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February 5, 2008

How does floor height affect value in Philadelphia condominiums?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:18 am

In my opinion, with respect to a high-rise Center City condo, the answer to the question is an obvious one:  The higher the floor, the better the view, and generally the higher the price. On a clear day you can see forever. You can even see, with binoculars, the high rises in Atlantic City.  Heck, from Liberty Two (50 S. 16th St.) you can even see the Nuclear power plant in Limerick. Although the upper floors do command higher prices, there is a segment of the Philadelphia condo buyer who enjoys, and actually prefers a tree top view, somewhere around the fourth or fifth floors. Provided of course, the view is actually of trees and treetops, and not rooftops of neighboring buildings.

In a low-rise Center City condo building, my opinion is that the value of the floor height is usually determined by the presence or absence of an elevator.  If you have an elevator, top floors are preferred.  However, know that in MANY cases, the higher the floor (in a low-rise condo) will mean a lower ceiling height.  The first floor generally has the highest ceiling height in almost all low rise condos in Philadelphia. But there is some opposition to being on the first floor by some Center City condo buyers.  The perception is safety, or the lack thereof. That perception can be balanced….as there are many $2,000,000 townhouses here in town that of course have a lot of living space on the first floor. It is kinda’ a “part and parcel” issue. It is how the city is built. If you live in a low-rise say, Fitler Square condo, I would suggest to you that resale wise, the second floor is generally going to be most desirable. Especially second floor front. Think about it. There are many reasons why a 2nd floor front unit is going to be the most desirable in the building…given that all other issues are equal within that building.

I would love to hear feedback on my points.  Leave a comment or drop me an email sometime.  Tell me what you think!

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

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