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September 27, 2016

Rising home prices, quick sales – Philly’s in a sellers’ market (Mark’s Two Cents on Philly.com)

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:54 am

Alan J. Heavens, Philly.com’s Real estate writer says, “The city of Philadelphia is officially a sellers’ real estate market, as a continued shortage of inventory has pushed up prices for properties listed for sale.”
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Economist Kevin Gillen, senior research fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, said the second quarter of 2016, which ended June 30, saw median prices 13 percent higher than April-through-June 2015.

…Gillen isn’t exactly sure why homeowners aren’t rushing to list their houses, but Mark Wade, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors, cites several factors.

Mostly, it is “because many buyers in town over the last few decades have been empty nesters who believe they have made their final move and don’t need to downsize or adjust their living quarters to match their future needs,” Wade said.

The “flip side of rising house prices is decreased housing affordability,” Gillen said.

“Prices are now rising faster than household incomes, which implies that home buyers must now sacrifice a greater portion of their wealth to buy a home than they would otherwise, or else must defer the purchase of a home altogether,” he said.

Click here to read the full article on Philly.com.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Mark@CenterCity.com ~ 215.521.1523

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June 17, 2013

The Best Neighborhoods in Philly

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:17 pm

If you’re thinking of moving to Philadelphia, or already live here but are in the market for new digs, your neighborhood will make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the city. Even in Center City, there are various personalities in different blocks. Depending on you, your budget, and where you are in life, you’ll probably have a pretty strong opinion about what you’re looking for.

For example, if you’re a single income w/no kids, you probably don’t care much about the quality of schools in the district. On the other hand, if you’re buying a home as an investment and not renting, the school quality will matter because it impacts the value of the property. Here are a few of the best neighborhoods in Philly to consider.

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Avenue of the Arts
Located on Broad Street, this barrio is just what it sounds like. The Theater District is nestled here, close to City Hall, and there are a number of galleries and cultural sites nearby. The general vibe is creative.It runs from Broad and Locust to Broad and Lombard and hosts many of the area’s theaters. If you’re looking for some inspiration and a neighborhood that likely won’t diminish in value, this is it.

Old City
Close to Delaware River, Old City is a historical downtown niche. Independence Hall is located here as well as the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley and a number of other historical sites. It’s bordered by Vine and Walnut streets and is favorite area for history buffs or those who prefer a peppering of culture in their lives. After work hours, it’s known for having some of the best nightlife, lounges, dive bars and mom and pop restaurants in the city.

Society Hill
Society Hill is an architecture lover’s dream realized. There are more original buildings constructed in the the18 and 19 century than anywhere else in the U.S. It boasts cobblestone streets, a charming vibe and row homes bound by Front and 7th Streets. Federal and Georgian style reign supreme here.

Midtown Village                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A new neighborhood that’s part of Washington Square West, Midtown Village is highly desirable, trendy, and full of boutiques and shops. Antique Row is here and both medical and educational institutions are abundant, and it’s a popular area for those looking for the best in life (and homes).

There are many personalities in Philadelphia, so make sure you consider them all. Just like car and mouse trap reviews, you want to make sure you do your research before you start home hunting. Are you more Old City or Midtown Village? Only you can decide.

 Michelle Rebecca

Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

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September 13, 2012

Its Not the Size of Your Unit- It’s How You Use It

Filed under: For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:12 pm

I now know firsthand…

We just sold our summer vacation house of 2200 sq ft and bought a really nice 458 sq ft condo up on Cape Cod….and in all honesty- we have never been happier.

The benefits?

Easier to clean
One Level living
Financially- It is a no brainer
I honestly feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief…hard to explain.

When you get to an age where you are looking to downsize to a Philly loft or condo, I am here to tell you that less really is more. More peace of mind…and more to smile about. I feel I shed about 700,000 pounds of fat- and I am feeling free as a bird. Size isn’t everything- especially when you know how to use it. We want for nothing, and aren’t looking back…

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox & 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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January 20, 2011

Do I need to buy Title Insurance if I am paying cash for my Philly condo?

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:56 pm

Technically, in the State of Pennsylvania, if you do not obtain mortgage financing, no one is going to force you to buy title insurance on your new Old City or Rittenhouse Square condominium.  But as your Realtor, with your best interest in mind, I am going to rant and rave until you agree to buy it.

title-insurance1

A mere title search doesn’t always reveal all the flaws that could potentially be a part of the chain of title. And title searches are not free. Not to mention you will need to pay an attorney or title company closing fees and notary fees to complete your transaction if you do not purchase title insurance from them.  Closing fees and search fees are usually waived if you purchase the title policy. Since you will need to put out several hundred dollars for these services if you waive title insurance anyway, you might as well pay the difference and protect yourself against the unthinkable.

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 power of attorneys
– 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 sound crazy I know. But in my 21 years of selling Philadelphia Real Estate I have come across more than a few of the above situations.  So think of it this way:

Paying for a title search and other closing fees to buy your condo without the protection of title insurance – Around $800

Paying for the same search and closing fees including title insurance protection on your $300,000 condo – Around $1600

The peace of mind of having your title company to call and not having to deal with an old lien or back taxes that suddenly show up on your title – priceless!

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

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July 12, 2010

Auction Results from CU 257

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:55 pm

The third auction in the Center City condo segment of the market to occur. I would deem it a success. Here is what I understand folks paid.

 
Here is the breakdown of the prices.  These prices are the winning bid prices and do not include the 10%  auction premium on each winning bid.
 
1.  $615,000 Unit 601E
2.  $600,000 Unit 601W
3.  $470,000 Unit 401W
4.  $495,000 501E
5.  $485,000 501W
6.  $455,000 301E
7.  $455,000 401E
8.  $445,000 201E
9.  $435,000 301W
 
And if you think this is the last Center City Condo auction that is going to take place, I would suggest you are wrong! Keep your eyes open for more future auctions! Call or email me if you want me to comment on these prices!  215.521.1523
  
Mark Wade

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

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September 29, 2009

Philadelphia Real Estate for Empty Nesters

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:12 am

…and their priorities

I certainly don’t want to stereotype any particular set of buyers, but it has been my experience that each set or group of buyers assign different values to amenities in Philadelphia lofts and condominiums. From first time buyers to empty nesters, each comes with their own set of wants, needs, and priorities. Here are what I believe to be common amongst the empty nester set:

-Very few stairs
-Very little maintenance
-Parking
-Pet friendly buildlings
-Closet space
-Walking Distance to shopping, dining, and cultural activities
     
 
While such niceties as a high floor with great views, hardwood flooring in bedrooms, and exposed brick may be a plus, I see fewer empty nesters in Philly willing to pay for such features. Again, I apologize if I am pidgeon-holing any group of buyers, it has just been my experience that different groups of buyers gravitate towards different amenities – some weighted with a higher value than others, of course.

 

Lets discover your priorities in Philly Real Estate!

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

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September 26, 2009

Do I look like an idiot?

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 @ 4:08 pm

…ok, don’t answer that…and no, thats not a photo of me.
 
Top 5 things I can’t get Philadelphia Loft and Condo buyers to believe:

1) It is OK to paint exposed brick
2) Carpeting is OK in your bedroom
3) There is no difference in value between say the 33rd floor, and the 34th floor
4) A super clean older kitchen will sell just as well as a stainless steel, dirty kitchen
5) You will never recoup the costs of a new heater and new central air conditioning system
 
Don’t believe me? Well, get in line. Most don’t. But it is not like I am employed by the “Painted exposed brick” lobbists, or anything. I am just telling you what I know from my 20 years experience selling Philly real estate.

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

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September 17, 2009

What is hanging off the front of my Philadelphia Brownstone Condo Building?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:59 am


It is called a Busy-Body

Like an early form of caller ID, Ben Franklin invented this interestingly simple device called a busy-body. Attached to a 2nd floor exterior windows sill, this device allows you to stand inside your home, and see who is at your front door, without that guest or visitor know that he is being watched. So if someone is knocking at the front door of your Philadelphia Brownstone, perhaps selling sweepers, or magazine subscriptions, you may see who it is, and choose not to answer. All the while, the person knocking will have no idea that he or she has been seen. The set of 3 mirrors is angled so the image of your front door stoop is reflected directly into a window on the 2nd floor. Again, so you can see who it at your door, without having to answer your door. That Benjamin Franklin was one smart guy!

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

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June 18, 2009

You think you know Philadelphia real estate values?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:52 pm

…then explain the value difference between these two Philly condo buildings:

These are two actual side by side buildings on Spruce St. in Washington Square West.

So you have a big brain, and you think you are going to take a look at Trulia, Zillow, or one of the many fine real estate websites out there in CyberSpace, and you are going to come up with the true value of any given condo. Really?

You can’t tell me that condition does not play into value. How about showing ability? You go into the public records and find a two bed, two bath in such n such zip code should sell for say $500,000. Really??? What was the condition of the Washington Square West Condo?  Was the building well maintained?

My point is, sometimes you need a realtor who knows his or her market to help you make valid decisions. There are many issues that affect value, that reading a webpage about any given Philadelphia condo may NOT tell you…

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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