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!
Just a few years after his success with the gorgeous project at 1706 Rittenhouse (a building we named one of Philly’s Top Ten Condos), developer Tom Scannapieco broke ground at 500 Walnut Street. My office is adjacent to these gorgeous new condos and I have watched them go up in awe over the past two years. They finally had their grand opening ceremony and I must say the building is a stunning addition to the City.
What’s interesting is that this building had to be delicately designed to have such a narrow width, so that it did not distract from the views from The Liberty Bell to Independence Hall. With only one or two condos per floor, these condos have breathtaking views and huge balconies. 500 Walnut offers nonstop elevators, garage parking (with electric vehicle charging), a spacious fitness center and spa, 50′ lap pool, a 4,000 square foot open-air terrace, and a boardroom with a fully equipped catering kitchen.
Cecil Baker & Partners, the architects that worked on One Riverside, Western Union, and York Square, just to name a few, also worked on this project with Scannapieco. You can check out some common area photos from Curbed Philly here.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
The developer of the beautiful new construction condos, One Riverside at 25th and Locust, has decided to switch the focus of his next project from a hotel/apartment project to a 56-unit condominium high-rise. We have been saying for some time now that there is a shortage of condos in town and we think this will be a great addition to the market. You can read about the switch here.