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.
1) “Once I move out, I’m going to rent the condo.”
Half my buyers tell me this and about 10% of those buyers actually do retain the condo as a rental.
2) “I can see past dirt & crap piled in the corners.”
112% of my buyers tell me they can see past the clutter. About 2% actually can. And they’re usually architects. Even after 29 years, I find myself adding (sometimes significant) value to Philadelphia condos that evoke a strong emotional response.
3) “It’s a good idea to only work with listing agents.”
Sure…limit yourself. Go ahead. Maybe best to go with the person who has the most experience within any given building.
4) “I can Air BnB my condo.”
Rub a lamp… then read your condo docs.
5) “The condo fees are too high for that condo.”
Probably a good idea to consider what those fees cover. Parking, gym, electric, pool etc., etc. All things considered-the fees are likely not too high if you’re getting use out of the amenities.
6) “I’m going to bid based upon what the seller paid.”
Since we don’t know the terms and conditions of that sale, I find this number is often irrelevant. Better to turn your eyes towards interior condition to gauge value.
7) “I need a ‘true’ second bedroom for my guest.”
It is quite possible that a one bedroom plus den would better suit your needs. In any given price range, a full 2nd bedroom will cost more than a comparably equipped one bedroom plus den. However, the latter usually affords a larger living room.
Here are a number of factors that can sway the value of your condominium in any given month:
1) Time of year
The Center City condo market is HEAVILY weighted towards the spring. Selling a condo- especially a one bedroom condo may not pull nearly as much in any other time of year.
2) A spate of foreclosures or short sales in your building
Yeah, that always sucks- but a number of short sales or foreclosures can drop values fairly quickly within any given building. So can an auction.
3) A huge special assessment by the condo association
Though an assessment does (in time) help improve values, the onset of one might temporarily reduce demand for a particular building. ALL buildings have assessments from time to time and it’s unavoidable.
4) A large number of similar properties for sale in a building
Uncommon, but if several condos within any building hit the market, the value of your unit may be affected.
5) The state of the economy
If the market overall is depressed then the value of your condo will decrease.
6) Showing ability
Perhaps your condo used to “SHOW LIKE A GEM” but now you have three frat boys and a dog renting the place. Think that’s not going to affect value?!
You’d pretty much have to be from another planet to think that arrangement won’t affect a condo’s value. 🙂
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!
There is no doubt that technology has changed the real estate industry…the days of looking for your next home in a newspaper are long gone. Buyers can find everything they need from pictures to floorplans to videos online. Redfin conducted a survey in May and found that 33% of people that bought a home in the last year, made an offer without first seeing the property in person. That is up from 19% the year before.
But a Virtual Reality tour of a listing is like hosting a 24/7 open house…without having to entertain the looky-loos. Even without the headset, these VR tours are cutting edge. You can check out a sample – one of Allan Domb’s listings – created by Matterport by clicking here. Stay tuned for more…
So, you have decided to load up the truck and move to ‘beverly, eh? Please know that before you go, you are probably going to get busted by your buyer’s home inspector for a number of issues. Here are the most common issues that I see sellers neglect when they sell their Philly condo:
1) Your air filter to your heating and air conditioning system needs replacing. It is old…super old…and has been restricting flow to your HVAC system, or it is improperly sized, or even non-existent. I see this ALL the time. Go to the Home Depot, and spend the $25 to remedy this….Now.
2) There is a missing TPRV on your hot water tank. This is another “under $25” fix. Again, go to Home Depot, and look in the plumbing section for a Temperature Pressure Relief Valve. Simply put, it is an “L” shaped thick metal pipe that measures about 1’ by 4’ and directs hot water down and away from anyone standing nearby, should the pressure relief valve open on its own.
3) There are double taps, and under/oversized breakers in your electrical panel box. I don’t really know what that means. I do know that it means you should call an electrician and have your electrical system looked over and remedied. Again, happens in a good percentage of the past 2000+ home inspections I have seen in my career.
4) Missing grout, or worn grout, and /or caulk in the shower and tub. Another $20 fix in most cases. This is preventive maintenance stuff here, and you will get called on it, if applicable.
5) Water stains on your ceiling. You need to fix the cause of the leak- and more often than not in Philadelphia condos, it is caused from a leaking bathroom above (should you NOT be living on the top floor, perhaps).
Now clearly, there is a possibility that none of these issues apply to you, but I would have to say that these are the most common issues cited by home inspectors in the 29 years I have been selling condos in Philadelphia.
So, when you are ready to add your condo “Just Listed” site, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com. We can talk about the possibility of some of these issues before the home inspection takes place, this way your potential buyer won’t nag you with the small stuff!