Alden Park Tenant Group Launches Rent Strike

Alden Park's renovations are proceeding apace, but tenants dissatisfied with that pace are pressing their case collectively. | Photo from At Media

Alden Park’s renovations are proceeding apace, but tenants dissatisfied with that pace are pressing their case collectively. | Photo from At Media

The historic Alden Park apartment complex on the border of East Falls and Germantown may be in the midst of a total makeover, but tenants still living in about 80 apartments there aren’t happy with how things are going. Complaining about a management they say is unresponsive to concerns they have raised repeatedly, they have formed a tenants’ union and are withholding their rent as of this month.

In a letter sent to Philadelphia magazine, Alden Park Tenants Union vice president Kristen Aguirre stated that the tenants’ concerns fall into three broad categories: safety and security issues, code violations, and maintenance issues. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: Room for Everyone and Everything in Newtown Square

Echo Valley Farm, 4109 Goshen Rd., Newtown Square, Pa. 19073 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Home Experts

Echo Valley Farm, 4109 Goshen Rd., Newtown Square, Pa. 19073 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Home Experts

Ever wanted to run your own bed-and-breakfast inn?

A historic property that’s ideally suited for that and many other purposes is on the market in Newtown Square.

The property in question is Echo Valley Farm, a 1.83-acre mini-estate in the Radnor Hunt area that houses a collection of authentically rustic yet totally sophisticated spaces for just about anything that might strike your fancy.

The main buildings on the property date to around 1708-10 and were built as part of the William Lewis farm immediately to the west. There are four of them: the granary, the barn, the hay house and the milk house. None of them serve their original purposes, but all of them will serve yours well. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Una Bella Vista in Bella Vista

1101 Washington Ave. #V2, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1101 Washington Ave. #V2, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Looking to rise above it all?

You can go higher than this, but you won’t have a view as all-encompassing as the one from the roof deck of this ultra-modern, ultra-stylish bi-level penthouse at 11th Street and Washington Avenue.

That roof deck, by the way, is one of three levels of outdoor space this unit contains. With a total of 1,100 square feet of terraces and decks, including a wraparound terrace on the main floor with beautiful views to the east and south, this apartment has more outdoor space than some luxury units have indoors.

And what this condo on the Lofts at Bella Vista’s “Villa level” has indoors is also very nice indeed. Read more »

First-Time Find: Get In on the Ground Floor in Port Richmond

3011 Livingston St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND Images via The Somers Team

3011 Livingston St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND Images via The Somers Team

As Fishtown continues to rise in popularity, the first waves of change are lapping up against the next neighborhood upriver, Port Richmond.

Port Richmond has many of the things that make Fishtown great: residents who care about the community, interesting shopping and dining, easy access to the rest of the city and great housing stock.

Like this two-story rowhome on a prime corner lot.

The years have been very kind to this home, whose owner has taken excellent care of its details, from its original wood-and-wrought-iron cornice to its hardwood flooring (most of it also original) throughout. Its corner location means it gets lots of natural light, and its open main floor gives it a feeling of spaciousness. Read more »

Survey: Villanova Tops for Green Homes for Sale

Masonry homes dominate the Main Line the way brick rowhomes dominate Philadelphia. Both are excellent candidates for green retrofitting, which helps explain why this area has such a high number of homes with green features on the market.

Masonry homes dominate the Main Line the way brick rowhomes dominate Philadelphia. Both are excellent candidates for green retrofitting, which helps explain why this area has such a high number of homes with green features on the market.

Maybe homeowners hereabouts want to emulate the Eagles. Or maybe it’s because investments in green features pay off when it’s time to sell. Whatever the reason, Philadelphia-area homeowners love to trim their homes with green.

Especially on the Main Line. When Redfin, the Seattle-based online brokerage, surveyed listings of homes for sale in the markets where it operates across the country, it found that 57 percent of all the homes listed for sale in Villanova touted energy-saving or environmentally friendly features in their listings.

That was enough to earn the community the top spot on Redfin’s list of “The Top 10 Neighborhoods for Green Homes.”

Redfin looked for listings where homes were described using terms such as “LEED,” “Energy Star,” “solar,” “energy-efficient,” “green built,” and the like.

It turns out that these green homes are golden for their owners: the median sale price for homes with green features was $33,894 above the median for all homes in the cities Redfin surveyed.

But what makes Main Line homes greener than others elsewhere? Tom Lewis, Redfin’s Philadelphia market manager, says it’s the way they’re built. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: Holding Court in Queen Village

525 Fitzwater St. #4, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via OCF Realty

525 Fitzwater St. #4, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via OCF Realty

While Charles Dickens despaired at the straightness of our streets, many other observers have called Philadelphia perhaps the most European of American cities in its ambience.

Chances are that when they said those things, they had pictured in their mind’s eye charming little alleyways like this gated one off Fitzwater Street in Queen Village.

This private lane is known as Abbott’s Court, and lining it are 15 equally charming trinity homes. This is one of those homes. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Touch of Class in Haverford

830 Buck Lane, Haverford, Pa. 19041 |TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred - Wayne

830 Buck Lane, Haverford, Pa. 19041 |TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred – Wayne

Somewhere out there is a website that explains to the layman why McMansions are so hideous. The reasons why have to do with classic principles of traditional architectural design, such as balance, symmetry and proportionality.

Today’s builders would do well to study this week’s featured home as an example of how to build for the ages as well as the right now, for this 116-year-old Colonial Revival home near Haverford College both shows what a truly picturesque traditional home looks like and shows how you can keep a classic up to date with changing times and tastes.

In contrast to many Main Line Colonials, this home has an informal layout that made it easy to expand and adapt its interior space. The evolution of the home is more evident in the rear elevation, where one can see the additions that enlarged the size of one third-floor bedroom and added the sunny family room that’s attached to the updated kitchen. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: A Great Retreat in Ottsville

629 Headquarters Rd., Ottsville, Pa. 18942 | Photos: Addison Wolfe Real Estate

629 Headquarters Rd., Ottsville, Pa. 18942 | Photos: Addison Wolfe Real Estate

We wonder whether we should feature this breathtakingly impressive Upper Bucks farm residence at all lest its buyer decide to ask the Philadelphia Folk Festival to move to the site.

After all, the festival’s current home near Schwenksville is a mere 80-acre farm. This one’s got 10 more acres than that, plus space for VIP lodging for a few lucky festival-goers in the guest house on the property.

That guest house, by the way, is the original 1840s stone farmhouse. Your living space is the much larger barn, which has been converted into a showstopper of a home. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: All Wet by the Waterfront

808 S. Swanson St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

808 S. Swanson St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

In the suburbs, many homeowners enjoy taking a dip in the pool and inviting friends over for parties at poolside. City dwellers who live in apartments or condominium complexes often have access to pools as an amenity as well. But it’s the rare urban private residence that offers its owner the opportunity to make a splash.

This home in Queen Village is one of those rarities.

Built in 2009, the home is endowed with a back yard that’s large for the neighborhood. The owner hired a top-notch landscape architect to transform that yard into an outdoor oasis that features a pool, a built-in hot tub, a deck (that also covers the hot tub when not in use) and a poolside bar and seating area. We’re sure you and your friends will enjoy this rare amenity… Read more »

First-Time Find: Splendor by the Lake in Downingtown

701 Driftwood Ln., Downingtown, Pa. 19335 | TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

701 Driftwood Ln., Downingtown, Pa. 19335 | TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

Not every young family wants the city life. Those who prefer something a little more tranquil and a lot more green should read on, as they will be richly rewarded for doing so.

The reward comes in the form of this spacious townhome in a lush subdivision outside Downingtown called Marsh Harbor, about a half mile from Marsh Creek State Park and its beautiful reservoir. This home offers plenty of space in an attractive package — a former model home designed by Ann Capron that combines the best elements of modern and traditional design. Read more »

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