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October 29, 2009

You Claim your building is 70% Sold

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:44 am

…and I claim that you have a problem telling the truth.

 

So there I was last night at some little gathering of well heeled city folk, many of whom are “In the Know”, along with a few hanger-on’ers, and me. And someone that knows who I am drops a BOMB- a certain new construction condo building in town is 44% sold. Oh how I love a good story. Especially when it appears to be true, and contrary to what the PR machines have been putting out. I understand the motive. Every new Philadelphia real estate condo building loves to put on a good show, and appear to be a success. I get it. But don’t you, Mr. Sales Staff for any given new condo building, feel any sense of remorse or regret when you convince a buyer to buy in your building, under false sales stat quotes? I certainly would.
    
Philly condo buyers should not believe everything they hear. Especially from developers sales staff who claim that their buildings have this much, or that percentage sold. The numbers are secretive, not displayed in the MLS, or in government records, and sometimes the numbers are bogus. And what recourse might you have? I would suggest very little. When you walk into any new construction condo building, without a buyers representative (aka- me) with you, you possibly are going to get one side of the story.
     
Many new condo developments have a policy and it reads- “Agents must accompany on buyers FIRST visit”….or,  they (that sales staff) will not allow me to come in with you visit #2, or anytime thereafter. I personally feel this policy is bullshit. If you visit a building, then meet me, I cannot be your agent for THAT building.
    
So wise up here folks. IF you want buyer representation…see me first. Then let’s go visit some Center City new construction high rise buildings. Because if that building is spewing BULLSHIT, I am going to tell you. And again, I am kinda’ “In the know”…..

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

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October 27, 2009

5 Things That Can Ruin a Closing

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:51 am

1) Buyer buys a new car, or otherwise obligates him or herself financially, between signing of the agreement of sale, and closing.

2) Either party, while NOT attending settlement, sends documents back that have not been witnessed by a notary.

3) Either party, having to bring money to the table to complete the transaction, brings a personal check, and not a certified check.

4) Realtor forgets to either: Bring the escrow check, read the utility meters, neglects to do a walk-through, or doesn’t check to see all obligations on the agreement of sale have been fulfilled-like making sure appliances are still in the house at the time of settlement, etc.

5) Seller neglects to, or just doesn’t give a crap, and fails to complete items on a written punch list. I hate sellers like this. Usually deveoplers. Sleezy-bags.

Through hundreds of closings, Mark will do his best not to ruin the day you close on your favorite Fitler Square condo. Or any Philadelphia condo for that matter! 🙂

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

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October 22, 2009

Shopping for your new Philadelphia Condominium?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:26 am

…see if you can avoid being a dumb ass! 

Here are the top 5 Mistakes potential buyers make when shopping for a new condo in Philly:
 
1) They don’t do their homework- And end up buying a condo with a fatal resale flaw… like a 6th floor walkup, or a 2000 sq ft studio.

2) They overpay without asking their realtor for detailed comparable info- huge mistake. Happens all the time.

3) They use a realtor who is a relative, or someone from way out of the area. Whatta’ you, new to this planet? Don’t do that.

4) They neglect to get their mortage costs AND interest rate in writing from their mortgage dude/dudette.

5) They get a friend or relative to do a home inspection for them. I reserve the right to laugh at anyone who does this.
 
Honestly, most Center City Condominium buyers are intelligent, and come prepared. But some don’t do their homework, and end up getting kinda’ screwed in the end. Please don’t let this happen to you! Call, and let’s chat about some of the common pitfalls of buying a condo.

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

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October 20, 2009

The Philadelphian Condominiums

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:45 pm

A true variety of sizes, shapes and views make 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue a wonderful choice for condo buyers.

I have always been a big fan of the Philadelphian, located in the Art Museum area of Center City Philadelphia. One of the, if not THE largest condominium association here in Pennsylvania, “2401” has an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, limited garage parking, a supermarket, a restaurant, and a variety of shops located all under one roof! Many units have oversized balconies, with fantastic city or Museum views. The Philadelphian recently replaced all windows, and hvac systems! Stunning penthouse units, and according to www.2401.com, the building has a variety of clubs and social functions throughout the year. Penthouse units have dazzling ceiling height, and top-notch views!

Considering a move into Center City? Give me a call, and let’s check out the value and size of some of the Philadelphian’s condos!

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

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October 15, 2009

A Center City Condo Buyer’s Wish List

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:41 pm

Yes, buyers come to me with a wish list a mile long. Shocking, eh? And if you already own a condo in Center City, don’t pretend like you bought the first thing you saw. You didn’t. I know, because I was probably your Philly realtor. 🙂 I always tell people that I can get them 9 out of 10 things on their wish list. If they want 10 out of 10, then they are going to have to rub a magic lamp. I just isn’t possible.

Anyway, here are the top 5 things buyers INITIALLY ask for when they call:

1) Parking

2) Walkable area at Center City restaurants, Cultural activities, etc.

3) A workable, open kitchen

4) Tons of closet space

5) Hardwood Floors

 
Though clearly this list varies from buyer to buyer, these are the most “asked for items” when I first get a call that someone is looking for a condo!

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

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October 13, 2009

My Top 5 Bizarre Open House Moments

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:43 pm

…and you thought being a realtor was all glamour.

 

I have been sitting Open Houses in Center City Philadelphia for twenty years now. If I add up all the hours I have spent alone in some strangers home, I could have taken a month off in the Bahamas, I am sure. But not all the sitting and waiting for some Philadelphia condo buyer has been in vain. Here are my top (bottom?) 5 Open House experiences that I have lived through:
 
1) Someone once died in the living room of my lovely Open House. I was in a Washington Square West Condo, and PA. Hospital was but 1/2 block away. Buyer Lived.

2) I once added a cat to someones home. The cat was lurking by the back door. I figured I let him out by mistake. I didn’t. This owner didn’t own a cat.

3) I once sat the wrong Open House. Couldn’t get the key to work. Sat on the front stoop for an hour. Was told a week later I was at the wrong address.

4) I once left an open house, and locked a potential buyer inside. She was knocking on the front door, from inside the house, as I attempted to leave. Good save on her part.

5) I once tracked grease from the sidewalk onto the new carpeting of a model open house I was once sitting.  I didn’t tell anyone. It still eats at me at this day.
 
I’m not perfect, but if you own a Center City Condo, I might just be perfect for you.

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

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October 9, 2009

Appraised Values are Bullshit

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

…how do you not understand that?

I have long contended that appraisals are not worth the money. Sure, they are a necessary ingredient into any mortgage or refinance situation, but just how real is an appraisal for any given Rittenhouse Square condo for example?

It has been my general experience that an appraisal is any given mortgage or Re-Fi situation is a question of “Meets”….does the appraised value meet or exceed the sale price. If yes, then great…deal goes through. If not, big problem. But I have seen COUNTLESS appraisals magically come back at exactly sale price. Now how does that happen?
    
Here is what happens: Appraiser finds out sale price, then finds comparable sales to meet that sale price.  It is the tail wagging the dog.

But my bigger complaint is that appraisals do not take into account (or for the most part, discount) interior condition. IF Mr. or Mrs. Appraiser is looking for comparable sales to either meet or exceed the value of the subject property, but he or she has not been inside the comparables, how can they account for the huge fluctuations in the sale prices of supposedly similar units? Does the emotional impact of a unit not count for anything?  And are they getting their insight/knowledge about the interior condition, or the emotional impact of a condo from 5 or 6 crappy photos of a Center City Condo added to the MLS by some realtor with a $20 camera??
    
I would love to hear some feedback on my assertion that appraisals are Bullshit. What do you have to say?

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

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October 7, 2009

No Lack of Condominium Buyers In Center City Philadelphia

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

….for distressed properties, that is. Interesting note for Fall 2009.

There was a really nice 1500+ Sq ft. two bed/two and a half bath condo with parking at WaterFront Square that went on the market a 12 days ago.

The unit was being sold by a bank, and from what I hear, had 4 cash offers. Asking price was $389,000.  Clearly, this unit sold in no time. I even told a buyer that I easily could have sold that unit at least twice, providing no one else knew of this gem.

Whats my point? There are no lack of ready willing and able buyers in Center City Philadelphia. However, there is a lack of severely distressed inventory to satisfy the bottom-feeder buyers.

And I am casting no judgement on those buyers- more power to anyone who is smart enough to be prepared to make such a move. I wish I had more buyers like that! There are still 3 places in town that I think are similar in nature- two in Old City (which is rare) and one in Washington Sq. West. Bottom feeders- Call me. Lets chat.

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

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October 1, 2009

Does your Center City Philadelphia Garden Suck?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:10 pm

…yeah well, they all do.

Container gardens are very popular with city dwellers- though rarely do I see a small private outside area and witness plants thriving. It is like a death sentence for any plant that gets purchased by anyone who resides within the confines of Center City. So here are my suggestions for those looking to buy garden plants that basically “thrive on neglect”
 
Tall Plants- Good Sun           Tall Plants-Shade
                          
Bamboo                                 Feather Reed Gras 
 
Small Flowers- Full Sun         Big Flowers-Shade
            
Moss Rose                              Salvia                      
 
 
So if killing plants is your “thing”, Try these goof-proof plants that can thrive on neglect,
and you may have one of the prettiest gardens in Center City Philadlephia!

Is gardening a priority for your move into Center City? Lets chat about how we can find you a place with some nearby “Greenery”.

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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