When David and Julie Freese bought what would be their home for the next 22 years, it was nothing more than a plot of land overlooking 200 acres of untouched woodland in Pine.
Now it is a spacious, three-level Cape Cod-style house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. The house at 713 Trillium Court is on the market for $496,000. The Freeses are selling it themselves and can be reached at 724-934-0084.
Mr. Freese, an architect who has designed buildings for universities and hospitals, started with plans for a spec house his builder had done, then modified them to suit his family, which then included his mother, wife and two school-age children.
"I was here during construction to inspect and monitor construction as it proceeded and to make sure everything was done properly," Mr. Freese said. "I did everything top of the line at the time."
With more than 50 thermal windows and 10 ventilated glass-block windows, the house is flooded with natural light. In fact, Mr. Freese chose the lot specifically for its orientation. Morning light hits the kitchen, and the backyard faces south, providing all day sun on the pool.
Mr. Freese also liked that the lot was sloped, making a walkout basement possible.
"It's an excellent house for raising a family, and that's what it needs, a fairly large family," Mr. Freese said. "It's a big house, great bones and good layout."
On the first level of the house is a master bedroom, living room, dining room and a kitchen and family room combo. There is also an office that doubles as a media room. The living room has a two-story vaulted ceiling and two operable skylights. On one wall, framed by two quarter-round windows, is a late 1800s quarter-sawn oak mantel from a Virginia manor house. A glass door leads to a rear deck.
The kitchen is filled with Energy Star-rated appliances, and the heating and air-conditioning units are new.
"The entire heating and ventilation and air conditioning just got replaced last week," Mr. Freese said. "After 20 years, the original equipment wore out. It's all brand-new equipment, so it's just like a new house."
In the past year, all of the plumbing fixtures were replaced with water sense, EPA-approved fixtures. The walls have received a fresh coat of neutral paint and some of the windows were replaced. Throughout the house, wood floors and wood trim give the rooms a warm and welcoming feel.
Upstairs is a hallway with a small balcony that overlooks the large living room. There are four bedrooms and a full bathroom. One of the bedrooms leads to extra attic storage, and the next two are part of a suite with a shared dressing room and closet alcove.
The lowest level of the house contains two single-car garages, a work room, a 585-square-foot game room, a kitchen and full bath.
The property is as impressive as the house. An outside patio leads to a 40- by 16-foot fenced-in swimming pool and a vegetable garden that is enclosed to keep out deer.
"I love to garden so I've been gardening outside for the whole 22 years and there's lots of garden areas. It's wonderful during the growing season, and there's always flowers we can bring into the house," Mr. Freese said.
The backyard overlooks 200 acres of woodland that will never be built on.
"We'd go for hikes in the woods behind the house and the kids used to have all kinds of dirt bike trails back there," Mr. Freese said.
When they were younger, the four boys would look for salamanders and crayfish in the small creek behind the property.
Another attractive feature of the house is its location -- 3 miles from the turnpike, shopping areas and North Park.
The four Freese boys are adults now and the youngest is off to join the Marines. Mr. and Mrs. Freese also are ready to move on.
"We're sad to leave all our wonderful memories that we had in this house, but we're eager to move onto the next phase of our lives," Mr. Freese said. "I'd like to see a young family enjoy what I've created for our family."
412-263-1NOW www.post-gazette.com/realestatenowmobilehome - homes
Kitoko Chargois: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1088. First Published June 15, 2013 4:00 AM