Construction of Phase One of Philadelphia’s exciting new Rail Park is quickly progressing! This 1/4 mile section of the Park is a wonderful addition to the Loft District. Much like the addition of the Schuylkill River Trail, Philadelphians will no doubt make great use of this new outdoor space. It will be a great place for engaging programs featuring arts, education, culture, health, and wellness. This is a wonderful way to get city dwellers out into green spaces!
Photo Courtesy of TheRailPark.org
Phase One will run from 11th and Callowhill to Broad and Noble Streets and will have gathering places, seating, swings, and amazing skyline views! Learn more about The Loft District Neighborhood here.
The Philly Home Show will be at The Convention Center this weekend. This year there will be a City Studios feature showcasing three looks from area designers that will focus on making the most of small spaces in creative ways – could be useful for anyone living in, say, a Rittenhouse Square condo with a lovely view.
Closets by Design will have an interactive social media challenge where you can try to organize a closet in under 2 minutes. And for all the animal lovers out there, Providence Animal Center will be there to share some design ideas for your pets.
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.
Here are a just a few scenarios you could encounter without the protection of title insurance:
– Forgery or fraud in connection with the execution of previously recorded documents
– Incorrect representation of marital status of grantors
– Undisclosed or missing heirs
– Wills that have not been properly probated
– Mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts
– Incorrect legal descriptions
– Unsatisfied mortgages, liens, or judgments not shown on the record
– Deeds executed under expired or false powers of attorney
– Confusion due to similar or identical names
– Unknown rights of ex-spouses or former owners
– Clerical errors in recording legal documents
– Incorrect filing of condominium declarations.
Some of these things may sound crazy. However, in my 29 years of selling Philadelphia Real Estate, I have come across more than a few of the above situations.
Email us if you have any questions about purchasing title insurance or any of the other steps involved in the home-buying process.
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.
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:
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….email@example.com.
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…
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…]
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!