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October 31, 2017

500 Walnut Street Luxury Condos!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:09 pm

Just a few years after his success with the gorgeous project at 1706 Rittenhouse (a building we named one of Philly’s Top Ten Condos), developer Tom Scannapieco broke ground at 500 Walnut Street.  My office is adjacent to these gorgeous new condos and I have watched them go up in awe over the past two years.  They finally had their grand opening ceremony and I must say the building is a stunning addition to the City.

 

What’s interesting is that this building had to be delicately designed to have such a narrow width, so that it did not distract from the views from The Liberty Bell to Independence Hall.  With only one or two condos per floor, these condos have breathtaking views and huge balconies.  500 Walnut offers nonstop elevators, garage parking (with electric vehicle charging), a spacious fitness center and spa, 50′ lap pool, a 4,000 square foot open-air terrace, and a boardroom with a fully equipped catering kitchen.

Cecil Baker & Partners, the architects that worked on One Riverside,  Western Union, and York Square, just to name a few, also worked on this project with Scannapieco.  You can check out some common area photos from Curbed Philly here.

Mark Wade 
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
www.CenterCityCondos.com
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila., PA 19106

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September 13, 2017

New Condos Coming to Philly at Broad and Pine

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:54 am

The developer of the beautiful new construction condos, One Riverside at 25th and Locust, has decided to switch the focus of his next project from a hotel/apartment project to a 56-unit condominium high-rise. We have been saying for some time now that there is a shortage of condos in town and we think this will be a great addition to the market.  You can read about the switch here.


One Riverside Condominiums at 25th and Locust

The new condos will be designed by Philly architect Cecil Baker, who has also designed the Residences at The Western Union Building and the brand new ultra luxury condos at 500 Walnut Street – just to name a few.  The Design Review Board approved Dranoff’s new condo plan for Broad and Pine Street last week.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480
Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

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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.
Waterfront Square Pool

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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June 14, 2017

What Kind Of Buyer Is Going To Buy Your Condo?

  I tend to think we have a variety of buyers here in town. Spending 28 years hauling folks around town, I have learned a thing or two. Here is what I know when it comes to categorizing buyers:
 
1) The Prestige Buyer – Only wants to see condos that will look good on him or her. There are a number of buildings in town. Most offer town-car service. These buyers are generally fun to deal with.
2) The Value Driven Buyer – Wants lots of square footage. Location often the first to go for these buyers. No one appreciates a good deal better than I do!
3) The Loft Buyer – High ceiling, exposed brick and large windows fulfill this kind of buyer’s needs, soft loft or hard loft buyers often are just looking for something that is NOT cookie-cutter.
4) The I Don’t Want To Pay High Condo Fees Buyer – Best suited for a single family home, or maybe a Brownstone styled condo. High rise units not an option.
5) The Rittenhouse Square Only Buyer – Not uncommon…not at all.
6) The Need To Steal It buyer –These tend to be the most unrealistic buyers if ONLY for the reason that they can’t identify when a property is already drastically under valued. And they lose in multiple bid situations (usually).
7) The “One level living” buyer – VERY common. Very.
 
8) The Buyer Who Buys For Kids Going To An Area School. – Very common.
 
9) The I’m Not Really A Buyer, But I Want To See Condos Anyway – I love referring these buyers to my competition. LOL

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June 12, 2017

This Summer Matters – Here’s Why… The summer sales market is usually subdued, but not this summer.

Our Center City condo market is very cyclical. Every year about the same time in early March, my phone rings off the hook and that trend continues through say 4th of July. Then anyone with enough money to buy a condo, also has enough money to be sitting their butts on a beach somewhere.
This early part of the summer 2017 tells a bit of a different story. Nearly everyday for the past 3 months we have seen our inventory shrink – DAILY.
When I study the daily MLS activity sheet, I see say 20 new homes on the market. But I see 27 or so go under contract. EVERY DAY.
I would venture to guess this trend will continue through the summer – the lack of overall inventory suggests as much. And there are more buyers lingering in the market today than in the past dozen or so years – they can’t find the right place so they sit on the sidelines and wait. The backlog is staggering.
Usually we see a decrease in activity after Memorial Day. Hasn’t been the case and most likely will not be the case until sometime in say August, I would wager.
Mark Wade
Mark@centercity.com

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April 28, 2017

16 Buildings in 5 Words or less…

Hopkinson House – The Toyota of Center City dependability.
Ten Rittenhouse – Really amazing value growth & demand.
1830 Rittenhouse – It’s 1830. Enough said.
River’s Edge (2301 Cherry St.) – Buy! I think they’re undervalued.
Waterfront Square– Peace & Tranquility. Views for miles.
Murano (2101 Market St)– Prices & demand continue to escalate.
Naval Square – Huge demand. Huge.
Rittenhouse Hotel & Condominiums– What’s not to like? Really.
BridgeView Place (315 New St)–  It’s just hot money. Buy Now.
Philadelphian (2401 PA. Ave.) – Values driven by interior condition & view.
Tivoli (1900 Hamilton)– Some Penthouse finally being sold off.
Center City One (1326 Spruce) – Best floor plans & Great Values!
The National (112 N. 2nd) – Soft lofts at reasonable prices & parking.
St. James Court (Society Hill) – User friendly & Cool Mod. Still Relevant.
9xx-10xx Spruce – Townhouse styled and Jefferson adjacent. Bingo.
Two Liberty (50 S. 16th St) – #1 Views and #1 model units – Gorgeous!
Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
CenterCityCondos.com

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April 25, 2017

Is That A Concierge Or A Seat-Filler? …Can We Be Honest Here??

‘Cuz I call BS on some of these claims:
1) Concierge Services – Just because you have someone sitting their butt in a chair at the front entrance of your building doesn’t mean you have a concierge. In all honesty, only about SIX buildings in town have true concierge services in my opinion…though they all say they offer such an amenity.2) Includes Parking – Deeded parking is a term thrown around often that doesn’t ring true…often the space may not be reassigned, sold or rented out. And sometimes MLS listings says the unit includes parking, then in the small print it says “Seller pre-paid parking for one year.”

3) Hardwood Floors – Is it really? I mean technically, even pine isn’t hardwood…it’s categorized as a soft wood. The term ” hardwood floors” is seen often and you shouldn’t always believe it to be true. Could be laminate, or engineered flooring.

4) Penthouse – Is that really a penthouse? Just because the unit is on one of the top 3 floors doesn’t make it a penthouse. You’ll know a penthouse when you see one. Usually adorned with nice outside space, higher ceilings and maybe fireplaces.

5) We’re 72% sold! – A very common lie. Please don’t believe it unless the developer can whip out all legally binding sales contracts…otherwise may not be true.

6) Square footage claims – DO NOT rely upon the square footage of a condo based upon a “Fact Sheet” you get from your Realtor. You don’t know where that figure came from- The appraiser? The seller? The listing agent? The city? The man on the moon?? Come on…

7) “Fact Sheets” in general – I think it is fair to say that about 75% of the info listed on a flyer is true. The other 25%..perhaps not as much. DO NOT rely on those fact sheets. You should double check the accuracy for yourself!

Mark Wade

Centercitycondos.com

Mark@CenterCity.com

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April 20, 2017

AS-IS Condition

Often sellers are negotiated down in price and below their “drop dead” price. Then they want to add a clause stating the sale is “As-Is”.
I disagree with this approach because:
1) You can’t prevent a buyer from exercising his option to have a home inspection
2) Seller is not obligated to fix anything on the inspection report..there is no obligation to do so.
3) “As-Is” clauses are generally reserved for real pieces of crap and/or a “fire sale”
4) Inserting such a clause is just adding suspicion to the buyers mindset. Not a good way to go.
So….if you are thinking of adding an “As-Is” clause to your contract – think twice.
Mark Wade
CenterCityCondos.com
Mark@CenterCity.com

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April 18, 2017

Crap I know about Center City Real Estate

Why are some of the best deals the homes that sit and sit and sit on the market?
Because chances are, the seller is getting fatigued. I have no problems with homes that have been sitting, as long as the seller has been moving the price along with the long days-on- market.

Why Are Owner-Occupancy Ratios Important?
Because if the building has more tenants than owners living in the building, the building will be harder to finance (fannie mae rules). And as a result, you’ll generally see less demand.
And tenants tend to do things that owners wouldn’t…they aren’t as invested in the parcel.
What is one key to making money in the Center City Real Estate Market?
That is an easy one…buy ugly and sell pretty. Condition matters. Buyers don’t buy brick and mortar, they buy feelings and emotions. Make your place lovely when you go to sell.
Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com

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Philadelphia, PA 19106
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