November 28, 2017
Tags: center city condos, condominium fees, Philadelphia condos for sale, philly condos
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.
BHHS | Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila. PA 19106
Mark@CenterCity.com | 215.521.1523
November 21, 2017
Tags: condo homeowners insurance, homeowners insurance, philadelphia homeowners insurance, philly condos
Homeowners Insurance is necessary if you want to protect your home and your assets. Of course, Philly condo associations have a master insurance policy that covers the building, but you will still need to purchase a separate policy for everything “inside” the walls of your condo.
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy protects you from a wide range of things. Here is some information straight from our friends at Trident Insurance Agency that you may be surprised to find that homeowner’s insurance can cover:
Yes! Grave markers at a cemetery are considered “personal property” and are covered by some homeowners insurance policies. There is probably a special coverage limit on tombstones.
2. Volcanoes (Not Earthquakes)
Most of us in the U.S., outside of Hawaii, don’t have to worry about this but if your home is in the path of an erupting volcano you’ll be covered! Earthquake damage or ground movement is not covered under most standard policies.
3. Your Child’s Belongings at College
If you send your child to college and he or she is living in a dorm, their items are usually covered under your homeowner’s policy. That’s because most policies cover anyone in your household as well as students under the age of 24. Not all policies cover students living in off-campus housing, however. Those students may require a separate tenant’s policy.
4. Your “Stuff” that you travel with
Most homeowners policies cover your belongings wherever they go under the “off-premises” provision. This means that if your luggage is stolen while you’re on vacation in China or Turkey or even North Dakota you’re usually covered. For pricey items like your jewelry, you should make sure you discuss purchasing additional coverage with your insurance agent, anyway.
5. Dog Bites
If your dog or cat or even your guinea pig bites someone, your homeowner’s policy may cover the cost of medical care, up to your Personal Liability Limit. Trident Insurance recommends AT LEAST $500,000.
Review your policy. You’ll find more interesting things that may be covered. If you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance, please email Jessica Nydick at Trident Insurance Agency….firstname.lastname@example.org.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
October 31, 2017
Tags: 1706 Rittenhouse, 500 walnut, new construction condominiums, Philadelphia condos, Philadelphia new construction, Scannapieco
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.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila., PA 19106
September 13, 2017
Tags: center city condos, center city condos for sale philadelphia, new construction philly condos, Philadelphia condominiums, The Avenue of The Arts
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.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480
Philadelphia, PA 19106
August 24, 2017
Tags: center city condos, Hopkinson House, philly condos, The Philadelphian, Waterfront Square
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.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
June 29, 2017
Tags: center city philadelphia condos, Philadelphia condos, Philly condo Amenities
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.
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 Secret– The 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.
14) Best Common Roof Deck– The Phoenix at 1600 Arch….hands down.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
June 14, 2017
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.
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
June 12, 2017
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.
April 28, 2017
9xx-10xx Spruce – Townhouse styled and Jefferson adjacent. Bingo.
April 25, 2017
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‘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!
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