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February 2016

February 25, 2016


Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:32 am

Check out this 1999 Article on Mark’s Society Hill Rehab Featured in the Remodelers Show !



It’s More Than Just For Show Mark Wade, Who Buys, Guts And Rehabs Properties In Center City, Was Handpicked To Produce A Model Home For A National Show. Eventually, It Will Be Someone’s $1.25 Million Residence.

POSTED: November 07, 1999

Eleven days till the deadline for completion, and the house on South Third Street in Philadelphia had a long way to go.

Dust was everywhere. Drywall was waiting for primer and finish coats. There were holes in the walls where state-of-the-art security and electronic technology were destined to be installed. The rear courtyard had a crying need for sod.

At the front entrance, Mike Chobert, a painting contractor from the Queen Village neighborhood, was good-naturedly lecturing John Gall on the finer points of stripping the ancient Colonial-style front door.

In the deep shadows of the third-floor bathroom, Ed Mattio, a third-generation plumbing contractor from Queen Village, deftly connected the hot and cold water lines to the pedestal sink without the aid of electric lighting, stopping only to praise the new-age plastic pipe he was working with.

Across the hall, in a bedroom filled with sunlight from Third Street, the developer, Mark Wade, and his Germantown-based general contractor, John Fries, talked details as Fries wolfed down the sandwich he had brought for lunch.”

Click here to read more! 

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February 22, 2016

Like A New Car- New Construction Condos Can Initially Depreciate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:48 am

New condos that have never been occupied are a strong draw for many buyers here in Center City and there are premiums to be paid for that novelty/aspect of any particular new condo in town. And there also is a premium for floor height and view in all of our new construction pieces.

can't keep a Secret

If we do see any initial depreciation of a new construction condominium, we generally see that played out in the premiums paid for floor height and any such depreciation usually occurs within the first year or so.  Buying a new condo then trying to resale within the first year can result in a somewhat mild “hit” on the value of the condo. Sellers are taking away the shine or appeal of the premium paid for a unit being brand spankin’ new and will often see a drop in value. Though usually not a striking drop in value, but a drop in value none the less.  We see this most often in condos where the seller has paid for upgrades that may suit their needs, but don’t always suit the needs or tastes of the buyers that follow.  And sometimes the attribute that pulls the value down is the premium paid for floor height.  Subsequent buyers come at the building looking for an average sale price of a given type of unit and want to pay based upon that figure.  Stronger locations in town, like Rittenhouse Square, 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.

This scenario and resulting depreciation is usually wiped off the books after year one. It is the initial depreciation of a new condo that is loaded towards the front of ownership- like in the first year. Once that hurdle is cleared- the possibility of depreciation lifts as well.

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February 15, 2016

Buyers are like snowflakes- no two are alike. But here are a few things I often hear repeated by many buyers:

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:57 am
  1.  “The sellers didn’t leave the condo as clean as I thought they might or as clean as I would have liked them to”

The contract/agreement of sale calls for broom swept clean condition with no debris left behind. Beyond that- Even most Rittenhouse Square condos are indeed transferred a little less than spotless.


2) “I will probably never use that Jacuzzi style hot tub.”

I find if the tub is new and never used, buyers view it with a shrug. If it old and used- that amenity really becomes a detractor of value.


3) “I guess I don’t really and truly need a 3rd bedroom”

Many buyers have a 3rd bedroom on their wishlist, though most buyers  will eventually opt for a two bed plus den. Even a fair number are opting for a large one bed with a nice den.


4) “Walk-ability is high on my wish list”

And for good reason. But many buyers realize that just being in Center City gets them out and about – and that is kinda’ the idea to city life. Getting out of your condo and shopping/dining/exploring the city can be done regardless of the proximity. Think Uber for a lift to where you want to go.


5) “The ability to rent the condo is of importance”

Indeed. I also think the appeal and ultimate rent-ability of the condo is heavily based upon interior condition and showing ability in addition to the time of year in which you seek to rent the unit. If it shows well, it will rent well….every time.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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February 8, 2016

How can buyers sweeten their offer in lieu of coming in at a strong price?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:37 am

How can buyers sweeten their offer in lieu of coming in at a strong price?

*Shorten your settlement date- especially if the home is vacant.

*Shorten your contingency dates- have your home inspection in a week instead of 15 days

*Put more money down ( to be held in escrow- go a full 10% if warranted)

*Add an “As-Is” clause- doesn’t mean you are giving up your rights to inspections- just lets a seller know you will not be renegotiating after the home inspection.

* Write a really nice note about how much you love the seller’s home and why you are buying it

*If a property is vacant- but still has unwanted clutter and dirt- tell the seller you will buy as the property sits today and that you do not expect them to come back and clean or get rid of debris.

Many things in a Philadelphia real estate transaction are not logical, but are emotional. Sweeten that emotional pot and you might find you are going to save a few dollars. Happens more often than you think.

Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Fox & Roach Realtors®
530 Walnut Street  |  Suite 260  |  Philadelphia PA 19106
direct: 215.521.1523  |  main: 215.627.6005  |  fax: 215.402.1044


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February 1, 2016


Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:12 pm

How best to respond to a super low-ball offer?

I suggest sellers ignore it and pretend it never existed. Do not entertain or respond.


How to best respond to a lower than desired offer?

I suggest you counter in such a way that keeps the buyer engaged, but you don’t give away the farm on your first move. Buyers rarely make their “highest and best offer” initially.


How to respond to a really great offer?

Sign it. ASAP. Do not try to tempt fate or be greedy. Sign it. It is very rare that such a strong offer can or will be duplicated.

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530 Walnut Street, Suite 480
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Direct: 215.521.1523 ~ Office: 215.627.6005
Fax: 215.627.3142
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