Like many children of immigrants, Marian and Carolyn Szajna worked hard, sacrificed and saved to build their first and only home in Trafford.
“We lived down the street with my aunt before they built the house. There were nine people and one bathroom,” recalled their daughter, JoLynn Wilkins.
The house at 209 Duquesne Ave. is a ranch built on a double lot in 1966. It has three bedrooms, 1½ baths and a full basement. The family treasured the house and carefully maintained it before Mrs. Szajnas passed away more than a year ago.
“My parents were meticulous about that house. If anything went into a state of disrepair, she replaced it with new,” Ms. Wilkins said.
Now the family has decided to put the home on the market for $134,900 (MLS No. 1264455) with Karla Casertano of RE/MAX Select Realty (412-933-6300 or www.remax.com).
The house has a level entry from the sidewalk and front walk, a rarity in the suburbs. Ms. Wilkins said the level walk without steps makes grocery trips a breeze. There is room for six people under the front portico. Mrs. Szajna had a hand in the design.
“The front door was further down the wall. My mother said, ‘Open it up here.’ There is a little bit of a foyer and it is much more open.”
The entry opens to the kitchen and the 26- by- 17-foot living room. The entire house has solid oak floors but the couple laid wall-to-wall carpet over them in recent years because it gave them better footing.
“The floors are perfect underneath,” Ms. Wilkins said.
An island is all that separates the kitchen from the dining room, which measures 11 by 9 feet and has a crystal chandelier. “We would just put the leaves in the table and open it up into the living room to seat everyone for the holidays.”
The 15- by- 9-foot kitchen is L-shaped and has washed oak cabinets, white laminate counter tops and a bulkhead supporting the upper cabinets. There is a gas stove, dishwasher, over-the-counter microwave, stainless-steel sink and vinyl flooring.
The living and dining room have custom-made metal valances embossed in warm shades of brown.
“My sister had a company in Texas and created them,” Ms. Wilkins said. “They stay with the house.”
The three bedrooms range in size from 10 by 9 feet to the 13- by- 11-foot master. All have closets and the master bedroom has two doubles. The full bathroom has original porcelain tile in shades of camel and tan and a ceramic tile floor. An extra large vanity sink is lit by a pair of overhead oyster shell pendant lights.
The basement has been divided into finished and utility space. The 26- by- 21-foot game room has a dropped ceiling, paneled walls and carpeting.
The utility area has a washer and dryer, laundry tub, stove and refrigerator. There are also built-in cabinets with sliding doors for storage. There is forced air heat and central air conditioning. Parking is on-street.
“There is room on the first floor if you wanted to put a stacked laundry,” Ms. Wilkins noted.
Shopping is in nearby Haymaker Village in the only part of Trafford that is in Allegheny County. Residents can find groceries, restaurants and other necessities there.
Trafford at a glance
Inside out: Most of Trafford is in Westmoreland County with a small portion in Allegheny County. Incorporated in 1904 from a portion of North Huntingdon township, the borough was named by George Westinghouse after the British town of Trafford, near Manchester.
The borough has 3,113 residents living in 1.4 square miles. There is a fitness center and lots of public green space, including the Penn Township Municipal Park, the Lower Manor Skate Park, Penn Borough Park and Trafford and Woodlawn parks.
Schools: Penn-Trafford School District (penntrafford.org)
Average SAT scores: Reading, 511; Math, 521; Writing, 500 (Penn Trafford High School)
Annual taxes for 209 Duquesne Ave.: $2,645.51
Borough: $568.01 (31.5 mills)
School: $1,599.38 (80.25 mills)
Westmoreland County: $418.33 (20.99 mills)
Earned income tax: 1 percent
Rosa Colucci: 412-263-1661 or email@example.com. Twitter: PGRosa_Colucci.
EDITOR’S NOTE, Posted March 18, 2017: An earlier version of this online story had said there was no air conditioning.
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