When Andy Rachlin and his wife, Lindsay, bought their single-family Mount Airy home in 2013, they had one goal and one benefit in mind.
“Lindsay is a professional photographer, and the house had space for her to create an amazing studio with tons of beautiful light and some really special touches,” Rachlin said.
The couple immediately envisioned a spiral staircase in the space, which they installed not long after making the purchase.
“We also had dreams of running in the Wissahickon,” he said. “Though I have to admit, we’ve walked more than we’ve run.”
The eight-bedroom, 5,024-square-foot home was smaller and less modern when the couple bought it. In addition to installing the studio, Rachlin said, they upgraded the heating and hot water systems and worked to widen the driveway, installing retaining walls and a tiered garden space along the way.
Today, Rachlin said, it’s not the sunroom or the custom, eat-in kitchen that the couple loves most about their home; it’s the porches.
“The front porch gets a great breeze in the summer and is a fun place to sit with neighbors and watch the world go by,” he said.
The sleeping porch off the master bedroom also offers respite. “Laying in a hammock and reading a book out there in the evening is about as relaxing as life gets,” Rachlin said.
Because the property abuts Wissahickon park, the fence behind the home leads to an obscured path into the park.
“The almost-hidden door into the Wissahickon from the back yard has a bit of a ‘secret garden’ feel to it, too,” Rachlin said.
In addition to the home’s unique elements, the family has also loved living in the neighborhood.
“Mount Airy is all the things people say it is. Every Saturday and Sunday I’m in High Point Cafe with my kids, and everyone knows us,” he said. “ The fact that we can do that very urban thing, and then 15 minutes later we’re walking by Wissahickon Creek, is pretty special.”
Rachlin said it was his and Lindsay’s habit of visiting open houses for fun that led to their decision to sell the home.
“We’ve always especially been drawn to the small-town feel of Narberth, with its volunteer fire company and old-fashioned Fourth of July celebrations,” he said. “We thought we might give that a try.”
He said he expects buyers to be drawn to the property’s combination of old and new.
“The open floor plan, big eat-in kitchen, natural light on all sides, and big closets throughout are very unusual things to find in old houses,” he said. “You get all the character and build quality of an old house without a lot of the compromises that often come with them.”
The home is listed with Jason Delp at Coldwell Banker for $650,000.