It is difficult to put a price on a new kitchen in say, The Hopkinson House condominiums, or the Academy House condos. Though it is easy to calculate what the seller may have paid for the new granite, the appliances, and the cabinetry, but what about all the other costs associated with a new kitchen in an existing high rise condo here in Philadelphia?
Consider the fact that you have to first plan for the new kitchen. You measure, you check, you curse, you get confused, you wing it, and you now have some plans. But you have to pull permits from the city. And get approval from your condo association. You then must shop for all the new ingredients- including baseboard, toekicks, quarter round, and backsplash tile. You then need to get rid of your old kitchen. It is not like you can just throw the sink down the trash chute. And you have to live with this mess. And without a kitchen for a while as well. Then you have to take delivery of the new cabinetry and appliances and all (from M-F 9am-4pm only in most Philadelphia condo highrise buildings) and see that your delivery men get a parking space, don’t bang the walls in the hallway, etc. Next plan for something to go wrong, and put your plans back 3 weeks. It happens. All the time 🙂
So congratulations. You now have a new kitchen. And a healthy respect for EVERYTHING you had to go through to get this new kitchen inside your new Center City condo. And you swear you will never do it again. So, you still think that new kitchen in the condo you are looking to buy is only worth $20,000?
Yippee – Increase in sales contracts signed during March.
I am generally not a big fan of NATIONAL real estate news, but here is one good sign….
Pending home sales rose in March for the second consecutive month and are up year over year. The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors showed a 3.2% gain to 84.6 from February, when it was 82. The index stands 1.6% higher than a year ago.
The consensus forecast of industry experts polled by Briefing.com had predicted no increase in the index.
It may still take a while before the market gains enough momentum to firmly state that the downturn has been reversed, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. And, the upturn may have been boosted by the first-time homebuyers tax credit, a temporary measure that will lapse in December.
A ray of sunshine, in a storm of dismal housing news!
…and floor height isn’t the only factor affecting values within the same buildings.
Probably the most overlooked effect on value to high rise condominium is the view that any particular piece of Philadelphia Real Estate has to offer. And not all views are created equal. Let compare and contrast a few different scenarios. All are based on my opinion, as a fairly seasoned realtor who specializes in condo sales I have learned a great deal about the effect on value that particular views may or may not have, and any given buyer’s perception of how that view might affect their desire to purchase.
1) It is possible for a posh condo to nearly double in value if it has a highly coveted view. Think Central Park.
2) In some buildings, the highest values have been posted not only on the highest floors, but also on what we call “treetop” view. A very nice view of the treetops, say on the 5Th floor of a high rise condo can be very appealing to a number of buyers
3) A condo on a high Floor does not always warrant a higher sales price. IS there a benefit to looking directly into a neighboring high rise condo building- from the 27Th vs the 8Th floor?
4) I personally have found few buyers to discriminate between an East vs West view. However, a number of condo values are greatly affected by a North Vs South view.
5) Not all views from the 16Th floor of various buildings are the same. Think about ceiling height, and windows that run floor to ceiling. The building itself can manipulate either the view, or the feeling that the view offers, and this in turn will affect resale value and overall appeal.
At times, the need for a good view can be bypassed if a condominium has great light. There are many Rittenhouse Square condos that offer tremendous natural light, be it north or south, east or west, that don’t necessarily have great visuals. I find a lot of buyers will fore-go a great view if the natural light is strong. Conversely, I find that a great view will not overcome the weakness of a dark condominium. I would suggest that natural light is a stronger motivator than a great view- at least in terms of resale ability.
So know that it has been my experience that view does indeed affect resale price and the time it may take to sell any given Philadelphia condominium. Though direct “park views” are the most desirable, there are compensating factors, and issues that can compensate for a lovely tree lined view of say, Washington Square. One needs to consider the window size, ceiling height, amount of natural light, and of course floor height. All factors should be considered when determining the resale ability of any given Philadelphia condo.
One thing buyers should be aware of when considering purchasing a Rittenhouse Square condo is whether or not they want to pay to actually live ON Rittenhouse Square. There is a huge difference between living on the Square, or living in the “Rittenhouse Square area”.
It should surprise no one that realtors can sometimes stretch the boundaries of specific neighborhood by adding suffixes such as: – area, -vicinity, and –adjacent. And realtors aren’t the only ones guilty of such name dropping. Heck, for years here in town “Society Hill Furniture” was just off of Broad and Bainbridge Streets. Go figure. And there are even striking price differences between having a “Square View” and not being able to see Rittenhouse Square from your windows (for those high rises directly on the square).
So there are many interpretations of what constitutes a Rittenhouse Square Condo. It is my opinion that Center City “changes” block by block, with respect to housing/condo values, and what is most important is that you are buying or selling for what is appropriate for your little corner of “Rittenhouse Square”.
What I find most interesting is the DOM (days on market) of 128. In October 2007, DOM was 93 days. And “pended properties” (those home that are under agreement, and awaiting settlement) dropped from 23 this October, compared to 51 in October 2007.
Want to make sense of some of these figures? Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at MArk@CenterCity.com, and let’s chat!
So you are cozying up after a warm bath in your luxurious Philadelphia condominium sipping on a nice hot cup of tea and enjoying the stunning view of the snow falling outside atop the Center City skyline.
Beautiful….calm….serene…..and the phone rings. Oh, boy, you left your slippers in the bathroom and the walk across the hardwood flooring to the kitchen will be pretty chilly on your toes!
Well, maybe not! There is a great new ENERGY STAR qualified way to actually warm your floors.
Nuheat Floor Warming Systems. It’s like a Center City Philadelphia Condominium owner’s winter holiday wish come true! You can use it under tile, stone, laminate, or engineered wood floors in any room!
The heating system is pre-built like an electric blanket. It heats evenly and is only 1/8 inch thick so it won’t dramatically raise the flooring in your condo. It’s easy to install and safe too! It must be installed with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which is built in, of course. It was tested and approved for use in North American Homes by the Underwriter’s Laboratory.
The 7-day programmable thermostat will also keep operating costs down, not that Nuheat uses much energy to begin with. Warming a 30 square foot room in your condominium at full power (80-90 degrees) will only use the same amount of electricity as turning on three 100 watt light bulbs in that room. But with the programmable thermostat you can set it up so that the stone floors will warm in the kitchen while you are preparing dinner and your tile bathroom floor will warm while you are taking a shower and then the hardwood floors in the bedroom will warm for when you step out of bed on a chilly morning. Once Nuheat is installed in your condo, you can throw your slippers to the dogs!
If you are interested in taking a look at some lofts or condos here in Center City Philadelphia where you can install Nuheat, give Mark Wade a call at 215-521-1523 or send him an email at Mark@CenterCity.com