As a veteran Center City realtor, I am often cornered at parties, and asked, “What is the best buy in the Philadelphia condominium market?” The answer is not always easy, and depending on your priorities, can be varied, and alterable.
Generally, I have always believed the best buy is a good combination of location and condition. The former being strong, and the latter being weak. Buy an ugly Old City loft in a strong location, and make the emotional improvements yourself. Or buy a dated Rittenhouse Square condominium that needs work, and watch your investment skyrocket with a good dose of elbow grease.
I began selling real estate in Philadelphia nineteen years ago, when the market was very depressed. It was not uncommon for sellers to have to bring money to the settlement table in order for them to sell their condos. That is probably why I think it is ultimately important to buy “ugly”. If you read my blog regularly, or listen to my podcasts, I am sure I am beginning to sound like a nag. But take the point. Or at least consider it. Do not allow someone’s dirty condo to interfere with your perception of the true value of that particular Society Hill condo, or Fitler Square condominium. The power of dirt to chase other buyers out the door, and ultimately result in a lower sale price should not be diminished. One of the first articles I wrote for publication on the net was titled, “I hope I sell you a condo that smells like dog pee”. You can pretty much surmise the story by the title.
So the next time you see me at a party, perhaps getting all liquored up, and rambling on and on about Philadelphia real estate, you can be sure some of the ramblings are going to center around buying a crappy Art Museum area loft, or a smelly Society Hill condo.
And I mean it lovingly. Nothing spells value like the aroma of someone else’s dog pee.
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106