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January 29, 2013

Guest Post: Tips That Will Help You Get The Most Of Your Condo Rental

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:54 am

Follow these tips to make your Philadelphia condo truly feel – and look – like home.

1. Chances are, your condo isn’t as huge and spacious as you would like. Luckily, you can easily make your space look and feel larger than it is by keeping clutter away, creatively organizing and strategically placing mirrors around the apartment.

2. Sometimes, life just gets in the way of a lease. Don’t be scared into staying in an condo you no longer want because of the apparent lease penalty. You can smartly break your lease without spending all of your savings. Know your rights and don’t hesitate to negotiate with your landlord.

3. There’s no such thing as the perfect landlord and some are downright awful. That doesn’t mean you should have to deal with a leaky faucet or pest problem by yourself. Try a few different communication techniques until you find one that gets you the response you need.

4. Few condo dwellers are lucky enough to have a washer and dryer in their home. Minimize trips to the laundromat by using a bath sheet instead of a bath towel. This is especially helpful if you often use two towels after a shower – one for your body and one for your hair.

5. Living alone is great, but it’s not the safest option. Amp up your at-home security by keeping it under wraps that you live solo. You don’t have to lie, but don’t advertise that you don’t have a roommate or live-in boyfriend.

6. If July and August is brutal where you live, you’re probably used to holing up inside with the air conditioning on full blast for eight weeks during the summer. This is a huge expense, though. Cut electricity and costs by using the AC’s other settings, like the fan and the timer.

7. Think you smell a rat? Deal with it! Pushing the problem off until you can’t mentally handle the rodent isn’t going to get rid of it and the problem will only get worse.

8. When you can, fix your own run-of-the-mill apartment problems. If you really want your landlord to be there when you need him, don’t bug him if a light bulb blows or the toilet clogs.

9. When you have the heat on, set your ceiling fans so they turn clockwise, which will help warm the house and cut your heating costs.

10. If things go truly wrong between you and your landlord, you can turn to online dispute resolution.

Annabelle Smyth

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June 13, 2011

Why We bought a Condo at WaterFront Square

Filed under: For Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:10 am


After living in the heart of downtown Center City Philadelphia for 24 years, we have decided it was time to move the hell out of town. Well, at least like 5 blocks out of the heart of town.
I personally spent 18 years in Old City. I love Old City. I lived for six years on and around Rittenhouse Square. I love Rittenhouse Square. But in my advancing years (I just turned 50), I find that a gated community with a guard at my front gate, plus a doorman, and a valet, and on-site pool and huge deck overlooking the river- is getting to be more my speed. I don’t want to be a big brain, but as a Realtor since 1989 in Center City, I KNOW my Real Estate in this town. There are many fine places to live. But I don’t think I could have made a better decision than to live at WaterFront Square.
    The unparallelled views, the service, huge private balcony off my living room, the tax abatement, two car parking, and the ground are really One-Of-A-Kind here in Philadelphia. We have shuttle service into town, and honestly- some of the nicest doormen I have met. And I know ALL the doormen in the Center City condo buildings- I am a Realtor who specializes in condo sales. I have been here a month, and have yet to hear a neighbor. Or meet one. Yippee!
    Most buyers who move to town say they want to be within walking distance of their favorite restaurants or venues. What they really mean- but don’t yet know- Is that they want to be within a taxi ride of their favorite haunts. Mr. and Mrs. Draped in Diamonds and Furs won’t be seen walking home from the Academy of Music at 10pm on a Saturday night- believe me. For the naysayers  who poo-poo the idea of living just on the outskirts of town, I have to say- You don’t know what you are missing. I live in a haven of tranquility and amenities. Two qualities of life you are not going to find en mass around Old City, or even the square.
Mark Wade
Owner – and

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November 12, 2010

Spooky Shadow Inventory in Philadelphia Real Estate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:00 pm

There are clearly a number of condos for sale in Philadelphia. Duh. But what about the unmentioned “Shadow Inventory” that might be creeping up on us all? Shadow inventory, in my mind, are the condos that are part of some non-performing new developments here in town. There are a number of buildings with a hefty amount of inventory that has been sitting for quite a while, and is not selling. And the bulk of it is high rise condominiums – in generally what most buyers term as “B” locations.


Prices  have a tendency to come down in such situations. Sometimes a new buyer will come in and buy the inventory in bulk, sometimes a condo auction will reset the pricing structure, and sometimes the buildings become glorified rental buildings- which simply postpones the inevitable price restructuring in the building (Delay and Pray).

Will Center City’s Shadow Inventory Come back to Haunt the Pricing Structure for Condos in this Segment? Will Philadelphia Condo Buildings that are viewed as substitutes for this shadow inventory suffer as well?

Stay Tuned..I’ll tell you what I think.

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

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