FIrst-Time Find: Something Extra in Levittown for $295K

64 Elderberry Dr., Levittown, Pa. 19054 | TREND images via Century 21 Veterans

Levittown may have been mass-produced in the 1950s, but the people who bought those mass-produced homes have exhibited a knack for customizing them over the decades since.

This expanded and updated home is an outstanding example of what those customizers did. You may be able to pick out the original ranch house model that morphed into this sprawling two-story beauty, but any resemblance between this home and the original is purely coincidental. Read more »

These Are The 10 Most Affordable Homes in Fairmount

Fairmount’s four most affordable homes for sale right now are all inside this handsome Art Deco building. | TREND image via LYL Realty Group

Our tour of homes with cool prices in hot neighborhoods lands in Fairmount this week.

This rejeuvenated neighborhood just to the north of the Parkway and Art Museum boasts an eclectic dining scene, many attractive little residential streets, Eastern State Penitentiary for a neighbor and one of the country’s greatest urban parks at its front doorstep. (Speaking of steps, there are also the ones Rocky climbed up to the Art Museum entrance as well. If you settle here, you should pay the museum a visit.)

The people at NeighborhoodX did their database mining and found these ten properties were the least expensive currently on the market. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: Extra Style in Wash West for $530K

316 S. Clarion St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107 | TREND images via Keller Williams Center City Realty

The “little streets” of Washington Square West are among the most beloved residential streets in Philadelphia. Many of them are lined with those equally beloved (to some) houses known as trinities.

This trinity on a dead-end lane in Wash West represents the perfect marriage of little street and house type. Actually, if such a thing is possible, it may actually go beyond perfect.

That’s because the owners of this expanded trinity have turned it into an actual three-bedroom home with the sort of amenities usually found in larger spaces. Read more »

Prep School Head Warns Parents Away From High School Rankings

St. Joseph’s Prep in North Philly traditionally ranks highly among private and Catholic high schools. Its president says parents considering high schools for their children shouldn’t go strictly by those numbers, though. | Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

As back-to-school time approaches, parents considering private high school for their children anxiously search the web for information about their options, including rankings of schools from publications like Barron’s and U.S. News & World Report or websites like Niche.com. Families looking to buy homes do the same thing with rankings of public high schools, and real estate sites like this one gladly feed their anxiety by publicizing the results.

The president of St. Joseph’s Prep School in North Philadelphia has some words of advice for these parents and families: Don’t believe the hype. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Private Palace in Gladwyne for $4.45M

1862 Aloha Ln., Gladwyne, Pa. 19035 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

Eight acres. Three horse stalls. Infinity pool. Consider us sold!

Contemporary design and a traditional frame combine to make this spectacular transitional mansion unbelievably unique. The outdoors and indoors are seamlessly intertwined to produce a zen oasis on an extraordinarily private piece of property. This recently built custom home was constructed by Hallowell Builders and designed by Voith & Mactavish aAchitects.

The gorgeous, gated mansion overlooks the Schuylkill valley and is surrounded on three sides by the Riverbend Environmental Center. The surrounding area is flourishing with lush trees and shrubs. You can easily enjoy the breathtaking view from the covered terrace year round courtesy of an outdoor fireplace. It’ll keep you warm in the winter months.

Floor-to-ceiling windows are found in the great room. The extravagance certainly doesn’t halt there. The space also features 30-foot ceilings (wow!), exposed fir beams, a linear gas fireplace with floor-to-ceiling stone and a rear bow window.

Porcelanosa flooring spans the kitchen. The cooking area is complete with an island with stainless steel doors and professional appliances.

Other amenities include a greenhouse, home gym, geothermal climate control, radiant heat in the kitchen, mud room and master bath, central vacuum, smart home security and indoor and outdoor music systems.

THE FINE PRINT

BEDS: 5

BATHS: 4 full, 2 half

SQUARE FEET: 6,884

SALE PRICE: $4,450,000

OTHER STUFF: There’s also a carriage house with kitchen on the property as well as a first-floor guest suite for your visiting friends.



1862 Aloha Ln., Gladwyne, Pa. 19035 [Robin Gordon | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]

Habitat: A Character Study in Rittenhouse

Living space: The walls of the home’s “public” spaces are wrapped in reclaimed whitewashed chestnut planks that are riddled with wormholes, creating interesting texture on a neutral backdrop. The exposed wood beams over the dining area create a natural separation that helps define the three connected spaces. Photograph by Jeffrey Totaro

When the would-be owners of this Rittenhouse condo were house-hunting, they knew exactly what they didn’t want: a cold, modern high-rise unit that felt more hotel than home. “That’s what they were moving from,” explains Vivian Su, of Spring Garden-based architecture and design firm Rasmussen/Su. “They wanted a place that would feel more neighborhood-y — more casual and relaxing.” Read more »

A Home With Character(s) in Wyndmoor for $4.25M

“Ropsley,” 8745-65 Montgomery Ave., Wyndmoor, Pa. 19038 | Photos: Herb Engelsberg and Michael Brock via The Sivel Group

The homes that Philadelphia’s “new money” built in Cheltenham Township were generally built to impress, none more so than the over-the-top and still-on-the-market Lynnewood Hall. And there were some very famous names associated with these mansions: Elkins. Widener. Wanamaker. Curtis. Stetson. Stotesbury. Cooke. (Yes, railroad tycoon Jay Cooke built a home in the township.)

This picturesque estate in the Wyndmoor section is far less opulent than Lynnewood Hall, but it has an informal elegance that makes it no less impressive. It also has a couple of illustrious names associated with it: McIlhenny and Poe. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Downingtown

1207 Indian Trail Dr., Downingtown, Pa. 19335 | TREND image via Long & Foster Real Estate

Downingtown is perfect suburban living. City life is not for everyone, and this suburban destination is nicely situated away from the chaos. New construction homes abound in our target price range in this community just beyond the fringes of the Main Line, and while these three homes aren’t brand new, they’re all of recent vintage and reflect the community’s dominant Colonial house style. With the average home value at $332,900, a $500K budget will get you a pad with plenty of space and an abundance of room for the kids to play. (And when they’re not playing, they will attend the highly regarded Downingtown schools; the Downingtown STEM Academy magnet school was rated one of the 10 best in the state this year by Niche.com.) Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Whimsical Charm in Society Hill for $1.95M

273 S. 7th St., Philadelphia, Pa 19106 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

We’re getting some seriously good vibes from this newly refurbished stunner. Its light and airy aura and grounding touches hit all the right décor notes.

First off, how amazing is the exposed brick? It’s everywhere. From the kitchen wall to the kitchen floors and the bedrooms to the basement, the home displays naturalistic undertones. Paired with natural oak and pine floors, high ceilings and natural light, every room exudes peaceful serenity. But don’t mistake that understated and earthy design for a lack of luxury. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Sean Schellenger

Schellenger on the roof deck of one of his recently completed homes in Point Breeze. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Developing property in Philadelphia resembles running an obstacle course. There are numerous permits a builder must receive in order to start even a project that can be built by right. And if a zoning variance is required, the builder needs to jump through several more hoops involving community groups and a zoning review board.

When Sean Schellenger decided to go into the development business, he knew that the key to his success would be to create a system where he could build a large number of homes in a short period of time. So he sought to streamline the whole process from initial land purchase to turning over the keys. The business he formed to do all this is called — what else? — Streamline Solutions. Read more »

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