What To Know Before Selling A Northwest Philadelphia Home

What To Know Before Selling A Northwest Philadelphia Home

Before selling your northwest Philadelphia home, invite potential home buyers to learn about the area's magic. Thanks to the lush parks, immaculate residential properties, excellent private schools and cultural institutions, and a high percentage of homeownership, homes for sale in the northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown enjoy perennial consumer demand. Charming cobblestone streets lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, cafes with outdoor seating in the balmy months, and world-class eateries are all just a pleasant stroll away.

If you’re curious and want to learn more about northwest Philadelphia real estate from a seasoned market expert who happens to also be a regional native and a Chestnut Hill resident, contact Liz Clark.

What to know about Northwest Philadelphia

Historical architecture sets the scene

Chestnut Hill’s development (especially its famed Victorian townhomes and historic mansions) began as long ago as the early 1700s, in the area where Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike intersect. The community was part of Philadelphia County’s German Township until it was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia in the 1854 Act of Consolidation. The neighborhood’s elegant architecture served as wealthy vacationers’ summer mansions and homes for stonemasons, gardeners, carpenters, and blacksmiths, among other trade workers.

Germantown was the first permanent German settlement in the United States. In 1683, 13 families emigrated from Germany and arrived in Philadelphia, spending their first winter in caves along the Delaware River while the settlement was built. Germantown was also the first permanent Mennonite settlement in the United States, and in 1708, the Germantown Mennonite Church was constructed.

The architectural styles of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown include:

  • Queen Anne
  • Tudor
  • Classical Revival
  • Federal
  • Georgian
  • Second Empire
  • Italianate
  • Shingle
  • Cotswold
Owing to its higher elevation than the city center (meaning lower temperatures in summer), the Chestnut Hill area has been a summertime getaway destination for Philadelphia’s elite since the Revolutionary War. Airy, opulent summer mansions were constructed from the 1700s onward. Local history can still be felt in northwest Philadelphia today, with an air of relaxation and leisure from the leafy cobblestone streets and outdoor seating offered by countless artisanal eateries to the bespoke building materials of the residences, including stone, brick, local timber, and imported marble.

Chestnut Hill’s origins are still evident. Once a bedroom community of railroad suburbs just an easy train commute from central Philadelphia, the area retains its small-town feel within the big city.

World-class dining and organic groceries

The City of Brotherly Love is defined by many things, and human connection through food is one of them. Living in Chestnut Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods means easy access to the best ingredients available and a variety of mouthwatering, award-winning restaurants and cafes.

Northwestern Philadelphia’s many destination restaurants include inspired Italian cuisine at Trattoria Moma (don’t miss the truffle risotto), elegant Asian-French fusion from CinCin (the Peking duck will change your life), storied bakery café Cake (seasonal, delicious, and elevated), wood-fired artisanal pizza at the fashionable food truck Pitruco (don’t forget to order ahead!), and white-tablecloth fine dining at the famous Jansen (their glorious aged sirloin with frites and a custom wine pairing will take your breath away).

Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown residents enjoy the benefits of walkable, organic grocery shopping experiences. For fresh and colorful produce grown locally, residents know to visit the legendary farmers' market Market at the Fareway. For specialty groceries and wellness items, the member-owned, cooperative grocery and wellness store Weavers Way Co-op is a neighborhood institution.

Exclusive shopping

Shopping in Mt. Airy, Germantown, and Chestnut Hill offers plentiful options from local craft shops and clothing boutiques, vintage clothing and home goods, and fashion-forward luxury ateliers.

Germantown’s Antique Row has a delightful variety of antique and collectible shops, perfect for a Saturday afternoon with friends and family. Noble Goods focuses on women’s contemporary clothing, while Ten Thousand Villages showcases handmade goods from international artisans, and Serendipity Shops boasts eight rooms of antique and vintage treasures. Pop-up boutique shops change seasonally along Germantown Avenue, offering access to exclusive clothing and home goods.

Excellent schools

Prospective homebuyers will be delighted by the excellent educational offerings in the Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown neighborhoods. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy is a top-rated local private school educating young people aged 18 months all the way through high school, with rave reviews from generations of parents and highly successful students.

Other top schools in the area include The Crefeld School, a highly rated private high school with a “dual commitment to social justice and diversity” and a small-by-design learning environment, as well as the Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences, a renowned STEAM-focused public K-8 school, and the independent Quaker pre-K-12 Germantown Friends School.

Philadelphia’s Garden District

Photo Courtesy of Friends of the Wissahickon

Chestnut Hill is also known as Philadelphia’s Garden District. The tree-lined streets, gorgeously landscaped yards, and plentiful parks all contribute to the lush elegance of the area. The local abundance and variety of mature trees, flowering shrubs, and diverse native plants not only contribute to a high quality of life, greater longevity, and cleaner air — they make the area simply beautiful.

Nature is a part of life in northwest Philadelphia, with pocket parks dotted throughout the historic shopping districts. On top of those, there is the Morris Arboretum (the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), Pastorius Park (with its annual summer concerts), the yearly Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Festival, local plant shop and luxury landscape service Laurel Hill Gardens, and the 18,000-acre Wissahickon Valley Park.

Each spring, the Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Festival celebrates the season of renewal with attractions including jugglers, stilt walkers, live music, tarot card readings, children’s theater events, book sales from the Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library, dozens of organic plant and garden booths, a sustainability hub, boutique shopping, and over 150 local vendors along historic Germantown Avenue.

Proximity to downtown Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York

Located only 12 miles from Philadelphia’s city center and commutable by car, train, bus, or bike, Chestnut Hill offers residents convenient access to the city. Germantown is even closer at 8.8 miles, and Mt. Airy is located a breezy 11 miles from the city center. Manhattan is only 100 miles away from northwest Philadelphia (1.5 hours by car) and serviced by multiple buses, trains, and highways, as is most of New Jersey, which at its closest point is just 41 miles from northwest Philadelphia.

Northwest Philadelphia real estate

Homes for sale in the luxurious northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown have enjoyed high demand for decades, and neighborhood popularity continues to grow. Access to green spaces, walkability, top restaurants, organic grocery stores, shops, cafes, excellent recreation, and schools — not to mention the old-world charm of the historical architecture — all add up to solid appetites for available local properties. Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown real estate is an asset best navigated with the help of a professional.

Enlist the guidance of an expert

Local expertise and a proven, savvy approach put Liz Clark at the forefront of Philadelphia real estate agents. Buying and selling property in northwest Philadelphia can be competitive and complicated, and details matter. Position yourself for maximum results by contacting Liz Clark today.

Reach out to Liz out now to begin the conversation.  

[email protected]
M: 610-324-9860
O: 267-380-5813

Work With Us

If you’re thinking about selling your home, obsessively scrolling for a house, planning a relocation to the area, or just feel unsure where to start, we can help. Reach out for a zero-pressure 30-minute phone or video meeting to get started. We are here to listen, support, and educate so you can feel confident with your decisions in our swiftly moving market