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May 23, 2018

Be Careful…You Might Just Get What You Pay For

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:13 pm

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.

Market Value
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.

Replacement Cost
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

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April 10, 2018

The Schuylkill Banks Expansions

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:07 pm

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.

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

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February 16, 2018

7 Things That Could P*ss You Off On Your Settlement Day

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:17 pm

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!)

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

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January 29, 2018

The Lyndon at The Curtis – Post By Jaime Hyman

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:54 pm

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.

Jaime Hyman
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

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January 26, 2018

Northern Liberties

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:45 pm

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.

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January 16, 2018

The Philadelphia Loft District’s Rail Park – Phase One

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:51 pm

Construction of Phase One of Philadelphia’s exciting new Rail Park is quickly progressing! This 1/4 mile section of the Park is a wonderful addition to the Loft District. Much like the addition of the Schuylkill River Trail, Philadelphians will no doubt make great use of this new outdoor space. It will be a great place for engaging programs featuring arts, education, culture, health, and wellness.  This is a wonderful way to get city dwellers out into green spaces!

Photo Courtesy of TheRailPark.org

Phase One will run from 11th and Callowhill to Broad and Noble Streets and will have gathering places, seating, swings, and amazing skyline views!  Learn more about The Loft District Neighborhood here.

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January 9, 2018

Philly Home Show This Weekend!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:21 pm

The Philly Home Show will be at The Convention Center this weekend. This year there will be a City Studios feature showcasing three looks from area designers that will focus on making the most of small spaces in creative ways – could be useful for anyone living in, say, a Rittenhouse Square condo with a lovely view.

Closets by Design will have an interactive social media challenge where you can try to organize a closet in under 2 minutes. And for all the animal lovers out there, Providence Animal Center will be there to share some design ideas for your pets.

You can get tickets here: Philly Home Show Tickets.

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January 5, 2018

Stay Out Of The Cold & In Your Condo!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:33 pm

Unless you are moving to Philadelphia from say, Alaska, the idea of living in a building where you don’t have to go outside to get out of the house can be rather appealing this time of year. Here are 6 Philadelphia Condos where you can do exactly that (and this is not an exhaustive list):

1) Waterfront Square – There is a 25-meter, indoor lap pool on site here with beautiful views of the river and bridge. There is also a spa, sauna, and steam rooms, not to mention a fitness center and on-site yoga classes.  There is even a convenience store on-site.
Waterfront Square Pool

2) The Rittenhouse Hotel – Offering a true “hotel-living” experience, this condo building has restaurants and bars on-site, including Scarpetta, Lacroix, and The Library Bar. There is also a spa in the building with unlimited services, a salon, barber, and indoor pool.  The fitness center offers small group training and yoga classes daily.

3) The Ritz Carlton – Amenities at The Ritz include a large pool, huge gym, hot tub, and one of the most comfortable and actually usable community rooms in the City.  The Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon and modern Latin American restaurant Aqimero are also on-site.
ritz carlton

4) Liberty Two – If you get tired of your panoramic views of the skyline, you can visit the Sky Club on the 37th floor of this building to access amenities including a lounge, billiards room, yoga room, massage rooms, fitness center, sauna, steam showers, and swimming pool. R2L Restaurant is also on the 37th floor and dinner is served from 5-10PM, with the lounge staying open until midnight on the weekends.

5) The Phoenix – Tir Na Nog Irish Bar and Grill, Philadelphia Credit Union, and Starbucks are all located here at 1600 Arch St.  There is also a newly remodeled club room, a state-of-the-art fitness center and weight room, dry cleaning and shoe shine services, pool table, and a private conference room and dining facilities on site. You can also access The Suburban Station Concourse from inside The Phoenix, which allows you to access nearby offices, or connect with rail service to 30th Street Station, New York City, or the airport without stepping outside.

6) The Philadelphian – This building houses a pharmacy, a restaurant/bar, a grocery store, a bank, and a variety of businesses including healthcare professionals, attorneys, and more.  The Philadelphian also offers on-site activities including aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi, club games, meditation group, and book club. There is also a fitness center, sauna, and pool.

Also, if you are out touring condos for sale in these buildings or other high-rises this weekend, you won’t have to worry that the lockbox will be frozen shut as all of these condos have front desk concierge services. On-site maintenance and on-site parking are a few additional conveniences of center city condo living you may want to take into consideration.

Bundle up out there!

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December 20, 2017

Philly Condo Buildings’ Best Amenities – 2017

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:17 pm

Many of my buyers ask me which buildings they should view based on specific amenities.
Here’s how I generally respond…

Best Philly Condos For Swimmers:
Two Liberty Or Waterfront Square.

Best Philly Condos For Multiple Car Parking:
Bella Vista Lofts offers stacked parking/lifts.

Best Philly Condos For Views:
Lots, but I like Society Hill Towers.

Best Philly Condos For Gorgeous Common Areas:
Ten Rittenhouse, 1706!

Best Philly Condos For Being Pampered:
Ritz Carlton, Two Liberty, The Rittenhouse.

Best Philly Condos For Gym Users:
Waterfront Square, Ritz Carlton.

Best Philly Condos For Having Guests:
One Riverside…hospitality suite on site!

Best Philly Condos For Access To Shows:
Symphony House, Center City One…can’t get any closer!

Best Philly Condos For Dogs:
Naval Square, Waterfront Square.

Best Philly Condos For Kids:
Washington Mews.

Best Philly Condos For Convenience:
River’s Edge.

Best Philly Condos For Balconies:
1352 South.

Best Philly Condos For Large Kitchens:
Tivoli, The Rittenhouse Plaza.

Best Philly Condo For Closet Space:
The Philadelphian.

Best Philly Condos For Privacy:
Ten Rittenhouse, The Ayer, 1706, One Riverside, The Lippincott.

Want to know why I picked what I picked?  Email me and we can chat!

Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480 | Philadelphia, PA 19106

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November 28, 2017

12 Philly Condo Fee Facts…As I See Them

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:21 pm

1.) Right or wrong, some buyers will reject a Philadelphia Condo with high condo fees. However…

2.) Most buyers will look at their total monthly cost in determining their financial reach in terms of a purchase.

3.) Educating a buyer about the purpose of condo fees often tempers a buyer’s aversion to higher fees – most buyers simply do not grasp the concept of condo fees and how they are determined.

4.) It is not uncommon for there to be an additional condo fee for a parking spot and sometimes that number can be super duper high (often as high as neighboring rental garages).

5.) Condo fees are not tax deductible.

6.) Condo fees in Co-op buildings include the taxes.

7.) Almost every buyer will pay approx. 2 months worth of condo fees into the kitty (aka- reserve fund) at time of closing. This goes to the association, not the seller.

8.) An additional burden of condo fees is called the special assessment. No owner likes them, but everyone benefits from them in the long run.

9.) All condo fees are based on the square footage of that particular building. All. Period. Stop asking me that question. 🙂

10.) Super duper low condo fees are NOT a good thing. Usually means your building is running on fumes with no emergency reserves.

11.) A reflection of a building’s health is how much money it has in its reserves (which can stave off future assessments).

12.) Newer buildings tend to have less money in their reserves as the life expectancy of some of the larger common elements/ticket items (roof, windows, elevators, etc) have little or deferred maintenance.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS | Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila. PA 19106
Mark@CenterCity.com | 215.521.1523

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Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
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