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April 29, 2013

I would watch these “home shows”…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:44 am

I like programs on TV about real estate. I think the shows are timely, relevant, and interesting. A nice combination of education and entertainment centered around a topic everyone likes to talk about- Real Estate buying and selling.

asseen

Here are some ideas I have for TV programs that I would like to watch, because as a Philadelphia REALTOR, I encounter a plethora of situations I believe are worthy of their own TV segments:

Buy a Home From Me… or Get out of My Car- A show where buyers who really are not interested in buying, but just want a guided tour to see some cool homes, are called on the carpet.

Lazy, Stupid REALTORS- A show featuring some of the lazy stupid things REALTORS do… Like advertising open houses, and then not bothering to show up for it.

Buyers- What Are You, Nuts? – A show where buyers grossly overpay for a home simply because they like the way the home shows and/or because of the cleanliness of the interior.

Sellers- What Are You, Nuts? – A show where sellers want to sell their homes for more than any other house in their ZIP code because they “KNOW” their home is the nicest in the entire area.

Yes, You Have to Pay Condo Fees – A show that captures the quizzical looks of buyers when they learn that the Center City condo front doorman doesn’t work for free. Or, that the elevators do run on electricity, which results in a common bill for ALL condo owners.

You Want to Buy WHAT?? – A show that features buyers who purchase the polar opposite of what they tell their REALTOR they’re looking for.

Any Closet is a Walk-In Closet if You Try Hard Enough – A show featuring the silly things that come out of REALTORS mouths when trying too hard to make a sale.

Fighting Spouses – She wants a Philadelphia condominium; he wants a Center City loft. The differences play out before the cameras! Or, she wants to buy, he doesn’t.

Parents Say the Darnest Things – So eager for their kids to move OUT of the house, parents find a positive side to the worst possible properties on the market!

Let me help you make sure your Center City real estate transaction doesn’t become the next hit reality show. Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at mark@centercity.com

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April 22, 2013

Should a Celebrity Die in your house, is it then a Landmark?

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:53 pm

george

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 buyer 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 the 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 town homes where significant history was made at that particular address.

 

In a town that brought you the likes of Thomas Paine, Dolly Madison, and Betsey 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 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@centercity.com. (Ghost and wooden teeth not guaranteed.)

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April 15, 2013

I Don’t Have a Crystal Ball

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:51 am

     The Philadelphia condominium market is something I enjoy analyzing, thinking about, etc., I am always amazed at how many times buyers and sellers ask me to give them solid concrete information about what is going to happen in the future.

crystalball

     Often a buyer’s query comes in the form of: “Will this home be worth more in five years than the one across town we just saw?” or “Should I lock my interest rate today because interest rates are going to rise next week?”

     Sellers are a bit more forward thinking as I find their mental dilemma encompassing thoughts of: “If I hold this property, and rent it out, what kind of rents can I get in the year, say, 2027?”

     Now I admit that when I bought my first Center City condominium, I drove my real estate agent nuts. I mean crazy. I still kinda’ duck my head when I pass her by on the street. And I am sure I tortured her with silly questions she could not have possibly answered.

     Although, you know, her crystal ball must have been fully operational way back when as she had no problem spittin’ out future numbers like they were being read off a bingo card. And I bought everything that came out of her mouth. Today that condo is worth exactly 4 times what it was worth back in 1991. (Bridgeview Place Unit #521).

     Now why didn’t I ask her to pick some lottery numbers for me?

     I might not have a crystal ball, but I do have the knowledge to help you purchase or sell your Center City condo or Philadelphia condominium for the best price and terms. Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me and email at mark@centercity.com. We’ll have fun!

 

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April 8, 2013

Low Condo Fees and Your Resale Value

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:55 am

I am a REALTOR in downtown Philadelphia. I specialize in selling Center City condos and have for the past 23 years of my career.

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Condominium buildings, like cars, teeth, and gardens, require ongoing maintenance and care. In an effort to cut your personal costs, try not buying toothpaste or floss for a year, and see where that gets ya’. In the long run, its probably going to cost you more than if you bought (and used, of course) toothpaste, floss, and mouth rinse. One dental bill can blow those costs out of the water. The same analogy can be said about Philadelphia condo buildings.

I’m always amazed when I go onto a listing appointment and the owner tries to sell me on the fact that the condo fees in his building are super low, as compared to similar condo buildings in downtown Philadelphia. Perhaps Me. Seller things I am new to this planet. It’s been my experience that somewhat abnormally low condo fees for a particular building can actually result in a lower resale price for those Philadelphia condos.

Let’s say a condo association decides its going to keep fees minimal because the owners got together and decided NOT to raise fees yearly. Bad move, I say! Interior and exterior maintenance projects are going to be lacking, most likely, as will routine projects like cleaning exterior windows, hall carpeting replacement, etc.

I think a HUGE portion of a buyer’s perception of a particular Center City condo is formed in his or her brain PRIOR to him or her entering that specific condo. If the common hallways are dirty, the exterior weak in terms of curb appeal, etc., it is not going to reflect well on any unit within that Philadelphia condominium building.

Such glaring deficiencies in the showing ability of the building as a whole should not be underestimated by any condo association. Certainly the prospective buyer walking in the front door for the first time is going to see those deficiencies…

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April 2, 2013

Guest Post: Why Living in the Center of Philly is Better than Suburban Living

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:02 am

Personal circumstances such as your job, family and lifestyle preferences determine whether or not city life is a good fit but for many, the center of Philadelphia is the place to be.  The City of Brotherly Love, a big city with a small town feel, is known for its friendly residents and if you love the vibrant life in cities Philly condos have a lot to offer. Trees and parks offer a refreshing contrast to its museums and shopping centers. Philadelphia is, quite literally, the best of both worlds. Decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

 

Less Reliance on Automobiles
Philly has a terrific public transportation system. It runs in a timely manner and can get you almost anywhere you want to go in the city or the surrounding areas. Commutes are quick and, if you prefer walking, almost anything is within reach. Shopping, entertainment and a wide variety of restaurants are within reasonable walking distance. In the suburbs, you will likely have to run a car, adding significant expense to your monthly budget and never mind the time spent commuting.

Wide-Ranging Culture
Philadelphia is known for its vibrant art scene. It’s not uncommon to see used forklifts moving sculptures, paintings and other pieces of art into a building. Museums, the zoo, and popular sports teams also bring entertainment to the city. If you’re a shopaholic, you’ll enjoy a large variety of boutiques, larger department stores and small specialty shops.
Even better, Philadelphia is one of America’s oldest cities and is full of historical significance. Its architecture is second to none. You can find a multitude of different cuisines; the city has many ethnic restaurants if you’re up for new experiences. There are diverse neighborhoods and Center City condos with distinct cultural offerings, so you’re never bored and without something to do.
Philadelphia is also home to some prestigious educational institutions, such as the University of Pennsylvania, which add to the vigor and excitement of one of America’s favorite cities. All of this can be right outside your door.

Real Affordability
Compared to living in some cities like New York and Chicago, living in Philadelphia is quite affordable. Rent is cheaper and because public transportation is plentiful, saving on getting to and from work is easy. Cars require maintenance and upkeep; you don’t have to worry about those costs if you live in the city center. Even purchasing a home is more affordable in Philly than it is in comparable cities in the United States.

If you’re looking to move to Philly, don’t just settle on the suburbs. Instead, think about everything the City of Brotherly Love has to offer you and your family.

 

Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

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