Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood is bursting with history. Originally founded as its own independent township in the 1600s, Germantown became a part of the city of Philadelphia when the Consolidation Act was passed in 1854. Plenty of famous figures, including George Washington, lived in the neighborhood at one point. With Revolutionary history situated beside modern amenities and businesses, Germantown residents enjoy a mix of the historical and the contemporary.
Just over 25,000 people currently reside in Germantown, with many residing in the older homes that predominate the area.
But don’t worry: You’re not limited to 300-year-old historic homes in the area. Germantown has many housing options to choose from, including single-family and row homes. The average sales price of a home in Germantown is $255,261, or about $130 per square foot. Typically, homes sell for $4,307 less than their listing price.
Although the neighborhood has deep ties to its historical roots, plans are in the works for newer housing. The former Germantown YWCA is slated to transform into approximately 36 apartments with stores and community spaces on the first floor. The YWCA is just one of 4,000 vacant buildings in the area that can be given new life — and transformed into new housing.
If you’re a history buff or want to live in the city while remaining close to nature, Germantown is the ideal Philly neighborhood for you. Historic Germantown is made up of 16 historic homes and sites, including the Germantown White House, the Cliveden mansion and the Awbury Arboretum.
Several historic homes and sites are located in Vernon Park, which also doubles as public green space for residents of Germantown. Renovations to the park from 2013 through 2015 included the addition of new lighting, a children’s playground and fitness equipment for adults. The Friends of Vernon Park, one of the city’s oldest volunteer groups, hold open member meetings on Wednesdays and plan events like the fall and spring bazaars.
Germantown Avenue remains a major thoroughfare through the neighborhood, connecting it to Chestnut Hill in the north. Once the site of major department stores such as Rowell’s and Woolworth’s, the street is now home to more modern retail shops and other amenities. While the area might not be the shopping corridor it once was, plentiful shops and restaurants are just a few miles away.
Getting Around Town
Germantown is well-served by public transportation. According to SEPTA, the Route 23 bus (it was a trolley way back in the day) travels up and down Germantown Avenue 24 hours a day. The route travels north to Chestnut Hill and south to Center City. If taking the bus isn’t your thing, two regional rail lines serve the area, the Chestnut Hill West and Chestnut Hill East lines. While the length of your commute will vary based on your transportation option of choice, it typically takes 20 to 30 minutes to get into Center City from the neighborhood.
Germantown offers plenty of house for your buck, plus a chance to fully immerse yourself in the history of Philadelphia and the U.S. While it’s not as full of shops, restaurants and cafes as other parts of the city, it can be a perfect place to call home if you’re looking for city living with a bit of peace and quiet. Check out Owners.com to see what listings are currently available in the neighborhood.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.
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