Buying Here: Beaver


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When planning a big move with a large family of school-age children, an important consideration is their new school. When the Loza family had to make that decision, they chose the Beaver Area School District and the town of Beaver.

The family's two-story clapboard Victorian at 770 Fifth St. (MLS No. 927921) is on the market for $75,000 through Angela Peluso of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (www.howardhanna.com or 724-775-5700 ext. 502).

"I looked around at several towns and I used schooldigger.com. They compare test scores," said owner Paul Loza, a nuclear engineer whose work brought him here from New Jersey.

The second thing the Loza family was looking for in a house was plenty of room.

"We have seven children at home still so we needed a large house," said Mr. Loza, father of 14. "The first seven have grown and moved out. They're back in New Jersey."

With five bedrooms and three full baths, this house has plenty of room. But it also has seen plenty of wear and tear, enough that it will require some serious updating and lots of paint, plaster and other repairs.

"For an older house, it's strong," Mr. Loza said.

Built into the hillside, the house's framing indicates post-and-beam construction, Mr. Loza said. The rear section of the house has a brick foundation. Mrs. Pelusa, the agent, said the house has new wiring throughout, new central air conditioning, a newer furnace and new windows. The asphalt shingle roof is about 15 years old, she said.

One of the house's biggest selling points is its charm and original architectural details. A small porch on the side of the house leads to an entrance with fine original woodwork. Beautifully detailed newel posts and bannisters highlight the staircases. On one of the landings is a stained-glass window that casts red and green light on the landing. Other vintage details include antique sconces and a maroon marble sink in the upper bathroom.

Make no mistake: This is a rehab project, which is reflected in its price. Mr. Loza said the flooring needs to be either refinished or replaced. In several rooms, he has installed plywood subflooring in preparation for carpeting or hardwood.

Entering the house from the front, visitors come to the first of two kitchens; the original kitchen is toward the rear of the house and is the one the Loza family used. A rather unique feature is how the rooms are positioned; very few of them are on the same level and three or four steps lead from one room to another.

A previous owner had split the house into a duplex, giving it an unusual floorplan. Both kitchens are on the first floor, as is the 16- by 11-foot master bedroom. The largest upstairs bedroom measures 19 by 9 feet and the other three are all 12 by 8 feet. The living room is 16 by 12 feet, the dining room 15 by 10 feet and the family room 22 by 12 feet. Additional storage is available in the unfinished attic and the tri-level, unfinished basement

There are three non-working fireplaces in the house, one with an interesting iron insert. Two are flanked by built-in cabinets that offer more storage.

The house's exterior has some intact dentil molding, a decorative cornice and lintels over the tall windows and dormers at the rear of the house. But it desperately needs repainting. Mr. Loza said he had hoped to one day paint the house in a multi-color scheme similar to that used on Victorians nearby. But he never found the time.

"They have theirs painted in three colors like the house deserves, but I didn't get to do that yet. Life is busy with seven kids," he noted.

The landscaping around the house is overgrown right now but includes mature shrubs and perennials.

"Whoever lived there previously put in a lot of time [in the garden]," Mr. Loza said.

There is a small red brick patio and a storage shed that mimics the Victorian style of the main house. Parking is available on the lane that runs behind the house and there is room on the property to construct a parking pad or garage.

The property is not far from Beaver's main street, whose shops include Starbucks and Witches Flavor, which serves 16 flavors of Penn State Creamery ice cream.

The town square, the library, College Square Elementary School and several parks are all within walking distance.

Over the past three years, 16 properties have sold on Fifth Street for prices ranging from $21,900 in March 2012 to $173,500 in March 2011 (www.realstats.net).

This property's total assessment is $20,800 (www.beavercountypa.gov/assessment-tax-claim-office-property-search).

"I think the house has endless possibilities as far as what someone could do with it," said Mrs. Peluso, adding that she hopes the eventual buyer will allow her to come back to see how it turns out.


SALES SNAPSHOT


BEAVER


2011

2012

SALES

63

83

MEDIAN PRICE

$146,000

$146,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$385,000

$685,000



BEAVER FALLS


2011

2012

SALES

102

148

MEDIAN PRICE

$25,100

$25,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$91,800

$200,000



BRIDGEWATER


2011

2012

SALES

13

13

MEDIAN PRICE

$61,000

$99,999

HIGHEST PRICE

$214,000

$160,000



EAST ROCHESTER


2011

2012

SALES

5

5

MEDIAN PRICE

$20,995

$15,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$30,900

$87,000



FREEDOM


2011

2012

SALES

16

27

MEDIAN PRICE

$12,000

$29,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$102,000

$93,000



MONACA


2011

2012

SALES

67

100

MEDIAN PRICE

$63,000

$67,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$197,064

$220,000

NEW BRIGHTON


2011

2012

SALES

66

69

MEDIAN PRICE

$35,000

$32,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$115,000

$185,500



NEW SEWICKLEY


2011

2012

SALES

79

95

MEDIAN PRICE

$212,000

$240,800

HIGHEST PRICE

$446,249

$485,460



PATTERSON


2011

2012

SALES

32

62

MEDIAN PRICE

$80,000

$92,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$427,500

$427,500



ROCHESTER BOROUGH


2011

2012

SALES

41

59

MEDIAN PRICE

$22,500

$25,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$275,000

$150,000



SOUTH HEIGHTS


2011

2012

SALES

10

12

MEDIAN PRICE

$29,900

$29,900

HIGHEST PRICE

$134,000

$130,000


homes

Lizabeth Gray: lgray@post-gazette.com. First Published March 2, 2013 5:00 AM


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