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November 29, 2007

Does That Condominium Really Include Parking, Mr. Realtor, Or Are You Just Misleading Us?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:24 pm

It really gets my goat when I go looking through the MLS, and let’s say I am looking for at Philadelphia condominiums, on behalf of a buyer. And this buyer must have parking with his pad- not an unusual request. So I put my criteria into the MLS, and viola – 97 listings appear.  But upon further examination, it becomes evident that only 17 really have a parking space that accompanies that particular Center City condo.

HOW COULD SUCH AN ERROR IN REPORTING OCCUR?  Realtors. And allow me to be a bit “finger-pointy” and say greedy realtors. Realtors who are trying to bait me or my buyer into seeing their Center City listing, by being tricky by saying that the seller will pay for “one year paid parking” at the lot around the corner. That’s not parking. That’s a rental spot, with no guarantee of longevity, or priority. Let’s all be on the same page here- it’s called cheating. Cheating a system that was installed to provide correct information. And a loophole.  I think it is misleading for a realtor, trying to get their listing to appear more desirable to stretch the truth by “checking the box” when asked, “Does this unit include parking”.  Shame on all of you Philadelphia realtors who would rather stretch the truth than play by the rules. You give us all a bad name. One bad apple…..

I have no problem explaining to my buyers to take the fact sheets realtors put out, with a grain of sand. Even the information in the MLS would better be suited to be verified, than believed, in some instances.

Looking for more for solid information, and not loopholes? Give me a call ar 215-521-1523 or send me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and let’s chat!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

 

 

• • •

November 20, 2007

September Pending Home Sales Index© Showed Growth in the Greater Philadelphia Region Real Estate Activity

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:31 pm

I’d like to share some good news from the Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS® HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index.  This information was just released by Sarah Lindsay of Prudential Fox and Roach and Tierney Communications on Friday and as a Philadelphia Condominium Owner and Realtor, I am pleased to report it:

The Greater Philadelphia region* increased in real estate activity for September, after seeing a 13.5 percent decrease in August, according to The Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS® HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index.©  Based on the forward-looking indicator, the region showed a 2.5 percent increase in activity from the revised August index of 81.4 to 83.4 in September.

The combined five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region saw a 5.8 percent increase, moving from an 84.6 revised August index to an 89.5 index this month. Delaware County posted the largest increase in the Greater Philadelphia region at 19.7 percent. Montgomery County grew 2.8 percent, the first growth in pending activity since the May 2007 index. Center City Philadelphia increased 7.2 percent, following a 34.1 percent decrease in last month’s report. Main Line activity showed a 12.5 percent increase in September after falling for three consecutive months.

“The index is showing a bump upward. Potential buyers continue to find lower interest rates and a large selection of homes to choose from,” said Steve Storti, senior vice president of marketing for Prudential Fox & Roach. “Although the index shows signs of the market stabilizing following the August credit and mortgage crisis, we look forward to seeing if the market can maintain that pace given the seasonally slower months ahead.”

Compared to September findings reported by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, the Greater Philadelphia region showed a larger increase than the Northeast and National indices. The NAR index showed a 10.1 percent drop in pending sales in the Northeast and a 0.2 percent increase nationally. In August, the NAR index indicated an 8.3 percent decrease in pending sales in the Northeast and 6.5 percent decrease nationwide.

Based on contracts signed in September, the index monitors real estate market activity by tracking pending sales of homes reported to the TREND® Multiple Listing Service, the region’s primary real estate reporting tool for 32,000 real estate professionals. A sale is listed as ‘pending’ when a contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed. Sales are typically finalized within one or two months of signing. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2002. The Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index is modeled after the national index created by the National Association of Realtors®, which is available at www.realtor.org.

The following is the September 2007 HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index for the Greater Philadelphia region:

County  September Index August Index Percent Change

Philadelphia
Bucks
Chester
Delaware
Montgomery

108.1
79.8
72.4
96.7
79.4

103.9
80.5
66.7
80.8
77.2

 4.0%
-0.9%
8.7%
19.7%
2.8%
12-County Region  83.4  81.4  2.5%

Center City
Main Line

106.9
95.8

99.7
85.2
7.2%
12.5%

This is great news for both Philadelphia Condominium buyers and sellers.  If you are looking for a new Center City loft or condo, or if you are ready to put yours on the up and coming market, just give me a call at               215-521-1523        or email me at Mark@CenterCity.com.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

 

• • •

November 15, 2007

Feng Shui in your Philadelphia Condominium

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:24 am

Feng Shui is an ancient Oriental term meaning "the way of wind and water".  Thousands of years ago, ancients discovered that the placement and layout of physical objects in your environment can affect the flow of energy in your life.  Over the years, Feng Shui techniques have been used by emperors and world leaders as well as architects of powerful cities such as Washington, DC.   

So what does this have to do with your new Center City Philadelphia Loft or Condo?  Well for starters, look into some Feng Shui Tips for your home.  Not only will it give you an interesting decorating edge, but more importantly Feng Shui can help the flow of energy (also known as ch’i) in your Condominium and what could be a better place to incorporate all that positive energy than here in Center City Philadelphia.  With so many condos that have stunning City views and lofts with oversized windows letting in so much natural light, your feng shui possibilities are endless. 

You can even take advantage of some Feng Shui techniques if you are planning to sell your condominium.  Check out this article “10 Feng Shui Tips to Sell Your Home”.  You can hire your very own Feng Shui Consultant  or borrow a book from the Free Library of Philadelphia or read up on some free online tips.  You’ll learn to bring joy and happiness into your condo with plants, flowers, wind chimes and mirrors or how to make your dreams come true with an indoor fountain.  You’ll discover the best layout for your bedroom furniture and which colors you should and shouldn’t use in the living room.

Whether you are interested in applying these interesting Feng Shui techniques to an Old City Loft or a Rittenhouse Square Condominium, you can give Mark Wade a call at 215-521-1523 or send him an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and he’ll help you find the place that’s right for you.  After all, he is the real estate agent who can help you
enhance your home environment and create harmony, abundance, and well-being for yourself and your family, especially here in Center City Philadelphia.  

Nicole Noguer
Office Assistant for Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®

 

 

• • •

November 13, 2007

Center City Philadelphia Parking Do’s and Dont’s

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:14 am

As a longtime Philadelphia realtor, and hence, longtime abuser of the rules and regulations of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, I would like to share some insight to those looking to move into our fair city into say a Society Hill condo, Rittenhouse Square penthouse, whatever.  The following is just an odd assortment of things I have learned over the years. Based on the notion that if the city was as well run as our parking authority, the streets in downtown Philadelphia would be paved in gold:

1)      If the sign says no parking from 3:30pm-7:30pm, this is not a suggestion. This means your car will be towed. Like along Walnut Street, and N. 3rd Street.

2)      Relating to # 1 above- If the meter won’t take your money, check the signage as you may be entering a time when parking is not allowed

3)      You can pay parking tickets online at www.Phila.gov   I would suggest you bookmark this page

4)      If you are a Center City real estate owner, you may be able to get a yearly parking permit for your specific area for $35 a year. This means you will not have to move your car every two hours, or feed parking meters. Rules and regulations apply. You will want to visit www.philapark.org or go see them in person at 3101 Market. Ask if it is true that to be employed there, you must have a tail. Or one eyeball in the middle of your forehead…Kidding.

5)      Go to the nearest 7-11 and buy yourself a “Smart Card”. Basically a pre-paid parking meter card. They can be found on the parking authority website as well.

6)      If your parking meter is broken, I have always believed you get 2 free hours of parking at that meter. I have yet to be ticketed for a broken meter

7)      You do not really have to be loading stuff to park in a loading zone. Just don’t stay longer than 20 minutes (per THAT sign)

8)      If you do get a ticket while parked at a broken meter, there is meter #, and the phone number for the parking authority. They may rescind the ticket.

9)      DO NOT allow some high rise Rittenhouse Square condo building to tell you that you can’t parking in “their” loading zone. They don’t own the loading zone. The city does. Park away!

10)   Almost always, parking meter people are fair and are not antagonistic. A smile and a polite word goes a long way. Be nice, they are just doing their job. And remember that you are the goof who has violated a policy or parking rule. So suck it up and pay the ticket. BUT pay the ticket on time. If you delay, the ticket goes WAY UP in cost to you. You might be shocked. So pay it on time.

Following these rules should help you to cut your monthly intake of parking tickets. I have cut my rate from three tickets a month, to about two a year. Good luck and welcome to Philadelphia!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

• • •

November 8, 2007

Cooperating Realtors-You Call THAT Cooperating

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:39 am

We realtors here in Center City Philadelphia, and everywhere, have an unspoken, common rule that we work with other realtors when selling real estate. It is known as cooperation. We cooperate with other realtors who might have a buyer who is interested in looking at our listings, be it a condominium, loft, town house, and vice-versa. I know of no real estate agency that does not cooperate. But that doesn’t mean that all cooperation is equal.

Let’s say another realtor has a policy that if I want to show one of his or her listings (again, a condominium, loft, townhouse, what have you), and said realtor has a rule that he or she must accompany myself and my buyer through any of his or her listings, and that realtor does not work on Saturdays. Or that realtor mysteriously can’t make a majority of 7pm showings I request throughout the work week. Hmm.

Or let’s say that when I call to show one of that realtor’s listings, that I must give my buyer’s name to that realtor, so that he or she can check to see if they have ever spoken to my buyer, outside of “me”. Then does not allow me to show my buyer any of their listing because said realtor claims to have a prior relationship with my buyer. Hmm.

Or let’s go one step further, and say that a realtor is not a part of the local MLS, for whatever reason, and say he or she is the only player in town who is not a part of such a service.  In order for me to show one of his condos or loft units, or town houses, I must rely on him, or one of his agents to be forthcoming. Or find one of his or her listing advertised in the paper, or on his or her website. Hmm.

Cooperation means a lot of things to a lot of people. I would suggest that such means of cooperation only serves to limit the exposure a listing might receive.

If you are going to make me jump through hoops to see your listings, then perhaps your sellers should know of such hurdles.  Then again, perhaps I have a better chance of seeing god. Hmm.

If you are looking for an agent to help you buy or sell a Center City Philadelphia loft, condo, or townhouse who will cooperate, and I mean really cooperate with your best interest in mind, then give me a call at 215-521-1523 or send me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com.  I love to really work together and show those other "so-called" cooperating realtors here in Center City Philadelphia how it’s done!  

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

• • •

November 6, 2007

A Philadelphia Condo Buyer Wish List

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:19 pm

As a Philadelphia realtor here in Center City at Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors, I often ask buyers who come across my website, www.CenterCityCondos.com, to send me their wish list for the potential Philadelphia condominium they may wish to purchase. Sometimes, this is a great way to get to know what is inside a buyers head. Other times, it is not dissimilar from opening Pandora’s box.

When looking for a Center City loft or any condominium for that matter, be it a Rittenhouse Square penthouse, or an Old City loft, all buyers have a list of priorities in their head (whether they know it or not), that will eventually lead them to make one decision or another, concerning a potential purchase. Some buyers may favor a Philadelphia condo that shows really well, and this may be their number one priority. Or they may have security at the top of their wish list, followed by, say, showing ability, then closet size, followed by ceiling height and natural light. There are dozens and dozens of potential things on a buyers wish list, all with weighted priorities that will help guide them to make or not make a purchase. It is my job as a licensed Center City Realtor to find out what those priorities are, and more importantly, how those items rank on that particular list. The minute I can figure out the ranking of that list, is the minute I can pretty much identify the condominium or loft that the specific buyer will like best.

     

When asking buyers for their “Wish List” of items, I always need to preface the question with the following statement: “I can get you 8 out of 10 things on your wish list”.  If you want ten out of ten, then you will need to go build your own home (which is not a possibility here in an urban area like ours). And that rule of thumb generally holds true. I can’t think of one time where I actually was able to produce all ten things on a buyers wish list.  I will also ask my buyers to be as vocal as possible when we are out looking at condos and lofts in Philadelphia. Nothing is worse than a buyer who seems to like everything, or gives me a blank stare when I believe we are inside of THAT condo with the 9 out of 10 items on his wish list. Communication is the key here. Buyers need to be vocal and explain what they like, and as important, what they don’t like. And both explanations need to be within the bounds of reality.

In conclusion:  Be realistic. Like Christmas morning, don’t expect everything on your wish lift to magically appear under the tree or inside the Center City loft or condominium I may be showing you. You get what you pay for, but with some good vocalizing of your wants and needs, we may be able to find you that one item on your wish list that has eluded us in the past.  And that is a wonderful gift to find!

When you are ready to get your "Wish List" together to go out and start looking for your dream Philadelphia Loft or Condominium, give me a call at 215-521-1523 or email me at Mark@CenterCity.com.     

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

• • •

November 2, 2007

Enhanced Service for Philadelphia Condo Buyers and Sellers

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:23 am

Here at CenterCity.com, we are please to announce an enhancement to our websites, and that would be BoldChat.

This program allows potential buyers and sellers of Philadelphia condominiums to instantly send us a message, and ask questions about any information posted on our site(s).

Much like “instant messaging’, this service will allow a visitor to get quick feedback to questions that may arise during a visit to one of our sites.

Once you log onto CenterCityCondos.com for example, you will see a dialogue box pop up on your screen that says something like:  “Would you like to chat with an agent?”

If you would not like to chat with one of us, then simply click the “No” box, or click the “X” in the upper right hand corner of that dialogue box.

If you do have any questions about that particular, say, Rittenhouse Square condos, or any Old City lofts, you may simply type in your question, and we can get back to you almost instantly with a response.

We will not ask for your phone number, or email address. And please know that any info you provide us will not be shared with others.

We hope that this new service will provide the visitors to our site with instant gratification, if you will. With vast experience selling condominiums in Philadelphia, we hope to be able to provide you with more insight and share some of our knowledge with you, that may not be available readily on our site(s).

So feel free to drop us a note via BoldChat, and we certainly hope we can be of service to you. And even if you are a number of months away from buying or selling your Philadelphia condominium, we hope to create a relationship with you based on courtesy, and competence that will make you want to come back and visit our site regularly.

Thank you so much, and please enjoy our new feature!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.521.1523

 

• • •

 
 

530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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