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April 22, 2013

Should a Celebrity Die in your house, is it then a Landmark?

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:53 pm

I love that line. Could you imagine someone throwing that at you to try to overcome or capitalize on a possible downside to a home?


I remember back in the early 1990’s, a listing agent told “Suzy” the REALTOR and Suzy’s buyer that “this” home was historically certified. As the deal progressed, the buyers could find no substantiating evidence to support such a claim. The listing agent, when cornered, uttered, “No dear, I said historically certifiable”.

But that leads to a valid question, especially here in the historic city of Philadelphia. Does the reputation, or historic significance, of a home play into the value of the home… be it a Philadelphia condominium, loft, or townhouse? And conversely, does a less than desirable reputation of a certain home have the ability to suppress the resale value of that home?


I say yes to both.


Pretend a major double murder-suicide kind of something went down in a home, especially in the not too distant past. Such an event might make a buyer hesitate to become interested in a home, which could draw out the length of time a home sits on the market, and make that home riper for a lower sales price.


On the other hand, the fact that Ben Franklin used to make booty calls to your home is no occasion to memorialize such an event with a plaque on the front of your home.


Having, say, “Hail Columbia” composed in your living room might make for an interesting compliment to your resale value. I know of more than one example of premiums being paid for Philadelphia condominiums and town homes where significant history was made at that particular address.


In a town that brought you the likes of Thomas Paine, Dolly Madison, and Betsey Ross, history does sell and has a tendency to sell well; assuming, of course, that such history can be documented and is more than a wild rumor. Less concrete claims, like ghosts and “George Washington once left his wooden teeth in this house” are less likely to garner price adjustment to a historic Philadelphia home.


Interested in buying or selling your own historic (or non-historic) Philadelphia condo? Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at (Ghost and wooden teeth not guaranteed.)

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