Manhattan to the Main Line

While the migration of New Yorkers to Philadelphia is not new, post COVID-19 we are seeing some interesting shifts in demographics.

The New York Times recently reported on Where New Yorkers Moved to Escape the Coronavirus.

Prior to COVID-19, the largest demand in Philly from Manhattan luxury buyers was for Center City condos and townhomes with easy access to Amtrak’s 30th St Station.

For example, amenity rich condos like The Residences at Ritz-Carlton in mid-town Philly that resonate with a Manhattan luxury lifestyle – but less expensive, quieter and a little more friendly.

Why Philly? In 2018 The New York Times article, Leaving New York to find the American Dream in Philadelphia, highlights a migration of artisans, chefs, immigrants and business owners to Philly from New York. All with a dream in mind.

Settlement Day at The Stables – 2013

As an example, learn first hand “Why Philly” from my clients who purchased the first PASSIVE-Certified luxury home at THE STABLES in Northern Liberties.

They were originally looking at traditional offerings in Society Hill, but were fascinated with this more creative, cutting edge option.

Seven years ago, my clients moved from Manhattan to Northern Liberties where they purchased the first PASSIVE-Certified luxury townhomes in Philly

Remote luxury homes on the Main Line in areas like Gladwyne and Bryn Mawr are seeing a huge uptick in demand from Manhattan buyers.

While once criteria was “walkability” to train stations and shopping, but post COVID-19 New Yorkers are looking for privacy, acreage, flexible living space as highlighted in my recent article “Top 5 new features to sell your home post COVID-19.”

I had the honor of recently helping my Manhattan clients purchase this luxury Merion Station home during the COVID-19 shut down.

365 Meadow Lane in Merion Station offered the perfect mix of historic architecture and renovated interior living space. Going to Manhattan 2-3 days a week is easy with a short drive to 30th Street Station.

Another successful Manhattan to Main Line relocation

“Susanna is a total gem. We started looking for homes in early 2020. We had not yet found an agent, but struck up a conversation with her at an open house.

My husband and I immediately noticed how real she was: she was truthful and did not try to “sell’ us, either on the home or on her as an agent. As a result, we asked her to represent us.

Throughout the process, she was incredible: she educated us about the different neighborhoods, prepared fact books for each weekend that we looked for homes, and made sure she never wasted our time showing us homes that were not a fit.

At the end of the process, we found the perfect place. I can honestly say, it was all because of her. I cannot express how amazing she is and how rare as an agent: kind, thoughtful, realistic, honest, easy to work with.

I would work with her in a second if we ever needed to again, and so cannot recommend her more highly.”

If you’re looking for a luxury home or weekend retreat on the Main Line, contact me for off-market options. It’s my pleasure to help.

How do I transition a traditional home to attract today’s luxury millennial buyers?

Millennial home buying trends have become a hot topic in luxury real estate. Millennials include anyone born between 1981 and 1996, and they’re quickly becoming a dominating force in real estate. In 2018, millennials represented the largest cohort of home buyers at 37 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report.

This group now outnumbers baby boomers, and what they’re looking for in a home is drastically different than what their parents wanted when they entered the market.

Now more than ever, luxury buyers are viewing time as a luxury. How does that translate?

Homes need to be move-in ready. It’s not just about the money. The time it takes to renovate is too “expensive” in terms of what it takes away from quality of life.

So how do you transition a traditional home with stately architecture to attract a modern millennial buyer? My LIVE broadcast guest, Christina Henck, owner of award winning Henck Design shared some valuable tips and insights:

When we talk about “less is more” it relates to a key design element we artists called “negative space” – that’s the “blank” or “empty” space on a canvas surrounding an image, or the space between and around elements of a sculpture. The negative space is as important in design as the “positive” space (image, element – or in this case furniture).

Check out the clean design and flow created in the “negative space” in this luxury home.

The “negative space” creates a visual flow as well as a physical flow for walk through traffic on home buyer tours as well as videos.

Both are important elements of creating the kind of “sizzle” you want to drive buyers to take action!

Let’s talk! Please book a private consult on my calendar, and we’ll look at your home through FaceTime or Zoom and discuss ideas to maximize the market appeal for today’s buyers.

Virtual Real Estate

Recent COVID-19 crisis “stay at home” orders have up-ended traditional real estate activity. However, sellers still want to sell and buyers need new homes.

Virtual showings now become a primary tool for both buyers and sellers to overcome the COVID-19 challenges and accomplish their goals.

For instance, the video below is a walk through preview I did for my clients last week during a brokers open house. There’s so much detail, sense of place and flow of the design one can get from a virtual walk through that you can’t get with profession videos or even the best photos.

Working remotely with both buyers and sellers was a foundation of my business while selling luxury 2nd homes in Hawaii as most of my clients were remote. Some buyers went under contract “sight unseen” based on video walk throughs I shared with them, and then flew in for the home inspection. Of course, that was based on our strong working relationship and clarity of their vision for their new home.

Now is the time when you need a realtor with cutting-edge technology skills as well as experience and expertise. Let’s have “coffee” via Zoom video conferencing and discuss what’s going on in your local market and various strategies to accomplish your goals.

How to transform your library

How to get the highest offer in today’s market? Staging is not just furniture, it’s about telling a story that makes the right buyers fall in love.  One of the mainstays of Main Line estate homes is a gracious library. Many of today’s luxury buyers no longer view a library as desirable. They look for technology based amenities, like Control 4 smart systems. Yet a library is a very positive feature if positioned creatively.

Too many design elements – need to simplify and lighten the room

How to present the features and benefits of a library, but also appeal to modern luxury buyers? Staging can transform the area making it attractive to both traditional and modern luxury buyers.

Spare elements on shelves, staging as open living area

Staging is not just furniture. It’s about re-packaging the property in the best possible way for today’s buyers.

How can we present your home to net you the highest price in today’s market? Let’s talk – I have solutions for you!

High demand for Main Line mid-century homes

You might be surprised to find a high demand on the Main Line for mid-century modern with simple, clean lines and open floor plans.

Three recent listings designed by Robert McElroy all went under contract in less than two weeks. Take a quick preview:

Where were these?

307 Jeffrey Lane, Newtown Square – listed for $749,000. 4 bd / 3 ba, on 1 acre with swimming pool & jacuzzi, built in 1972. Sold above asking for $749,850

596 S Bryn MawrAve, Bryn Mawr – listed for $710,000. 4 bd / 2.5 ba on 1.34 acres, built in 1963. Sold above asking for $730,000.

596 S Bryn Mawr Ave SOLD above asking for $730K

305 Highview Drive, Wayne – listed for $599,900. 4 bd / 2.5 ba, on 1 acre with pool, built in 1970. Sold for $580,000.

If you’d like listing alerts for homes built by Robert McElroy, contact me and I will notify you of coming soon and just listed mid-century homes.

History meets luxury in Lower Merion

Combine Philadelphia history and Frank Furness design with modern luxury upgrades and you create this gem in Lower Merion.

Welcome to 608 Robinson Lane, Haverford

Imagine greeting your guests as you descend this grand staircase where historic architecture meets modern flooring:

Which would be your favorite bath?

I adore the indoor / outdoor flow with so much light!

Relax, entertain, enjoy your private oasis close to Philadelphia – all for the same price as a 2 bd condo in Rittenhouse Square.

Photos courtesy of BHHS


Update – SOLD 12/7/18 for $2,075,000 with $75K in concessions.

Craftsman style homes create value in Philly and Main Line

A recent Philly.com article featured three Philadelphia Craftsman Style homes and indicated these features generate a premium value – equal to 34% increase!

What exactly is a Craftsman Style home? According to Wikipedia:

The American Craftsman style, or the American Arts and Crafts movement, is an American domestic architecturalinterior designlandscape designapplied arts, and decorative arts style and lifestyle philosophy that began in the last years of the 19th century. As a comprehensive design and art movement it remained popular into the 1930s. However, in decorative arts and architectural design it has continued with numerous revivals and restoration projects through present times.

Click on photo for link to HGTV blog article about Craftsman Homes

With our abundance of row homes in Philadelphia, Craftsman features can be hard to find.  What are the best areas to search? Germantown, Girard Estates in South Philly, Manayunk, Roxborough and on the Main Line some of my top picks are in Ambler and Media.

What are your ideal features in a home? Let’s talk and I’ll help you find the right match!