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Center City Philadelphia
Condos and Lofts


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August 2009

August 27, 2009

Tallest Center City Condominium Buildings…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:16 pm

Liberty Two    58 stories
The Ritz Carlton    44 stories
The Murano     42 stories
The Academy House    37 stories
The Hopkinson House    35 stories
The Aria    33 stories
The Dorchester    32 stories   
The Wanamaker House    32 stories
Society Hill Towers    31 Stories
Wanna’ live way up high? Give me a call, and let’s go visit some of the highest residences in Center City Philadelphia!

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

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August 21, 2009

So you think you are getting a good mortgage rate?

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:34 pm

…what about the fees??

So, you found a mortgage company…say, “Joe Bag O’ Donuts Mortgage Company” on the internet, and they are offering you a rate .25% LESS than what you can find with perhaps someone who might appear to be more reputable, or well known. Congrats. But did get that mortgage persons FEES in writing??????? You better! Low teaser rates are often accompanied by some of the dumbest fees I have ever seen…I am not making these up, and I have seen some of these attached by a lender on many condos in Philly (PAID BY THE BORROWER)-

Origination points
Discount points
Application Fee
Inspection Fee
Final Inspection Fee
E-mail Fees
Flood Certification Fee
Warehouse Admin Fee
Subordination Agreement Fee
Require Fee
Processing Fee
Administration Fee
Settlement/Closing Fee
Commitment Fee
Tax Service Fee
Reinspection Fee
Attorney Fees
Document Preparation Fees
Mortgage Insurance Premium
VA Funding Fee
Moral of the story- If the rate looks too good to be true….it may well be. Don’t be a goof. Get interest rate quotes AND fees in writing before submitting a mortgage application.       

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

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August 19, 2009

HomExpert Market Watch Report – Greater Philadelphia Region

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:46 pm

We received this useful bit of information here in Center City Philadelphia this month from Prudential Fox and Roach’s Research Division. The numbers indicate that Philadelphia sellers need to be very cautious when pricing their homes andcondos for sale in the current market and they may experience somewhat longer than expected marketing time. Month’s supply of inventory refers to how many months it would take to sell the inventory (homes for sale) based on the rate of sales (homes sold).

Month’s Supply of Inventory by Price Range, July 2007-July 2009:

Price Range                 July 2007          July 2008          July 2009          % Change 07-09

All Price Points                7.3                     9.4                    9.8                     34.4

$1,000,000+                    23.7                    26.9                 43.4                    83.6 

$1,000,000-$750,000       12.4                    17.2                 24.2                    95.1 

$750,000-$500,000            9.3                     12.4                18.0                    92.9 

$500,000-$300,000           7.9                     10.1                  12.0                   51.6 

$300,000-0                       6.5                     8.6                     8.1                   25.5  

Philadelphia Buyers on the other hand, have a larger inventory from which to select their home and interest rates remain at a very low, affordable level. First time home buyers also have until November 30 to take advantage of the $8000 tax credit.

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


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August 12, 2009

Home Owners Should Keep Tenants at Bay

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:17 pm

….or risk killing a deal
Most tenants are buttheads. Come on, let’s be real here. I can list dozens of reasons why tenants can be deal killers. All from my own personal experience. They are not on this planet to make sure a buyer buys your Center City Condo, or that you get the most money possible. They can interfere greatly. Consider:

-Tenants who keep YOUR home looking like crap, with filth and crap strewn about your condo.
-Tenants who will keep shades drawn, as they laze around watching daytime TV when a showing occurs. Yeah, that’s going to help you sell your condo.
-Tenants who follow home inspectors along saying things like “Yeah, the roof keeps leaking all the time”.
-Tenants who say they will be home to let you in, then magically don’t answer the door.
-Tenants whose lease is up on say May 30th, and shockingly aren’t prepared to move (haven’t signed another lease)
-Tenants who leave all kinds of crap behind.
-Tenants who lock the one lock on the front door to which you do NOT have a key
Tenants are not on this earth to make your transaction easy. A lot of times, they don’t want to move. And allowing realtors to show their residence is not something they generally get excited about.

So…make a plan to keep your tenants happy while you market your Philly condo. Give them some incentive for making showings easy. Keep them in check, and do not allow them to call the shots. You and your future buyer will be much happier if you do not allow your tenant to cause all kinds of potential problems.

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

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August 7, 2009

The Cost to Rehab your own Philly Loft

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:47 pm

Is it worth the time and effort?
If you know anything about Center City condos, you know that within the same (older style/exisitng) condo building, there can be two identical units in size, shape, and layout. One is priced 40% MORE than the other. The costlier unit has been fully rehabbed, and the cheaper unit is still in original conditon.

So what does it cost to cosmetically rehab a condo here in town? Well, the prices can vary of course depending upon who you use, materials used, and if you plan on replacing existing elements, or reinventing the wheel, so to speak. It has been my general experience that to simply upgrade kitchen, baths, floors, walls, closets, etc (not including heating/AC, or MOVING water supplies, etc.) is going to cost you somewhere around $50 per square foot. So if you have a 1000 sq ft condo that you wish to make gorgeous, you should plan on spending $50,000.  And if done right, with a good eye to detail, without getting to jaded or one-sided in your new “look”, the increase in value to your condo is going to exceed the $50,000 you just spent.

Now these rules are very general, and I would suggest you call me to chat prior to making any decision if you are concerned about return on your investment. I have rehabbed soooo many condos in Philly that hopefully I can be of help to you and your rehabbing dreams.

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

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August 5, 2009

Your Center City Condo can’t sell because your picked a crappy Management Company

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:20 pm

Your front Center City Condo doorman is kinda’ rude, he has no real training, and your management company is charging your buyer $200 to answer routine questions that should be listed in your condo docs, or on your resale certificate. Oh, and there is a dirty mop bucket inside one of your broken elevators which sits wide open in the lobby, with the lights off.  WAY TO MAKE A GREAT IMPRESSION ON POTENTIAL BUYERS!

Oh, and did I mention that your management company rep won’t return my phone calls, and takes 3 weeks to get me condo docs?? And your common hallways smell icky, and they need cleaning (my buyers parents can see the dust accumulation on the hallway baseboards from about a mile away). Oh, and in addition to charging your future potential buyer money to ask questions, they are going to charge him or her $300 to assemble a standard set of paperwork that is required for you to sell your Philadelphia condo. Then they have to pay a $250 move-in fee. AND YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE.

Perhaps you need to look into this. Then do something about it. Because my buyer isn’t made of money, but it appears your management company is making money hand over fist. Oh, and the lack of training of your doorman? BLAME YOUR MGMT COMPANY.

Then blame your condo board for not objecting to this shortcoming! If you think my buyers aren’t going to notice…you are WRONG.

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

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