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March 2015
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March 30, 2015

Doing Work To Your Condo?

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

Academy House

A few things to remember when doing work to your Center City condo:
1) You will have to present Insurance certs to the board for your contractors. Like at the Philadelphian Condos which has a strong management board.
2) Your contractors will generally have specific times when they may work- and hours are usually like from 9am-4pm Monday through Friday. Weekend work not allowed in most buildings.
3) Converting a two bedroom condo to a large one bedroom unit? Usually not a good idea in terms of resale value and future demand for your condo.
4) Light Cosmetic work (paint, wallpaper, re-sanding floors) will almost always get you the biggest return for your money. Especially when done with the supervising eye of a decorator.
5) Never carpet a living room. Never use high gloss paint outside a kitchen or bath. And when thinking of a color scheme- use 2 primary colors and one accent color. No more then 3 per room.
6) Stay away from: Black grout around the tile… Mirrored Closet doors…an avoid fluorescent lighting fixtures. No one looks good under fluorescents. Not even supermodels.
7) Consider putting $$ into your closet organizing system- this is going to give you a HUGE return in terms of “Use and Enjoyment” and is going to play quite well into resale value.
8) When remodeling a kitchen- you needn’t spend the big big bucks for a built-in refrigerator, but you should make your refrigerator appear to be built-in….this is an easy trick for any qualified contractor. A frig that looks out of place IS out of place…Like black shoes and a brown belt.
If you need some advice, call me.
 I know the best, and the worst contractors in town.
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March 23, 2015

Let’s look closer at the Low Rise/ Brownstone condo segment of Center City…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:39 pm
 

    Known for low condo fees and uniqueness brownstone / low rise styled condos are an option in Center City that I find are becoming more popular for many condo shoppers. Known for their really groovy features, low rise condos have shown to have good resale over time, and often show up in some of the strongest residential locations in Center City.

    The condo associations tend to almost always favor pets, rules can be a bit more lax than a high rise, and many units have either decks, parking, fireplaces, or say an abundance of original detailing. Here are some of my favorite low rise/ brownstone condo buildings in town- Due to either curb appeal, unit layout, value retention, or just an overwhelmingly serene locale:

1) Roberts Quay: 1035 Spruce – 18 units, a huge variety of layouts, and probably the most handsome building in 19107. Sits on the NE corner of 11th and Spruce. (see above and you can see what I mean).

2) 2100 Delancey: Again, huge curb appeal, an array of unit sizes and wrought with original detail. Many units have fireplaces, ornate windows, and of course a great location.

3) 251 S. 24th St: A very rare loft styled new condo building in Fitler Square that few have heard of/know of/have seen. Garage parking, huge windows, and sits in a quiet pocket of Fitler Square. High end contemporary finishes throughout each unit.

4) The Clinton: 1023 Clinton St. – Now here is a stunning building. Sits on the corner of 11th and Clinton St- serene as they come. Some units have parking, and many units have south facing windows- many completely shielded by huge trees. Modest condo fees and attractive pricing.

5) St. James Court: Hidden between 5th/6th Street, Locust and Walnut sits this enclave of “uppers and lowers”. Rental parking next door at Indep Place. Great space, quiet location, handsome exteriors, outside space for every unit, and two story living rooms. A great track record of resales / value retention over the past dozen years.
And of course I should mention:
Kahn Park Place at 1119-25 Pine
Wash Sq. West Condos on the 12xx block of South St.
Portico Row – 9xx Block of Spruce St.
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March 16, 2015

How MANY sales per building in past 12 months?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:45 pm

Philadelphian– 35

Society Hill Towers– 13

Academy House – 17

Dorchester– 9

Hopkinson House– 17

City View- 39

Independence Place– 9

2601 PA. Ave– 30

WaterFront Square – 33

Wanamaker House– 2

The Murano– 25

The Savoy– 9

Center City One– 3

Symphony House– 12

1352 South– 12

The Ellington – 12

Locust Point – 13

And interestingly enough…Low Rise Condos On Spruce St. From River to River = 39

Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
www.centercitycondos.com
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Fox & Roach Realtors

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March 9, 2015

Condo ONLY Sales And Inventory Data

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:54 am
(When I have nothing better to do, I like to run through all MLS data…)
2401
19102 – Broad to 16th Streets
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 41
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 8
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 72
19103- Rittenhouse/Fitler/Logan Circle
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 89
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 31
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 244
19106- Old City/Society Hill
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 103
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 30
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 160
19107 Washington Square West
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 48
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 8
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 97
19130 Art Museum Area
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 82
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 30
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 187
19146 Graduate Hospital Area
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 40
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 10
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 88
19147 Queen Village/Bella Vista
Number Of Active Condos For Sale = 67
Number Of “Pending” Condos = 19
Number of Sold Condos in Past 12 Months = 85
So just what the heck does this all mean?
Pretty simple equation- shrinking inventory coupled with growing buyer demand means that condos are selling for much closer to asking price than a year ago, they are selling faster, and there are fewer options.
AND…the spring market will “officially” be here in a week or two- When we hit our first 60 degree day, the buyers will come out in full force.
This scenario is playing out all over town- be it in the condo or the single
family segment.
Prices are going up. 
Period.
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March 2, 2015

Smoking Policies Effect On Condo Values

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:10 am
 I have had groups of buyers in my car almost everyday for the past 26 years and after talking with and listening to an overwhelming number of buyers- I do not believe that a restrictive smoking policy will negatively affect values. It may decrease demand nominally, but overall I do not see how a smoking ban would, could, or has negatively affected any values for condos in Center City like Center City One at 1326 Spruce St.   I also think that the world is gravitating towards smoking bans in many areas (not just residential condos) and think the trend will continue. So unless a buyer wanted to move to the moon- there really is no avoiding the non-smoking trend and therefore really will not hamper values in my opinion. The following are condo buildings that have a NO SMOKING policy in effect:
Symphony House at 400-440 S. Broad St.
Society Hill Towers at 200-220 Locust St.
Hopkinson House at 604 S. Washington Sq.
 The Rittenhouse Hotel & Condos at 210 W. Rittenhouse
The Dorchester at 224 W. Rittenhouse
    I think more damning to values of particular buildings in town would be restrictive pet policies. 
   It is difficult to argue that the largest buildings should allow dogs. Yet implementing restrictions based upon size and breed may ultimately increase demand and ultimately resale values. I have seen many buyers in my day pass on particular buildings due to restrictive pet policies.  Buyers will more readily give up on a particular building than to give up their pets…reasonably so.

 

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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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