5 Must-See Open Houses This Weekend
What’s going on in the middle of the market this weekend? Some pretty interesting stuff, it turns out.
Last week, we gave you a survey of what you can find at or near the top of the open-house market. This week, we have a collection of houses in the middle: all of these have sale prices between $400,000 and $600,000. Even though most of them are contemporary or modern, they’re an eclectic bunch, as you will soon see. Three of these houses are custom-built; see if you can figure out which ones.
Bucks County: 915 Sycamore Dr., Southampton (above) | 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths, 3,184 square feet, $599,900
Open house: Sunday, Oct. 13th, 2 to 4 p.m.
At first glance, this looks like one of those converted barns that you find scattered across Bucks County. But it’s not. Instead, it’s an appealing and complex contemporary house. Built in 1988, this house has three sections: a soaring three-story-high center section and two wings with bedrooms on the upper floor.
From the foyer, a left turn takes you to the first landing on the floating staircase. Down a half flight is a den with a wood stove; up one is the living room, a dramatic space with a cathedral ceiling, lit by both clerestory windows and huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the multi-tiered rear deck. A bridge across this space connects the two top-floor bedroom wings. The master bedroom has a balcony overlooking the backyard as well, and there’s a hot tub on the deck. Surrounded by woodlands with a five-acre lot with a pond at the back, this house is a stylish and striking private retreat.
915 Sycamore Dr., Southampton, Pa. 18966 [Thomas McGovern | Equity Pennsylvania Real Estate]
Chester County: 1051 Favinger Rd., Pottstown | 4 beds, 2 baths, 3,028 square feet, $434,900
Open house: Saturday, Oct. 12th, noon to 2 p.m.
Speaking of private retreats, this farmhouse in South Coventry Township is another fabulous one. It consists of an updated and expanded 1925 farmhouse, two detached garages (one with an upstairs bonus room) and one wooded acre of land that also includes a pond with fountain and an above-ground pool. The farmhouse has an unusual main-floor layout: the first room you enter is the sunken dining room, which has a fireplace, a radiant-heat concrete floor and a breakfast bar that’s also part of the updated kitchen. A corridor that runs past the laundry room takes you to the original 1925 house, where you’ll find a tiled sitting area (presumably where the old kitchen had been) and a spacious living room, both of which have exposed-beam ceilings. The living room also has built-in bookshelves, a wood stove and the original narrow-plank wood floor, plus a door that leads to the side porch, originally the front porch. One more feature that you’ll enjoy in good weather: a hot tub in back of the house.
This house’s sale price was reduced by $5,000 on Oct. 8th.
1051 Favinger Rd., Pottstown, Pa. 19465 [Jessica Weeks | Styer Real Estate]
Delaware County: 210 Dogwood Rd., Media | 4 beds, 2 baths, 1,071 square feet, $410,000
Open house: Sunday, Oct. 13th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This handsome midcentury modern (literally: it was built in 1950) house in Upper Providence Township contains many echoes of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses: it’s modest in size, flat-roofed, and full of wood beams and trim. But where you might find stone or lighter-colored brick in a Usonian house, you will find red brick here, not to mention slightly shallower eaves. The house is attractive and well put together, with a high-ceilinged living room with clerestory windows, a kitchen equipped with high-end appliances and a beamed-ceilinged master bedroom. Large French doors in the living room and master bedroom as well as a door from the kitchen open onto a deck that spans the rear of the house and has a built-in barbecue grill. A den in the basement also has French doors that open onto a stone terrace.
This house’s location at the end of a cul-de-sac makes it feel like you’re living in the deep woods, yet you can walk to Media Borough from here.
210 Dogwood Rd., Media, Pa. 19063 [Cathy Linck | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]
Montgomery County: 615 Port Providence Rd., Phoenixville | 3 beds, 3 baths, 2,000 square feet, $450,000
Open house: Saturday, Oct. 12th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This house looks like a boring storage shed, doesn’t it? Believe the listing agent, however, when he writes, “If you rage against cookie-cutter homes and generic construction, this home will no doubt be exciting.” What you see here is a designer’s total reimagining of the 1930 Port Providence Town Hall (a cutout in the corrugated steel on one side of the house must have bore an identifying legend once). Inside, you’ll find an open main living area with high ceilings, original lighting, a sleek and spacious modern kitchen, built-in shelves, a gas fireplace and an original exposed cinderblock wall. Barn doors enclose a closet in one of the bedrooms, and the modern bathrooms have subway-tile tub and shower surrounds. Down below you’ll find a 2,000-square-foot unfinished basement that you can either use for storage or finish to your desire, and there’s even a concrete bunker in the basement that you can either use as a shelter should the bombs ever fall or convert into a wine cellar. An ample front porch and a large rear deck provide outdoor entertaining space, and the house looks out on a meadow.
This house sits on a road that runs along the Schuylkill on the opposite bank from Phoenixville, to which you can walk easily. (That means you can also walk off that buzz you got pub-crawling up Bridge Street.)
615 Port Providence Rd., Phoenixville, Pa. 19460 [Terry Musser | Coldwell Banker Hearthside]
Philadelphia: 4727 Walnut St., Unit C, Walnut Hill | 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 1,624 square feet, $425,000
Open house: Saturday, Oct. 12th, noon to 2 p.m.
We’ve seen something like this already as we’ve walked along some blocks west of 52nd Street where the wave of redevelopment has spread, but this one’s an unusually deft insertion of modern townhouse condos in the middle of a row of mock-Tudor houses. This How Group project contains six units with open main floors, walnut flooring, high-end kitchens and fixtures, large windows, high ceilings and outdoor space in the form of either a roof deck, lower-level deck or private courtyard.
This stepped-back design is visually far more interesting than most new modern construction in the city and makes these houses an outstanding addition to their block. Or is it just that they stand out on the block? They certainly do that too.
4727 Walnut St., Unit C, Philadelphia, Pa. 19139 [Tom Dilsheimer | The How Group | Compass]