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March 24, 2009

Old City – Once referred to as the Warehouse District

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 6:22 pm

Old City Philadelphia, or Olde City Philadelphia….either way, the neighborhood once blighted with unattractive and massive warehouses, is now the place to be for many searching for a hip and groovy condos in Philly. Once referred to as the “Warehouse district”, Old City has become the hip urban neighborhood that is much in demand! Converted factories and lofts dominate the Old City condos set. Though few townhomes are located within the 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 condo projects 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 the past 16 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!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106
 
Listen to Mark describe condos in Old City in a podcast
Read a blog entry about Old City lofts in Philadelphia
See video of an Old City condo that aired on HGTV!

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January 6, 2009

Just Listed! Gorgeous Townhouse with Lovely Landscaping

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:21 pm

Some real estate looks good on paper, but not always in person.

And no, this is not a new listing of mine. And yes, that is a swinging couch.

Looking for a Philadelphia realtor who will “Call them as he sees them?” Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com, and let’s see all that Center City Philadelphia 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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October 9, 2008

Center City Condos STILL Keep Their Head Above the Water

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:59 pm

We have talked about this before and the topic keeps us happy here in Philadelphia, so here we are talking about it again. Amidst a year filled with housing turmoil, from foreclosures to listings that sit on the market for over 200 days with no end in sight despite ANOTHER price reduction, here in Center City Philadelphia, condominiums are still selling. Sure, the market here has softened, there is no doubt about it, but compared to our Suburbian friends around the country, our head is still holding above the water and with no intention of sinking.

I came across this great article from the Philadelphia Inquirer from the summer titled Center City Condos Thriving. Many of my colleagues are quoted throughout the article and at the bottom you can read some statistics from many buildings in which I’ve sold a condo or 2 (or many) myself, including The Winne Building, in which I currently have several lisings.

 

Before we know it, the 2009 Spring market will be in gear and things here in Center City Philadelphia will really start to pick up again. If you are interested in an appreciating long term investment, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com to set up an appointment and let’s go condo shopping (my favorite thing to do) together!

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

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August 21, 2008

10 Rittenhouse Square – Philadelphia’s Ultimate Address

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:51 pm

Seen rising above the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the north side of “The Square” is the new premier Rittenhouse Square condominium project, 10 Rittenhouse.

ARC Wheeler, the developer of 10 Rittenhouse in Center City, is saving the historical façade of the old Rittenhouse Club, and the new five-story structure will have three mega-condos. In a nod to preservation, the building will incorporate three landmark structures while adding a new 33-story red-brick and limestone tower behind them.

Ten Rittenhouse Square is a $300 million luxury condo tower under development in Center City Philadelphia whose residential tower will have street frontage on the 1800 block of Walnut Street, South 18th Street and the 1800 block of Sansom Street. According to the website, 10 Rittenhouse will feature:

• One Bedrooms from $714,000 – $856,000
• Two Bedrooms from $1,300,000 – $3,400,000
• Three Bedrooms from $1,900,000 – $4,500,000

In addition there will be six 10,000-square-foot penthouses priced near the $12,000,000 mark.
Needless to say, 10 Rittenhouse will be the paragon of luxury high rise living here in Philadelphia. With Miele and Sub-Zero kitchen appliances and marble baths with BainUltra tubs. Ceiling heights from 8.5′ to 12.5′ accompany window walls, spacious private balconies, terraces and Juliet  windows (in some homes). Building amenities include a garage, concierge service, a restaurant, a pool, spa and fitness center and a shared roof garden.

Barneys Co-op – a part of the high-end New York City department store Barneys will occupy the  first two floors, totaling 10,000 square feet. The Center City’s hip-ometer has officially begun registering some activity.

Barney’s AND living at 10 Rittenhouse?! That is a dream made in heaven.

Interested in living the dream? Contact Mark Wade at Prudential Fox and Roach realtors and lets investigate the possibilities!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106
267.237.3404 (That is my cell phone. And this is the first and only time you will see my personal cell phone number listed on a blog entry. THAT is how serious I am about loving this project.)

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August 14, 2008

What is a Mortgage “Point”?

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:59 pm

Very simply put, a point is equal to one percent of the mortgage amount of your loan for your Philadelphia condo or flat- be it a Rittenhouse Square condominium, or a Society Hill loft. Points are not mandatory, in most cases, and are offered by a bank in return for a lowering of your interest rate.

Let’s say you buy a $550,000 condo in Philadelphia. You are going put 5% down, so your mortgage amount is $500,000. Here is how points work:

You pay 1 point (payable to the lender), which costs you $5,000 and your interest rate is 6%
You pay 2 points, which will cost you $10,000, and your interest rate is 5.75%

Now, if you monthly mortgage payment is going to drop (say) $100 a month BECAUSE you paid a point, it will take you 50 months to recoup that $5000 investment in that one point.

You save $100 a month, and paid $5000 for that honor. Hence 50 months to recoup.

So it begs the question, are you SURE you are going to live in this Rittenhouse Square condo for over four years? Because if you are not sure how long you are going to stay put, it may not be in your best interest to pay that point. I have been a realtor in Philadelphia for almost twenty years now, and I sell a lot of condos in Center City. I don’t see a lot of folks staying put for more than four years. They get a dog, a family, a lawnmower, a promotion, a transfer, and they are off to bigger and better pastures. Empty nesters would be the exception to this general rule.

So there you have it…..for more information, check out my website www.CenterCityCondos.com and click the Vendor Menu button for mortgage solicitors who can explain more about financing a wide variety of condos in Philadelphia.

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

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July 31, 2008

Shut Up and Give me some feedback (pretty please)!

Filed under: General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:04 pm

As the owner and operator of www.CenterCityCondos.com, I am always appreciative when someone comes to me with feedback about my site. Nine times out of ten, someone is saying nice things.

But I wonder how many people leave my site, with a bitter review that perhaps they are not sharing with me. With the help of my website designers, I came up with the ideas for the layout, menu, and content. I have added a blog and a place to listen to my podcasts. But what if a lot of what I am doing, truly sucks…and I don’t know it?!

 

That is where I would like EVERYONE to know that I am open to criticism. If there is something that you think could be improved, refined, added, deleted, fixed, shortened, sweetened, or altogether altered, won’t you please drop me a note, and let me know?

I average over 5000 visits to my site per month, and the average length of each visit exceeds 4 minutes! And there is just no way everyone is leaving happy and fulfilled…

If you like, take a minute, and let me know what you think. Believe it or not, the more feedback I get, the more I want to do my corny “happy dance”…


 
Thanks so much for your continued support!

Mark Wade 
www.CenterCityCondos.com 
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. Suite 260 Philadelphia, Pa. 19106

 

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July 17, 2008

All Nosey Neighbors are Welcome to visit my Center City Open Houses

Filed under: General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:32 pm

To all the Philadelphia Open House Junkies: You are indeed welcome to visit my open house. I don’t care. Really…the more the merrier. And I promise not to hound you, ask for your name, your number, you place of birth, etc etc. I will not call you the next day to “follow up’, and I will not stalk you, at some later date, to see if you want to sell your condo.

I sometimes get bored sitting waiting for the next potential buyer to walk in the door of any given open house, and fall madly in love (with the condo I am sitting).  So feel free to come over, sign in under a ficticious name (Yoko Ono?) and have a look around. Just a few things I ask of you:

1) If you see me talking to a “real buyer”, please do not interrupt

2) Excuse yourself from our little chat if you see other buyers come through the door. Remember, I am at work

3) Do not voice negative comments about the home in which you are visiting

And that is about it. I too love to visit open houses, always have, and always will I guess. Perhaps it is in the genes. Maybe I am just nosey, and I love to see how other people live. So if you are like me, you are welcome as a guest into my open house and I hope to see you knocking at the door to one my many new condos in Philadelphia that has just been listed!

Our Open Houses for this Sunday July 20 are:

753 Marvine                  11 N. 2nd #102        1010 Race PHH        104 Market #201

11:30AM-1PM               Noon-1 PM                 1:30PM-2:30PM        Noon-1PM

We hope to see you there!!!

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

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July 3, 2008

What to expect on our final walk-through of your new Philadelphia Condominium

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:00 pm

So it is settlement day (aka-the day I told you to take off from work) and we are meeting at your new groovy Old City loft, or Rittenhouse Square condominium to do our final walk-through.  I have found condos in Philadelphia left in a variety of stages of transition, from total hell-holes, to gorgeously clean condos with a bottle of Champagne in the refrigerator, and everything in between.

Per the terms of the agreement of sale, the condo should be left in broom-swept clean condition, normal wear and tear accepted. Now, how do we interpret that? I usually tell buyers not to expect that the home has been professionally cleaned, rather just “broom-swept clean, free of debris”. There should be no college fraternity house communal sofa left in the guest bedroom, nor should the seller’s old computer boxes and broken bicycle be left in the storage bin in the basement.

If you notice that the stove hasn’t been cleaned, or the shower stall full of grime, well…uh, know that there is no extra charge for these. The grime transfers with title :). Don’t expect the world from any given seller, just some honesty and good faith. And to all you sellers out there in internet land…no one needs your crap or your garbage. Take it with you….and if you want to donate furniture…call Uhuru at 12th and Spruce Street, who will take donations. And your future buyer is not interested in a closet full of wire clothes hangers either.

So a little forgiveness can go a long way to a happy, smooth day. Don’t expect to be able to eat off the kitchen floor, but garbage and other old belongings need not be present either.

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

 

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June 24, 2008

What is the Value of your New Philadelphia Condominium?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:41 am

Or perhaps I should ask, what is the assessed value, in the eyes of the City? Do these differ from a valuation or BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion)? How would a buyer know how to sort out the difference, or do these numbers really even matter?

(Your New Condo as Seen by You!)

When you buy your Philly condo, and place a mortgage upon the property, the bank is going to send out an appraiser to assess the value of the Rittenhouse Square condo, or the Old City loft you have just put “under agreement”.  I have always believed that an appraisal is a yes or no question….can an appraised value meet the sales price? If you answer is yes (which it does 99.9% of the time, then the property is appraised at sale price. I don’t think any bank expects more of an in-depth analysis of the value, beyond the “does it meet sale price?” value. An appraisal is a not really, in my opinion, a valuation. A valuation is a determination of value. What will the property sell for on the open market? After all, the true measure of a properties worth, is defined by what someone is willing to pay for it.

(Your New Condo as Seen by Your Appraiser!)

Assessed value, a number the city pulls out of a hat, is used to determine your property taxes. I actually don’t know if the city uses the old hat method of calculating tax bills, but the incongruence I see in the tax rates on real property certainly do lend some credibility to the idea.  I try to coach buyers on the variations in all the values that different parties can attach to the same property. The truth is, the property is worth what you are willing to pay for it, depending upon your knowledge, your realtor’s expertise, and market conditions, just to name a few factors.

(Your New Condo as Seen by Your Tax Assessor!)

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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