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April 27, 2015

Spring 2015 Condo Market Is In Full Swing!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:12 pm
Our listing inventory is impressive, if I may say:
Our recent sales :
Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
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April 20, 2015

I Just bought a condo… And I agreed to what??

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:13 pm
Here Are 5 clauses that are usually inserted into your Center City condo mortgage papers that you may not have known about…
1) Acceleration Clause
2)  Defeasance Clause
3) Prepayment Clause
4) Due On Sale Clause
5) Compliance Clause
All these clauses are standard-whether you are buying at The Hopkinson House, or say the Academy House….in most residential mortgages. What is the bottom line here? In my opinion…pay your mortgage and no one gets hurt….Similar to any other obligation, but in the case of a mortgage lender, they will provide clauses and provisions that are generally immutable and do go to the heart of protecting their own interests.
Your best defense? Ask. Then ask again.  And get a Real Estate Lawyer if you are signing something you don’t understand….
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March 23, 2015

Let’s look closer at the Low Rise/ Brownstone condo segment of Center City…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:39 pm
 

    Known for low condo fees and uniqueness brownstone / low rise styled condos are an option in Center City that I find are becoming more popular for many condo shoppers. Known for their really groovy features, low rise condos have shown to have good resale over time, and often show up in some of the strongest residential locations in Center City.

    The condo associations tend to almost always favor pets, rules can be a bit more lax than a high rise, and many units have either decks, parking, fireplaces, or say an abundance of original detailing. Here are some of my favorite low rise/ brownstone condo buildings in town- Due to either curb appeal, unit layout, value retention, or just an overwhelmingly serene locale:

1) Roberts Quay: 1035 Spruce – 18 units, a huge variety of layouts, and probably the most handsome building in 19107. Sits on the NE corner of 11th and Spruce. (see above and you can see what I mean).

2) 2100 Delancey: Again, huge curb appeal, an array of unit sizes and wrought with original detail. Many units have fireplaces, ornate windows, and of course a great location.

3) 251 S. 24th St: A very rare loft styled new condo building in Fitler Square that few have heard of/know of/have seen. Garage parking, huge windows, and sits in a quiet pocket of Fitler Square. High end contemporary finishes throughout each unit.

4) The Clinton: 1023 Clinton St. – Now here is a stunning building. Sits on the corner of 11th and Clinton St- serene as they come. Some units have parking, and many units have south facing windows- many completely shielded by huge trees. Modest condo fees and attractive pricing.

5) St. James Court: Hidden between 5th/6th Street, Locust and Walnut sits this enclave of “uppers and lowers”. Rental parking next door at Indep Place. Great space, quiet location, handsome exteriors, outside space for every unit, and two story living rooms. A great track record of resales / value retention over the past dozen years.
And of course I should mention:
Kahn Park Place at 1119-25 Pine
Wash Sq. West Condos on the 12xx block of South St.
Portico Row – 9xx Block of Spruce St.
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February 24, 2015

Every Buyer and Seller wants to know one thing…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:51 am
What do I get for those super high  %&%#)@$
 condo fees?
I get it…everyone thinks condo fees are always higher than they should be and many folks are unclear about where their condo dollars go:
1) Master Insurance Policy – Depending on the size of your building, this cost alone can account for up to 50% of your condo fees. More spread out over larger buildings but still a huge proportion of your monthly fees.
2) Building Amenities- Pool, parking, elevators, doormen and any utilities that may be included in your Philadelphia condo fees like water & sewer, or maybe heat and central air. Unless of course elevators run on magic pixie dust- you are going to have to pay to keep them running smoothly and safely. 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. (The Philadelphian)  is a good example of an all-inclusive building where almost all amenities are covered in your condo fees.
3) Upkeep and Maintenance- Of course this is the one factor that varies greatly and plays an integral part of your resale ability and resale price. You gotta’ pay to play folks- and value retention and upkeep of your common areas go hand in hand. There is no avoiding that equation.
IF YOU OWNED A SINGLE FAMILY HOME- YOU WOULD HAVE TO PAY THESE EXPENSES OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET.  THERE ARE SUCH THINGS AS
“SINGLE FAMILY HOUSE” FEES IN THIS WORLD
and buyers should know that!
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December 1, 2014

Click the Link Below to See our Featured Listings!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:35 am

ccc_logo_berkshire

Click here to see Center City Condos Featured Listings!

Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Fox & Roach Realtors®  
 530 Walnut St. Suite 260
Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
Mark@CenterCity.com 
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April 8, 2013

Low Condo Fees and Your Resale Value

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:55 am

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…

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March 25, 2013

High Floors- Worth The Higher Price?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:45 am

     It is no secret that new developments in Center City are primarily priced according to not only the size of the Philly condo, but also the floor height. Sometimes asking prices are as much as $50,000 per floor. And to some degree, I get it. Higher floors usually always mean a better view, perhaps more prestige, whatever. Though not everyone wants to be on the top floor of any given building around town. Sometimes the lower floors give really nice tree or treetop views, which can be in demand as well.
     But what happens to that paid premium over time? Does that equation pan out in 50 years? Look no further than say the Hopkinson House, or Society Hill Towers for that answer.
Here is my Two Cents:
   Over time, floor height value has a tendency to erode. Sure, given the opportunity, a great many buyers would rather be on a higher floor for the views, but I do not believe that this is the guiding light of value. Over time, the value equation points more squarely on interior condition….and that is not a reflection of any given Center City Condo.
   A gorgeous unit on a low floor at the Hopkinson House can indeed garner a higher sale price than an average looking unit on a higher floor (Note- major caveats here….a low floor unit with zero view, overlooking the trash dumpster might cause a low floor to generate a low offer).  Now if two units are 100% identical in an older building, sure- we will likely see a premium paid for that higher floor….but I would suggest that the equation more hinges on interior condition as the driving force in resale value.
   So should you pay the premium for a higher floor? That is up to you. I am just sayin’ that I do not think that higher floors necessarily garner a higher sale price as the years go by- I think the value is more reflective of interior condition. So maybe you don’t see the return on the investment- but for many, the kick-ass views are well worth the initial investment.
   So in the end- the premium paid for a view is your call.  We recently bought on the 9th floor of a new highrise here in town- kinda’ in the middle of the building overlooking treetops which we thought provided the view without to paying too much of a premium.

 

 

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August 19, 2010

Divide up your Old City Loft Space….but keep the light!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:16 am

A buyer of mine sent me this link, www.RayDoor.com, and I think it is really groovy! And a great idea for many Old City condo lofts which have exceedingly large living rooms. By adding another bedroom area, and still keeping the light coming into your living room, you could quickly and easily add value.

raydoor raydoor 2 raydoor3 raydoor4

And the look is very hip and perfectly positioned for some of the neat Old City condos that Center City has available! See more at www.RayDoor.com.

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

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August 12, 2010

An Insider’s Look Into The Center City Condo Activity

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:30 pm

We hear all kinds of national news stories about the country’s current real estate market. Below is a simple breakdown of the number of showings that have taken place at Prudential Fox and Roach’s Center City Philadelphia Listings over the past 9 months. The figures are broken down by price ranges. There does not appear to be a lack of folks looking to buy and as usual, very early spring seems to produce the most Center City Condo buyers with traffic slowing mid-summer as many people leave for vacations.   

eshow

Leave a comment, or shoot me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com. I’d live to hear your thoughts on this “inside” Center City Real Estate report. Spring Market 2011 is just around the corner!

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

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August 5, 2010

Sh*tty Philadelphia Condo Buildings

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:17 pm

…Have Sh*tty Resale Prices- If they sell at all.

 
Come on, you would have to be from the moon to believe all condo buildings here in Center City are created equal in terms of
demand, cache, and resale ability (in terms of price and “days on market”). There are some buildings in downtown Philly that just really suck, in terms of their investment value. And there are a handful of buildings that basically cannot resale at all.
 
Some of the signs to be aware of-
 
1) A lot of units on the market, and very few sold in the past 12 months
2) A high number of REO’s/Foreclosures/Short Sales
3) A low owner-occupancy ratio in the building
4) Poorly managed exterior and common area condition
 
Unless you are buying a short sale or a foreclosure in the building, or are in the mood to just piss your money away, I would suggest we talk prior to you buying in certain buildings.. Some Center City condominium buildings aren’t worth a look, much less an offer.

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

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Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
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