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September 30, 2008

The Best Philadelphia Penthouses

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:04 pm

Not necessarily the most expensive, but having twenty years experience in the Center City real estate sales, and asking other agents for their input, I have compiled a list of the top dream Penthouse condos in Center City Philadelphia…

1)   The Plaza on Rittenhouse Square – Boasting some of the most magnificent mansions in the sky. Each unique and filled with pre-war elements. Stunning. And a few are bigger than huge.
 

 

2)   Water Front Square- Some of these gems are over 4000 sq. ft, and have 2000 sq ft verandas overlooking the river. Floor to ceiling glass curtain walls don’t hurt the views either.

3)   The Drake Tower: Ok, I am cheating here. This is a rental building, although the building was converted to condos in the 1980’s. Rivaling some of the finest New York City Penthouses, these units at the Drake offer significantly detailed terraces.

 

If you are intereste in taking a tour of a few penthouses around town, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or send me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com. I’d love to show you around!

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

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September 26, 2008

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:29 pm

With the recent headlines about our economy and the current state of the mortgage industry, not to mention Wall Street, it is nice to talk about the opportunity some folks can still have to purchase their first home with the $7500 Fist Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

I recently came across this easy to understand and well-thought out article written by a Mortgage Planner from Washington that explains a bit about the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  People are taking advantage of this tax credit from coast to coast.

If you are a first time home buyer looking for, say a Rittenhouse Square condo, or an Old City Loft, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or send me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and I’d love to show you around and help you take advantage of this great opportunity!

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

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September 25, 2008

The Top 5 Philly Condos you have NEVER heard of…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:43 am

Like classmates you went to high school with, some Center City Condos are loud, and some are very quiet, and rarely get any attention. They slip under the radar without being noticed. Here are our top 5 favorite condos in Philly that you may not have noticed:

The Palladium Condominiums: Located at 2138 Lombard St., this quiet six unit building has garage parking, and all units have outside space. Great Location, great units! A very nice location in the Fitler Square area with easy access to Penn and the major highways. 

                                                     

2217-19 Delancey Street Condos: Another six unit building on a gorgeous block. These condos in Philly sell fairly quickly, and vary is sizes and styles. Nice finishes as well. A quiet street, this lowrise condo building is perfect for many looking to live in a Brownstone styled low rise condo.

 

The Drake Tower: That’s right, I said the Drake. These are condos, but the building is rented out as a whole. Only about a dozen units are owned by individuals. 

251 S. 24th St Condos: A very rare loft building hidden in plain sight in Fitler Square. All have garage parking, and the units are smashing! Very cool…

716-18 S. 11th St. Condominiums: Built by Tony Rufo, these tax abated units have a lot of exposed brick, a huge common roof deck, tax abatement and garage parking! Some unusual spaces in each unit- all double width! 

Looking for the perfect fit in your next piece of Philadelphia real estate? Give me a call, and let’s see what we can sniff out!

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

 

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September 23, 2008

Lower the fees on your Fitler Square Condo

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:55 pm

It is a rare day when I meet someone who doesn’t care about how much condo fees are for any given (say) Rittenhouse Square condo. Like saving money at the gas pump, or hitting a sale at Barney’s Co-Op, it is just something that concerns those looking to buy Philadelphia real estate.

Here are my top 4 solutions for cutting your condo fees:

1) Make sure ALL toilets in your association are 1.6 gallon, low flow toilets. Water usage, which is generally included in condo fees is a variable which can easily be controlled through proper usage. Go to your next condo meeting and bring this issue up. All new construction necessitates a 1.6 gallon flush toilet, so why not implement the rule for existing condos as well?

2) If you live in a mid rise condominium building here in Philly, and have a doorman, but are teetering on the edge of needing versus not needing a doorman, why not look into www.virtualdoorman.com (TM)? You could save a bundle, while not compromising the security of your building! I love this product, and excited to see a Philadelphia condo association implement such a savings.

3) Shop your master insurance policy around. Look at your deductible, your total coverage, and get quotes from 3 or 4 other carriers. You might be surprised at the potential savings. I find many condo associations are improperly insured.

4) Low rise condo associations that are under (say) 10 units-fire your management company, and manage in-house.  You may find that you do not need to hire a management company to do the little things that are needed of a small association. (careful here…)

If you are looking for a new condo here in town drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com or give me a call at 215.521.1523.

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

 

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September 18, 2008

Looking to Relocate to Philadelphia?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:31 pm

Here are some things you are going to want to know…

• The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sunday edition is available on Saturday

• Buy a “Smart Card” from the Philadelphia Parking Authority- that way you won’t have to ask strangers on the street for change for your parking meter

• Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square West, Fitler Square, and Society Hill (to name a few) are neighborhoods located in Center City. Center City encompasses a number of neighborhoods

• We don’t say pop…we say soda

• It is known as Queen Village, not Queens Village, though there may be may queens that live there.

• It is not Olde City…it is Old City

• Ben Franklin was never president of the United States

• NYC is an hour and eleven minutes by train

• We don’t eat Grinders or Subs…we eat Hoagies. Don’t ask me why

• Scrapple is something to be avoided at all costs (breakfast menu item)

• Acme is not just a place where the Wile E. Coyote buys things to “get”the Road Runner….it is a grocery store that is popular in the area 

Want the inside scoop on Philadelphia? Give me a call, and let’s laugh at some of the oddities our fine city presents to those looking to relocate to Philly!

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

 

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September 16, 2008

The Lofts at Bella Vista

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:04 am

Located on the corner of Washington Avenue and 11th Street in the Bella Vista section of Center City Philadelphia, The Lofts at Bella Vista are a wonderful addition to this thriving neighborhood! Just two blocks from the Italian Market, BV Lofts offer a wide range of condominium sizes, shapes, and designs. Impressive penthouse units, and MIND BLOWING Villa units, which sit atop this historic building, are a real Must-See for those entering the Philadelphia condo market!

Indoor garage parking, high ceilings, and modern common areas make this building very attractive and desirable for all price ranges for many Philly condo buyers. High end modern and attractive finishes like polished concrete floors, along with a tax abatement, 24 hour front door person, and wonderful city views all add up to a strong mix which should pique the interest of a wide variety of Center City condominium buyers!

Interested in taking a look at these groovy condos? Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me and email at Mark@CenterCity.com.

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

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September 11, 2008

What is the current market value for a Center City Parking spot?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:41 pm

Parking in Center City Philadelphia is a treasured commodity. Since most single family homes in the downtown Philly area were built prior to Henry Ford cranking out his Model T’s, it is fair to assume that less than half the single family homes have parking- ditto for a number of existing condos in Philadelphia. And a good number of high rise condos in Philly just offer rental parking. With the advent of a number of new high rise condo projects in Center City, the number of parking spaces has ballooned in the past few years. Yippee!!

I remember back in 1990 when a lot on 3rd Street in Society Hill moved some lot lines and created ONE new parking spot, in an existing (say) twenty car lot. The spot went up for auction, and sold for $60,000. I also recall someone buying a neighboring home, as it had two car parking. They rented the house out, and kept the parking for their 200 year old Society Hill townhouse which was just around the corner. 

You can purchase a spot at the Parkominium in Old City for around $30,000- perhaps a bit more or less, depending on which spot you choose. You can buy a second parking spot at the Bella Vista lofts, via a LIFT, for $10,000 (your 2nd car sits on a lift, above your first car’s parking spot). Generally, in new construction condos in Philadelphia, a parking spot can be purchased anywhere from $30,000-$70,000 depending on the exclusivity of the building, and just how “preferred’ the parking spot is, within the parking structure.

I read that a parking spot in NYC (on West 17th Street) recently sold for $225,000 –that of course, being on the high end. My guess is that IF you could add a parking spot to say 1830 Rittenhouse Square (an impressive pre-war Center City condo building that currently has no parking), you could fetch up to about $125,000 for that spot. There would be a lot of “if’s” attached, and that is just a made up scenario, but I would guess that $125,000 would be about the max someone might pay for such an amenity.

Looking for that perfect condo, with a side of parking?

Give me a call at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and let’s see if we can’t find just what you are looking for ~ in a condo, and in a parking space!

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

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September 9, 2008

A few Ways you WIN, even if you sell your Philadelphia real estate for the same price you paid

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:10 pm

1) For every month you lived in your new Center City pad, and made a mortgage payment, you were able  to deduct the interest on the loan.  Try that with a rental payment. And be sure to let the IRS know of your plan here, as I am sure it will go over well with them.

2) You were able to paint the living room that hideous red your wife/husband/other wanted, and didn’t have to worry about NOT getting your security deposit back

3) If you had a fixed rate mortgage, you were able to plan on stable month payments, without the threat of yearly increases in rent, which most landlords do as a matter of habit, as opposed to doing so based on market conditions

4) You didn’t have to worry that your landlord was going to kick you to the curb after your lease expiration period, in order to turn the apartment into condos

5) You had the “quiet use and enjoyment” of the home to do as you please. The piece of mind that only comes from home ownership. 

6) And you now have the pride of owning your own  garden rake, a lawnmower, and perhaps washer and dryer.

Buying a piece of real estate in Philadelphia isn’t always about financial appreciation. Sometimes, the added value is the piece of mind you have knowing that you have a roof over your head that belongs to you. And your bank.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
PREA Top 100 Award- 2005, 2006, 2007

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September 4, 2008

Characteristics that may limit resale value of Philadelphia condos

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:53 pm

Based upon what my buyers have been showing me for years, I would suggest that there are about ten Characteristics that can limit top dollar resale amounts for condominiums in Center City Philadelphia (not in any specific order) :

1 ) Units in buildings with low owner occupancy ratios
2 ) Tri-Level unit condos with corkscrew styled staircases

3 ) Units on the 2nd floor just above the dumpster area (in high rise condos)
4 ) Units directly over noisy bar

5 ) Units with a significant amount of living space in the basement
6 ) Units without direct light into living room area
7 ) Units located on the first floor

8 ) Units with disproportionately high condo fees
9 ) Units that are fifth floor walk-ups
10 ) Units in an “alley” that has pubs on either ends

Not to say that such units are not sellable, it is just that in many cases, units with some of the above characteristics are often times discounted below the sale prices of units without such conditions. If you can find a Philadelphia condo with one or more of the above attributes, you may find that you will get a bit more square feet for the money!

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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