What $500K Will Buy You in Collegeville

Looking for something brand new? You'll find it in this college town. Looking for a lovely historic home? You'll find one of those too.

3802 Brynwood Court, Collegeville, Pa. 19426 | TREND image via Long & Foster Real Estate

Collegeville lives up to its name, which the Pennsylvania Railroad bestowed on what was then the village of Freeland back in 1869, when the Pennsylvania Female College was located there. That school closed in 1880, but the school that was founded in 1869 — Ursinus College, which went co-ed after the Female College closed — is still around now and defines this friendly borough in Montgomery County’s upper reaches.

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And since it’s in Montco’s upper reaches, it has plenty of land on which to build houses still. Which is what a couple of builders are doing in the middle of the market now: three of the four homes we found in our survey are new construction. One is so new it isn’t even finished yet, which means you get the chance to make it your own.

The fourth, however, should delight lovers of Victorian architecture, for it has been lovingly restored and updated with a very modern sensibility. It’s also right in the heart of town.

3804 Brynwood Court, Collegeville, Pa. 19426 | TREND image via Long & Foster Real Estate

3802 Brywood Court (at top) | 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, square footage not available, $514,900
3804 Brywood Court (above) | 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, square footage not available, $499,000

We’re listing these two together for a reason that should be obvious, based on their addresses: They’re both in the same subdivision, now being built by Marc Salamone Homes. The descriptions of these homes in the listings are identical save for one detail: 3804 is listed as the “Claymont Model” with more than $40,000 worth of options already included, while 3802’s description says that you can choose from one of three models. Both of these are rather handsome; 3802 looks like a center-hall Colonial with a somewhat oversized pediment while the other draws more on the Pennsylvania farmhouse style. Their insides, or at least 3802’s, look very well built and comfortable as well, and they hew true to traditional style.

Given that the photos for the Colonial show an identical house still being framed next door — would it be 3800 or 3804? — we’re not sure which of these homes is really the Claymont and which might be named for some other Wilmington suburb. We’re sure the listing agent can set you straight and tell you what features make one of these nearly $26,000 more costly than the other.

3802 Brynwood Court, Collegeville, Pa. 19426 [Arthur B. Herling | Long & Foster Real Estate – Blue Bell]
3804 Brynwood Court, Collegeville, Pa. 19426 [Arthur B. Herling | Long & Foster Real Estate – Blue Bell]

Bright MLS image via Allison James Estates and Homes

140 Glenwood Ave. | 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 2,470 square feet, $476,175

The description for this unit in a 14-unit development of attached carriage homes close to the Perkiomen Creek, the Perkiomen Trail and the center of town reads like it’s move-in ready, but the photos tell a different story. In fact, the description tells the story of a different home, most likely a completed model unit. It’s bigger than this one and has larger rooms as a result, but we’ll wager that this home has or will have many of the same features that the model home has. You might want to inquire with the listing agent whether you can still get upgrades and choose options before you buy.

140 Glenwood Ave., Lot #13, Collegeville, Pa. 19426 [Ronald Minges | Allison James Estates and Homes]

Bright MLS image via Realty Executives

947 E. Main St. | 5 beds, 3 baths, 3,500 square feet, $500,000

We saved the best for last, primarily because of our formatting requirements. We wish the person who took the photos of this strikingly stylish renovated Victorian just west of the Ursinus campus knew how to take pictures in landscape mode, for had that person done so, we would have put this home at the top of the list. The home’s current owner purchased it from the family that built it around 1860 back in 1999 for just under $145,000, then poured what must have been a handsome sum into transforming it into a real showpiece that reveals this home’s solid fundamentals in many of its rooms. (When was the last time you ran across a Victorian farmhouse with exposed brick accent walls?)

The showstoppers include the basement, which has been transformed into the ideal party space, and the very much up-to-date kitchen. The basement makes the most of the building’s stone foundations by adding dramatic lighting and a stone tile floor to create a grotto-like atmosphere, and the kitchen boasts not only granite countertops but a radiant-heated granite floor. It also has high-end Miele appliances and a 70-inch-wide Viking fridge. Its grounds have been professionally landscaped, and there’s a detached two-car garage in back.

947 E. Main St., Collegeville, Pa. 19426 [Bruce J. Augustine | Realty Executives – Skippack, via Realtor.com]