The living room at 124 Oakland Ave. in Greensburg.
The three-story Victorian is on the market for $316,000.
Pocket doors separate the living room and the dining room.
One of three full bathrooms in the house at 124 Oakland Ave., Greensburg.
The master bedroom is one of five bedrooms on the second floor of the home.
The large family room was originally a sun porch.
The kitchen features custom-made cabinets, which were built by the owner's husband.
By Lizabeth Gray Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About 28 years ago, Grace Williams and her husband Ernest, were looking for a house for Mr. Williams' uncle. What they found instead was their dream home, where they would work, raise their family and create many good memories.
"I told my husband, 'If you take me in there be prepared to buy it,' " Mrs. Williams said.
And that is exactly what happened.
After years of family gatherings and numerous DIY projects, the brick Victorian at 124 Oakland Ave., Greensburg (MLS No. 916739), listed with Marilyn Davis of Prudential Preferred Realty Services, is on the market for $316,000.
Built in 1888, the three-story house had seen numerous changes since it was built. That made bringing it back to its original glory the couple's nearly 30-year project until Mr. Williams passed away Nov. 3, 2010.
"We actually tried to put back the integrity of the house," Mrs. Williams said.
The house's curb appeal is undeniable. The landscaping, well-manicured without being too formal, provides the perfect setting for the house's Victorian architectural details and original slate roof.
The large entryway features an elegant staircase and hardwood floors that continue throughout the house. Pocket doors lead into the 17-by-16-foot living room and into the 21-by-15-foot dining room.
"The dining room is a wonderful, huge room [that] makes this home very family-oriented," said Mrs. Williams, who added that it was at one time even used as a classroom by local college.
"One of their classes was an art class for quilting so they needed a room big enough to set up in. It was the first time that they taught a class in a private home," Mrs. Williams said.
Over the years, the couple improved and updated the house, including the 14-by-14-foot kitchen. "The kitchen was just horrible. My husband built all new cabinets himself," Mrs. Williams said.
The appliances include a stainless steel dishwasher and refrigerator, and a double oven.
The large 20-by-13-foot family room, originally a sun porch, gets great sunlight and features a functioning fireplace. On the other side of the house is a large shaded porch with tall columns.
On the second floor there is the 21-by-15-foot master suite with bath and four other bedrooms; two that measure 14 by 13 feet, one 18 by 15 feet and one at 20 by 14 feet. There also is a second bathroom.
All the bathrooms, including the first-floor powder room, have marble floors and ceramic tile walls.
On the third floor, there is a bedroom that includes what could be a sitting room or office, a second bedroom and a room that is used for storage. There is also an updated bathroom.
The third floor offers great potential for a charming hideaway or maybe even a separate apartment.
The Williamses invested many hours of sweat equity into the house. Honoring the home's history was an important factor in the work they did. "I just love having this house look like it should," Mrs. Williams said. "I made all the curtains throughout the house, did all the wallpapering and painting."
There is a large basement divided into four rooms, two of which were used by Mr. Williams as a workshop and a home for his collection of antique tools.
Outside, there is a two-car detached garage that is accessed from a lane that runs behind the house.
A room above the garage is used for storage. There is also an old coal bin converted for use as a storage shed.
The old cast iron furnace is still in the basement alongside the newer heating system that provides radiator heat.
Over the past three years, 19 properties have sold on Oakland Avenue for prices ranging from $11,495 to $160,000, both in December 2009 (www.realstats.net). Two sold twice and one three times.
Mrs. Williams summed up her house as one that is made for families, friends and especially Christmas. "I have over 50 Department 56 houses and I make a town with trains going through it every year for Christmas.
"It's a wonderful thing to do, fixing up an old house. You want to keep it the way it was a hundred years ago so in another hundred years it will still be there."