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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.

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.

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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November 21, 2017

Is That Covered by My Homeowner’s Insurance?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:27 pm

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:

1. Tombstones
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….jessica.nydick@foxroach.com.

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

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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.

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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Philadelphia, PA 19106
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