Living in a small rowhouse in Manayunk 35 years ago, Rene and Ron deBerardinis faced a dilemma.
They wanted a large house in a good neighborhood to raise their two children but weren’t sure they could afford one.
They found the solution in a corner duplex on a tree-lined street in Roxborough. The house had an income-producing apartment with a private entrance, which has not only helped them pay off the mortgage but also financed their vacations and travel.
“It was a perfect setup for us,” says Rene, director of library services for a Philadelphia private school. “It was affordable and had enough space for each of the kids to have their own room.
“And I fell in love with the porch. It’s awesome. We enjoy the outside. We chat with neighbors. And there’s lots of shade.”
But with retirement looming in a few years, the couple plans to eventually move out West, where the children now live.
The main living space has three bedrooms and 1½ baths, and the second-floor apartment has two bedrooms, a bath and a kitchen.
It is presently occupied by a tenant who would like to stay but could also be used as a mother-in-law apartment.
Ron, account manager for a waste management company, says the house also could be converted to single-family use by simply removing a partial wall.
The house, built in 1918, is almost 4,000 square feet and has original woodwork, a brick-and-marble mantle, double French doors, and hardwood floors.
The first floor has an open floor plan with a sun porch, the living room, a family room and an eat-in kitchen.
The downstairs has a large finished basement/game room, office nook, partially finished laundry area and powder room.
There is off-street parking with a three-car driveway.
The house is near several entrances to Valley Green/Wissahickon Park, public transportation, and a public golf course.
It is listed by Charles Davies of Redfin Corp. for $549,900.