Buying Here: South Park


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After a new job brought Jeff Plymell to Pittsburgh, he spent two months visiting more than 50 houses. He stuck to the South Hills to be near work and finally found the perfect one, at 1470 McElheny Road in South Park.

"It stood out. It was head and tails above everything I had looked at," he said.

His original plan was for the family to move up from Texas, but his daughter decided to stay in Houston to finish high school. So he has put the 13-year-old, Victorian-style house (MLS No. 927544) on the market for $449,900 through Simple Choice Realty (www.simplechoicerealty.com or (734-582-3025).

Positioned at a 45-degree angle from the street, the four-bedroom, 31/2-bath house has a wide lawn and a porch that wraps around the house from the front door to the back. The yard is beautifully landscaped and frequently visited by local wildlife, as is a research facility across McElheny Road.

PG graphic: South Park
(Click image for larger version)

"Lots of deep rich wood throughout the house. All the doors are solid," emphasized Mr. Plymell. "You don't see a lot of that nowadays, usually hollow core doors."

The 16- by 14-foot dining room features wainscoting, a vintage chandelier, tall windows and a glass paneled door to the backyard. The 21- by 12-foot living room shows off the house's Victorian style, including a turret with a curved wall of Andersen windows -- not something you would find in a typical modern house, said Mr. Plymell.

The turret also makes possible the "princess" bedroom with curved walls on the second floor. From the tall peaked ceiling and crystal chandelier to the faux wall treatments, this bedroom is a fairy-tale treat for any young girl or boy. There is even a walk-in closet to hide a friendly dragon.

Down the hall is the master suite with a gas fireplace, walk-in closet and private deck. The spa bathroom features a jetted tub, dual-headed shower, tiles covering the floor and walls, double sinks and a make-up vanity. To complete your spa experience, there is even a refrigerator for cold beverages and a Swedish-style dry sauna.

"You could easily fit four to six [people] depending on how well you know everybody," the owner joked.

The spacious second-floor guest bathroom includes a soaking tub and floor-to-ceiling tiled shower. Each of the three full bathrooms feature custom cabinetry and plenty of storage.

The third floor contains the largest of the four bedrooms at 20 by 14 feet and access to the attic storage area. The unfinished attic area has wood flooring and it could be turned into an additional bathroom or bedroom if desired.

The dark wood cabinetry in the 20- by 15-foot kitchen complements the white Kohler farmhouse sink and travertine backsplash. There is also a second prep sink, an appliance garage and high-end appliances including a built-in Bosch dishwasher, Jenn Air refrigerator and GE gas cooktop with electric oven and built-in microwave/convection oven combo. A stained-glass transom window over the sink adds to the vintage feel of the kitchen along with the breakfast nook surrounded by tall windows that overlook the backyard.

The 19- by 17-foot family room features a stone floor-to-ceiling gas fireplace and a wet bar with a wine fridge and bar sink. On the lower lever is a game room, which could be set up as a gym, a laundry room (there's one on the second floor, too) and a full bathroom. There is also a very large storage area that mirrors the footprint of the wraparound porch above it.

Outside on the brick paver patio, there is a fire pit and hot tub, both of which stay with the house. Other amenities include antique fixtures in the first-floor powder room, 7:1 system wiring in the lower level media room, two air conditioning units and an invisible dog fence. All are original to the house.

"The guy [who built and designed the house] just planned for everything you would want or ever need," Mr. Plymell said.

The property is close to Allegheny County's South Park and minutes away from South Hills Village, the Galleria and Century III malls.

The 2013 county assessed value of the property is $406,500 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx). Over the last three years, this is the only property sold on McElheny Road, for $424,500 in August 2011 (www.realstats.net).


SALES SNAPSHOT


BALDWIN BOROUGH


2012

2013

SALES

223

287

MEDIAN PRICE

$108,000

$109,900

HIGHEST PRICE

$310,775

$300,000



BALDWIN TOWNSHIP


2012

2013

SALES

29

39

MEDIAN PRICE

$98,000

$101,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$145,000

$165,000



BETHEL PARK


2012

2013

SALES

363

514

MEDIAN PRICE

$149,900

$153,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$570,000

$7,487,917



BRENTWOOD


2012

2013

SALES

103

149

MEDIAN PRICE

$83,000

$75,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$157,000

$295,000



CASTLE SHANNON


2012

2013

SALES

96

139

MEDIAN PRICE

$92,000

$96,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$194,000

$194,000



DORMONT


2012

2013

SALES

107

147

MEDIAN PRICE

$120,000

$108,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$216,000

$229,900

GREEN TREE


2012

2013

SALES

61

83

MEDIAN PRICE

$134,900

$138,500

HIGHEST PRICE

$295,000

$280,000



MT. LEBANON


2012

2013

SALES

500

708

MEDIAN PRICE

$199,900

$200,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$1,000,000

$1,181,333



SOUTH PARK


2012

2013

SALES

135

201

MEDIAN PRICE

$144,000

$140,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$424,500

$375,000



UPPER ST. CLAIR


2012

2013

SALES

261

395

MEDIAN PRICE

$252,000

$248,000

HIGHEST PRICE

$1,120,000

$1,120,000



WHITEHALL


2012

2013

SALES

193

240

MEDIAN PRICE

$124,900

$124,900

HIGHEST PRICE

$330,000

$499,320


homes

Lizabeth Gray: lgray@post-gazette.com. First Published April 27, 2013 4:00 AM


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