Buying here: Irwin


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Surrounded by traditional brick homes, the mid-century modern home at 1216 Tenth St., Irwin, stands out.

The three-bedroom, two-bath home is on the market for $199,900 (MLS No. 995844) and in this case, the owner is the real estate agent, Amy Scarnati of Coldwell Banker's North Huntingdon office (www.pittsburghmoves.com or 412-721-0550). She is holding an open house every Sunday in May, 1-3 p.m.

Built in 1959, the house is about both the interior design and setting. A lone star hangs on the side of the house facing the street and landscaping ranging from flowering bushes and ornamental grasses to mature trees creates a restful curb appeal.

On one side, a stone paved path leads to the front door with stone patio and waterfall. On the other side, a concrete drive links to the lower-level, single-car garage.

Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows in the kitchen, living and dining rooms offer views of the landscaping and French doors lead to the large wraparound deck.

"Even though it's contemporary on the outside, it doesn't feel that contemporary on the inside," Mrs. Scarnati said. "It's not like a cold contemporary feeling inside. It's kind of rustic."

And while the massive stone hearth of the wood-burning fireplace is the focal point of the 15- by 15-foot living room, the combination of rich mahogany-colored wood ceiling, large beams and hardwood floors make their own statement.

Mrs. Scarnati and her husband, David, have found the house perfect for parties because of its open floor plan and large deck.

The color and texture of the Venetian plaster in the 16- by- 11-foot dining room sets it apart even though it flows into the living room. This distinctive faux finish, layered with the multidimensional appearance of polished stone or marble, can also be found in the main bathroom and kitchen.

There is a European cafe feel to the kitchen that is both warm and inviting. Dining in the eat-in kitchen seems almost alfresco with more floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors to the deck. A ceramic tile backsplash and floor play off the warm tones of the plaster finish while the white cupboards and appliances are a cool contrast. The Amana refrigerator, Magic Chef dishwasher, Maytag microwave and Frigidaire gas stove are staying.

"Everyone that walks in says, 'What a cool house!' " Mrs. Scarnati said proudly. "It feels kind of very bed and breakfast."

As you walk through the house, you realize how much the windows bring the outside in, even in the bedrooms and bath, where they are set high on the wall for privacy.

The master bedroom is the largest of the three at 15 by 11 feet. The other two measure 11 by 11 feet and 10 by 11 feet. Each features good-sized closets and storage.

"There are no houses behind us so no one can see in and it's elevated, not on ground level," Mrs. Scarnati said.

There is one full bathroom on the main floor and one on the lower level. The main-floor bathroom has lots of storage, including a tall wood cupboard, wall cabinet and vanity by the shower/tub combination.

On the lower level is a 24- by- 11-foot space that the Scarnatis use as a family room and exercise area. There is also an 11- by- 11-foot laundry room and bathroom with shower. Through glass doors is a second patio partially covered by the upper deck, with space for dining and a great view of the large backyard.

The Scarnatis had a new rubber roof installed in 2006 and new gas-burning water heater in 2009. There is also a newer gas furnace with an air cleaner and whole house air conditioning.

Being a real estate agent, Mrs. Scarnati took the extra step of having the home appraised.

"It appraised for more than we're asking," she said, and she is happy to show the appraisal to anyone attending an open house. Moreover, the house carries a home warranty.

The property's assessed value is $21,250 and total tax bill is $2,191 (http://westmorelandweb400.us). Over the past three years, five properties have sold on 10th Avenue for prices ranging from $115,000 in June 2011 to $140,000 in December 2010 (www.realstats.net).

"Actually wondering why we're selling it," Mrs. Scamati said. "My husband said, "Are you sure you don't want to flip the other house and stay here?' "

They will miss the Penglyn neighborhood, a close-knit community where the Scarnatis have lived for 18 years.

Close to Route 30, the house is within minutes of shopping, restaurants and Irwin Park and Amphitheater, where residents will celebrate Irwin's 150th birthday this summer with concerts and other activities.

Lizabeth Gray: lgray@post-gazette.com.


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