Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Center City Philadelphia
Condos and Lofts


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September 2015

September 29, 2015

What do Condo fees include and what are they based upon?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:30 am

Condo fees are based upon ONE thing- Square footage. The larger your condo, the more fees you have to pay.  However- there is going to be a HUGE variation in the amount of fees you pay from building to building. For instance, condo fees at the Philadelphian (2401 Pennsylvania Ave.) are going to be hugely different from say the identical sized unit at say Roberts Quay condos at 1035 Spruce St.

The reasoning is simple- The Philadelphian is an all-inclusive condo building…meaning the doorman, the heat, electric, and the shuttle bus are all included in your monthly fees. You pay for none of those items if you buy at 1035 Spruce.  The amount of services the building offers is the weighted factor that accounts for the varying fees from building to building. I know of no elevators that run on magic pixie dust, nor am I familiar with any doorman who works for free. If you want those amenities in your condo building- you have to pay for them. Period.

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September 21, 2015

So you bought a condo from me…did the home inspection and now are getting your mortgage wrapped up….now what??

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:39 pm

You pretty much just sit and wait. Wait for the mortgage company to ask you for things you have already supplied to them 🙂  And know that there are many things going on in the background of which you may be unaware- We (my team) will be procuring the title report and clearing the title for the closing, ordering the “City Cert” (which is required for all closing in the City of Philadelphia for all condos ranging from the Rittenhouse Hotel at 210 W. Rittenhouse to Waterfront Square Condos), ordering the payoff statements for the seller, ordering the condo docs from the association/mgmt. company, and preparing your final settlement sheet (The HUD-1) in order to have a smooth closing. At this time, you will want to call the electric company and possibly gas company. If you need to have a street blocked off for a moving van- then you will want to call the streets department and get that set up as well. We will be doing a pre-settlement walk-through usually an hour before settlement to make sure the home is in the same condition it was when you put the condo under agreement.  So sit tight, enjoy the ride and start planning on your move into the city!

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September 14, 2015

What to expect when you are applying for a mortgage

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:16 pm

This is a simple blog post….

Expect any and all mortgage folks to torture the sh*t out of you. Period. And I don’t care if you are using someone who you know or have used in the past. The torture part is unavoidable as rules and regs have changed considerably even in the past few years. Even well established condos like say 1830 Rittenhouse Square are going to require heavy scrutinization (buildings get scrutinized as well as buyers).

Remember the banking meltdown we had in 2008? Well- the result of that is higher standards and much much more paperwork that is expected from all buyers. There is no escaping that fact. Will you dislike your mortgage person a bit after you get put through the wringer? Perhaps.

Best to expect the worst and know that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Patience and understanding go a long way in smoothing out the bumps in the road that you are sure to encounter when procuring a mortgage.

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September 8, 2015

What To Expect During A CONDO Inspection

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:07 am

When buying a condo- there really isn’t a whole lot that can be wrong with the unit. I say that because in a condo- you don’t own the roof. You don’t own the foundation. You don’t own the exterior….you only own a portion of those elements in most buildings around town like Naval Square condos. So that leaves things like a dishwasher, electrical outlets and a few other miscellaneous elements throughout the condo.

And know that a seller CAN NOT affect repairs to a common element. So let’s say you are buying a Brownstone styled condo and the inspector finds that the roof is older than normal. You can not ask the seller to repair that roof because the seller does not own that roof and rules and regs of the condo docs state that any individual may not affect any repairs to a common element.


Know that condo home inspections generally last about an hour and cost around $350- depending really upon the size of the condo. Some inspections cost more and some take longer, but it has been my experience that an hour and $350 about does it.  You needn’t attend if you like (though I suggest you do) and you will get an 18 page report back telling you about the “hell hole” you have just purchased 🙂   Inspection reports can be daunting….but I suggest we go through the report to put things into perspective and decide the best course of action for your needs.

I do have a list of home inspectors I know and trust, or you can choose one of your own. Just know that per terms of the contract, we will have a window of opportunity to have the inspection performed and send results to the seller- so time is of the essence.

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