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October 19, 2017

Lobby Upgrades at The Academy House Condominiums

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:08 pm

Replacing the overabundance of green marble that had existed since the 1980’s was a smart move by the Academy House Condo Association.  The new front entrance/lobby looks great…see for yourself!

The Academy House condo association has also replaced interior unit windows (huge upgrade) several years ago, and in 2013 they revamped the interior hallways- which look really good. These condos have great track record of reselling- always have and probably always will. A very smart purchase. Condo fees include almost all utilities. A very central residential location, rental parking in the lower levels, and a 24-hour doorman. A fair number of units have outside balconies. Academy House is a non-smoking building. Values here are not heavily contingent upon floor height, as many units have great views.

If you are interested in taking a look at condos at The Academy House, give me a call at 215-521-1523 or email Mark@CenterCity.com.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
www.Facebook.com/PhiladelphiaCondos
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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November 13, 2008

The Academy House – 1420 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:57 pm

 

                                          

On-Site Rental Parking  Pet Friendly Building  Doorman Building    Indoor Pool

The Academy House! Located in the heart of Center City, this lovely 30+ story condominium building offers a wonderful assortment of unit sizes and styles…many with outside balconies! Rental parking in the lower level (valet!), 24 hour doorman, an indoor swimming pool and work out facilities are located on the premises. A great value in Center City (in our opinion!) Located on the eastern edge of the Rittenhouse Square area, and just a block off Broad Street! A popular alternative to those looking to buy a condominium on Rittenhouse Square.

If you are interested in taking a tour of the building, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an 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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October 4, 2017

How Do Philly Condo Assessments Affect Demand and Value?

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:11 pm

Now that is the million dollar question!

Automobiles, clothes, and condos all need maintenance to look and perform their best. Assessments imposed on owners of given buildings are used to make capital improvements and are a necessary evil.  How might that affect value?

I think in the short term, an assessment can lower demand for a building. Who the hell wants to pay for some electric behind a wall or an elevator motor which they are never going to see? (Uh, no one.) Though assessments to fix up interior hallways, and maybe a lobby, are much easier to swallow.  In the long run, assessments can be the best thing to ever happen to a building as the costs of the capital improvements are overshadowed by the long-term value growth.
Rivers Edge Condos

Look no farther than 2301 Cherry St. (River’s Edge) as an example of that argument. When the assessments were first implemented, the demand dropped because no new buyer wanted to pay for the needed improvements. But today…the money spent is bouncing the value of each unit MUCH higher than individual unit’s assessments. It’s not a hard equation to figure out.  And the new lobby at the Academy House? C’mon… you can’t tell me that the individual unit owner cost to do that lobby wasn’t worth it…The value added was huge….

So yes, assessments suck in the short term but are very beneficial in the long run in terms of value and demand.

(ps – YES, per the agreement of sale- any assessments that have been approved must be disclosed to a buyer.)

Mark Wade 
www.CenterCityCondos.com
www.Facebook.com/PhiladelphiaCondos
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
215.521.1523

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August 24, 2017

Philadelphia Condo Building Updates – Summer 2017

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:13 pm

Here is what I am told. Verify for yourself…

The owner occupancy ratio at 2101 Chestnut is 10% – 90% renters.

Waterfront Sq. is enacting a limitation on renters.

The Savoy at 1806 S. Rittenhouse has an assessment coming down the pike that is close to $28 a square foot. Needed, and in the long run, a good thing as values will climb!

Dockside at 717 S. Columbus Blvd. has been recently approved for conventional financing.

The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. is making progress on the installation of new exterior balcony rails throughout.

Many more buildings are going non-smoking. Here are a few:
Society Hill Towers, Center City One, Academy House, The Rittenhouse, The Hopkinson House, The Murano, The Dorchester. Look for that list to grow substantially.

Hopkinson House is nearing completion of it’s lobby work.

2601 (2601 Pennsylvania Ave.) is upgrading it’s steam systems.

Penn’s Landing Square (130 Spruce St.) is doing work to it’s underground garage.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Mark@CenterCity.com

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June 29, 2017

14 Best Philly Condo Amenities

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

Every Building Shines In One Way Or Another. Here Are My BEST 14 Picks For Specific Buildings:

1) Best Grounds– That would be Naval Square. Hands down- Gated, green and fantastic landscaping on over 25 acres.

2) Best Condo Pool – Waterfront Sq. There is not even a 2nd place for this category.

3) Best Parking – Either Academy House or Independence Place – All rental & always available.

4) Best Views– Two Liberty. Enough said.

View Two Liberty Place

5) Best Staff– Friendliest staff has got to be The Ritz. Always nice and no sass which is a good first impression for buyers.

6) Best Management– Society Hill Towers. Model of excellence here- Bev runs the place well and has for many years.

7) Best Layout/Floor Plan– Center City One at 1326 Spruce. The 1209 sf two bed units are perfect.

8) Best For Closet Space– The Philadelphian at 2401 Pa. Ave. Beyond cavernous in terms of storage.

9) Best Kept SecretThe Lippincott. See..you don’t even know where that is located (227 S. 6th St).

10) Best Low Rise– Either 1615 Spruce (the old Garden Restaurant) or maybe 725 Chestnut. Both strong and both very original in fit & finish.

11) Best Value– Lots of bang for the buck at Rivers Edge (2301 Cherry). Buy ’em if you can find ’em.

12) Best Resale Ability– Gotta’ go with Hopkinson House on Washington Sq. Always more demand than supply.

13) Best Lobby & Common Areas– I would have to say 1830 or 1900 Rittenhouse. Very old school Philadelphia. And very high on the “cache” scale.
1830 Rittenhouse Square Lobby

14) Best Common Roof Deck– The Phoenix at 1600 Arch….hands down.

Phoenix Roof Deck

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Mark@CenterCity.com

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May 11, 2015

15 Buildings- 15 Updates

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:30 pm
The Hopkinson House at 604 S. Washington Sq.
Doing their annual Habitat for Humanity clean out as well as providing a truck on-site to shred documents for owners. Also the apron work around the front entrance appears to be completed.
WaterFront Square at 901 N. Penn St.
New front entrance (really nice looking water feature) is almost complete as is the new redesigned dog park. New manager for Reef Building as well as new front door staff.
444 N. 4th St.
This lofty styled condo building between Spring Garden and Callowhill has 4 recent pending sales as well as another 12 settlements and has brought new life to the loft building. Recent developer upgrades to each unit would most likely be the culprit behind the great sales of late.
The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave.
 Terrace upgrades are in the works!  The owners have chosen clear glass panels and there will not be a special assessment to pay for this project.  The work is expected to begin in early summer of this year. Just terrific!
The “NEW” National Condos (?) 
Who knows what to call the condos on the east side of N. 2nd (between Elfreth’s Alley and Arch). I am told by a fairly reliable source that the parcel was purchased by the developer of WaterFront Sq. No idea what is to become of this. 10 years ago it was to be high end loft condos. That never happened….
One Riverside Condos at 210 S. 25th St
 I hear the condos are flying off the shelves. There is very little competition for this segment in terms of location and pricing for new buildings- anywhere in Center City. One Riverside is a fantastic location in 19103 zip and views are going to be some of the best in town.
Sales are going very well…37 sold and 2 under deposit out of 55. Now can offer tours of the building and show individual residences with the 10′ ceilings, 8′ doors, trim and cabinets installed. Projected delivery in the fall so buyers can now protect their interest rate till their settlement…and that fee paid by seller.
The Murano-at 2101 Market St.
With just 3 units still on the market (developer owned)- I would expect to see values jump in the short run as almost all similar buildings see a jump in resale value after the developer is gone. Don’t ask why. I think I am a big brain and I can’t explain this phenomenon. Also- The first floor commercial space has a new tenant- some kind of financial/banking tenant which adds some liveliness to the ground level entrance which is nice.
The Dorchester at 226 W. Rittenhouse Sq
 Work continues on the heating/cooling risers as well as progress on the repairs to the garage under the building. Upgrades to the bike room look to be completed shortly – Most major projects now completed or nearly completed.
The Rittenhouse Hotel at 210 W. Rittenhouse Sq.
 Sales of the raw space on the 19th floor (two settled and one still available)
are encouraging as are recent sale prices in the building. I have always thought the building was a bit undervalued  but prices here are escalating as they should. Top notch in my book. This would be my destination if my other half said we could move. We can’t.
Rivers Edge Condos at 2301 Cherry St.
All common windows and inside apartment windows(bedrooms) have been replaced at the condos expense. They’re still replacing the sliding patio doors but have completed quite a few and are done at the owners request and expense. The outside front entrance is about to have new pavers and plantings. Also they are working on water damage from the courtyard level. Assessments continue through 2018…then look for a HUGE spike in resale values.
Academy House Condominiums at 1420 Locust St.
Front entrance/lobby has been torn out and a new lobby is in the works. Replacing the overabundance of green marble that had existed since the 1980’s. Sales in the building are hot as only “one bedroom” condos are available in the entire building of over 500 units. And of the one beds for sale (seven total)- FIVE are under contract and only two left for sale. Huge.
Ten Rittenhouse Condos at 130 S. 18th St.
A larger unit just sold at over $1000 a sq ft. No surprise- building is stunning and there really is no inventory in town. Oh, and that unit didn’t even face the square. The gold standard for this segment.
Low Rise/Brownstone Styled Condos in 19107
Aka- Near Jefferson Hospital. Always hot in the spring market and this year is no exception. Currently there are 22 such units “UNDER CONTRACT” and awaiting settlement. Prices have escalated and inventory shrinking. The surprise in this segment is the “DOM” clock (days-on-market) is much shorter in 2015 than I have seen in the past.
The Ritz Carlton at 1414 S. Penn Sq.
Without a doubt, the hottest selling building in town. And deservedly so.
With the completion of Dillworth Plaza, the views facing north are really stunning and worth seeing if you have yet to view. Also pretty nice resale values for previously owned units… appreciating nicely!
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April 20, 2015

I Just bought a condo… And I agreed to what??

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:13 pm
Here Are 5 clauses that are usually inserted into your Center City condo mortgage papers that you may not have known about…
1) Acceleration Clause
2)  Defeasance Clause
3) Prepayment Clause
4) Due On Sale Clause
5) Compliance Clause
All these clauses are standard-whether you are buying at The Hopkinson House, or say the Academy House….in most residential mortgages. What is the bottom line here? In my opinion…pay your mortgage and no one gets hurt….Similar to any other obligation, but in the case of a mortgage lender, they will provide clauses and provisions that are generally immutable and do go to the heart of protecting their own interests.
Your best defense? Ask. Then ask again.  And get a Real Estate Lawyer if you are signing something you don’t understand….
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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 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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January 5, 2015

Real Estate Agent Cliques

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 @ 11:37 am

The Real Estate community here in Center City is not unlike High School. You have your Prom Queens, your Stoners, and your Jocks….not to mention the Wallflowers and the Loudmouths. All kinds of agents make our world go around…and that is great. Most agents are nice and cooperative but there are of course the real A-Holes that some agents try to avoid like the plague.

And if you think the Center City Real Estate community doesn’t have its own clique- then you would be incorrect. Some Center City Condo listings get more traffic than others just due to their basic popularity, like the Academy House at 1420 Locust St. Being cooperative, flexible, playing by the rules, etc., all have their benefits. I have heard repeatedly that agents will avoid certain listings because they don’t want to work with this or that agent for the next two to three months of their lives. I get it. I am not saying I condone such behavior, but I do understand it. I too do not want to deal with someone who is not going to return my phone calls, has a reputation of being a pain to deal with, or maybe even known to be a hint evasive or is just someone who is known for not being able to help carry a deal to closing because they haven’t (say) been honest with their clients. Or just plain aloof.

    And being “In with the In crowd” gives me access to properties that less popular agents can’t arrange.  I am in the clique, you see :-)   And I sell a lot of Philadelphia condos….so I may get a hint more wiggle room for weekend appointments, or last minute appointments. Or just get waltzed right past the doorman when I walk into a building.

 

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Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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