This elegant carriage home is being offered for the first time by the original owners. When you first step in you will be greeted by a grand two story foyer with extensive millwork that continues throughout the entire house. The hardwood flooring leads to a formal living/sitting room and a formal dining room with beautiful wainscoting and crown molding. The spacious family room features a gas fireplace with a marble hearth. The kitchen has an enormous number of cabinets and significant work areas that includes a center island, double oven and breakfast area that overlooks an oversized deck and a very private rear yard surrounded by many trees. First floor also includes a den/study, powder room and laundry room with an entrance to a two car garage. The second floor master suite has a sitting area, master bath with a whirlpool tub and close by is an expansive walk-in closet. Three additional bedrooms share a hall bath. The front façade is brick and rear façade is clad in vinyl siding. The entire home has been recently painted and is in move-in condition. The location is convenient to Route 476, I-95, the Main Line, West Chester, Media, Center City and the airport. It is a perfect home to create traditions and memories of your own.
Frank L. DeFazio, Esq.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS
530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
Philadelphia, PA 19106
When you hear or read that a home needs “some updates,” what do you picture? I’m a fairly reasonable person, and imagine a place that has some outdated wallpaper, or maybe a bit of yucky carpet. The places with 1980s mirrors everywhere or 1990s white cabinets with oak trim fall under this header, I reckon.
Know what isn’t a simple case of “updates?” This -
I apologize for subjecting you to that picture, sweet reader, but I had to see it, so you did as well. Can you imagine blithely cruising the MLS for your dream home and encountering that picture? That’s a major case of heebie jeebies with a side order of spew waiting to happen.
This lovely thing right here is a mixed-use, multifamily dwelling in GradHospital. It’s got unrented commercial space on the bottom, and two 1/1 apartments stacked up top. It is, suffice it to say, a sexy piece of work.
The commercial space is pretty busted, but I’d imagine that the right tenant could do something with all… this. I won’t re-paste the pic of the place’s powder room, as it’s probably still burnt directly onto your retinas.
Our voyage starts downward, in the basement. No, this isn’t a still from that creepy “clap clap” ghost-in-the-house horror movie that scarred me for life last summer. It’s legit. And absolutely not haunted, despite how it looks. I mean, I still wouldn’t go down there, but ghosts aren’t real. Probably.
Upward to the apartment units! The listing trumpets the fact that there are extant tenants as if it’s a good thing, which it is clearly not in this case. I applaud the listing agent for actually taking pictures of the pigsties and not copping out, as is the case so often when these properties get listed. But still – bribe your tenants to clean up. Seriously.
Green carpet? Stained duvet? Broken closet door? Check, check, and check.
The sad thing is, these units don’t look completely atrocious by themselves. They are just being inhabited by slobs.
The second unit sports more of the same aesthetic, this time with a heaping serving of “sad sack bachelor.” The absolutely filthy bathroom – which is still light years better than the one downstairs, mind – and “minimalist” decor would seem to suggest it, anyway. That, and the cluttery assortment of half-used personal items on display.
There’s needing TLC, and then there’s “bring your hip waders and elbow-length rubber gloves, babies, ’cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” This one’s a little closer to the latter.
Yes, my friends, you get a little treat this week. This Bella Vista townhome has almost 1,800 square feet of living space and four bedrooms… but only one picture attached to the listing. It’s an exterior shot, no less. I know that smell, and it’s the odor of a complete flophouse. As if I needed more evidence of this place’s dubious charms, the listing text mentions that it has “lots of potential” and “needs updating.” Those two phrases should be red flags every time for potential buyers, as they are AgentSpeak shorthand for “lots of potential to absolutely horrify you,” and “needs
updating fumigation to ward off the lingering stench of decay and despair.”
Who knows? Maybe this one is a complete winner. We’ll never know, since nobody has manned up and showed us the inside. I’ll say this… the collection of tchotchkes in the window doesn’t leave me hopeful.
All of the homes in this weekend’s open house roundup are in Old City, not too far from the river. The most historic mile in America is an amazing place to live, one full of homes bursting with character and charm. You’ve got the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing, Elfreth’s Alley, and any amount of other cool stuff, including awesome nightlife and fantastic cultural diversions.
All these homes are having open houses this weekend, so don’t hesitate to stop by if you see something that you like!
317 N Lawrence Street
Open House: Sunday, July 27th: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
300 N 3rd Street #102
Open House: Sunday, July 27th: 11:00am to 12:30pm
113 N Bread Street #9g
Open House: Sunday, July 27th: 2:00pm to 3:30pm
108 Arch Street #403
Open House: Sunday, July 27th: 1:30pm to 2:30pm
22 S Front Street #503
Open House: Sunday, July 27th: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Today, we’re checking out some turn-of-the-century properties… and no, I don’t mean those built in the 1990s. All the following homes were first constructed in the late 1700s – minus one that was built in 1810, like total outlier – at a time when things were markedly different in Philadelphia. No electricity, no cheesesteaks, no Starbucks, and Center City WAS the city. (Okay, so that last one may as well still be the case. Anyway.) Homes back then were built to last, and the fact that they are still looking this amazing in 2014 is evidence that the craftsmanship was solid. There’s a lot to love about old homes: the deliciously unique wooden floors, the ubiquitous fireplaces, the big kitchens, the adorable courtyards out back… the list goes on. All these listings are currently active, giving you the chance to get your hands on a bonafide piece of history.
1.) 133-35 Elfreth’s Aly. (Old City)
3/3, 2,290 sqft
The oldest continually inhabited street in America is a neat place to live, especially if you are a history buff. Add in the fact that this double-sized home is GORGEOUS (caps absolutely necessary!), and you have total win. Two outdoor decks, a finished basement with sauna and whirlpool tub, a freshly-renovated kitchen… the list of this place’s charms is breathless and extensive.
2.) 406 S 21st St. (Rittenhouse Square)
2/2, 1,190 sqft
I don’t use this word lightly – it gets enough flogging in subpar listings, poor thing – but this home is sensational. Someone took one of the best little plots in Rittenhouse Square and built an absolute dream home, complete with plenty of space, high ceilings, and lashings of glorious natural light. The master bedroom is like something out of a storybook, complete with cherry blossoms blooming within reach of your courtyard-view balcony. Swoon.
3.) 104-6 Delancey St. (Society Hill)
5/5, 5,100 sqft
Tasteful, huge, and predating the Revolution, this home is nothing shy of resplendent. Every possible improvement has been made, including recessed lighting and 5-zone HVAC, skylights, marble, granite, and custom shelving. At the same time, high ceilings, tall windows, and pretty molding allude to the home’s historic character. There’s a vast master suite with sitting room, a partially-finished basement, and all sorts of surprises here. Plus, it’s located on Delancey within walking distance of just about everything.
4.) 308 S Philip St. (Old City)
6/3, 2,000 sqft
Okay, so this one is technically 10 years newer than the eighteenth century. I’d argue that this Colonial definitely runs in the same pack as the others, though, with its high ceilings, random-width hardwood flooring, and four fireplaces. With a newer roof and HVAC and fresh paint, this is as move-in-ready as it gets! You can’t beat the picture-perfect location on a cobblestone street, either. A winding staircase and quaint dormer bedroom are pure vintage, along with the adorable walled courtyard.
I saw this home under the newly-listed properties and knew it was bound for the CENTERfold. (I also noticed the street name and foresaw an entire post chockablock full of Beyonce puns, but that’s neither here nor there.)
2020 Brandywine Street is a 4/2 townhome of 1,900 square feet in the hothothot Art Museum Area. It’s been recently renovated, which is perfectly apparent from all the adorable touches.
Right when you enter you soak in the combined charm of a 100-year-old home that’s been given fresh life: original hardwoods and a gorgeous, marble-manteled fireplace as the backdrop for heaps of natural light though big windows.
Continue on to the exquisite eat-in kitchen, newly graced by stainless appliances and total dreamboat cabinets – seriously, I think I swooned a little.
With dedicated dining space as well, those that entertain frequently will be in heaven!
Three of the four bedrooms are on the second level, each one tastefully appointed and roomy. The setup ensures plenty of peace and quiet for optional office space or guest accommodations!
The master suite occupies the entire third floor, along with a spacious walk-in closet and ensuite bath.
There’s a partially-finished basement that is currently being utilized as a gym, but could just as easily be a roomy rec room alongside the storage space and washer/dryer.
One of the most desirable qualities of this home is the abundance of outdoor spaces to savor. Not only is there a small patio at the ground level, but there’s a bi-level deck as well. Access it off the third floor and sip some drinks overlooking the back, or climb to the rooftop terrace for the perfect barbecue party setting and a peek at the city all around you.
The only thing that could have sweetened this deal would be parking, but you’re covered. The current owners rent a private spot a block away, and the garage owner has already agreed to let the home’s buyers pick up the lease.
The nabe boasts a near-perfect Walk Score, meaning that everything you need is just about at your fingertips here. From world-class restaurants to Whole Foods, you can stroll there in comfort.
This home is priced to fly at $550,000, and it’s been on the market less than two weeks. Better check it out soon before it gets snapped up and it’s to the left, to the left for everyone remaining. If you like it, put a ring on it… or a down payment, at least.
I’m sorry for all the Queen Bey puns.
(No I’m not.)
It’s not every day that the team scores a listing in Chinatown, so I was pretty excited to see this 1/1 show up as a new listing!
Just six days old and move-in ready, I’m betting that this one won’t last too long.
At 567 square feet, 1100 Vine Street #1115 is a respectably-sized single bedroom unit for the area.
It’s located in the tremendously-popular Grandview building, in a location that could hardly be more centralized: the Convention Center, Reading Terminal Market, and the interstate are extremely close by.
As for the unit itself, it’s almost impossible to say too much about it. The current owner has completely renovated everything, and if I may say so, s/he clearly has great taste. (The decor suggests a lady.)
Custom draperies, a granite vanity and countertops, droolworthy wooden floors, tile, and new carpet – it’s 100% evident that heaps of loving care was lavished on this living space.
All utilities – including Wi-Fi! – are included in the condo association fees, which is an outstanding deal. There’s a fitness center and 24/7 concierge to ensure you have everything you need.
This unit is on sale for $215,000, which is a winning deal. Check it out!
Sometimes ugly doesn’t need an additional classification. I’ve been doing a lot of theme weeks on Mondays to fill out What The Philly, but today I think we’re going to go back to the basics.
First up on the block – a sweet little Spring Garden 2/1. As it just so happens, this is the “1″ in the equation. I’ll give you a moment to take it all in.
This bathroom should have been demo’d about twenty years ago. C’mon, someone buy this place and put Satan’s Little Water Closet out of its misery, please.
Next contender – a home with enough damage to put the “crack” back in “crack dealer,” as in the apparent former resident(s) of this charming abode.
But wait, there’s more!
Dirty, busted-up, and covered with trash and debris of questionable provenance? No awesome NoLibs address in Philly is going to counteract all those amenities.
Our next home will, on first glance, wondering what is actually wrong. The place looks okay, right?
Here’s the thing. This studio is all of 319 “cozy” square feet, and that full-on picture of it is buried in TWENTY.FOUR.PICTURES of the building in which it’s located. Hey, look, I’m all about the Avenue of the Arts too, bro. But this picture in a real estate listing…?
It’s pushing things. Just sayin’.
I don’t even know what to say about this right here? This home also has location going for it – it’s a hop, skip, and jump from Rittenhouse Square – but God almighty, someone made an architectural boo-boo with the shape of the structure. You see, there’s this ridiculous corner built into the side of the house, taking up stupid space, ensuring nothing fits in it, and looking asinine.
Oh, look, they built the kitchen into the corner. WHY?
And now, friends, we have my personal winner for Center City Uggo of the Week. This little Bella Vista beaut may have, in fact, been “well maintained” as the ad states, but man, it certainly was not updated.
Had I seen this listing last week, it would have rounded out my collection of dark and dreary hovels. So dim, much wood, very need for antidepressants. Wow.
And then, as the pièce de résistance, we have the basement. Why you would show this picture in an endeavor to sell a house is beyond me, quite frankly, but someone thought it was a good idea. Some people also think torture porn is haute cinema, but some people aren’t me.
Having an adorable Center City nest is always an expensive proposition, right? Wrong! There’s no doubt that real estate price tags are hefty in Philadelphia, generally, but there are always options. You probably won’t find a walk-up in Rittenhouse Square, but there are plenty of choice homes ’round these parts that aren’t completely exorbitant, as far as local prices go. Especially if you can sacrifice a bit on space – and I’m not even talking to the extent that those weirdos who want to live in Manhattan do, hanging out in 8′x5′ closets – you might be surprised by what one can find for under $300k in Center City. Selling your organs or a first-born child isn’t required. Take a look at these listings and prepare to be pleasantly impressed!
All these homes are having open houses this weekend, so if you see something you like, go give it a visit!
1.) 2601 Pennsylvania Avenue #146 (Art Museum)
1/1, 744 square feet
Open House: Sunday, July 20th – 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Love It: All the natural light – from windows with treetop views! – walk-in bedroom closet, inclusive condo fees
2.) 927 Spruce Street #1f (Washington Square)
1/1, 418 square feet
Open House: Sunday, July 20th – 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Love It: Stone walls, cherry hardwood, stainless appliances, a jawdropper of a renovated bathroom
3.) 525 Fitzwater Street #7 (Bella Vista)
2/2, 500 square feet
Open House: Sunday, July 20th – 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Love It: Freshly-renovated Trinity with lots of windows, roomy utilization of space, shiny new kitchen
4.) 1600-18 Arch Street #710 (Rittenhouse Square)
Studio, 546 square feet
Open House: Sunday, July 20th – 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Love It: LOCATION! Near-perfect Walk Score, on-site storage space, hardwood, stainless, and granite, gorgeous
5.) 238 Queen Street #4 (Queen Village)
2/2, 975 square feet
Open House: Sunday, July 20th – 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Love It: Deeded parking, Meredith catchment, super light, bright, airy, and roomy. Ultra-pretty.
I’ve got a love-hate relationship with Trinity houses. I mean, you’ve heard the criticisms. They are small. They are cramped. They are utterly impractical for anyone besides singles or fastidious couples, and ones with good knees for steep stairs, at that. All these things are mostly true. If you have oversized furniture, or a sizeable collection of anything, or if you haven’t made peace with the minimalism trend, you’re gonna have a rough time. The tiniest Trinities are just 100 square feet per floor – I gave one such listing the What the Philly treatment a couple months ago – and I’d argue that these homes are pretty much useless for modern living. There are plenty of Trinities that are bigger, however, and these are the ones on which I’m going to focus.
Here’s the flip side to Trinities. They are quintessentially Philadelphian, and owning one is like owning a piece of history. The fact that they are small means that they are affordable, which can’t be said for a lot of local real estate – especially in Center City. Their quirkiness lends them an undeniable charm. And, like the dollhouses they resemble, they are almost endlessly customizable. Given enough energy and time, plus a bit of investment cash, you can model your Trinity into just about anything you need/want it to be.
This Thursday Four, therefore, is going to be dedicated to the “love” side of my relationship with Trinities. I found a quartet of the cutest, most original, winningest bandboxes in Center City, and now I’m showing them to you. Check ‘em out, and tell me afterwards if you still feel the same about this type of property.
1.) 412 Bainbridge St. APT D (Queen Village)
2 beds, 1 bath
What I Love: The square footage (!), the rooftop deck, the fireplace and built-ins
The Scoop: Two bedrooms, over 1,000 square feet, and THAT VIEW? Sign me up.
2.) 1902 Waverly St. (Rittenhouse Square)
2 beds, 3 baths
What I Love: The vintage-y bathroom on the second floor, swoonworthy red brock exterior, big kitchen
The Scoop: Calling this a two bedroom is a serious stretch, I think – you’d have just about no living space – but having a bathroom on each floor is wicked sweet.
3.) 506 Clymer St. #A (Queen Village)
1 bed, 1 bath
What I Love: The skylight in the bedroom, and the courtyard arrangement of the four units on the property.
The Scoop: Okay, so I lied about not giving love to the tiniest Trinities. This one is an exception, having the cleverest utilization of space <500 feet that I’ve ever seen.
4.) 777 S 3rd St. #5 (Queen Village)
2 beds, 1 bath
What I Love: Cathedral ceiling in the master bedroom, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, the Juliet balcony
The Scoop: Again… you can’t really fit two bedrooms in that square footage; the second floor is, by necessity, living space. But once you make peace with that, this one has some serious flow. Plus, the updates are absolutely fantastic.
We’re heading to Rittenhouse Square today for this week’s Pictures of Pretty Condos! If you haven’t visited the Academy House before, you are in for a real treat. This 37-story building on the southeast cornet of Locust and 15th is among the square’s most visually impressive, having been designed in the 1970s by renowned architect Otto Reichert-Facilides.
This is a doorman building, with balconies and washers/dryers in most units, an indoor pool, a gym, optional valet parking in the rental lot downstairs… just about every amenity you might need or want, basically. Virtually all utilities are included in your condo fees, which is an outstanding convenience.
Rittenhouse Square touts one of the highest Walk Scores in Center City, meaning that all the shopping, dining, and entertainment you could want are within hoofing distance. The Academy House is directly adjacent to the Avenue of the Arts, meaning that world-class culture is a brief walk away at all times. In fact, the Academy of Music next door gave the condos their name.
Junior 1-, 1-, 2-, and 3 bedroom units are available at Academy House, although at least one unit currently up for sale has had walls knocked down between two existing units to create a bigger space. There are 576 units in total, with square footage ranging from 521 to 1590.
In many Center City condo communities, floor height tends to be a strong component of the relative desirability and pricing of individual units. Homes at the Academy House are less subject to these fluctuations, since great views are beheld from just about every floor.
Another aspect of design at Academy House that tends to be a strong selling point? All units are flats – no stairs with which to contend! With the larger (2- and 3 bedroom) units, that’s really saying something in relation to other homes in Center City. There are elevators throughout the building.
I’ve seen Academy House condos called the “Toyotas” of Center City – they consistently hold their value and shine in comparison to other, flashier comers. This is, I feel, an apt description. Buying here isn’t only a solid decision in terms of location and amenities, but probably a fairly safe financial investment as well. After all, many things change, but Rittenhouse being classy and desirable does not.
Frank L. DeFazio, Esq.
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors
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