Many homeowners have long and complicated stories about their search for the perfect home, but Martha Repman isn’t one of them.

Taking a copy of her will to her lawyer, she found him raking leaves, handed it to him, and happened to mention that she was looking for a home to buy.

“Oh, I have one,” he said. “I’m representing the estate.”

The two of them drove over and soon she owned the Chestnut Hill twin where she would live for the next 39 years.

The kitchen looks out over the back garden.
Tony Wells
The kitchen looks out over the back garden.

“It looked like just what I wanted except there was no fireplace and no front porch,” says Repman, who retired in 2005 as manager of the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library.

But everything else worked out. She had been renting in Chestnut Hill for several years and wanted to buy a home that would also represent an investment for her eventual retirement.

Over time she would update the windows, replace the roof and add high-velocity central air conditioning to the house, built in 1895. And she had a wonderful back yard and stone patio.

Black-and-white flooring at the entry provides visual interest.
Tony Wells
Black-and-white flooring at the entry provides visual interest.

Just as important, she enjoyed the neighborhood to which she moved from Center City in the mid-1970s.

“It’s a wonderful, strong community,” she says, where several neighbors have keys to her house, and people feed each others’ pets when needed. Shopping and two Regional Rail stations are nearby. Block parties are regular events.

The street she lives on virtually disappears into the Wissahickon woods.

The walls of the three-bedroom, 1½ bath house have recently been painted and the pine floors refinished.

The yards surrounding the home have been well-tended and are filled with perennials, bulbs, and native shrubs.

Living and dining areas are combined into one large space and the kitchen has wood flooring and a section of the original cabinetry. The windows above the sink overlook the rear yard and capture the afternoon light.

But now, with the investment in the home paving the way, it’s time for Repman and her husband, retired biochemistry professor Neville Kallenbach, to move to a nearby retirement community.

“It makes sense to move when you can establish a network,” she says.

The property is listed by Tony Wells of Compass Realty for $445,000.

The spacious rear yard and patio were especially appealing to the current owner.
Tony Wells
The spacious rear yard and patio were especially appealing to the current owner.