You really have to like a house and a neighborhood to go the route Kelly Trimble did.
In 2003, Trimble was living in a house she had renovated in Fairmount when she fell in love with a Georgian home in East Kensington.
“It was an up-and-coming neighborhood,” says Trimble, a computer security analyst. “It was a little rough, but there were condos going up nearby. There was a Greensgrow garden center. I knew it would pay off.”
She also loved the area’s history, particularly the iconic milk bottle water tower from the old Harbison’s Dairy.
There was only one problem, and it wasn’t an insignificant one: The three-story house was divided into five small apartments.
So she took out a construction mortgage and started a nine-month conversion into a single-family home.
“We gutted the whole house, but we kept all the cool architectural features,” she says. “The marble in the foyer, the staircase, the trim in the front [living] room, the banister.”
She redid the kitchen with cherry cabinets and stripped out a shed to allow an open-concept dining and entertaining space, with access to the back yard through French doors.
The living room now has 10½-foot ceilings with the original woodwork, marble hearth, and three large windows letting in light..
The second floor has two bedrooms, one a master bedroom with double closets and antique oak doors, and a hallway bathroom that houses the laundry. A dual balcony overlooks the back yard.
The third floor has a bedroom and a bathroom with stand-up shower and soaking tub.
All windows are wood frame and were replaced in the renovation.
Nonetheless, it’s time for Trimble to move on. She is returning to her native Canada to be closer to family.
“I’m very torn about leaving,” she says. "A lot of the neighbors have been here for a long time. It’s very close-knit, friendly. There are so many places to eat, so many places to go.”
The property is listed with Joseph Fonash of Keller Williams Philadelphia for $550,000.