Let’s Talk About That First Home You Want Over Dinner

For Tod Keating's clients, the journey to that first home begins with a dinner date they'll definitely remember. | Photos: Sandy Smith

For Tod Keating’s clients, the journey to that first home begins with a dinner date they’ll definitely remember. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Buying that first home is a serious commitment.

Sort of like marriage, only the getting-to-know-you stage is much shorter.

But a real estate agent in the northern suburbs drew the parallel. So Todd Keating begins every search for a buyer’s first home with a dinner date.

And since he began this practice, almost every buyer he’s worked with has ended the courtship by saying Yes.

Keating, 67, worked for some 36 years in the pharmaceutical industry, then got into real estate as a second career when he retired from Merck in 2004. “That was around the time when all my kids and all their buddies started getting married and buying houses,” said the father of three and grandfather of six more. Read more »

First-Time Find: Refreshed in Germany Hill for $239.9K

332 Fountain St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

332 Fountain St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

We know, we know, we keep featuring homes for sale in Northwest Philly. But in our defense, all the stellar listings that are fresh to the market lately make it so easy – like this Germany Hill townhome that was just re-listed, is incredibly affordable and would make a great first-time home.

Right away, we have to mention the adorable front porch (although it might not be so adorable if you don’t like your neighbors). From there, enter inside to the main floor, which is highlighted by wood flooring that balance greatly with the brick fireplace in the corner of the living room and the light colored walls throughout. From the living room, reach the dining room and then the updated kitchen. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Chestnut Hill

112 E. Moreland Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

112 E. Moreland Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

Chestnut Hill is notable for being Philadelphia’s Garden District, so it’s safe to assume that no matter where you are in the neighborhood, the landscape is going to be beautiful. From its down-home dining and vintage boutiques to its great outdoor spaces, the community fulfills your needs for a city escape without forcing you to actually leave the city – and who doesn’t love the sound of that?

If you’re looking for a more long-term escape, though, you may be considering planting your roots in the neighborhood. But is that possible with a budget of $500,000? The good news is, yes, it is possible. The bad news, depending on how you look at things, is that there isn’t much diversity for listings in this budget. However, all three listings are quite nice and can realistically suit the needs of the modern family. We’ll let you make the call, though. Check them out below. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Rittenhouse

130 S. 18th St. Unit 606, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

130 S. 18th St. Unit 606, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

It’s no secret that Rittenhouse is one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious neighborhoods. So when we went searching for Rittenhouse properties currently on the market that fall somewhere near the $500,000 range, we weren’t exactly sure what we’d find. Would this budget be enough to live comfortably?

Here’s what we found: while there are several nice options in the neighborhood that are on budget, most of these options are small (and not necessarily suitable for growing families). However, if you don’t need much space to live happily and only plan to live with one or two other people, these options could work and do come with some nice amenities – not to mention their close proximity to just about anywhere in Center City.  We’ll let you be the judge, though. Take a look at what we found below. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Northern Liberties

901 N. Penn St., Unit R2203, Philadelphia, Pa., 19123 | TREND image via Zillow

901 N. Penn St., Unit R2203, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123 | TREND image via Zillow

The once proclaimed “up-and-coming neighborhood” of Northern Liberties has proved over the past two decades that it’s here to stay. Once pockmarked with abandoned factories and dated rowhomes, the area has transformed itself into a hip town of trendy bars, restaurants, and cafes and has easily become a millennial’s dream spot to someday call home.

And for potential homeowners with a budget of $500,000, desiring to live in Northern Liberties is actually quite possible. The median price for homes in the area falls somewhere around $400,000, so your budget doesn’t just work for this neighborhood, it exceeds expectations. Take a look below at three properties in the $500,000 price range that are currently on the market. Read more »

First-Time Find: Pleasance in Point Breeze for $230K

1742 S. 24th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19145 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

1742 S. 24th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19145 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

It’s been over thirty years since the last time this Point Breeze rowhome was on the market – but thanks to a complete remodel by the owner, the property looks anything but dated.

Located on a tree-lined block close to South Philadelphia, even the exterior of this home is unique. Different from its neighbors, it features Permastone siding that contrasts nicely with its other black detailing. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Past Meets Future in Fairmount for $879K

821 N. 24th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19130 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

821 N. 24th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19130 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

The front door to this newly listed grand dame, with its mahogany and elaborate stained-glass windows, tells you you’re about to enter a 19th-century gem.

So does the mirror over the living-room fireplace.

But that fireplace doesn’t work. Nor does the one in the dining room.

Instead, there’s an ultra-modern double-sided Spark fireplace located between the two rooms.

Welcome to 821 N. 24th St., where the 19th and 21st centuries coexist in the same rooms. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: Living Color in Rittenhouse for $425K

1639 Addison St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

1639 Addison St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

As someone who considers herself a fan of the neutral palette, I have to say that most of the time, I’m adverse to any sort of bright colors, particularly in my home. However, this little trinity wears those random splashes of color perfectly. Not only does the color liven up the home from the otherwise muted color palette of monochromatic accents, hardwood floors and white walls, but it sets it apart from any other trinity we’ve seen before. Besides, there’s nothing like a bright blue wall that makes you feel anything but.

Walking into this home is like entering the beginning of a rainbow. You’ll not only take notice of the bright blue accent wall, but also of the beautiful hardwood floors and recessed lighting throughout the living room of your home. Nice floor-to-ceiling bookshelves also compliment the room, and a front-facing window allows you to people-watch from your couch. Read more »

First-Time Find: A New, Bold Home in Point Breeze for $265K

1538 S. Colorado St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

1538 S. Colorado St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

The two-story row house is passé, says the conventional wisdom. It’s too small for modern living, and you can’t equip it with the features today’s buyers want.

This postmodern two-story row home in Point Breeze, a complete rebuild of a home built in 1917, demonstrates that the conventional wisdom is wrong. It plays well with its more traditional neighbors while making a new, bold statement all its own.
Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: A Broad Street Brownstone Fit For Carrie Bradshaw

1630 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19145 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

1630 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19145 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

“Now this is a brownstone Carrie Bradshaw would die for,” was the first thought that popped into my mind after peeking through pictures of 1630 S. Broad St. Combining classic old-school Victorian character with the latest New Age design trends and a closet big enough to fit a lifetime’s worth of fabulous shoes into, this East Point Breeze brownstone has me clicking my heels, because there is truly no place like (this) home.

A stylish wrought-iron fence surrounds the entryway into this classic home, leading up to and through the front door, into the foyer. And from the moment you step through the foyer and into the entrance hall, it should be evident that the designer who once owned and updated this home didn’t miss a single detail when it came to dressing this house to impress. Its elegant crown moldings, hardwood floors with inlays, tall ceilings and extra-large windows all harken back to a bygone era of elegance, while its more modern features add a dash of urban sophistication. Read more »

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