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July 7, 2017

Trends I am Seeing In The Philadelphia Condo Market

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:49 pm

1) Kitchens are going gray and white and are getting smaller than say 20 years ago, and are rarely the “eat-in” variety.

2) More attention is being paid to security. Wireless cameras and monitoring systems are being added and/or upgraded to most new construction condos in Philadelphia.

3) The new design focus is on room size and NOT room count. Most buyers today can do without the true blue 3 bedrooms. Most newer condos are now 2 beds & den. Finding a true 3 bedroom is huge…but rare.

4) The use of quartz over granite is the new trend. Also mixing counter tops is hot- Island counter top may be different than interior kitchen counter top.

5) Most new construction does not have closet space finished. Developers leave them blank for buyer to finish. And I find little difference in resale value if you use high-end closet brand vs. a reasonable knock-off brand. Just maximize your space.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors


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September 21, 2016

Top Ten Philly Condos

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:41 am

In terms of value retention, resale ability and livability…Here are my latest top ten picks:

1) 1706 Rittenhouse at 1706 Rittenhouse St. – – There can be little doubt that the building shines in terms of value growth and demand. The highest of high end here in Center City. Buyers line up for these units- Who wouldn’t want to live at 1706 ??

2) Kahn Park Place at 1119-25 Pine St.– Parking, roof decks and nice interior space…at prices that I think are undervalued. Homerun! Location is key here as well. Interior condition drives the wide range of values here.

3) Washington Square West Condos on the 12xx Block of South St. – Solid investments in a high growth area. Oh, and all have parking and two bedrooms! You can’t beat these simple yet value driven condos. Boom!

4) St. James Court in Society Hill – 40 years old condos with interiors that clearly stand the test of time. Undervalued and best deals in the 19106 zip code. Most units are off street and quiet. Interior courtyard is picture perfect. You can’t beat the prices in this segment in my opinion.

5) The Coronado at 2201 Chestnut St.– Improvements to the building make the investment here a solid one in terms of value growth. And in the 19103 zip code to boot.

6) The Lenox at 250 S. 13th St.– Not unlike 2201 Chestnut Street in the fact that it is a pre-war styled condo building that has undergone many recent upgrades and improvements. Since the Parker across the street closed- are values poised for a significant bounce upwards? Probably.

7) Center City One at 1326 Spruce St. – If I had millions of dollars, I would probably spend most of them inside this building if I wanted to make money.
Try to beat the location and the floor plan of the two bed, two bath units.
No supply here.

8) The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. – Values for the larger units bounced higher and faster than any other segment in Center City. Many reasons which can be attributed to the association…and lack of supply didn’t hurt either.

9) Low Rise Condos in 19103 and 19107– Perpetual demand leads to a shortened “days on market” for many in this segment. Solid purchases and solid returns. And those near Jefferson and U of Penn have a double good whammy- which is huge rent-ability.

10) 2200 Arch St. Condos at 2200 Arch St. – Probably the quickest sales in the loft like segment here in town. Parking, close to jogging trail and in the 19103 zip code. This place is firing on all cylinders.

Honorable Mention:  The Reef Building at WaterFront Square 901 N. Penn St. – Just about 6 units remain and the values are climbing faster than most other buildings around town. Expect another bump in values when the building completely sells out. Philadelphian’s are warming to the idea of living in this lovely gated community. Though I am biased…We own and live here.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
215.521.1523 |

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February 15, 2016

Buyers are like snowflakes- no two are alike. But here are a few things I often hear repeated by many buyers:

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:57 am
  1.  “The sellers didn’t leave the condo as clean as I thought they might or as clean as I would have liked them to”

The contract/agreement of sale calls for broom swept clean condition with no debris left behind. Beyond that- Even most Rittenhouse Square condos are indeed transferred a little less than spotless.


2) “I will probably never use that Jacuzzi style hot tub.”

I find if the tub is new and never used, buyers view it with a shrug. If it old and used- that amenity really becomes a detractor of value.


3) “I guess I don’t really and truly need a 3rd bedroom”

Many buyers have a 3rd bedroom on their wishlist, though most buyers  will eventually opt for a two bed plus den. Even a fair number are opting for a large one bed with a nice den.


4) “Walk-ability is high on my wish list”

And for good reason. But many buyers realize that just being in Center City gets them out and about – and that is kinda’ the idea to city life. Getting out of your condo and shopping/dining/exploring the city can be done regardless of the proximity. Think Uber for a lift to where you want to go.


5) “The ability to rent the condo is of importance”

Indeed. I also think the appeal and ultimate rent-ability of the condo is heavily based upon interior condition and showing ability in addition to the time of year in which you seek to rent the unit. If it shows well, it will rent well….every time.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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October 18, 2012

Guest Post: Creative Kitchen Organization Ideas for Your Build or Remodel

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:25 pm

The kitchen is the room in your Rittenhouse Square Condo where families typically gather to begin their day. It’s the first room that family members visit when they return home as well. With so many comings and goings, it’s easy for the busy room to become a catchall for clutter. Items totally unrelated to cooking and eating, such as books, bills, backpacks and bags, often find their home here. A kitchen remodel or addition offers you the opportunity to plan ahead for all the activities that take place in your kitchen, with storage solutions that will make the utilitarian room as stylish as it is functional.

Because kitchen cabinets typically take up to 30 percent of a kitchen remodeling budget, you’ll want to ensure that the cabinets not only look  great but provide the storage solutions that your kitchen needs to keep clutter at bay. Pull-down shelves, slide-out towel bars and pull-out waste bins help keep frequently used items accessible. Look for cabinets with hardware that enhances functionality too, such as self-closing slides on drawers.

Consider including a zone in the kitchen’s layout for non-food-related activities.  Once you’ve designated specific areas for non-cooking activities, you can help keep the related materials organized with containers, baskets and trays. Deep trays are a kitchen organizer’s best friend. Trays not only allow you to keep an assortment of related items together but are easy to transport to and from a cabinet as well, letting you whisk clutter
out of sight quickly and easily. Trays are great for managing the dreaded “junk drawer” too.

Store the items that you use the most, such as large utensils and knives, on the counter in attractive containers. There’s no reason why storage solutions can’t add visual appeal to the overall look of your kitchen while make the heart of your home more functional too.

Author Bio
Jennie owns and manages several self storage units in Fontana CA. She recommends using Extra Space Storage in Las Vegas to her friends and family in the Las Vegas region. Away from work, Jennie enjoys spending time with her three young boys and her beloved dog Rex.

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April 25, 2012

Condo Buyers’ Visual Timeline

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:40 am

If you found a Philadelphia condo, and made an offer and the seller signed the offer on say, January 1st, here is a rough time line of what to expect:

By January 5th – Have mortgage application taken.
By January 15th – Set up and have Home Inspection.
By January 16th – 2nd deposit due.
Sometime mid to late January- You get condo docs and have 5 days to review.
Throughout January and February- Be tortured by your mortgage company.
Through January and February- I order title insurance, city certificates, etc etc.
One week prior to settlement- You order a homeowners’ insurance policy  for your unit.
One day prior to settlement- We do our final Walk-Through
Day of Settlement- Take This day off work. Please. Settlement will take an hour or two.
Post Settlement- Sing and dance in the middle of the street, and drink to celebrate your accomplishment!

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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April 5, 2012

Changes to Center City over the years

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:03 pm

I get a lot of email from folks who used to live in town…here is what you may not know about Center City if you haven’t been to town in 20 years:

1. Spruce and Pine Streets are now one lane- the other lane is a bike lane.

2. There is a new tax called the “Center City District Tax”…kinda’ nominal, but adds street cleaners and supervisors on many of the residential streets.

3. Northern Liberties is RED HOT- You MUST see to believe (compared to the 1980’s).

4. Graduate Hospital is now apartments- The hospital closed.

5. We have a new “South Street Bridge” and it is fabulous.

6. Broad St Just South of City Hall is Hoppin’…with residential and tons of restaurants.

7. The Bellevue Stratford is now The Hyatt at the Bellevue- and is stunning.

8. Delaware Ave. is now Columbus Blvd- and nicely manicured.

9. The old Naval Home on Grays Ferry is now a Toll Brothers development.

10. Most Parking meters are gone- replaced by Kiosks- and the parking authority is still very well run- If our city was run as well, the streets would be lined in gold.

If you are looking to come back to check out the City, drop me an email at…I would love to show you some of the great new Philadelphia Lofts and Condos available too!

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila, PA 19106

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February 3, 2012

Top Signs You are Possibly Dealing with a Desperate Seller:

Filed under: For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:33 pm

1) You see that the condo is vacant, and the front desk tells you they moved
over a year ago.

2) You Google the sellers, and You see that they own multiple properties,
and all of them are for sale.

3) You search the history (in the MLS) of that listing, and see the seller is on
their third listing agent.

4) You walk into the condo, it is vacant, the appliances are gone, and it looks
like the seller left in the middle of the night.

5) You read some unique language in the MLS listing about “seller makes no
warranties”, or “ corporate addendum must accompany…” usually means
corporate owned- aka REO.

These are all possible signs that the condo is ripe for an insulting offer.

Good Luck!

Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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January 18, 2012

Read my quote about Philly Condo Associations in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Before you buy, Mark Wade of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services  Fox & Roach in Center City, who specializes in low- and mid-rise condos, recommends careful scrutiny of the condo association.

“The association can influence value,” Wade said. For instance, if it doesn’t monitor the owner-occupancy ratio – that is, if there are more than the acceptable number of renters vs. owner-occupiers,  it may make it difficult for a buyer to get financing.

Condos not approved for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Federal Housing Administration-backed financing are known as “nonwarrantable” and offer few options for buyers or those refinancing.

“This scenario ultimately lowers demand for a building, and reduces resale values as well,” Wade said. “A review of the condo budget, money on hand, and knowing what is included in the condo fees should be considered when buying a unit.”

Click to check out some other articles in which I have been quoted speaking about Philly Condos!

Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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December 21, 2010

Some Philly Condos Appreciate and some Depriciate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:33 am

Not all fluctuations in value have a direct correlation to one particular quality of any given Philadelphia condominium. Rather, a Philadelphia condominium’s value, and the rate of change therein, is really a product of a host of factors.

Obvious factors are the showing ability and the condo’s emotion: cleanliness, natural light, wall color, furniture, even the smell of a condo can add or subtract from the emotional beauty, and leads to a huge impact on a condos value. In my twenty-one years of selling real estate, I have never had a buyer tell me to find him the dirtiest, or the worst decorated condo available. Interior condition can also have a major impact on value. Beige bathtubs and appliances can crimp value fairly quickly in a lot of cases.  And of course the physical characteristics of any given unit can help or hurt the units value (think- huge closets, a tax abatement, high ceilings,etc). Styles, like appliances and carpeting have a tendency to age, and that is usually accompanied by a slower rate of appreciation. Clearly, more recently rehabbed, say, Rittenhouse Square condos are going to retain their value better than a unit in a state of disrepair.

33 N 3rd Street-9 33 N 3rd Street-6

Location is a huge factor to the rate of either appreciation or depreciation too. Stronger locations in town have a tendency to be a bit more elastic- they are the first neighborhoods to see a drop in inventory with any influx of buyers to the market. That’s a good thing. Recall the principles of supply and demand. I would argue that a strong location is going to depreciate less -because IF in a weakened marketplace, the first condos to remain unsold are in the weaker locations. (The flip side is that you might be able to strike a significantly improved deal, should you be looking away from an “A” location.)

RittenhouseSquare wash square 3

I am just brushing the surface here, but know that not all condos in town will appreciate or depreciate at the same rate. Or sell within the same given time frame. The best tools you have to insure your value remains intact is twofold:

1) Buy it at the right price in the first place and/or

2) Keep your unit looking like it just jumped off the pages of Town and Country Magazine.

Easier said than done, I am aware!

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

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July 12, 2010

Auction Results from CU 257

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:55 pm

The third auction in the Center City condo segment of the market to occur. I would deem it a success. Here is what I understand folks paid.

Here is the breakdown of the prices.  These prices are the winning bid prices and do not include the 10%  auction premium on each winning bid.
1.  $615,000 Unit 601E
2.  $600,000 Unit 601W
3.  $470,000 Unit 401W
4.  $495,000 501E
5.  $485,000 501W
6.  $455,000 301E
7.  $455,000 401E
8.  $445,000 201E
9.  $435,000 301W
And if you think this is the last Center City Condo auction that is going to take place, I would suggest you are wrong! Keep your eyes open for more future auctions! Call or email me if you want me to comment on these prices!  215.521.1523
Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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