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January 20, 2011

Do I need to buy Title Insurance if I am paying cash for my Philly condo?

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:56 pm

Technically, in the State of Pennsylvania, if you do not obtain mortgage financing, no one is going to force you to buy title insurance on your new Old City or Rittenhouse Square condominium.  But as your Realtor, with your best interest in mind, I am going to rant and rave until you agree to buy it.


A mere title search doesn’t always reveal all the flaws that could potentially be a part of the chain of title. And title searches are not free. Not to mention you will need to pay an attorney or title company closing fees and notary fees to complete your transaction if you do not purchase title insurance from them.  Closing fees and search fees are usually waived if you purchase the title policy. Since you will need to put out several hundred dollars for these services if you waive title insurance anyway, you might as well pay the difference and protect yourself against the unthinkable.

Here are a just a few scenarios you could encounter without the protection of title insurance:

– Forgery or Fraud in connection with the execution of previously recorded documents
– Incorrect representation of marital status of grantors
– Undisclosed or missing heirs
– Wills that have not been properly probated
– Mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts
– Incorrect legal descriptions
– Unsatisfied mortgages, liens, or judgments not shown on the record
– Deeds executed under expired or false power of attorneys
– Confusion due to similar or identical names

– Unknown rights of ex-spouses or former owners
– Clerical errors in recording legal documents
– Incorrect filing of condominium declarations

Some of these things sound crazy I know. But in my 21 years of selling Philadelphia Real Estate I have come across more than a few of the above situations.  So think of it this way:

Paying for a title search and other closing fees to buy your condo without the protection of title insurance – Around $800

Paying for the same search and closing fees including title insurance protection on your $300,000 condo – Around $1600

The peace of mind of having your title company to call and not having to deal with an old lien or back taxes that suddenly show up on your title – priceless!

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

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November 8, 2010

Center City Real Estate Fun Facts

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:04 pm

Lifted from an article I read on and

– A little less than half the working people who live in Center City have jobs there. One-quarter commute out to the suburbs. Most of the rest work elsewhere in Philadelphia – except around wealthy Rittenhouse Square, where nearly one-fifth of the population works in New York or some other “Out of Area” location.

– Around one in three Center City workers walk to their job. Almost as many “reverse commute” by car. About a quarter take Septa or Patco. 6% work at home; 5% bike.

– Philadelphia “is weathering the recession much better than other places,” at least partly because we didn’t inflate so much:

Philadelphia ranks with energy-rich Dallas and Denver as places where home prices are off less than 10% since the market peaked three years ago.

Know any fun facts about living in Center City Philadelphia you want to share/comment on? Let me know!

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

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November 20, 2008

Great Places in America Right Here in Center City Philadelphia!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:28 pm

As you can imagine, I was ecstatic when I heard the news! The American Planning Association has named Philadelphia not once, but TWICE on their list of 2008’s Great Places in America!

Society Hill was named one of the top 10 Great neighborhoods! And why wouldn’t it? Revolutionary-era townhouses, wonderful expanses of greenery and a variety of high-rise and brownstone styled condominiums highlight this beautiful neighborhood. Society Hill Towers, the Hopkinson House, Independence Place, and Abbott Square are the major high rise buildings in this neighborhood. Quaint cobblestone streets and the historic feel of the area provide quite a draw for those looking to buy real estate in Center City.

Broad Street, also known as The Avenue of The Arts, was named in the top ten of America’s Greatest Streets! Condominiums such as the Symphony House and The Marine Club line this beautiful Street which is home to the traditional Mummers Parade every New Year’s Day. There are also many attractions including The Broad Street Theater and The Shops at The Bellevue that really bring this Street to life!

If you are interested in taking a look at some condos in Society Hill or along Broad Street or in any neighborhood here in Center City Philadelphia, please give me a call at 215.521.1523 or drop me an email at Mark@CenterCity.Com.

Mark Wade

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July 22, 2008

I don’t mean to be a “big brain” when it comes to Center City Condos or anything, but…

Filed under: General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:27 am

Wouldn’t it be a good idea of the architects of many of the Center City condo projects here in town, consulted an experienced Philadelphia condominium specialist, when laying out the floor plans for their new Center City condo project?

I have seen some screwy ideas that have been implemented in the Philly condo market, and many of buyers are like….”what the hell?? ”   For example, one prominent building, which I think quite highly of, has the exact kitchen in the studio, as they do the jumbo penthouse units. This kitchen is ample for the penthouse, but takes up about 55% of the living area of the studio. 

Way to think things out, Columbo.  Studio units target 22 year olds (on the whole). I don’t know a 22 year old that owns more than two pans, a cookie sheet, and a measuring cup. So this huge kitchen detracts from the value of this particular Center City condo unit. 

Next up is a personal favorite, the popular $700,000 two bedroom Philly skyscraper unit (roughly 1250 sq ft) with no closet space. If my buyers can afford the unit, they are not interested in stuffing their Prada in an armoire.  It appears that if I compare/contrast the various floor plans of many new Philadelphia condos, I find an excessive amount of square footage used for hallways.

 Hallway space can easily be converted to walk-in closet space, with minor adjustments to floor plan, or “flow” of the unit. My buyers will tell you to shove the hallway, and give them a good walk-in closet or two!    

The point of this post is to always remember to give the buyers what they want. And who would know better about what specific buyers want, than an experienced realtor?

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

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