Going back about 50 years, a large farm covered that is now Oak Lane in Center. Then, with an influx of people, a shopping mall and state and interstate highways, the farm was broken down into smaller lots and a new community sprung up in the 1960s.
What remained at the heart of these changes was a stone Cape Cod-style farmhouse built in 1932. The three-bedroom house at 102 Oak Lane, Center, Beaver County, is on the market for $209,000 (MLS No. 974742) and listed with Gloria Lattanzio of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services' Airport office (724-601-6994 or www.pittsburghmoves.com).
After almost four years of searching, owner Eric Linhart found "exactly what I wanted" here in 2005. Now his work as a lead planner with Westinghouse Corp. is sending him to South Carolina.
The house sits on a half-acre lot on a quiet cul de sac off Brodhead Road. The many tones of the hand-hewn stone give the home a sense of character that stands out in a neighborhood of early '80s construction. One unusual concession to modern needs is the six-car detached garage that includes a self-contained, heated workshop.
"I had a motorcycle and a couple of cars," said Mr. Linhart, who enjoyed having a separate workspace. "And I like to do woodworking, so I would be in there working on stuff."
The main house also has an integral garage that Mr. Linhart uses for storage and gardening tools.
The 21-by-14-foot living room is spacious with bay windows on one side of the room and a gas fireplace on the other. With a columned mantel and large surround, the fireplaces makes quite a statement. Also grabbing a visitor's attention is the pegged joinery of the wood floors, a sign of craftsmanship rarely seen these days..
"The pine wood flooring is original to the house," Mrs. Lattanzio said. "And all the molding and door knobs are original."
That includes the chair rail in the living room along with taller baseboards and five-panel doors throughout the house.
The three bedrooms measure 14 by 10 feet, 13 by 12 feet and 16 by 13 feet (the master). Each has angled ceilings and dormer windows that create perfect spaces for window seats, reading nooks or writing desks.
The master bedroom features a functioning gas fireplace along with hardwood floors. Ornate detailing on either side of the white fireplace mantel contrasts with the opulent blue tiles on the hearth and surround.
There are two full bathrooms upstairs, the larger of which has white tiles running up the walls and a contrasting black band, giving the room art deco appeal. On the first floor, there is a powder room off the kitchen.
The galley-style kitchen has newer white cabinets and matching appliances that include a gas stove, refrigerator and dishwasher. There is plenty of counter space, storage and floor space for maneuvering while cooking.
The kitchen acts as a connector from the dining room (measuring 15 by 14 feet) to the 10- by 9-foot den, where real wood paneling reaches to the ceiling. Wood beams direct your eye to the red-brick gas fireplace at one end.
Most of the windows are original double-hung with single pane but are in excellent condition. The bay windows in the living and dining room are newer, double-paned. All feature muntins that add to the cottagey feel of the house.
Radiators supply hot water heat from an older gas furnace. The roof has four dormers and is covered in asphalt shingles that extend down the front of the house to create a covered porch off the living room.
Since buying in 2005, Mr. Linhart has updated the plumbing and the previous owner updated the home's wiring not long before he sold to Mr. Linhart. Both he and his former wife enjoyed gardening and the casual elegance of the landscaping reflects that with a mixture of evergreens and flowers and mature trees.
"I tried to keep it low maintenance -- perennials that would come up each year and added a koi pond in the back," said Mr. Linhart.
"You're five minutes away from the Beaver Mall and really close to [Interstate] 376," Mrs. Lattanzio said.
The property has an assessed value of $40,750 and a market value of $81,500 (http://assessment.beavercountypa.gov/LookDetailsB.aspx).
Over the past three years, one property has sold on Oak Lane for $175,000 in March 2010 (www.realstats.net).
Lizabeth Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org.