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January 28, 2011

Exposed Brick Option in Philly Lofts

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 @ 12:40 pm

Usually accented by very large windows and high ceilings, exposed brick walls bring casual comfort to many Old City lofts and other Center City Condominiums. But the look of those walls need not stay the same again and again.

One option is to varnish, or apply polyurethane to the brick, which controls the brick dust accumulation, and gives the brick a bit of a shine, sort of similar to shiny hardwood flooring.

Another choice, which I personally prefer, is to painted the brick. Though I can rarely convince others to paint their exposed brick, some of the coolest and most hip looks are achieved by painting interior exposed brick finishes.

36 N Front Street-17

Of course, once you paint an exposed brick wall, you are kinda’ stuck with the look, unless you go and have the walls sandblasted. Not a process I would wish upon my worst enemy! Messy, to say the very least.

Looking for a cool and hip condo? Let’s take a look at some units together? Maybe a Fitler Square Condo? Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or email me 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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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!

phil-oldcitynight

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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December 10, 2009

Are you the reason your Center City Condo isn’t selling?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:53 am

… I have met more than one seller who was his own worst enemy.  🙂

In a town where only about 30%-40% of the condos that come on the market, actually sell, I need all the help I can get when it comes to selling your Old City Condo, or your Rittenhouse Square high rise unit. If condos just sold themselves, you would find me singing and dancing in the middle of Broad St. every day around lunch time. I do my best to employ every business and technological advantage to selling your condo, but if you are a giant DOLT, then you are going to make my job a lot more difficult.  Now I don’t mean to be a bully here, and I am saying this kinda’ tongue in cheek. But sometimes, a seller can really get in the way of his or her Fitler Square condominium from obtaining an acceptable offer. Here is just a quick rundown of things no seller should be found guilty of doing:
 
Being present for an Open House. Not cleaning your home, or making your bed daily. Not putting all the crap in your walk-in closet into a storage bin. Talking to a buyer excessively if and when showing your own home. (…like extolling the virtues of your new mauve carpeting).  Oh, and allowing your tenants to dictate if and when your condo can be shown.  And my personal favorite, insisting that your condo is worth more than any other proven similar area sale. I like that one the best. 
 
When it comes to pricing, you are going to have to be negotiable. I can scarcely remember a time when a seller actually got everything they wanted in a given offer. Mostly the disappointment is reflected in a sale price, but can assume the role of an inconvenient settlement date, having unwanted contingencies gum up a deal, what-have-you. Suck it up. We all have to. I am sorry. I wish I could make those issues disappear, but they are part and parcel when selling a condo in Philly
 
I tell ALL my buyers that I can get them 9/10 things on their wish list. I can never get them 10/10. The same goes for sellers. That is just a fact of life here in the big city.
 
Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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December 8, 2009

Excuse me, Mr. or Mrs. Lazy Realtor

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:57 am

Is it wrong of me to expect some effort on your part, or Am I some kinda’ goof?


 
    
Here is an open letter to a small fraction of the realtors in the world. Most are indeed professional and responsible. This letter is to those who are not.
 
You say the Philadelphia Condo market is brutal, and you complain about your lack of income. Well guess what? It isn’t just the market working against you. You are working against yourself.  For Instance… You don’t own a lockbox , you won’t return my call, and your cell phone is not set up to accept messages, and my buyers really want to see your listing.  You make it exceedingly difficult to show your listings. And I ask-Are you outta your mind? I mean, isn ‘t your fiduciary responsibility to work in the best interest of your seller? How do you not see that YOU are the reason that your particular listing isn’t perhaps selling, or at least getting the traffic it deserves?

I know, I should get off my high horse, and stop expecting you to do your job. I should have my head examined for guessing that you are interested in your job enough  to actually perform it with the least bit of effort.  Oh, and you gave me the wrong alarm code, didn’t mention the owners had a big mean dog inside their Center City Penthouse, and that perhaps the tenants were the angry sort. You said the property was open to FHA financing, which it clearly isn’t, and in your ad, you said parking was included. Now you want $35k for that spot?

I do my best to extol the virtues of professionalism when it comes to dealing with buyers and sellers. I am no saint, but am I wrong to expect some sort of proper behavior on the part of cooperating realtors?

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

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December 4, 2009

Philadelphia Penthouses

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:43 pm

As you can see from my Philadelphia condo site, www.CenterCityCondos.com, there are a variety of Penthouse units to choose from here in Center City. The sky is the limit- pun inteneded, the the priciest condo in town is listed at $30,000,000. Call me if you hit the lotto numbers in the near future! 🙂
    
There is also currently a corportate owned Penthouse condo in town, with over 3600 sq. ft, and a huge veranda asking just over $1,000,000 (down from something like $2.9m) And of course for perhaps you, I, and the masses, there are more modest offerings sprinkled throughout Old City, Rittenhouse Square, and Society Hill in the mid $500,000 range. If you are willing to go a little harder edge, perhaps a “hard” loft, top floor condo with a roof deck can fetch a few hundred thousand, though rare indeed.
    
Philadelphia really has an amazing assortment of Penthouse condos in almost every neighborhood. From the mansions in the sky, to the studio and one bedroom, and everything in between. Pre-War, Modern, New Construction, Water Front, to warehouse conversions with spacious roofdeck.

Philly has it’s share of interesting inventory for the Penthouse set.

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

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December 1, 2009

The Roach Hotel

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:56 pm

Building Prestige doesn’t always insure the absence of pests.
 
I was showing a million dollar condo the other day in one of Philadelphia’s more prestigious condo buildings, and there was a huge dead cockroach laying on its back, dead, in the middle of the living room. Ick. Needless to say, I was shocked. My buyers weren’t singing and dancing in the middle of the street after this revelation either.

Though the building is “High-end”, and  is very well managed, it really came as a surprise. Who would have thought? And a mouse on the 21st floor of a new construction high rise building? More prevalent than you might think. 

If the absence of pests is high on your priority list, you might want to take a few precautionary measures. First, make sure the “door sweep” attached to the bottom of your condo unit door fits snug to the ground. If you can see a gap between the bottom of your unit door, and the floor, you are going to invite critters in from the common areas.

Also, you may want to pull your appliances out, and have a handy-person spray some “expanding foam” in the areas where the gas line, water lines, or electric lines come into your unit.  If you live in an older, pre-war Center City Condo building, make sure gaps between baseboards and floors are tight, and fill any holes in between floorboards. If all else fails, get a cat! 🙂

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

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November 24, 2009

How Times Have Changed…And How They Haven’t

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:48 am

I came across one of my old Philadelphia Real Estate advertisements…you know from back when we used to walk uphill in the snow with holes in our shoes and we didn’t rely on email and text messaging to survive…I thought you might like to check it out! Click here.

Don’t you miss that Caps Lock typewriter print?  Not to mention those sales prices? All these years later, I still love the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia and we still love to list and sell homes and condominiums there! 

Interested in taking a look at some Bella Vista, Rittenhouse Square, Old City, or Society Hill properties? Give me a call or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com. Obviously, I have been doing this long enough!

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

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November 11, 2009

5 of the dumbest things I have heard in Real Estate (and It was I who uttered # 4)

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:35 pm

1) Maybe some rich person from NYC will buy it (yeah-and maybe a cow will jump over the moon….)

2) Does this Philadelphia condo building have condo fees? (Oh no…the doorman/common hallway lights work for free)

3) Are there ghosts in this loft? (Well hold on, and let me call someone and ask)

4) The sellers are moving because they really hate this house (too much disclosure?)

5) The views are very urban in nature (livingroom overlooked a dumpster, bedroom faced a brick wall)

Bonus: What will this piece of Philly real estate be worth in five years? (As it happens, I carry a crystal ball with me at all times)
 
Realtors are not the only folks guilty of putting their foot in their mouths, it is just that I seemed to be in their company a lot, and have first hand knowledge of some of the absurdities that are said.

If you are looking to weed out some of the BS, give me a call. Perhaps I can help. Again, I’m not perfect, but I may be perfect for you.

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

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November 3, 2009

Nuisance Requests Can Pollute Your Offer

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:15 pm

Consider This Scenario:

You make an offer on a great Philadelphia condo. You are pre-approved, you are putting 20% down, your ducks are in a row, and you are presenting a clean offer. No goofy contingencies in sight. All normal and standard- mortgage, home contingency, etc. Then you ask the seller (who has already packed up, and moved to the other side of nowhere, perhaps), and you request that the seller power wash the stucco in the patio area. 

I would suggest that asking the seller to spend $175 is not necessarily a bad idea, but asking him to do something that is clearly a nuisance to him can really emotionally cripple your offer.  Remember, it is not only the sale price that determines a sellers Openness to your offer. Terms and conditions play a huge part. The easier you can make it on a seller, the bigger the impact of your offer may be.
 
Nuisance requests come in all forms. My suggestion is that you keep the offer as clean and easy on the seller as possible. Reduce your offer by $175 (shy of what would be your “highest and best offer”) and make it easy on the seller. Like you, he is probably worried, burdened, and has a million things on his mind. And you making a deal clean and easy may benefit you well beyond that $175.
 
Suck it up, and make it a clean deal. Your offer may be contingent upon it, especially if you are in a mulitple offer situation!
 
Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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October 29, 2009

You Claim your building is 70% Sold

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:44 am

…and I claim that you have a problem telling the truth.

 

So there I was last night at some little gathering of well heeled city folk, many of whom are “In the Know”, along with a few hanger-on’ers, and me. And someone that knows who I am drops a BOMB- a certain new construction condo building in town is 44% sold. Oh how I love a good story. Especially when it appears to be true, and contrary to what the PR machines have been putting out. I understand the motive. Every new Philadelphia real estate condo building loves to put on a good show, and appear to be a success. I get it. But don’t you, Mr. Sales Staff for any given new condo building, feel any sense of remorse or regret when you convince a buyer to buy in your building, under false sales stat quotes? I certainly would.
    
Philly condo buyers should not believe everything they hear. Especially from developers sales staff who claim that their buildings have this much, or that percentage sold. The numbers are secretive, not displayed in the MLS, or in government records, and sometimes the numbers are bogus. And what recourse might you have? I would suggest very little. When you walk into any new construction condo building, without a buyers representative (aka- me) with you, you possibly are going to get one side of the story.
     
Many new condo developments have a policy and it reads- “Agents must accompany on buyers FIRST visit”….or,  they (that sales staff) will not allow me to come in with you visit #2, or anytime thereafter. I personally feel this policy is bullshit. If you visit a building, then meet me, I cannot be your agent for THAT building.
    
So wise up here folks. IF you want buyer representation…see me first. Then let’s go visit some Center City new construction high rise buildings. Because if that building is spewing BULLSHIT, I am going to tell you. And again, I am kinda’ “In the know”…..

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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