It Can Be Done: Homes in Lower Merion for Less Than $200K

Do you have your heart set on buying a home in fabulous Lower Merion Township? Take a look at this 8,000 square foot gem in Gladwyne.

What’s that? $3,250,000 is more than you want to spend? Don’t be silly. Everything is negotiable. Go in with an offer of $2.6 million. You’ll go back and forth a few times and then you’ll close for $2.9 million. But at that price it will probably have to be a cash deal.

Beg your pardon? That’s a little more than 10 times the amount you can afford?

Well podnah, guess what? For under $200k we can get you into a single family home in the charming, picturesque, Lower Merion neighborhood of Belmont Hills. You’ll be able to enroll your kids into those fancy township schools (Belmont Hills Elementary, Welsh Valley Middle School, and the brand spankin’new Rosemont Taj Mahal, aka Harriton High), but you won’t have to deal with any kindergarten lotteries.

Unfortunately, you also won’t be able to walk to the Paoli Local (or whatever they call it now), nor will you enjoy the 1.6 acres at the end of a cul de sac, with the proper landscaping and the serenity of nature. There will be no impressive foyer. Guaranteed, your kitchen will not have granite countertops. And you’ll have to make do without soaring ceilings and stairs to a private loft. There are some details, though–to which zero attention has been paid.

Nonetheless, substitutions do exist. You won’t have a spectacular in-ground pool, but if you’re dying for a dip, take a 15-minute walk to the Belmont Hills Pool. It’s adjacent to the Belmont Hills Library, where your membership entitles you to borrow books, movies, and CDs from any of the township’s libraries. Best of all, when you walk home, it’s downhill all the way.

If you can’t get over the ignominity of being shunned by Architectural Digest, you can drown your sorrows at either of the two neighborhood watering holes: Mel’s Italian or La Collina. The latter is a legitimate contender for having the best views among all the restaurants in the region. Manayunk is also close; in fact it’s so close, until the early 1950s, Belmont Hills was actually called West Manayunk. History buffs click here.

One major caveat about this community: It’s a place where people actually know their neighbors, and in some cases even enjoy being with them. There’s a strong civic association, which is a good way to meet folks, but don’t even think about making it in Belmont Hills society until you’ve joined the volunteer fire company.

Have we captured your interest? Take a look at these three properties.

• 135 Fairview Ave. $199,000

• 151 Springfield Ave. $179,995

• 79 Jefferson St. $159,000