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November 7, 2017

More New Condos Coming to Graduate Hospital

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:07 pm

Graduate Hospital has been a really hot growth area for new construction townhouses and condo developments! Just south of Rittenhouse Square, you will find this hotbed of new construction here in Center City. The City’s tax abatement program has really helped this area grow. Easy access to the Square, restaurants, and shopping make the Graduate Hospital area a real attraction to buyers. The new Bloc 23 project and 2400 South condo projects are the latest additions to the area.

A 15-unit project, Ravello Philly, is set for the 14xx block of Clymer Street…a small block nestled between Broad and 15th, Fitzwater and Catharine. According to Curbed Philly,  “The development will include five three-unit buildings with dark brick facades in front and aluminum paneling in the back. In total, there will be 10 three-bedroom, bi-level units clocking in at about 1,800 square feet. There will be another five one-bedroom units about half that size. Each unit will have outdoor space, too.” [Read More Here…]

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 16, 2017

Rehab Loans Are Back, Baby!

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:47 pm

A Renovation Mortgage allows home buyers to finance renovations as opposed to having to pay cash out of pocket for upgrading their recent purchase. If you’re looking for a condo that needs a lot of work after closing, this loan program can provide the funds for renovations and repairs for a primary residence or for investment properties by using the “after improved value” with a single loan at closing.

For more info on FHA 203K or Homestyle Renovation Loans, click the following links for a breakdown of each program’s details from Jason Griesser at Guaranteed Rate and Jeremy Durkin at Trident Mortgage.

This is rare! I haven’t seen these loans in YEARS.

If a rehab loan sounds right for you, please call me, send smoke signals…whatever works best for you.

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

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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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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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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.
Waterfront Square Pool

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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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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April 25, 2017

Is That A Concierge Or A Seat-Filler? …Can We Be Honest Here??

‘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!

Mark Wade

Centercitycondos.com

Mark@CenterCity.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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