Buying Here: Forest Hills


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One the nicest things any homeowner can do with a house is respect its "bones." While remodeling and necessary updates can take away from a home's character, those who have lived in 101 Cherry Valley Road in Forest Hills (MLS No. 886847) had great respect for this Craftsman-style home and its features. It's on the market with Prudential Preferred Realty's Samuel Pace (724-327-0444, ext. 361 or www.prudentialpreferred.com) for $239,900. An open house will be held Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Homeowners Justin Sindorf. and his wife, Dr. Rosemarie Hardin, are sad to give it up.

"We have only been in the house for a 15 months," he said, adding that they are relocating as his wife changes medical specialties.

The home sits on a wooded corner lot with mature trees.


Forest Hills
At a glance
  • Website: www.foresthillspa.org
  • Size: 1.5 square miles
  • Population: 6,831 (2000 census)
  • School district: Woodland Hills (www.whsd.k12.pa.us)
  • Enrollment: 4,023
  • Average SAT scores: Verbal, 446; math, 457; writing, 428
  • Annual taxes on a $100,000 house: $3,698; Township: $835 (8.35 mills); School: $2,465 (24.65 mills); County 1: $398 (4.69 mills)
  • Earned income tax: 1 percent
  • History: Greensburg Pike was originally known as The Great Stage Road. It was a toll road and in 1816, more than 5,800 covered wagons and coaches traveled the road.
1 Includes the Act 50 Homestead Exclusion, which reduces assessed market value by $15,000 for county taxes.

"I love it. It's the quintessential fall neighborhood and has lots of kids," Mr. Sindorf said.

A covered porch with arched openings and a wood ceiling faces the street. Inside, the home is filled with leaded-glass windows, hardwood floors and natural light.

The Craftsman-style woodwork begins in the 7-by-5-foot entry, paneled in a warm honey oak.

The 17-by-14-foot dining room off to the right has a bay with a bank of windows that illuminate one of the many decorative fireplaces in the home. It features forest green tile and a hefty oak mantelpiece with thick legs and clean, simple lines. The fireplace grate is copper with a Craftsman design.

The dining room opens up with a double wide doorway to the living room of equal size. It has a stunning wall of built-in cabinets that flank a wood-burning fireplace whose mantel features dentil molding and a burgundy tile surround. A pair of large leaded-glass windows finish off the handsome wall.

The kitchen, which measures 16 by 12 feet with honey-colored cabinets and hardwood floors that serve as the backdrop for a stunning glass mosaic backsplash created and installed for the space in 2007 by local artist Daviea Davis. (Her work also hangs in the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport). The backsplash depicts a lush tree and greenery. A professional Viking stove with six burners and a center griddle rounds out a stable of stainless-steel appliances. A bi-level mobile center island seats six and has plenty of storage. Granite counter tops cover all of the surfaces and reflect the light from a large sliding glass door that opens to a back patio. Recessed lighting and a high tray ceiling add to the expansive feeling.

The kitchen flows into a morning room that could double as a family room, measuring 12 by 9 feet with a powder room and a row of built-in bookshelves. At the far end is a pair of leaded-glass windows.

Upstairs, four bedrooms with lots of closet space can be found at the top of the oak staircase. The 17-by-14-foot master is painted powder blue and has a decorative fireplace with a small mosaic tile surround. A door opens to an adjacent office that is situated over the porch. A wall of windows overlooks the yard and the walls and ceiling are tongue-in-groove oak. Mr. Sindorf says it is his favorite space in the home.

The second bedroom (16 by 13 feet) is painted a moss green and has a decorative pot-belly stove in front of the decorative fireplace. The third bedroom (13 by 10 feet) has a skylight and is painted a sunny yellow.

A full bathroom features a jetted whirlpool tub and a single-sink vanity. Brown mosaic tile is on the floor and trim is painted a bright yellow.

The fourth bedroom measures 10 by 10 feet and has an exposed brick wall with a large closet. The homeowners added laundry hook-ups in the closet and are using it for a laundry room.

"Its so much nicer than hauling laundry up and down." Mr. Sindorf said.

They kept the original hook-ups in the basement in case the next owners wish to convert it back.

That basement has lots of usable space. The 23-by-14-foot room has a suspended ceiling, vinyl flooring and lots of closet and storage space. An electric fireplace throws off extra heat and the walls are painted a crisp white. There is also a full bathroom with a shower.

Mechanically, the home has hot water heat, a whole house fan and window air conditioners. In the backyard, a level patio with a terraced slope that the homeowners recently rebuilt offers intimacy. Steps bring you to a second flat, level green space. Two off-street parking spaces are available and the home also includes window screens, security system and all appliances.

The property has an assessed value of $145,000 (http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Search.aspx) and has only been on the market for a month. Over the last three years, four properties have sold on Cherry Valley Drive for prices ranging from $166,000 in December 2008 to $216,400 in July 2008 (www.realstats.net).


SALES SNAPSHOT

CHALFANT
20102011SALES147MEDIAN PRICE$72,000$12,500HIGHEST PRICE$124,900$130,000

CHURCHILL
20102011SALES4830MEDIAN PRICE$125,000$149,000HIGHEST PRICE$305,000$405,300

FOREST HILLS
20102011SALES11961MEDIAN PRICE$109,000$112,900HIGHEST PRICE$380,000$375,000

MONROEVILLE
20102011SALES335195MEDIAN PRICE$124,000$123,800HIGHEST PRICE$640,000$550,000

OAKMONT
20102011SALES9665MEDIAN PRICE$147,500$125,900HIGHEST PRICE$805,000$595,200

PENN HILLS
20102011SALES719407MEDIAN PRICE$69,500$60,000HIGHEST PRICE$267,000$225,500

PITCAIRN
20102011SALES4329MEDIAN PRICE$28,127$15,000HIGHEST PRICE$104,000$112,750

PLUM
20102011SALES288164MEDIAN PRICE$135,000$129,000HIGHEST PRICE$381,725$325,000

VERONA
20102011SALES2714MEDIAN PRICE$45,000$28,000HIGHEST PRICE$200,000$124,000

WILKINS
20102011SALES9545MEDIAN PRICE$82,900$83,000HIGHEST PRICE$269,000$264,000

WILKINSBURG
20102011SALES167122MEDIAN PRICE$29,000$22,500HIGHEST PRICE$265,000$385,000

Rosa Colucci: 412-263-1661 or rcolucci@post-gazette.com


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