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November 2, 2011

Center City Condos’ Snarky Newsletter: Phoenix and Murano / Worst MLS Photos / Undervalued Condos

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:52 pm

Click to read more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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October 10, 2011

Center City Philadelphia Gated Condominium Communities

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:45 am

There are really only three Philadelphia condominium buildings that I believe qualify as being gated:

WaterFront Square at 901 N. Penn St: I live here and I love it. I have lived in town for 24 years, and I know every condo building like the back of my hand. I choose the building because it sits on 13 manicured acres with tons of parking, pool, deck onto the river, etc. And being gated (and a doorman building), it takes the security equation right out of the picture- in my mind. If I forget to lock my condo door- WHO GIVES A CRAP?!  I live in a gated community with a doorman to boot.

 

 

Naval Square: Gated and sits on something like 20+ acres…gorgeous setting. And again, takes the security equation right out of the picture. Ample parking, pool, and lots of space for the dog, the kids, even bike riding. These are qualities that are generally lacking in a non-gated urban community. I love Naval Square, and think that the HUGE variety of styles and sizes are fantastic. And the tax abatement doesn’t hurt either. Many units are single level/one story styled condos.

 

 

The National in Old City: Gated, yes. Doorman- no. Acts like a doorman building, but actually there is no attendant on duty. This is a Semi-Gated Community where a fair number of properties are indeed off-street, and you have to pass through a gate to gain access. I have sold a fair number of units here, and my buyers do appreciate the sense of security. I love the location in Old City, the garage parking, and remaining life of the original tax abatement. High floors have some really cool water views as well.

If you are considering looking at some condos in downtown (Center City) Philadelphia, and would like to check out some gated communities, Give me a call or email. No pressure.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
267.237.3404 (Cell)
PRUDENTIAL FOX AND ROACH REALTORS  215.627.6005

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March 11, 2011

You have to keep the noise out to keep the value in!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:12 pm

Selling Philadelphia condominiums has somewhat of a unique issue that may not be relevant to condos in, say, remote parts of Montana or on deserted private islands. And that issue would be – the noise.

Some of the most sought after condo buildings here in Center City are on or very close to lively blocks that are full of activity, or they are on or near bus routes, and can have a close proximity to highways. This is very convenient but can be noisy!

Having constant noise outside your dining room or bedroom could be a big problem. So, I devised a kinda’ cool solution that works like a gem. And in the scheme of things, really doesn’t have to cost a lot.

Here’s the solution: Replace your windows (genius, eh?)!

Depending on where you live in downtown Philadelphia, you may have a fairly strong historic association who mandates the type of window replacement you must use.  However, this does not preclude you from installing another set of windows INSIDE the historical set.

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You can add a double paned, inexpensive vinyl clad INSIDE the outer set of historically approved windows, giving you a total of 3 or 4 panes of glass between you and the noise.  This ingenious little set-up demonstrates how you can effectively keep all city noise out of your Philadelphia loft or condo.

You don’t need to live 30 feet from the highway or live in a super luxury condo building to benefit from this idea.  Such insulation also provides extra protection from cold, heat loss, and dirt that gets inside of other single paned windows!

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a Center City condominium and want some more tips, I can help.  Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com.

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

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January 4, 2011

Old City was a Sh*thole When I First Moved There in the 90’s

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:22 pm

Old City Philadelphia: the neighborhood that was once blighted with unattractive and massive warehouses is now the place to be for many searching for a hip and groovy Philadelphia Condos. Once referred to as the “Warehouse district”, Old City has become the hip urban neighborhood that is much in demand!

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Converted factories and lofts dominate the Old City condo set. Though few townhouses are located within Old City, many buyers find the attraction to the variety of loft space a real draw. Old City Condos in the area are many and varied. From studios to larger rambling spaces, the historic fabric and eclectic visuals make Old City a popular buying destination for Philadelphia’s residential condo buyers. 108 Arch, The Moravian condominiums, York Square, Bridgeview Place condos, Wireworks condos, and the National in Old City are some of the big name condos in the area. All of Old City falls within the 19106 zip code. Area boundaries for Old City Philly are:  Front St. to the east, 5th St. to the west, and Walnut St. to the south, and Wood St. to the north.

I personally have lived in Old City for 17 out of my 20 years here in downtown Philadelphia, and really enjoy the neighborhood. The charm, history, and area shopping proximity are just a few bonuses to my Old City condo!

See video of an Old City condo that aired on HGTV!
Old City Condos for sale!

Mark Wade

www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 480 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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August 25, 2010

If a Condo Building is a Piece of Crap

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:51 pm

…shouldn’t I “call ’em as I see ’em”?
 
Shouldn’t your Philadelphia Realtor have the B*lls to give his honest opinion on condos you are seeing? If a particular condo association has no money in the “Kitty”, and the building is clearly in need of maintenance- from hallways to elevators, I think I would not be doing my job if I didn’t point out (what I believe to be) the obvious.
 
Some condos in town really are pieces of crap. From condo associations’ finances, to building construction, to owner-occupancy ratios, to staff, future saleability, to perhaps better, easily identified comparable condos in Philadelphia.
 
My Point- If you are my customer, and you give me the green light, I am going to tell you what I believe are each condo’s strengths and weaknesses. And I will try to keep the snarky comments to myself- but no promises :-).

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

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June 25, 2009

Fireplaces, Huge Soaking Tubs and other useless Amenities

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:23 pm

…that are pointless in a Philly High Rise Condo.

I love it when some dumbass developer takes up a large chunk of a 20th floor condo with a huge soaking tub.  Always good for a laugh. Pointing out the foilbles of some newbie condo builder is one of my favorite pasttimes. Under the theory of “When In Rome….” fireplaces and those giant soaking tubs are soooo out of place in a high rise Philly condominium.

I know of NO ONE who actually uses those giant oversized tubs. I am not talking about a regular bathtub….I am referring to those big dumb soaking tubs that can fit an army of regular sized people. NOTE TO DEVELOPER- grow a brain. Such an amenity is a huge waste of space. I always point to them and tell my buyers- You will use this on the first day you move in, then you will never use it again. They ALWAYS agree.
And wood burning fireplaces here in  Rittenhouse Square 19103 condominiums? Now where the heck is my buyer going to store the wood needed to fuel such a spectacle? Better question- where the hell is he going to get the firewood? It is not like there is some lumber jack who lives at 9th and Spruce Street who chops down trees and sells split wood.

Developers installing such amenities are spending money, and taking up valuable space for items that are really a negative to many Philadelphia condominium buyers. Trust me, this ain’t suburbia. This is urban downtown Philly, and such amentities don’t fly with the condo buying set.

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

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June 18, 2009

You think you know Philadelphia real estate values?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:52 pm

…then explain the value difference between these two Philly condo buildings:

These are two actual side by side buildings on Spruce St. in Washington Square West.

So you have a big brain, and you think you are going to take a look at Trulia, Zillow, or one of the many fine real estate websites out there in CyberSpace, and you are going to come up with the true value of any given condo. Really?

You can’t tell me that condition does not play into value. How about showing ability? You go into the public records and find a two bed, two bath in such n such zip code should sell for say $500,000. Really??? What was the condition of the Washington Square West Condo?  Was the building well maintained?

My point is, sometimes you need a realtor who knows his or her market to help you make valid decisions. There are many issues that affect value, that reading a webpage about any given Philadelphia condo may NOT tell you…

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

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June 11, 2009

PA Seller Disclosure Laws

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:03 pm

 …when the truth is more than enough:

 

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

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June 9, 2009

Do Your Blinds/Curtians need to be white?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:45 am

Per many Philly condo associations, the backside of your curtains and blinds may need to be white in color. You may ask why…but drive by any poorly managed condo association who does not enforce such a rule, and you will see why. The building ends up looking like an unattractive collection of cheap, and often unattractive variations of ugly looking blinds/shades/curtains. From Mauve, to Sea Foam Green, the rainbow of cheap shades is not an attractive sight.

And If I were king of the world, or even a developer of a Philadelphia high rise condo, I would go as far as to include a high end line of blinds/shades into my sale price. Because the visual uniformity is going to be important in the overall impression a building gives off when viewed from street level. We have all seen, or perhaps even been guilty (usually in our college years) of using a bedsheet as a curtain. And god knows bedsheets come in some funky colors and patterns. Not the best look, when trying to visually highlight a condo building from a distance.

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

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May 20, 2009

New Construction Condos in Philadelphia

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:28 am

You call THAT an upgrade?


 
Since when are closet inserts an upgrade? When one buys an $800,000 condo, should you not be able to expect that some sort of clothes hanging mechanism would be included? Even the cheesy cheap wire mesh systems? I have seen developers try to pass off even the basic necessities as upgrades, and it is insulting. Perhaps Mr. Developer, you think my $800,000 buyer just fell off the back of a turnip truck? How the hell do you think he or she got to the point in their life where they could afford such a condominium without a brain cell or two? Dumbass.

And please stop with the patronizing “and you get lovely carpet in the bedrooms at no extra charge”. Again, you are an idiot.

And touting the virtues of a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, and/or doorbell for each condo unit?Yippee…where does my buyer sign?? If developers could take a minute or two to tour some of the condo offerings in Center City Philadelphia, and realize that the buyers I am bringing to your front door have seen almost EVERYTHING on the market, then maybe that developer could wise up, and compare apples to apples. Tell us about the significance of your location, the quality of your construction, or the fact that you are priced competitively. My buyers are not stupid, and I will not allow them to be uneducated. So wise up, and let’s make a deal. Because until you (Mr. Developer) come to your senses, my buyer’s desire to write an offer on one of your condos is going to be severely limited.

Mark Wade
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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