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Condos and Lofts


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June 2011

June 22, 2011

Some Philly Condos Appreciate and some Depreciate

Filed under: For Sellers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:08 am

Like people in a swimming pool, some float, and some sink. The question is why.

Obvious factors are the showing ability and emotional impact that a particular condo unit does or does not possess: 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 years of selling real estate, I have never had a buyer tell me to find him the dirtiest, or the worst decorated condo available. Easily, as much a ten percent difference in value depending upon showing ability. And of course interior condition can also have a major impact on value. Beige bathtubs and appliances can crimp value fairly quickly in a lot of cases. 

In addition, the physical charactoristics of any given unit can help or hurt the units value (think- huge closets, a tax abatment, 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 or decline in its finishes. Also prohibitive condominium association rules and policies can deter many buyers from specific buildings. A host of factors can cause units to sit on the market longer than normal, and almost always guaranteeing a lessened resale value.

Location is also a huge factor to the rate of either appreciation or depreciation. 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 timeframe. 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!

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

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June 13, 2011

Why We bought a Condo at WaterFront Square

Filed under: For Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:10 am


After living in the heart of downtown Center City Philadelphia for 24 years, we have decided it was time to move the hell out of town. Well, at least like 5 blocks out of the heart of town.
I personally spent 18 years in Old City. I love Old City. I lived for six years on and around Rittenhouse Square. I love Rittenhouse Square. But in my advancing years (I just turned 50), I find that a gated community with a guard at my front gate, plus a doorman, and a valet, and on-site pool and huge deck overlooking the river- is getting to be more my speed. I don’t want to be a big brain, but as a Realtor since 1989 in Center City, I KNOW my Real Estate in this town. There are many fine places to live. But I don’t think I could have made a better decision than to live at WaterFront Square.
    The unparallelled views, the service, huge private balcony off my living room, the tax abatement, two car parking, and the ground are really One-Of-A-Kind here in Philadelphia. We have shuttle service into town, and honestly- some of the nicest doormen I have met. And I know ALL the doormen in the Center City condo buildings- I am a Realtor who specializes in condo sales. I have been here a month, and have yet to hear a neighbor. Or meet one. Yippee!
    Most buyers who move to town say they want to be within walking distance of their favorite restaurants or venues. What they really mean- but don’t yet know- Is that they want to be within a taxi ride of their favorite haunts. Mr. and Mrs. Draped in Diamonds and Furs won’t be seen walking home from the Academy of Music at 10pm on a Saturday night- believe me. For the naysayers  who poo-poo the idea of living just on the outskirts of town, I have to say- You don’t know what you are missing. I live in a haven of tranquility and amenities. Two qualities of life you are not going to find en mass around Old City, or even the square.
Mark Wade
Owner – and

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June 7, 2011

Renting Increases in Philadelphia Condos

There was an article last week in the Philadelphia Inquirer that suggests more Philadelphia Condos are being rented.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Because the focus of residential construction during the boom times was on for-sale housing rather than rentals, there aren’t enough high-end apartments to go around now.

“We are finding the high-end rentals to be almost nonexistent, as they rent fairly quickly,” said real estate agent Mark Wade, of Prudential Fox & Roach.

Condos near the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University “have a built-in demand for rentals, and we have seen that equation play out year after year,” Wade said.

Read more here:

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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