Farmhouse Friday: Country Charm In Mt. Airy

6825 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118| TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

6825 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118 | TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

Back in 1844, when this lovely and beautifully maintained farmhouse was built, the German Township had just split itself in two. The more urban portion became the reconstituted Germantown Borough in August of that year, while the rest of what is now known as Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill remained in Germantown Township.

Mount Airy today is a very urbane (yet bosky) place, but this home has managed to retain all of its country charm, just on a much smaller lot.

The side of the home that faces Wissahickon Avenue is actually the side, not the front: the home’s gracious front porch is on its fenced-in north side, and a driveway on its south side leads to two parking spaces.

Once inside, you’ll find a quietly elegant living room and dining room, each with its own fireplace, to the right of the main staircase. Past the dining room is the kitchen, which is flooded with natural light from the adjoining breakfast room and features the latest Jenn-Air appliances.

On the second floor are three bedrooms and two beautifully updated bathrooms, one of which boasts full marble tile walls and shower enclosure. The third floor is divided into a large room that can serve as a home office or fourth bedroom, a laundry room and a third bathroom.

In addition to the utility room, you’ll find a charming wine cellar in the basement.

Out back, there’s an attractive stone terrace and a storage shed in the completely fenced, spacious back yard.

Despite its rural appearance, you’re very close to all sorts of urban amenities, including the Mount Airy business district along Germantown Avenue and a SEPTA Regional Rail station where you can catch trains that will whisk you into Center City. And if you’re a nature lover, the Wissahickon Valley is also a short distance away.

THE FINE PRINT

BEDS: 4

BATHS: 3

SQUARE FEET: 2,146

SALE PRICE: $549,900

OTHER STUFF: This home’s price was raised by $400 on June 6.



6825 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118 [Ellen Goodwin | BHHS Fox & Roach]

Jawdropper of the Week: A Contemporary Oasis in Solebury

6029 Atkinson Rd., New Hope, PA. 18938 | TREND images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

6029 Atkinson Rd., New Hope, Pa. 18938 | TREND images by Natalie Fleischacker via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

When your home is a minimalist’s dream and a Zen paradise, it’ll be hard to remember you’re in Bucks County and not a faraway exotic oasis.

But perhaps it’s just that – an oasis. This custom built stone-and-cedar home set privately off Atkinson Road isn’t your typical Tudor or Colonial mansion. It incorporates Japanese design principles by bringing in tons of open space and natural lighting while also evoking the clean architecture of Scandinavian design. As you drive up the 1,600-foot driveway that leads to the home, the first thing you’ll notice is the front courtyard, which features Koi pond fountains with multi-color changing lighting.

The impressive entry inside opens to a sunken, two-story living room with an entire wall of heat mirror windows. The floor-to-ceiling Norwegian rose marble fireplace serves as the shining centerpiece, aptly fitted to match an equally grand room. A stainless-steel staircase and railing adds an industrial feel while also creating an interesting contrast to the rose marble columns and the white birch hardwood floors. Read more »

Red Homeowners, Blue Renters: The Big Sort Comes Home to Philly

Red home, blue home: The homeownership gap between Democrats and Republicans is a little smaller in Philadelphia than in Cleveland because some affluent communities with high homeownership rates, like Wayne (left), lean Democratic (if only barely in Wayne's case), while some overwhelmingly Democratic city neighborhoods like Stenton (right) have high rates of homeownership. | Photos: Home in Wayne by Tim Engleman, Stenton Station by Adam Moss, licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0

Red home, blue home: The homeownership gap between Democrats and Republicans is a little smaller in Philadelphia than in Cleveland because some affluent communities with high homeownership rates, like Wayne (left), lean Democratic (if only barely in Wayne’s case), while some overwhelmingly Democratic city neighborhoods like Stenton (right) have high rates of homeownership. | Photos: Home in Wayne by Tim Engleman, Stenton Station by Adam Moss, licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0

So you own a lovely restored farmhouse in bucolic Buckingham, a rancher in Richboro or a cabin in Concordville? You’re probably a Republican, though if you live in Eddystone or Crum Lynne, you may be a Republican renter.

And if you’re a Democrat, chances are you’re paying rent to some landlord in Rittenhouse, Washington Square West or even Chestnut Hill. Unless, that is, you live in Stenton, where you’re much more likely to own your home.

The folks at Redfin decided to take the occasion of our national political conventions to see if they could find a red-blue homeownership divide in the host cities, and they did. While both Ohio and Pennsylvania are considered swing states that will be battlegrounds in the upcoming Presidential election, the homeownership patterns in both Cleveland and Philadelphia have a more decidedly partisan cast to them. Read more »

First-Time Find: A Home with Personality in Levittown

15 Dewberry Ln, Levittown, PA. 19055 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

15 Dewberry Lane, Levittown, PA. 19055 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

Choosing your first home can be exhilarating, but also frustrating at the same time. You may be searching for Pinterest-worthy homes and come across the perfect space, only to realize that in no reality will you pay that much for a house.

Look no further, because we found a perfect first home to match all your needs. There’s no shortage of statement rooms in this beautiful and affordable Levittown home, a 1950s ranch house that underwent a total makeover not too long ago.

Once you step through the tiled foyer, you’ll notice immediately that this is no ordinary 1950s rancher thanks to all the upgrades showcased by the open floor plan of the main room, from the new laminate wood floor to the recessed lighting to the energy-saving ceiling fans. At the center of the space, a quirky, exposed brick fireplace serves as the centerpiece of the space, separating and uniting the kitchen/dining area and living room. Read more »

Home Sales In Region Up Nearly 10% in 2nd Quarter 2016

Inventories and average days on market went down, prices held steady, and sales rose in the second quarter of 2016 according to multiple listing service data provided by BHHS Fox & Roach.

Inventories and average days on market went down, prices held steady, and sales rose in the second quarter of 2016 according to multiple listing service data provided by BHHS Fox & Roach.

Home sales in the 13-county Greater Philadelphia multiple listing service region during the quarter ended June 30 rose 9.9 percent from year-ago levels, according to the latest HomExpert sales data from BHHS Fox & Roach.

Within the region, the biggest percentage increases were posted in the South Jersey counties of Salem (up 31.4 percent, from 145 to 191 units), Camden (up 20.1 percent, from 1,544 to 1,854), and Gloucester (up 17.8 percent, from 957 to 1,127).

The leader in total sales volume was Philadelphia, where 4,844 homes changed hands in the second quarter, an increase of 10.4 percent over year-ago levels. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: A Charming Hideaway in the Heart of Bella Vista

756 S. Darien St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

756 S. Darien St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Here’s a cute little trinity located on one of those picturesque little Philly streets that capture people’s hearts. It’s just like in the movies–boy walks girl home in charming, cozy neighborhood on a rainy day. Who wouldn’t want that?

This time, it doesn’t matter if you’re the boy or the girl — this home is a great place to start your journey through life as a homeowner. It’s located in the heart of Bella Vista, on a quiet, secluded European-style courtyard off an equally quiet side street. Read more »

Foreclosures Widen Wealth Gap in Philly, Zillow Study Finds

HomeValues

Data graphic: Zillow.com

While the bursting of the housing bubble caused widespread pain, many homeowners have since recovered from the bust as house values in many U.S. metropolitan areas now stand close to or even above their pre-bust peaks.

But one group in particular has not been able to share in the recovery: low-income homeowners who owned properties in the bottom third of the market.  A study released last week by the real estate search site Zillow.com found that this class of homeowners was hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis — and as a result have been unable to recover the investments they lost as house values at the bottom have rebounded from their post-bust lows, even shooting past their pre-bust peaks in some markets.

Bottom-tier homeowners in metro Philadelphia have been hit especially hard by that double whammy, according to Zillow data. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Home Full of Fun in Villlanova

1318 Valley Rd., Villanova, Pa. 19085 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

For those full-house families out there, this scenic property in Villanova is a dream home.

A whopping 7,618 square feet, expansive rooms, luxurious living quarters, a large entertainment space and elegant details like arched ceilings and columns are some of the features in this home that make it worth the price. From the charming cobblestone-lined walkway to the gorgeously landscaped grounds to its glass conservatory with vaulted ceiling, life in this modern French-inspired home looks like a perfect picture.

The front doors open to a grand foyer with limestone flooring, which leads to a comfortable, expanded family room with an exposed beam vaulted ceiling, custom built-ins for an entertainment center, wet bar, and a Palladian window that makes a cozy nook for quiet reads. The wood-burning brick hearth fireplace serves as a great centerpiece. Open columns divide the living room with a second wood-burning fireplace and a dining room that provides access to the conservatory through glass sliding doors, a perfect place to relax with the entire family. A cherry-paneled study with custom built-ins by Rossi Brothers provides a respite for reading. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: A Landmark Restoration in Thornbury

148 Freedom Rider Trail, West Chester, Pa. 19382 (Thornbury Township) | Images from Keller Williams Luxury Homes International

148 Freedom Rider Trail, West Chester, Pa. 19382 (Thornbury Township) | Images from Keller Williams Luxury Homes International

What you see above is a common, if unusually large, Pennsylvania farmhouse whose oldest portion dates to circa 1797. What makes it special, besides the care and attention that went into its restoration, is the person who built it.

That person was Squire Thomas Cheyney, a relatively unsung hero of the Battle of the Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777. (You may recognize the name because of the historically black university a few miles up the road, but that was named for a different member of the family who lived later.) Cheyney delivered crucial intelligence to Gen. George Washington about the direction from which British forces were advancing. That intelligence allowed Washington to shift his troops, saving his army from total annihilation in this early Revolutionary War defeat for the Americans.

“Had it not been for the Squire’s actions on Sept. 11, Washington would have lost the war and we would be sending our tax dollars to Great Britain,” said the house’s owner and restorer, John Murphy. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: East Market’s First Building

The future home of the area's second, and Center City's first, MOM's Organic Market is almost complete. | Photos: Sandy Smith except where indicated

The future home of the area’s second, and Center City’s first, MOM’s Organic Market is almost complete. | Photos: Sandy Smith except where indicated

MOM is getting ready to welcome her neighbors to East Market come this fall.

That’s MOM as in “MOM’s Organic Market,” the first tenant signed for the mixed-use development that will, when complete, occupy the entire block bounded by 11th, 12th, Market and Chestnut streets. Its space on the street level of 34 S. 11th St. is closing in on completion, and work is well under way on getting the insides of the building ready for two more tenants, including a new one developer National Real Estate Development (NRED) announced yesterday (July 13): Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), a national architectural firm with Pennsylvania roots whose Philadelphia office is currently at 123 South Broad.

NRED used the occasion of the BCJ announcement to invite the media in to take a look around and see how construction is progressing on the first building to be completed as part of the multiphase project. The building, which was once an annex of Snellenburg’s department store and was most recently home to the Philadelphia Family Court, has been given a Modernist factory-like treatment by project architect BLT Architects. Read more »

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