Home buyers who can afford it will spend $500,000 to get the living space they want in a Pittsburgh neighborhood of their choice, and they may have to bid against multiple offers.
“People are looking for a specific type of house, not just looking for price,” says Justin Cummings, a RE/MAX Select Realty agent. “They’re looking for location, or amenities that come with it, and that’s the price tag you pay.”
A lack of inventory means desirable homes typically attract multiple offers, says Caryn Rosenthal, a Howard Hanna agent in the Shadyside office.
“If you’ve got a great house that’s been updated and you’re pricing it competitively, you’re going to get offers that are over asking and it’s going to go. If it needs work, it’ll still go,” she says.
Among current listings within the city limits, 205 single-family houses or condos are priced at $500,000 or more, although 43 of them are under contract. Over the past six months, 120 homes sold for $500,000 or more, the majority of them under $650,000. That’s a little over 10 percent of the total number of homes that sold—1,684—in that time, says Cummings.
Even at this price range, with its primarily older housing stock, Pittsburgh remains a bargain compared to many cities, these agents say. A townhouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., for example, quickly sells for more than $1 million and might need updating.
“We don’t have much brand new build, but the value’s here and they do appraise,” Rosenthal says of Pittsburgh homes.
Here’s a sampling of listings around $500,000.
Neighborhood: 325 Elysian St., Point Breeze
Asking price: $529,000
Description: Thoughtful renovations combine with many retained period details in this home with four levels of finished living space, says listing agent Tim Gyves of Coldwell Banker. Built in 1990, the house has high ceilings, stained glass windows, pocket doors and built-in storage throughout; its eat-in kitchen has been updated and the third-floor master suite includes a vaulted ceiling and a marble and subway-tiled bathroom. There’s a deck off the kitchen; the fenced backyard, side garden and patio offer privacy and green space. You can walk to Mellon Park, Bakery Square and Reynolds Street businesses.
Neighborhood: 5303 Stanton Ave., Highland Park
Asking price: $499,900
Description: This restored three-story home built in 1907 has five bedrooms, 2.5 baths and almost 4,000 square feet of living space—a rare combination of original features and modern updates, says Arlene Guastella, the listing agent with Achieve Realty. Its architectural details include judges paneling, crown molding, pocket doors, built-in cabinetry, and stained and leaded glass. The remodeled kitchen has Copenhagen granite, a travertine backsplash, and a five-burner gas range. Other features include a sunroom, den, hardwood flooring, four fireplaces, a one-car garage and a courtyard patio.
Neighborhood: 184 44th St., Lawrenceville
Asking price: $499,000
Style: Three-story row house
Description: This Central Lawrenceville property is a high-end, modern renovation of a row house built in 1900, says Michael Silverstein with Malkin Properties. Professionally designed, the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home drew a contingency sale. It makes beautiful use of natural light, brick interior walls and wood beams. The modern kitchen is done in white; the master suite has marble in its bathroom and a huge walk-in closet. In the heart of one of Pittsburgh’s hottest neighborhoods, this home has a fenced backyard with a patio. The location is within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and tech companies located nearby, or by bike to the Strip District and Downtown.
Neighborhood: 207 Park Road, Rosslyn Farms
Asking price: $450,000
Description: This five-bedroom, 2.5-bath home, located across from the park, greets visitors with an exquisite front porch of teakwood flooring and a solid oak door. The interior has a mid-century feel, with a Frank Lloyd Wright-esque kitchen, says RE/MAX Select agent Maggie Jayson. “The owner is a designer and they’ve put a lot into it,” says Jayson. The plaster has been refinished; an addition has Pella windows. The kitchen has custom cherry cabinets, an island, Miele espresso/coffee maker, a pantry and convection oven. The dining room has oak built-ins. The master suite has a dressing room/office that also has built-ins. This house has new HVAC, electric panel and hot water tank. There’s a detached two-car garage. “Rosslyn Farms is a unique neighborhood,” says Jayson. “It’s definitely got a sense of community, with sidewalks, community gatherings, a monthly newsletter, parks, a pool, and a women’s book club. It’s a great place to be.”
Neighborhood: 300 Newburn Drive, Mt. Lebanon
Asking price: $479,000
Description: This home has Old World charm with modern updates, says Howard Hanna agent Cindy Sunseri. Its brick walkway and gardens add curb appeal, and an abundance of windows means natural light throughout the home. The living room has a stone fireplace, hardwood floors and an alcove with a wall of windows. The kitchen has a breakfast bar, and the oversized family room has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and accent stone wall. A sunroom leads to a large deck. The first floor also has a powder room. Four bedrooms are on the second floor; the master bedroom has a walk-in closet and en suite that adjoins the main bath.