A Day in the Life of a Main Line Realtor®-Part 27: Porches are Great Investments
Who doesn’t love a house with a porch? It just says: Welcome to our home! Here on the Main Line, many of our best neighborhoods boast porches of all shapes and sizes. This Main Line Realtor® loves a porch so much that I had one added to my house where none existed before. Now almost every night, I can greet my neighbors as they walk their dogs or their children (or both, in many cases) down my street.
This Fall in the South Wayne neighborhood on the Main Line, some very enterprising and community-minded friends are throwing a huge “PorchFest.” This is a free event for everyone where local musical groups of every genre from bell choirs to rappers will perform on the wonderful front porches of the residents there who have graciously donated their porches and front yards. Talented youth who have grown up in Wayne will also be featured. What a fun idea for all! Just one more reason why I always recommend Wayne and its wonderful neighborhoods.
All this talk of porches made me wonder if they are actually in and of themselves great assets for a home. I think they are. First, they add protected square footage, extending the home’s living space for many months of the year. Secondly, they are often joined to the streetscape and to the other houses by sidewalks, which are hallmarks of the kinds of neighborhoods that retain their value over time. Families seek out these neighborhoods for the safety of their children and the sense of community that they offer. And last but not least, porches create curb appeal that cannot be topped by many other features or design elements. Buying a home with a porch is very likely a good investment.
If a porch is a good investment, what features might not be? Often a pool is not something that will add dollar-for-dollar value to a home. Homes with a pool are either in demand (by the folks that really want one) or take the home out of the running for those who do not want one. This makes the home get less attention in the market than one that does not have this feature–not a good thing. Decks can sometimes fall into that negative category—primarily because they are often in need of maintenance or have not been correctly constructed and attached to the home. Home inspectors of Main Line homes almost always find something to point out about decks, in my experience. And for my younger buyers, a new trend—bias against trees– has cropped up. Due to the recent harsh winters here on the Main Line and our abundance of mature trees, the possibility of falling trees or branches is a new concern. Some buyers will not look at a house if there are trees too close to the structure. That rules out quite a lot, unfortunately!
A home is a lot more than an investment, but why not look for one that can offer you comfort and community as well as help you save for retirement—maybe that house in the block with sidewalks that has the wonderful porch!
Tags: Main Line Realtor