When Eileen and Stephen Finkelman were on the market for a new home in 1985, it turned out they didn't have to go far.
"We moved a short distance away from our first home," Eileen said. "It gave us an opportunity to stay in the general area because my husband's office was within a very reasonable distance."
They worked with a builder who was developing 17 homes on a large wooded lot, opting for one of the 14 homes located in Huntingdon Valley over one of the three with Philadelphia addresses.
"The opportunity to build a home was exactly what we wanted," she said.
They designed the four-bedroom, 4,400-square-foot home alongside the builder.
"A blueprint was provided but we were able to make whatever changes we needed," she said.
Finkelman said her husband has been renovating ever since, adding a deck, building furniture, laying tile floors and — most recently — installing a swing set out back for their grandchildren.
"There has been almost no limit to the extent of how we've always been fixing up the house," she said. "It's a continuous, evolving thing."
The home features a fully custom eat-in kitchen with an island as well as a master suite that takes up more than half of the home's second floor. Finkelman said both rooms are among her favorite spaces in the home. She designed the kitchen with the center island specifically for the sight lines in an open floor plan.
"The builder thought I was crazy," she said. "I told him I wanted the sink in the center. That's how I could talk to people at the kitchen table and face the people in the dining room."
As a mother and a teacher, she also said the configuration allowed her to help one child in the kitchen while keeping an eye on another who might be watching TV in the adjacent den.
They also renovated the en-suite bathroom in the master suite, adding a large walk-in closet with its own island, and bathroom fixtures including a stainless shower, a jetted tub, custom cabinets, radiant heat floors and a towel warmer.
Finkelman said they have spent more than 30 years in the development and while they have decided that now is the time to sell their family home, doing so is bittersweet.
"It's very hard to leave our neighbors," she said. "Our children and our families have grown up together."
The home is listed for $599,000 by Christopher Carr at Simple Choice Realty.
"We have loved the home, but now it's time for us to move to another kind of house and let a younger family enjoy what we have built," Finkelman said.