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Realtor Q&A: Find Quirky-Cool Events and More in Charming Phoenixville

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Brian Schwenk

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Brian Schwenk

It’s not often one finds small town charm so close to a major metropolitan area, but the quaint neighborhood vibes (think: open mic nights and community festivals) are alive and well in Phoenixville, which is just an hour outside of Philadelphia. And for folks looking to ditch the hubbub of the city while still remaining within driving distance, Phoenixville is the answer.

We chatted with Tristin Fletcher and Jen Hohenberger (psst: she has a listing on the market right now!), both Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associates, who filled us in on all of the sweet happenings in Phoenixville, plus their best strategies for scoring a home in the area. 

What’s attractive about Phoenixville?

Jen Hohenberger: The community feel. It’s very walkable. If you live in town or near town, you can be pretty green—you don’t need to drive your car to all the shop or eateries. For those that live on the outskirts and maybe not downtown, it’s very affordable. It’s more affordable than, say, the Main Line, and yet it’s very accessible to the Main Line. I think it’s what has driven people there. It’s very close to the new Malvern slip ramp. People can get to King of Prussia, Philly and all those Malvern workplaces really easily. And we’re in the next town over.

Tristin Fletcher: Located only 25 miles Northwest of Philly, Phoenixville is in a prime location with easy access to all major highways in the area. You are located only a short drive from the King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia Premium Outlets and numerous Shopping Centers, so there is a lot of retail nearby. In addition to the location, you have a beautiful borough full of history that has numerous restaurants, bars and local shops, all within a good School District.

What’s the average price range for residences in Phoenixville?

Hohenberger: There are attached homes—like townhomes and twins—and then you have your singles. For attached homes, the average range is $231,949. For single homes, the average is $329,885. And that’s over the last three months for sold properties.

[In fact,] there were an equal number of attached and single homes that sold in the last three months.

Interesting! What would you say that indicates?

Hohenberger: Usually, there are a lot of first-time buyers that buy attached houses and families that buy single houses. There are a lot of 30-somethings and then there are families [moving to the area].

Would you say there’s a strong sense of community in Phoenixville? What kinds of community events are there?

Hohenberger: Absolutely! They have a very active Chamber of Commerce. It’s a very nice sense of community there. They do a firebird festival every year. They build a gigantic phoenix and then they burn it. It’s so cool. They have First Fridays, they have parades, and they do food festivals. There’s a pumpkin fest. There’s the Blobfest to celebrate the anniversary of The Blob. [The events] are funky and a little different.

Fletcher: While Phoenixville has undergone an amazing renaissance, it still gives that close-knit community feeling that neighborhoods love.  The community holds many events throughout the year for all ages! There are Food Truck Festivals, Vintage Flea Markets, First Fridays, parades, restaurant weeks, plus the Dogwood Festival, Burning of the Phoenix and BlobFest, which are all must-do events!

It seems like Phoenixville is becoming increasingly popular amongst physically active types. Is that true?

Fletcher: Yes! The Schuylkill River Trail runs from Phoenixville to Philadelphia City Line and is great for biking, running or walking and is very scenic as it runs along the river and weaves through Valley Forge Park. The trail also connects Phoenixville to Pottstown and in the future, when complete, will run 130 miles connecting Philadelphia to Schuylkill County. There are also quite a few areas to access the river for canoeing and kayaking. Plus, there is Bodies by Pilates and The Wall Cycling Studio located downtown. Both offer great classes. So, there are many options for anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle, which is one of the reasons it has become so popular.

What styles of residences should potential buyers expect in Phoenixville?

Fletcher: Phoenixville Borough favors older homes throughout downtown and the sought after “Avenues” where you’ll find many Victorians and Traditional Twins as well as Singles throughout, with a lot of character.  If you prefer newer construction, there are town home communities on the North Side of Phoenixville such as Fillmore Village, Northridge Village and French Creek Town Homes.  There are also modern condominiums at The Byrne Lofts and luxury apartments at Phoenix Village, both located downtown.

Are there any potential compromises a homebuyer may need to make?

Fletcher: In the older homes, buyers should expect to see smaller bathrooms and a little less space. However, you always have the newer construction town homes available as well.  It’s also typical borough living in the sense that the yard/outdoor spaces are on the smaller side.

Hohenberger: Taxes will be a lot higher on newer construction. When I sit down with clients, I found out their lifestyles. Then, I can coach them on different things. A lot of times, younger people want newer construction, but then it comes with a higher price tag and higher taxes. And if they’re not fixer-upper people, then getting an older home that isn’t fixed up doesn’t suit them either.

For more information about buying or selling a home in the communities of the Greater Philadelphia area and the Delaware Valley, including southern New Jersey and northern Delaware, visit Coldwell Banker Preferred online at www.ColdwellBankerHomes.com

These interviews have been condensed and edited for length.