Today I want to talk about the holy trinity of home selling: great neighborhood, great price and great home. Sellers should be aware that when your listing hits these three key features, it is an absolute pleasure for your agent to sell! And in fact, an agent can help you maximize the great price and great home parts of the equation. Buyers should know that homes this perfect sell fast – usually within a matter of days. An agent in this case can help you know about a home even before it hits the market and make a strong offer on an ideal property. We’ll see an example of one of these homes later on…
First, let’s talk about location. Ask anyone what the hottest neighborhood in Philadelphia is, and they are likely to say Fishtown/Northern Liberties. No longer is this just up and coming, this neighborhood just north of Old City is such a vibrant community of younger adults with plenty to do and see! It offers a bit of an old industrial feel, with lots of loft-like living spaces mixed in with the classic brick Philly row houses, and even some contemporary-looking condos and homes.
Fishtown is steps from the Delaware River, giving you incredible views and outdoor opportunities at places like Penn Treaty Park and Liberty Lands, which is a community-owned park featuring community garden plots. The area is serviced by SEPTA’s Market-Frankford line and the number 15 trolley along Girard, making trips to Old City, Center City, and beyond incredibly quick – Center City commuters can enjoy a commute of 15 minutes or less!
As for amenities, there is a ton of night life. Or, if you’re more low-key, there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants and dive bars as well. Mexican, German, barbeque, Italian food… Girard Avenue even hosts what Bon Appetit magazine called the best pizza in America. You can walk to a tiki bar, a beer garden, and many, many places where you can hear live music.
Certainly this sounds like an expensive area to buy a home. Any houses at an affordable price must need a lot of work. Well, this is when we talk about the second leg of the holy trinity: price.
The median sale price in Fishtown for 2015 is around $169 per square foot. This has actually increased 11% in just one year! Let’s remember that’s the median price. It accounts for homes that need renovation and one-bedroom condos, as well as fully renovated 4-bedroom homes. It may seem as though cheaper is better for buyers, while more expensive is better for sellers, but that’s not always the case. Buyers are often willing to pay a little more for good space and good features, while sellers often want to sell as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sometimes, pricing a house well means you have your choice of multiple buyers, and can pick the strongest offer.
The final piece of the trinity, “great home,” is a little trickier. The price per square foot is a good way to assess the possible value of a property, but desirable features also play a role. Three or more bedrooms, no shared walls, extra finished rooms, outdoor space, a higher number of bathrooms, and updated kitchens can all add more value to your house. The more desirable the house is to buyers who are looking in your market, the more they will pay, which essentially increases the value. For example, a $40,000 kitchen remodel can net some of that money back, since buyers will be willing to pay more to not have to spend money renovating the kitchen themselves.
This brings us to a case study of a nearly perfect listing! 2004 Tulip Street, in Fishtown.
Great location: This home has a walk score of 92 (described as a “walker’s paradise”). It has very accessible transit, with Market-Frankford line (Berks Station) is a quick walk down the street, and two bus lines steps away. Tulip Street itself, however, is a quiet, residential side street. This home is also located at the end of the row, meaning neighbors on only one side, which is rare in a city neighborhood! These are all positive attributes that make this home really attractive to buyers.
Great price: This home was listed for $384,900, which was $213 per square foot. Considering the neighborhood, features, amenities, and space, the price was really almost a steal for a three-story, 1800 square foot row home. The price under $400,000 means the listing attracted buyers who were likely searching in the $350,000 to $400,000 price range – a decent range for a first time, professional buyer in search of a nicely finished home in a trendy neighborhood. Notice that this home was also priced just under $385,000. This makes it look like even more of a deal, since it’s a more attractive price than homes listed at the $395,000 or $399,000 mark.
Great home: This home was fully renovated by Argo Property Group this year. The company did a fabulous job combining popular requests from modern-day homeowners with unique design elements to make this a one-of-a-kind house. Hardwood floors, recessed lighting, stainless steel appliances and an open concept are things almost any home buyer in any market and at any price point would want. Specific to Philadelphia, ArgoPG decided to feature exposed brick to highlight the row house’s exterior and characteristic Philly charm. They also added a roof deck with a separate entrance off the third-floor master suite, a yard with grass (yes grass in the city) and patio, and a finished basement to use as extra living space, an office, or playroom. For buyers concerned about the costs of maintenance in older homes, ArgoPG delivered again by installing all new mechanics, including 200 amp electrical service, a brand new HVAC system with central air, a tankless hot water heater, and new windows. Finally, Argo Property Group added unique touches to make this home something special, including quartz countertops with a breakfast bar, a wet bar in the hall leading to the deck which is great for entertaining, and a bright and cheery, yellow-painted front door, to let your friends, family and neighbors easily identify the row house with the big personality!
If you are interesting in in buying or selling a house in the Fishtown neighborhood, or any neighborhood near City City, please contact me. Comment below to share your favorite things in Fishtown/Northern Liberties, too, or what you are looking for in a home!
About Agent Lady: Cherise Wynne is a leading real estate agent in Philadelphia, helping home buyers and sellers navigate the City of Brotherly Love, with a special focus on first time home buyers. To chat about getting started with your first time home buying experience, click here.