Adventures in Home Buying: Here Is the House That We Own

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We’d spent months traipsing through strangers’ houses. We’d navigated enough of East Falls to count off the cozy street names by memory (some day, someone will explain to me how a true Fallser is meant to pronounce “Vaux”). In aggregate we’d probably spent entire days with our mortgage advisor. But even with a settlement date in sight — even after the appraisal was worked out — it hardly felt real.

Our closing was scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. The night before — mindful of having only two weeks between settlement and move to do things like clean, paint and furniture shop — we found ourselves at a suburban Home Depot, standing in front of a wall of interior paint samples. In a sea of technicolor options, we were united on French Silver and Caribe. Still, as the sales associate was having the colors mixed and we were choosing paint rollers, it did not feel real.

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Famed Latimer House Drops $2M and Returns to Market

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The Latimer House was, when it was on sale in 2012 for $6.2 million, Philadelphia’s most expensive freestanding single-family home on the MLS. It was built in 1993 by husband-wife architect team David Slovic and Ligia Rave-slovic,  and quickly became well-known to Center City residents who would pass by the strangely unobtrusive but (for that reason) obtrusive gray box and puzzle over what might be inside — a dentist’s office? A Soviet storage facility? (There were no shortage of guesses as to what the building might hold, as I learned when I wrote about it for Curbed Philly, from Planned Parenthood to DMV to SAAB dealership.)

The interior (gallery below) would have surprised them.
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SOLD: Philly’s Most Unique Airbnb

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We knew the former Arthaus BnB would sell quickly when it was listed in January, but it’s a shame no one else will get to stay in the unique guest house, which was recommended in last year’s Washington Post travel guide. (Linger on these photos now, as well as the photos on the B&B’s website; you won’t see this decor again.)

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Stone Norman Mansion Is Full of Surprises

941 Bryn Mawr Avenue

941 Bryn Mawr Avenue

Take a drive along leafy Bryn Mawr Avenue, and — were you able to get a glimpse up a private drive and stand of trees — this Norman mansion doesn’t look out of place. It’s impressive, to be sure, but the stone exterior isn’t unusual for the area, and it suggests a traditional interior.

Inside, though, there are some rooms that definitely stand out. Take the kitchen, for instance. The glossy Italian Boffi cabinetry and center island are a deep, blood red, with countertops and backsplash in a gray and white granite. (The appliances are top of the line: Sub-Zero and Gaggenau.)

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Stunning Parc Rittenhouse 3BR With Massive Terrace

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Private terraces cantilevered from the high-rises surrounding Rittenhouse Square are basically de rigueur. They generally come attached to lavishly finished condos and afford you space enough for a few chairs and a side table on which to set your La Colombe and your Vanity Fair.

Then there is this terrace at Parc Rittenhouse. Its square footage — a staggering 1,500 — could easily be mistaken for an average home’s livable space. Indeed, it’s only a few hundred square feet smaller than the indoor space for this unit.

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A Lesson on Gemütlichkeit in Haddon Heights

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When words fail us, German usually comes in handy. In this case, it has a word for the rush of feelings that overcomes us when we browse through the listing photos for this very quaint four-bedroom home in Haddon Heights: Gemütlichkeit.

Absent an adequate English translation, the word roughly equates to a sense of coziness and calm. It usually refers to home design, but you may also be familiar with the excellent toasting anthem, Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit, which basically means “a toast to your well-being” and has been repeated at Oktoberfests near and far forever.

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One Year on the Market: Frank Palumbo’s Former Main Line Home

palumbo house

The house is secluded behind tall trees and a fence, as this 2012 Google Street View capture shows.

There are a slew of properties on the Main Line worth more than 204 Merion Road’s $1,399,000 asking price, but those houses with their gaudy price tags — well, they’re just houses.

This house is different. This is where the legendary nightclub owner Frank Palumbo and his “vivacious” former Hollywood starlet wife, Kippee Valez, lived. That means the new owners of 204 Merion Road will be acquiring a home that comes with a story.

In 2004 the Inquirer’s Matt Blanchard said the home “is probably the closest thing to Graceland in Pennsylvania, and the last remnant of a once-great hospitality empire.”

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Mary Sheridan’s Lambertville Home and Saloon For Sale

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Let’s go back in time for a moment. To 1988. Mary Sheridan is the matriarch of sleepy Lambertville, New Jersey. She has been working as a Democrat in city politics since she was hired as city clerk in 1937. And our own beloved Inga Saffron is but a staff writer at the Inquirer. State investigators are sorting through a financial quagmire in the city’s books and Saffron is detailing the discovery that Sheridan has been running the city as something of an anachronistic autocrat. This March 13, 1988 delight sums up the situation in Lambertville:

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