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October 21, 2011

Mark Wade’s Snarky Yet Honest Insight into the Center City Condo Market

Click Preview to View Online -Enjoy!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Philadelphia, PA 19103
215.521.1523  Mark@CenterCity.com

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June 7, 2011

Renting Increases in Philadelphia Condos

There was an article last week in the Philadelphia Inquirer that suggests more Philadelphia Condos are being rented.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Because the focus of residential construction during the boom times was on for-sale housing rather than rentals, there aren’t enough high-end apartments to go around now.

“We are finding the high-end rentals to be almost nonexistent, as they rent fairly quickly,” said real estate agent Mark Wade, of Prudential Fox & Roach.

Condos near the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University “have a built-in demand for rentals, and we have seen that equation play out year after year,” Wade said.

Read more here:

http://articles.philly.com/2011-06-01/news/29608739_1_rental-apartments-rental-units-center-city-district/2

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

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May 13, 2011

Philadelphia Condo Owners: Check out Race Street Pier!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:55 pm

Race Street Pier officially opened today! This is the first new public space of its kind located on the Delaware River as part of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s ambitious new plan.  The Pier reconnects the City to the River, activates the water’s edge and establishes the pier as a distinctive new public park for the people of Philadelphia. Click to read more about The Race Street Pier.

This is a great new park for Philadelphia condo owners and Philadelphia condo buyers. If you are interested in purchasing a condo in Philly, give us a call at 215.521.1523.

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

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March 23, 2011

Philadelphia Open Houses – Sunday, March 27

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

The spring market is upon us and we have some stunning new listings available. Please come out and stop by our Center City open houses this Sunday, March 27.

Noon-1:00PM
736 Pine St. Unit D – 2-bedroom condo in Society Hill with central air, family room, basement, 2 decks, & parking. Distinctive & delightful! $515,000
736-38 Pine Street-20

1112 Spruce St. Unit 1R – Just Listed! Spacious condo in Washington Square West with wood floors, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, intercom, laundry area, tons of storage, & cute patio $399,000
1112 Spruce 1R 013

1:30PM-2:30PM
912 Spruce St. #8 – Cozy 1 bedroom located to the rear of building away from any street noise, high ceilings, stainless steel appliances, low condo fees, move-in condition at an unbelievable price! $229,000
912 Spruce 8 007

1018 Christian St. – 3BR/2ba in Bella Vista, 2004 renovation, wood floors, lovely details, separate dining area, energy efficient sliding door to brick-paved patio – Reduced to $469,000
Living - Dining Room

103-07 Church St. #2 – Just Listed! Large open 1BR/1.5ba in stunning upscale rehab warehouse building in Old City with gas fireplace, large private brick patio, high ceilings, exposed brick, wood floors $333,900
103 Church St. John H 015

1100 Vine St. #908 – Freshly painted condo with large closets, 1 bed + large separate den (2nd bedroom), new dishwasher, wood floors, lovely view, 24-hr security desk, tax abatement, great location! $242,500
1100 Vine 908 008

3:00PM-4:00PM
736 Pine St. Unit F –  Sunny 2 bedroom condo, private entrance, open floor plan, California closets, granite/ss and tax abatement $369,000
736-38 Pine Street-5

918 Spruce St. Unit 1 – 3 bedroom brownstone condo w/2-car tandem parking, 2010 chef’s kitchen-SubZero/Viking appliances, high ceilings, 2 new baths…a true gem! $699,000
918 Spruce 1 011

1002 Spruce St. Unit E – Just Reduced Match your dreams to this 2BR/2BA condo. Some of the highlights of this distinctive unit are skylights and central air. Celebrity-caliber luxury! $435,000
LR to hall

50 N. Front St. #402 – 1BR condo with fireplace and shared roof deck with views of the Delaware River. Lots of west-facing windows provide great light, tremendous closet space, exposed brick & architectural details $279,000
Unit 402 003

We hope to see you there! To view all of our Philadelphia Real Estate Listings, including Philadelphia Condos visit www.CenterCityCondos.com.

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

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November 12, 2010

Spooky Shadow Inventory in Philadelphia Real Estate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:00 pm

There are clearly a number of condos for sale in Philadelphia. Duh. But what about the unmentioned “Shadow Inventory” that might be creeping up on us all? Shadow inventory, in my mind, are the condos that are part of some non-performing new developments here in town. There are a number of buildings with a hefty amount of inventory that has been sitting for quite a while, and is not selling. And the bulk of it is high rise condominiums – in generally what most buyers term as “B” locations.

IF A BUILDING HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO SELL 70% OF ITS UNITS IN SAY 3 YEARS- THE PRICES ON THOSE AVAILABLE UNITS AREN’T GOING TO RISE ANYTIME SOON.

Prices  have a tendency to come down in such situations. Sometimes a new buyer will come in and buy the inventory in bulk, sometimes a condo auction will reset the pricing structure, and sometimes the buildings become glorified rental buildings- which simply postpones the inevitable price restructuring in the building (Delay and Pray).

Will Center City’s Shadow Inventory Come back to Haunt the Pricing Structure for Condos in this Segment? Will Philadelphia Condo Buildings that are viewed as substitutes for this shadow inventory suffer as well?

Stay Tuned..I’ll tell you what I think.

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

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October 27, 2010

Physician Loans – Yes, They Get Special Treatment

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:58 pm

I recently sold an Old City condo to a physician. Great guy who knew what he wanted, and finding him the right condo was not an issue. We had fun, and he found something he really loved. And let me tell you- this condo rocked. All Good!

However, he wanted to do some Cock-a-mamie type of loan that I was sure would fall flat and go nowhere. Oh yes, my big-brain was sure this deal was going to suck.

However, I was proven wrong, and the deal actually was quite smooth. He applied for what is known as a Physician Loan, and was able to get a JUMBO mortgage (one over $500,000) with just 5% down- you heard me 🙂

Here are the basics that were offered by John P. Wagner, Sr. Loan Consultant from Tower Mortgage Corporation – 1.800.918.5400 – and he was great by the way.

He can offer zero down to Physicians with no PMI –
FYI, zero down to $500K, 5% down $500-650K, 10% down $650-850K, 15% down to $1M

The theory is that since they went to school for sooo long, and have a very LOW default rate, there are lenders that will bank on them with little down.

So if you are a doctor, give me a call, and lets find you the perfect Philadelphia Condo with little down!

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

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October 22, 2010

The Golden Rule in Philadelphia Condo Buying…you will be tortured by the one who has the gold!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:49 am

In the current real estate climate, getting a buyer and seller to agree on a price is tough enough. But that isn’t the toughest part of real estate today. I find that the most difficult aspect of my job as a Center City Real Estate agent is getting the deal done in terms of jumping through the hoops set forth by the mortgage company.

First the appraisal, which is becoming difficult, as I see very few lenders willing to be anything close to generous with the numbers they conclude to be the value of any given condo. I am not going to argue who is right and who is wrong here- suffice to say that hitting the needed number to make the appraisal work is more difficult than in the “Good Ole’ days”…..
Next, the condo has to fit the mold that the mortgage companies seem to favor- and just to list a few of those attributes:

1) Does the condo have enough owner-occupants as opposed to tenants?
2) Does the original developer hold more than, say 10% of the unsold unit?
3) Is there a reserve fund set up to put some money aside within the budget of the condo assn?
4) Has the association been turned over to the owners, and for a minimum of two years?

These are just a few of the hoops that not only YOU, but the condo you are buying MUST jump through in order to be approved for a mortgage. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Looking for help in determining your best strategy for obtaining financing for a Philadelphia condo you may find in the Center City condo market? Lets chat about some of the pitfalls and hoops!

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

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September 27, 2010

Spooky Center City Condo Urban Legends

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:22 pm

 I can neither confirm nor deny, but here is what I have heard over the past 21 years of selling Center City condos for sale:

1) The developer of the Philadelphian was so distraught over the perceived success of his building, that he jumped off the roof. 2401 PA. Ave is of course a hugely successful building today in terms of occupancy, resale prices, etc.

2) One of the developers of 101 Arch St. was killed at the opening ceremonies when a large chunk of the facade came crashing down. The Smythe Stores in Old City has a gorgeous historic facade.

3) Society Hill Towers was such a miserable failure when built (as apartments) that they couldn’t pay their electric bill.

4) The townhouses at 10th and Lombard (Society Square) were built upon an old graveyard.

5) Cianfrani park in Bella Vista was known as “Dead Body Park” because the mob would repeatedly dump bodies there after being successfully whacked.

Now I am sure some of these are pure bullshit, but they do make for interesting reading.  Want to unravel the mysteries of your condo? Call me at 215.521.1523 and lets chat! 🙂

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

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August 31, 2010

You’re a Real Estate Junkie, aren’t you?

Filed under: General Real Estate,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:48 pm

Did your addiction start back in the late 1980’s with the Sunday morning infomercials like “Fox and Lazo’s Parade of Homes”?
 
Do you search sites like www.Trulia.com and www.Zillow.com, just to see what is on the market in your area? Has your need compelled you to chat about Philadelphia real estate at cocktail parties, and intimate gatherings? And do you usually look through the real estate section of the Sunday paper…like, every Sunday? I thought so.


    
My particular need for R.E. (real estate) was first exposed to all at the age of 19. I used to sit down with a red pen, and circle properties in the weekend paper that I thought our family might drive past, after seeing those on the aforementioned Parade of Homes. Anyway, I am a realtor now for the past 21 years here in downtown Philadelphia. I know your type. You notice every “for sale” sign in your neighborhood. Akin to there being a metal plate in your head that pings whenever you drive past a “for sale” sign you have also probably spoken to or emailed a Philly realtor to get some more info on a home that you planned on neither buying nor selling. And Open Houses? Forget…you have been to them all, and you usually make a B-Line for the photos on the walls of those homes.
    
Go ahead, admit it. You are a Real Estate Junkie. Start with the phrase, “My name is _______________, and I am a real estate junkie. You will feel much better in no time.

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

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February 8, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:38 pm

I don’t give a crap- I live in a condo and don’t own a snow shovel…

And I don’t need to stock up on milk and bread with the impending onslaught of a winter storm. I live in Center City, and the little corner grocery stores are always open in any  blizzard, as are almost all the restaurants. And who needs to shovel out the cars- there are plenty of taxis that will do my driving for me.
 
If you live in one of our fine suburbs- be it Gladmore, Havernova, or Bala Who-Knows-Where, and are getting tired of having to deal with the weather,or perhaps you own one of those lawnmowing things that I understand are used to cut grass (I have only heard of such contraptions)-Then isn’t it time you simplified and let someone else do the unpleasant tasks in life?
 
Yeah, I am a Center City Condo snob. I know it, and am kinda’ proud of it. Riding on a train to work, or driving on the Schuylkill isn’t something that is a part of my life….and the business of owning more than one car?! Uh, no thank you.
 
Want some bragging rights too? Then drop me a note, and lets chat. Lets get you into town, and into a more simple life. Membership into the “I am a Center City Snob” club is free 🙂

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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