Buying Here: McCandless rehab shows couple's winning formula
April 7, 2017 12:00 AM
Ed Adams Photography,
Clean farmhouse lines and a wrap-around porch are some of the features at 10172 Woodbury in McCandless.
By Rosa Colucci / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A big renovation project can test a marriage, but Mary Beth and Chuck Kim seem to have found a formula for success.
They have been married for more than 40 years and “this is the seventh house we have done!” Mrs. Kim said.
Their latest project, a four-bedroom, 2½-bath house at 10172 Woodbury Drive in McCandless, is listed for $350,000 (MLS No. 1270217) with Sue Neal of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services (412-366-1600 or www.coldwellbankerhomes.com). The house, which was built in 1987, is open by appointment.
“When we purchased the home, it was in need of a lot of updating,” Mrs. Kim said.
The project included a new dimensional shingle roof, siding and landscaping, including a water feature. The front features a large porch that wraps around one side and has a crisp white railing.
The interior’s warm, neutral color scheme starts in the 11- by-4-foot entry with golden yellow walls, white crown molding and solid maple flooring that continues throughout the first floor.
To the right is a 16-by-11-foot living room with large windows and white plantation blinds. On the left is the 13- by-11-foot dining room, which has a new bronze chandelier.
“Every light fixture has been changed out,” said Mrs. Kim.
Manor House Kitchens renovated the 19-by- 17-foot kitchen last year with maple cabinets painted white, quartz counter tops and soft, green walls. The stainless-steel appliances include a counter-depth refrigerator, dual oven and convection/microwave. A sliding door leads to the back deck.
“The kitchen exceeded our expectations,” Mrs. Kim said. “Between the light fixtures, white beadboard and two big skylights, it is bright all of the time.
“When we are entertaining for large parties, it is perfect to set up a drink station back there.”
Just beyond the kitchen is the 19- by-13-foot family room, which has white wainscoting and a brick fireplace.
McCandless at a glance
Inside out: Highly ranked by Money magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live,” McCandless has been seen steady growth since the 1950s, growing from 6,488 residents to more than 28,000 today.
The 16.6-square-mile township was originally home to the Iroquois Nation and George Washington visited in 1753. In the 1800s, it was primarily a farming community. The construction of McKnight Road In the mid-’50s brought a retail explosion to the area that continues today, with McCandless Crossing and The Block Northway, (formerly Northway Mall) joining Ross Park Mall in adjacent Ross.
North Park was purchased by Allegheny County Commissioner E.V. Babcock and later sold to the county at cost. With more than 1,600 acres, it boasts swimming, biking, hiking, horseback riding and the newly restored lake.
Schools: North Allegheny School District (www.northallegheny.org)
Average SAT scores: Reading, 574; Math, 588; Writing, 559
Annual taxes for a property assessed at $100,000: $2,402.71 (median property value is $185,000)
Township: $129.60 (1.29 mills)
School: $1,800 (18.00 mills)
Allegheny County: $388 (4.73 mills)*
Earned income tax: 1 percent
* includes the Act 50 Homestead Exclusion, which reduces the assessed value of a primary residence by $18,000.
A side entry leads to a laundry area with a front-loading washer and dryer that sit under a full-length counter for folding. The upper cabinets match those in the kitchen. There is a powder room nearby.
The four upstairs bedrooms were also part of the renovation. The 20- by-13-foot master suite has a bay window and revamped bathroom.
“We created a separate bath area, then another room for dressing and hid the water closet and shower behind a sliding door,” Ms. Kim said.
The master bath has two tall white vanities and sinks joined by a storage unit with a built-in hamper. The dressing room has a bank of built-in black cabinets, shelving and racks. In the water closet, white wainscoting complements pale blue walls.
“Two people can use the space in privacy — one to shower and one to dress. We love it,” she said.
The other three bedrooms range in size from 13 by 12 feet to 14 by 11 feet. One is being used as an office. They all have wall-to-wall carpeting and share a full bathroom with white ceramic tile and lots of storage.
The basement also got a facelift. The 31- by-11-foot space has light gray walls, neutral carpeting and a play area for the grandchildren.
The back deck is accessed from the first floor and basement. Beneath it the homeowners created a secondary seating area.
“We added a fire pit in the yard and Eastern Shore gravel like you would see in Colonial Williamsburg under the deck,” Mrs. Kim said.
People in both areas can enjoy the sound of the water feature, which has no pool.
“We built it with Eastern Shore river rock,” said said. “We made a waterfall and you can hear the water when you are sitting on the deck.”
The property’s assessed value is $226,700 (www.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/GeneralInfo.aspx) Over the past three years, nine houses have sold on Woodbury Drive for prices ranging from $315,000 in November 2012 to $365,000 in March 2103 (www.realstats.net).
Mrs. Kim credits their subcontractors and her husband for bringing her design ideas to life.
“I dream it and he executes it. He is very easygoing. We have a really good time working on these houses.”
Rosa Colucci: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: PGRosa_Colucci.
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to
email@example.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner.