For an old house with good bones at a good price, check out the Greenfield neighborhood.
The house at 770 Melbourne St. (MLS No. 889083) has five bedrooms and two bathrooms and is priced at $129,900 through Prudential Preferred Realty's Gail Murman (412-901-4895 or www.prudentialpreferred.com). An open house will be held today from 1 to 3 p.m.
Despite its traditional exterior, the house offers a wealth of opportunities for modern updates. It was built in 1920 but has Victorian elements that make it appear even older. Because it was once split into two apartments, it has two kitchens, one each on the first and second floors. Since the house is just over a block from B'Nai Emunoh-Chabad, a Jewish buyer might want to turn the upstairs one into a kosher kitchen.
The brick exterior was painted recently and the homeowner updated both the plumbing and the electrical wiring in the past two years. The house also has an asphalt roof, carpet in all of the bedrooms and vinyl tile flooring in both of the kitchens. A gas-fired boiler supplies radiators in every room.
The first floor includes a living room, kitchen, breakfast nook and a bedroom that was formerly a parlor or dining room. The living room boasts a decorative mantel with built-in cabinets on either side as well as a distinctive Tudor arch.
The main kitchen has hardwood cabinets with a maple stain, laminate counter tops and vinyl-tile floor. Arched openings lead to a bathroom and the breakfast nook.
The sunny back yard has a deck that is approximately 15 feet square with a hot tub that is not currently in use. The space is excellent for grilling and the fenced-in back yard is flat.
Upstairs, the second floor kitchen has a built-in pantry and offers the same hardwood cabinetry and laminate countertops with vinyl tile flooring.
One of the second-floor bedrooms faces the street and is warmed by the hardwood paneling and bay windows that offer plenty of space for a cozy reading nook or a bench. The third floor offers two more bedroooms.
The house is two blocks from John Minadeo School (K-8), half a block from a Giant Eagle supermarket as well as several banks. Entrances to the Parkway are only a block away and Downtown is about a seven-minute drive at most times of day. The nearby Homestead Grays Bridge leads to The Waterfront complex of stores and restaurants.
With more and more families welcoming grandparents and extended family members, this old house is a perfect option for multigenerational family living. Having a kitchen and a bathroom on each floor allows for grandparents to live on the first floor where they won't need to worry about climbing stairs.
Ms. Murman said there has been significant interest in the house: she has received three offers and she said there have been at least 50 showings of the home in the past nine months.
The property's assessed value is $81,000 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx).
Over the past three years, 11 properties have sold on Melbourne Street for prices ranging from $33,000 in April 2009 to $165,000 in September 2010 (www.realstats.net).
Size: .773 square miles
Population: 7,294 (2010 census)
School district: Pittsburgh Public (www.pghboe.net)
Average 2011 SAT scores: 529 verbal; 537 math; 515 writing (Taylor Allderdice High School)
Property taxes on a house assessed at $100,000: $2,955
City: $1,080 (10.8 mills); School: $1,392 (13.92 mills); County: $483 (5.69 mills)•
Earned income tax: 3 percent
Did you know: Most of Greenfield's homes date from the explosive growth of the steel industry after the Civil War. But there still is a scattering of farmhouses and Queen Anne mansions on its slopes dating from the mid-19th century, when Greenfield was a favored location for summer estates outside the grime of the city.
• Includes the Act 50 Homestead Exclusion, which reduces assessed market value
-- By Gretchen McKay
Jessica Suss: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1634. First Published June 23, 2012 4:00 AM