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.
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.
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).
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.
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).