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November 19, 2009

Whatta’ You…New to these Parts?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:52 am

I am well aware that I am a big-brain, Center City snob. I know town like the back of my hand.  How much do you think you know?

pic from web1

Riddle me this:
 
1) Name the five little streets that run between, and parallel –  between the south of Lombard St., and north of South St.

2) 2201, 2401, and 2601 Pennsylvania Ave. are three large residential buildings. Which one is not a condo building?

3) Is the neighborhood south of Society Hill known as Queens Village, or Queen Village?  Bonus Question: Is it Olde City, or Old City?

4) There is no 9xx block or 10xx block of Delancey- it was renamed. What is the street name of those two blocks?

5) What is the name of the neighborhood boxed in by South St. to the north, between 11th St. and Broad St?
 
# correct:
0-1 –   You are new to our town, or you drink a lot. Either way, Welcome!
2-4 –   Not bad. You are ahead of the crowd
5-5 –  You need a life
 
Answers:
                            1) Naudain, Rodman, Tryon, Bradford Alley, and Gaskill
                            2) 2201
                            3) Queen Village. Old City
                            4) Clinton St.
                            5) Hawthorne
 
Want to know more about your city? Call Me. But I reserve the right to fill your head with more worthless info.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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November 17, 2009

Does your Philly condo association stack up?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:16 pm

 

Not all associations are created equal!

From rule enforcement to maintenance policies, not all condo associations are run equally well. In a world of “you get what you pay for”, the strength of any condo in Philly is on the same parallel to the condominium association in which that particular unit exists. Some associations perform better than others, have a solid reputation, and help retain the values of the units in the building.

Having exceeding low condo fees may not be in your best interest. I know of no doorman who works for free, nor any elevator that  can run forever without upkeep and expense. One of the best example of a well run condo association is Society Hill Towers at 200-220 Locust St. here in Center City (as judged by those who reside at the towers)- residents speak highly of the efficiency and capability of the association to spend, and spend wisely.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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October 20, 2009

The Philadelphian Condominiums

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:45 pm

A true variety of sizes, shapes and views make 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue a wonderful choice for condo buyers.

I have always been a big fan of the Philadelphian, located in the Art Museum area of Center City Philadelphia. One of the, if not THE largest condominium association here in Pennsylvania, “2401” has an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, limited garage parking, a supermarket, a restaurant, and a variety of shops located all under one roof! Many units have oversized balconies, with fantastic city or Museum views. The Philadelphian recently replaced all windows, and hvac systems! Stunning penthouse units, and according to www.2401.com, the building has a variety of clubs and social functions throughout the year. Penthouse units have dazzling ceiling height, and top-notch views!

Considering a move into Center City? Give me a call, and let’s check out the value and size of some of the Philadelphian’s condos!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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October 15, 2009

A Center City Condo Buyer’s Wish List

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:41 pm

Yes, buyers come to me with a wish list a mile long. Shocking, eh? And if you already own a condo in Center City, don’t pretend like you bought the first thing you saw. You didn’t. I know, because I was probably your Philly realtor. 🙂 I always tell people that I can get them 9 out of 10 things on their wish list. If they want 10 out of 10, then they are going to have to rub a magic lamp. I just isn’t possible.

Anyway, here are the top 5 things buyers INITIALLY ask for when they call:

1) Parking

2) Walkable area at Center City restaurants, Cultural activities, etc.

3) A workable, open kitchen

4) Tons of closet space

5) Hardwood Floors

 
Though clearly this list varies from buyer to buyer, these are the most “asked for items” when I first get a call that someone is looking for a condo!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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October 13, 2009

My Top 5 Bizarre Open House Moments

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:43 pm

…and you thought being a realtor was all glamour.

 

I have been sitting Open Houses in Center City Philadelphia for twenty years now. If I add up all the hours I have spent alone in some strangers home, I could have taken a month off in the Bahamas, I am sure. But not all the sitting and waiting for some Philadelphia condo buyer has been in vain. Here are my top (bottom?) 5 Open House experiences that I have lived through:
 
1) Someone once died in the living room of my lovely Open House. I was in a Washington Square West Condo, and PA. Hospital was but 1/2 block away. Buyer Lived.

2) I once added a cat to someones home. The cat was lurking by the back door. I figured I let him out by mistake. I didn’t. This owner didn’t own a cat.

3) I once sat the wrong Open House. Couldn’t get the key to work. Sat on the front stoop for an hour. Was told a week later I was at the wrong address.

4) I once left an open house, and locked a potential buyer inside. She was knocking on the front door, from inside the house, as I attempted to leave. Good save on her part.

5) I once tracked grease from the sidewalk onto the new carpeting of a model open house I was once sitting.  I didn’t tell anyone. It still eats at me at this day.
 
I’m not perfect, but if you own a Center City Condo, I might just be perfect for you.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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January 10, 2008

Are My Fees Going To Go Up In My New Philadelphia Condo?

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:07 pm

Not only is this a good question, it is often asked, and it is relevant. There are many issues to consider when answering this question. Let’s assume you are looking at a new condo building here in town that has a new elevator, roof, windows, common area hallways, etc. The answer to your question can be a strong yes, or a strong no.

Yes- Your condo fees are going to rise significantly in the first year:

If an initial review of the budget reveals that the developer has artificially kept fees low, and really skewed the budget to an unrealistic level of operation, then there is no way in hell your condo fees are going to be what the developer is suggesting, in say years two and three. This introductory “teaser’ fees are bullcrap, and that is kinda’ shady of someone to pull that kind of stuff on buyers. A close examination of the condo budget can easily reveal such trickery if you know what you are looking for.

No- Your condo fees should remain stable for the first five years or so:

If your building has a new roof, new windows, a new elevator, new fire systems with a new stair tower(s), new common area carpeting, paint, etc. then you can reasonably expect that your condo fees are going to be stable for the first five years or so of the inception of your Philadelphia condo association. The key is to look at the budget again, and determine if the developer is being honest and truthful, and to see what the fees cover. Do your fees include water and sewer, or are they being billed separately? Does the master insurance policy adequately cover the replacement value of the building? Is a management fee included in your monthly dues?

Generally speaking, I think fees do remain stable in new construction condo buildings here in most Center City Philadelphia condo buildings. Just keep a sharp eye on the budget to make sure that all possible items are accounted for.  And make sure there is money set aside each month into a “rainy day” fund (aka: capital improvements fund).

I personally fell in love with Philadelphia real estate in the late 1980’s and became a resident when I bought my very first condo here in the Old City section of town.  From working with bank foreclosures on multi-unit buildings to helping developers turn apartment buildings into condominium buildings, I have pretty much carved my niche as a condominium specialist.  Today, as a realtor with Prudential Fox and Roach’s Society Hill office and once again an owner of an Old City condominium, I can say with confidence that I am intimately familiar with the lofts and condos (and their association fees ) here in Center City Philadelphia!    

Are you looking for honesty and insight into your future condo fees? Pick a realtor with a lot of knowledge and experience in Philadelphia condominiums, and you might just be happy you did!

Mark Wade
215.521.1523
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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530 Walnut Street, Suite 480
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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