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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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October 19, 2017

Lobby Upgrades at The Academy House Condominiums

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:08 pm

Replacing the overabundance of green marble that had existed since the 1980’s was a smart move by the Academy House Condo Association.  The new front entrance/lobby looks great…see for yourself!

The Academy House condo association has also replaced interior unit windows (huge upgrade) several years ago, and in 2013 they revamped the interior hallways- which look really good. These condos have great track record of reselling- always have and probably always will. A very smart purchase. Condo fees include almost all utilities. A very central residential location, rental parking in the lower levels, and a 24-hour doorman. A fair number of units have outside balconies. Academy House is a non-smoking building. Values here are not heavily contingent upon floor height, as many units have great views.

If you are interested in taking a look at condos at The Academy House, give me a call at 215-521-1523 or email Mark@CenterCity.com.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
www.Facebook.com/PhiladelphiaCondos
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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October 4, 2017

How Do Philly Condo Assessments Affect Demand and Value?

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:11 pm

Now that is the million dollar question!

Automobiles, clothes, and condos all need maintenance to look and perform their best. Assessments imposed on owners of given buildings are used to make capital improvements and are a necessary evil.  How might that affect value?

I think in the short term, an assessment can lower demand for a building. Who the hell wants to pay for some electric behind a wall or an elevator motor which they are never going to see? (Uh, no one.) Though assessments to fix up interior hallways, and maybe a lobby, are much easier to swallow.  In the long run, assessments can be the best thing to ever happen to a building as the costs of the capital improvements are overshadowed by the long-term value growth.
Rivers Edge Condos

Look no farther than 2301 Cherry St. (River’s Edge) as an example of that argument. When the assessments were first implemented, the demand dropped because no new buyer wanted to pay for the needed improvements. But today…the money spent is bouncing the value of each unit MUCH higher than individual unit’s assessments. It’s not a hard equation to figure out.  And the new lobby at the Academy House? C’mon… you can’t tell me that the individual unit owner cost to do that lobby wasn’t worth it…The value added was huge….

So yes, assessments suck in the short term but are very beneficial in the long run in terms of value and demand.

(ps – YES, per the agreement of sale- any assessments that have been approved must be disclosed to a buyer.)

Mark Wade 
www.CenterCityCondos.com
www.Facebook.com/PhiladelphiaCondos
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
215.521.1523

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September 26, 2017

Why Good Blinds/Shades Are Important

Filed under: For Sellers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:54 am

Personally, I could give a cr*p about your blinds and shades. But if they matter to my buyers, then they matter to me – so listen up!

Lovely wood blinds at 1905 Green St. Unit 3

Buyers don’t buy bricks and mortar..they buy feelings and emotions. The Center City condo buyer is NOTORIOUS for being able to sniff out the lack of quality and they will indeed pay for quality. One of the first things that help elevate the emotional value of a condo is the window dressings. Shades, curtains, and blinds – the bling that either attacks or repels.  Though I have never done business with the folks at Allure, I know a number of my clients have and they seem to understand the needs of many condo buyers here in town. And here’s their pitch:

Window blinds are a familiar window treatment to many and continue to be a go-to, staple window covering for horizontal and vertical options for several reasons. The adjustable nature of a blind’s thin slats to control light and privacy while the shade is lowered or traversed over the window makes it a versatile choice of covering. Tilting of the slats is essential to maintain views and for refracting light so that a room can receive the exact amount of desired exposure where and when it is needed. In today’s market, simple and hassle-free operating options exist that did not in past years which make blinds conveniently functional. Blinds have been known to be pesky in the past because of tangled cords and strings and frustratingly cumbersome due to trying to balance and even-out the things! Blinds in Philadelphia are now able to be constructed with sophisticated motorization systems with remote-controlled operation or integration with Smart Home systems. Manual options are more advanced as well, including cordless lifting mechanisms and advanced-engineered corded mechanisms for flawless operation. Blinds can be matched to enhance any décor – elegant to transitional to modern. The material options for blinds are aplenty with distressed and stained genuine hardwoods, affordable faux-woods, and sleek to rustic aluminum. Within the material options are a plethora of striking color and stain choices. An overall beautifully complete look can be achieved by adding a decorative valance, accented cloth tapes, and chic wand attachments to coordinate with a room’s interior style. Because the Philadelphia area hosts buildings with a wealth of diverse architecture, our designers can help you find a blind to perfectly suit any room.

www.allurewt.com

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

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August 8, 2017

Clarification regarding pet policies listed on CenterCityCondos.com

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:13 pm

Note Regarding Pet Policies in Pet Restricted Condo Buildings:

The Fair Housing Act allows residents of almost every type of property (apartments and condos) to have an emotional support dog or a specially trained service dog if you get the proper medical documentation from your doctor, despite restrictive Pet Policies.

SO….If you see “No Pets” allowed on www.CenterCityCondos.com under any particular building- please know that there are exceptions to the rule!

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

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July 7, 2017

Trends I am Seeing In The Philadelphia Condo Market

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:49 pm

1) Kitchens are going gray and white and are getting smaller than say 20 years ago, and are rarely the “eat-in” variety.

2) More attention is being paid to security. Wireless cameras and monitoring systems are being added and/or upgraded to most new construction condos in Philadelphia.

3) The new design focus is on room size and NOT room count. Most buyers today can do without the true blue 3 bedrooms. Most newer condos are now 2 beds & den. Finding a true 3 bedroom is huge…but rare.

4) The use of quartz over granite is the new trend. Also mixing counter tops is hot- Island counter top may be different than interior kitchen counter top.

5) Most new construction does not have closet space finished. Developers leave them blank for buyer to finish. And I find little difference in resale value if you use high-end closet brand vs. a reasonable knock-off brand. Just maximize your space.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
www.CenterCityCondos.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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April 28, 2017

16 Buildings in 5 Words or less…

Hopkinson House – The Toyota of Center City dependability.
Ten Rittenhouse – Really amazing value growth & demand.
1830 Rittenhouse – It’s 1830. Enough said.
River’s Edge (2301 Cherry St.) – Buy! I think they’re undervalued.
Waterfront Square– Peace & Tranquility. Views for miles.
Murano (2101 Market St)– Prices & demand continue to escalate.
Naval Square – Huge demand. Huge.
Rittenhouse Hotel & Condominiums– What’s not to like? Really.
BridgeView Place (315 New St)–  It’s just hot money. Buy Now.
Philadelphian (2401 PA. Ave.) – Values driven by interior condition & view.
Tivoli (1900 Hamilton)– Some Penthouse finally being sold off.
Center City One (1326 Spruce) – Best floor plans & Great Values!
The National (112 N. 2nd) – Soft lofts at reasonable prices & parking.
St. James Court (Society Hill) – User friendly & Cool Mod. Still Relevant.
9xx-10xx Spruce – Townhouse styled and Jefferson adjacent. Bingo.
Two Liberty (50 S. 16th St) – #1 Views and #1 model units – Gorgeous!
Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
CenterCityCondos.com

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530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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