The washer/dryer and low mortgage rates sealed the deal for Rufus Harris.
It was 2013 and the New Orleans native had been “renting around” in Center City for three years since moving to Philadelphia.
But mortgage rates were the lowest they’d been in years, and he was especially tired of trudging to whatever laundromat was closest.
The Northern Liberties neighborhood that had caught his fancy had plenty of fixer-uppers, but Harris, account manager for a national health technology firm, wasn’t going there.
“I wanted something that wasn’t a money pit, “ he says. ”Yes, a turnkey.” Plus he’s not all that good at fixing stuff.
What he found was 941 square feet of compact practicality. The condo had new hardwood floors and mechanicals, including central air, and a tax abatement (several years are still left on that). The master bedroom was spacious. A below-ground garage space was included, and if you didn’t want to wrestle with Center City parking, the El was nearby.
He divided the main room into separate areas: one for relaxing and entertaining, one for eating, and one for work.
“The neighborhood is a lot of fun,” Harris says. “Great restaurants, a great bar scene, lots of personality. It’s great to walk around there Saturday with friends, get some drinks.”
But now it may be time to move on — from Northern Liberties and, perhaps, from Philadelphia, as well.
“I’d like to get back to the heart of the city,” he says, and he thinks it might help his career to eventually live in Nashville or San Francisco, home bases of his employer.
“Now might be a good time to sell,” he adds, locking in his profits and perhaps renting in the Rittenhouse Square area while he ponders his next move.
“But it’s been a good run,” he says.