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January 22, 2013

Guest Post: Renovating Condo Units

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:36 am

Renovating a Philadelphia condo unit brings with it challenges that homeowners simply don’t face. Unit owners must comply with condo rules and regulations, consider how noise affects neighbors and work within the building’s larger electrical or plumbing systems. Careful planning before renovations helps prevent problems with the condo association and staff.

Unlike a house, when you purchase a condo you only own what lies within the unit’s walls. You cannot renovate public areas, other people’s units or the building’s utility infrastructure. This is necessary, in part, to ensure the building maintains its overall feel and appearance.

Check Everything

Well before you commit to any condo renovations, read over the condo association’s condo docs to find out what types of renovations are permitted. Different condo docs have different restrictions. You’ll probably need to submit a plan of renovation, in writing, to the condo association.

Generally, most condo agreements allow you to paint, install new appliances, replace lighting and plumbing fixtures and replace flooring. More complex renovations such as rerouting plumbing or electrical wiring and knocking down walls require approval by the condo association.

Renovations requiring work in adjourning units are least likely to be approved, as this inconveniences other residents. Extensive plumbing and electric work may fall into this category.

Working with Contractors

Renovating a condo often means working several stories up, rather than on the ground. This complicates materials delivery, heavy equipment transport, waste removal and even contractor parking.

Ask your condo association if they can recommend contractors with experience in condo renovations. Contractors need experience working in the tighter confines of a condo unit, and keeping noise to a minimum for the sake of your neighbors.

Renovations will go smoother if you coordinate with condo staff. Doormen and other staff need to know when contractors will be on-site, when they will be moving heavy items and your renovation schedule. Early planning and frequent updates help prevent miscommunications and hard feelings. If your renovations require access to the building’s plumbing or electricity, arrange for access well ahead of time.

Considering the Neighbors

When renovating a house, contractors usually work late into the evening, so the job will inconvenience you as little as possible. In a condo, you have to consider how renovation noise and dust affect your neighbors.

Most condo associations have strict noise regulations and limit the hours during which contractors can work. These are reasonable restrictions; your neighbors share walls, ceilings and floors with you, and don’t want to be disturbed late into the evening.

Let neighbors know your renovation plans well in advance so they don’t get blindsided by unexpected noise. Be polite and understanding–after all, you’re inconveniencing them, not the other way around. When renovations are done, express your thanks to neighbors for their patience.

Byline: Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

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July 17, 2008

All Nosey Neighbors are Welcome to visit my Center City Open Houses

Filed under: General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:32 pm

To all the Philadelphia Open House Junkies: You are indeed welcome to visit my open house. I don’t care. Really…the more the merrier. And I promise not to hound you, ask for your name, your number, you place of birth, etc etc. I will not call you the next day to “follow up’, and I will not stalk you, at some later date, to see if you want to sell your condo.

I sometimes get bored sitting waiting for the next potential buyer to walk in the door of any given open house, and fall madly in love (with the condo I am sitting).  So feel free to come over, sign in under a ficticious name (Yoko Ono?) and have a look around. Just a few things I ask of you:

1) If you see me talking to a “real buyer”, please do not interrupt

2) Excuse yourself from our little chat if you see other buyers come through the door. Remember, I am at work

3) Do not voice negative comments about the home in which you are visiting

And that is about it. I too love to visit open houses, always have, and always will I guess. Perhaps it is in the genes. Maybe I am just nosey, and I love to see how other people live. So if you are like me, you are welcome as a guest into my open house and I hope to see you knocking at the door to one my many new condos in Philadelphia that has just been listed!

Our Open Houses for this Sunday July 20 are:

753 Marvine                  11 N. 2nd #102        1010 Race PHH        104 Market #201

11:30AM-1PM               Noon-1 PM                 1:30PM-2:30PM        Noon-1PM

We hope to see you there!!!

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

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