Main Line Monday: Newly Listed $6M Contemporary

main line monday logo This home with pool and tennis court, among other amenities, has almost 9,000 square feet of living space. The land was purchased in 2000 for $1,400,000, according to public record, and then a new house was built on the 2.3 acres by architect Matthew Milan and builder Frank Zadlo. So what makes it worth so much money now? Let’s take a look. Gallery below, after the Fine Print.

Beds: 7
Baths: 6/1
Square feet: 8,798
Price: $5,965,000

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Jacques Ferber Reopens on Walnut Street

Jacques-FerberJacques Ferber was a Walnut Street institution since 1911, but where once there were furs (and protesters against them) there are now Vans. Ferber has moved to the second floor of 1708 Walnut, Shoppist reports:

The Ferber team preserved details of the historic building (take a look at the wide wood frames around the mirrors—those were designed by Frank Furness). The final result? A modern space with plenty of character, just like the collection itself.

Jacques Ferber Reveals Its New Walnut Street Store [Shoppist]

Pat Croce’s Villanova Estate to Go to Auction [Gallery]


Pat Croce — former president of the 76ers; author of inspirational New York Times bestsellers; self-described pirate; museum founder; and Key West habitué and bar owner — put his Lower Merion Colonial on the market for $7.95 million at the end of last year.

Now Croce has entered into an agreement with Premiere Estates Auction Company to bring the 10,500- square-foot home to auction on Oct. 25 “to accelerate the sales process,” as a Premiere spokesperson puts it. It’s an absolute auction, which means that there’s no going back — the highest bid will take the property. Absolute auctions can be intriguing if there’s the possibility that no one shows up except a homeless guy who read about it in the paper at the Free Library, and has a crumpled dollar in his pocket but nothing more.

This isn’t Trading Places, though. When there’s an auction for an estate like this one, rest assured it will bring more than a dollar, and from someone who knows real estate and the Main Line. If I were a betting gal…well, but I’m not (I’m sorry, Atlantic City. I haven’t helped at all).

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Singh Center Named One of World’s Best

Photo by Liz Spikol

Photo by Liz Spikol

Architectural Digest has named Penn’s new Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, as one of its NINE BEST NEW UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS AROUND THE WORLD. Here’s how the magazine describes it:

Sensitive to the demands of biological research and the delicate equipment the building would house, Weiss/Manfredi worked to isolate vibrations and noise from a nearby subway line and mitigate other external environmental factors to create an efficient, beautiful research hub.

For Rent: Chase Utley’s Phenomenal Ayer Penthouse [UPDATE]


Update 9/4/2014 5:04pm: Kurfiss Sotheby’s Melanie Stecura got in touch with us to clarify a few things, most importantly that the unit is still for sale even though it is also available for rent. That change is reflected below, along with two others referring to the Utleys’ current home.

BHHS Fox & Roach’s Frank L. DeFazio sent us a link to his blog today, which features an item about Chase Utley’s condo at the Ayer. As we’ve written, Chase and Jen renovated a house last year, and they put this fantabulous unit on the market in October 2013. In March of this year, feeling wary about the fact that the unit had no furniture in it anymore, they had it re-staged, hoping that would give the $4.3 million home the kick it needed.

Now DeFazio notes that the listing is available as a rental for $17,500 per month. (The monthly condo fees are around $4,000 per month, DeFazio writes.) It’s a beautiful unit. Gallery below, in case you’ve forgotten.

Rent Chase Utley’s Penthouse at The Ayer for $17,500 per month! [Center City Team]
210 W Washington Square PHSW [Kurfiss Sotheby's]

Labor Day Weekend Estate Sales

An example of one of the quirky items that will be offered at the Chestnut Hill estate sale on Monday. Photo via

An example of one of the quirky items that will be offered at the Chestnut Hill estate sale on Monday. Photo via

Is there nothing better than a good estate sale? You get to tromp through a home and really look at the condition of the items as they were used in the space where they were used. If the home is especially beautiful, that’s a bonus, as is the fact that prices tend to be very reasonable. And keep in mind that these days an estate sale is very rarely due to a person’s death. It’s usually because a couple of empty nesters have decided it’s time to move into the city, or because an elderly person is moving in with her kids (or, uh, to a nursing home, which is actually depressing, but just put that out of your mind). Or sometimes people just need to liquidate because they’re exhausted by owning all that crap and are planning to join the Tiny Home movement. Anyway, stop analyzing and start enjoying. Here are three of this weekend’s estate sales that we recommend.

1. Case in point: This rather poignant pre-demolition sale of a Walter Durham home in Penn Valley or Narberth, depending how you look at it. The company handling the sale specializes in big items. For instance, they liquidated the entire Waynesboro Country Club on Route 252 in Paoli and a block-long synagogue in Allentown. So think big for this sale, which includes everything: an antique wood pine mantel, dining room chandelier and sconces, antique brick patios and walkways, flagstones, loose stone walls, patio doors, insulated glass windows, garage doors, an HVAC system, plantings…as the company says on its website, “Remember, if it is there, it is for sale.” If you’re a Durham fan, you can go for a last look before the home comes down in a few weeks. 8/30/2014 9am to 3pm and 8/31/2014 10am to 2pm, Righters Mill Road, Narberth, PA.

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10 Best and Worst Markets for Flipping

RealtyTrac took a look at housing markets with 50 or more flips in the second quarter of 2014 to assess which market was getting the best return on investment (ROI) for the flips. No. 1? Pittsburgh, PA, where on average, the flipper bought a home at a 51 percent discount (below the estimated market value, that is) and resold it at a 4 percent premium above the estimated market value. That’s a 106 percent ROI. Nice job, yins!

Not surprisingly, the worst market for flips is San Francisco, where the second-quarter 2014 average gross ROI was -9 percent. That hurts my stomach.

The overall average for all the markets in the analysis? An 8 percent discount then a 6 percent premium.

Though Philadelphia falls neither on the Best or Worst list, York-Hanover is also on the Best list, a few slots below Pittsburgh. See the lists below.

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Pending Sale for $5.2M: Villanova Estate “Conamara”

TREND photo via

TREND photo via

Conamara (the traditional spelling for Connemara) is the name of a picturesque area in West Ireland. It’s also the name of this Villanova estate that sits on more than 10 acres of the vaunted Ardrossan land, where Hope Montgomery Scott–the inspiration for Katherine Hepburn’s character in The Philadelphia Story–once lived it up.

After being listed on the market for $7,695,000, it was slated for auction in April 2013. According to public record, it sold in July 2013 for $4 million and was placed on the market just weeks later for $5.25. Now, little more than a month later, it’s pending sale at that same price.

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