On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
By the time Dana Harbison's three kids grew up and moved out of her Blue Bell home in 2004, she was ready to start the next chapter of her life in a new house.
Harbison, a Montgomery County native, didn't want to move far, but she didn't necessarily want to downgrade either. An empty nester, Harbison wanted a place that had enough space to accommodate her family when they visited.
Just a few miles away in Lower Gwynedd, she looked at a 5,000-square-foot modern home at 911 Lorien Drive that seemed like the perfect fit.
It was architecturally significant, energy efficient, and even had an indoor pool. As an avid swimmer – Harbison swam for Germantown Academy's first season in 1968 under Olympic swimming coach Dick Shoulberg – she loved the idea of being able to do laps at any time.
All of these features were too good to pass up, so Harbison purchased the home in August 2004.
She was the second homeowner to move in, as the house was custom-built in 1985 by the first owners. The home was designed by prominent architect Arnold Trueblood, who is well-known throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties.
"The quality of workmanship is incredible," Harbison said. "When you walk up the stairs there are no squeaks – just solid construction and workmanship. There is a lot of wood that complements the areas that are painted."
Harbison, an acupuncture therapist in Fort Washington, refers to the home as a "Yin and Yang" house because one side of it – where the bedrooms are located – is dark, and the other side – where the pool was built – is much brighter.
"The southern exposure is mostly glass which allows for light to flood in during the daylight hours," she said. "The opposite north side has a few windows and less light exposure."
Although this home is larger than her last, Harbison says she has saved hundreds of dollars per month in utilities because of the geothermal heating and air-conditioning. Plus, about two years ago, she installed solar panels on the roof to heat the pool and provide hot water to the house.
In the nine years she has lived in the home, Harbison says she has spent about $300,000 on renovations. The major updates include the kitchen – she redid the island, put in cork flooring and bought a new custom-made table – as well as the solar panels.
Harbison says her favorite feature has to be the pool, which she says she swam in every night before bed. (Her son Tom Paradiso, a 2008 Olympic rower who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, stored his row boat on the pool deck over the years.)
Other special features include a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the living room, and a large master bedroom suite with custom closets.
The home is situated on one-and-a-third acres, with a backyard deck that overlooks the grounds and a Koi pond.
Now after enjoying her time in the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home, Harbison has put the property on the market for $999,900. Her kids, and now three young grandchildren, have shared many memories in the home, but Harbison says she's ready for a smaller property.
"It's time for a family to move in and bring it alive again," Harbison says.