What Goes On In Real Estate And Chester County

We are happy to share with our visitors some interesting information on a regular basis.

The (late) Spring Real Estate Market

Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach very recently published this year's 2nd issue of the Chairman's Report, containing some updates and expections on the Real Estate market in the Philadelphia metropolitan region, including PA, NJ and DE. Overall, the report is positive and optimistic:

  • More houses are needed to meet the growing demand.
  • With the exception of high-end properties, we are now in a seller's market and buyers must be ready to act fast when they find a property they want. 
  • There has been a modest but steady price growth in this market area. Median sales price reached its post-recession low of $230,000 in 2012, but now, median sales price is up at $244,000. 
  • Interest rates are at a 3-year low
  • Consumer confidence is good
  • There is plenty of mortgage money available
  • Stock market and oil prizes are stabilizing 

The full report can be read here. If you are interested in selling or buying a property, contact us - it would be our pleasure to assist you!

700 Byrd Rd porch

A beautiful porch (with house) for sale - click the picture too see more. 

How To Transform A Jewel In Disguise Into A Beautiful Diamond

Anyone who has been in the process of buying a home knows that, often, there are some "No's" before you find that "Yes". And sometimes it takes a little bit of imagination and creativity (and good contractors!) in order to reveal the hidden gem that you want to call your home. When the current owners of Brandybend Farm first looked at the property, they instantly recognized the farm's underlying beauty and realized all they had to do was to give it some polish to really make it shine. 

"There were so many things to like: a small farm on the Brandywine Creek; a charming stone farmhouse; a large stone bank barn with a stunning floor to ceiling fireplace. You can’t just build a property like that. It takes, quite literally, centuries for a house to earn the sort of history that Brandybend has," said the owner. "The beauty of the barn really spoke for itself even before we did anything, but we had to give it a good polish to bring out its full potential."

1573 Camp Linden Rd Barn before and after"Since the stone and fireplace are really the feature elements, I think the repointing may have made the biggest differenceWe also hired Terrain at Styers to transform the patio area behind the barn with retaining walls, large stone steps, and flower beds."

Fortunately, they had little issues to speak of in the renovation process as everything progressed smoothly. "We hired an amazing interior designer named Wendy Danziger who helped us find the most wonderful contractors in our area. Based on previous experiences in cities like DC and NYC, we were actually a little bit surprised by the excellent experience we had with every one of our contractors in Chester County. Everyone was so friendly, and even made us feel welcome in the community right away."

The owners, a young couple who bought Brandybend Farm as their first home and who are now looking to move to a bigger home, are certain that whoever takes over Brandybend Farm after them will be very happy there. "Situated behind the historic village of Marshallton, on a hill overlooking a quiet bend in the Brandywine for which it got its name, Brandybend is truly a piece of history. There are many beautiful homes in Chester County, but there is something special about that piece of land that makes you want to just take a deep breath and relax. It’s a beautiful, peaceful spot." 

See the before and after pictures of Brandybend Farm below, and if you wish to learn more about the property, click here:

 

1573 Camp Linden Rd Barn door before and after

 

1573 Camp Linden Rd Fireplace before and after

 

1573 Camp Linden Rd Porch view before and after

2016 Upland Golf Outing

Our wonderful colleagues Stephen Gross and Micheal Mummert had a great time at the Upland Country Day School's Golf Outing on June 13th! The event took place at the Kennett Square Golf and Country Club and attracted a huge number of participants from the Upland community. The proceeds of the event supports Upland Country Day School and The Cleveland Alumni Scholarship Fund. 

2016 Upland Golf Outing

Historically, Environmentally and Architecturally Significant Warwick Furnace Farm For Sale

Press Release

West Chester, PA, May 2, 2016

FRENCH & PICKERING CREEKS CONSERVATION TRUST SELLING OFF EASEMENT CROWN JEWEL

In December 2015, French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust acquired the 553-acre Warwick Furnace Farm after working for a year to preserve the historic and environmentally sensitive area. The perpetual conservation easement protects a major source of drinking water for millions of people the Philadelphia region as well as sensitive habitat and historic sites. The Trust is now offering the 50-acre Warwick Furnace Farm - the crown jewel of the estate - on the market for $3.45 million.

“It is French & Pickering’s largest conservation project in its 48 year history,” said Executive Director Andy Pitz at the time of the acquisition.

The stunning Warwick Furnace Farm in Glenmoore, PA, is one of the most historically and architecturally significant properties in Chester County. The property was last offered for sale in 1927, when the renowned American industrialist and philanthropist, Joseph N. Pew, Jr, purchased the farm. The Pew family, founders of the Sun Oil Company and the Pew Charitable Trusts, used the home for three generations before selling it to French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust last year. At the time of the acquisition, Ole Amundsen, Program Manager for The Conservation Fund said, "In this one project you have a site of historic significance going all the way back to the Revolutionary War, the striking architecture of the buildings, the impact of restoring the forest to help improve the water quality of French creek and the truly amazing and stunning scenic value of this landscape nestled in the narrow valley."

700 Warwick Furnace Rd1

The valley property, which includes the ironmaster’s manor house built in 1733 by Mrs. Anna Nutt, remains of an ironworkers’ village and furnace, woods, pastures and farmland, has remained virtually unchanged since the early 1700s.

During the mid-1700s, George Taylor, later a member of the Continental Congress and one of the signees of the Declaration of Independence, managed Warwick Furnace Farm. On the list of notable historical personages and events to be associated with the property, one of the most famous yet brief occurred after the defeat by the British troops at the Battle of the Brandywine in 1777, when General George Washington’s Continental Army retreated to the serene Warwick Furnace Farm. Aside from hosting soldiers during the American Revolution, the farm played an important role in the war effort and was a center of iron production, casting the first Franklin Stove and producing iron for cannons and cannon balls.

The furnace operated through the 1860s and was shut down shortly after the Civil War.

When French & Pickering bought the property, Charles Jacob, Chair of the Warwick Township Board of Supervisors said, “Three hundred years ago, the iron and steel industry started in Pennsylvania right here. The protection of this property is important to the township for both its historic and environmental significance.”

In the late 1920’s, the famed Chester County architect R. Brognard Okie renovated the Manor House at Warwick Furnace Farm as well as the plan and layout of the property. Okie’s famous details show in every room of the manor house – from the beautiful gougework, to the wooden doorstops, from the hidden storage nooks, to the intricate hardware. The Manor House is considered an exemplar of Okie’s finest work and an important legacy of American design and architecture.

“The view shed over this pristine valley is remarkable, and as one stands on the porch or garden terraces of the main house the view is unchanged from the 18th century,” said Cary F. Leptuck, President at French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust. “This land is an environmental treasure. Some of the cleanest water in the entire French Creek watershed flows through the property and is now protected forever as a major source of drinking water. The wetlands, meadows and forest provide habitat for scores of important flora and fauna.”

The Trust purchased the property with the intention to sell the parcel containing the manor home and outbuildings. “The importance of the Warwick Furnace Farm property cannot be overstated in any of its components – environmental, historic and visual,” said  Leptuck.

For further information, contact Holly Gross of the Holly Gross Group and Mark Willcox of Country Properties at BHSS Fox & Roach: 484-678-0367

Click here for property listing details.

The Perfect Equestrian Property

A while ago, we wrote about Whitewall Farm being featured as Home of the Month in County Lines Magazine. Well, now that equestrian dream home is not only featured in the print version of the magazine, but also in their online version! Read about it here

 

BH 1375 Chestnut Tree Rd 21234

10 Interior Ideas That We Love

Aaaah so many interior ideas, so little time... (click the pictures if you wish to see more)

 

1. You had me at "Barn With 25 Feet Fireplace". 

1573 Camp Linden Rd

 

2. Who would not want to do the laundry in this laundry room?

140 Wilson Rd

 

3. Utilizing the (usually) wasted space above the stairs with built-in bookshelves? YES. 

220 Fairview Rd

 

4. "How would you like your eggs in the morning?"

"Cooked in this beautiful kitchen, please." 

334 W. Street Rd8

 

5. The hardware!

 350 S Wawaset

 

6. Aside from utilizing the space well, this bunk bed is just SO. CUTE. 

1375 Chestnut Tree Rd

 

7. The only thing wrong with this is that there should be a bed on the porch so that we could lie down and look at that ceiling all day. 

700 Byrd Rd

 

8. Converted barn with original stone floor and beams? Absolutely. 

609 Cricklewood Rd.4

 

9. This somehow feels so wonderfully Italian. You would just have to cook delicious pasta on this stove. All the time.

839 Sugarsbridge Rd

 

10. This Okie designed Butler's pantry is so beautiful we want to entertain guests there. 

700 Warwick Furnace Rd8

 

 

 

 

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