July 7, 2017
Tags: Center City Condo Trends, Philadelphia condos, Philly condo trends, rittenhouse square condos
1) Kitchens are going gray and white and are getting smaller than say 20 years ago, and are rarely the “eat-in” variety.
2) More attention is being paid to security. Wireless cameras and monitoring systems are being added and/or upgraded to most new construction condos in Philadelphia.
3) The new design focus is on room size and NOT room count. Most buyers today can do without the true blue 3 bedrooms. Most newer condos are now 2 beds & den. Finding a true 3 bedroom is huge…but rare.
4) The use of quartz over granite is the new trend. Also mixing counter tops is hot- Island counter top may be different than interior kitchen counter top.
5) Most new construction does not have closet space finished. Developers leave them blank for buyer to finish. And I find little difference in resale value if you use high-end closet brand vs. a reasonable knock-off brand. Just maximize your space.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
September 21, 2016
Tags: Philadelphia condominiums, philly condos, rittenhouse square condos
In terms of value retention, resale ability and livability…Here are my latest top ten picks:
1) 1706 Rittenhouse at 1706 Rittenhouse St. – – There can be little doubt that the building shines in terms of value growth and demand. The highest of high end here in Center City. Buyers line up for these units- Who wouldn’t want to live at 1706 ??
2) Kahn Park Place at 1119-25 Pine St.– Parking, roof decks and nice interior space…at prices that I think are undervalued. Homerun! Location is key here as well. Interior condition drives the wide range of values here.
3) Washington Square West Condos on the 12xx Block of South St. – Solid investments in a high growth area. Oh, and all have parking and two bedrooms! You can’t beat these simple yet value driven condos. Boom!
4) St. James Court in Society Hill – 40 years old condos with interiors that clearly stand the test of time. Undervalued and best deals in the 19106 zip code. Most units are off street and quiet. Interior courtyard is picture perfect. You can’t beat the prices in this segment in my opinion.
5) The Coronado at 2201 Chestnut St.– Improvements to the building make the investment here a solid one in terms of value growth. And in the 19103 zip code to boot.
6) The Lenox at 250 S. 13th St.– Not unlike 2201 Chestnut Street in the fact that it is a pre-war styled condo building that has undergone many recent upgrades and improvements. Since the Parker across the street closed- are values poised for a significant bounce upwards? Probably.
7) Center City One at 1326 Spruce St. – If I had millions of dollars, I would probably spend most of them inside this building if I wanted to make money.
Try to beat the location and the floor plan of the two bed, two bath units.
No supply here.
8) The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. – Values for the larger units bounced higher and faster than any other segment in Center City. Many reasons which can be attributed to the association…and lack of supply didn’t hurt either.
9) Low Rise Condos in 19103 and 19107– Perpetual demand leads to a shortened “days on market” for many in this segment. Solid purchases and solid returns. And those near Jefferson and U of Penn have a double good whammy- which is huge rent-ability.
10) 2200 Arch St. Condos at 2200 Arch St. – Probably the quickest sales in the loft like segment here in town. Parking, close to jogging trail and in the 19103 zip code. This place is firing on all cylinders.
Honorable Mention: The Reef Building at WaterFront Square 901 N. Penn St. – Just about 6 units remain and the values are climbing faster than most other buildings around town. Expect another bump in values when the building completely sells out. Philadelphian’s are warming to the idea of living in this lovely gated community. Though I am biased…We own and live here.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
215.521.1523 | Mark@CenterCity.com
February 15, 2016
Tags: buying Philly condos, Philly condominiums for sale, rittenhouse square condos
“The sellers didn’t leave the condo as clean as I thought they might or as clean as I would have liked them to”
The contract/agreement of sale calls for broom swept clean condition with no debris left behind. Beyond that- Even most Rittenhouse Square condos are indeed transferred a little less than spotless.
2) “I will probably never use that Jacuzzi style hot tub.”
I find if the tub is new and never used, buyers view it with a shrug. If it old and used- that amenity really becomes a detractor of value.
3) “I guess I don’t really and truly need a 3rd bedroom”
Many buyers have a 3rd bedroom on their wishlist, though most buyers will eventually opt for a two bed plus den. Even a fair number are opting for a large one bed with a nice den.
4) “Walk-ability is high on my wish list”
And for good reason. But many buyers realize that just being in Center City gets them out and about – and that is kinda’ the idea to city life. Getting out of your condo and shopping/dining/exploring the city can be done regardless of the proximity. Think Uber for a lift to where you want to go.
5) “The ability to rent the condo is of importance”
Indeed. I also think the appeal and ultimate rent-ability of the condo is heavily based upon interior condition and showing ability in addition to the time of year in which you seek to rent the unit. If it shows well, it will rent well….every time.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
October 18, 2012
Tags: kitchen remodeling, rittenhouse square condos
The kitchen is the room in your Rittenhouse Square Condo where families typically gather to begin their day. It’s the first room that family members visit when they return home as well. With so many comings and goings, it’s easy for the busy room to become a catchall for clutter. Items totally unrelated to cooking and eating, such as books, bills, backpacks and bags, often find their home here. A kitchen remodel or addition offers you the opportunity to plan ahead for all the activities that take place in your kitchen, with storage solutions that will make the utilitarian room as stylish as it is functional.
Because kitchen cabinets typically take up to 30 percent of a kitchen remodeling budget, you’ll want to ensure that the cabinets not only look great but provide the storage solutions that your kitchen needs to keep clutter at bay. Pull-down shelves, slide-out towel bars and pull-out waste bins help keep frequently used items accessible. Look for cabinets with hardware that enhances functionality too, such as self-closing slides on drawers.
Consider including a zone in the kitchen’s layout for non-food-related activities. Once you’ve designated specific areas for non-cooking activities, you can help keep the related materials organized with containers, baskets and trays. Deep trays are a kitchen organizer’s best friend. Trays not only allow you to keep an assortment of related items together but are easy to transport to and from a cabinet as well, letting you whisk clutter
out of sight quickly and easily. Trays are great for managing the dreaded “junk drawer” too.
Store the items that you use the most, such as large utensils and knives, on the counter in attractive containers. There’s no reason why storage solutions can’t add visual appeal to the overall look of your kitchen while make the heart of your home more functional too.
Jennie owns and manages several self storage units in Fontana CA. She recommends using Extra Space Storage in Las Vegas to her friends and family in the Las Vegas region. Away from work, Jennie enjoys spending time with her three young boys and her beloved dog Rex.
April 25, 2012
Tags: center city condos, Philadelphia condos, philadelphia lofts, rittenhouse square condos
If you found a Philadelphia condo, and made an offer and the seller signed the offer on say, January 1st, here is a rough time line of what to expect:
By January 5th – Have mortgage application taken.
By January 15th – Set up and have Home Inspection.
By January 16th – 2nd deposit due.
Sometime mid to late January- You get condo docs and have 5 days to review.
Throughout January and February- Be tortured by your mortgage company.
Through January and February- I order title insurance, city certificates, etc etc.
One week prior to settlement- You order a homeowners’ insurance policy for your unit.
One day prior to settlement- We do our final Walk-Through
Day of Settlement- Take This day off work. Please. Settlement will take an hour or two.
Post Settlement- Sing and dance in the middle of the street, and drink to celebrate your accomplishment!
Prudential Fox and Roach
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106
April 5, 2012
Tags: Philadelphia condos, philadelphia lofts, rittenhouse square condos
I get a lot of email from folks who used to live in town…here is what you may not know about Center City if you haven’t been to town in 20 years:
1. Spruce and Pine Streets are now one lane- the other lane is a bike lane.
2. There is a new tax called the “Center City District Tax”…kinda’ nominal, but adds street cleaners and supervisors on many of the residential streets.
3. Northern Liberties is RED HOT- You MUST see to believe (compared to the 1980’s).
4. Graduate Hospital is now apartments- The hospital closed.
5. We have a new “South Street Bridge” and it is fabulous.
6. Broad St Just South of City Hall is Hoppin’…with residential and tons of restaurants.
7. The Bellevue Stratford is now The Hyatt at the Bellevue- and is stunning.
8. Delaware Ave. is now Columbus Blvd- and nicely manicured.
9. The old Naval Home on Grays Ferry is now a Toll Brothers development.
10. Most Parking meters are gone- replaced by Kiosks- and the parking authority is still very well run- If our city was run as well, the streets would be lined in gold.
If you are looking to come back to check out the City, drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com…I would love to show you some of the great new Philadelphia Lofts and Condos available too!
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila, PA 19106
February 3, 2012
Tags: Center City condo sellers, Philadelphia condominiums, rittenhouse square condos
1) You see that the condo is vacant, and the front desk tells you they moved
over a year ago.
2) You Google the sellers, and You see that they own multiple properties,
and all of them are for sale.
3) You search the history (in the MLS) of that listing, and see the seller is on
their third listing agent.
4) You walk into the condo, it is vacant, the appliances are gone, and it looks
like the seller left in the middle of the night.
5) You read some unique language in the MLS listing about “seller makes no
warranties”, or “ corporate addendum must accompany…” usually means
corporate owned- aka REO.
These are all possible signs that the condo is ripe for an insulting offer.
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106
January 18, 2012
Tags: center city condos, Philly condo associations, rittenhouse square condos
Before you buy, Mark Wade of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach in Center City, who specializes in low- and mid-rise condos, recommends careful scrutiny of the condo association.
“The association can influence value,” Wade said. For instance, if it doesn’t monitor the owner-occupancy ratio – that is, if there are more than the acceptable number of renters vs. owner-occupiers, it may make it difficult for a buyer to get financing.
Condos not approved for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Federal Housing Administration-backed financing are known as “nonwarrantable” and offer few options for buyers or those refinancing.
“This scenario ultimately lowers demand for a building, and reduces resale values as well,” Wade said. “A review of the condo budget, money on hand, and knowing what is included in the condo fees should be considered when buying a unit.”
Click to check out some other articles in which I have been quoted speaking about Philly Condos!
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106
February 25, 2011
Tags: Philadelphia Condominium, Philly condo views, rittenhouse square condos, Washington Square condos
…and floor height isn’t the only factor affecting values within the same buildings.
Probably the most overlooked effect on value to high rise condominium is the view that any particular piece of Philadelphia Real Estate has to offer. And not all views are created equal. Let compare and contrast a few different scenarios. All are based on my opinion, as a fairly seasoned Realtor who specializes in condo sales I have learned a great deal about the effect on value that particular views may or may not have, and any given buyer’s perception of how that view might affect their desire to purchase.
1) It is possible for a posh condo to nearly double in value if it has a highly coveted view. Think Central Park.
2) In some buildings, the highest values have been posted not only on the highest floors, but also on what we call “treetop” view. A very nice view of the treetops, say on the 5Th floor of a high rise condo can be very appealing to a number of buyers
3) A condo on a high Floor does not always warrant a higher sales price. IS there a benefit to looking directly into a neighboring high rise condo building- from the 27Th vs the 8Th floor?
4) I personally have found few buyers to discriminate between an East vs West view. However, a number of condo values are greatly affected by a North Vs South view.
5) Not all views from the 16Th floor of various buildings are the same. Think about ceiling height, and windows that run floor to ceiling. The building itself can manipulate either the view, or the feeling that the view offers, and this in turn will affect resale value and overall appeal.
At times, the need for a good view can be bypassed if a condominium has great light. There are many Rittenhouse Square condos that offer tremendous natural light, be it north or south, east or west, that don’t necessarily have great visuals. I find a lot of buyers will fore-go a great view if the natural light is strong. Conversely, I find that a great view will not overcome the weakness of a dark condominium. I would suggest that natural light is a stronger motivator than a great view- at least in terms of resale ability.
So know that it has been my experience that view does indeed affect resale price and the time it may take to sell any given Philadelphia condominium. Though direct “park views” are the most desirable, there are compensating factors, and issues that can compensate for a lovely tree lined view of say, Washington Square. One needs to consider the window size, ceiling height, amount of natural light, and of course floor height. All factors should be considered when determining the resale ability of any given Philadelphia condo.
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Philadelphia, PA 19106
December 21, 2010
Next Page »
Tags: Center City condo, center city condo for sale, Center City Real Estate, condo loft philadelphia rittenhouse square, rittenhouse square condos
Not all fluctuations in value have a direct correlation to one particular quality of any given Philadelphia condominium. Rather, a Philadelphia condominium’s value, and the rate of change therein, is really a product of a host of factors.
Obvious factors are the showing ability and the condo’s emotion: cleanliness, natural light, wall color, furniture, even the smell of a condo can add or subtract from the emotional beauty, and leads to a huge impact on a condos value. In my twenty-one years of selling real estate, I have never had a buyer tell me to find him the dirtiest, or the worst decorated condo available. Interior condition can also have a major impact on value. Beige bathtubs and appliances can crimp value fairly quickly in a lot of cases. And of course the physical characteristics of any given unit can help or hurt the units value (think- huge closets, a tax abatement, high ceilings,etc). Styles, like appliances and carpeting have a tendency to age, and that is usually accompanied by a slower rate of appreciation. Clearly, more recently rehabbed, say, Rittenhouse Square condos are going to retain their value better than a unit in a state of disrepair.
Location is a huge factor to the rate of either appreciation or depreciation too. Stronger locations in town have a tendency to be a bit more elastic- they are the first neighborhoods to see a drop in inventory with any influx of buyers to the market. That’s a good thing. Recall the principles of supply and demand. I would argue that a strong location is going to depreciate less -because IF in a weakened marketplace, the first condos to remain unsold are in the weaker locations. (The flip side is that you might be able to strike a significantly improved deal, should you be looking away from an “A” location.)
I am just brushing the surface here, but know that not all condos in town will appreciate or depreciate at the same rate. Or sell within the same given time frame. The best tools you have to insure your value remains intact is twofold:
1) Buy it at the right price in the first place and/or
2) Keep your unit looking like it just jumped off the pages of Town and Country Magazine.
Easier said than done, I am aware!
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106