The tallest house has the best view. That wasn't the reason that Abby and Scott Gould bought the house at 234 S. Church St. in Mount Pleasant, but it certainly turned out to be a plus, especially in the fall, when the trees in the mountains are changing colors.
Forced to relocate for work, the couple has put their five-bedroom, 21/2-bath house (MLS No. 923907) on the market for $239,000 through Melissa Shipley Rhoades of Prudential Preferred Realty (412-854-7200 or www.prudentialpreferred.com). An open house is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28.
Built in the mid-1800s, the house is the largest and tallest on Church Street, with a full third floor that contains two bedrooms and a study/craft room.
When the Goulds bought it in September 2008, they had one child and now have three. They loved all the original woodwork, including three fireplace mantels, pocket doors and the ornate oak front staircase. They also liked the original double-hung windows -- until their first winter.
"Our first monthly heating bill was over $1,000," Mrs. Gould said. "When we put the new windows in, we got it down to $200."
In addition to new vinyl windows, they had vinyl siding installed over the old clapboard and did some minor repairs on the roof installed by the previous owners. The Goulds also had the wraparound front porch repaired and new railings installed. It's the perfect place to watch July Fourth fireworks, which are set off in a field across the street.
The former owners had recently updated the 13- by 13-foot kitchen with cherry cabinetry, laminate counter tops and ceramic-tile floor, but the 18- by 14-foot master bathroom, a former bedroom, was unfinished.
The Goulds installed a French door between the bedroom and bath, a double-bowl sink, and a clawfoot tub they found at Construction Junction in Point Breeze.
They also had the hardwood floors on the first floor refinished.
The openings on the wood-burning fireplaces are closed up.
One of Mrs. Gould's favorite spaces is the adjoining living and dining rooms, 13 by 14 feet and 17 by 14 feet, respectively. Opening up the pocket doors makes it seem like one space, well-lit by large windows that look out on the side leg of the wraparound porch and the large side yard.
On the second floor, the other two bedrooms measure 13 by 13 feet and 14 by 13 feet. On the third floor, the couple created bedrooms measuring 23 by 10 feet and 14 by 11 feet.
"They've really done a nice job," said their agent. "They have made newer updates but have kept the charm."
Mrs. Gould, who graduated from nearby Connellsville High School, said the borough is a nice small town that's home to many generations of families. This house is within walking distance of an elementary school, park and small shops and restaurants. Larger stores are a five-minute drive away. Mr. Gould, who worked in Downtown Pittsburgh, rode a bus for more than an hour each way. There is a one-car detached garage.
The property has an assessed value of $17,410 (http://westmorelandweb400.us:8088/EGSPublicAccess.htm). Over the past three years, six properties have sold on South Church Street for prices ranging from $23,333 in March 2009 to $200,000 in July 2010 (www.realstats.net).
"It's rare to find a Victorian in that good condition," Mrs. Gould said. "We did a lot of work and we had bigger plans. It's a great family home."
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Kevin Kirkland: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1978. First Published October 20, 2012 4:00 AM