Not sure if you noticed, but there is SOMETHING GOING ON IN MT AIRY. The energy is different and the area. There is a lot more business trying to come to the area as well as a lot of “improvement” of houses, business and other areas in out community.
House values are increasing, more news, more community and police presence and the like. Well we will talk about why…
Let’s first talk the history of the area,,,(taken from a post from Ryan Wallen and Bud Knapp)
In 1750, William Allen, a chief justice for the province of Pennsylvania, built an estate at the corner of modern-day Allens Lane and Germantown Avenue, and named it Mount Airy. Around the turn of the 19th century, the area surrounding the estate, formerly known as Cresheim, began to be known as Mount Airy, adopting the name of Allen’s mansion.
“He [Allen] was a British Loyalist and he fled the country and cowered in England while the fighting happened here,” said Brad Maule, the communications specialist with Mt. Airy USA. “The Battle of Germantown [during the American Revolution] really started in front of his property and came down Germantown Avenue.”
Over the course of the next 150 years, Mount Airy, much like the present day, became a place where diversity was encouraged and accepted among residents. In particular, during the 1850s, the Johnson House became a safe-haven for runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad.
As Philadelphia grew in size thanks to industrialization, the neighborhood of Mount Airy eventually became incorporated into the city in 1854.
(Info from Free Library of Philadelphia Wadsworth Ave Branch)
The Wadsworth area became part of the city of Philadelphia in 1854. Prior to a housing boom that began in the 1940’s, the area was open woodlands and farms. … Wadsworth Ave and Michener Street were named after two old family farms and were two of the original streets.
Fast forward to NOW. You may not realize it but this NW area of Philadelphia is the LAST AREA in a city wide project to revitalize EVERY area of the city. In other words, they saved the BEST FOR LAST.
You now see the beginnings of that. The push comes all the way from Wayne Ave up to the edges of Bells Mill, Ivy Hill Road and Germantown Ave. You see home values increasing, you see the possible “issues” with “gentrification” and many renovations of homes as well as other changes (mall stores, businesses, etc.).
So, what now?
Well it depends, if you choose to stay in this amazing area then you can expect some changes in the community dynamic as well as increased values for your property. You can also count on business developers descending onto the area to take part in the boom. If I were not from the area, I would. You may also see a small increase in Real Estate taxes (although this area was already “over taxed” a bit prior and escaped the city’s new assessment increases a couple years ago).
Here are a couple ways you can STAY and stay involved and connected to the community and keep pace with the development:
- If you do renovations to your house, get permits, get an abatement. This will allow you to not be caught by tax increases. Call me if you are not sure what I mean or Google it. Well, I will provide a link: https://www.phila.gov/OPA/AbatementsExemptions/Pages/default.aspx
- Stay involved: Dorothy Emanuel Rec Center Advisory Council, Mt Airy USA, Germantown Community Organizations, Nicetown Community Center, Wadsworth Business Community and many other organizations.
Get out on a high note and on a positive for the next phase of your life.
- Make sure if you are going to sell, find an agent from or familiar with the community to be able to have them work for you to get the best deal for you to fund your next adventure.
- Possibly decide to rent out that family home. If you can’t see parting with it, rent it out but be sure to be HANDS ON or hire someone that does (Property manager) to make sure not to leave your old neighbors with unruly or unreasonably tenants.
I can talk on and on about the what these changes will mean, the statistics and other facets but I will leave it here with these nuts and bolts ideas and you can always call or email me for more specific info about what it might mean to you specifically.
Until next time.
Dirk, your friendly neighborhood Real Estate Agent