What Philly Home Are You?

Brick row houses in Society Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

When you think of city living, you may picture condos in high-rise buildings more than single-family homes. While that may be true in most big cities, Philadelphia has a unique style all its own. Rowhouses are a defining feature of the Philly skyline and can be found in both old and new architectural styles in neighborhoods such as Society Hill, Fishtown, Fitler Square, and Brewerytown. These townhouses are hardly cookie-cutter, however, as they reflect the trends of different time periods and influences. Which style of Philly home speaks to you? Let’s look at the types of real estate options that you can consider.

In a Row

It isn’t difficult to understand why The City of Brotherly Love is known for its rowhouses; after all, this type of home accounts for the majority of homes in coveted and up-and-coming neighborhoods throughout the city. They can be anywhere from two to four stories tall, and they are prevalent because the grid layout of the city allowed builders to use limited space efficiently. Here are some of the different kinds of rowhouses:

•        Trinity or bandbox rowhouses are the smallest, typically three stories taking up 1,000 square feet or less, hence the reference to the Holy Trinity. They have one room per floor, with a space-saving spiral staircase along one side of the townhouse. These may have been working-class housing in the past, but they are highly desirable today, especially for people inspired by the tiny house movement or those looking to buy a piece of Philadelphia history.

•        London style houses offer more room, with two rooms and a side hall per floor. These houses are mostly brick structures and offer a bit of formality in the front of the house with more privacy in the back. Generally, these homes offer a rear yard, and a more contemporary style staircase.

•        Airlites are a more modern form of rowhouse, making their appearance on the city streets in the 1940s. These houses have a wider footprint, allowing two adjacent rooms, such as a kitchen and dining room, rather than one or two rooms in a row. 

•        Twin homes are essentially semi-attached homes were you share a common wall with only one neighbor, but thanks to owners’ preferences, they can look more fraternal rather than identical. The variance in color and features can be eclectic, but ultimately, they work in their own quirky way. Twin homes offer additional light, a side yard and are generally larger than a typical row homes 

•        You might have also heard about the “Typical” or “Standard” Philly row home, which, as you can see from above, there is nothing standard about the different Philadelphia row home styles. What most people will refer to it as the typical or standard row home consists of living, dining, and kitchen on the first floor, three bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor.  Those that are lucky enough, have an additional 3rd story with two more bedrooms. Over the years people have added additional bathrooms to the third floor to create an amazing master suite. 

Time for a Townhouse Which townhome style are you?  You can also find newer versions of townhouses with more modern conveniences and upgrades, which means that no matter what kind of real estate you are looking for, chances are good that it can be had in Philly. Start your rowhouse search by contacting Ian Perler Team. We can show you what’s on the market in your favorite neighborhoods and help you with buying or selling.