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January 11, 2011

Kill Your Condo’s Resale Value by Selling it Filthy

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:48 pm

As a longtime Philly Realtor, I see the value in a good appearance of a given, say Old City Condominium, and a good first impression. One that does not include dirt!

It is one thing if your kitchen has white appliances and Formica counter tops. Buyers can look past that.  Most folks can even get passed your vanilla bathroom and maybe even the lack of good natural light. But your dusty brown futon from your college days? Your clear lack of ownership in a vacuum, or a mop?  More than any home improvement, if you are looking to increase the value of your condo in Philly, get yourself some Clorox, and get cleaning.

mopbucket

Most buyers are not interested in having your dirt and grime included with the sale. Unless of course, you are looking to kill your resale value.

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

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December 24, 2009

A fair Real Estate deal is when everyone bleeds

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:49 am

 

Lets be honest here- most  Philadelphia real estate transactions leave buyers feeling that perhaps they may have overpaid, and sellers left feeling like their home was worth a bit more than was reflected in the agreed upon sale price. And it usually doesn’t matter if it is a buyers market, or a sellers market.  Similar to the notion that those driving slower than you are slugs, and those driving faster than you are maniacs. Sound familiar?
    
As a veteran Philadelphia Realtor, I am aware that there is a fair deal of perceived bleeding in most transactions. I personally have never sold a home for what I thought it was worth. In my brain, I always end up getting screwed.  And that is really, in my humble opinion, what buying and selling is all about. You get what you can, you give what you can, and hopefully an agreement is reached. But please don’t think there isn’t going to be a little pain, and a little bleeding.
    
The idea is to keep the bleeding to a minimum as no to warrant anything more than a band-aid. Certainly no one wants to walk away from a deal with war-sized wounds. But a little bleeding is to be expected in most transactions. I always tell my buyers that I can get them 9 out of ten things on their wish list. And the same holds true during negotiations- hopefully I can get you 90% of the way there.
    
At that point, perhaps if the deal is right (for you), you are going to have to cough up that list nickle. And I am aware, it is that last nickle that is the toughest to part with!

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

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July 28, 2009

Create your own faux Exposed Brick

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:32 am


It is easy to add a kinda’ lofty rough hewn look to a loft styled condo. You can add this look to a main, or an accent wall. Perhaps one side of a long hallway you have, or one side of a guest bedroom wall?  I have done it myself, and the results were quite good! First, find a solid wall- preferably one that is cement, plaster, or cinderblock. Apply wire mesh. Coat with a morter mix. While the morter mix is setting up, take a $5 pointing tool, and scar lines in the drying morter/cement mix to resemble bricks- approx. 6″ by 2.5″. You needn’t be perfect here- remember, you are going for an imperfect, old exposed brick kinda’ look. Now paint your new creation your favorite color. Since this is a faux process, you have to paint the look (it will look like dried, scarred cement if you don’t).

Viola’…..a lofty look for your new Old City condo!

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

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July 9, 2009

Philadelphia Real Estate – My two cents on Home Inspections

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:06 pm

Here is what I suggest you do for all resale properties- get a home inspection. Yeah, even for a Rittenhouse Square condo, or an Old City loft.

Generally speaking, you can at least ask the seller to fix something…even if that something is about the same cost as the home inspection- like a one year home warranty.

When I buy a property, I look for two things- safety issues (which are almost always electrical in nature) and structural items. I am well aware that the hot water tank is going to go on the fritz in the next 5 years. Yeah, I also know the heater needs to be serviced to run optimally.

What I don’t want is for the total of the needed major defects to be so great that it impacts my perception of the value of my purchase of any variety of new Philadelphia condos.

Owning a piece of Philadelphia real estate is like owning a car. You have to regularly change the oil, tune it up, get it detailed, and shampoo the carpets to maintain value.

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

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May 20, 2009

New Construction Condos in Philadelphia

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:28 am

You call THAT an upgrade?


 
Since when are closet inserts an upgrade? When one buys an $800,000 condo, should you not be able to expect that some sort of clothes hanging mechanism would be included? Even the cheesy cheap wire mesh systems? I have seen developers try to pass off even the basic necessities as upgrades, and it is insulting. Perhaps Mr. Developer, you think my $800,000 buyer just fell off the back of a turnip truck? How the hell do you think he or she got to the point in their life where they could afford such a condominium without a brain cell or two? Dumbass.

And please stop with the patronizing “and you get lovely carpet in the bedrooms at no extra charge”. Again, you are an idiot.

And touting the virtues of a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, and/or doorbell for each condo unit?Yippee…where does my buyer sign?? If developers could take a minute or two to tour some of the condo offerings in Center City Philadelphia, and realize that the buyers I am bringing to your front door have seen almost EVERYTHING on the market, then maybe that developer could wise up, and compare apples to apples. Tell us about the significance of your location, the quality of your construction, or the fact that you are priced competitively. My buyers are not stupid, and I will not allow them to be uneducated. So wise up, and let’s make a deal. Because until you (Mr. Developer) come to your senses, my buyer’s desire to write an offer on one of your condos is going to be severely limited.

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

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December 4, 2008

Condos near University of Penn

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:22 am

As a realtor in downtown Philadelphia, each spring I get a lot of visits to my website, www.CenterCityCondos.com by students and faculty looking for condos and lofts that have easy access to either Penn or Drexel Universities.  It is quite common for those looking to move into the area for an extended period of time to buy a condo, as opposed to rent a place to live, and there are many options for such buyers.

Many of the University of Penn area condos are located either in the University City area (west of the Schuylkill River), or in the Fitler Square/Rittenhouse Square areas of Center City Philadelphia. For many of these buyers, location and security rank highest amongst the attributes of any given condo, and are deemed most valuable in such a living situation. There are many high rise condos which offer doorman services, and many of these buildings also offer on-site parking. Close proximity to 30th Street Station (rail service) and being in the center of town (which means you may NOT need a car) are also of importance to buyers looking to be close to Univ. of Penn.

Those coming into the Philadelphia condo market have three choices of living arrangements:

High Rise condos

Mid Rise condos

Low Rise/Loft/Brownstone styled condos

Each type/style of condo has it’s plusses and minuses, and each offer a unique way of life here in Center City Philadelphia.

If you plan on moving into Philadelphia, and are looking for a condo near Univ. Of Penn,  give me a call at 215.521.1523, or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com, and let’s chat about your options!

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

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November 4, 2008

Top Philadelphia Condominium Sales Models

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:54 pm

I am such a sucker for a Gorgeously Decorated condo!

Any condo developer with a large number of units to sell is going to have one unit on display, and decorate it to the Nth degree. Some Philly condo offerings do such a thing better than others. Having seen almost every condo Model Home in town, here are my three favorites (not in any particular order):

1) Dockside Condominiums

Gorgeously appointed with some of the most attractive finishes, the two bedroom model units at 717 S. Columbus Blvd. are breathtaking. Simple, and timeless, these model units are a very powerful sales tool. With huge walk-in closets, and a nice little patio, not to mention killer views, these units are stunning. All my customers say so!

2) The Aria Condominiums

The Penthouse model unit at 225 S. 15th St. (aka 1420 Locust St) is nothing short of spectacular. The model unit provides any prospective buyer with a sense of simultaneous excitement and inner peace. The finishes work in harmony to bring a very livable space to life. And if views of neighboring Center City skyscrapers is your thing, then look no further than the Aria. Nicely done.

3) The Ellington

Located at 1500 Chestnut St, the decorated penthouse units at the Ellingotn have caused me to reevaluate my living situation on more than one occasion. The power of the emotion pull that these model home have on mere mortals is stunning. A gorgeous set of model units for you to see.

If you are looking to be bowled over by a model unit in town, and can easily see yourself living such a glamorous life, give me a call at 215.521.1523, and let’s go see some lovely condos! But be forewarned, these units are very persuasive in their ability to pull at your purse strings!

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

 

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October 16, 2008

Philadelphia-The Country’s Best Tippers

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:54 am

Philadelphia is not, nor has it even been as BAD as Philadelphians claim that it is. According to Zagat, Philadelphians rank highest in the nation for generous tipping! As a waiter in my past life, I have always been one to tip well- though I am aware that I am a bit demanding also.

I came across this article about Philadelphia tippers and it turns out that over 5500 of Philadelphia’s restaurants reported that the average tip a Philadelphian leaves is around 19.6% compared to New York’s 19% and then LA’s 18.4%.

It turns out our City is filled with kind folks (not to mention fabulous restaurants with fabulous décor and service) after all! We have long been known for our many fine restaurants here in Center City Philadelphia, and perhaps there is a correlation between what we expect from our local restaurateurs, and what they expect from us.

Looking for a condo here in the Big City that is close by to your favorite restaurant? Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and I’d love to go condo shopping and maybe even grab a bite to eat or a coffee (I’ll even leave the tip)!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
215.521.1523

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January 8, 2008

Not All Hardwood Floors in Philadelphia Condominiums and Lofts Are Created Equal

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:04 am
This lovely Philadelphia condo has hard wood floors throughout….

How many times have we heard a Philadelphia realtor bark those words at a buyer during an open house, or say an advertisement in the real estate section of the Inquirer? I like to think of hardwood floors as being in three classes or categories. Each class can be defined by cost, look, and wear.

The first class is what I call the faux class. These floors really have the look and feel of a laminate, but are often incorrectly called hardwood floors by the mistaken masses. The name most often associated with these floors is Pergo. Often times called a floating floor, this surface often has a bit of a hollow sound when you walk. Easy to identify, I discover most buyers, even young first time Philadelphia condo buyers recognize a Pergo floor when they see one. Durable, inexpensive, and easy to install, the benefits do suit a specific type/price range of Center City condominiums.

The second class is the roughly 2 ¼ inch- 4” wide planks sold in either unfinished, or in an array of finishes baked on at the manufacturing plant. Newer construction Philadelphia condominiums abound in these floors. From bamboo to Brazilian cherry, and dozens of hues of oak, this flooring surface is popular in many Center City condos because they tend to be a bit more expensive than faux hardwood floors, and can be re-sanded, sometimes more than once, over the years. Rarely, would  one have to remove these hardwood floors to improve their look. They simply would refinish. In my experience, oak is the most durable. I have seen many a bamboo floor with puncture marks from high heels, etc.

Lastly, original 200 year old random width pine floors, with varying widths of 2”-14” – the latter being in the oldest of Philadelphia real estate attics and such, finish what I believe to be the three most relevant categories of Philadelphia condo flooring.  As the name and description above imply, these floors are the most expensive and rare. Seen in many old Philadelphia townhomes, these floors, with their glowing orange hue, and rough patterns of unevenness, are generally only seen in old lofts throughout Old City and Society Hill condos. You can’t buy these floors, outside of some who salvages old homes for a living. Softer in nature than the store bought oak, and generally about an inch thick in nature, make these floors the Grande Dame of Center City condominium flooring!

And you can check them out for yourself right inside some of my new listings.  Just give me a call at 215.521.1523 or send me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com and we can set up an appointment.  I hope to hear from you soon!  

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

 

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December 27, 2007

New Construction Sales Policies for Philadelphia Lofts and Condominiums – Buyer Representation

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:17 am

It seems to be universal that all new construction condominium sales policies here in Center City Philadelphia state that buyers must have realtor in tow, on first visit, in order to be represented by said agent.

To which I say, “Bull”. 

Ok, here is a scenario: You are my buyer (I am your realtor, a buyer representative) and you happen upon an open house in say a highrise, new luxury construction project here in Center City Philadelphia.  IF I AM NOT ATTACHED TO YOUR SIDE, AT THAT FIRST VISIT….YOU LOOSE.  I cannot represent you in that particular sale, should you decide to buy in the development.  The developer’s sales staff, at that point, will refuse to recognize me as your buyers agent.  They instead will be your agent, and represent you.

How do you like them apples?

Now… How many buyers, new to our town, are going to know that fact, right off the bat? I would guess, not many.  Even if you and I have been working together, to find a condo for the past six months, and I have been educating you, holding your hand, giving my best advice, and you are planning on naming your first born after me, I cannot represent you unless I accompany you on your first visit to that condominium building.

What kind of suggestion can I offer to such a buyer, who goes to such an Open House without their Realtor? Maybe they can tell the sales staff of their working relationship to said agent, and ask to get that agent on the phone. Maybe the sales staff will then see the commitment that buyer has with his agent, and offer a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. Maybe that developer’s agent would say, “It’s alright, we can let you slide”.  Maybe not.

It is my opinion that developers are selling themselves short on this issue. I mean come on…you basically steal one of my good long term clients, who has their mom in town for the weekend, can’t reach me, goes to your open house, and your are not going to recognize me? Go ahead, Mr. Developer, and I promise you, I will be the bigger man, and not discourage my buyer from buying your product. You have my word on it.

But I can’t speak for the other 1,587 agents who can sell condos here in Center City Philadelphia.

If you are interested in obtaining honest buyer representation before you make a visit to a new construction loft or condominium here in Center City Philadelphia give me a call at 215-521-1523 or send me an email at Mark@CenterCityCondos.com

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 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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