February 13, 2019
I believe appreciation is a greater function of an improved interior condition than is any other factor.
Why? Because buyers don’t buy bricks and mortar-they buy feelings and emotions. So the best way to increase the value of your condominium is to improve the strength of the feelings and emotions of your condo. C’mon… This isn’t a difficult concept.
There is always a multiplier effect for the first dollars you put into your condo (think-painting, cleaning, etc). Add a new kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, etc. and the value of any given condo will almost always rise above the cost of those upgrades. And don’t forget about staging your Philly condo, either!
Our market is made up of TWO distinct types of buyers: first-time buyers and empty-nesters, and though they don’t buy the same product, the one thing they have in common is that they’ll pay for turnkey condition, especially in the condo segment of the Philadelphia market.
Want to steal a condo here in town? Buy Ugly. Want to max your resale price? Sell Pretty.
Again, no earth-shattering concepts here. I’ve seen this theory in action for thirty years here in Center City and it’s a solid one.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors®
530 Walnut St. #480 Phila., PA 19106
January 22, 2019
If you need to act like you know something about the Center City Condo/real estate market, then drop these little nuggets of info at any gathering:
“Unless U of Penn moves to Oklahoma, there will always be demand for one bedroom condos west of Broad Street.”
“Most loft-styled condos in Old City are one of a kind.”
“My condo guy (that’s me!) says he’s never seen condo inventory this low in 29 years.”
“New construction condos around town can easily pull over $1000 per sq. foot.”
“The bigger the building, the higher the condo fees.” (Think gym, pool, doormen, parking, etc…)
“The Center City condo market revolves around The Spring- always has and always will!”
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors®
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila., PA 19106
October 10, 2018
I am often asked by sellers to help them price their condos for resale. This is often a tricky task, as there are a variety of factors that go into pricing a condominium.
The job is sometimes less difficult if there is a standard unit, in say, a high-rise condominium building. Generally speaking, most of the newer high-rise buildings have a similar floor plan from floor to floor- hence, unit “604” is likely identical to “704”, as it is to, say- unit “1404″. The three variables which play a role in the differences in resale prices is definitely floor height, interior condition, and of course current market conditions. So pricing a newer high rise condo unit is fairly simple. We look at past sales for similar units within that building. Generally, the higher the floor, the higher the sale price. Newly upgraded units sell for more than original condition units, and of course, the trends in the current market play a hand in the final resale price.
In low-rise, or mid-rise condominium buildings (where you do not have much uniformity in unit size, shape, or design), the task of finding a good value becomes much more difficult, even for condos within the same building. For instance, prices in a low or mid rise might be much more affected by floor height. A third-floor walk up is going to be harder to sell than a second-floor unit. And often times, a first-floor unit is more difficult to resell than a second-floor unit. The value in these buildings is greatly swayed by the presence, or of lack of, an elevator. Also, ceiling height can vary within such units, as can the amount of light certain units receive throughout the day. Lastly, the size of the condo can affect the dollar per square foot resale price. It is much easier, in my opinion, to get a very high dollar per square foot for a small unit (say 400 square foot) than it is to get that same high dollar per square foot for a 4000 square foot unit. That is another topic in and of itself.
When speaking of similar buildings in a similar neighborhood, the price can be difficult to peg as well. I generally look for things like the condition of the building’s common elements: façade, exterior windows, hallway paint, carpet condition, elevator upkeep, and general upkeep of common elements like a roof deck, or exterior grounds, if applicable. Also affecting resale price from building to building is the amount of reserves that a building has in its possession (aka the rainy day fund). Additionally, the owner occupancy ratio in a building (which generally reflects on the condition of the common elements), plays a role in resale price. A building full of tenants is generally less desirable than a building mostly occupied by owners. Owners have a tendency to better keep an eye on elements needing attention, and they have a better sense of pride in ownership. They have a tendency to replace light bulbs, sweep hallways, etc. than a renter might.
I certainly welcome any comments, questions, or concerns. Shoot me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com if you’d like to chat.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480, Philadelphia, PA 19106
September 18, 2018
…In my opinion, these are facts.
1) In most cases, showing ability can be just as important as location, in terms of the sale-ability of a condo here in town.
2) Yes, it is normal for your condo fees to go up a few percentage points per year.
3) Condo association assessments are a necessary ingredient to value preservation over the long haul.
4) I think a long-term hold in Center City is smart money (yeah, I may be biased.)
5) Laminate floors are very popular. Very.
6) Buyers buy feelings and emotions and not bricks and mortar.
7) The next high rise to be announced in town to be priced under $1000 per sq ft is going to be a hit because of the lack of options for new construction.
8) The outer bands of Center City are selling exceedingly well – and it doesn’t really matter which direction you go.
9) Philly buyers are devouring what once was B & C grade inventory and cashing in in terms of value retention.
10) Emotional support dogs may be changing the landscape of pet policies within Center City condo buildings.
I would love to discuss these points further. Don’t be shy- email me and challenge my two cents! I’m all ears…
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila., PA 19106
August 9, 2018
Click to see drone footage at Waterfront Square Condos!
This beautiful, gated, high-rise community located at 901 N. Penn Street in Northern Liberties includes a 24-hour concierge and convenient shuttle service. The 25-meter-lap indoor pool is an absolute dream come true with beautiful views of the bridge and river and the purchase of each unit includes one valet parking space. There is also a spa, sauna, and steam rooms, not to mention a fitness center and on-site yoga classes. Bike parking is also available. Call us to schedule a showing today!
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. | Phila., PA 19106
May 23, 2018
There are two key distinctions that every buyer should know when purchasing insurance for their Philadelphia condo or home: “replacement cost” versus “market value.” Here is some helpful info from our friends at Trident Insurance Agency:
Replacement Cost vs. Market Value
Replacement Cost and Market Value are two different things, and it’s important to understand both when you’re a homeowner. The former impacts your home insurance policy, while the latter comes into play when you put your home on the market.
Your home’s market value is the amount for which it would sell in the current marketplace in its current condition. Market value changes and can be difficult to predict, but it’s based on your home’s location, internal and external characteristics, and how the homes are selling in that area.
In most cases, it’s not a good idea to insure your home based on its market value. Your home’s market value might not cover the cost of rebuilding if your house is destroyed by fire or another disaster. Materials and labor may cost more now than when it was built, and special features could be more expensive to replace.
This is how much it would cost to rebuild – or replace – your home if it were completely destroyed.
Why is this figure important? It’s how much you should insure your home for. Replacement cost, or reconstruction cost, coverage insures your home for the cost to repair damage to your home or rebuild it completely at equal quality — at current prices.
Replacement cost calculations can vary depending on the home insurance company you’re working with, but it typically covers plans and permits, labor and materials, and fees and taxes. Land value is not included in replacement value, as it does not factor into the cost to rebuild a structure. Keep in mind that costs for these things at the time of your appraisal will affect your replacement cost value. If supply and demand change, those costs may have increased significantly at the time you actually need them.
Insuring Your Home
You should insure your home based on its replacement cost, not its market value, as the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value. Because it is difficult to predict the future, it’s important to choose a policy to help account for unforeseen circumstances — and to regularly review your home’s current replacement cost in case you need to update your coverage.
Updating Your Policy
Remodeling your home will affect its replacement value, so it’s a good idea to review and update your homeowners’ insurance policy after remodeling. Be aware of fluctuating costs of labor and materials in your area so you can update your replacement cost as necessary. Review your policy annually and update it to reflect any changes in replacement value. (Info provided by Safeco Insurance Company)
If you need help finding the best homeowner’s insurance coverage to fit your needs, email Jessica.Nydick@FoxRoach.com
Fox & Roach / The Trident Group LP
A HomeServices of America, Inc Company and a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate
April 10, 2018
Tags: Graduate Hospital Condos, philadelphia real estate, schuylkill river trail
Anyone who has ever taken advantage of any of The Schuylkill River Trail knows what an amazing addition it has been in Philadelphia! The Schuylkill Banks section located in Center City begins at the Fairmount Water Works (by the Art Museum) and has expanded to Christian Street (so far). The jogging/walking/biking trail includes an ADA accessible connector bridge, boardwalk, and dog park in the Fitler Square area…not to mention a ton of things to do from picnicking and yoga to fishing and kayaking.
The most recent expansion completed was from South to Christian Streets featuring access points at The CHOP Bridge and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk at South Street. This extended the trail an additional 1400 feet past the Boardwalk into the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.
(Photo Courtesy of SchuylkillBanks.org)
There are plans in the pipeline to continue the trail from Christian Street to Grays Ferry Crescent by 2020 and to open an ADA accessible swing bridge that would provide a link from Grays Ferry Crescent to the west bank of the Schuylkill, eventually extending the trail to Bartram’s Garden.
Learn more about the trail and things to do by clicking here: Explore The Schuylkill Banks.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
February 16, 2018
Tags: Philadelphia condo buyer advice, Philadelphia Condo Buyers, What to expect at closing
1) The process of getting a mortgage will drive you up a wall. Someday there will be paperless closings, I am sure. Until then, you will have to sign your name 1,378 times. Just know that you are being tortured just as equally as everyone else. (Check out our preferred lenders here – they will make this process as painless as possible for you – I promise!)
2) The seller may leave your new home in a condition you find unacceptable. Rarely will a seller have the home professionally cleaned after they move out. If they do, know that you should thank them…honestly. You should also be grateful if they remember to bring ALL the keys, key fobs, garage door openers, door codes, and the mailbox key to closing…
3) You will find holes left in the walls where the seller’s artwork once hung. Yeah- artwork and framed photos don’t magically float. It would be illogical to assume that some holes will NOT be left. Sorry.
4) You can’t move in prior to settlement, nor may you move any of your belongings into the condo prior to settlement. Most buyers get this, but some get p*ssed when they learn they may not do so.
5) You have to coordinate your move-in with the condo management company and there may be restricted time frames that the building allows move-ins – weekends and after 5pm is most likely a no-no.
6) While chatting with the seller at the table, you find out you can’t have a BBQ grill on your deck, or that the building has rules on visitation, like extra fees for parking, etc. because you didn’t read your condo docs and now you are shocked and p*ssed. Not uncommon.
7) No one told you that your closing funds have to be in a cashier’s / bank check or wired in prior to settlement. (Our preferred title people will not let this happen to you – again, I promise!)
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
January 29, 2018
Tags: Philadelphia Rentals, The Curtis Center Philadelphia, The Lyndon at The Curtis Center, The Lyndon Residences Philadelphia
I am a sucker for new construction, but hey let’s face it, aren’t we all? There’s nothing quite like brand new hardwood floors and a beautiful fresh kitchen. However, what really gets me going is new construction WITH some of that sought-after Philadelphia historic charm. The two combined together create an unbeatable combo and uniqueness that defines this city.
Having an office in Society Hill I am exposed to this beauty constantly. Recently, I discovered some construction across the street from my office building which perked my ears right up. I quickly came to learn that Scully Company was taking on a project to create 63 luxury rental units in the historic Curtis Building at 6th and Walnut. I toured the building in the middle of construction and was immediately hooked.
*The Terrace for The Penthouse Collection
As their extremely knowledgeable and passionate leasing agent, Molly Shapcott, always says “they didn’t cut any corners here.” The finishes compare to a brand new condominium building, along with high ceilings, original window detail and state of the art amenities.
I left the tour thrilled and had to share the news. Within days, I had a client moving from New Zealand to sign a 9-month lease (yes, they accommodated that no problem!). Shortly after, I had another client applying for the 3 bed + den, 3.5 bath duplex penthouse unit. Since then I have had another 2 bedroom client and another 2 bed + den duplex client.
Long story short, if you are looking for a new building with the best amount of historic charm, look no further than the Lyndon At The Curtis. Please let me know if you have interest in checking this amazing building out. I pretty much go on a weekly basis to check on the progress along with visit the friendly leasing staff! Feel free to come along with me next time I go. 🙂
Click here to learn more about the rental market in Center City Philadelphia.
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Fox and Roach Realtors®
530 Walnut Street, Suite 480 | Philadelphia, PA 19106
Email: Jaime@CenterCity.com | Cell: 610.613.1297
www.CenterCityHomes.com | www.CenterCityCondos.com
January 26, 2018
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Tags: center city condos, northern liberties, northern liberties condos, northern liberties real estate, Philadelphia condos
Northern Liberties has become a great residential neighborhood with a mix of professionals, families, and empty-nesters, all while maintaining its original artistic vibe. With a great neighborhood association (NLNA) there is always something exciting going on in the area.
From family events at the Community & Rec Centers, to the seasonal farmer’s market and music festival at Liberty Lands Park, to the great variety of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, Northern Liberties has it all. Here are just a few groovy spots:
Cantina Dos Segundos – 931 N. 2nd St. – Great for everything from brunch to happy hour to midnight margaritas…and all the delicious Mexican cuisine with a twist you can eat in between!
Yards Brewery – New location at 500 Spring Garden St. – 20 brews on tap plus a full menu…the brewery is still under construction but tours will begin soon. Bonus: They’ve got a Super Bowl bet going with Harpoon Brewery in Boston…Go Eagles!
North Bowl – 909 N. 2nd St. – Bowling, pool tables, arcade, bars, food – something for everyone. The NLNA is hosting a Winter Fest here on Feb. 11…
Edgar Allen Poe House – 532 N. 7th St. – Open Friday through Sunday – Free, self-guided tours – Great for history/literature buffs.
One Shot Coffee – 217 W. George St. – Great coffee and ambiance! House-made pastries, Good breakfast sandwiches – Make sure you try the french toast!
There are plenty more restaurants, bars, and shopping options – too many to name here. With a plethora of new construction, we can only expect this thriving neighborhood to continue to grow. Click here to learn about condos available for sale in Northern Liberties.