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Center City Philadelphia
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March 2013

March 25, 2013

High Floors- Worth The Higher Price?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:45 am

     It is no secret that new developments in Center City are primarily priced according to not only the size of the Philly condo, but also the floor height. Sometimes asking prices are as much as $50,000 per floor. And to some degree, I get it. Higher floors usually always mean a better view, perhaps more prestige, whatever. Though not everyone wants to be on the top floor of any given building around town. Sometimes the lower floors give really nice tree or treetop views, which can be in demand as well.
     But what happens to that paid premium over time? Does that equation pan out in 50 years? Look no further than say the Hopkinson House, or Society Hill Towers for that answer.
Here is my Two Cents:
   Over time, floor height value has a tendency to erode. Sure, given the opportunity, a great many buyers would rather be on a higher floor for the views, but I do not believe that this is the guiding light of value. Over time, the value equation points more squarely on interior condition….and that is not a reflection of any given Center City Condo.
   A gorgeous unit on a low floor at the Hopkinson House can indeed garner a higher sale price than an average looking unit on a higher floor (Note- major caveats here….a low floor unit with zero view, overlooking the trash dumpster might cause a low floor to generate a low offer).  Now if two units are 100% identical in an older building, sure- we will likely see a premium paid for that higher floor….but I would suggest that the equation more hinges on interior condition as the driving force in resale value.
   So should you pay the premium for a higher floor? That is up to you. I am just sayin’ that I do not think that higher floors necessarily garner a higher sale price as the years go by- I think the value is more reflective of interior condition. So maybe you don’t see the return on the investment- but for many, the kick-ass views are well worth the initial investment.
   So in the end- the premium paid for a view is your call.  We recently bought on the 9th floor of a new highrise here in town- kinda’ in the middle of the building overlooking treetops which we thought provided the view without to paying too much of a premium.



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March 18, 2013

Non Warrantable Condo Financing – Options are Opening up!!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:26 am
In the past 5 years or so, Fannie Mae has come up with rules that have made it nearly impossible to finance
various condos that they believe to be high risk. Though their rules have not changed, we are beginning to see some
lenders venture into the previously uncharted (difficult to finance) waters.
So should you be looking at a condo that Fannie Mae deems to be unwarrantable, here is a lender that may
now be able to help. This is huge- And a huge benefit to those buyers and sellers looking for options.
Here is my top secret source:
Tony Bomis
Residential Mortgage Banker
Susquehanna Bank- Mortgage Division
301 W. Lancaster Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
Direct Cell (610)389-1590
Efax (610)628-6262


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March 4, 2013

Is a Condo right for you?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:58 am

Condominium; an apartment house, office building, or other multiple-unit complex which is individually owned, with an individual deed and right to sell the individual unit of that building. So many uses of the word “individual” but that’s not exactly the word most people would use to describe a condo. Yes, you have your individual unit, but it is in a shared building with shared amenities, such as pool, gym, and/or tennis court, and shared responsibility to show your neighbors the utmost respect.

Let’s back track for a minute. You stopped at the word “amenities” didn’t you? That’s right, when living in a condo amenities such as these are right in your “backyard”, so to speak. Some Philly condos even go as far as to providing you with town car or private bus service to and from your destinations! Not a bad deal for a small fee.

A fee is described as a charge or payment for professional service. That couldn’t hit the nail harder on the head. Along with all the amenities included in your “condo fee”, which is a monthly payment for access to all that a condo has to offer, you also receive the privilege of professional services such as lawn and exterior maintenance as well as indoor home repairs. There are so many wonderful things a condo has to offer.

Condos provide a sense of a safer environment for people living alone or looking after small children considering the extra eyes that are always around. Living in a condo is like working in an office, you have your own personal and private space, yet you aren’t alone, and you aren’t too far from a neighbor or friend.

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