A decade ago, says Kitty Onufer, a buyer shopping for a $200,000 home might have been willing to take on “a project.”
That’s not the case in Pittsburgh these days, says Onufer, an agent with RE/MAX Realty Brokers.
“I find the millennials are really busy, more minimalist, and they’re looking for something in move-in condition unless it’s a real steal,” says Onufer, a lifelong resident of the city and its eastern suburbs.
People who work Downtown or in the Strip District look for a place that lets them walk or ride their bicycles to work. “Convenience is a big factor, as is low maintenance,” she says. “In certain areas of the city, parking’s at a premium.”
Singles and newly married couples often choose trendy neighborhoods such as Lawrenceville or Bloomfield, but many couples move to suburban communities when they have children, says Onufer. She’s careful about steering people, though she’ll suggest websites to check for statistics on neighborhoods or will point out maintenance factors such as the need to repaint a frame house.
“I’m not going to sell a house just to sell a house,” she says. “I always try to imagine if someone bought a house and got transferred in three or four years, would I be able to sell that house quickly? If the answer’s no, that tells me something. I’ll say, ‘You know, I don’ think this is the house for you.’”
Zillow says the median home value in Pittsburgh is $116,300—and a little higher in the Pittsburgh metro area. Home values in the city went up 12.4 percent over the past year and Zillow predicts they’ll rise 5 percent within the next year.
“We have so much going on. We’re so vibrant right now, culturally and with the community aspect,” says Onufer.
Here’s a sampling of single-family homes, condos and townhouses on the market for around $200,000.
Neighborhood: 112 Washington Place, Apt. 3A, Uptown
Asking price: $199,900
Description: Chatham Tower, a brick and steel high-rise built in 1967, gives residents the luxury of a 24/7 doorman and living within walking distance of Duquesne University, PPG Paints Arena, Grant Street, Downtown T stations and the Cultural District. This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment is two units merged for nearly 1,900 square feet of living space with great views. The kitchen has tile flooring, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The unit has a laundry room, two large bedrooms, and a family room that could become a third bedroom. “Abundant closet and storage space,” the listing says. “Huge windows with a mod feel.” Chatham Tower has a parking fee, and this unit’s maintenance fee is $1,038.
Neighborhood: 247 Cobalt Way, Lawrenceville
Asking price: $194,500 (Price reduced $10,000 on Nov. 11)
Description: In the heart of Lower Lawrenceville is a fully detached brick home with two bedrooms and one bath. Its galley kitchen has double ovens, stainless appliances and recently updated butcher block counters; its spa-like bathroom has a black-and-white ceramic floor and glass shower with subway tiles.
The open floor plan on the third floor suggests you could add an office, den or additional bedroom. There’s no yard, but a private breezeway provides easy access to the rear and great storage for bikes, kayaks or other outdoor equipment. This is an ideal location for short commutes to Downtown, hospitals, universities and shops or dining in East End neighborhoods, says Onufer, the listing agent.
Neighborhood: 1649 O’Block Road, Plum
Asking price: $199,900
Style: Split entry
Description: This three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home built in 1978 has a remodeled kitchen with stainless steel appliances, white cabinets and granite counters. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room provide natural light. Among the architectural details: plaster walls, wrought-iron decorative railings, arched doorways, new carpeting and ceramic tile flooring. The master bedroom has a full bath and two closets. A large, finished game room has a wood-burning fireplace. The rear porch overlooks a level backyard that backs up to the borough’s 32-acre Larry Mills Park, home to the Plum Paradise Park play structure, Plum Area Soccer Association, and annual Plum Community Festival.
Neighborhood: 4034 California Ave., Brighton Heights (sale contingent)
Asking price: $210,000
Description: Beautiful woodwork adds character to this well-maintained home with four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. The house was built in 1930, with French doors, a decorative stone fireplace, hardwood floors, mud room and screened porch that add to its charm. A third floor has a bedroom and family room/office. The fenced yard surrounds a two-car garage and extra parking is available. This neighborhood, notable for its maple trees and stately stone and brick homes, is often featured in Pittsburgh’s annual house tours.
Neighborhood: 236 Summit Ave., Bellevue
Asking price: $199,500
Description: Original woodwork, an ornate fireplace and stained-glass windows mix with many updates in this five-bedroom home with two-and-a-half baths. “This is a must-see home,” says the listing agent. Its newer kitchen has stainless steel appliances and access to the deck overlooking a level backyard. Hardwood floors have been refinished, and the master bedroom has a walk-in closet and dressing room/den. Even the driveway is new. There’s a one-car detached garage.
Neighborhood: One Trimont Lane, Unit 103P, Mt. Washington
Asking price: $200,000
Style: Contemporary high-rise
Description: The 25-story Trimont Building, designed by Astorino Development, has been “the place to live” since 1985, providing residents unmatched views of the city from luxury condominiums. This quiet end-unit, with two bedrooms and one bath, has a new kitchen, new flooring throughout, and a remodeled bathroom. It has a small laundry room, storage room, and patio. The building, with 24-hour manned security, has a swimming pool, fitness center, bike room, and party and conference rooms. Living here means an opportunity to stroll Grandview Avenue, walk in Mt. Washington’s green spaces, ride the inclines, and dine at cafes, taverns or fine restaurants.