Open houses! Yup, instead of a nice relaxing morning, followed by an afternoon at the pool, I was pouring thru the open house listings to see what I wanted to check out. I eventually selected about 7 listings I wanted to see, but bailed on 2 and 1 was never there.
But, before I get to that, I did remember to go out last night around 11:30 and drive by the houses I looked at on Friday. As I expected (and remembered), I felt very comfortable around the 25th and Judson houses. I even drove around to see if there would be parking spots, and I did find 2 or 3 within 2 blocks of each house.
The Stillman house was the one I most interested in checking out. Parish is a pretty benign street and so is Poplar. However, at the end of Stillman, (the house I'm looking at is 4 houses down from Poplar) there is a gas station. It is well lit, but definitely had a lot of traffic at 11:30 at night. I drove to see where the bus would drop me -- a block and a half from the house and the route I'd have to walk. I saw folks in their 20s and 30s walking on the street. I could also get off a block early and that wouldn't be a problem. Of course, Marissa lives in that area too and loves it (and feels just fine walking around). The street itself was quiet at that time of night and parking was a little harder to find. So, that doesn't really help me much.
With that said, let's move on to the new houses:
2024 St. Albans
I stopped here first. This is a cute little 3 br house in the Graduate Hospital area of town. It's an area that is still in a bit of transition, but I know someone who lived(s) on this block. Being my first open house, I expected an agent to be there with some information. Neither was there. It was very odd. There were folks walking in and out of this home with no one to make sure no one was stealing anything (you never know). The place had been redone and had nice hardwood floors and paint. Since it's a side street (one-lane) it's not that long. You walk into the living room and dining room upon entry (unlike the ones in Fairmout that have a little vestibule to walk thru).
The kitchen was a very nice size (eat in) and was also recently redone. There is a "patio" out back that could also be used as a parking spot; however, the alley to "patio" was a bit narrow and overgrown.
The 2nd floor was fully carpeted with 3 bedrooms. The master was an ok size, but the closets were a bit narrow. The other 2 rooms were small, but fine for an office or daybed. It looked like there was a pull-down staircase at the top of the stairs, but I coudn't reach it. It also looked like it was bulging out (not flush to the ceiling).
When I was outside, it looked like there was a deck on the roof, but since no one was there, I have no idea. The basement had been completely redone w/ 1/2 bath, carpeting, etc. It's the best basement I've seen yet.
Overall, the house was cute, but the carpet needed cleaning. Bathroom upstairs was an ok size. The kitchen was great. Upon further investigation, it does have a rooftop deck. Nice.
I didn't quite understand what these places were, but they were in my budget and they had an open house. Turns out they are 3 addresses that were split up into 3 condos each. The ones I looked at were all on the 3rd floor. They had a great price, but they were far too small for me. The best was one of them had the 2nd bedroom in the middle of the living room, but it was sectioned off w/ frosted sliding glass doors. Obviously the room is only meant for guests. Very weird. Again, it was too small for me and I didn't like the fact I'd need to carry my bike up 2 flights of stairs every time I wanted to ride.
This house is on a small side street (1 block). The neighborhood was very quiet and there were folks sitting on their porches, or walking their dogs. This house had been completely redone. There was a nice small family room and a nice new kitchen. The kitchen was open to the living area, but divided by a bar w/ separate sink and wine cooler. Totally unnecessary for me, but whatever.
The basement was very clean and level. You could easily turn it into a furnished basement. Plus, it was nice and cool. The patio outside was cute, but the air compressor was out there and very loud. The other places had the compressors set back on the side, but the entry to the patio was from the side.
The 2nd floor had 3 bedrooms, and no closets, except for the one in the hallway. The bathroom was an ok size considering the place. Ok, no closets isn't a big deal. You can easily put upright wardrobes in there. All the rooms were bright and I liked the hwd floors they put in. The main thing that bothered me was how narrow the upstairs hallway was. I mean, it was about as wide as I am as you go past the stairs. That didn't thrill me. Still, it was a cute house and I could see myself fitting in it.
After that I was off to my next house b/w 19th and 20th and Poplar and Parish. Very different feel. I realized I didn't want to even look. It was a bit more transition than I'd like! I was then off to Old City to look at a condo, but there was no one there. So, I then was off to look at my last place in South Philly. Again, no one was there. That's ok, b/c that area wasn't one I was thrilled about but figured I'd check out anyway. I think I looked at South Philly, it would be around Juniper to 11th and Federal down to the restaurant area on Passayunk. Otherwise, it's just not doing it for me.