The early months of 2020 were notable for a lack of inventory in the local real estate market, coupled with historically low mortgage interest rates. This confluence of conditions led to some seriously competitive situations, especially for homes with three characteristics: new construction (which is pretty rare, locally) or extensively renovated, at popular price points, in desirable and/or walkable neighborhoods. Now that we see a gradual easing of the Covid restrictions, the pent-up local demand has only intensified the competition. Homes that exhibit some or all of three of those characteristics are especially popular, and they trigger bidding wars if they show well, and, are properly priced and marketed by an experienced agent. If you're looking to buy a home in the Lower Merion School District, an agent like Cindy Ridgway can make all the difference between closing the deal and just missing out. Here are a few of the new local listings. It may be too late to buy a few of tehm, but it's always helpful to see what the market looks like.
There's no better illustration of how hot the market is than Narberth Borough. Narberth's walkable downtown, close-knit community, and easy commute make it a target neighborhood for many of today's buyers, especially those making the move out of Philly and NYC. With both small-town charm and inner-ring-suburb conveniences, this tiny Borough is an easy landing spot for urbanites looking for a little more breathing room. The pictured 2813 sq ft, 4 bed/3.1 bath, listed for $785K, was the subject of a bidding war its first weekend on the market, and reportedly went under contract for more well over $800K. This updated property has a beautiful backyard and is just blocks away from the type of downtown that tons of buyers have on their priority list. What makes a home like this especially attractive in today's market is how "done" it feels. Money is cheap these days, so buyers tend to pay up for a house that feels finished, rather than pay less and live through a project. This home also has an enclosed porch and a finished basement that add living space to the footprint. You may have missed this one, but you can still see all the details and photos at: 229 Forrest Ave, Narberth.
This Narberth Borough home also went under contract quickly after its weekend debut. If you're looking to be close to the downtown and train station, this one's location is even better than the last one, as it sits on Narberth south side, just a block's walk from everything. This 2270 sq ft, 5 bed/1.2 bath was listed quite a bit lower than the last one, at $525K. The homes were both built within a decade of each other at the beginning of the 1900s, and they both have some of that classic Main Line charm from that era, but a few key differences lead to the difference in price. This house has good bones, but it doesn't have the renovations and updates that made the other one feel so move-in-ready. Features here include a bay window in the dining room, nice-sized mud room, first floor powder room, and an "old-school" back staircase. See for yourself at: 213 Woodside Ave, Narberth.
It's almost impossible to scoop Cindy on info about a new property hitting the market in Narberth and "Near-berth". Her client had an offer in on this place fast, and made the offer strong enough to quickly take this one off the market. It's an 1876 sq ft, 2 bed/1.1 bath twin that was listed for $399,900 in Merion Station, just over Narberth Borough's southern border. The move-in-ready home is smartly laid out to maximize living space, with an enclosed front porch, finished basement, and seating area on the deck just off the kitchen. See what Cindy's client liked so much at: 509 Kenilworth Rd, Merion Station.
In a Wynnewood neighborhood just a few blocks north of Narberth Borough, is this 2537 sq ft, 4 bed/3.1 bath Tudor, listed for $829K. The almost-quarter-acre lot has a nice backyard with a deck. The updated kitchen has an adjacent dining room with french doors to the back deck. The third floor has a big bedroom with its own full bath. In the finished lower level, the space has been divided between a laundry area, an office, and a large entertaining space. This one is currently available for showings. See more at: 548 Manor Rd, Wynnewood.
Need a little more room to spread out? This 9217 sq ft, 6 bed/6.2 bath sits on half an acre in Merion Station, just down the street from the Bala Library. It's not a new listing, but it just had a price reduction to $1.375M. The entry foyer is massive with very high ceilings. There are two sinks and dishwashers, a double oven and a 6-burner range in the huge, modern white kitchen. One bedroom suite is on the first floor, with the master suite and four other bedrooms on the second. The master suite has two-walk-in closets, high ceilings, a loft, and a loaded bath. A spacious, finished, walkout lower level has a fireplace, big recreational area/media room, fitness room, and connects to a two-car garage. Plenty to see in this mansion of a house, at: 286 N Highland Ave, Merion Station.
If you have the budget, here's another big one, a 6653 sq ft, 5 bed/5.1 bath, just listed for $1.45M. This home is in the Radnor School District part of Bryn Mawr, on a .8 acre lot, in a cul-de-sac that backs up to a forest preserve. An expansive first floor includes both a gas and a wood-burning fireplace, a huge modern kitchen, and a beautiful walk-out back deck. The lower level has it all - a guest suite with a full kitchen and spa bathroom, a large entertaining space with a third fireplace, a second laundry room, and plenty of storage. 715 Sturbridge Dr, Bryn Mawr.
This one came back on the market after some of the Covid restrictions were lifted, and quickly went under contract. It's a 3488 sq ft, 4 bed/3.1 bath Cape, that was listed for $969,900. The three-quarter acre lot, with a backyard in-ground pool and poolhouse with a full bath, is in a Bryn Mawr neighborhood not far from Harriton High School. The white, updated, eat-in kitchen has granite and stainless, and a gas cooktop in the center island. The Cape style gives this home the first floor master that many buyers have a hard time finding in this area. See all the details and photos at: 805 Gatemore Rd, Bryn Mawr.
Cindy hits every new listing she can in and around the Lower Merion School District. That means tons of broker open houses and scheduled showings, with and without clients. But sometimes it's hard to get all her tour notes collected before a number of the homes are already under agreement. The Spring market in this area is always pretty active, but the 2020 Spring market seems to have gone from 0-60 before the groundhog even made his annual prediction. Some price points are particularly competitive this year. Properly marketed homes in the $800K-$1M range are receiving multiple offers from agents whose clients have dropped normally-standard contingencies. Unrepresented buyers and slow-moving represented buyers are going to miss a few opportunities when things move at a frenzied pace like this. It remains to be seen whether things ease up a little bit as the buyer pool thins, or whether it's just going to be a very active market this year.
This first Wynnewood home was a "quiet listing" when Cindy toured it, but is now listed as "Coming Soon". It sits on a third of an acre in that cute little English Village neighborhood next to Lower Merion High School. This just-built, new construction home is a 3900 sq ft, 4 bed/5 bath, listed for $1.25M. Hardwood floors and a neutral color scheme finish the open concept first level. The large modern kitchen is right on trend, with white shaker cabinets, stainless range hood and high end appliances, big center island, and oversized subway tile backsplash. The second floor laundry area is a dream, with counter and storage space, plus a sink. A walk-in closet/dressing room is a highlight in the master. Catch the open house this weekend, or see more at: 603 Loves Ln, Wynnewood.
Next, Cindy toured this 4838 sq ft, 5 bed/4.1 bath, listed for $899K. The house sits on a half-acre lot in a cul-de-sac, in Wynnewood's Indian Creek neighborhood. Since Cindy toured it, the listing was changed to "active under contract", which means an offer has been accepted. There's a two-car attached garage, and a balcony deck off the master. The kitchen has a warmer look than the typical modern whites and greys. It has granite and stainless, and includes a big pantry, and a wonderful high-ceilinged breakfast area. The finished walkout lower level has plenty of flexible space and a full bath. You may have missed your chance at this one, but you can check it out at: 920 Honeysuckle Ln, Wynnewood.
This Narberth Borough twin has been split into three separate rental apartments. Listed a week ago for $749K, the 2767 sq ft twin has living spaces that are 1077 sq ft, 949 sq ft, and 741 sq ft, with a basement for storage. It has a private drive, two-car garage and wrap-around porch. The North Narberth location is positioned between the Montgomery Ave business district, and Narberth's downtown area, making it walkable to the train and just about everything else. If you're interested in an investment/rental property, or if you think you might like to tackle a project converting it to a single-family home, see more at: 305 N Narberth Ave, Narberth
In a Penn Valley neighborhood between Welsh Valley Middle School and Gladwyne Elementary, Cindy toured this 5890 sq ft, 6 bed, 5.2 bath, listed for $1.505M. It sits on a one-acre fenced lot with a double circular drive, and six oversized garage spaces. As you would expect at this price point, everything on the inside feels spacious, including the living areas, bedrooms and baths. There's even a big lower level with space for entertaining, a gym, and another bed and bath. See more details and photos at: 107 Fairview Road, Narberth.
One home Cindy toured hasn't hit the market yet. It's a 4 bed/3.1 bath in Penn Valley that is projected to hit the market ay $749K. If you want Cindy to keep you updated on this one, reach out to email@example.com.
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Formerly a Philadelphia lawyer, Cindy is a realtor who specializes in real estate located in Narberth and Lower Merion Township.