This year was a good one for real estate in Philly. Several historic homes went on the market (including a 300-year-old Elfreth’s Alley spot), we saw a ton of interesting modern houses list in the suburbs, and there was even a Frank Furness mansion that boasted 42 rooms when it went up for auction.
But at the end of the year, we want to answer one important question in our real estate coverage: What really drew Curbed Philly readers’ attention?
The answer is a mix of things. People especially loved historic homes, specifically ones dating back to the 19th century or further. Victorian houses also caught readers’ attention, quickly rising to the top of the list. Finally—and unsurprisingly—people loved a good deal. Anything in a hot neighborhood with a good price point became a pretty popular spot.
Check out the 10 most popular homes this year (listed in reverse order) and let us know your favorite below. Check out more of our year in review coverage here.
This one-bed place in Old City grabbed a lot of attention this spring. With a killer location (right on Arch Street), soaring ceilings, and lots of exposed brick and beam, it has a ton to offer. Of course, part of the draw could be that $265,000 price tag.
Midcentury modern homes always get talked about a lot, largely because they’re so rare to find on the East Coast and in the Philly suburbs. But this one, for $695,000, was especially interesting, largely because of its unique design. It offered wall-to-wall windows that gazed down into the woods and gave it a treehouse feel.
At first glance, this Green Street place right in the heart of Center City seems like many other homes on the market, but looking a little closer, there are some really cool details here. The chandelier hangs above a decorative fireplace; down a spiral staircase, there’s a kitchen with large stone archways; and outside there’s a cheery brick patio. Also, we suspect the $313,000 price tag—at a home that’s basically two steps from City Hall—had something to do with its popularity.
This cute and funky $275,000 home in Queen Village sits on a pedestrian-only alleyway, which we suspect is part of its draw. Inside, every room in the space has its own floor, beginning with a basement kitchen, and leading up to a first floor living room, and second and third-floor bedrooms.
It’s not often that you find a Cape Cod-style cottage like this one, especially tucked into the woods in Roxborough. It has a large front room with plenty of windows that blend the surrounding woods with the interior, and earthy tones that run throughout the space. While it has that typical cottage feel, it’s important to point out that this space is a lot bigger than a normal cottage. This one sits at 1,600 square feet, all for $675,000.
This five-bed home is an extra-wide, with hardwood floors and corner nooks, and a kitchen designed by a chef, according to the listing. It has that rustic-chic feel, which is evident in its repurposed redwood door, tiled fireplace, and spots of exposed brick. At just under $1 million, this home really is stunning.
This place listed only a week ago, but it’s already flown to the top five most popular homes this year. And it’s understandable why. It’s not every day that we see a home on the country’s oldest continuously used street hit the market. For $925,000, the place offers a three-story home with a brick exterior, iconic red doors and shutters, multiple fireplaces, and a security system.
Even more than the Elfreth’s Alley place, people loved this old, stone Victorian home in Germantown’s Tulpehocken Station Historic District. The home dates back to 1896 and offers a six-unit property with a lot of historic, 19th-century character (just check out all of those fireplaces). Plus, it’s got a lot of room for future use, either as a single-family home, or converted into apartments to rent out.
This massive Frank Furness mansion from 1887 went up for auction earlier this year, boasting 42 rooms, 13,600 square feet of space, and a Victorian Gothic style. Dubbed the Brooke Mansion, the Birdsboro home was designed by the iconic architect at the height of his career, when he already had buildings like the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Centennial National Bank under his belt.
Finally, in a total break from the rest of the homes this list, the most popular house this year was this super unique 1945 Bauhaus spot. Located in Havertown, the five-bed, four-bath home recalls another age. It has details like a jade fireplace in the living room and—to top it all off—a fully furnished 1950s-style diner downstairs, complete with a soda fountain, a bar with chrome barstools, a jukebox, and booths.