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(Starter) Home of the Week: Modern in Malvern

Its been a very crazy 2021 so far. The market started as the craziest, busiest market we've seen in decades and has been a rollercoaster since. So the last thing on my mind (which has also been occupied with my own home renovations and two kids) has been writing new content, but its about time to pick back up with it! 

For the rest of 2021, I will only be focusing on homes I consider to be good starter homes. These are homes priced under $500,000 (which I know is the top end of where many people are even looking at for second homes) and have aspects I personally think make for a good starter home. 

What makes a good starter home, you ask? 

1) "Good" or up-and-coming area - If the idea is you are buying this home to have for the next 5-10 years (as in not the 'forever' home), then it needs to be something you feel comfortable selling in that shorter time frame and not losing money on. That means being relatively comfortable in the neighborhood, school district or feeling pretty safe on betting on an "up and coming" neighborhood. 

(Of note, do your research because your Realtor can't legally tell you what neighborhoods are 'good'!) 

So just being inexpensive isn't the only criteria in buying the starter home, it also has to be sellable, desirable, in a short time frame. 

2) Speaking of which, its often a good idea to buy a starter home that allows you to build some equity. That generally means doing cosmetic projects that increase enjoyment, of course, but also the worth of the property. And super big bonus points if you find a home that someone has taken great care of, upgraded non-equity-adding items like a furnace and the roof, but has left the cosmetic changes to the new owner. I call this "grandma's house" and its a GREAT purchase if you can find it! 

3) That being said, a starter home is often being sold to a starter homeowner, so know your boundaries. If you are handy, or a willing learner, or have a cushion of cash to fall back on if needed, a cosmetic 'fixer' might be for you. But if you have zero interest in learning skill, or a bad track record, no time, already are busy with kids, and have no financial cushion if you need to hire things out, starting with the fixer upper might not be the ideal starter for you. Knowing your limits is important in the starter home! 

4) Inexpensive! You want the flexibility to improve your budget, savings, and take on what life throws at you - job change, kids, unexpected home repairs- as during your time in this house, those things WILL happen. 


But enough talk! 

Our first example of a GREAT starter home is 6 Madeline Dr in Malvern. 

This is a fabulous Mid-Century modern gem that has been pristinely cared for since it's original owners moved in in 1957! It has amazing bones. Its a post and beam style ranch with the original beams not covered up and in beautiful shape. The hardwood floors are in great shape and the house sports the original open-concept floor plan along with 3 good sized rooms and 2 full baths. Unlike many mid-century post and beam homes in the area, this neighborhood all has basements, and this one is partially finished. 

Big starter home perks: The owners have kept up with it nicely and recently upgraded the HVAC and roof (plus solar panels). Its near downtown Malvern and major employers like Paoli Hospital, Vanguard and QVC. It has an easy, modern floor plan; nothing to tear down. There is a flat yard and walkable community, key points on many young families' lists. Best of all, the bones are there for an easy cosmetic upgrade to make modern perfection. 

Asking $418,000

Look for: This home was done to the 9's in the 50s and 60s. The walnut built ins throughout would cost thousands today from West Elm and Room & Board. While the new owners might not want an exact copy replica or time capsule, many of those elements could be salvaged in part to great affect. 

And the kitchen has enormous potential for an era-honoring upgrade, whether you go full mid-century or something a little softer 


Seriously interested and want to take a look? Give me a call, send me a text or email me! 

For the full listing information, please visit the property website

Listing courtesy of Maureen Mahoney of BHHS Fox and Roach 


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