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February 3, 2009

Center City Condo Buildings

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:20 am

Many varieties to choose from…

   
           
When considering the purchase of a Center City condo, I think buyers should first ask themselves what style of condo are they considering?

A high rise? Maybe a loft, or a Brownstone style?

There are  a whole slew of different condominium buildings here in Center City, and each comes with its own unique characteristics.

Are you willing to pay the higher condo fees charged for doormen buildings?

Or is the idea of a Philadelphia condominium with oversized windows, exposed brick, and high ceilings your idea of the perfect urban pad?

Keep in mind that the larger buildings with elevators, parking, and doormen do have significantly higher condo fees than the Brownstone styled condos without such amenities. There is sure to be a condo in Philly that suits your needs. It just sometimes takes a deeper look than what is on the surface to find that perfect condo!

With my 19 years of helping people find their perfect Center City Condo, I hope to be of service to you, should you be looking to put down some roots in our town!

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

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January 27, 2009

Philadelphia condominiums with parking

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:57 pm

 

Philly condominiums offer a wide variety of parking options. From on-site rental, to deeded parking, many Center City condo buildings do offer an array of possibilities.

Rental parking- Most buyers will tell me that AS LONG AS there is guaranteed rental parking on the block, then this option is an acceptable substitute for actually owning a Philadelphia parking spot. I like the flexibility here, and such an approach will GREATLY add to the number of options you have when we are searching for your new condo.

Deeded Parking- If available, this arrangement has you purchasing a physical piece on property in which you have the rights to park. Means you have a separate tax bill as well. Usually you may buy or sell this parking spot with or without an accompanying condominium unit.

Assigned Parking: You pay for this too, but you do not get a deed. You are basically granted the rights to the use and enjoyment of a parking parking spot, usually located on-site. You may not separate this parking spot from your condominium unit, and such assignment is recorded somewhere in either the condo docs, or your deed.

Street Parking- For approx. $35 a year, you can purchase a Street Parking Sticker, and then be able to NOT have to feed parking meters, or move your car every two hours for the AREA in which your parking sticker is valid. IF you get one for the Old city area, because you live in Old City, this will not give the ability to park for free around Rittenhouse Square. I guarantee you that.

Parking does play a role in the value and desirability differently in almost every condo buying situation here in Center City.

Call me at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com, and let’s discuss how parking may affect you!

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

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January 22, 2009

Philadelphia Condos with Good Closet Space

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:13 am

Parking? $40,000

A one bedroom condo in hip Old City Philadelphia? $300,000.

Good closet space wherever you live here in Center City Philadelphia? Priceless.

Good closet space inside a Philadelphia condo is like a good wine. Coveted, hard to find, and treasured by all. With a high percentage of my buyers being of the “Empty Nesters” set, I find that their preference for good closet space can not be ignored. Downsizing from a larger home is traumatic enough in itself, without have the added turbulence of deciding what to keep, what to give away, and what to simply heap into a large pile, and burn.

There is one condo development here is town that many of my buyers find quizzical: The good sized two bedroom condo units do not have walk-in closets. Only the medium sized one bedroom condo units in the building have a walk-in closet. Odd, they say- and I can’t disagree.  Dockside in Philadelphia offers two healthy sized walk-in closets in their two bedroom condo units. I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw that act of generosity.

I do believe that the lack of closet space must be coming from some NYC consulting firms, used by local developers when putting up a new high rise condo building here in Center City. I know New Yorkers don’t seem to value kitchen size as much as Philadelphians, but could it be that they travel lighter as well, and don’t have as much stuff to store as we do? Who knows! But a bit more attention to good closet space by Philadelphia developers would be a huge help in their sales efforts here in Center City (in my humble opinion)!

I talk about a lot of stuff about Center City real estate.  Click onto my “podcasts” link on www.CenterCityCondos.com to hear me go “off” on everything that is Center City real estate!  

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

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January 15, 2009

Filter Square Condos

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:30 pm

Many buyers who email me about Fitler Square condos in the 19103 zip code favor a quiet neighborhood, with easy access to the University of Pennsylvania, or I-676, or perhaps strolling distance to Rittenhouse Square. Though few condos exist in this part of downtown (Center City) Philadelphia, the attraction of being near the Schuylkill River and the recent addition of the jogging trail next to the river make the Fitler Square area a destination of choice for many Philly condo buyers.

Most notably, Locust Point condominiums has recently added condominium inventory to the neighborhood. 251 S. 24th St. is a boutique style loft condo building with parking, and a relatively small association. Additionally, one will find a smattering of low rise, Brownstone styled condos in the neighborhood– each offering a unique floor plan, layout, or character specific to the particular building. The introduction of some very high end Brownstone styled condos like 2025 Spruce St, and 251 S. 22nd have added a bit of cache to the appeal of this small, yet diverse collection of condominiums that make up (sometimes) rare offerings of Fitler Square.

The one interesting bit of info I can tell you about my experience selling, and sitting open houses in the Fitler Square area is that it seems EVERYONE who is looking for a condo here, is fairly set on finding something in the neighborhood. The #1 question out of their mouths is “What else is available here?”

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

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December 30, 2008

Your Philadelphia condo search

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:21 am

Let’s start by defining your needs. Do you have any pets? That is a great question to start with! Many condo buildings here in Center City Philadelphia have differing pet policies. Some allow dogs, buy have weight limits. Some have limits on the type/breed of dog they allow. Though I have never heard of a weight limit on cats, I am pretty sure most buildings would not allow you to bring a Tiger or a Lion with you :).

Also- when you say you MUST HAVE parking- will on-site rental parking suffice? This little loop hole will certainly increase the number of available condos. May buyers get stuck (not making a judgment call here) on requiring a deeded or assigned parking spot with their unit, when they may not be familiar with the options they have for on-site, or even rental parking within say 50 feet of their front door. Knowing your options can really open up many possibilities in the Philadelphia condo market.

Finally, when buyers say they must have a three bedroom condo, I often ask if a two bedroom and den styled unit will be ample space. There are very few true three bedroom condos available here in town, and those that are available seem to really command a staggering sale price.

So let’s start by defining your true needs. You might find there are options and alternatives to what you believe you truly need and what you might find acceptable! I’m here to help buyers define their needs when searching for their next condo here in downtown Philadelphia! Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me and email at Mark@CenterCity.com!

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

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December 23, 2008

Center City Lofts – Just how Lofty do you want your condo to be?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:41 pm

There are loft-like Philadelphia Condos, and there are LOFTS. And although the word is thrown around like a ragdoll being mauled by a dog, not all lofts are created equal.

I break them down into two segments-Hard Lofts and Soft Lofts. It is fairly easy  to recognize the difference, and I will make the distinction as easy as possible.

A hard loft is generally a converted warehouse space. Huge huge windows, rough finishes, and an open bedroom that overlooks the living area. Often times with cement floors, these hard loft condos lack the refined qualities that many buyers are looking for here in town, like designer kitchens and baths. They are truly open spaces that have been converted to living space.

Here are two examples of hard lofts:

    

Conversely, the soft loft, is more prevalent here in town, and what most realtors describe when they say “loft” in one of their ads. And it is what most buyers are really looking for (I find). They generally hold some elements of neat unique space, with high ceilings, exposed brick, and some degree of hip-ness.

Here are two examples of soft lofts:

    
         
The luxury is built into soft lofts, but they do retain elements of hip, cool kind of urban living.
If you are looking for either a hard or soft loft, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com, and let’s go see what Philly has to offer!

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

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December 16, 2008

Philadelphia Condos on Spruce Street & Pine Street

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:05 pm

Along (what I have dubbed) the Spruce/Pine corridor here in Center City Philadelphia, there are a variety of low rise/Brownstone styled condominiums that have seemed to perform reliably well over the past decade.  Due to the perceived desirability of the location of Spruce St. and Pine St, and the mix of unit availability, along with ease of parking (be it rental or on-site), along with the feeling of being “in the mix” of being able to commute around town on foot, I do find that this segment of the market has fared pretty well.

Brownstone condo developments have gained in popularity and acceptance over the past decade, and are unique in their design, features, amenities, and “flair”, as very few are identical. Each building (converted from what was once a very large single family dwelling) is unique in its style and design. For instance, The lowrise brownstone known as Roberts Quay on the corner of 11th and Spruce offers units that are earmarked with high ceilings, original detail, unique floor plans, and holds stunning curb appeal for those looking in the area. Also, since many of these buildings lack a doorman, or an elevator, we will find that condo fees for such units to be fairly minimal. The general absence of a swimming pool, and excessive common areas (grounds, parking lots, etc) also help keeps the monthly condo fees minimal.

Lastly, the proximity to University of Pennsylvania, as well as Jefferson Medical College provides a “built-in” resale market for these Philadelphia condos. As most units along the Spruce/Pine corridor average 1000 sq ft or less, they do seem to be popular with the above mentioned buying set. Though the boundaries of the Spruce/Pine corridor do extend to streets such as Locust, Lombard, and South, and the numbered streets that run between this corridor, the popularity and familiarity of such areas make Spruce and Pine Streets condominiums a fairly sound investment in the minds of many Philadelphia condo buyers.

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

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December 2, 2008

Condos in Graduate Hospital Area~19146

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:18 pm

As the Graduate Hospital area continues to grow and develop, one of the improvements a buyer might find is the addition of certain condominium developments in the area.

I would suggest that the most significant addition would be Toll Brothers development of Naval Square. A variety of condos and townhouse styled condominiums, set on approximately 8 acres, this gated community offers parking, a tax abatement, and a lot of green, open space- a rarity here in Center City Philadelphia. The Graduate Hospital area, defined by the boundaries of Broad to 26th Street, South St. to Washington Avenue, has also seen a wide influx of low rise/brownstone condo developments. Many unique opportunities exist for condo buying in the area, as many developers have built from the ground-up, on what had been vacant parcels strewn out around the 19146 zip code. Most buyers will find that the Graduate Hospital area does offer a lot for the money, and the proximity to Penn, 30th Street Station, and Rittenhouse Square are all advantages that the neighborhood offers.

                                       
Naval Square

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

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November 25, 2008

Fitler Square Condominiums

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:21 pm

Condominiums in the Fitler Square area of Center City Philadelphia range from the loft building (251 S. 24th,  Locust Point), to high rise full-service buildings such as 2301 Cherry St. (River’s Edge) low rise converted brownstone style of living (2217-19 Delancey Street). Each building has its own style and offerings, and each different as night and day.

I find a lot of buyers ask for the Fitler Square area by name. Perhaps med students attending Penn, or many Rittenhouse Square area office workers, Fitler Square seems to suit a wide variety of tastes for condominium living. Here is one example of the types of condo living found in the Fitler Square Area:

Locust Point Condos

 

Fitlers Walk, at 24th and Locust Streets, offers a wide variety of condo styles, underground parking, a tranquil courtyard setting. From small one-bedroom units to very large townhouse style units. Great proximity to Penn, 30th Street Station, and University City. The new Schuylkill River Trail is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. To learn more about Fitler Square condos,  give me a call, and let’s talk about the options that exist in the area!

Mark Wade

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

 

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November 18, 2008

The Hopkinson House Condominiums – 604-36 S. Washington Square

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:35 pm

The Hopkinson House

A wonderful high rise located directly on Washington Square! A wide variety of sized units…from studios to a few large three bedroom units can be found in this Society Hill condo building. Rooftop pool, and underground on-site rental parking is available. Many of the condominiums in the building have balconies….either sun drenched south facing, or have a beautiful Washington Square View. A small convenience store is located on the first floor, along with laundry facilities in the basement, and a parking garage available for rent (when available). Hopkinson House was built in 1963 by renowned architect Oskar Stonorov of Stonorov and Haws and was built on the site of the First Presbyterian Church in the Society Hill section of Center City Philadelphia. All units at Hopkinson House are flats, and this Philadelphia condominium building houses studios, one and two bedroom units. The proper address is 604-36 S. Washington Square, and is located within the 19106 zip code. Known as a great value in Philly condos, the Hop House is wonderfully located directly on Washington Square. You can see more information by visiting my website, www.CenterCityCondos.com.

 

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

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