Defining Mid-Rise Condominiums in Center City Philadelphia

Mid Rise Condominiums (MRC's) are prevalent throughout Center City Philadelphia and generally have come about in popularity in the past 15-20 years. MRCs can be defined as buildings between 5 and 10 stories tall and may or may not have services such as a doorman, porter, a pool, or on site management, but generally they do not. But they are going to have a few more amenities than the Low Rise Condos (LRC's) which have no amenities, and fewer than the high rise condominiums which have the doorman and the porter and the parking lot attendant and the swimming pool and the lifeguard, etc. Some MRC's have part time doormen, which means a lower monthly condo fees.

The condo fees will probably be higher in a HRC than in a MRC because you're paying for full services. Some buyers are very "condo fee adverse" so clearly, MRC certainly have such an advantage over some of the more full service, high rise condo buildings here in town. Advantages such as condo fees; mid-rise condos have mid-level prices. Not too high, not too low, and general acceptable to the buying public. Again, on the whole, MRC's have mid level services, which translate into mid level condo fees. Generally in an MRC, you won't be swallowed up by being one out of two hundred people in a condominium association, but then again it's not going to be like you and the neighbor upstairs and the person next door that makes up the condo association (where if you don't like somebody and they gang up, you're out of luck). So there's some protection in an MRC without the swallowed-up feeling some people get in an HRC.

The MRC is very popular because a lot of them do offer parking, and they offer some neat details to the condominiums because generally a lot of them are old warehouse buildings. So you may get some neat space in a good location, with individual detail and character, but yet still have some of the nice services that the HRCs get. So mid-rise condos are perfectly situated for a lot of buyers in between the low fee, low service, low rise and the high fee, high service, high rise, if you will.

One of the disadvantages of MRCs sometimes is owner occupancy ratios. If indeed you buy into a mid-rise building that has thirty units and twenty of those units are rented out, you don't have the kind of owner occupancy ratio that a lot of mortgage companies like to see in order to lend, lets say, zero or five percent down. Owner occupancy ratios on MRCs sometimes can be below the acceptable level. Therefore, financing on some of them, like LRCs, can be a little bit more difficult than an HRC which are typically a breeze.

Mid-rise condos, as an advantage, often share a common roof deck; very prevalent in your mid-rise buildings. It gives everyone in the building a sense of outside space and does contribute to a sense of "resaleability" and a roof deck is certainly just something that needs to be tended to only every couple of years, so not a high maintenance item, but a plus for buyers looking for a little bit of outside space for their unit.

For more information on MRCs and Philadelphia real estate, visit www.centercitycondos.com/mid_rises.htm!


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