This traditional Foursquare with white aluminum siding sits back from the road, a post-and-rail fence out front. A flower bed filled with perennials wraps around the base of the covered porch and the American flag flaps in the wind. This is a house ready to become a family home.
The neat 1,144-square-foot home at 1216 Pillow Ave., Springdale Township (MLS No. 971619), is on the market for $93,500 through Jane Herrmann of Prudential Preferred Realty (412-418-0602 or www.prudentialpreferred.com). There will be an open house 1-3 p.m. Oct. 6.
"Lots of people raise their families there and stay there," said Mrs. Herrmann. "The people next door have been there for a couple of generations, same on the other side. A really tight community."
John Kasprowicz moved into that community 12 years ago for a couple of reasons. Springdale Township, a small community on the Allegheny River with easy access to both the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 28, is about a 25-minute drive to Downtown and just minutes away from stores at Pittsburgh Mills. And there was more to it than location.
"The whole area is calming, a relaxing neighborhood. That is why I am here," said Mr. Kasprowicz, a restaurant manager.
Like many restaurant people, he's a bit of a do-it-yourselfer at home, taking care of things as they come along just like at work.
The house, built in 1920, has been well maintained over the years. The previous owners updated the wiring and installed three-prong outlets and a new electrical panel right before Mr. Kasprowicz moved in.
"The yard is to die for," said Mrs. Herrmann.
Mr. Kasprowicz fashioned a beautiful perennial garden along the newer fence. The large yard also offers plenty of space for children to run, and maybe a vegetable garden.
"The whole house has hardwood floors," said Mr. Kasprowicz, who recently refinished the floors in the 12- by 11-foot dining room so the new owners could see the potential for doing the same in the 16- by 12-foot living room and three bedrooms.
Mr. Kasprowicz installed industrial hardwood flooring in the 11- by 9-foot kitchen. Combined with the white subway tile backsplash, the room has a semi-country feel but could easily go modern with the right touches. The steel pot rack hanging over the stove is convenient, slightly modern while providing extra storage. The white Kenmore refrigerator and electric Frigidaire stove stay with the house, along with the Maytag washer and dryer.
"There is a wonderful bathroom that he updated with an antique clawfoot tub," said Mrs. Herrmann.
Installing new industrial hardwood flooring that complements the beadboard wainscoting, he created a bathroom with a vintage feel and modern advantages. The only thing missing is a shower, but there is one in the lower bathroom.
The newer double-paned windows with wide white surrounds give a Craftsman-style touch and contrasts well with the soft beige walls in the 12- by 11-foot master bedroom and the other two bedrooms, painted ocean blue. Both measure 11 by 9 feet.
In the well-maintained basement, there is a Lennox gas furnace (installed in 2008) providing forced-air heat, and a hot water heater (installed in 2009). The sewer line is new and carries a lifetime guarantee that will transfer to the new owner.
"Very nice long drive with lots of options for parking" is how Mrs. Herrmann describes the driveway. There is a detached single-car garage with an automatic door opener.
The property has a county assessed value of $33,100 (http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx). Over the past three years, nine houses have sold on Pillow Avenue for prices ranging from $31,500 in June 2013 to $137,500 in November 2012 (www.realstats.net).
While many of the houses in the neighborhood seem similar in design, each has adopted its own style over the years. Almost hidden behind a bank of trees is a newer development of carriage-style homes across the street. There are three community parks within walking distance, including Rachel Carson Riverfront Park along the Allegheny River.
With a marriage in his future, Mr. Kasprowicz is moving to be closer to his fiancee's work and her son's school. Otherwise, there is plenty that would keep him on Pillow Avenue, especially his neighbors, "very nice and always very helpful."
"I had shoulder surgery done in 2010," Mr. Kasprowicz recalled. "My neighbors shoveled my sidewalk for me all winter."
That kind of neighborhood is hard to move away from but great for those who move in.
"I think it's phenomenal value for the home in a great area," said Mrs. Herrmann.
Lizabeth Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published September 28, 2013 4:00 AM