5 Affordable Homes in Top School Districts: Tredyffrin-Easttown

Five ways you can live in the best school district in the Philadelphia region without spending a bundle.

Bright MLS image via Redfin

There’s a discussion board I hang out on that gets frequent queries from posters looking to move to the Philadelphia area from outside it.

Often, the board gets queries from relocators that include a passage like this:

“I want to find a home in a good school district. I can afford to spend up to $x”

where x is a number under $400,000.

Usually, respondents reply with statements like, “Good luck finding one of those,” especially if the relocator specifies a top-ranked school district.

Consider this, then, the first in a series of public service roundups designed to assist both the relocators and those offering advice. The purpose of these articles: To demonstrate that it is still possible to find a home in a great school district that a house-hunter on a budget can afford.

We will set the bar a little higher than the figure posted above. Any home listing for $500,000 or less is fair game for this feature. And we will start at the top by showcasing homes currently on the market in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, which has been the top-rated district in the region for several years running. Homes are listed in decreasing order of price:

743 Old Eagle School Rd., Wayne (above) | 4 beds, 2 baths, 2,054 square feet, $485,000

This classic 1950s split-level has been brought into the here-and-now thanks to a bunch of well-executed upgrades. The main floor has been redone as an open-plan space that has a living room with fireplace, a traditionally attired dining room and a totally up-to-date kitchen with a butcher-block island. Three of this home’s four bedrooms, including the owner’s suite, are up a half floor, and the fourth is tucked under the roof above the main floor. A comfortable family room a half-floor down and a huge backyard provide you and your family with plenty of space for indoor and outdoor recreation, relaxation and entertainment. Though it has a Wayne address, it’s closer to King of Prussia and Chesterbrook than to Wayne’s lively town center.

743 Old Eagle School Rd., Wayne, Pa. 19087 [Michael Severns | Redfin]

Bright MLS image via Weichert, Realtors

40 Oak Knoll Dr., Berwyn | 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 2,054 square feet, $329,900

This vintage 1980 townhouse condo combines comfortable living quarters, contemporary design on the outside and convenient walkability, as the Oak Knoll condominium community is just a short walk from Daylesford Regional Rail station. Its kitchen has been upgraded with up-to-date appliances and a tile floor, and there’s a fireplace in the hardwood-floored den. (You’ll find carpeting in all the other rooms of this home.) In addition to the three bedrooms on the second floor, there’s a loft space tucked under the eaves that can serve as a home office, playroom or fourth bedroom. The paved patio out back makes a great place to relax on these long summer evenings.

The monthly condo fee of $380 covers water and sewer service, trash and recycling, lawn care and building exterior maintenance, including your home’s exterior.

40 Oak Knoll Dr., Berwyn, Pa. 19312 [Carol Wright | Weichert, Realtors]

Photo by owner via Zillow

811 Old Lancaster Rd., Berwyn | 3 beds, 2 baths, 1,353 square feet, $289,900

Speaking of walkability, your kids will be able to tell their kids about how they actually walked to school if you buy this update traditional twin right in the heart of Berwyn. It’s a mere three-tenths of a mile from Conestoga High, a tenth of a mile from Tredyffrin-Easttown Middle School, and right at the west end of Berywn’s town center; the Regional Rail station and a few good restaurants lie just two-tenths of a mile away. What’s more, you get sidewalks connecting your home to all of these, something not commonly found in the rest of Berwyn. The home has all-new bathrooms and a roomy eat-in kitchen, and its backyard patio has a real barbecue pit for those who want to fix the genuine article. To get a better idea of this home’s potential, however, you or your agent should contact the owner directly to schedule a visit, for while this home has been well maintained, that owner isn’t all that good a photographer.

811 Old Lancaster Rd., Berwyn, Pa. 19312 [For sale by owner via Zillow]

Bright MLS image via Weichert, Realtors

71 Walnut Ave., Berwyn | 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 1,949 square feet, $289,000

This 1910 twin provides a textbook example of the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Its stucco exterior probably covers over brickwork as nice as what you find on the home above this one, and it’s a shame that someone thought this was an improvement. Walk through the front door, though, and you’ll find yourself inside a brand-new home that combines classic and contemporary style with aplomb. Its electrical system is all-new and most of its windows have been replaced. It’s also nearly as convenient as the place on Old Lancaster Road; it’s just two blocks south of it.

This home’s sale price was reduced by $20,000 on May 20.

71 Walnut Ave., Berwyn, Pa. 19312 [Holly J. Gray | Weichert, Realtors]

Bright MLS image via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

172 Drummers Lane, Wayne | 2 beds, 2 baths, 1,072 square feet, $190,000

That is not a misprint. This updated apartment in the Glenhardie condominium community is a true bargain given its condition and location. Its kitchen has all-new stainless-steel appliances, its lighting has been upgraded, and its carpets and windows have been replaced. It looks out over a very attractive courtyard to boot. So what can you do with the money you save on your mortgage? You might want to consider joining the adjacent Glenhardie Country Club, which offers skip-the-wait-list membership to residents for a monthly fee. You then get access to amenities that include tennis courts, a golf course and a swimming pool. (There’s also a Lifetime Fitness gym within “spitting distance.”) If you work in King of Prussia or Chesterbrook, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a location more convenient than this one.

The monthly condo fee of $307 covers exterior maintenance, grounds maintenance, water and sewer charges, and the gas for your heating and cooking.

172 Drummers Lane, Wayne, Pa. 19087 [Terry Arney | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]