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March 31, 2014

5 Times When I Have to Tell a Buyer “NO”

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:11 pm

You don’t get if you don’t ask….but there are times when I have to say NO to a buyer’s request. I just can’t….Sorry

1) Getting condo docs in advance of your offer- Condo docs are ordered by the seller and can cost up to $300. No seller orders prior to a sale in my experience.

2) Make an offer on two Center City condos  simultaneously- Sorry, but you have to make up your mind. You need to approach an offer in good faith…and like dating, you really can only do so one at a time. You may want to two time…but you really can’t.

3) Move In Prior To Settlement- Perhaps if you rub a lamp, this wish could come true. It ain’t going to happen. You can move in when you own the condo. Period.

4) Expect the Owner to Leave The Condo Spic & Span- Yeah….that ain’t going to happen. The contract calls for “Broom Swept Clean” condition.

5) Expecting there not to be nail holes in walls where pictures once hung- Pictures do not magically float or levitate onto walls. They are put there via nails and screws. Expect that holes to remain once the pictures are gone. Shocking, right?

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March 17, 2014

A building’s reputation shines brightly onto condo values

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:40 pm
                           
Take location and amenities out of the valuation
equation and you are pretty much left with reputation
as the driving force of value for Center City Condos.
   Reputation is the elusive building quality that can garner some high end sale prices for certain buildings in Center City. Every building has a reputation which is built on a plethora of factors- some of which may not be visible to the naked eye. Factors such as: location, curb appeal, overall quality of fit & finish, upkeep and maintenance, and amenities/services that are offered. Some of the more subtle qualities of a good building reputation might be clues to the building’s finances, the size and composition of the condo units, monthly dues, friendliness of staff and management responsiveness.
The one factor that I notice buyers pay attention to is the friendliness of the staff. This is BEYOND HUGE. And such a simple factor that can easily be affected. If your doorman is anything but courteous and helpful- my buyers are going to pick that up pretty quickly and it will sour their impression of your building. York Square in Old City used to have a really pissy front desk staff and a fair number of my clients would comment on that attribute. And the comments from my buyers weren’t nice. First impressions are huge…we all know that.
The reality is that you cannot single out location as being the only driving force of value in a Center City Condo. Just look around town and try to compare building’s based on location alone- then try to determine the buildings value based solely on location. You would pretty much have to be a goof….you follow me?  Building reputation and the attributes associated with reputation can indeed dictate value and really be a driving force of those values.
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March 14, 2014

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

Click here to check out our new listing at 1035 Spruce Street Unit LL1

KateDevlin2014_1035_Spruce_LL1_MWade-2

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March 12, 2014

Check out our new listing!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:52 am

Click here to check out 38 N Front St. #2E!

KateDevlin2014_38_N_Front_Unit2E-5

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March 10, 2014

Rumor has it…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:25 pm
-The Plaza is done with their lobby work and they made one of the best common foyers in town even better. Now exterior work to begin on the balconies.
-I have heard that the planned new construction at 25th and Locust is going to be a Philadelphia condo building- and not rentals. Don’t bet on it-just a rumor.
-The Murano is getting a make-over to their community room. No offense as I love the Murano, but…yippee.
-The lobby of the Warwick has been completed..and this ain’t no rumor- it is fabulous! Really…next time you walk past- stick your head inside the lobby at 1701 Locust St.
-I just implemented a new menu button on my site “The Newest 50 Condos In Center City.” That info will of course be updated daily for my condo junkies that love to stay on top of everything here in town.
-I just got my first “Multiple Bid” situation for the Spring 2014 selling season- A sign of the impending “sellers market” (watch prices rise this year pretty much across the board).  The spring market is starting real early this year- and will run through say mid-July.
-I just saw one of the most jaw-dropping condos I have seen in town- At 1352 South St. A super duper stunning corner unit- the likes of which I have never seen in Center City. This is the only one like it in the building.
Asking under $800k. I was like, damn…..
-Center City One at 1326 Spruce St. has completed (most if not all) of their common hallway repairs and they look stunning. Building is so well run and they are now offering options for folks to replace their own exterior windows and doors. Touche.
-I heard that the southwest corner of 5th and Walnut was recently purchased by a large Center City developer and will be turned into a fairly dramatic new condo high-rise building. I overheard that little noodle from a big wig in the company who was in good spirits when he started singing like a canary.
-The Former Shirt Corner (NE corner 3rd & Market) is adding a CVS and 59 units…not sure if condos or apartments.

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March 3, 2014

Seriously- Does Your Building Give A Crap About Your Resale Value?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:52 pm

Think your condo board and management companies don’t play a role in your value retention?

 

    Center City condominium buildings are like a business and should be run as such. From maintenance to condo association policy, seems many folks have a hand in the determination of your resale value.  Value within any given building is a moving target, and if I were King of the World, I would suggest that any association would want to evaluate their policies considering:
1) Pets- A hot button item. Buildings are often overlooked by potential buyers based upon the buildings’ pet policies.  Buyers often request a pet- friendly building, but never have I had a buyer express to me that a pet-free building is on their wish list. Associations may want to limit pets based upon breed, size and allow such freedoms to only the owner occupants and not tenants.
2) Common Area Presentation – The death knell for many buildings in town in terms of value retention. Often, buyers refuse to walk into a Philadelphia condo unit after being walked through the common building foyer and through the halls. Some hallways smell- and haven’t been painted or had any new lighting in 20 years. I would have to suggest you rid your association of anyone who could be responsible for such lack of attention. The cost is SO MINIMAL to improve common area elements that it really makes no sense not to keep your common areas in tip top shape. This is where the “Investment Multiplier” comes into effect- for every dollar you put in, you get two back. Simple math here folks.
3) Transparent and Open Communications – There is a reason why Society Hill Tower, Hopkinson House, and The Washington Square West Condos at 12xx South St. are known to be very well run.  I would suggest it has to do with the accessibility and transparency of the condo associations and or management companies. From condo docs, to board minutes – THINGS BUYERS WANT TO KNOW- Are but a click away on but a handful of condo sites. The surreptitious and somewhat mysterious ways that associations fail to hold out the information to scrutiny can be a serious concern for many buyers. And making a buyer wait up to 4 weeks to get condo docs – REALLY?  That is a great way to piss off a new buyer and possibly a new member of the condo association.
4) Rentals- It is fairly standard for a building to allow a certain percentage of the condominiums in the association to be rented out. But having NO policy which addresses rentals can be a real disaster. Fannie Mae has rules about owner-occupancy ratios. A lack of adherence to those rules can lead to the need for buyers to put more money down AND pay a higher interest rate.
Which of course can reduce demand for your building, raise inventory levels, and ultimately lower your values. Ain’t no rocket science involved in that equation….
Below is a fantastic site with some great information. If you are a board member of an association here in town, you might want to bookmark this website:
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