5 Must-See Open Houses This Weekend
We admit to a bias for the already-here in this feature. But in searching for houses to feature this week, we found a couple of standout new construction houses too. If those are the sort of thing you love, you’ll love these sorts of things. But fans of the old need not despair, for there’s a stellar old house among the bunch too. In fact, it’s our leadoff:
Bucks County: 43 Street Rd., New Hope (above) | 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths, 4,553 square feet, $1,700,000
Open house: Monday, Dec. 17th, 2 to 4 p.m.
“Why buy a Toll Brothers home for $1 million to $1.5 million-plus when you can live on one of the nicest roads in Bucks County?” the agent marketing this house asks. Why indeed, especially when the alternative is this beautiful, historic 1768 farmhouse and outbuildings on 4.25 acres full of flowering trees and rolling hills in Upper Makefield Township. Hundreds of acres of preserved open space surround this property, which means that it will remain a country oasis for all time.
Places like this are one reason why New Yorkers like the transplant who founded the real estate agency that’s marketing this home fall in love with Bucks County. And it’s full of possibilities. In addition to the historic farmhouse, to which several sensitively designed additions have been made over the years, you’ll find on this property a stone-and-frame carriage house that now houses two rental apartments and a large bank barn that begs for repurposing in any of a number of ways.
Want to earn income to help you with the upkeep on this property? Keep the rental apartments as they are. Want to run your own bed-and-breakfast or guest house? Turn those into guest suites and upgrade your skylit kitchen to handle food preparation for a steady stream of guests. Want to dive into the sea of charity events and fundraisers that New Hope-area residents love to throw? Turn the bank barn into a party palace. You might also be able to rent it out for events. Or stick some more guest rooms and a dining facility in it to expand your B&B. (Check the local zoning ordinance for allowed uses before contemplating any of those more commercial options, though.)
Or you could simply turn it all into a private retreat for you, your family and your friends. Those other options will bring in money you can use to perform some needed updating on the main house, but if you have enough for that already, then none of that really matters unless it’s something you want to do anyway.
This house’s sale price was reduced by $200,000 on Sept. 18th.
43 Street Rd., New Hope, Pa. 18938 [Bela Rossman | Marco Polo Real Estate]
Chester County: 19 New Whitehorse Way, Malvern | 5 beds, 4 full, 2 half baths, 4,380 square feet, $1,122,000
Open house: Sunday, Dec. 16th, 1 to 4 p.m.
There are those who’d rather buy a brand-new house, however. After all, it won’t need updating or major maintenance work for quite some time. Chester County is awash in new construction, and houses like this one in the Cedar Run subdivision outside Malvern let the new-house buyer have their cake and eat it too. That’s because architects like Mark Stanish, who designed all five of the floor plans being offered in this development, went the extra mile to put an authentic 19th-century gloss on 21st-century houses like this one. While it looks like it’s been around a while on the outside, you will know it’s brand-spanking-new the moment you step inside and gaze upon features like its open-plan kitchen, dining area and family room or its tray-ceilinged master bedroom with huge walk-in closet and sumptuous bath.
You may be able to discuss buying another house featuring this floor plan that’s not yet finished and customizing it to suit your desires. But as only nine lots remain unsold, you’d need to talk fast.
19 New Whitehorse Way, Malvern, Pa. 19355 [The Gary Mercer Group | Keller Williams Realty]
Delaware County: 4 Beechwood Circle, Chadds Ford | 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 4,149 square feet, $899,000
Open house: Sunday, Dec. 16th, 1 to 3 p.m.
Want a spacious, well-appointed home in a stellar school district in the heart of Brandywine country? This handsome house has your name on it, then. Among its many attractive features: A soaring family room with vaulted ceiling and full-height stone fireplace. An updated kitchen equipped to feed a horde, with an extra-large built-in GE Monogram fridge, double oven and warming tray. A walkout basement equipped to entertain a horde, with its own kitchen behind a wet bar, media space and wine cellar. There’s a nice terrace and arbor in the back too. It’s also ideally set up to accommodate an au pair or in-law suite as well as a home-based business, and it has a large 4-car garage with storage space above that brings the total square footage to about 6,000.
The agent currently listing this house reduced its sale price by $46,000 on Dec. 12th. A previous agent had reduced it on three other occasions.
4 Beechwood Circle, Chadds Ford, Pa. 19317 [Patricia Chapnick | Paul Honorkiewicz and Patricia Chapnick Team | RE/MAX Properties, Ltd.]
Montgomery County: 133 Cedar Ave., West Conshohocken | 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths, 3,000 square feet, $639,000
Open house: Sunday, Dec. 16th, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Here’s a unique one-off new-construction townhouse that holds the commanding heights of West Conshohocken. To capitalize on its hilltop position, “Eagle’s Nest” builder Thomas Andrew Homes put a balcony at the front of its top floor. The photos that accompany the online listing show examples of this builder’s work on other houses, so to see exactly what features, style and quality went into this one, you will simply have to head up to West Conshy yourself this Sunday. The view photos, however, are the genuine article, and you can confirm that for yourself as well when you visit. If you work in one of the office buildings you can see from that balcony, you’ll be set with this as your residence.
133 Cedar Ave., West Conshohocken, Pa. 19428 [Frank Johnson | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]
Philadelphia: 604 S. Front St., Queen Village | 4 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths, 3,442 square feet, $1,720,000
Open house: Sunday, Dec. 16th, 12:30 to 2 p.m.
The views from the top-floor front balcony of this recently built (2007) Queen Village rowhouse are even better than the ones from the West Conshohocken house above: You look out over the Delaware riverfront just below South Street. And if that’s not view enough, there’s a rear balcony where you can take in Queen Village and the city skyline as well. Inside, this garage-front offers a contemporary twist on classic Colonial style thanks to its full-height atrium stairwell. (It also has an elevator for when you’re feeling lazy or want to haul something up.) Its open-plan main floor combines living room, dining room and well-equipped kitchen into one singular space with a Restoration Hardware vibe. The bathroom in the master suite has a jetted tub, and all of the other bedrooms have en suite baths as well. The one on the first floor, behind the garage, makes a good au pair suite, home office or Airbnb rental. Reclaimed wood abounds in its floors and interior doors as well. The agent thought so highly of this house, he even wrote a blog post about it.
604 S. Front St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19i47 [Leon “Mr. Brickhouse” Aksman | Plumer Real Estate]