Photo by Laura Kicey
Talk about historic properties. The Logan Inn was once built as a humble tavern, but became an inn around 1727. It’s the oldest running inn in Bucks County, and the fifth oldest in the U.S., one manager said. But the more important fact? Its vaunted paranormal reputation. The New Hope building has regular visits from [...]
Photo of Traugers farm in Bucks County by Frenchtowner via Wikimedia
A lengthy article in the International Business Times by Palash Ghosh uses Bucks County, Pa., as a microcosm for the evils of suburban sprawl, and it’s about as harsh as it can get.
Though not unique, of course, Ghosh contends that Bucks County development is a perfect example of the postwar “expansion of suburbia and concurrent gradual disappearance of unspoiled countryside.” Though many people who live in Philadelphia County, for instance, still see Bucks as countryside, 70 percent of the county’s farmlands disappeared between 1950 and 1997, according to figures Ghosh obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
And longtime Bucks residents like Mark Arbeter feel the difference acutely. Arbeter, chief technical strategist at Standard & Poor’s, told Ghosh about his Bucks County youth:
Remember delicate little dove-like Oksana Baiul? She earned the adoration of the world during the 1994 Winter Olympics, at which she won the Gold Medal in figure skating for Ukraine. She’s had her ups and downs since then, but as the Wall Street Journal ‘s Developments blog said yesterday in profiling the sale of her New Hope home, she’s also become a real estate investor.
In this case, Baiul bought the four-bedroom/three-and-a-half bath house a little more than a year ago for $580,000 and is now asking $875,000.
Today it’s all about the fancy: the “oh!” in “ostentatious,” the photo-ops of opulence, the dance of abundance. It’s Property’s Luxe Life.
This estate is so well-equipped we can’t really think of anything it lacks except maybe a shark tank. Home theater? Check. Salt-water pool with a waterfall feature? Check. Elevator, wine cellar, tennis court, private pond stocked with fish? You betcha. The main house has a library so traditional-looking it even comes with a stern but loving grandfather. Not really. The kitchen has a country design aesthetic, all white wood cabinets and brassy hardware, which is sort of fun after looking at too many ultra-modern kitchens.
This is New Hope’s most expensive property by more than $40 million, but the new owner is getting far more than land. The entire business of the farm–an established breeding and racing facility with 175 horses–is for sale, including three other horse farms along with this one: two in Buckingham Township and one in Upper Makefield. Add it all up, and it’s more than 450 acres of land.
Fashion Farm inspired the magazine Fashion & Farm Country Magazine, which has now been embodied in a film called “Country” that was filmed at the New Hope location. For prospective buyers, it’s a fine way to learn more about the property.
So what’s up for today? Sean Benschop, the equipment operator on the site of the building collapse, goes to a preliminary hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence to move ahead with all the charges against him, including that of manslaughter. Over at Reddit Philadelphia, folks are talking about ways to stay safe in Philly, and weird places to go when you visit.
And now, for some headlines…
<"http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1245-S-Creek-Rd-West-Chester-PA-19382/2115596032_zpid/">This Chester County homeis on the market for almost $4 million.
Prudential HomExpert first-quarter report has an interactive tool that allows users to compare counties in the Delaware Valley by three different metrics: number of properties sold, median price of properties sold, and average days on the market.
The counties included are the usual suspects in our area (Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Philadelphia and Montgomery) along with five counties in New Jersey (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Salem and Gloucester). The survey is rounded out by New Castle and Kent counties in Delaware.
So who fares the best?
What a treasure this is. Lanrick Manor, built around 1704, has beautiful period details throughout its 3,800 square feet, including antique hardware, random-width hardwood floors and five fireplaces, including a walk-in. The front door is original and there are built-ins in the dining room and library. There’s a sunroom that, on sunny days, may compensate for the fact that the third-floor walk-up doesn’t yet have heat–let’s call it a handyman’s challenge.
In addition to the main house, there’s a bank barn with a studio that has heat and air conditioning. The land itself is lovely, and is close–but not too close–to the river. In fact, there’s a highway in between, which some may think of as unattractive, but Yardley homes for sale on River Road can be a risky proposition when heavy rains come. That highway probably keeps this house just far enough away to play it safe.
This two-property estate is comprised to two utterly different structures: a stone farmhouse built in the 1750s and a modernized carriage house that looks like it just rose up out of a Bucks County-inflected Santa Fe desert. The farmhouse has been immaculately preserved, from its deep hearths to its hardwood floors and doors–including what sophisticated students of architecture call a “Mr. Ed door.”
The carriage house could be adapted for many purposes, but seems perfectly made at the moment for a dance studio (piano not included, to our knowledge). Both buildings sit on 2 acres of wooded land with preserved Bucks County parkland behind them, and both need renovations of various kinds.
There’s no question Nancy Levie has a unique approach to aesthetics, and it’s no wonder–she once worked in fashion. But now her passion is the house she shares with her husband in Bucks County, and it’s filled with surprises–or rather, it is a surprise itself.