home is no occasion to memorialize such an event with a plaque on the front of your home. 

Having, say, “Hail Columbia” composed in your living room might make for an interesting compliment to your resale value. I know of more than one example of premiums being paid for Philadelphia condominiums and townhomes where significant history was made at that particular address.

In a town that brought you the likes of Thomas Paine, Dolly Madison, and Betsy Ross, history does sell and has a tendency to sell well.  Assuming, of course, that such history can be documented and is more than a wild rumor. Less concrete claims, like ghosts and “George Washington once left his wooden teeth in this house” are less likely to garner a price adjustment to a historic Philadelphia home.

Interested in buying or selling your own historic (or non-historic) Philadelphia condo?  Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at mark@centercitycondos.com.  (Ghosts and wooden teeth not guaranteed.)

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St. Phila., Pa. 19106

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530 Walnut Street, Suite 480
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