What $500K Will Buy You in Doylestown

314 Hedgerow Dr., Doylestown, Pa. 18901 | TREND images via Keller Williams Real Estate – Doylestown unless otherwise noted

Bucks County living comes in several flavors: rustic, bucolic, contemporary, Levittown, New Hope and Doylestown, to name a few.

Those three communities above stand as lifestyle signatures in their own right: Levittown, the original postwar Paradise for Everyman; New Hope, the LGBTQ-friendly nonstop party; Doylestown, the Classic Small Town filled with colonial charm (and the legacy of this guy who made amazing tile and had a thing for reinforced concrete).

We decided to swing through Doylestown this week to see what was on offer around the middle of the market, and we weren’t disappointed. $500,000 or thereabouts gets you a very nicely maintained home, or a brand-new one, whose style and design cues are traditional through and through. If that’s your own style, you’ll be very happy with any of these three choices.

(A buyer looking for a place to transform into their own might want to check out the bonus listing at the end of this post.) Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Springfield

632 Hill Farm Ln., Springfield, Pa. 19072 | TREND image via RE/MAX Main Line

Springfield! Even before “The Simpsons,” this place name had a sort of Everyplace quality to it. After all, you’ll find at least one of these in 33 of the 50 states. One of them is a state capital, and two others are the core cities of sizable metropolitan areas in their own right.

Here in the Greater Philadelphia area, we have two of them. One goes by that name; it’s located in Delaware County. Most people refer to the other by the names of the communities located in it, like Flourtown, Wyndmoor, Erdenheim and Oreland; it’s in Montgomery County. The one in Delaware County has a sort of Everysuburb quality to it; the communities in the Montgomery County one have more distinct character.

What this means, however, is that a search on Zillow for homes selling around $500,000 in “Springfield, PA” will likely miss some homes labeled as being somewhere else. Add to that the current raging seller’s market, which has caused supply to dry up in the middle of the market in lots of places, and you get slim pickings indeed. We managed to find one home each in our target price range in Springfield, Delaware County, and Springfield, Montgomery County. Both are of relatively recent vintage. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Chadds Ford

101 Bullock Rd., Chadds Ford, Pa. 19317 | TREND images via Long & Foster Real Estate

Around the banks of the Brandywine can be found the last great expanses of undeveloped land in Delaware County. Developers are eyeing it — a fight continues over a proposed Toll Brothers development that would eliminate a farm in the Chester County portion of the Chadds Ford area — but at least for now, you can continue to find homes on large lots where you can truly say you “live in the country.”

This 1907 farmhouse is one of them. Originally, it served as the manager’s residence for the Rocky Hill Farm estate; today, it sits by itself on a 3.23-acre lot thick with mature trees.

It’s loaded with character, from its welcoming stone front porch to its huge living room with its stone fireplace and beamed ceiling. Those ceiling beams were reclaimed from the farm’s dairy barn, and along with that floor-to-ceiling fireplace, they give the living room a regal yet comfortable feel.

The four-bedroom, two-bath home is in good shape and is move-in ready, but it’s also ripe for some upgrading. While you might want to retain its original claw-foot tub, one of the two bathrooms could stand some modernizing, and the countertops in the sun-filled, skylit kitchen look a little dated. You could also install a modern climate control system. But whether or not you choose to do some remodeling, you will find this home a most agreeable country estate.





SALE PRICE:  $479,900

101 Bullock Rd., Chadds Ford, Pa. 19317 [Renee Wolhar | Long & Foster Real Estate – Greenville]


What $500K Will Buy You in Warminster

1145 Charter Rd., Warminster, Pa. 18974 | TREND images via RE/MAX Legacy

If Levittown is the Bucks County version of the working-class paradise and the area around New Hope its playground for the affluent, then Warminster is its solid middle. Once home to a Navy air warfare research station, the township dates almost to Pennsylvania’s founding but remained rural up until the 1950s.

And in the middle of that middle, you can find homes with history, homes from the dawn of the suburban age and homes still being built where crops once grew. In fact, we found one example of each when we went looking to see what we could find for sale at the mid-market price of $500,000 or thereabouts. The older homes in our trio clearly reflect the tastes and personalities of their owners, while the brand-new one reflects that of the builder. If we were to buy one of these homes, though, we think we’d want to do a gut renovation. We’ll leave it up to you to figure out which of these homes is that one. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Malvern

271 Iroquois Dr., Malvern, Pa. 19355 | TREND image by Scott Speese via Keller Williams Real Estate – Exton

The Main Line has traditionally ended at Paoli, but with the extension of the SEPTA Regional Rail line to Thorndale, that most legendary string of suburbs gained a few new member communities.

The first of these is Malvern, the next stop on the line after Paoli. The compact borough is the site of the 1777 Paoli Massacre during the Revolutionary  War and home to several of the region’s most admired companies, including Vanguard, Liberty Property Trust and the American operations of Saint-Gobain.

New mixed-use developments with apartments above and shops and restaurants below have added more vitality to Malvern’s very walkable town center. These three homes in the surrounding townships put you within an easy drive of everything Malvern has to offer. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Overbrook


6320 Overbrook Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19151 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

There are only a relative handful of Philadelphia neighborhoods where one can find houses selling for $500,000 or more. Most of them are in “Greater Center City,” the upper reaches of Northwest Philadelphia, or parts of the Far Northeast.

One of them, however, lies in West Philadelphia: Overbrook Farms. This National Register historic district is famous for its huge, substantial homes dating to the dawn of the 20th century.

These homes showcase classic Colonial, Dutch Colonial and traditional American style and design. This one does too — on the outside.

On the inside, it’s a whole ‘nother story. Walk through the front door of 6320 Overbrook Ave. and prepare to have your mind blown by a striking contemporary home in turn-of-the-century drag. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Dresher

1470 Mundock Rd., Dresher, Pa. 19025 | TREND image via Vanguard Realty Associates

We’re not sure if this is fallout from the current superheated real estate market, but we’ve noticed that there are slim pickings at our middle-of-the-market price point almost anywhere we look outside the city of late.

Communities where we’d expect to find several houses priced in the vicinity of $500,000 have none, and none seem to have them in abundance.

Dresher, near Fort Washington in Montgomery County’s Upper Dublin Township, is a case in point. You can find nearly three dozen homes in the $500,000 to $1 million range, including a passel of new homes near the community’s northern tip, but the homes selling around $500K number exactly five.

The three we chose to feature vary in style and floor plans, but they all share four things in common. All of them are spacious. All of them are in great shape. All of them have fireplaces as a central design feature. And all of them have spacious rear decks where you can relax or entertain outdoors.
Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Chadds Ford

14 Hunters Ln., Chadds Ford, Pa. 19317 | TREND image via BHHS Fox & Roach

Center-hall Colonials are a dime a dozen on the Main Line, but down by where the Brandywine flows into Delaware, they’re relatively rare birds. Chadds Ford, the wooded, semi-rural community surrounding the Brandywine on the Chester-Delaware county line, is noteworthy for its relatively high number of contemporary-style homes.

You can find several traditional homes, most of them new or recent construction, for sale in the neighborhood of $500,000 in Chadds Ford’s zip code as well, but for this feature, we decided to showcase three of those slightly older contemporary homes. They’re all very attractive, and all in great shape, with two of them boasting several recent updates. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Jenkintown

900 West Ave., Jenkintown, Pa. 19046 | TREND image via BHHS Fox & Roach

In case you haven’t heard, we’re in the throes of a huge seller’s market. Inventory is at historic lows, and bidding wars have broken out for available properties in some places. This has put a squeeze on the middle of the market, and moderately priced homes are getting scarcer, as we found when we went hunting for homes selling somewhere around $500,000.

We went through several popular suburbs before finding one where three homes in that price range were on the market. The one we found is Jenkintown. This very walkable northern suburb offers an attractive downtown, quick access to Center City via SEPTA Regional Rail, and many handsome older homes for sale, like these three. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Phoenixville

606 Cherry Lane, Phoenixville, Pa. 19460 | Image via Century 21 Norris – Valley Forge

If you haven’t heard yet, Phoenixville is yet another of those old Schuylkill mill towns that’s enjoying a renaissance. New apartment buildings are popping up all over, luring younger residents into the borough. We expect the crowd at next year’s Blobfest to be even bigger than this year’s as a result.

But homes in the borough remain modest and modestly priced. Just outside it, however, are a bunch of very attractive houses, several of them, including two of our picks, in a subdivision just across the river from downtown. But before we get to those, we have a one-of-a-kind “fixer-upper” for you to consider. Read more »

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