So, you have decided to load up the truck and move to ‘beverly, eh? Please know that before you go, you are probably going to get busted by your buyer’s home inspector for a number of issues. Here are the most common issues that I see sellers neglect when they sell their Philly condo:
1) Your air filter to your heating and air conditioning system needs replacing. It is old…super old…and has been restricting flow to your HVAC system, or it is improperly sized, or even non-existent. I see this ALL the time. Go to the Home Depot, and spend the $25 to remedy this….Now.
2) There is a missing TPRV on your hot water tank. This is another “under $25” fix. Again, go to Home Depot, and look in the plumbing section for a Temperature Pressure Relief Valve. Simply put, it is an “L” shaped thick metal pipe that measures about 1’ by 4’ and directs hot water down and away from anyone standing nearby, should the pressure relief valve open on its own.
3) There are double taps, and under/oversized breakers in your electrical panel box. I don’t really know what that means. I do know that it means you should call an electrician and have your electrical system looked over and remedied. Again, happens in a good percentage of the past 2000+ home inspections I have seen in my career.
4) Missing grout, or worn grout, and /or caulk in the shower and tub. Another $20 fix in most cases. This is preventive maintenance stuff here, and you will get called on it, if applicable.
5) Water stains on your ceiling. You need to fix the cause of the leak- and more often than not in Philadelphia condos, it is caused from a leaking bathroom above (should you NOT be living on the top floor, perhaps).
Now clearly, there is a possibility that none of these issues apply to you, but I would have to say that these are the most common issues cited by home inspectors in the 29 years I have been selling condos in Philadelphia.
So, when you are ready to add your condo “Just Listed” site, give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.com. We can talk about the possibility of some of these issues before the home inspection takes place, this way your potential buyer won’t nag you with the small stuff!
Since when are closet inserts an upgrade? When one buys an $800,000 condo, should you not be able to expect that some sort of clothes hanging mechanism would be included? Even the cheesy cheap wire mesh systems? I have seen developers try to pass off even the basic necessities as upgrades, and it is insulting. Perhaps Mr. Developer, you think my $800,000 buyer just fell off the back of a turnip truck? How the hell do you think he or she got to the point in their life where they could afford such a condominium without a brain cell or two? Dumbass.
And please stop with the patronizing “and you get lovely carpet in the bedrooms at no extra charge”. Again, you are an idiot.
And touting the virtues of a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, and/or doorbell for each condo unit?Yippee…where does my buyer sign?? If developers could take a minute or two to tour some of the condo offerings in Center City Philadelphia, and realize that the buyers I am bringing to your front door have seen almost EVERYTHING on the market, then maybe that developer could wise up, and compare apples to apples. Tell us about the significance of your location, the quality of your construction, or the fact that you are priced competitively. My buyers are not stupid, and I will not allow them to be uneducated. So wise up, and let’s make a deal. Because until you (Mr. Developer) come to your senses, my buyer’s desire to write an offer on one of your condos is going to be severely limited.
One thing buyers should be aware of when considering purchasing a Rittenhouse Square condo is whether or not they want to pay to actually live ON Rittenhouse Square. There is a huge difference between living on the Square, or living in the “Rittenhouse Square area”.
It should surprise no one that realtors can sometimes stretch the boundaries of specific neighborhood by adding suffixes such as: – area, -vicinity, and –adjacent. And realtors aren’t the only ones guilty of such name dropping. Heck, for years here in town “Society Hill Furniture” was just off of Broad and Bainbridge Streets. Go figure. And there are even striking price differences between having a “Square View” and not being able to see Rittenhouse Square from your windows (for those high rises directly on the square).
So there are many interpretations of what constitutes a Rittenhouse Square Condo. It is my opinion that Center City “changes” block by block, with respect to housing/condo values, and what is most important is that you are buying or selling for what is appropriate for your little corner of “Rittenhouse Square”.
What I find most interesting is the DOM (days on market) of 128. In October 2007, DOM was 93 days. And “pended properties” (those home that are under agreement, and awaiting settlement) dropped from 23 this October, compared to 51 in October 2007.
Want to make sense of some of these figures? Give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at MArk@CenterCity.com, and let’s chat!
Along (what I have dubbed) the Spruce/Pine corridor here in Center City Philadelphia, there are a variety of low rise/Brownstone styled condominiums that have seemed to perform reliably well over the past decade. Due to the perceived desirability of the location of Spruce St. and Pine St, and the mix of unit availability, along with ease of parking (be it rental or on-site), along with the feeling of being “in the mix” of being able to commute around town on foot, I do find that this segment of the market has fared pretty well.
Brownstone condo developments have gained in popularity and acceptance over the past decade, and are unique in their design, features, amenities, and “flair”, as very few are identical. Each building (converted from what was once a very large single family dwelling) is unique in its style and design. For instance, The lowrise brownstone known as Roberts Quay on the corner of 11th and Spruce offers units that are earmarked with high ceilings, original detail, unique floor plans, and holds stunning curb appeal for those looking in the area. Also, since many of these buildings lack a doorman, or an elevator, we will find that condo fees for such units to be fairly minimal. The general absence of a swimming pool, and excessive common areas (grounds, parking lots, etc) also help keeps the monthly condo fees minimal.
Lastly, the proximity to University of Pennsylvania, as well as Jefferson Medical College provides a “built-in” resale market for these Philadelphia condos. As most units along the Spruce/Pine corridor average 1000 sq ft or less, they do seem to be popular with the above mentioned buying set. Though the boundaries of the Spruce/Pine corridor do extend to streets such as Locust, Lombard, and South, and the numbered streets that run between this corridor, the popularity and familiarity of such areas make Spruce and Pine Streets condominiums a fairly sound investment in the minds of many Philadelphia condo buyers.