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March 29, 2018

The Drake Tower at 1512 Spruce St.

Filed under: General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:29 pm

Built in 1929, the Drake stands as a magnificent addition to the Philadelphia skyline.

Here’s what you don’t know:

  • It IS a condo building. Back in the 1970’s, they converted to condos with a less than enthusiastic welcome.
  • Per public records, only five (5) units are privately held – the other 300 units are owned by one entity and are used as RENTALS.
  • The penthouse units start on the 24th floor.
  • Through most of the 1990’s- all penthouse units were vacant shells.
  • Some penthouses housed gardens and the top penthouse had its own pool.
  • The building is faced with small details of ships, mermaids, and other sea paraphernalia.

My first apartment was in the Drake in the late 1980’s when Duran Duran was on MTV and telephones had cords.

Mark Wade 
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Mark@CenterCity.com

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March 16, 2018

Is AirBnB allowed in this Philly Condo?

Filed under: For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:59 am

The one condo question that always gets a negative answer?  I get this ALL the time…

Is Airbnb allowed in this building? No. Never. Ever. Sorry…

Almost every Philly condo has a clause embedded into its declaration/rules and regulations that the minimum lease period is either SIX or TWELVE months.  Period.

Mark Wade 
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Mark@CenterCity.com

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January 26, 2018

Northern Liberties

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:45 pm

Northern Liberties has become a great residential neighborhood with a mix of professionals, families, and empty-nesters, all while maintaining its original artistic vibe.  With a great neighborhood association (NLNA) there is always something exciting going on in the area.

From family events at the Community & Rec Centers, to the seasonal farmer’s market and music festival at Liberty Lands Park, to the great variety of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, Northern Liberties has it all. Here are just a few groovy spots:

Cantina Dos Segundos – 931 N. 2nd St. – Great for everything from brunch to happy hour to midnight margaritas…and all the delicious Mexican cuisine with a twist you can eat in between!

Yards Brewery – New location at 500 Spring Garden St. – 20 brews on tap plus a full menu…the brewery is still under construction but tours will begin soon. Bonus: They’ve got a Super Bowl bet going with Harpoon Brewery in Boston…Go Eagles!

North Bowl – 909 N. 2nd St. – Bowling, pool tables, arcade, bars, food – something for everyone. The NLNA is hosting a Winter Fest here on Feb. 11…

Edgar Allen Poe House – 532 N. 7th St. – Open Friday through Sunday – Free, self-guided tours – Great for history/literature buffs.

One Shot Coffee – 217 W. George St. – Great coffee and ambiance! House-made pastries, Good breakfast sandwiches –  Make sure you try the french toast!

There are plenty more restaurants, bars, and shopping options – too many to name here.  With a plethora of new construction, we can only expect this thriving neighborhood to continue to grow.  Click here to learn about condos available for sale in Northern Liberties.

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January 16, 2018

The Philadelphia Loft District’s Rail Park – Phase One

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:51 pm

Construction of Phase One of Philadelphia’s exciting new Rail Park is quickly progressing! This 1/4 mile section of the Park is a wonderful addition to the Loft District. Much like the addition of the Schuylkill River Trail, Philadelphians will no doubt make great use of this new outdoor space. It will be a great place for engaging programs featuring arts, education, culture, health, and wellness.  This is a wonderful way to get city dwellers out into green spaces!

Photo Courtesy of TheRailPark.org

Phase One will run from 11th and Callowhill to Broad and Noble Streets and will have gathering places, seating, swings, and amazing skyline views!  Learn more about The Loft District Neighborhood here.

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January 9, 2018

Philly Home Show This Weekend!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:21 pm

The Philly Home Show will be at The Convention Center this weekend. This year there will be a City Studios feature showcasing three looks from area designers that will focus on making the most of small spaces in creative ways – could be useful for anyone living in, say, a Rittenhouse Square condo with a lovely view.

Closets by Design will have an interactive social media challenge where you can try to organize a closet in under 2 minutes. And for all the animal lovers out there, Providence Animal Center will be there to share some design ideas for your pets.

You can get tickets here: Philly Home Show Tickets.

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January 5, 2018

Stay Out Of The Cold & In Your Condo!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:33 pm

Unless you are moving to Philadelphia from say, Alaska, the idea of living in a building where you don’t have to go outside to get out of the house can be rather appealing this time of year. Here are 6 Philadelphia Condos where you can do exactly that (and this is not an exhaustive list):

1) Waterfront Square – There is a 25-meter, indoor lap pool on site here with beautiful views of the river and bridge. There is also a spa, sauna, and steam rooms, not to mention a fitness center and on-site yoga classes.  There is even a convenience store on-site.
Waterfront Square Pool

2) The Rittenhouse Hotel – Offering a true “hotel-living” experience, this condo building has restaurants and bars on-site, including Scarpetta, Lacroix, and The Library Bar. There is also a spa in the building with unlimited services, a salon, barber, and indoor pool.  The fitness center offers small group training and yoga classes daily.

3) The Ritz Carlton – Amenities at The Ritz include a large pool, huge gym, hot tub, and one of the most comfortable and actually usable community rooms in the City.  The Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon and modern Latin American restaurant Aqimero are also on-site.
ritz carlton

4) Liberty Two – If you get tired of your panoramic views of the skyline, you can visit the Sky Club on the 37th floor of this building to access amenities including a lounge, billiards room, yoga room, massage rooms, fitness center, sauna, steam showers, and swimming pool. R2L Restaurant is also on the 37th floor and dinner is served from 5-10PM, with the lounge staying open until midnight on the weekends.

5) The Phoenix – Tir Na Nog Irish Bar and Grill, Philadelphia Credit Union, and Starbucks are all located here at 1600 Arch St.  There is also a newly remodeled club room, a state-of-the-art fitness center and weight room, dry cleaning and shoe shine services, pool table, and a private conference room and dining facilities on site. You can also access The Suburban Station Concourse from inside The Phoenix, which allows you to access nearby offices, or connect with rail service to 30th Street Station, New York City, or the airport without stepping outside.

6) The Philadelphian – This building houses a pharmacy, a restaurant/bar, a grocery store, a bank, and a variety of businesses including healthcare professionals, attorneys, and more.  The Philadelphian also offers on-site activities including aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi, club games, meditation group, and book club. There is also a fitness center, sauna, and pool.

Also, if you are out touring condos for sale in these buildings or other high-rises this weekend, you won’t have to worry that the lockbox will be frozen shut as all of these condos have front desk concierge services. On-site maintenance and on-site parking are a few additional conveniences of center city condo living you may want to take into consideration.

Bundle up out there!

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January 2, 2018

Do I Need Title Insurance for My Philly Condo?

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:56 pm

Absolutely! Check out this video from Trident Land Transfer for more info.

What is Title Insurance?

Here are a just a few scenarios you could encounter without the protection of title insurance:

– Forgery or fraud in connection with the execution of previously recorded documents
– Incorrect representation of marital status of grantors
– Undisclosed or missing heirs
– Wills that have not been properly probated
– Mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts
– Incorrect legal descriptions
– Unsatisfied mortgages, liens, or judgments not shown on the record
– Deeds executed under expired or false powers of attorney
– Confusion due to similar or identical names
– Unknown rights of ex-spouses or former owners
– Clerical errors in recording legal documents
– Incorrect filing of condominium declarations.

Some of these things may sound crazy. However, in my 29 years of selling Philadelphia Real Estate, I have come across more than a few of the above situations.

Email us if you have any questions about purchasing title insurance or any of the other steps involved in the home-buying process.

Happy New Year!

Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
BHHS | Fox & Roach Realtors
www.CenterCityCondos.com

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October 31, 2017

500 Walnut Street Luxury Condos!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:09 pm

Just a few years after his success with the gorgeous project at 1706 Rittenhouse (a building we named one of Philly’s Top Ten Condos), developer Tom Scannapieco broke ground at 500 Walnut Street.  My office is adjacent to these gorgeous new condos and I have watched them go up in awe over the past two years.  They finally had their grand opening ceremony and I must say the building is a stunning addition to the City.

 

What’s interesting is that this building had to be delicately designed to have such a narrow width, so that it did not distract from the views from The Liberty Bell to Independence Hall.  With only one or two condos per floor, these condos have breathtaking views and huge balconies.  500 Walnut offers nonstop elevators, garage parking (with electric vehicle charging), a spacious fitness center and spa, 50′ lap pool, a 4,000 square foot open-air terrace, and a boardroom with a fully equipped catering kitchen.

Cecil Baker & Partners, the architects that worked on One Riverside,  Western Union, and York Square, just to name a few, also worked on this project with Scannapieco.  You can check out some common area photos from Curbed Philly here.

Mark Wade 
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
www.CenterCityCondos.com
530 Walnut St. #480 | Phila., PA 19106

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September 26, 2017

Why Good Blinds/Shades Are Important

Filed under: For Sellers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:54 am

Personally, I could give a cr*p about your blinds and shades. But if they matter to my buyers, then they matter to me – so listen up!

Lovely wood blinds at 1905 Green St. Unit 3

Buyers don’t buy bricks and mortar..they buy feelings and emotions. The Center City condo buyer is NOTORIOUS for being able to sniff out the lack of quality and they will indeed pay for quality. One of the first things that help elevate the emotional value of a condo is the window dressings. Shades, curtains, and blinds – the bling that either attacks or repels.  Though I have never done business with the folks at Allure, I know a number of my clients have and they seem to understand the needs of many condo buyers here in town. And here’s their pitch:

Window blinds are a familiar window treatment to many and continue to be a go-to, staple window covering for horizontal and vertical options for several reasons. The adjustable nature of a blind’s thin slats to control light and privacy while the shade is lowered or traversed over the window makes it a versatile choice of covering. Tilting of the slats is essential to maintain views and for refracting light so that a room can receive the exact amount of desired exposure where and when it is needed. In today’s market, simple and hassle-free operating options exist that did not in past years which make blinds conveniently functional. Blinds have been known to be pesky in the past because of tangled cords and strings and frustratingly cumbersome due to trying to balance and even-out the things! Blinds in Philadelphia are now able to be constructed with sophisticated motorization systems with remote-controlled operation or integration with Smart Home systems. Manual options are more advanced as well, including cordless lifting mechanisms and advanced-engineered corded mechanisms for flawless operation. Blinds can be matched to enhance any décor – elegant to transitional to modern. The material options for blinds are aplenty with distressed and stained genuine hardwoods, affordable faux-woods, and sleek to rustic aluminum. Within the material options are a plethora of striking color and stain choices. An overall beautifully complete look can be achieved by adding a decorative valance, accented cloth tapes, and chic wand attachments to coordinate with a room’s interior style. Because the Philadelphia area hosts buildings with a wealth of diverse architecture, our designers can help you find a blind to perfectly suit any room.

www.allurewt.com

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #480
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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July 27, 2017

Our Center City Philly Condo Market …In Under 137 Words

Filed under: For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:15 pm

We remain in a sellers’ market where demand outweighs supply. Some segments around $1m have little inventory and nearly 90% of the “grey” inventory left over from the boom of 2006-2008 has sold.

Interior condition tends to be the driving force of value and can compete with the “location x 3” aspect in terms of value retention. Overall, sale prices average around 97% of asking price and the “days on market” clock is not long by Philadelphia standards.

Empty-Nesters and first-time buyers are our primary buyers and both want “move-in condition” and will pay accordingly. If a Philly condo shows well, it will sell well. Weekend warriors and part timers are buying one bedroom units for fun and many parents buy condos for their kids coming to Philly to attend school- you would be surprised how active that segment has become.
The best move for buyers is to learn the market and take your time. When and only when you are ready- strike like there is no tomorrow. Pounce.

For sellers, staging works. More than you think. This is not an area you want to scrimp. Buyers don’t buy bricks and mortar- they buy feelings and emotions. Dare to disagree with me on that one 🙂

That could have been more than 137 words.
I didn’t really count…

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Mark@CenterCity.com

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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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