Buying Here: Wall

A century-old house boasts creative use of color, lots of space and an odd route to the master bedroom


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Lots of room and ready to move into are two descriptions of 510 Wall Ave. in Wall, which is on the market for $59,900 through Jamie Cole of Howard Hanna Real Estate (724-787-5222 or www.howardhanna.com).

The Colonial-style house (MLS No. 968613) has four bedrooms and 11/2 baths.

"It's a lot of home for the money and in very nice condition," said Mrs. Cole, who sold the home to the current owners. "That's the reason they bought it and for the convenience to Downtown, to anywhere."

Owner Rebekah Moss, a portrait and wedding photographer who works out of her home, said the house's ample space and its kitchen were big reasons she purchased the house five years ago.

"I love to cook and there's a lot of room in the kitchen," she said.

Previous owners completely updated the 15- by 12-foot eat-in kitchen right before Ms. Moss moved in. It has oak cabinets, hardwood floors and newer appliances, including a Magic Chef over-the-range microwave, Kenmore gas stove and refrigerator and Amana dishwasher. Another nice feature is the first-floor laundry room measuring 12 by 7 feet.

Neutral carpeting throughout the house and bamboo window treatments combine to create a pleasant mix of old and new in the 113-year-old house.

"I would say it has the old charm but it's been updated -- a modern version of the 1900 house," Ms. Moss said.

She has used color to redefine what could be nondescript boxy rooms. The white-painted chimney at one end of the 14- by 11-foot living room stands out between two walls of taupe; at the other end of the room is an accent wall. A deeper shade of taupe was used in the 13- by 12-foot dining room, this time on the lower half of the wall. A darker color on the upper half draws your eyes up to the tray ceiling. Near two windows on one side of the room is an artful paint treatment in which horizontal lines of taupe cross the darker color of the walls.

Creative use of color continues upstairs in the three second-floor bedrooms, which measure 15 by 11 feet, 14 by 12 feet and 12 by 12 feet, and the third-floor master at 20 by 14 feet.

Pink and green create a young girl's dream bedroom with a scalloped trim running around the top of the walls. Another bedroom is dramatic with rich red stripes and a large image of Audrey Hepburn that one of the Moss girls was fond of because it resembled someone very close to her.

"As she got older, she thought it was me," Ms. Moss said with a laugh and motherly pride. She painted the two rooms herself.

She uses the third bedroom as a home office. Because it is toward the back of the house, its ceiling follows the slope of the roof. White-painted walls contrast with mossy green used in the rest of the room.

Like many older houses, the house has its quirks, one of which is how you access the third-floor master bedroom through the second-floor bathroom. The bedroom is long and narrow with slanted ceilings. There is a large picture window at one end and an even larger walk-in closet at the other. The room could be anything from a playroom to a home office or it could stay as the master bedroom.

"I was going to have it as my girls' playroom but didn't want to switch everything," Ms. Moss said.

The backyard is sloped and partially fenced. There is off-street parking at the back with four spaces allotted to the house.

Some of the more recent updates include the newer roof, replaced in 2009, and a new Lennox gas furnace this year. There is no central air conditioning but the bedrooms have ceiling fans and window AC units. The basement follows the footprint of the house but is unfinished.

Ms. Moss grew up in Murrysville and didn't know that Wall existed until she started house shopping. It is close to shopping in Monroeville and about 25 minutes from Downtown.

Although less than half a square mile in area, the quiet borough has worked out well for the family.

"Very small, an extremely small town, if you blink you'll miss it," Ms. Moss said.

The property has a county assessed value of $45,400 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Search.aspx). Over the past three years, 11 properties have sold on Wall Avenue for prices ranging from $17,900 to $60,000, both in August 2010 (www.realstats.net).


SALES SNAPSHOT


DUQUESNE


2012

2013

SALES

70

93

MEDIAN PRICE

$10,000

$11,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$69,900

$69,900



EAST McKEESPORT


2012

2013

SALES

30

38

MEDIAN PRICE

$33,800

$35,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$110,000

$86,461



EAST PITTSBURGH


2012

2013

SALES

32

44

MEDIAN PRICE

$14,900

$20,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$98,500

$103,000



McKEESPORT


2012

2013

SALES

232

319

MEDIAN PRICE

$15,111

$17,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$400,491

$171,000



NORTH VERSAILLES


2012

2013

SALES

103

157

MEDIAN PRICE

$50,000

$55,329

HIGHEST PRICE

$300,000

$198,900



TRAFFORD


2012

2013

SALES

39

52

MEDIAN PRICE

$102,500

$83,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$172,500

$285,000

TURTLE CREEK


2012

2013

SALES

63

99

MEDIAN PRICE

$25,000

$27,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$97,000

$170,000



VERSAILLES


2012

2013

SALES

14

19

MEDIAN PRICE

$34,000

$34,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$79,900

$100,000



WALL


2012

2013

SALES

14

12

MEDIAN PRICE

$18,900

$14,976

HIGHEST PRICE

$42,000

$46,332



WHITE OAK


2012

2013

SALES

86

107

MEDIAN PRICE

$72,500

$71,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$185,000

$200,000



WILMERDING


2012

2013

SALES

29

40

MEDIAN PRICE

$15,600

$17,900

HIGHEST PRICE

$75,000

$66,900


homes

Lizabeth Gray: lgray@post-gazette.com. First Published October 11, 2013 8:00 PM


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