Town By Town: Plenty of elbow room

TOWNBY02
The George Link Garden sits on the grounds of Ridley Creek State Park in Edgmont Township in Delaware County in PA on July 21, 2015. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )

One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities.

If you're looking for the definition of semirural, you'll be able to find it under Gradyville.

If you're unsure where Gradyville is, you'll find it - post office, gas station, a couple shops, the municipal building, fire station, and St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church - where Pennsylvania Route 352 intersects Gradyville Road in Edgmont, Delaware County.

It's really the township as a whole that the county defines as semirural, although Gradyville certainly looks the part.

Edgmont, with just a little more than 3,900 residents and about 2,600 acres of Ridley Creek State Park comprising 42 percent of its 9.8 square miles, still has plenty of elbow room.

Many of the large farms that once dominated the landscape along the eastern portion of the township were subdivided for housing developments such as Runnymeade Farms, Springton Woods, Castle Rock, Eagleview, the Arbors at Edgmont, and Springton Chase.

The western edge remains rural and agricultural, with the state park dominating the center, according to Edgmont's recently updated comprehensive plan.

Much of the residential real estate activity here is concentrated on the Newtown Square side of the park, says Pam Cloud, an agent with Keller Williams Real Estate in Media who lives in adjacent Thornbury Township.

Though Edgmont is attractive to buyers from other parts of Delaware County "looking for larger lots and houses," Cloud says, it is not a hotbed of real estate activity.

There are only 12 active listings, and the last three months - typically the best selling season of the year - saw only 14 settlements, she says. In all of Delaware County, 1,069 houses closed in the first quarter of 2015, she adds.

The countywide median sale price is $170,000, however, while Edgmont's is $492,500, Cloud says.

Noting the variety of housing types available in Edgmont, from condos to estate-style homes, she quips: "There's something for everyone here - just not a lot of it."

Unlike many surrounding communities, the township doesn't seem to attract a lot of corporate transfers, meaning that the normal turnover rate associated with transferred employees doesn't play an oversize role in the market here.

"They don't typically go for older homes," Cloud says. "Newer homes are easier to sell quickly when you are moved."

Listings range in price from $134,900 for a bank-owned twin to $1.275 million for a home at Brick House Farm, which is being developed by Glenn White Builders, Cloud says. (Brick House was once the Kraft family farm, according to the township history.)

Condos typically range in price from the upper $100,000s into the $200,000s.

The average asking price for the 12 active listings is about $603,000, says Cloud, who focuses primarily on the single-family-detached market.

"There are a lot of condos for sale at Runnymeade Farms, older homes on two-acre lots at Springton Lake, and ranchers in older neighborhoods that are attractive to downsizing empty-nesters," she says.

Buyers also include first-timers moving from condos and townhouses and employees of Boeing Corp. and SAP in Newtown Square, among other area firms, Cloud says.

Ridley Creek State Park contains almost 100 historic houses, the township says, and Cloud, a member of the park's friends organization, says a lot of those homes are rented.

"There is a waiting list," she says, adding that most current tenants have lived there for years. There also is a restored mansion in the park in which no one lives, she says.

Little building is going on in Edgmont currently, but one tract that has been looked at is the former Sleighton Farm School, now owned by Elwyn Inc. Part of the 275-acre tract is in Edgmont and the rest is in Middletown Township.

Many residents are opposed to new developments, Cloud says, noting that one was for an over-55 community with nearly 400 units in the two townships.

"Especially the people who like riding their bikes along Gradyville Road who don't want to deal with more traffic," she says.


Town By Town: Edgmont By the Numbers

Population: 3,918 (2013)

Median household income: $114,085

Area: 9.8 square miles

Settlements in the last three months: 14

Homes for sale: 12

Average days on market: 60

Median sale price: $492,500

Housing stock: 1,515 units; all types and ages

School district: Rose Tree-Media

SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau; City-Data.com; Pam Cloud, Keller Williams Real Estate, Media


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