Beth Pesa Villante wanted her mother to have a beautiful house. The pair were house hunting in 2012 when they discovered a sprawling five-bedroom home in Pine Valley.
“She fell in love with this beautiful home,” Villante said. “I wanted her to live out her final years in the type of home she deserved. She worked very hard her whole life, and this home was her retirement resort.”
Villante also found a lot to love about the property, which is in Bustleton. First was its charm.
“They don’t build homes like this anymore,” she said. “As a kid, I watched This Old House and fell in love with the charm of old houses.”
Next was its history. George Horace Lorimer, then editor of the Saturday Evening Post, bought the home in 1910. Villante has the deed.
“He was best friends with Norman Rockwell and other people of influence of his day,” she said. “This makes me curious as to what kinds of conversations happened around his dining room table.”
When Lorimer died, he left the original 400-acre property to the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer for Holy Redeemer hospital. (The house is now on a 30,000-square-foot lot.)
“I can’t help but think that left a legacy of good karma and good energy in this home,” Villante said.
The 4,600-square-foot property required “a considerable amount of work” after Villante, her family and her mother moved in, she said.
Updates included new heating and air conditioning systems, two new bathrooms, refinished hardwood floors, and new fittings for the pool out back. It’s listed as having five bedrooms and 5½ bathrooms.
The master bedroom remains Villante’s favorite part. “The room is romantic, and the sunrise wakes me up because we sit up on a little hill,” she said. “The view down the street is spectacular.”
Villante also said the home is ideal for gathering friends and family.
“This is a house for people who like to entertain,” she said. “There is no better place to host a party.”
Villante’s mother enjoyed several years in her retirement resort before she died 2½ years ago. Today, Villante is spending more time in Huntingdon Valley, where she is starting her own business. That helped her make the decision to sell the house.
“Our lifestyle is different now, so we’re downsizing,” Villante said.
The home is listed with Dominic Fuscia at Coldwell Banker for $795,000.
“This home has had magical healing properties in mind’s eye, and it was very good to us,” Villante said. “Now it is time for a new family to grow and thrive within its walls.”