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December 1, 2009

The Roach Hotel

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:56 pm

Building Prestige doesn’t always insure the absence of pests.
 
I was showing a million dollar condo the other day in one of Philadelphia’s more prestigious condo buildings, and there was a huge dead cockroach laying on its back, dead, in the middle of the living room. Ick. Needless to say, I was shocked. My buyers weren’t singing and dancing in the middle of the street after this revelation either.

Though the building is “High-end”, and  is very well managed, it really came as a surprise. Who would have thought? And a mouse on the 21st floor of a new construction high rise building? More prevalent than you might think. 

If the absence of pests is high on your priority list, you might want to take a few precautionary measures. First, make sure the “door sweep” attached to the bottom of your condo unit door fits snug to the ground. If you can see a gap between the bottom of your unit door, and the floor, you are going to invite critters in from the common areas.

Also, you may want to pull your appliances out, and have a handy-person spray some “expanding foam” in the areas where the gas line, water lines, or electric lines come into your unit.  If you live in an older, pre-war Center City Condo building, make sure gaps between baseboards and floors are tight, and fill any holes in between floorboards. If all else fails, get a cat! 🙂

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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November 11, 2009

5 of the dumbest things I have heard in Real Estate (and It was I who uttered # 4)

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:35 pm

1) Maybe some rich person from NYC will buy it (yeah-and maybe a cow will jump over the moon….)

2) Does this Philadelphia condo building have condo fees? (Oh no…the doorman/common hallway lights work for free)

3) Are there ghosts in this loft? (Well hold on, and let me call someone and ask)

4) The sellers are moving because they really hate this house (too much disclosure?)

5) The views are very urban in nature (livingroom overlooked a dumpster, bedroom faced a brick wall)

Bonus: What will this piece of Philly real estate be worth in five years? (As it happens, I carry a crystal ball with me at all times)
 
Realtors are not the only folks guilty of putting their foot in their mouths, it is just that I seemed to be in their company a lot, and have first hand knowledge of some of the absurdities that are said.

If you are looking to weed out some of the BS, give me a call. Perhaps I can help. Again, I’m not perfect, but I may be perfect for you.

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

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November 3, 2009

Nuisance Requests Can Pollute Your Offer

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:15 pm

Consider This Scenario:

You make an offer on a great Philadelphia condo. You are pre-approved, you are putting 20% down, your ducks are in a row, and you are presenting a clean offer. No goofy contingencies in sight. All normal and standard- mortgage, home contingency, etc. Then you ask the seller (who has already packed up, and moved to the other side of nowhere, perhaps), and you request that the seller power wash the stucco in the patio area. 

I would suggest that asking the seller to spend $175 is not necessarily a bad idea, but asking him to do something that is clearly a nuisance to him can really emotionally cripple your offer.  Remember, it is not only the sale price that determines a sellers Openness to your offer. Terms and conditions play a huge part. The easier you can make it on a seller, the bigger the impact of your offer may be.
 
Nuisance requests come in all forms. My suggestion is that you keep the offer as clean and easy on the seller as possible. Reduce your offer by $175 (shy of what would be your “highest and best offer”) and make it easy on the seller. Like you, he is probably worried, burdened, and has a million things on his mind. And you making a deal clean and easy may benefit you well beyond that $175.
 
Suck it up, and make it a clean deal. Your offer may be contingent upon it, especially if you are in a mulitple offer situation!
 
Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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October 29, 2009

You Claim your building is 70% Sold

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:44 am

…and I claim that you have a problem telling the truth.

 

So there I was last night at some little gathering of well heeled city folk, many of whom are “In the Know”, along with a few hanger-on’ers, and me. And someone that knows who I am drops a BOMB- a certain new construction condo building in town is 44% sold. Oh how I love a good story. Especially when it appears to be true, and contrary to what the PR machines have been putting out. I understand the motive. Every new Philadelphia real estate condo building loves to put on a good show, and appear to be a success. I get it. But don’t you, Mr. Sales Staff for any given new condo building, feel any sense of remorse or regret when you convince a buyer to buy in your building, under false sales stat quotes? I certainly would.
    
Philly condo buyers should not believe everything they hear. Especially from developers sales staff who claim that their buildings have this much, or that percentage sold. The numbers are secretive, not displayed in the MLS, or in government records, and sometimes the numbers are bogus. And what recourse might you have? I would suggest very little. When you walk into any new construction condo building, without a buyers representative (aka- me) with you, you possibly are going to get one side of the story.
     
Many new condo developments have a policy and it reads- “Agents must accompany on buyers FIRST visit”….or,  they (that sales staff) will not allow me to come in with you visit #2, or anytime thereafter. I personally feel this policy is bullshit. If you visit a building, then meet me, I cannot be your agent for THAT building.
    
So wise up here folks. IF you want buyer representation…see me first. Then let’s go visit some Center City new construction high rise buildings. Because if that building is spewing BULLSHIT, I am going to tell you. And again, I am kinda’ “In the know”…..

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

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October 27, 2009

5 Things That Can Ruin a Closing

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:51 am

1) Buyer buys a new car, or otherwise obligates him or herself financially, between signing of the agreement of sale, and closing.

2) Either party, while NOT attending settlement, sends documents back that have not been witnessed by a notary.

3) Either party, having to bring money to the table to complete the transaction, brings a personal check, and not a certified check.

4) Realtor forgets to either: Bring the escrow check, read the utility meters, neglects to do a walk-through, or doesn’t check to see all obligations on the agreement of sale have been fulfilled-like making sure appliances are still in the house at the time of settlement, etc.

5) Seller neglects to, or just doesn’t give a crap, and fails to complete items on a written punch list. I hate sellers like this. Usually deveoplers. Sleezy-bags.

Through hundreds of closings, Mark will do his best not to ruin the day you close on your favorite Fitler Square condo. Or any Philadelphia condo for that matter! 🙂

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

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October 22, 2009

Shopping for your new Philadelphia Condominium?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:26 am

…see if you can avoid being a dumb ass! 

Here are the top 5 Mistakes potential buyers make when shopping for a new condo in Philly:
 
1) They don’t do their homework- And end up buying a condo with a fatal resale flaw… like a 6th floor walkup, or a 2000 sq ft studio.

2) They overpay without asking their realtor for detailed comparable info- huge mistake. Happens all the time.

3) They use a realtor who is a relative, or someone from way out of the area. Whatta’ you, new to this planet? Don’t do that.

4) They neglect to get their mortage costs AND interest rate in writing from their mortgage dude/dudette.

5) They get a friend or relative to do a home inspection for them. I reserve the right to laugh at anyone who does this.
 
Honestly, most Center City Condominium buyers are intelligent, and come prepared. But some don’t do their homework, and end up getting kinda’ screwed in the end. Please don’t let this happen to you! Call, and let’s chat about some of the common pitfalls of buying a condo.

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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Philadelphia, PA 19106
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