A Day in the Life of a Main Line Realtor® – Part 22: Midcentury Modern Architecture is the Perfect Fit
Some days are really good days in the life of this Main Line Realtor®. Recently it was closing day for one of my clients. Actually, it was 3 clients. A mother, her son and her daughter-in-law. They had been looking for a home where they could give the mother a space of her own without stairs. We looked for quite a while unsuccessfully and then one morning a house came on the market and I knew it was the right home before we even went to see it.
That confidence of knowing the right house for a client is something I have had the good fortune to develop over the years I have been doing real estate. It is not borne out of my taste or my prejudices or opinions about houses (and I have many), but from observing the reactions and comments of clients as we look at the homes that they did not want to buy.
In this case, I had 3 opinions to mesh together, but it was clear to me that the mother’s wishes were to take precedence with this family. And she loved midcentury modern architecture. I am not a fan of most homes built in that era, as I have found the construction quality to be lacking in most. As I tried to tailor my home search on the MLS to homes with separate spaces, such as “in-law suites,” or “guest cottage,” a few contemporary homes did come up and we looked at them all. I learned that the mother had lived in a McElroy contemporary when her children were teens. Robert McElroy was a midcentury modern architect who liked to take advantage of a wooded, hillside lot and meld the natural surroundings into his open floor plans. A McElroy house often sits low on the lot and features a dynamic roofline and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass that invite the natural light to play on the house’s interiors. Philadelphia has quite a few of these homes sprinkled throughout the suburbs, including quite a few on the Main Line, and they are generally more affordable than a colonial style home with similar square footage.
Knowing this family’s history, when I saw a new listing one morning of a McElroy contemporary in their desired township next to a nature center, I knew this was going to be the right house. And I was right. They loved it! We made the first available appointment time and I had to laugh to hear them talking about how similar the house was to the one they had lived in—down to the bedroom that was just like the son’s and the view of the beautiful gardens in the yard.
But in this market, the first step was to get ahead of other buyers who were similarly frustrated with a lack of inventory and might be willing to engage in a bidding war. Thinking ahead, we had the offer ready to sign at the showing and submitted it before anyone else had even seen the home. That proved to be the winning move, even though we did not offer full price. The seller negotiated with us and let other offers sit—which a seller may elect to do. We were fast but we were also a bit lucky.
So today I had 3 happy clients and that was a banner day for me!
Tags: Main Line Realtor