If you had a million dollars, what sort of home could you buy in Pittsburgh? Quite a lot, real estate agents say. The high-end market is competitive.
Sure, for $1 million you could buy a Gothic church in Dormont or invest in a fully-rented, 12-unit apartment building in Friendship. But for a home to live in, that cash or a little more can buy you a condo Downtown, in the Strip District or East End, or a single-family home with lavish amenities and a private backyard in many city and suburban neighborhoods. Some ambitious sellers even offer lots for development at that price.
“You can buy so much more for your money in Pittsburgh,” says Sepi Miller, a Coldwell Banker agent in Gibsonia who often shows multimillion-dollar properties. She finds that people moving to Pittsburgh from New York or other large cities want newer homes in top-notch school districts, with safe, walkable communities.
Even if the market is narrower for homes over $1 million, Jean Haines sees growing demand because Pittsburgh’s cost of living is below the national average.
“You’d be surprised—you have to remember all the professionals we have in this city, whether it’s technology, medicine, the legal profession,” says Haines, a Coldwell Banker agent in the South Hills. “And you can tell the demand is increasing by the development that’s taking place. Of all the major metropolitan areas, Pittsburgh is probably the most reasonably priced.”
Here are 10 homes listed for sale at around $1 million, give or take a few hundred thousand dollars. (And be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end to get a peek inside them.)
Neighborhood: 151 Fort Pitt Boulevard #1801, Golden Triangle
Asking price: $1,295,000 (Price cut $100,000 Jan. 23)
Description: Developer Ralph Falbo designed this two-bedroom, two-bath penthouse-style condo for himself and was the first of its two owners. He imported glass tiles from Italy for the spa-styled master bath and built in a unique glass desk for office work. The open floor plan takes advantage of postcard views, and the unit has a semi-private terrace. Other amenities: espresso wood floors, built-in window seating, remote-control blinds, a chef’s kitchen, custom closets with ventilated shoe storage, and a spa-styled master bath.
“He thought of everything,” says listing agent Lori Hummel, with Howard Hanna. “It has a spectacular location, with easy access to the parkway, and it’s also easy to walk out your door to Market Square, restaurants, the theater, and sporting events.”
Neighborhood: 2500 Smallman Street #8, Strip District
Asking price: $1,442,500 (Unfinished unit)
Description: This is the only “shell” unit remaining among 11 condos that Pitt Ohio president Chuck Hammel is developing in a 1950s warehouse redesigned by Desmone Architects. That means it’s likely to cost another $1 million to finish it, says Darla Jobkar, the Northwood Realty agent marketing the property.
“We do have an in-house builder, or if the owner has a contractor, you can finish it out upon approval,” she says. “There are very strict [building] requirements, with steel construction and the integrity and quality that goes into each unit. This is a project unlike any other. We never would have anticipated the success of this, and that just makes it so much more unique.”
This LEED-certified, gated building, with integral garage and elevator, is designed for luxury living. Amenities include a private balcony and courtyard, fitness center, radiant and gas forced air heating, and no-noise insulation. The listing anticipates a fall 2017 delivery for this unit.
Neighborhood: 8354 Rochester Rd., McCandless
Asking price: $995,000
Style: Georgian colonial
Description: This 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath brick home built in 1994 is situated on 5.71 acres in the North Allegheny School District. The grounds include streams, park benches, a private drive, an in-ground swimming pool, hot tub, horseshoe and volleyball areas, and fire pit. A double entry reveals custom details inside the home such as mosaic tile, tin ceiling, crown molding, etched glass cabinetry and granite. The kitchen opens to a family room with log-burning fireplace and a sunroom overlooking the backyard. The master bedroom has a spa-like bath and connected sitting room or office. A lower level has a game room, kitchenette, and workout room. The property includes a 40’x30′ barn with additional storage for cars below.
Neighborhood: 1816 Buena Vista Street, North Side
Asking price: $990,000
Description: Want a fixer-upper? Or a large, level lot with incredible views on which to build your dream home? Either choice is a possibility with this property, says listing agent Ben Straub with Howard Hanna. The four-bedroom, two-bath home, built in 1861, is offered “as is.”
“It’s salvageable if you choose to renovate it,” says Straub.
But the seller places real value on the eight connected lots that equal roughly 3.5 acres, he says: “It’s a really a unique property. You could position anything on the property and build whatever you want. And land is limited, as you well know, in the North Side.”
Neighborhood: 705 The Gardens Drive, Etna-Sharpsburg area of O’Hara
Asking price: $1,080,000
Style: French colonial
Description: Built in 2013, this 4-bedroom, 6-bath home has elegant architectural influences inside and out, RE/MAX agent Karen Connor says in the listing. It’s a home “built with pride, quality materials and excellent craftsmanship,” she says. The chef’s kitchen has a six-burner gas stovetop, two dishwashers, and wine refrigerator. There’s a theater room, a first-floor master suite, laundry room, built-in elevator shaft and heated three-car garage. Wrought-iron railings decorate each level, and the home has four gas-burning fireplaces. The lower level entertaining area includes a wine room, guest bedroom and bath, and exercise room with mirrored wall. French doors lead to a patio, gazebo and covered shelter with electricity and ceiling fan—a perfect area for a hot tub or outdoor dining. This home is in the Fox Chapel Area School District.
Neighborhood: 1616 Powers Run Road, Fox Chapel
Asking price: $1,399,000
Description: Built by renowned architect Tasso Katselas in 1963, this five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is situated on 3.3 acres with an in-ground pool, hot tub, playground, concrete bridge, waterfall, two-story guest house and small barn. Realtor Phil Anthony with Albert Anthony Real Estate lists it as an “incredible contemporary” that is private, serene with “a masterpiece design” that takes advantage of natural light, with an open floor plan, cantilevered living room and balcony.
Neighborhood: 110 Hoodridge Drive, Mt. Lebanon
Asking price: $1,050,000
Description: This fully renovated home, built in 1930, is an “exemplary property located in a premier neighborhood,” says Haines, the listing agent. The cherry kitchen has a six-burner stove, sub-zero refrigerator, convection oven and granite counters. The home has five bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a living room, library/den, and first-floor guest room. A walk-out lower level has a finished game room, complete kitchen, workroom with benches, and access to a patio with fountain and level yard.
“It’s in absolutely pristine condition, with original woodwork. It’s a lovely house,” Haines says. “It’s like buying a new house but it has that old stone [exterior].”
The first-floor bedroom and bath near the kitchen were intended to be a maid’s quarters when the home was built, she says.
Neighborhood: 1104 Grandview Avenue #3, Mt. Washington
Asking price: $1,295,000
Description: This two-bedroom, three-bath condo built in 1980 is “a one-of-a-kind stunner,” Howard Hanna agent Lynne Bingham says in the listing. She cites as evidence its travertine floors, 22-foot beamed ceiling, wall of windows, living room with fireplace and serenity pond, and quartz kitchen with commercial grade appliances. Take the spiral staircase to second-level bedrooms, a loft or den, custom walk-in closets, and luxury bath with soaking tub and city skyline views. A two-car garage comes with the condo.