New Digs: Committing to Passyunk Square for the Long Haul

You know you’ve bought the ideal home when you never want to move out of it. “Not only is this our first house, but our last,” jokes recent homebuyer Carly Goodman. Her husband, Andrew Thomas, puts it more bluntly: “We want to die in this house.” The couple’s interest in remaining in situ is not only due to an appreciation of their unique find, but also witnessing Carly’s grandparents’ experience of homeownership into old age.

 

A PhD program in history and law school at Temple University brought Carly and Andrew, respectively, to Philadelphia from Brooklyn about five years ago. Their initial impression of the City of Brotherly Love? “We visited Philly when we were accepted into Temple, and had the best time, and have been having a great time ever since.”

 

As their commitment to Philadelphia deepened, homeownership became a practical next step. Not only were Carly and Andrew prepared to commit long-term to Philadelphia, but also to a certain neighborhood, and, once they found it, to their house. Which indirectly explains their strong desire to have a powder room:

 

“It’s very uncommon to find a powder room on the first floor of Philadelphia rowhomes,” they realized. It was that lack of powder room that forced Carly’s grandparents to leave their Northeast Philadelphia home once her grandfather was no longer able to walk up the stairs. Thus a powder room was placed high on their list of “must haves” while house shopping, and in that respect their 3-story rowhome in Passyunk Square does not disappoint.

 

Carly & Andrew’s timeless brick facade (left) with black accents, and a view of the living room from above (right) facilitated by an unusual double-height ceiling with a walkway that hugs the second story perimeter

 

Beyond the powder room requirement, their new digs met a remarkable number of the couple’s “must haves”.  Foremost on the list was location; Carly and Andrew knew they wanted to live in “this quadrant of the city.” As former renters in nearby Washington Square West, they love Passyunk Square’s proximity to Center City as well as its local offerings such as Nam Phuong Restaurant and Devil’s Den.

 

Carly and Andrew worked with Solo Real Estate’s Alex Franqui, who respected their desire to look at as many homes as possible within that quadrant. The ability to look at a multitude of houses familiarized Carly and Andrew with which features were important to them and what square footage they wanted. While plenty of rowhomes were on the market in their desired neighborhood, they found that many were cookie-cutter rehabs and soon realized they didn’t want to buy new construction or a gut-rehabbed property.

 

Upon first visiting their current home, they were practically sold. It was an owner-occupied property, full of unique detail, and satisfied their remaining “must haves” with its large kitchen, outdoor space, and move-in ready status. Only one step remained: the approval of Andrew’s mother, an interior designer, and father, a real estate lawyer.

 

Some of the “must haves” in Carly and Andrew’s new digs: a sizable kitchen (left) and unique detail (right) such as this second story walkway and windowsill reading nook

 

On the day they were scheduled to visit the property with parents in tow, everything seemed fated against them. Despite torrential downpour and a blown-out tire, Alex ensured that Andrew’s parents were able to see the property, which fulfilled the essential last requirement: they loved it.