Buying Here: Moon


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What do you call a house that creates its own community? Over the years, as a new owner would move into 825 Old Thorn Run Road in Moon, the former owners would move to the adjacent cook's cottage or carriage house. Sometimes, they would build a new house on the property.

"It was like a merry-go-round," current owner Lee Bent said, laughing. "Maybe I could draw it out for you."

Built in 1905, the Cape Cod-style house (MLS No. 935593) is on the market for $579,000 through Carroll Ferguson of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (412-741-2200 or www.howardhanna.com). An open house is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 17.

Mrs. Ferguson describes the house as a cottage whose style is a cross between Craftsman and Victorian, but with five bedrooms and four full baths, it's hard to imagine calling this sprawling house a cottage. It certainly has been a mainstay for its residents.

"Interesting thing is that all the families that have lived there have been for there for 30 years," Mrs. Ferguson said. "The Sullivans who lived there before [Mrs. Bent] lived there for about 30 years as well."

Built toward the rear of a 2.3-acre lot, the house sits several hundred feet back from the road. "It's like living in a park," Mrs. Bent said.

"There are houses across the street but on the side there's several acres between, not a sidewalk neighborhood," Mrs. Ferguson said.

Mature oaks, maples and other trees can be seen from the deck or one of the three porches, two of which are enclosed.

"The one upstairs is called a sleeping porch. ... On hot summer nights, they used to sleep on them," Mrs. Ferguson said.

Architectural features that attracted the current owner to the house include wainscoting, crown molding and angled ceilings.

"I love old houses, always have," said Mrs. Bent, who noted that her daughter also had a horse. Years later, that daughter would get married in the backyard with the posts of her old swing used as part of the altar.

The main change Mrs. Bent has made is in the master suite. Taking a few feet off the 20- by 19-foot master bedroom, she was able to expand the bathroom to fit a soaker tub with an oversized shower and heated towel rack.

"The soaking tub is huge. I kind of went overboard with that," Mrs. Bent confessed, but added: "I love it. It's my oasis."

She also added skylights in the bedroom, more storage and a large window by the tub, bringing in the light while still maintaining privacy.

"There was all this room on either side of the [bedroom] fireplace, underneath the eves, so we added a cedar closet on one side and big drawers on the other side."

One of the five bedrooms is on the first floor and is close to a full bathroom.

The house works well for entertaining, with a formal living room that measures 22 by 14 feet and a 19- by 15-foot dining room. Most of the ceilings are 9 feet or more.

"What's particularly special about this house is even though it's large there is a good flow. All the rooms relate to each other," said Mrs. Ferguson.

There are hardwood floors throughout the house, including the bedrooms, some of which currently have carpeting. Mrs. Bent had the floors and staircase refinished a few years ago. When she found out the stairs were made of cherry, "it was so attractive that she didn't have the carpeting replaced," Mrs. Ferguson said.

The 18- by 14-foot kitchen is a bright sunny room with sliding doors to the deck and stairs that lead to the second floor. A large laundry room off the kitchen has plenty of storage.

"Charming, but I would guess if anyone is going to do anything to the house they would want to update the kitchen," Mrs. Ferguson said.

Over the past three years, five properties have sold on Old Thorn Run Road ranging in price from $80,000 in April 2011 to $375,000 in January 2012 (www.realstats.net).

There are fireplaces in many of the rooms but only the gas fireplace in the living room is functioning.

Originally fitted with Taylor burners, the asbestos was removed but the decorative surrounds were left in place.

An interesting bit of history "fell" out of one of the fireplaces when the Bent family was moving in, according to daughter Cindy Bent Finelay of Columbus, Ohio. "There was a postcard that fell out from one of the fireplaces ... it was a notice for a suffragette meeting." She added that Wendell Wilkie slept there while on the presidential campaign trail in 1940.

"I always meant to get a plaque made," Mrs. Brent said, laughing.

Mrs. Bent says she will miss her house but wants to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

"My daughter told me if I moved to Ohio, I could build my dream house," she said with a sigh. "I said I've been living in it for 30 years."


SALES SNAPSHOT


BRIDGEVILLE


2011

2012

SALES

58

79

MEDIAN PRICE

$86,000

$85,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$270,000

$270,000



COLLIER


2011

2012

SALES

138

219

MEDIAN PRICE

$249,900

$260,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$875,000

$1,075,000



CORAOPOLIS


2011

2012

SALES

62

88

MEDIAN PRICE

$55,000

$64,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$523,000

$184,000



CRESCENT TOWNSHIP


2011

2012

SALES

34

31

MEDIAN PRICE

$142,500

$9,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$325,000

$330,000

FINDLAY


2011

2012

SALES

56

107

MEDIAN PRICE

$164,900

$198,364

HIGHEST PRICE

$329,190

$412,000



MOON


2011

2012

SALES

345

510

MEDIAN PRICE

$177,000

$190,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$905,000

$905,000

NORTH FAYETTE


2011

2012

SALES

214

273

MEDIAN PRICE

$169,900

$175,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$450,000

$475,000



OAKDALE


2011

2012

SALES

12

29

MEDIAN PRICE

$60,000

$128,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$139,000

$215,000



ROBINSON


2011

2012

SALES

148

215

MEDIAN PRICE

$160,000

$156,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$490,727

$3,369,999



SCOTT


2011

2012

SALES

221

308

MEDIAN PRICE

$120000

$123,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$425,000

$425,000



SOUTH FAYETTE


2011

2012

SALES

256

376

MEDIAN PRICE

$208,530

$195,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$550,343

$590,423


homes

Lizabeth Gray: lgray@post-gazette.com. First Published February 10, 2013 5:00 AM


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