Five Amazing Pope Rentals Available in Philly Right Now

Clockwise: Craigslist, BHHS Fox & Roach, Postlets, Craigslist | Pope Francis photo by Jeffrey Bruno via Flickr

Clockwise: Craigslist, BHHS Fox & Roach, Postlets, Craigslist | Pope Francis photo by Jeffrey Bruno via Flickr

If you’re reading this, we can only assume you’ll be visiting Philadelphia around the time Pope Francis makes his way to town. Glad you could make it! Because while you could always choose to camp out with these folks instead of taking up in some cliché high-rise hotel room, we think the following city rentals (i.e. lovely local homes hand-picked by us) are worth a look.

Oh, and if you’re not an out-of-towner reading this… shoo! Go off and take a break from all the Popeadelphia madness! (But if you must stay, take these rentals as examples for how to go about renting your place for the Pope’s Philly visit.)
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What Would You Do with This Massive Kennett Square Estate?

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

We don’t know what to do with this eight-plus-acre estate in Kennett Square.

Rest assured, it’s not its acreage that’s left us puzzled – though, admittedly, its park-like grounds do give the impression of being more vast than they are since the property is surrounded by conservancy land – because we’ve seen plenty of homes sitting on similarly sized, if not larger, plots of land. Rather, it’s the custom-built mansion, which at nearly 19,000 square feet has us wondering just what the heck does one do with all that space?

Don’t get us wrong – it’s gorgeous. Luxury details abound, interior stone walls, and Brazilian cherry and oak flooring throughout…just who wouldn’t revel in a home like that?  Take for instance the two recreation spaces present in the seven-bedroom home: one on the second level, the other encompassing the entire lower level. Then there’s the two-story guest wing. Guest wing!

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Up, Up, Up!: The Latest Housing Report for Bucks County

On the heels of a BHHS HomExpert report that saw an increase in Philadelphia home sales within the first six months of the year comes a new set of findings, this time from one of Philly’s surrounding counties: Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS have released their Market Research from TREND MLS Data in Bucks County.

The takeaways? For one thing, Bucks has seen a 3.8 percent hike in its inventory unit levels, meaning that compared to June of last year, this past June saw 169 more homes on sale. CBH REALTORS President Jaime Mancuso attributes this rise to a boost in property sales, according to a press release – emphasis ours:

“Based on the trend lines we’ve seen over the past year, we believe buyers have more choices because of the increased inventory provided by inspired sellers, who have seen that homes on the market are moving quickly in Bucks County. However, unlike what we saw in 2006 and 2007, the market remains healthy because there have not been inflated price increases.”

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Trinity Tuesday: Versatile Rowhome in Philly’s Walker’s Paradise

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

Truth be told (and to dissuade denizens of nearby ‘hoods from lunging at my jugular), almost all the neighborhoods surrounding Center City will fall within WalkScore’s vaunted “Walker’s Paradise” grade. Today, though, we’re going to single out Washington Square West, where this week’s trinity home is located. Its score? Ninety-nine. Damn near perfect (especially if you’d rather do without a car, which might just be something to consider).

Situated directly across from Starr Garden Park, the two-bedroom has easy access to South Street (no lie, it’s literally right behind it) and is a few short blocks from Independence Mall. According to the listing, the house has been expanded and central heat and air conditioning keep it comfortable enough in the face of Philadelphia’s more severe weather.

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Spotted: Three Luxe Townhomes Break Ground at 22nd and Lombard

Rendering courtesy of Philly Living

Rendering courtesy of Philly Living/JKRP Architects

Sure, Philadelphia’s building boom is due in large part to massive developments like 500 Walnut and the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center (just to name a few). But it’s also got a series of smaller projects springing forth that are helping it along. The latest one to break ground? Three luxury townhomes at the corner of 22nd and Lombard.

According to a press release from Philly Living, the residences at 2143-47 Lombard Street are each due to have a full-floor master suite, elevator, finished basement with guest and media rooms, and a full-floor roof deck with beverage cooler, built-in speakers and lighting, and connections for a gas grill. Mmmh, we can already smell the upcoming BBQs…

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Main Line Monday: Yep, This Lower Merion Charmer Went For the Floor Layout Switch

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

Well, looky here! Is this a thing with Main Line homes we weren’t aware of? Sure, we’ve seen new constructions try out this layout switch before, but rarely have we spotted this in an older residence. In any case, we kind of like it: this circa 1900 Lower Merion home has its living area and kitchen on the second level, while three of its four bedrooms on the main floor.

Not to worry, though. Its old and new features have been commingled in such a way that deem it a charmer through and through. For example, though renovated in 2011, the historic home managed to keep its original hardwood floors and its entrance hall boasts Old World wainscoting. Upstairs, the main living area offers cathedral and beamed ceilings, recessed lighting, and a kitchen with concrete counter tops and built-in cabinetry refrigerator.

But the apple of our eye? There’s a plank wood wall made of reclaimed barn wood in the family area and the master suite – also on this level – appears to have a similar feature.

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Property’s Photo of the Week: A Moment of Serenity in the Popeadelphia Craze

A photo posted by Mittul (@mittul_) on

In nine weeks, Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia.

From the day he arrives to the day he leaves (check out his two-day itinerary here), he’ll step foot in vastly dissimilar buildings and spaces in the city, among them the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and PaulIndependence Mall, and the Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility. It’s with this spirit of anticipation for this once-in-a-lifetime event that we’ve selected this #phillyscape shot taken inside the Cathedral Basilica on the Parkway.

It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, the “urban pontificate” will have to say about Philadelphia in the hours after his visit comes to an end. So far, it’s been off to a somewhat shaky start with questions centering around whether the city can handle the challenge of such an unprecedented event. Will we be able to transport the crowds to and from their destinations? Will we make a good impression with the Pope and the visitors he brings?

Relax, it’s going to be amazing.

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Farmhouse Friday: Pastoral West Chester Gem Listed for $2.75 Million

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

It’s been in the hands of one family for close to a century, but now’s your chance to make it yours: Deborah’s Rock Farm in West Chester is on the market. Listed last month for a cool $2.75 million, the historic 88-acre estate claims a 9,000-square-foot stone manor home that’s been beautifully preserved and maintained, original bank barn, and tenant house. To boot, it’s got frontage on the Brandywine River and views of the Natural Lands Trust Stroud Preserve.

Like several of our farmhouse selections, Deborah’s Rock claims distinct architectural details that amplify its rustic appeal: brick-floored entrance hall, seven fireplaces, wood-burning stove, beehive oven, and a stone ha-ha wall. The country kitchen, which overlooks the gardens and Preserve, is centrally located at the core of the manor, making it easy to move between the formal dining room and family room.

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Tacony Named “Great Neighborhood” Winner by American Planning Association

Photo courtesy of Eric Horvath

Photo courtesy of Eric Horvath

“Will people finally notice Tacony?” was a question posed right here on Property many, many moons ago (about a month or so after the blog was started, actually). It wasn’t meant to snub, but was, rather, a sincere query in the wake of a surging neighborhood revitalization effort made by the Tacony Community Development Corporation with other local groups.

More recently, Tacony CDC Corridor Manager Alex Balloon took to the Historic Tacony Revitalization Project blog in January to make known the slew of projects slated to improve the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. And boy, are those efforts noticed now!

See, the American Planning Association, Pennsylvania Chapter has announced this year’s winners of its Great Places awards, honors bestowed on a select number of “unique, memorable places” in the categories of “Great Neighborhoods” and “Great Public Spaces.” Tacony is one of two “Great Neighborhoods” winners, meaning it has been shown to have “exemplary character, quality, planning, identity, cultural interest, and community involvement with a sustainable vision for tomorrow.” You can see the rest of the winners here.

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Former Italian Consulate Turned Mega Mansion Asks $3.25M

All images by TREND via Redfin

All images by TREND via Redfin

Whoa. Could you imagine if this mega-mansion designed by Theophilus P. Chandler  – for the record, historical notes also attribute it to Horace Trumbauer – at the corner of 22nd and Locust was your personal residence? Well, if you’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.25 million, it could be. Heck, even if you’re more the developer/investor type, the property has RM-1 zoning, so something like a condo building conversion is definitely a possibility.

Commissioned by steel businessman Frank Samuel (who may have been the same Frank Samuel who was V.P. of the North Branch Steel Company, “the first to produce the modern street-car rail“) in 1899, the four-story Federal brick beauty went up sometime in the early 1900s. Today, it boasts several features from the era: original stained glass windows, panelings, moldings, parquet and herringbone wood floors, and even a defunct elevator that used to go up to the third level. Bonus historical tidbit? It served as the headquarters for the Italian consulate back in the seventies. And with that, can you guess how many bedrooms it has?

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