Antique Corner House, NoLibs (Philly) 309K

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IN PHILADELPHIA LAST WEEKEND, I squeezed in a quick look at a house whose listing I found intriguing for several reasons:

  • It’s in Northern Liberties, a neighborhood full of restaurants, bars, and history with which I’m familiar, and where a lot of young, hip, solvent people want to live. Hence: easy rental territory.
  • It’s a corner building, at the end of a row, which means three exposures instead of just two.
  • It’s old, and you know my philosophy: the older the better. I could tell from the roofline — an inverted V, with steep sides peaking in the middle and two dormer windows at front and back — that it was c.1800 Federal style, which is entirely possible in that nabe.

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Living room and one of two bedrooms in the upper duplex, above

The ask had been 329K; it recently came down to 309K. It’s a two-family — a 1BR ground floor apartment, presently renting month-to-month for $700, and a 2BR duplex above for $1,100, with a lease ending next April.

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Kitchen in the duplex, above

However, I decided against pursuing it, despite its income potential and a few undeniable charms (exposed-beam ceiling in the upper duplex, cozy attic bedrooms, sunny hippie-style bath, pleasant roof deck, below).

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It’s on the fringe of Northern Liberties — diagonally across from Liberties Lofts, a converted warehouse-turned-rental building, but also directly across from some depressingly ill-maintained modern row homes. It also needs more work and money than I’m prepared to put in right now.

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But it is an opportunity for the right someone. With the two current rentals totaling $1,800, and room to go quickly higher with some fixing up — plus a rentable off-street parking space, above — it would be possible to break even or better right out of the gate.

If you’re interested, give Ken Krauter of Zip Realty a call (215/450-0605).

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
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