Having grown up and then raised four kids of her own on the Main Line, Lavinia Smerconish is exactly what any discerning home buyer or seller wants in a real estate agent: someone who is plugged in to her community and has a high level of expertise from years of buying and selling homes in the Greater Philadelphia Area’s most desirable neighborhoods. Those assets are exactly what have brought her so many repeat clients over the years.
“Not only do they come back again, but I’m now helping their children,” says Smerconish, a Realtor with F o x & Roach. “I started this when I was very young and had sort of a young client base. And now these kids are getting married and their parents are coming back and I’m helping their kids find houses. Being brought into somebody’s life in a generational way, it’s heartwarming.”
Smerconish, who has a team of nine professionals working out of her office, is an expert in the listing and sale of homes on Philadelphia’s Main Line and surrounding counties. And although she does everything from high-end 40,000-square-foot homes to $1,500-a-mon th rentals, Smerconish is always e nergized by the opportunity to work with one-of-a-kind properties.
“My approach to marketing is one tha t s eems to be a good fit for unique properties,” she says. A Stunner in G ladwyne One current listing that has her excited is a gorgeous Artisan Revival-styled, three-story, six bedroom home located on Monk Road in Gladwyne. This premier custom-built home is available on a single parcel of 8.03 acres or with an adjacent lot of 6.6 acres. Smerconish says the previous owners who built the home used it as a repository of their eclectic travel experiences, so every detail was carefully considered in the building process as a way to bring mementoes from their far-flung travels i nto the house.
“The home is more curated than constructed,” she says. “These people traveled extensively, pulled different sorts of m eaningful design types or styles from their travels and incorporated it all into their house.”
The property’s allure begins long befo re you s tep foot into the home. Smerconish says prospective buyers will be taken in as they drive up to the home. To get there, one must pass a g ate and then turn left through shoulder-high stone walls that are finished with brick lattice.
“The approach is absolutely beaut if ul,” Smerconish says. “It’s very private, and it’s very beautiful. You’d have no idea what lays beyond that fencing.”
As you enter the h ome, the architecture is stri king because of the turn of the century craftsmanship that was used.
“You go inside and you’re unclear as to whether this has been an existing residence that is 80 or 100 years old,” she says. “But the form and function of it is new construct ion, as it’s only 14 ye ars old.”
With design that pivots easily from contemporary to traditional, the home features reclaimed floors, se nsitive mosaic domed ceilings, stone floors, extensive millwork, quatrefoil plaster ceiling and wrought-iron detailing. It also boast s p lenty of available wall and gallery space to showcase art pieces, photography and more. “It has specialty lighting to highlight diff er ent pieces of art,” Smerconish says. “But in the stone bar as well as in the dining room, entertaining is done by candlelight. It’s a v ery, very cool house.”
A lso included in the more than 14,700 square feet of living space is seven full bathrooms and four half-baths, an in door pool, a steam shower, a gym, an in-home theater with stadium seating, a game room, a batting cage and a sweeping, bluestone terrac e. The home is partia lly powered by solar panels and has a total of five fireplaces in the living room, the family room, the master bed room, the library and on the terrace.
Located on a dead-end street, the home’s private lot is surrounded by mature landscaping, but it’ s also centrally located to nearby attractions in Philadelphia and on the Main Line. Despite its secluded location, it’s only two turns from the entrance of the Schuylkill Expressway and just 20 min utes away from Center City.
“It is a very livable, very conscientiously design ed family house,” Smerconish says.
A Taste of the Hamptons in Haverford
Another one of Smerconish’s properties that she is e age r to sho w off to pote nti a l buyers is an elegant Coloni al-style h om e with a pain ted stone and clapboard-clad exterior. Located in Haverf o rd, this property is within walking distance of Merion Golf Club, the historic private go l f co u rse that has hosted some of professional golf ’s most memorable events, including the 2013 U.S. Open.
Positioned on a double lot, the 92-year-old home has been completely renovat ed . The three-story structure has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, in addition to a swimming pool, tennis courts, a pool house and a guest house.
“It has sort of an ease about it,” Smerconish says. “It has strong architectural elements but doesn’t take itself too serious l y.”
At approximately 7,300 square feet, this house is not too much or too little, according to Smerconish.
“It’s not a huge house, and yet it’s very impressive when you drive by it with the sprawling lawn and deep patios with striped awnings,” Smerconish says. “It’s al most more Hamptons th an Philadelphia’s Main Line.” The construction of the home is wood and stone and the roof is cedar shake.
“It’s a ve ry welcoming, humble, unpretentious house but it has very strong design elements on the inside,” she says.
These two featured listings, among other s, can be viewed any time on her website, LaviniaSmerconish.com. Smerconish welcomes prospective buyers to call for mo re information.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, February 2018.