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September 7, 2012

What Would Sell Really Well If Introduced to the Center City Condo Market?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:28 pm

Here is What I think:

Two bedroom, one bath new condos about 850 square feet in a reasonably sound neighborhood for $300k-$325k.

Closet space would need to be well organized, parking optional, washer/dryers in each unit, with some sense of security – be it a virtual doorman or a  security cameras/ systems.

Add minimal private outside space per unit, and I believe these units would sell like hot cakes in today’s Center City Condo market.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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April 25, 2012

Condo Buyers’ Visual Timeline

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:40 am

If you found a Philadelphia condo, and made an offer and the seller signed the offer on say, January 1st, here is a rough time line of what to expect:

By January 5th – Have mortgage application taken.
By January 15th – Set up and have Home Inspection.
By January 16th – 2nd deposit due.
Sometime mid to late January- You get condo docs and have 5 days to review.
Throughout January and February- Be tortured by your mortgage company.
Through January and February- I order title insurance, city certificates, etc etc.
One week prior to settlement- You order a homeowners’ insurance policy  for your unit.
One day prior to settlement- We do our final Walk-Through
Day of Settlement- Take This day off work. Please. Settlement will take an hour or two.
Post Settlement- Sing and dance in the middle of the street, and drink to celebrate your accomplishment!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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April 5, 2012

Changes to Center City over the years

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:03 pm

I get a lot of email from folks who used to live in town…here is what you may not know about Center City if you haven’t been to town in 20 years:

1. Spruce and Pine Streets are now one lane- the other lane is a bike lane.

2. There is a new tax called the “Center City District Tax”…kinda’ nominal, but adds street cleaners and supervisors on many of the residential streets.

3. Northern Liberties is RED HOT- You MUST see to believe (compared to the 1980’s).

4. Graduate Hospital is now apartments- The hospital closed.

5. We have a new “South Street Bridge” and it is fabulous.

6. Broad St Just South of City Hall is Hoppin’…with residential and tons of restaurants.

7. The Bellevue Stratford is now The Hyatt at the Bellevue- and is stunning.

8. Delaware Ave. is now Columbus Blvd- and nicely manicured.

9. The old Naval Home on Grays Ferry is now a Toll Brothers development.

10. Most Parking meters are gone- replaced by Kiosks- and the parking authority is still very well run- If our city was run as well, the streets would be lined in gold.

If you are looking to come back to check out the City, drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com…I would love to show you some of the great new Philadelphia Lofts and Condos available too!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila, PA 19106

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August 23, 2011

Dumbass Power Plays in Philly Real Estate

Filed under: General Real Estate,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:13 am

     I have been selling real estate in exclusively in downtown Philadelphia for twenty-three years. I have done some stupid things in my career, and I have witnessed many buyers and sellers making equally stupid moves.  I often see buyers and sellers either pinching a dime for a dollar, or just doing some absurd moves that are much more trouble than the expected payoff. And I am sure this is not limited to just Center City buyers…I have no doubt the scenarios play out in every real estate community:
Scenario 1:  Having the Last Word
Seller asks $499k for a condo
Buyer and Seller go back and forth, and after a few days, buyer say $480,000 is my
“Highest and Best” offer for this parcel. And then seller comes back and says $480,001.
Really? You really want to be a douche bag and say that? You are pissing the buyer off,
and it will probably  cost you much much more in terms of anxiety, anguish, and animosity within
the transaction as you are locked into a legally binding contract with this buyer for say the next 60-90 days. Perhaps you should just zip your lip and take the freakin’ $480k instead of having to have the last word. Don’t forget, buyers still have to perform a home inspection.
Scenario 2: Can’t See the Forest For the Trees
Seller asks $499k for a condo
This property is a bank-owned sty that should be selling for $800k if it weren’t so dirty, missing
all the appliances, and listed with Susy Bag O’ Donuts out of Erie, Pa. (it happens…bank foreclosures are often listed by those with no connection to the area). And as a buyer, you get the Big-Brain idea to come in at $400k…because after all, the market is slow, weak, and uncertain.  OK….you are an idiot. If you can’t recognize such an overtly strong bargain, and
see that the huge upside is the fact that the condo is grossly underpriced at $499k….then maybe
you need to do a little more homework on prices and values here in Center City.
Scenario 3: Why Aren’t you Using a Magic Wand?
Sellers asks $499k for a condo
As a buyer, you top out at $480,000 and the seller will still not accept your offer. And recent “comps” suggest the seller is correct as no other unit in the building has sold for under $500k.
You then turn to your Realtor and complain that you can’t get the property for $480k. And you are relentless. Even in the face of the facts. But you persist. You dump your Realtor because he or she refuses to wave their magic wand and make this deal happen. You then drive down the road, and see your Realtor Singing and Dancing in the middle of the intersection of Broad and Walnut.
No one likes a whiner. Not even in this “slow, weak, and uncertain” market place.
     There are bargains to be had and deals to be made. Opportunity exists in all market conditions, and the current state of affairs in Center City- which has weathered the overall real estate storm fairly well- should indeed be taken into account when negotiating the purchase or sale of any parcel in Philadelphia. But knowing when you have crossed the line and driven right into
Crazy Town Pa. might be helpful when finding the right piece of Center City real estate. And help
you negotiate the best possible, realistic terms.  Mark Wade CenterCityCondos.com

I welcome feedback!

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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.

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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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February 17, 2010

Awarded the “Prestigous New Condo Building this side of Anytown, USA” by the Bag-A-Donuts Society

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:15 pm

Do you think we are new to this planet?

As a realtor in Center City Philadelphia, it really irks me to see some, perhaps dubious, claims made in the Real Estate section of the Sunday paper by various real estate developers. “We have been honored to receive”….”Voted best Priced”, or ” Nominated for Best this or that”. Perhaps some of the “award recipients” are under the assumption that those with the money to buy their products are all just a bunch of morons. Who the hell is giving out these awards? I have never heard of any of these groups.

From claims of prestige, awards, and even square footage calculations on some Center City condos, you may have to take that info with a grain of salt. Not always- but certainly sometimes. And when a developer/his or her sales staff tells you that their new construction building is 70% sold, you might want to check with me for accuracy on those claims.

Did I mention to you that I am now a member of the  JILLION dollar club? 🙂  Yeah right….

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

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November 19, 2009

Whatta’ You…New to these Parts?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:52 am

I am well aware that I am a big-brain, Center City snob. I know town like the back of my hand.  How much do you think you know?

pic from web1

Riddle me this:
 
1) Name the five little streets that run between, and parallel –  between the south of Lombard St., and north of South St.

2) 2201, 2401, and 2601 Pennsylvania Ave. are three large residential buildings. Which one is not a condo building?

3) Is the neighborhood south of Society Hill known as Queens Village, or Queen Village?  Bonus Question: Is it Olde City, or Old City?

4) There is no 9xx block or 10xx block of Delancey- it was renamed. What is the street name of those two blocks?

5) What is the name of the neighborhood boxed in by South St. to the north, between 11th St. and Broad St?
 
# correct:
0-1 –   You are new to our town, or you drink a lot. Either way, Welcome!
2-4 –   Not bad. You are ahead of the crowd
5-5 –  You need a life
 
Answers:
                            1) Naudain, Rodman, Tryon, Bradford Alley, and Gaskill
                            2) 2201
                            3) Queen Village. Old City
                            4) Clinton St.
                            5) Hawthorne
 
Want to know more about your city? Call Me. But I reserve the right to fill your head with more worthless info.

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

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November 17, 2009

Does your Philly condo association stack up?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:16 pm

 

Not all associations are created equal!

From rule enforcement to maintenance policies, not all condo associations are run equally well. In a world of “you get what you pay for”, the strength of any condo in Philly is on the same parallel to the condominium association in which that particular unit exists. Some associations perform better than others, have a solid reputation, and help retain the values of the units in the building.

Having exceeding low condo fees may not be in your best interest. I know of no doorman who works for free, nor any elevator that  can run forever without upkeep and expense. One of the best example of a well run condo association is Society Hill Towers at 200-220 Locust St. here in Center City (as judged by those who reside at the towers)- residents speak highly of the efficiency and capability of the association to spend, and spend wisely.

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

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October 20, 2009

The Philadelphian Condominiums

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:45 pm

A true variety of sizes, shapes and views make 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue a wonderful choice for condo buyers.

I have always been a big fan of the Philadelphian, located in the Art Museum area of Center City Philadelphia. One of the, if not THE largest condominium association here in Pennsylvania, “2401” has an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, limited garage parking, a supermarket, a restaurant, and a variety of shops located all under one roof! Many units have oversized balconies, with fantastic city or Museum views. The Philadelphian recently replaced all windows, and hvac systems! Stunning penthouse units, and according to www.2401.com, the building has a variety of clubs and social functions throughout the year. Penthouse units have dazzling ceiling height, and top-notch views!

Considering a move into Center City? Give me a call, and let’s check out the value and size of some of the Philadelphian’s condos!

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

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October 15, 2009

A Center City Condo Buyer’s Wish List

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:41 pm

Yes, buyers come to me with a wish list a mile long. Shocking, eh? And if you already own a condo in Center City, don’t pretend like you bought the first thing you saw. You didn’t. I know, because I was probably your Philly realtor. 🙂 I always tell people that I can get them 9 out of 10 things on their wish list. If they want 10 out of 10, then they are going to have to rub a magic lamp. I just isn’t possible.

Anyway, here are the top 5 things buyers INITIALLY ask for when they call:

1) Parking

2) Walkable area at Center City restaurants, Cultural activities, etc.

3) A workable, open kitchen

4) Tons of closet space

5) Hardwood Floors

 
Though clearly this list varies from buyer to buyer, these are the most “asked for items” when I first get a call that someone is looking for a condo!

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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