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February 3, 2012

Top Signs You are Possibly Dealing with a Desperate Seller:

Filed under: For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:33 pm

1) You see that the condo is vacant, and the front desk tells you they moved
over a year ago.

2) You Google the sellers, and You see that they own multiple properties,
and all of them are for sale.

3) You search the history (in the MLS) of that listing, and see the seller is on
their third listing agent.

4) You walk into the condo, it is vacant, the appliances are gone, and it looks
like the seller left in the middle of the night.

5) You read some unique language in the MLS listing about “seller makes no
warranties”, or “ corporate addendum must accompany…” usually means
corporate owned- aka REO.

These are all possible signs that the condo is ripe for an insulting offer.

Good Luck!

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

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October 24, 2011

Philadelphia Condo Sales – Crappy Sales Pitches And Outright Lies

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:04 pm

Snarky, yes- But I truly am not a bitter Philadelphia Real Estate agent. Most would agree that I am kinda’ happy go lucky. Except when another agent pees on my leg and tries to tell me it is raining outside. Then I get kinda’ angry. I am not a fan of someone lying, or trying to twist the truth to my clients. And I have listened to my share of crappy real estate sale pitches over the past 23 years, but here are some of the more memorable:

1) “The cabinetry is A Wenge Dutch Maple laminate with a caramelized soapstone countertop”
To Which I respond: PUKE. Could you be more pretentious? Nobody gives a crap for all your
namedropping. The kitchen is small, not real attractive (some would say ugly)…no matter how much fabulousness you try to heap on it.

2) “We are 60% sold”
To which I respond …perhaps you have trouble telling the truth- I know you are lying, and you should know that I am going to tell my customers. I am not on “your” side. I work for my clients.

3) “The Developer said we will not negotiate on the prices”
Tell me if that is the case in 6 months when your bank is putting pressure on you to hold an auction. Actually, in some rare cases, this is true. More often than not, it is BS. I recently got
this song and dance from a high rise in 19103. The one that isn’t selling.

4) “I have a buyer for your condo!!”
I hate it when Realtors send these fake postcards to potential  sellers….trying to induce them to sell/list with whoever is sending the mailer. More often than not, this just a sales pitch.

5) “This condo includes parking”
No it doesn’t. You have induced your seller to buy one year of rental parking down the street, but you want to advertise that your condo has parking- hoping it will draw more attention. That is like lying to your therapist, or saying on eharmony that you are 29 when you are 48.
Do you think the world is full of idiots?- I mean, what is the point of lying here?

Looking for the straight scoop? Let me by your agent and I will sing like a canary! 🙂

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors

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September 23, 2011

HUGE Lack of Philadelphia Condo Inventory in Specific Market Segments

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:52 am

So we hear all the time about the glut of condos on the market. But that is not always true in specific segments of the Philadelphia condo market. For instance, if we look at four very popular existing condo buildings here in downtown Philadelphia we see that the opposite is the case.

According to TrendMLS, on September 20, 2011 there are only three (3) active condominiums for sale in the following buildings:

-The Dorchester at 226 W. Rittenhouse Square

The Hopkinson House at 604 S. Washington Square

-Independence Place (Buildings I AND II) at 233 and 241 S. 6th St.

-The Wanamaker House at 2020 Walnut St.

So out of nearly 2000 possible available units, there are 3 units for sale. Go figure.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Mark@CenterCity.com
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors

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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.

1552751912_12f4785de2

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!

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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November 30, 2010

The Philadelphia Parking Authority

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:53 am

Whether you live or work here in Center City Philadelphia, you know all about The Parking Authority! Here is a short video about how to easily avoid them.

So from avoiding “No Parking” zones in front of the driveway of any given Center City Home, to making sure you do not exceed twenty minutes in the “loading zone” in front of that Philly Condo Building, you can greatly cut your chances of getting a ticket, or even worse, getting towed.

Watch your time in meter spots. The meter folks are only doing their jobs, so be nice to them. Always look out for temporary regulations and read the signs to make sure parking on any given street isn’t cut off after a certain time of day. For example, you can only park on the 600 block of Walnut Street until 3:30PM so they can clear the road for rush hour traffic, which does everyone a lot of good.  They will tow you if you are blocking the traffic!

Some streets offer free 2 hour parking, but if you don’t live in a Philly Loft or Home in that neighborhood (with a sticker on your window to prove it), you will be ticketed if you exceed the 2 hour limit OR if you try to sneak back to the same block later in the day. Your license plate number is in the system, so they have no idea if you left and came back. You get 2 hours free on each block each day if you are an out-of-towner! There are tons of lots in Center City if you need to stay longer.

Lastly, don’t park in a Handicap Spot if you don’t have a Handicap plate. It WILL cost you! Follow this simple advice, so you don’t end up featured on the next episode of Parking Wars!

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

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October 14, 2010

Penthouse Crack Dens

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:25 am

…very common here in Center City!

I have seen a number of Center City Penthouse condos, and the one thing many have in common beyond a fantastic view is the visual presence of fairly large crack in the walls and the ceilings. From The Condos at Society Hill Towers, to new construction pieces like WaterFront Square, the issue is more prevalent than one might think.
   
To an inexperienced observer, some of these cracks, if left unattended can look downright scary. Measuring up to an inch wide and running from ceiling onto an adjoining wall, it does beg the question “Why shouldn’t I be worried about such an issue”? Although these cracks in the drywall and perhaps plaster may look frightening, they do make sense as many tall high rise condominium buildings here in Center City are subject to high winds, and of course higher winds prevail at higher heights. And buildings do shift and bend a bit- plaster and drywall are rigid and fixed- and they only thing plaster and drywall can do when exposed to movement is to crack.
   
If you have concerns, you should certainly ask your home inspector for his two cents. Just know that the issue is widespread amongst high rise condos in Philadelphia and throughout the planet.

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

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October 7, 2010

Top 5 Most Wanted

Filed under: For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:08 pm

…qualities in a condo for those looking to downsize in Center City:

1) A walkable location to restaurants, the arts, and “things to do”

2) One Level Living

3) Parking

4) A safe neighborhood

5) A guest bedroom and a guest bathroom

Now certainly not all Center City condo buyers looking to downsize in a condo in town are created equal, nor do they all have the same wants and needs. But based upon my 21 years experience selling condos in Center City Philadelphia, I would have to suggest, if pressed, that the above 5 qualities in a condominium are heavily favored by a lot of folks moving to town.
Thinking of a move yourself? What are your priorities?

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

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September 21, 2010

Are you being too Ambitious with your Philly Condos purchase?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:13 pm

In order to NOT bite off more than you can chew, here are a few beginning steps for the first time buyer.

To begin, you should start by contacting a local mortgage professional, like Jason Griesser from Trident Mortgage. No need to see a variety of, say, Wanamaker House Condos if those condos are not within your budget. I think the next step is for you to do your homework, and get an idea of what $ 400,000 is going to get you in Society Hill, or maybe Old City.

Working with a good website like www.CenterCityCondos.com is a good start. Duh. Then call me, and lets chat about your REAL wants and needs. Lets see if we can keep your hopes and dreams within realistic terms.

No pressure-

Mark Wade
215.521.1523

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

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September 17, 2010

Are you…YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:18 pm

…in terms of buying Philly Condos?

OMG…I just did a deal in which the buyer of a Center City Condo was her own worst enemy in the deal. It was rather shocking….I thought 21 years experience would insure that I had seen it all- but this deal was a ball-buster. And I thought I was the crazy one in the bunch! 🙂 The buyer just kept creating problems….for issues that were remote, and minuscule. After a week of haggling, the deal finally got signed- but not without significant arm twisting (reasoning).

Case in point-  Who gives a crap if the seller refuses to leave the curtain rods….are you kidding me? Am I on one of those hidden camera shows?  You mean to tell me that you are going to walk away from a $500,000 condo it took you six months to find because of a $100 detail?   Think about it…..are you nutty, or are you certifiable? 🙂

Keep your eye on the big picture….that’s my advice. Let go of the little details, and keep your focus. Too many times, I find that buyers and sellers are just in it to cause the other side pain, without regard to their own time and efforts….and long term happiness. So when negotiating, it is sometimes helpful to take a step back, and look at the big picture. Like a marriage, real estate transactions are all about giving and compromising…even when you think you are doing the lions share of the work!

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
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Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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