Finding real estate bargains near some of Philadelphia's higher-performing schools can be next to impossible. Cruise through listings in West Philly's Penn Alexander catchment for an idea of how impossible.

Encompassing the Philadelphia neighborhoods from South Street to Christian Street, from Columbus Boulevard to 9th Street (with a few exceptions south of Catherine), the Meredith Catchment runs through Queen Village and Bella Vista. The school is known to be high-performing, and real estate prices in the area have risen accordingly. Redfin calculates the median home price in the desirable catchment to be about $536,500.

Below, a few homes to be had for less than $400,000. Which doesn't make them a steal, but does save you considerably compared with the average neighborhood home.

440 Fitzwater Street
$389,000
Square footage: 1,344
In a Family Way
: Lots of space for families to play outside at this property. Exposed brick on walls and flooring give this home plenty of period detail inside. Plus, the walk to school will be a short one: the home is across the street from Meredith School.

123 Bainbridge Street #3
$309,900
Square footage: 934
In a Family Way
:  Not only is this home in the Meredith catchment, it's steps from Spruce Street Harbor Park and Washington Green. Who needs a lawn? We love the updated kitchen in this cozy condo.

525 Fitzwater Street, Apt 1
$274,000
In a Family Way:
If you're sharing a bathroom with your kids, it helps to have a spa-like atmosphere with gorgeous tile and Jacuzzi tub like the one in this darling home.

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