I am a REALTOR in downtown Philadelphia. I specialize in selling Center City condos and have for the past 23 years of my career.
Condominium buildings, like cars, teeth, and gardens, require ongoing maintenance and care. In an effort to cut your personal costs, try not buying toothpaste or floss for a year, and see where that gets ya’. In the long run, its probably going to cost you more than if you bought (and used, of course) toothpaste, floss, and mouth rinse. One dental bill can blow those costs out of the water. The same analogy can be said about Philadelphia condo buildings.
I’m always amazed when I go onto a listing appointment and the owner tries to sell me on the fact that the condo fees in his building are super low, as compared to similar condo buildings in downtown Philadelphia. Perhaps Me. Seller things I am new to this planet. It’s been my experience that somewhat abnormally low condo fees for a particular building can actually result in a lower resale price for those Philadelphia condos.
Let’s say a condo association decides its going to keep fees minimal because the owners got together and decided NOT to raise fees yearly. Bad move, I say! Interior and exterior maintenance projects are going to be lacking, most likely, as will routine projects like cleaning exterior windows, hall carpeting replacement, etc.
I think a HUGE portion of a buyer’s perception of a particular Center City condo is formed in his or her brain PRIOR to him or her entering that specific condo. If the common hallways are dirty, the exterior weak in terms of curb appeal, etc., it is not going to reflect well on any unit within that Philadelphia condominium building.
Such glaring deficiencies in the showing ability of the building as a whole should not be underestimated by any condo association. Certainly the prospective buyer walking in the front door for the first time is going to see those deficiencies…