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August 29, 2008

Tell Us about YOUR Condo

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:07 pm

Tell Me about your Center City Condo…..

Do you own a Center City Condo? I would love to feature your condo on my blog, as an example of what potential buyers can expect to find when they begin shopping for a condo in Philadelphia.

Your condo may or may not be for sale, and that’s OK.

Give me a brief description of your condo, what you like MOST about your unit, some interesting facts or local landmarks in your neighborhood that you favor, and be sure to send me some photos!

I would love to feature your unit for the 7000+ visitors that visit www.CenterCityCondos.com each month!

Thanks!

Mark Wade
http://blog.centercitycondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors

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You call THAT a Penthouse?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:05 pm

Often in the Philadelphia condo market, we see a unit advertised as a “Penthouse”. But what is a Penthouse? Is it simply a condominium that happens to be on the top floor of any give Philadelphia condominium building? It would seem that many sellers and developers seem to think so. And often times, that unit doesn’t even have to be on the TOP floor….many buildings here in town describe a penthouse as any unit on the top, say three floors.

My friend Roseann has a listing that she describes as a penthouse. And in my mind, it is. It is a top floor unit at the Lenox, and what is really neat about it is that it is set back from the rest of the building (from the facade) and has a wrap-around terrace. It is unlike any other units in the building, and is really neat. It evokes the my feelings of a true penthouse.

Some penthouses here in the Philadelphia condominium market are unmistakenly Penthouses. Others could be called imposters. I am not here to judge…you be the judge. I just wish that less sellers and developers would restain from calling a top floor unit in a four story walk-up a “Penthouse”. Is it really?

I would have to say that there would need to be distinquishing charactorstics that set a Penthouse apart from the other units in the building. Either say on THE top floor, or possibly have outside space that other units don’t, or maybe the entire top floor is “keyed off” from other floors in the building. Or perhaps the physical charactoristics of the interior set it apart from the other units.

Both Britannica Online and Merriam-Webster define penthouse as “a structure or dwelling built on the roof of a building.” So….if the unit is NOT on the top floor, is not set back from the facade, doesn’t have outside space, or isn’t visually different from units on say, the 3rd floor of any given Philadelphia condominium building, it is really a penthouse??

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

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August 28, 2008

The Murano Condominiums

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:12 pm

2101 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia

Towering 42 stories tall is arguable one of Philadelphia’s most striking additions to the Center City condominium building set-The Murano Condominium building. Offering stunning views in all directions, the Murano Philadelphia offers one, two, and three bedroom condo units with a maximum of seven units per floor, in the 19103 zip code. According to the website, www.TheMuranoCondominium.com, you will find a 6th floor swimming pool, along with inside and outside common deck areas in which to relax. I recently visited the open house, and can attest to the impressive modern finishes, unique floor plans, and wonderful city views.  On-site parking available, along with 24 hour concierge, and a ten year tax abatement, set into the high rise business district of downtown Philadelphia makes the Murano Condominiums a great option in Center City condominium living!

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

 

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August 26, 2008

Paint Your Philadelphia Condo While Drinking a Martini…at Behr.com

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:22 pm

I just saw one of the neatest innovations in painting that can save you a bungle of time, energy, and money. Huge secret here…it is called Behr.com. Behr is a paint company that has developed this online service in which you can pay $4.95, and upload a photo of any particular room in your new Rittenhouse Square condominium, or Old City flat. Then you simply click through their 3700 plus paint colors, to see how that room would look in any of those colors. From eggplant, to a nice sage green, this service is the ultimate “try before you buy” idea, and I think many first time buyers/painters could benefit from such a service.

                  

How Fabulous! If you have painted any room in your Society Hill condo in the past, you know as well as I do how easy it is to “miss” the color you were going for. Even by a little bit, a soft yellow can appear just awful- perhaps the yellow you picked is a little bold, has too much green mixed in, or is just wrong for the  lighting you have in any given room. This service is going to allow you to see the entire color, on a larger wall surface of any given room you choose, to make sure the color is right for that particular room.

            

And you know as well as I do, that paint cans have a tendency to gather in your closets or storage areas of your Philadelphia condo, and can generally outlive human beings in general. Just think of how many paint cans you WON’T have lingering for decades in that dark corner of your basement storage area! And believe me, this way of “painting a room” is a lot easier to do while downing a Martini or two.  Painting and drinking can now go hand in hand! Yippee!

Give it a try, and see if you don’t agree!

Looking for an easier way to buy your future condo in Philadelphia? Give Mark Wade a call at 215.521.1523 and let him show you a few condos here in Center City.

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

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August 21, 2008

10 Rittenhouse Square – Philadelphia’s Ultimate Address

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:51 pm

Seen rising above the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the north side of “The Square” is the new premier Rittenhouse Square condominium project, 10 Rittenhouse.

ARC Wheeler, the developer of 10 Rittenhouse in Center City, is saving the historical façade of the old Rittenhouse Club, and the new five-story structure will have three mega-condos. In a nod to preservation, the building will incorporate three landmark structures while adding a new 33-story red-brick and limestone tower behind them.

Ten Rittenhouse Square is a $300 million luxury condo tower under development in Center City Philadelphia whose residential tower will have street frontage on the 1800 block of Walnut Street, South 18th Street and the 1800 block of Sansom Street. According to the website, 10 Rittenhouse will feature:

• One Bedrooms from $714,000 – $856,000
• Two Bedrooms from $1,300,000 – $3,400,000
• Three Bedrooms from $1,900,000 – $4,500,000

In addition there will be six 10,000-square-foot penthouses priced near the $12,000,000 mark.
Needless to say, 10 Rittenhouse will be the paragon of luxury high rise living here in Philadelphia. With Miele and Sub-Zero kitchen appliances and marble baths with BainUltra tubs. Ceiling heights from 8.5′ to 12.5′ accompany window walls, spacious private balconies, terraces and Juliet  windows (in some homes). Building amenities include a garage, concierge service, a restaurant, a pool, spa and fitness center and a shared roof garden.

Barneys Co-op – a part of the high-end New York City department store Barneys will occupy the  first two floors, totaling 10,000 square feet. The Center City’s hip-ometer has officially begun registering some activity.

Barney’s AND living at 10 Rittenhouse?! That is a dream made in heaven.

Interested in living the dream? Contact Mark Wade at Prudential Fox and Roach realtors and lets investigate the possibilities!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106
267.237.3404 (That is my cell phone. And this is the first and only time you will see my personal cell phone number listed on a blog entry. THAT is how serious I am about loving this project.)

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August 19, 2008

How reliable is the information given, on any number of Philadelphia condos?

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:56 pm

As a longtime Philadelphia realtor, I am often asked a number of questions about various condos in Philly, and I want my blog readers to know a few things about buying or selling real estate in Philadelphia.

1) The “Days on Market” figure on any mls sheet (“DOM”) may be misleading. Sometimes sellers will pull their condo off the market for a few days, in hopes of resetting that “DOM” figure. Easily overridden by a realtor. Simply hitting the “History” button associated with that particular listing on the internet will give you a clear picture of the MLS history of that (say) Rittenhouse Square condo. So make sure you ask your realtor to show you the history of any given listing.

2) As I have said in prior blog entries and podcasts, make sure you measure the Center City condo you are going to buy to get your own idea of the square footage. Many MLS sheet omit this figure altogether, and are realtors are not required to submit such info to the MLS.

3) Parking- deeded, or assigned? Again, I did an entire blog on this issue. Many realtors will use those definitions incorrectly. Deeded means you have a separate tax bill, and you can sell the space off to anyone. Assigned generally means that the spot transfers with your title, which is not a bad thing.

4) Claims of a property being Historically Certified. Best story ever- once a prominent Center City realtor sold a Society Hill home, and claimed it was historically certified. Without being able to substantiate such a claim, when pressed, she declared the home to be “historically certifiable”. Nice. If such claims are made to you, get it in writing. Ask for documentation when writing the offer, should such a designation be of value to you.

So there you have it. If you are looking for more insight into the Philadelphia Center City condo market, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com. I will be sure to fill you in on the information I have in my brain!

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

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August 14, 2008

What is a Mortgage “Point”?

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:59 pm

Very simply put, a point is equal to one percent of the mortgage amount of your loan for your Philadelphia condo or flat- be it a Rittenhouse Square condominium, or a Society Hill loft. Points are not mandatory, in most cases, and are offered by a bank in return for a lowering of your interest rate.

Let’s say you buy a $550,000 condo in Philadelphia. You are going put 5% down, so your mortgage amount is $500,000. Here is how points work:

You pay 1 point (payable to the lender), which costs you $5,000 and your interest rate is 6%
You pay 2 points, which will cost you $10,000, and your interest rate is 5.75%

Now, if you monthly mortgage payment is going to drop (say) $100 a month BECAUSE you paid a point, it will take you 50 months to recoup that $5000 investment in that one point.

You save $100 a month, and paid $5000 for that honor. Hence 50 months to recoup.

So it begs the question, are you SURE you are going to live in this Rittenhouse Square condo for over four years? Because if you are not sure how long you are going to stay put, it may not be in your best interest to pay that point. I have been a realtor in Philadelphia for almost twenty years now, and I sell a lot of condos in Center City. I don’t see a lot of folks staying put for more than four years. They get a dog, a family, a lawnmower, a promotion, a transfer, and they are off to bigger and better pastures. Empty nesters would be the exception to this general rule.

So there you have it…..for more information, check out my website www.CenterCityCondos.com and click the Vendor Menu button for mortgage solicitors who can explain more about financing a wide variety of condos in Philadelphia.

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

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August 12, 2008

An $18,300,000 Luxury Rittenhouse Square Condo Available for Sale

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:01 pm

When I pretend that I have won the Powerball Pennsylvania lottery, I often think of what condominium in Philadelphia I would purchase. Well, I have made my decision…

The condominiums known as Ten Rittenhouse is now offering the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floor of the former Rittenhouse Club residence, listed in the Philadelphia Registry of Historic Places, which sits directly on the park. With ceiling heights of 11’6” and wide open space that you can design to include the finishes and details that fit your lifestyle.

World-renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern is doing this masterpiece, and when it sells, will undoubtedly be one of the finest Philadelphia condos – ever!  Some 5000 square feet of Luxury Rittenhouse Square living is being offered with this sale, and amenities include a 24-hour doorman, security and service staff, valet parking, world-class fitness center, indoor pool and sauna, concierge services and a gourmet restaurant which will provide room service offerings. Oh, and parking.

I have lived on the square for a number of years (in the lovely prewar 1900 Rittenhouse Square) and really liked living in the area. And who wouldn’t LOVE a newly constructed 5000 square feet condominium directly overlooking this lovely park? I would.

If you, or anyone you know, should happen to hit the Powerball on any given day, why not call me, and let’s find you the perfect Philadelphia condo to fit all of your needs? And know that I will happily work with any buyers in the $18,000,000 price range, whether you got there by hitting the Powerball or not :).

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

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August 7, 2008

What the F*#@??

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:52 pm

Oh the joys of being a Philadelphia realtor. I hear some of the dumbest stuff come out of the mouths of human beings…some realtors, some buyers, some sellers, and yes, sometimes I have even uttered the most moronic things even mentioned aloud.

Here are some of my favorites:

The roof only leaks during HEAVY rains…
Dear, everything goes with Formica…
Nobody does home inspections any more…
There hasn’t been a shooting on this block in weeks…
Yeah, but this is a very SPECIAL $700,000 studio…

And a few of my personal favorites, garnered from a television commercial:

Any closet is a walk in closet if you try hard enough…
No, the 3rd  time that house caught fire was arson, but I am pretty sure that kid is in jail now…

When shopping for a Center City Philadelphia condo, it is important to listen to what is being said around you. However, there are no guarantees that what is being said is intelligent, meaningful, or of this world.

Looking for meaningful repartee in the search for your new Center City Condo? Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and let’s laugh at some of the stupid stuff we are going to hear together! 🙂

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

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August 5, 2008

Adding Faux Painted Exposed Brick To your Philadelphia Condominium

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:50 pm

Adding faux painted exposed brick to a living room can be easy, quick, inexpensive, and add quite a punch to any living area….especially a somewhat boring room where some wall texture gets immediately noticed. Wall texture adds depth, and can change how light “works” in any given room. And heaven knows that a lot of Philadelphia condos could use a tad more emotional punch!

I once bought a condo that had a 5’ by 7’ chunk taken out of an exposed brick wall. I simply filled empty chunk with cinder block, applied a thin wire lathe, then semi-wet mortar mix, and scarred it to make it appear to be exposed brick. I then painted the entire wall a really cool taupe color, and you could never tell that it was faux Painted brick…and it Looked Stunning!

I should have done the wall in a medium grey color. My friend once did that to his Old City condo, to a few exposed brick columns, and I thought I was going to die. It was gorgeous!

So the moral of this blog entry is…don’t worry if your Rittenhouse Square condominium, or any condo in Philadelphia lacks a bit of charm and historic detail. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and add detail is indeed possible as you go about improving your Center City loft or Society Hill condo. Have fun, and be creative!

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

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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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