One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities.
They call it Wor-ces-ter.
"Not Wooster, that is in Massachusetts," says Gary Segal of Keller Williams Real Estate in Blue Bell, who sells a lot of real estate in this township at the geographic center of Montgomery County.
You'll find the exact center at Routes 363 and 73, he says, in what is known, aptly, as Center Point.
"Worcester is awesome," says Diane Williams, an agent with Weichert Realtors in Blue Bell who is working on a listing there.
"It is a funny little place," says Segal, "and not a lot of people are aware of it. Drive down Route 73 from Blue Bell, and Lansdale is on one side of the road and Collegeville on the other."
Notes Williams: "The Worcester Township zip code, 19440, is much more prestigious than other addresses."
Yet there are no deliveries from the Worcester post office, "and if you want to be in that zip code, you have to pick up your mail there," Segal says.
Worcester Township is one of those still-rural suburban communities, with big houses on two-acre lots, an almost even split between sewers and septic tanks, and relatively little new development compared with many of the adjacent communities.
"There are many residents in Worcester who want to keep it the way it is, so when land comes up for sale, they buy it so it won't be developed," Segal says.
That said, Toll Bros.' Preserve at Worcester, single-family houses on the edge of the township near the Blue Bell border, is selling briskly, with prices of "$600,000 to $800,000 and more," Segal says.
In May, the township turned down a proposal by David Cutler Homes to buy the 148-acre Center Square Golf Club on Skippack Pike to build a residential life-care facility with 170 carriage houses, 164 villas, and 141 independent living/senior assisted-living, personal-care units.
Cutler is appealing the decision, Williams says.
Even one, albeit large, new development creates competition for resales, Segal says, yet there is demand for large houses on big lots by the families attracted to the township.
Prices, Segal says, range from under $200,000 (of which there are relatively few) to $1 million or more.
"Most of the sales are between $400,000 and $800,000," Segal says.
The higher-priced homes are a buyer's market, he notes, because sales are slower, while the lower price points are a seller's market.
"This is not a place where you will find younger buyers," he says. "It is a little too quiet."
Those who do buy here, Williams says, are families looking for larger houses and bigger lots in the Methacton School District, which is ranked 37th in Pennsylvania.
One of the more desirable places to live, both agents say, is Fawn Creek.
Keller Williams "sold there when it was new, in the late 1990s, and that helped establish us in the Worcester market," Segal says.
Fawn Creek was a large, high-end (million-dollar) community and one of the first with public sewer, public water, and public gas, Williams says.
"It was unusual in that there were many different builders doing custom homes and made for a beautiful community," she says.
Hollow Road is one of the main entries to Fawn Creek. Zaveta Custom Homes of Doylestown has been building new high-end homes there priced at $1.4 million to $1.8 million.
Many parks and walking trails can be found through the township, including pocket parks among the 35 acres of open space at Toll's Preserve at Worcester.
A portion of Evansburg State Park is in Worcester, Williams says.
Although there are some restaurants and other businesses here, Segal says, there is little large industry and few commercial companies, so the township has a limited tax base.
"There was a Ford company on Morris Road, but that closed a number of years ago," Williams says.
For years, private septic systems dominated most areas of the township.
"This has changed in recent years, but there is still some high-end construction with private septic systems," she says.
The zoning map shows a large amount of land still zoned agricultural and "land preservation district," Williams says.
In other words, rural.
Town By Town: Worcester By the Numbers
Population: 9,750 (2010)
Median household income: $77,200
Area: 16.2 square miles
Settlements in the last three months: 45
Homes for sale: 92
Average days on market: 73
Median sale price: $340,000
Housing stock: 3,026 units, from historic houses to large million-dollar-plus new construction
School district: Methacton
SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau; Diane Williams, Weichert Realtors; Gary Segal, Keller Williams Real Estate; Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors' HomExpert Market ReportEndText