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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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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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October 13, 2009

My Top 5 Bizarre Open House Moments

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:43 pm

…and you thought being a realtor was all glamour.

 

I have been sitting Open Houses in Center City Philadelphia for twenty years now. If I add up all the hours I have spent alone in some strangers home, I could have taken a month off in the Bahamas, I am sure. But not all the sitting and waiting for some Philadelphia condo buyer has been in vain. Here are my top (bottom?) 5 Open House experiences that I have lived through:
 
1) Someone once died in the living room of my lovely Open House. I was in a Washington Square West Condo, and PA. Hospital was but 1/2 block away. Buyer Lived.

2) I once added a cat to someones home. The cat was lurking by the back door. I figured I let him out by mistake. I didn’t. This owner didn’t own a cat.

3) I once sat the wrong Open House. Couldn’t get the key to work. Sat on the front stoop for an hour. Was told a week later I was at the wrong address.

4) I once left an open house, and locked a potential buyer inside. She was knocking on the front door, from inside the house, as I attempted to leave. Good save on her part.

5) I once tracked grease from the sidewalk onto the new carpeting of a model open house I was once sitting.  I didn’t tell anyone. It still eats at me at this day.
 
I’m not perfect, but if you own a Center City Condo, I might just 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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October 9, 2009

Appraised Values are Bullshit

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:50 pm

…how do you not understand that?

I have long contended that appraisals are not worth the money. Sure, they are a necessary ingredient into any mortgage or refinance situation, but just how real is an appraisal for any given Rittenhouse Square condo for example?

It has been my general experience that an appraisal is any given mortgage or Re-Fi situation is a question of “Meets”….does the appraised value meet or exceed the sale price. If yes, then great…deal goes through. If not, big problem. But I have seen COUNTLESS appraisals magically come back at exactly sale price. Now how does that happen?
    
Here is what happens: Appraiser finds out sale price, then finds comparable sales to meet that sale price.  It is the tail wagging the dog.

But my bigger complaint is that appraisals do not take into account (or for the most part, discount) interior condition. IF Mr. or Mrs. Appraiser is looking for comparable sales to either meet or exceed the value of the subject property, but he or she has not been inside the comparables, how can they account for the huge fluctuations in the sale prices of supposedly similar units? Does the emotional impact of a unit not count for anything?  And are they getting their insight/knowledge about the interior condition, or the emotional impact of a condo from 5 or 6 crappy photos of a Center City Condo added to the MLS by some realtor with a $20 camera??
    
I would love to hear some feedback on my assertion that appraisals are Bullshit. What do you have to say?

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

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October 7, 2009

No Lack of Condominium Buyers In Center City Philadelphia

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

….for distressed properties, that is. Interesting note for Fall 2009.

There was a really nice 1500+ Sq ft. two bed/two and a half bath condo with parking at WaterFront Square that went on the market a 12 days ago.

The unit was being sold by a bank, and from what I hear, had 4 cash offers. Asking price was $389,000.  Clearly, this unit sold in no time. I even told a buyer that I easily could have sold that unit at least twice, providing no one else knew of this gem.

Whats my point? There are no lack of ready willing and able buyers in Center City Philadelphia. However, there is a lack of severely distressed inventory to satisfy the bottom-feeder buyers.

And I am casting no judgement on those buyers- more power to anyone who is smart enough to be prepared to make such a move. I wish I had more buyers like that! There are still 3 places in town that I think are similar in nature- two in Old City (which is rare) and one in Washington Sq. West. Bottom feeders- Call me. Lets chat.

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 480
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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