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February 13, 2019

Buy Ugly…Sell Pretty

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:30 am

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.

Therefore…

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.

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

• • •

January 22, 2019

Droppin’ Knowledge About the Center City Condo Market

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:12 pm

If you need to act like you know something about the Center City Condo/real estate market, then drop these little nuggets of info at any gathering:

“Unless U of Penn moves to Oklahoma, there will always be demand for one bedroom condos west of Broad Street.”

“Most loft-styled condos in Old City are one of a kind.”

“My condo guy (that’s me!) says he’s never seen condo inventory this low in 29 years.”

“New construction condos around town can easily pull over $1000 per sq. foot.”

“The bigger the building, the higher the condo fees.” (Think gym, pool, doormen, parking, etc…)

“The Center City condo market revolves around The Spring- always has and always will!”

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

• • •

January 9, 2019

Top Real Estate Misconceptions

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:33 pm

Often Heard…Rarely Realized

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.

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

• • •

September 18, 2018

Ten Philly Real Estate Facts

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:32 pm

…In my opinion, these are facts.

1) In most cases, showing ability can be just as important as location, in terms of the sale-ability of a condo here in town.

2) Yes, it is normal for your condo fees to go up a few percentage points per year.

3) Condo association assessments are a necessary ingredient to value preservation over the long haul.

4) I think a long-term hold in Center City is smart money (yeah, I may be biased.)

5) Laminate floors are very popular. Very.

6) Buyers buy feelings and emotions and not bricks and mortar.

7) The next high rise to be announced in town to be priced under $1000 per sq ft is going to be a hit because of the lack of options for new construction.

8) The outer bands of Center City are selling exceedingly well – and it doesn’t really matter which direction you go.

9) Philly buyers are devouring what once was B & C grade inventory and cashing in in terms of value retention.

10) Emotional support dogs may be changing the landscape of pet policies within Center City condo buildings.

I would love to discuss these points further. Don’t be shy- email me and challenge my two cents! I’m all ears…

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

• • •

August 21, 2018

Condo Values Are A Moving Target

Filed under: For Sellers,General Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:53 pm

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. 🙂

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

• • •

August 9, 2018

Drone Footage at Waterfront Square Condos!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:11 pm

Click to see drone footage at Waterfront Square Condos!

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!

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

• • •

May 1, 2018

The Top Things I Really Dislike About Center City Real Estate

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:21 pm

I’ve been selling Philly Real Estate for 29 years… so yeah, I’m going to vent…especially when I come across the following:

1) When the MLS says the unit has parking, only to discover that it really doesn’t and the seller is giving “one-year free rental parking.”

2) Late Sunday afternoon appointments…in the rain.

3) “Fact” Sheets about condos that are anything but facts.

4) Poor common area maintenance in any given Philly condo building. Nothing kills value better than a building that is not kept up!

5) Buyers that have never stepped foot in Philadelphia, but know more about the Center City condo market than I do.

6) Being late for an appointment- be it a buyer, a seller, or another agent. I just don’t get it. And if I’m the late party, then it really doesn’t matter because hell just froze over.

7) Suburban agents who drag my butt to the suburbs to settle on a condo in Center City. No offense, but I’m not interested in a drive to Havermore…or wherever.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Mark@CenterCity.com | 215.521.1523

• • •

January 3, 2018

Please Be Aware of Wire Fraud Schemes in Real Estate

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:29 pm

Wire fraud has hit a number of buyers!

Realtors are getting new alerts every day warning us about the wire fraud that seems to be hitting the real estate industry pretty hard.

Here’s a tip – don’t wire me any *&#%$*# money!

Watch this video on how NOT to be a victim:

Wire Fraud Alert For Buyers From The National Association of Realtors.

If I still haven’t convinced you, check out these examples here: Couple Scammed Out of $91,000 in Real Estate Hoax, here: Scammers Stealing Down Payments and here: Cyber Swindle.

Lastly, please read this: BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors Anti-Fraud Disclosure.

Buying a new condo or home should be an exciting time.  Don’t let some @$$hole hacker ruin it for you!

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

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November 8, 2017

Virtual Reality for Your Philly Condo Listing?

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:52 am

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.

We currently create 3D Floor Plans for our listings…check one out here.

Pretty groovy for a floorplan…

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…

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

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November 6, 2017

Common Home Inspection Issues That I See in Philadelphia Lofts and Condos Every Week….

Filed under: For Sellers,General Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:34 pm

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!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 480 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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530 Walnut Street, Suite 480
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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