When Karin Rhodes and Lance Becker moved from the University of Chicago to the University of Pennsylvania, they were looking to live in a neighborhood similar to the one they were leaving.
“We were trying to find an analogous neighborhood to the prestigious Hyde Park neighborhood that surrounds the University of Chicago,” Rhodes said.
Another faculty member at Penn let told them about a Powelton Village home that two other emeritus professors at the university were selling.
“We bought it directly without a realtor from the owners who lived in the house next door,” Becker said.
The six-bedroom single home is historically designated and was built in 1860. In 1910, it was redesigned by Penn architect Louis Magaziner as his own residence. When Rhodes and Becker bought it, they wanted to balance necessary updates with the period charm of the home.
“While maintaining the historic character of the house, we did a major rehab,” Rhodes said.
They renovated the master bedroom—installing a new Jacuzzi in the master bath—and upgraded the kitchen entirely, adding a new sunroom. They also replaced all the major plumbing and HVAC systems in the home.
Outside, they acquired the vacant lot next door, paving a new patio and planting gardens. Simultaneously, they installed a water feature in their own backyard and repaired the roof and gutters. They also added parking.
Rhodes and Becker said the space has allowed for plenty of parties since they bought the home in 2016.
“It is ideal for entertaining,” Becker said. “We have hosted large parties and weddings that flow inside and out into the garden.”
Their favorite spots to linger on the property are the new kitchen sunroom, the second-floor family room and their large, private balcony.
They say the neighborhood has lived up to their expectations over the decade they lived there.
“Powelton is a hidden jewel,” Rhodes said.
In addition to the abundant amenities in walking distance, Rhodes said they have enjoyed the support of an active village association with regular meetings and annual events.
“Most important, neighbors know each other and help each other out,” she said.
Even though their property includes parking, Becker said they have enjoyed walking or biking wherever they needed to go.
“We never drove a car to work for 10 years,” he said. “The ultimate luxury!”
Rhodes said two new jobs mean it’s time to sell the home.
“New jobs required a move to New York,” she said. “But we miss our Philly home and hate the commute.”
The home is currently listed by Rodney Ross at Keller Williams for $995,000