R5Realty News and Notes

Market Snapshots and Commentary on Value and Quality of life along the former Main Line of the Pennsylvania Rail Road, up until recently called the R5 Line, and now officially known as the Paoli /Thorndale line. R5Realty runs from Center City Philadelphia through the walkable, Westward outlying Towns & Townships.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Barnes Foundation: Farewell Merion Neighbor

Dr. AlfredBarnes' utopian vision of a contemplative and decidedly  non-commercial oasis for the study and  
The Barnes Experience in Merion.
appreciation of various aesthetics has been tumultuously evolving and devolving for decades. Is this  latest Chapter entitled  "Merion Exodus: Grand Opening May 19, 2012 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway"  a good or bad development?

Lower Merion residents, as well as legal and academic scholars can and have put forth Persuasive arguments on both sides. A quick "barnes foundation" google search will turn up a fascinating batch of descriptions, account, opinions and arguments about Barnes, the man, the aesthete, the collection, and the legacy he established nearly a century ago in Merion.                                                 
Barnes Arboreteum: Integral Setting

Certainly, as so many 19066-area yard signs have decreed, The Barnes Belongs in Merion , but with art extensively expatriated from Europe and Africa, under the enduring posthumous decree of a collector and visionary dead for sixty years, on land once belonging to Lenni Lenape, the assertion that the Barnes belongs in Merion is both assailable and defensible. 
What is undeniable however, is extricating and exposing the paintings and sculptures in a startling new urban context, will completely transform the Barnes experience.

CC Barnes: Night Rendering
Yes, Dr. Barnes name will carry on at what will (at worst) be a delightfully modern destination on The Parkway, and  I look forward to visiting the new museum, grabbing some sandwiches at Whole Foods, and enjoying the grand boulevard view and promenade from William Penn's Pedestal to Rocky's steps... It will be different from the rainy Sunday morning in 1991 when we queued up on Latches Lane to gather a coveted weekend admission into Barnes' sanctum of art and arboretum.

Selective and contemplative viewing will bow to other virtues including convenience, accessibility and enhanced maintenance. The whole shift is fraught with an ambiguity that transcends yard-sign sentiment, gripping video polemics like Art of the Steal, and also the hegemony of  philanthropic, corporate and municipal entities who might likely benefit from the inevitable unraveling of Barnes' century-old, suburban fifedom.

This evolution/ devolution of the Barnes may be a good thing. It may be a bad thing. It may make a mockery of trusts, or it may be a practical and dynamic decision based on realities for which Barnes did not live to see and plan for. Barnes was a visionary, but did he see the internet coming and plan accordingly?

Like Van Gogh, Cezanne and the Lenni Lenape, Dr. Barnes is gone and its the living who do the beholding, and now it'll be done in an entirely different way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lower Main Line and Narberth Baby Sitting Cooperative

The Lower Merion-area Baby-Sitting Coop - of which weve been members for several years - has openings available this Fall.  In existence since 1979, The Coop is very well-run and membership opportunities occur via word-of-mouth and our based upon existing relationships with current Coop Members, such as Heather and myself.

Given the Kevin Bacon-esque nature of Philadelphia and concentration of current member families in Lower Merion school district, it's entirely possible a connection already exists. To help discover current friends and future members, the coop will host an open house in early November in Merion. 
Contact me via info@R5Realty.com  to explore if  a connection exists or if you would like to know more.
For now, Here's the basics:

New Members are interviewed upon recommendation/sponsorship of current members.
Babysitting requests are posted and filled via streamlined email system and members exchange "points/Credits" in exchange for sitting duties. Members have flexibility regarding level of participation.
In addition to providing a network of vetted and reliable parents available to swap sitting services, the Coop offers a community element, with members exchanging tips, pet care and services. Coop members meet quarterly to enhance/maintain communication and community spirit.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

August Home Prices in Lower Merion: 100k to 1million

Busy summer on Barwynne Ln. - home of lower MainLine's best Split-Levels.
 Barwynne Lane is a tranquil horseshoe road tucked into Wynnewood's Indian Creek neighborhood, between Lancaster Ave and Haverford Rd. The Barwynne homes are spacious Split Levels (3000 sq ft), constructed in the late 1950s. This summer was a great time to view these homes as a stunning Four Homes on this serene block sold between late July and late August. Average sales price of the Extremely Handsome comparably-sized homes at  255, 262, 286 Barwynne was about $550,000. Each of these homes was updated and very well-maintained, situated on lots of about .25 acre. The fourth home sold on Barwynne was the much larger, new contruction (20 years old)  home at #300, which sold for $885,000 and sits on three-quarters of an acre. While the sales activity on Barwynne was unusually high this summer, the prices paid remained right-on-par with 2007 levels.  Four new families are now settling into a fabulous block, with what I believe are the best-built, most attractive split levels in Lower Merion.

Street AddressBedsBathsLast AskSold ForNeigborhood
232 Greenfield Ave31$164,900 $165,000 Ardmore
143 Ashland Ave31.1$260,000 $240,000 Bala Cynwyd
412 Pembroke Rd42.1$429,000 $410,000 Bala Cynwyd
714 Harvard Rd42.1$459,000 $415,000 Bala Cynwyd
12 E Newfield Way53.1$995,000 $960,000 Bala Cynwyd
1529 County Line Rd42.1$499,500 $495,000 Bryn Mawr
344 Fishers Rd34.1$765,000 $650,000 Bryn Mawr
148 Pennsylvania Ave32.1$685,000 $685,000 Bryn Mawr
123 Kennedy Ln32.1$720,000 $690,000 Bryn Mawr
611 Winsford Rd63.1$995,000 $960,000 Bryn Mawr
512 Conshohocken St43.1$639,000 $630,000 Gladwyne
936 Merion Square Rd44$825,000 $800,000 Gladwyne
246 Stoneway Ln32$269,900 $242,000 Merion
511 Mercer Rd32.1$535,000 $502,000 Merion
515 Hamilton Rd42.1$535,000 $510,000 Merion
376 Merion Rd33$599,000 $545,000 Merion
506 Baird Rd52.1$599,000 $575,000 Merion
412 Andrew Rd43.1$649,000 $649,000 Merion
8 Shirley Rd31$349,000 $316,000 Narberth
1309 N Woodbine Ave32.1$385,000 $350,000 Penn Valley
522 Sprague Rd42.2$539,000 $515,000 Penn Valley
1314 Bobarn Dr44.2$989,000 $950,000 Penn Valley
1475 Flat Rock Rd43.1$1.069mill$969,500 Penn Valley
48 Trent Rd31.1$329,000 $300,000 Penn Wynne
616 Haverford Rd32.2$319,900 $310,000 Penn Wynne
1453 Drayton Ln32$349,900 $320,000 Penn Wynne
225 Rock Glen Rd32.1$379,900 $355,000 Penn Wynne
269 Henley Rd32$359,900 $365,000 Penn Wynne
511 Glen Arbor Dr33$395,000 $395,000 Penn Wynne
125 Crosshill Rd42$349,500 $350,000 Wynnewood
1526 Knox Rd32$399,000 $380,000 Wynnewood
628 Sussex Rd21.1$429,000 $400,000 Wynnewood
535 Montgomery Sch Ln32$500,000 $445,000 Wynnewood
1343 W Indian Creek Dr53$489,000 $470,000 Wynnewood
1226 Remington Rd43.1$499,900 $475,000 Wynnewood
619 Greythorne Rd32.1$474,900 $475,000 Wynnewood
1024 Nicholson Rd32.1$525,000 $500,000 Wynnewood
1306 Andover Rd42.2$500,000 $510,000 Wynnewood
336 Penn Rd54.1$525,000 $513,000 Wynnewood
262 Barwynne Rd53.1$559,900 $540,000 Wynnewood
221 Gypsy Ln33.1$579,000 $550,000 Wynnewood
286 Barwynne Rd42.1$579,000 $555,000 Wynnewood
366 Williams Rd42.2$569,000 $559,000 Wynnewood
543 Manor Rd53.2$699,000 $635,000 Wynnewood
814 Wickfield Rd43.1$699,000 $687,000 Wynnewood
251 Kent Rd63.1$725,000 $725,000 Wynnewood
309 Fairhill Rd54.1$745,000 $745,000 Wynnewood
220 Beech Hill Rd53.1$895,000 $850,000 Wynnewood
1220 Wyngate Rd43.1$907,500 $885,000 Wynnewood
300 Barwynne Rd45.1$999,000 $885,000 Wynnewood