Part of our coverage area is the City of Philadelphia. Obviously, being located just outside the city limits of the 5th largest metropolitan market in the county, it would be a pretty poor business decision not to appraise properties in Philadelphia.
The other day I was in South Philly...one of my favorite parts of the City. South Philly is a patchwork of small neighborhoods, each with their own character and flavor. This stems from the immigrant population that used to live in these tight knit communities when they were built to house factory workers in the late 1800's thru 1940's. Each group (Italians, Irish, Germans, Jewish, etc.) imprinted their own ethnicity and personality on the neighborhoods.
Frankly, it's what makes South Philly great!
The most common housing type in South Philly is the 2-story, flat front row house. They are anywhere between 11' to 16' (the masons weren't too exacting) wide and typically have 2 to 4 bedrooms. It was easy to build them quickly and at a high density. It's not uncommon to have 60 homes or more in one city block.
Being that the houses were so bland and homogeneous, there wasn't much a builder could do to make his product different from the next builder's. Some used shutters and ornate cornices, but others used the front door to make their statement.
This South Philly red door is a prime example of how Philadelphia builders at the turn of the last century added a little curb appeal to their homes. This door is original with it's "keyhole" shaped leaded glass window, brass mail slot and old "crank" style doorbell. It really sets this house apart from the others on the block.
Funny how curb appeal is still so important when it comes to real estate.