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House(s) of the Week: What It Buys You

This week's House of the Week is actually more than one. In fact, this week, we are looking at 15!

Recently, a few people have brought up to me that the $300,000 house doesn't buy you much anymore. And hey, I can't disagree. Pull a search in Center City Philly and you don't have much to look at. The reason home buyers get so bummed about this is a lot of first-time home buyers can't afford more than $400K for a new home (in fact, most are probably cutting that number in half!) yet city living and the walkability it affords are very important to them. So the growing prices can be a let down.

Walkable Fairmount

So this week I looked at some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the greater Philly region and looked at what you could buy for $200,000-$400,000. I also looked at only walkable areas. So this list is comprised of affordable, generally move-in ready homes in the $200-400K range.

So lets see what we found!

Center City Philly

Obviously Center City gets top rank when it comes to walk ability. And included in that is varied options in transport, including Septa's okay public transit system, Indigo bike share, bike lanes and outside options like Uber. But its also pricey because of this. But there are still a few, smaller, options to be had here! (and for the sake of argument, I am calling Center City everything from Spring Garden to Washington)

722 Fulton St (Bella Vista) $399,000

Adorable 2 bed, 1 bath rowhome in the heart of Bella Vista, only a few blocks from Palumbo Playground. Gorgeous details and patio space to boot!

1227 Panama St (Washington Sq/Midtown) $369,000 

Its a tad worn looking but this cute 2 bed, 1 1/2 bath trinity is in the center of it all and has plenty of charm. A little freshening up, and this cutie would well be worth those curvy stairs. (P.s. It already has central air!)

233 S 6th St #606 (Washington Square West) $389,000 

Tiny, old homes aren't everyone's cup of tea. If thats you, then this is going to get awesome...

Yes, its only 1 bed and 1 1/2 baths, but the view is amazing, and you don't even have to pay $1 million for it! Plus, a little sitting room off the bedroom could easily be converted into a nursery or office for a bit more space. Its move-in ready too! But take into account that $584 a month for condo fees when thinking about price...

130 Elfreth's Alley (Old City) $364,900 

Finally, while its certainly no current stunner, this is the epitome of owning history when it comes to residential sales in Philly, and you can do it for under $375,000! Yes, it needs work, and maybe an A/C unit eventually, but not many people get to call Elfreth's Alley home... (and do so with 2 beds and 2 baths!)


Fairmount is the home of Victorian charm in Philly. Its a little suburbia in the city and really has a neighborhood feel. The Victorian architecture is certainly a key feature in its homes too, like this stunning 3 bed, 1 bath rowhome.

2521 Parrish Street $369,900 

Northern Liberties 

The old mecca for starving artists, Northern Liberties is Philly's Brooklyn - a mash up of cool, expensive, hip and undeveloped. There are a plethora of condo units and row homes in this price range but if I were to live there, I would live in this 2 bed, 2 bath condo with a garage (and a kind-of roof deck...)

810 N Hancock St #6 $369,000 (and $329 a month in fees) 


Thanks to the hoards of college kids that moved here, Manayunk started to dwindle 10 years ago, but, while there are still quite a few college kids around, Main Street seems to be advertising, and developing, to an older, slightly more refined crowd with new restaurants and shops (though Mad River is still there so don't get too excited). Its hard, though, to get so much out of such a little strip anywhere else outside of Center City, so walkability is wonderful.

166 Gay Street $345,000 

This gorgeous, charming 4 bed, 2.5 bath twin might be your forever home with its open but quaint layout and wonderful outdoor space. Every nook and cranny in this home was used to its highest potential. Honestly, with the magical, hidden free lot at the corner of Gay and Mansion, this starter home might be yours forever...

Chestnut Hill 

This cobblestone street, charmer of a neighborhood is a great mix of eccentric retirees, young families and snobby professionals and it all comes together beautifully in a very walkable way.

Homes are old and a little slanty, but this is a neighborhood that's all about letting the outdoors in, like in this 2 bed, 2 bath twin with a second lot used as a garden/patio! (Plus one of those bathrooms is huge and newly updated!)

146 E Hartwell Ln $349,900 


Finally, outside of the city there are actually quite a few sweet little, walkable towns that scream Americana and are making a pull for that Ben Franklin generation (so much more fun to say than Millennials). For instance, this great little Montgomery County town is a little bit of a car-hike to the city (though extremely Septa accessible) but is so near to so much else (Willow Grove and KoP shopping, Blue Bell, & Fort Washington\Wissahicken Valley Parks). Plus, if you are looking for a good school district or proximity to Germantown Academy, this is it. Plus, Ambler has an adorable downtown with a growing restaurant scene.

346 Euclid Ave $285,000 

6 beds! and 2.5 baths fill this 2200 sq ft Victorian single. Some rooms need a bit of cosmetic work and you will likely want to put in Central Air before someone uses those top floor bedrooms but this could be a great project for a handy family!

Bryn Mawr

The Main Line is obviously pricey thanks to its reputation and location to Center City but thanks to car growth transport in the 1950's, its become less and less appealing to a lot of younger generations (warning! thats only my opinion!). But the town of Bryn Mawr is changing that a bit. Its a college town (has at least 3 but I lost count...) so its automatically advertising to a younger crowd and its restaurants, shops and walkability shows that.

56 S Merion Ave $255,000 

There certainly isn't much out there right now in Bryn Mawr, even less in the under $400,000 range but this little twin is extremely walkable and has a lot of potential. 2 beds and 1 bath but it has city-low taxes, parking and a wonderful backyard.


Comprised of 2 of the top 10 school districts in the state (depending on what year you look, I guess) and one of the more walkable neighborhoods on the Main Line, Wayne tends to fetch a hefty price tag. But there are still a few affordable homes in the area, like this newly redone 2 bed, 1 1/2 bath twin in walking distance to the restaurant-stacked N Wayne Ave.

238 Willow Ave $298,000 


Probably the most affordable, walkable town out there in my book, Phoenixville's Bridge St (which has an impressive stretch of good restaurants, shops the the famous Colonial Theater) has long been a packed house but the residential market has been surprisingly lagging behind. In particular, the plethora of new construction homes in the area have made housing cheap. But there are a few other move-in ready alternatives in better walking distance to it all, like this rehabbed 4 bed, 1 1/2 bath rowhome steps from Bridge St

167 Prospect St $235,000 

West Chester 

For those who work in Chester County's many professional parks and big-wig employers (like Vanguard or QVC), West Chester offers a wonderful, reemerging walkable center. Quaint, brick-sidewalks and plenty of wonderful restaurants and bars, plus a local college to keep the money coming in, yet even the walkable rowhomes stay affordable. Like this 3 bed, 1 1/2 bath twin with a detached garage.

121 W Union Street $375,000 


Media has long been the Manayunk of Delaware Co. State Street has a long-running plethora of restaurants and cute shops. This adorable 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath home takes advantage of Media's wonderful walkability, being a couple blocks from State St and only steps to the beautiful Glen Providence Park. (Oh, also really good school district!)

341 W 4th St $395,000 

Kennett Square

Want to live near rolling acres and horse farms but not quite ready to own one or give up the walkability? Lucky for you there is adorable Kennett Square. Its a decent trip if you need to head into Center City (like over an hour...) but its a wonderful spot if you're a family split between work in Wilmington and work in suburban PA. Plus its in the middle of some of the most beautiful spots in the Brandywine Valley (like the wonderful Longwood Gardens). Downtown Kennett Square is an Americana snap shot, sprinkled with a handful of winery tasting rooms. This adorable 3 bed, 1 bath twin is blocks from all of that and across the street from the elementary school!
(Plus the 2 detached 2 car garage looks like a very charming, worn barn.)

123 W Mulberry St (you basically have to be Andy Griffith to have that adorable address) $233,500 

While there are a ton of a wonderful towns (and a few walkable ones I didn't even get to mention like my beloved East Falls, Graduate Hospital, Narbeth, cute Paoli, Consh, etc) and even more great homes in them, this is just a glimpse at what $200-400,000 can get you in the most walkable towns around Philly. Happy Shopping!

Want more information on these properties, neighborhoods or purchasing in general? Contact me at!

*All property information is updated as of 8/13/2015 but can not be deemed current after that date and time of publishing. 
** All photos are borrowed from Trend multiple listing service and are the property of the owner/agent.


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