Four Great Homes in Four Underrated Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Neighborhood: Pine Valley, 19115
Address: 9 Kings Oak Lane
Stats: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3,434 square-foot home on 0.62-acre lot, $599,999
“It’s like living in the suburbs!” exclaims the promotional copy for this two-story modern Colonial in Pine Valley, a secluded neighborhood in upper Northeast Philadelphia’s Bustleton section. Located near Fox Chase Farm, Pennypack Park and the Montgomery County border, this completely residential neighborhood is perhaps the city’s best-kept secret. The area boasts a number of roomy single-family homes like this one along with a good number of twins and scattered apartments. This home, built in 1979, got a complete makeover last year and boasts a two-story entrance foyer, a low-maintenance stucco exterior, professionally landscaped and lighted grounds and a driveway that can hold eight cars. It’s probably as close as you can get to owning a Main Line mansionette with Main Line tranquility without Main Line prices.
Neighborhood: Andorra, 19128
Address: 9303 Ridge Pike
Stats: 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 9,360-square-foot home and accessory structures on 42.3-acre lot; $9,900,000
Even though this home has a ZIP code beginning with 191, it’s actually on the Whitemarsh side of Northwestern Avenue, yet it’s located in Andorra, the bosky neighborhood at the far end of Roxborough. In the 1920s, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania chose a plot in Andorra as the site of a new cathedral it never got around to consecrating, which should tell you something about how tony people thought this area might become back then. This mansion dates to the same period: it was designed in 1928 by Sydney Martin of the Thomas, Martin & Kilpatrick architectural firm and completed the following year. Parkland abounds up this way – the upper end of the Wissahickon Valley section of Fairmount Park is across Northwestern Avenue and both the Ace Golf Course and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club flank the property. But who needs parkland when you have 40-plus acres of open space surrounding your home? This property came in second on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s recent tour of the 10 most expensive homes currently on the market in Philadelphia.
Neighborhood: East Oak Lane
Address: 6640 N. 10th Street
Stats: 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4,200-square-foot home on 0.31-acre lot; $365,000
Oak Lane, the street that gives both East Oak Lane and its more workaday neighbor to the west their names, passes just to the north of this turn-of-the-century stone home. The area shares a train station with next-door Melrose Park on the other side of the city line and is every bit as leafy and quiet. East Oak Lane is a pocket of affluence at the upper north end of the city, and it’s chock full of stately, well maintained older homes like this one, which comes with a two-car garage, oak (what else?) flooring, sun room, large kitchen and an in-law suite with separate entrance on its third floor. Just a few blocks to the west of this home is the Oak Lane Diner, a neighborhood institution.
Neighborhood: Overbrook Farms
Address: 6396 Overbrook Ave.
Stats: 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 6,556-square-foot home on 0.48-acre lot, $725,000
Actually, we suspect you have heard of Overbrook Farms, the National Register historic district at the northwestern tip of West Philly. Like East Oak Lane, it was developed around the turn of the century, and it also has a train station it calls its own – Overbrook, the first stop on the storied Main Line. But the homes here are even grander. Take this huge home on Overbrook Avenue, for instance: built in the Arts and Crafts style in 1908 by architect W.F. Price, it’s low-slung with a wraparound porch, high-end kitchen, dramatic entrance foyer and master suite that includes a sitting room with fireplace. Shopping requires a car, but with a 2-car carriage house with 2-bedroom granny flat above, you’ll have a luxurious place to put it.