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Philly’s most beautiful homes of 2017

The homes that made us say, “Wow”

A midcentury modern living room with wood ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Photo by Jim Albert for Craig Wakefield

By all accounts, it was a really, really good year for real estate in Philly—at least for sellers and homeowners. House values continued to climb up and up. New condos and townhomes brought more folks into the city. And housing inventory was at an all-time low, making competition fierce and homes seemingly fly off the shelves.

But even though the number of homes for sale was tight, when properties did hit the market, boy did they leave an impression. Some real stunners left our jaws dropped and searching beneath couch cushions for some extra pennies, but to no avail: These homes quickly found buyers, some within days of listing.

From multiple midcentury moderns to quintessential rowhomes, these homes were the most impressive of 2017.

Photos by Jim Albert for Craig Wakefield

1. A one-of-a-kind Neutra in East Falls

We were at a loss of words when the listing agent tipped us off that Richard Neutra’s Hassrick Residence in East Falls hit the market for $2.195 million. The sellers spent years restoring the midcentury modern gem, and it’s now listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. It found a new owner with Jefferson University, who bought it for $1.9 million and plans to use the home as a residence for visiting faculty and possibly as a teaching facility.

Courtesy of City Block Team

2. A historic Queen Village home on a historic street

This quintessential brick home in Queen Village made us swoon like crazy when it hit the market for $795,000. Not only was it an extra-wide rowhome, but it was steeped in history, dating back to 1747! The 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home charmed with impeccable curb appeal, extra-wide plank hardwood floors, exposed beams, and five fireplaces. It sold a few months later for $763,500.

Photo by Plate3 Photography

3. A stand-alone modern home in Society Hill

Readers had plenty to say about this unusual home when it hit the market for $1.5 million. It’s one of those rare modern homes that can be found among Society Hill’s 18th- and 19th-century rowhomes, but its jaw-dropping interiors really made it a stand out. The three-bedroom home, designed by architect Kenneth Walter Holt in 1978, was in need of some TLC, but man, those bones.

The third floor of Anne Tyng’s home in Philadelphia features a slate fireplace that juts out into the room, hardwood floors, ceilings, and Juliet balconies on each corner. Courtesy of City Block Team

4. Anne Tyng’s delightful Fitler Square rowhome

Our midcentury modern hearts were aflutter when Anne Tyng’s quirky Fitler Square rowhome listed for $675,000. The architect’s attention to detail and eye for geometric patterns is on full display in the 18th-century Fitler Square rowhome, which she transformed with a sleeping nook, Juliet balconies off all four corners of the home, and a brick fireplace. Tyng’s time capsule was so memorable that it was picked as this year’s Best House We Didn’t Buy by Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange.

Courtesy of Harkeet Chadha, Coldwell Banker Preferred

5. Enormous Northern Liberties home behind a garage door

Don’t judge a sketchy garage door by its cover—you might just find an enormous 7,664-square-foot home hiding behind it. The home at 930-932 N. 4th Street was custom-built in 2005 and features a Japanese garden and a pond, plus a massive open living area with 20-foot-tall(!) ceilings. Though no longer on the market, it originally listed for $1,350,000.

Courtesy of Francesca Prieto

6. Modernist Gunter Buchholz's Chestnut Hill home

Curbed Philly had an exclusive first look into the restored home of modernist architect Gunter Buccholz before it hit the market for just under $950,000. Built in 1967, the German architect Buchholz designed the 3,000-square-foot home for his family. But before it could even publicly list, the home found a buyer, who is now neighbors with Louis Kahn’s Esherick House and the Vanna Venturi home, all on the same block.

Photos by Alcove Media

7. The La Colombe co-founder’s Fishtown abode

This home aroused shock and awe when it listed for $850,000 this year, as it’s hidden down a cobblestone street in Fishtown. Originally horse stables-turned-garage, the 2,834-square-foot, three-bedroom, two and a half bath home is now a rustic abode with character galore. The kitchen is exactly what you’d expect from seller JP Iberti, the co-founder of La Colombe.

Courtesy of Solo Real Estate

8. A Victorian beauty in Cedar Park

It’s a real treat to find a Victorian for sale in West Philly that has stayed in such good shape. This Cedar Park stunner wowed with its original woodwork right behind the front double door. Given the hot market in this neighborhood, it came as no surprise when the home nabbed a buyer within six days of listing. The buy came at a premium—it sold for $19,000 above the original $449,000 asking price.

Photo by Drew Callaghan Photography

9. A beautiful brownstone in Rittenhouse Square

It’s easy to daydream about what’s behind the grand doors of Rittenhouse homes, but it’s safe to say we never imagined this: 7,155 square feet, a five-story atrium, and nine fireplaces. That’s what you’ll find at 2012 Spruce Street, which dates back to 1860 and has undergone major renovations over the years. It’s been on and off the market for years, and is now asking $3,490,000.

Courtesy of Michael Garden, Space & Company

10. A minimalist’s clean slate in Kensington

Minimalists went gaga over this new home designed by local firm Interface Studio Architects and built by Callahan Ward. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, awash in white, listed for $419,000 and sat pretty with its whitewashed hickory floors, birch plywood finishes, and white, glossy kitchen cabinets. It ultimately sold for a solid $400,000.