On the Market: Tricked-Out Split-Level in Elkins Park
Recently updated or not, this midcentury contemporary classic has all sorts of unusual extras.
The split-level house has fallen out of favor, but from the late 1950s to the 1970s, it was the epitome of affordable style. Popularized by the late-’60 sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” it had several virtues to recommend it: It had more space than the bungalows and Cape Cods that were common suburban starter homes, but it could be built on a smaller lot than a sprawling rancher, making it a more affordable step up (in more ways than one). Split-levels, as the Bradys and their fans discovered, could pack a lot into relatively little space for a reasonable price.
They still do. This Elkins Park split-level house for sale shows just how much one could pack into a house of this type. If I were a builder offering this clearly customized split-level as a model, I’d call it “The Entertainer.” You should be able to figure out why as we go along on this tour.
In contrast to most split-levels, the entrance to this house is on the lower above-grade level. To the right of the foyer on the same level, you’ll find a handsome family room with a stone fireplace and the first of several rooms with extras you wouldn’t expect or examples of creative design.
That room is the home office, which can double as a guest bedroom. To make the switch, you just swivel the desk back into its cabinet, then open the large cabinet behind the chair and pull down its Murphy bed.
The main public indoor spaces lie to the left of the foyer, one-half level up. The one you enter first is the living room, whose vaulted ceiling makes it feel even bigger than it is.
Behind the living room lie the formal dining room and the kitchen. (As you pass through the various spaces in this house, you may note how the owners have given traditional decor a contemporary gloss — fitting for a split-level, I’d say.)
Off the dining room is a skylit sunroom with a sunken door leading to the backyard, which I’ll get to in a bit.
The listing says the kitchen was “recently updated,” but I suspect it wasn’t updated more recently than 1990 or so, based on the trash compactor next to the sink. But no matter: it’s very nicely outfitted and has some unusual appliances, most notably its Gaggenau cooktop and grill. (Is that a built-in deep fryer next to the two double-burner units? The grill is located on the island behind the peninsula, beyond the ovens.) It also has two Sub-Zero fridges. Between those, the oven, microwave and warming drawer, and the cooktop and grill, you should be set to entertain a crowd whenever you feel like it.
The laundry room sits a half-floor down from the kitchen. It too has a door to the backyard, which makes sense for reasons you will soon learn. Steps lead a half-floor down from the laundry room to a basement rec room that you could outfit for entertaining friends when the weather’s not so nice.
One-half floor up from the living room are four bedrooms plus a fifth room. That fifth room could be outfitted as a bedroom, or it could serve, as it does now, as a spacious sitting room for the master suite.
Even without the sitting room, the master suite is pretty impressive. It consists of a spacious bedroom with a private balcony overlooking the backyard, a walk-in closet…
…and a recently updated bathroom with soaking tub and glass-enclosed custom shower.
And that wraps up the inside. Now, let’s go outside.
This house’s backyard is as well-equipped for family fun and entertaining friends in good weather as the inside is in bad weather. It has a landscaped patio off the family room for al fresco dining for starters.
But that’s not all. It also has its own resort.
That resort boasts a pool and a cabana with a wet bar and an outdoor kitchen with grill. Also part of this resort: bathrooms, showers and a changing room in a separate section of the house’s lower level with its own entrance from the outside.
And the best part of all? Its selling price. Rarely do you find so much in a house for so little.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 4 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 4,455
SALE PRICE: $599,900
807 Spring Ave., Elkins Park, Pa. 19027 [Jeffrey D. Chirico | Weichert Realtors]