When Carolin Minet and her husband were moving to Philadelphia in 2016, they had a very specific wish list. They couldn't find what they were looking for on the market, so they decided to build it instead.

"We were searching for an energy-efficient and smaller home closer to the Wissahickon," she said. "As there was nothing appealing out there, we purchased a lot and built with the help of an architect and builder."

One of the bedrooms.
Jim Albert
One of the bedrooms.

The result was a four-bedroom, two-bath, single-family home on a 0.4-acre lot on the edge of Wissahickon Valley Park in West Mount Airy. The home features year-round park views, which Minet says are among her favorite features.

The minimalist home boasts 14-foot ceilings as well as such luxury finishes as triple-glazed Alpen windows, a Velux skylight that closes automatically when rain begins, and radiant-heated Scandinavian white oak flooring.

Jim Albert

The property was also designed for minimal environmental impact, meeting passive house standards. In addition to super insulation, the property includes recovery ventilation designed to keep energy bills low.

"Great insulation," Minet said. We have "very low bills on heating and cooling."

Outside, the property features wildlife-certified gardens that are home to native plants, as well as hummingbirds and a box turtle.

Jim Albert

Minet said her family has enjoyed its private nature preserve in West Mount Airy, especially given its serene setting with proximity to the rest of the city.

"We are close to school and co-op, right on trailheads," she said. It's "20 minutes to the airport and a short car ride from Center City."

She said a change in work will be taking the family away from the treasure they built on the banks of the creek.

"We are moving over the big pond due to a work transfer," she said.

The house is listed with Craig Wakefield of BHHS Fox & Roach for $845,000.

Jim Albert