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November 6, 2017

Common Home Inspection Issues That I See in Philadelphia Lofts and Condos Every Week….

Filed under: For Sellers,General Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:34 pm

So, you have decided to load up the truck and move to ‘beverly, eh? Please know that before you go, you are probably going to get busted by your buyer’s home inspector for a number of issues. Here are the most common issues that I see sellers neglect when they sell their Philly condo:

1)  Your air filter to your heating and air conditioning system needs replacing. It is old…super old…and has been restricting flow to your HVAC system, or it is improperly sized, or even non-existent. I see this ALL the time. Go to the Home Depot, and spend the $25 to remedy this….Now.

 


2) There is a missing TPRV on your hot water tank. This is another “under $25” fix. Again, go to Home Depot, and look in the plumbing section for a Temperature Pressure Relief Valve. Simply put, it is an “L” shaped thick metal pipe that measures about 1’ by 4’ and directs hot water down and away from anyone standing nearby, should the pressure relief valve open on its own.

 

       

 3) There are double taps, and under/oversized breakers in your electrical panel box. I don’t really know what that means. I do know that it means you should call an electrician and have your electrical system looked over and remedied. Again, happens in a good percentage of the past 2000+ home inspections I have seen in my career.

4) Missing grout, or worn grout, and /or caulk in the shower and tub. Another $20 fix in most cases. This is preventive maintenance stuff here, and you will get called on it, if applicable.


5) Water stains on your ceiling. You need to fix the cause of the leak- and more often than not in Philadelphia condos, it is caused from a leaking bathroom above (should you NOT be living on the top floor, perhaps).

Now clearly, there is a possibility that none of these issues apply to you, but I would have to say that these are the most common issues cited by home inspectors in the 29 years I have been selling condos in Philadelphia.

So, when you are ready to add your condo “Just Listed” site, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com.  We can talk about the possibility of some of these issues before the home inspection takes place, this way your potential buyer won’t nag you with the small stuff!

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

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October 1, 2009

Does your Center City Philadelphia Garden Suck?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:10 pm

…yeah well, they all do.

Container gardens are very popular with city dwellers- though rarely do I see a small private outside area and witness plants thriving. It is like a death sentence for any plant that gets purchased by anyone who resides within the confines of Center City. So here are my suggestions for those looking to buy garden plants that basically “thrive on neglect”
 
Tall Plants- Good Sun           Tall Plants-Shade
                          
Bamboo                                 Feather Reed Gras 
 
Small Flowers- Full Sun         Big Flowers-Shade
            
Moss Rose                              Salvia                      
 
 
So if killing plants is your “thing”, Try these goof-proof plants that can thrive on neglect,
and you may have one of the prettiest gardens in Center City Philadlephia!

Is gardening a priority for your move into Center City? Lets chat about how we can find you a place with some nearby “Greenery”.

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

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September 29, 2009

Philadelphia Real Estate for Empty Nesters

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:12 am

…and their priorities

I certainly don’t want to stereotype any particular set of buyers, but it has been my experience that each set or group of buyers assign different values to amenities in Philadelphia lofts and condominiums. From first time buyers to empty nesters, each comes with their own set of wants, needs, and priorities. Here are what I believe to be common amongst the empty nester set:

-Very few stairs
-Very little maintenance
-Parking
-Pet friendly buildlings
-Closet space
-Walking Distance to shopping, dining, and cultural activities
     
 
While such niceties as a high floor with great views, hardwood flooring in bedrooms, and exposed brick may be a plus, I see fewer empty nesters in Philly willing to pay for such features. Again, I apologize if I am pidgeon-holing any group of buyers, it has just been my experience that different groups of buyers gravitate towards different amenities – some weighted with a higher value than others, of course.

 

Lets discover your priorities in Philly Real Estate!

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

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September 26, 2009

Do I look like an idiot?

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 @ 4:08 pm

…ok, don’t answer that…and no, thats not a photo of me.
 
Top 5 things I can’t get Philadelphia Loft and Condo buyers to believe:

1) It is OK to paint exposed brick
2) Carpeting is OK in your bedroom
3) There is no difference in value between say the 33rd floor, and the 34th floor
4) A super clean older kitchen will sell just as well as a stainless steel, dirty kitchen
5) You will never recoup the costs of a new heater and new central air conditioning system
 
Don’t believe me? Well, get in line. Most don’t. But it is not like I am employed by the “Painted exposed brick” lobbists, or anything. I am just telling you what I know from my 20 years experience selling Philly real estate.

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

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September 17, 2009

What is hanging off the front of my Philadelphia Brownstone Condo Building?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:59 am


It is called a Busy-Body

Like an early form of caller ID, Ben Franklin invented this interestingly simple device called a busy-body. Attached to a 2nd floor exterior windows sill, this device allows you to stand inside your home, and see who is at your front door, without that guest or visitor know that he is being watched. So if someone is knocking at the front door of your Philadelphia Brownstone, perhaps selling sweepers, or magazine subscriptions, you may see who it is, and choose not to answer. All the while, the person knocking will have no idea that he or she has been seen. The set of 3 mirrors is angled so the image of your front door stoop is reflected directly into a window on the 2nd floor. Again, so you can see who it at your door, without having to answer your door. That Benjamin Franklin was one smart guy!

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

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September 15, 2009

Want to buy a Philly Condo known as an OPPOC?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:04 am


(An Over Priced Piece Of Crap)
 
Step right up, and get in line, because I see buyers shelling out good money for them all the time. Although, since they are not “my” buyers, I have no right to step in and tell them what I think. Well, that ain’t going to be the case if you happen to contact me, and we decide to go condo shopping. You are going to get full-on honesty.

Snarky, yes. Honest- you betcha.

I have to be bloody honest and truthful if I see you dangling over the edge of a cliff. Perhaps I am too much of a big-brain, or I have too many opinions. Or maybe I just know what the heck I am doing when it comes to Philly Real Estate, and don’t want to see you buy in a building that I believe is a poor investment.

Whatever the case, if you don’t like me, then fire me, or don’t return my phone calls. But I am going to be a loud mouth, and that is just my style.

Though I can’t control the overall Philadelphia loft and condo market, I can hopefully help you avoid some of the pitfalls that I see buyers fall into. That is my goal. To keep you as clean as possible!
Drop me a note if you want to chat sometime…

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

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September 8, 2009

High Rise = Higher Condo Fees

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:27 pm

…than a low rise loft or brownstone styled condo 

It makes sense if you think about it. A high rise condo is generally going to have higher condo fees than a Brownstone styled or low rise condo development. All in all, the more services, the higher the condo fees.

An elevator is a factor which is going to raise your condo fees. Not only the electric to run the lift, but also the budgeted maintenance is a shared expense that must be accounted for. In addition, many highrise condos in Philly have doormen. I know of no doorman who will work for free. In addition to the payroll, you need to consider the payroll taxes and benefits offered to such employees. Lastly, many high rise condos in Center City have amenities like a parking garage, perhaps a pool, or exterior grounds that need to be maintained.

And on the whole, the larger the building (the taller), the more amenities, and hence larger condo fees.

YOU GO GET THE SERVICES YOU PAY FOR…but some buyers choose no, or few services for their Philadelphia condo. You desire to have a doorman, or the high rise style of living is going to determine your need to pay condo fees to maintain those common services to the building.

Not sure which style of Center City Condo building you might prefer? Call me…lets talk-no pressure.

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

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September 2, 2009

Shopping for a Philadelphia Condominium?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:06 pm

…then you need to get with the program.

 

I recall my parents looking for a new home when I was in grade school. The event was heralded around the dinner table in much the same way as the other big news of the day- “Man Walks on Moon”. We couldn’t wait for the Sunday paper to arrive, so dad could get out his red magic-marker and circle the homes that sounded like a good fit for our growing family.

3bd/2ba with gdn and pkg, Lg LR…. $49,900 – yeah, circle that one.

Todays buyers are much more savvy, and they tend to plan ahead. They use the internet to learn about available Philly condos, and know a lot about certain projects prior to their arrival. Schools, police districts, and highlights of various neighborhoods can all be found on-line. Also, learning the difference between a low rise (loft or brownstone) styled condo, and a high rise condominium can be very helpful as we get starting condo shopping.
    
AN EDUCATED CONSUMER IS A GOOD CONSUMER. So learn as much as you can prior to meeting up with me. Get to know your areas, buildings, and what you value and don’t value in a Philadelphia condo. Use the internet as a screening and learning process, and hopefully, with our combined knowledge, we can find you the perfect condo in Philly!

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

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August 21, 2009

So you think you are getting a good mortgage rate?

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:34 pm

…what about the fees??

So, you found a mortgage company…say, “Joe Bag O’ Donuts Mortgage Company” on the internet, and they are offering you a rate .25% LESS than what you can find with perhaps someone who might appear to be more reputable, or well known. Congrats. But did get that mortgage persons FEES in writing??????? You better! Low teaser rates are often accompanied by some of the dumbest fees I have ever seen…I am not making these up, and I have seen some of these attached by a lender on many condos in Philly (PAID BY THE BORROWER)-

Origination points
Discount points
Application Fee
Inspection Fee
Final Inspection Fee
E-mail Fees
Flood Certification Fee
Warehouse Admin Fee
Subordination Agreement Fee
Require Fee
Processing Fee
Administration Fee
Settlement/Closing Fee
Commitment Fee
Tax Service Fee
Reinspection Fee
Attorney Fees
Document Preparation Fees
Mortgage Insurance Premium
VA Funding Fee
 
Moral of the story- If the rate looks too good to be true….it may well be. Don’t be a goof. Get interest rate quotes AND fees in writing before submitting a mortgage application.       

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

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August 19, 2009

HomExpert Market Watch Report – Greater Philadelphia Region

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:46 pm

We received this useful bit of information here in Center City Philadelphia this month from Prudential Fox and Roach’s Research Division. The numbers indicate that Philadelphia sellers need to be very cautious when pricing their homes andcondos for sale in the current market and they may experience somewhat longer than expected marketing time. Month’s supply of inventory refers to how many months it would take to sell the inventory (homes for sale) based on the rate of sales (homes sold).

Month’s Supply of Inventory by Price Range, July 2007-July 2009:

Price Range                 July 2007          July 2008          July 2009          % Change 07-09

All Price Points                7.3                     9.4                    9.8                     34.4

$1,000,000+                    23.7                    26.9                 43.4                    83.6 

$1,000,000-$750,000       12.4                    17.2                 24.2                    95.1 

$750,000-$500,000            9.3                     12.4                18.0                    92.9 

$500,000-$300,000           7.9                     10.1                  12.0                   51.6 

$300,000-0                       6.5                     8.6                     8.1                   25.5  
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Philadelphia Buyers on the other hand, have a larger inventory from which to select their home and interest rates remain at a very low, affordable level. First time home buyers also have until November 30 to take advantage of the $8000 tax credit.

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 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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