Buying Here: Monroeville


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When Judy and Dr. Ihsan Awan built their home in 1989, they wanted only the best professionals for their dream home. Now 25 years later, their dreams have changed and they are downsizing.

So they have put their five-bedroom French Revival-style house at 327 Shalimar Court, Monroeville (MLS No. 994245), on the market for $855,000 with Judith Schlosberg of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (www.howardhanna.com or 412-378-234).

"It's not just elegant, it's comfortable ... Not just for show, it's for living," said Ms. Schlosberg.

The builder was Clois Fears of Acadia Construction Corp. of Greensburg, the architect was Scholtz Design of Toledo, Ohio, and the interior decor was guided by Diane Laskowski of The Blind Side Home Furnishings in Verona.

The large brick house is set back from the road with an attached three-car garage and a large fenced-in backyard. There you will find one of Dr. Awan's favorite spots, a 10,000-gallon koi pond.

"My husband loves his koi fish and he put that pond in right after we built the house," Mrs. Awan said. "You can see them from the deck, a concrete pond all landscaped with a waterfall."

Farther down the hill is a small playhouse the Awans had built for their daughter. Today it serves as a garden shed.

The impressive foyer measures 23 by 12 feet and has a wide, curving staircase.

"It was handmade in Canada. It came in pieces, all oak and all hand-turned," said Mrs. Awan. "I remember the builder saying he could see my daughter coming down those steps when she was to get married."


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Off to the right is an 18-by-16-foot study, "a man's room," Ms. Schlosberg says.

The rich dark woodwork includes built-in bookcases along one wall, wainscoting and a tall fireplace mantel whose hearth is made from reclaimed brick.

The living room, also 18 by 16 feet, and the 16-by-15-foot dining room feature oak floors that were recently refinished and sealed three times for durability. The oak flooring continues into the kitchen, giving a sense of openness to the first floor without sacrificing each room's identity.

Three years ago, the Awans remodeled the 28-by-14-foot eat-in kitchen, opening up the room and updating the appliances.

We removed the bulkhead from the ceiling, re-plastered it all and added new recessed lights," said Mrs. Awan.

A rather unique design feature is the wallpapered ceiling, which has a small leaf pattern in gold and black.

The stainless-steel stove, oven, microwave/convection oven combination and refrigerator are from the GE Profile series and there is a Bosch dishwasher. The cabinetry is by Plato Woodworks Inc.

The large kitchen island is topped with quartz and contains a built-in stovetop and long breakfast bar. There is plenty of room for a good-sized kitchen table.

"There is a sink in the island and a double bowl sink beneath the window with a hot water dispenser," said Mrs. Awan, adding that both sinks feature InSinkErator garbage disposals.

Right off the kitchen and through a wide archway is the 24-by-16-foot family room with an imposing stone fireplace and tile flooring.

A set of sliding doors by the eating area and the two sets of French doors in the family room offer great views of the large backyard and surrounding woods. A 65-by-15-foot deck runs the length of the house.

There are five bedrooms and three suites. The second floor includes the master suite, a second suite and two additional bedrooms and one full bath.

The 23-by-16-foot master suite features a tray ceiling and gas fireplace and the master bathroom offers plenty of storage with two dark wood vanities split by a single white cabinet. In the middle of the vanities' granite countertop is a shelving unit that reaches up to the ceiling with large silver framed mirrors on either side.

The shower area repeats the stone tile of the floor and a band of mosaic tile wraps around the glass door and runs along the shower wall.

Outside the master suite is an open area the Awans call the library. It has potential for a home office with faux wallpaper featuring shelf upon shelf of books.

On the lower level is an in-law suite that includes a 16-by-11-foot bedroom, a complete kitchen and full bathroom.

Something you don't find in many homes but is incredibly useful is a cedar closet. "It's a huge cedar closet, more like a cedar room," Ms. Schlosberg said.

The remainder of the lower level is taken by the game room. At 33 by 23 feet, it's big enough for any Super Bowl party and features a working fireplace, large French doors to the backyard and neutral carpeting .

On the main floor there are a powder room and combination laundry/mud room with back stairs to the second floor. Access to the three-car garage from the laundry room creates a private entrance to the second floor.

Other high-end features of the home include the surround sound stereo system in the family room with speakers on the outside deck, a retractable awning and a monitor on the security system located on the back deck so you can see who's at the front door.

The home features a dual forced-air heating and cooling system with natural gas heat and public water and sewage.

The property is convenient to both the Parkway East and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The property has an assessed value of $596,900 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx). Over the past three years, one house has sold on Shalimar Court for $730,000 in May 2012 (www.realstats.net).

Liz Gray: lgray@post-gazette.com.


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