It is really simple. I show you a condo. Then I ask…is this too small? What do you think of the view? The closet space? The layout?
Then we visit the 2nd condo, and the questions are: What do you think of this building? How do you like the location? Is the kitchen big enough?
Then we go to the 3rd condo, and I ask: How do you feel about rental parking being around the corner, as opposed to on-site? Do you like the bathrooms? How adverse are you to paying higher condo fees (for things like doormen, and elevators)?
Finding you the right (say) Rittenhouse Square flat, or say Old City loft is a function of how well you can verbalize your “dream condo”, and me being able to interpret what you say, and match that to the current Center City Philadelphia inventory of condos.
It is not rocket science. However, I am a fairly quick study, and I know the Philadelphia real estate market better than most (if you don’t mind me being a big-brain)….
Philadelphia has been graced with some wonderful, and some not so wonderful additions to their condominium inventory over the past five years. Some are selling quite well, and some- well, not so much.
I think that the popularity of a certain building has to do more with the buildings cache, or “je ne sais quoi” rather than the normal fluctuations that occur within a given real estate market at any given time. By that I mean that some buildings are, and have sold well due to either the builder’s name, or hype that surrounds such buildings. The lack of such hype can be devastating.
From ultra-contemporary to elegantly conservative, Philadelphians seem split on the style design of the condos they prefer. We have seen some very high end Penthouse units sell in Old City lately, and the addition of the most modern building to hit town become erected at 13th and South Streets.
New construction is favored by many, due to Philadelphia’s tax abatement , and the stylish finishes found in many new high and mid rise Center City condo buildings. Even high-end condos can be found, bursting with amenities, in some low rise Brownstone conversions projects found scattered about town.
One of the most distressing real estate topics we hear in the news is the foreclosure rate. Realty Trac, the California based company that tracks foreclosure information, just released the news that foreclosures rose 81% in 2008. But to put this in the proper perspective, one needs to consider two things:
The total percentage of homes in foreclosure is 1.84%. An 81% increase appears dramatic, but the fact is that this overall percentage rate is relatively small.
The majority of foreclosures are in areas of the country where real estate values rose at unsustainable rates and/or land available for development caused excess new construction. These include the coastal areas of California and Florida, as well as Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the primary reasons that there has been steep price declines in these areas is because of the number of foreclosed properties on the market.
The eight-county Philadelphia region placed 77th of 100 metro areas nationwide in the number of foreclosure filings recorded in 2008, not too bad.
I work with a lot of buyers who look at new construction Philly condos for sale here in downtown Philadelphia. And after each visit, I get the same response back from my buyers, and it is never good feedback. They resent being held up for an hour, and do not like the “prying” from sales reps from these large new buildings, and are generally not interested in a long theatrical song and dance about how “Great” any particular building might happen to be.
My buyers generally want the quick overview…not the long serenade.
And why is it necessary for you to collect my buyer’s personal information? They are my buyers, not yours. I like to handle buyers with a non-intrusive approach…allowing them to give info as they please.
SALES AGENTS ATTACHED TO PARTICULAR BUILDINGS WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING, DOWN TO MY BUYERS SHOE SIZE. It is ridiculous.
I suggest that if any particular Center City condo building wants MORE traffic, they should provide an “express” overview of their new condos they are offering. Put a few units on lockbox, and let us go in and out at will. Your sales pitch is NOT going to persuade my buyers…that is my job.
Knowing that we are going to be tied up for an hour looking at your project is going to prevent interest in your building- We just don’t have the time. I can’t spend 8 hours looking at 8 properties.
DO THE MATH, YOU GOOF.
IF MY CUSTOMERS LIKE YOUR NEW PHILLY CONDO LISTINGS, WE ARE COMING BACK FOR A 2ND LOOK- I GUARANTEE IT. AT THAT TIME, MY BUYERS CAN SPEND THE TIME TO REALLY KICK THE TIRES-
An initial walk through is not the time to put my buyers on the spot with your questions and extended song and dance about how nice your “community room” is, or how impressive your weight room might be.
We have talked about this before and the topic keeps us happy here in Philadelphia, so here we are talking about it again. Amidst a year filled with housing turmoil, from foreclosures to listings that sit on the market for over 200 days with no end in sight despite ANOTHER price reduction, here in Center City Philadelphia, condominiums are still selling. Sure, the market here has softened, there is no doubt about it, but compared to our Suburbian friends around the country, our head is still holding above the water and with no intention of sinking.
I came across this great article from the Philadelphia Inquirer from the summer titled Center City Condos Thriving. Many of my colleagues are quoted throughout the article and at the bottom you can read some statistics from many buildings in which I’ve sold a condo or 2 (or many) myself, including The Winne Building, in which I currently have several lisings.
Before we know it, the 2009 Spring market will be in gear and things here in Center City Philadelphia will really start to pick up again. If you are interested in an appreciating long term investment, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com to set up an appointment and let’s go condo shopping (my favorite thing to do) together!
Untidy vacant homes? Crime? Social Disorder? Here in the City? Guess again.
With the subprime crisis unfolding across America, more and more homeowners in the Suburbs are facing foreclosure and they are having a difficult time finding buyers who are interested in purchasing their homes that sit on oversized lawns that will need mowing on Saturday morning after a 75 hour work week. Today, most buyers in our market are young professionals who work long hours and who may be interested in eventually starting a family if they haven’t already. This doesn’t leave them with much time left over for things like lawnmowing or cleaning gutters. There has been a major shift in the way folks want to live and work today compared to 30 years ago in more ways than one.
Here is an informative, well-written article, The Next Slum? written by Christopher B. Lineberger, that I came across that talks about how Houses in the Suburbs are sitting vacant or on the market longer and longer. Overgrown lawns and untended homes are sprinkled heavily throughout these neighborhoods that many once thought were much more desirable than our urban setting. Unfortunately this is leading to in influx of problems, such as unlawful homeless tenants or even unruly renters that no one wants as neighbors.
On the same note, cities, especially Center City Philadelphia, have become more desireable to today’s professional buyers. We are seeing more and more new construction around town and more and more folks are leaving their lawnmowers behind and joining us in our culturally exciting way of life. From being able to walk to work or to your favorite restaurant to having your own doorman in a pet-friendly, “green” condo building, Center City Condo living is thriving!
If you are interested in taking a look at some condominiums here in town, give us a call at 215.440.2388 or click this link to Meet Our Team!
Nicole Noguer Licensed Office Assistant to Mark Wade www.CenterCityCondos.com Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106
Very simply put, a point is equal to one percent of the mortgage amount of your loan for your Philadelphia condo or flat- be it a Rittenhouse Square condominium, or a Society Hill loft. Points are not mandatory, in most cases, and are offered by a bank in return for a lowering of your interest rate.
Let’s say you buy a $550,000 condo in Philadelphia. You are going put 5% down, so your mortgage amount is $500,000. Here is how points work:
You pay 1 point (payable to the lender), which costs you $5,000 and your interest rate is 6%
You pay 2 points, which will cost you $10,000, and your interest rate is 5.75%
Now, if you monthly mortgage payment is going to drop (say) $100 a month BECAUSE you paid a point, it will take you 50 months to recoup that $5000 investment in that one point.
You save $100 a month, and paid $5000 for that honor. Hence 50 months to recoup.
So it begs the question, are you SURE you are going to live in this Rittenhouse Square condo for over four years? Because if you are not sure how long you are going to stay put, it may not be in your best interest to pay that point. I have been a realtor in Philadelphia for almost twenty years now, and I sell a lot of condos in Center City. I don’t see a lot of folks staying put for more than four years. They get a dog, a family, a lawnmower, a promotion, a transfer, and they are off to bigger and better pastures. Empty nesters would be the exception to this general rule.
So there you have it…..for more information, check out my website www.CenterCityCondos.com and click the Vendor Menu button for mortgage solicitors who can explain more about financing a wide variety of condos in Philadelphia.