Like any good real estate junkie, I need my fix on Sunday afternoons. The sight of an inverted metal “V" sign alongside the street, with balloons bobbing in the wind, is sure to put a smile on my face. My specialty is the “high rise" Open Houses. I love to see how various lobbies are decorated, and to snicker at what the well meaning sales agent is trying to pass off as luxurious, or perhaps spacious.
Having graduated I've Seen a Lotta’ from Open House College (I gave myself that designation after some twenty years of service), I believe it is fair to call a converted maids closet. . . a converted walk in closet, but not a gym. Especially when they are in some dark humid basement. The oversized ball used to do ab-work and the lone, kind-of-chintzy looking Stairmaster knock off doesn't cut it. Ditto for the two tread mills that wobble when you attempt to run faster while going nowhere.
And in the year 2008, who would think that brass was in? The last time someone tried to pass that interior motif off was back in the 1980's when Duran Duran ruled MTV, and you didn't yet own a cell phone. I am amazed at some of the décor that passes off as somehow “in". Mauve and Seafoam? I have to stop and ask if I am on some hidden game show. They couldn't be serious could they?
One of my favorite amenities often heralded as the next coming of Christ, is the community room. Good advise is that you should not leave an open house until you have checked out the community room. With maroon carpeting as far as the eye can see, and keen sense that perhaps even if I did buy a condo here, it would be the last time I would see this room, I smile and nod appreciatively.
Lastly, I can listen for days, as sales representative extol the virtues of their concierge staff. The level of service one could expect would certainly exceed my expectations, I am reminded. Having lived in a high rise condo for the better part of my life, in a variety of buildings in urban areas, I can tell you that most front desk staff is not equipped, motivated, or adept at picking up or dropping off laundry. And I am not suggesting that they lack the ability. It is the management staff that either insists on procuring new staff, and allowing them to work without proper instruction and training, or just don't follow through with promises made by the sales staff.
Seeing amenities firsthand can be a real eye-opener in the high rise condominium market. It is always best to see for yourself, and have your expectations tempered with a dose of reality, before getting all excited and signing on the dotted line. At times you will overjoyed with the offerings, and other times you will be afforded the ability to snicker at the converted maid's closet.
Plain Text: A graduate of Bowling Green School of Business in Northwestern Ohio, Mark began selling in Philadelphia (Society Hill real estate and other Center City areas) in 1989 and has been in love with it ever since. He still resides in a low rise, four unit condominium building in Old City and loves the area! Feel free to visit his website at: http://www.CenterCity.com or send him an email at Mark@CenterCity.com - A graduate of Bowling Green School of Business in Northwestern Ohio, Mark began selling in Philadelphia (Society Hill real estate and other Center City areas) in 1989 and has been in love with it ever since. He still resides in a low rise, four unit condominium building in Old City and loves the area!