Buying Here: Neville Island


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This is a Pittsburgh boater's dream -- 90 feet of private dock space just 60 feet from your back door. And when you're not on the water, you can watch sternwheelers, yachts and barges travel up and down the Ohio River from a 46-by-16-foot covered deck or a glass-enclosed, four-seasons room below it.

The four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath house at 7210 Front River Road, Neville Island (MLS No. 928024) is on the market for $398,000 through Phil Arrigo of RE/MAX Advanced Realtors (412-491-7203 or www.remaxadvancedrealtors.com).

Dennis Cinkovic, a lifelong Neville Island resident who grew up on the back channel, bought 185 feet of front channel property, divided it into two lots and built this house in 1980. His brother built a nearly identical Colonial-style house on the other lot and later sold it. Mr. Cinkovic initially built a 14-by-10-foot wooden deck on the back. In 2000, he put on the one he really wanted, roofed with Lexan, a polycarbonate used to make bulletproof glass. Hail can't hurt it and because it faces east and is tinted, the sun doesn't heat up the living space. Mr. Cinkovic said his wife, Ellen, who passed away several years ago, loved to sit on the deck and watch storms. As many as 100 people have used it during parties.

"You should sit back there in the evening. It's unbelievable," said Mr. Arrigo, who has another listing at 7120 Front River Road ($460,000, MLS No. 914741) and maintains the website www.pittsburghriverhomes.com.

The Realtor and the seller say the Neville properties are unique in that they have so much private docking space with easy access. Mr. Cinkovic, who has had seven boats in his 32 years here, has no steps to deal with because his backyard slopes down to a low lock wall built after the 1936 flood. If the river ever rose that high again, only the 700-square-foot four-seasons room would be affected because of the way he built the house. When he glassed it in several years ago, he included radiant heat tubing in the concrete slab for year-round use. In his time here, he has seen the river come no higher than 2 feet from the top of the riverbank, the last time in the mid 1990s.

Mr. Cinkovic mostly boated around the island but also occasionally locked through 3 miles down river and enjoyed the Point and Monongahela and Allegheny rivers. He sold his last boat, a 25-foot pontoon, last year because he is moving to Florida. He said the buyer could park a yacht as large as 60 feet long on this riverbank, where he used to fish for carp, catfish, bass and other fish when his daughter was young. Since selling his other "toy," a motorcycle, he has enjoyed biking around the island. Robert Morris University's ice sports complex is about a quarter-mile away.

"One of the great things about living here, besides the great view, is that you're 15 minutes from Downtown or the Airport. There are four different ways to get into Pittsburgh from here," he said.

The property has a county assessed value of $113,700 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx). Over the last three years, eight properties have sold on Front River Road for prices ranging from $80,500 in November 2009 to $394,000 in November 2011 (www.realstats.net). The house is open by appointment.

"Neville Island has an industrial reputation, but a small portion of it is like living in the country, on the river," Mr. Cincovic said. "There's nothing else like it."


SALES SNAPSHOT

CARNEGIE

20112012
SALES112103
MEDIAN PRICE$74,000$90,000
HIGHEST PRICE$400,000$295,000


CRAFTON

20112012
SALES6078
MEDIAN PRICE$78,000$103,000
HIGHEST PRICE$262,000$240,000


HEIDELBERG

20112012
SALES914
MEDIAN PRICE$49,000$86,000
HIGHEST PRICE$140,000$128,000


INGRAM

20112012
SALES3637
MEDIAN PRICE$75,000$68,000
HIGHEST PRICE$245,000 $193,500


KENNEDY

20112012
SALES82133
MEDIAN PRICE$142,500$156,000
HIGHEST PRICE$760,900 $611,800


McKEES ROCKS

20112012
SALES7677
MEDIAN PRICE$18,000$21,587
HIGHEST PRICE$200,000$165,000
NEVILLE

20112012
SALES712
MEDIAN PRICE$58,500$75,000
HIGHEST PRICE$128,000$394,000


ROSSLYN FARMS

20112012
SALES79
MEDIAN PRICE$210,000$297,000
HIGHEST PRICE$310,000$450,000


STOWE

20112012
SALES10486
MEDIAN PRICE$31,500$20,000
HIGHEST PRICE$116,000$185,000


THORNBURG

20112012
SALES87
MEDIAN PRICE$304,300$240,000
HIGHEST PRICE$370,000$335,000


28TH WARD/WEST END

20112012
SALES101134
MEDIAN PRICE$60,000$71,000
HIGHEST PRICE$325,000$281,000

homes

Kevin Kirkland: kkirkland@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1978. First Published August 25, 2012 4:00 AM


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