Philadelphia | $373,000
A 1920 rowhouse with two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, on a 683-square-foot lot
This brick house is in the East Passyunk Crossing neighborhood in South Philadelphia, about two miles from Center City and close to restaurants (currently with street dining), vintage stores, cafes, parks and the Singing Fountain at East Passyunk Avenue north of Tasker Street, which belts out Sinatra and other standards from hidden speakers.
Size: 1,100 square feet
Price per square foot: $339
Indoors: The two-story house has an open-plan lower floor with refinished parquet flooring in the living area at the front. Beyond an archway is a dining area and the kitchen. The kitchen was updated several years ago with wood floors, white cabinets, subway tile and stainless steel appliances. Sliding-glass doors at the back open to a walled patio. There is also a half bathroom on this floor.
Upstairs are two bedrooms, front and back, which are (unusually for this housing type) almost of equal size. Between them is a walk-in closet or home-office space. The skylighted bathroom has a combined tub and shower and a black-and-white-tile floor.
A washer and dryer are in the unfinished basement.
Outdoor space: The rear patio includes a built-in storage bench.
Contact: Joe Brady, Team Damis, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox & Roach Realtors, 267-401-4291; teamdamis.com
Castleton, Vt. | $375,000
A converted 1893 Catholic church with five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.71-acre lot
The rumor attached to this Victorian church building, formerly St. John the Baptist, is that it was abandoned in the 1970s because it lacked a center aisle and was considered undesirable for weddings. (Its successor is cater-corner across Main Street.) After sitting vacant for several years, the building was transformed in the 1980s into a home and art gallery. The current owners bought it five years ago to use as a residence and made many structural and cosmetic improvements, including fresh paint inside and out.
The house is in a college town of about 4,600, about 15 miles west of Rutland, Vt., and 30 miles west of the Killington ski area. Boston is slightly more than three hours southeast. This property is in the town center, a couple of blocks from restaurants, a library, an elementary school and the campus of Castleton University. Lake Bomoseen is a short drive west.
Size: 4,179 square feet
Price per square foot: $90
Indoors: Up a raised porch, through a refinished double doorway, you enter a foyer with hardwood floors and a staircase with a spiral-carved newel post. Turning left takes you into a living and dining room with a four-year-old pellet stove. Beyond is the larger of the home’s two kitchens. Installed by previous owners about seven years ago, this kitchen has wood cabinets with Vermont-slate countertops, backsplashes faced in narrow rectangular tiles and a pantry closet. The sellers added a hand-built wood-topped peninsula.
The kitchen leads out on the other side to the original nave, a room with a soaring, curved ceiling, stained-glass windows with laboriously stripped moldings and a raised wooden floor extending from what was once the altar. Glass doors and a large casement window on the altar wall were added during the conversion.
An enclosure built out at the back of this space, with an arched window and a balcony, was also part of the conversion and used to display art. It currently contains a closet and a home office.
Off the living and dining room is an in-law suite. The railing under the archway between the bedroom and sitting room was borrowed from the altar. The gutted and refinished bathroom includes a stone-tile-and-glass walk-in shower and a vanity cabinet found in a consignment shop and garnished with a copper sink. The kitchen was part of the original conversion; its cabinets are repurposed chestnut pews. A breakfast bar connects this space to a second sitting area to the left of the front door.
The owners tore out the low ceiling over the staircase and built a faceted, vaulted timber ceiling that complements the wainscot and the newly exposed wood steps. The original choir loft became the multilevel master bedroom; double glass doors lead to a small, carpeted room at the base of the bell tower (access to the tower is through a trapdoor in the ceiling). Another bedroom is off the interior balcony overlooking the nave. A third upstairs bedroom has interesting ceiling angles.
Outdoor space: The sellers added a backyard deck and a two-car garage, and moved the shed (which has a stained-glass window) to the back of the property.
Contact: Sue Bishop, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, 802-558-2180; sothebysrealty.com
Austin, Texas | $360,000
A one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium in a 2007 building
This condo is in East Austin, less than two miles from downtown via East Sixth Street, in an area packed with restaurants, bars, breweries, shops, galleries and yoga studios. The Lady Bird Lake Trail starts a mile west.
The unit is on the fourth (and top) floor, in the northwest corner. The building has 68 units, 60 of which are residential and eight retail or office.
Size: 958 square feet
Price per square foot: $376
Indoors: The interior is loft-like, with high ceilings, track lighting and polished concrete floors. A short hallway leads from the entrance, past a built-in desk, to the kitchen and dining area. The seller updated the kitchen, painting the cabinets gray and adding a blue-tile backsplash. He also installed a custom walnut storage unit on a wall that holds two bicycles.
The dining area flows into a living space with large, wood-framed windows, ending in a wall with sliding-glass doors that open to a balcony. To the left, floor-to-ceiling frosted-glass doors lead into a bedroom that has a closet with a stacked washer and dryer. The bathroom, which can be reached from both the bedroom and the hallway, has a combination tub-shower and a double vanity with a black-granite top.
The seller changed out all the lighting fixtures and ceiling fans and added a Google Nest Hub, which controls these things as well as the automated blinds in all the windows.
Outdoor space: The balcony has a steel railing and a partial view of the Rainey Street Historic District. (It used to be a full view, until GoDaddy built its headquarters down the block.) A parking space in a first-floor garage is reserved for the unit.
Taxes: $7,157, plus a $209 monthly homeowner fee
Contact: Debbie Barrera, Realty Austin, 512-203-1912; realtyaustin.com