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.

The exterior of the three-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath house.
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The exterior of the three-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath house.

“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 living room.
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The living room.

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 main level has an open floor plan, including the kitchen and dining area.
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The main level has an open floor plan, including the kitchen and dining area.

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.

Part of the property is currently an apartment with a private entrance.
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Part of the property is currently an apartment with a private entrance.