Just as it did with everything else, the pandemic has changed homebuying in Pittsburgh, says Caryn Rosenthal with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.
“People want to be with their families, so there are people moving back here and people moving out,” says Rosenthal, who recommends getting pre-approved for a mortgage and understanding all the costs involved with buying a house, such as the transfer tax, closing costs and home inspection.
“It’s still a seller’s market,” she says. “If the property is hot and priced right, it will result in multiple offers.” Older property that needs work will sell quickly, too, as long as it’s priced right, Rosenthal adds.
In a hot market, and especially in a multiple offer situation, agents might advise their buyers to write a letter to the sellers to introduce themselves and say why they love their home. It’s a tug at their heartstrings that just might swing the deal their way, she notes.
“Everything’s selling,” Rosenthal says. “September typically isn’t really busy for real estate, but we’re busy and I know a lot of other agents who are busy, too.”
One competitive price point is $250,000. Here’s a sampling of homes available at that price:
Neighborhood: 506 Arthur St., Hill District
Asking price: $249,900
Description: Here’s a chance to buy into the Crawford Square development in the Lower Hill District. Built in 1994, this updated 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home has hardwood floors, gas heat and central air. The open concept kitchen and dining area flows into the living room. French doors lead to a deck, with a fenced yard below. There’s a laundry room and a one-car integral garage.
Neighborhood: 822 Concord St., East Allegheny
Asking price: $246,500
Description: This 3-bedroom, 2-bath home was built in 1921 but has been fully renovated. It has a large living room, dining room and galley kitchen. Flex space on the third floor could become an office, playroom or workout room. The windows are newer, the roof was replaced in 2006 and the HVAC system was updated in 2013. Enjoy the fenced backyard with a patio.
Neighborhood: 3524 Sirius St., Summer Hill
Asking price: $245,000
Description: A farmhouse style makes this renovated 4-bedroom, 1-bath home stand out. Built in 1930, it has a big front porch and flat fenced backyard with a hedgerow. The gorgeous tile work around the fireplace matches the flooring in the bathroom, and the flooring throughout has been updated. The large galley kitchen has space for a table. There’s also a detached two-car garage.
Neighborhood: 139 Aiden Ct., Brookline
Asking price: $255,000
Description: This townhome in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Built in 2008 as a model home, it has many upgrades including hardwood floors, a butler’s pantry with a wet bar, a whole-house audio system, an upstairs laundry room and a finished game room. The kitchen and dining area are made for entertaining. The master bath has a soaking tub.
Neighborhood: 1513 Sarah St., South Side Flats
Asking price: $259,000
Style: Row house
Description: This sweet 2-bedroom, 2-bath home built in 1900 has an ivy-covered, fenced courtyard. The charm continues inside with an exposed brick wall, hardwood and ceramic tile flooring and a large eat-in kitchen. Located close to the riverfront trail, it’s within walking distance of all the neighborhood has to offer, with a bus stop nearby and permit parking.
Neighborhood: 3807 Liberty Ave., Unit 2, Lawrenceville
Asking price: $249,800
Description: Jacqueline Allenberg with Piatt Sotheby’s describes these newly constructed condos as “refined luxury infused with an industrial spirit.” This condo is a 1-bedroom, 1-bath unit with an open floor plan. The 10-foot ceilings open the space even more. The condo’s amenities include a a gourmet kitchen, rooftop deck and private parking with bicycle storage.
Neighborhood: 945 Greenfield Ave., Greenfield
Asking price: $259,900
Description: Here’s a find on a corner lot: a remodeled 3-bedroom, 1-bath home with a detached two-car garage. The large eat-in kitchen has a center island and leads to a private deck. The lower level could be finished into a game room. The front and side yards are fenced for privacy. This home is located within walking distance to a supermarket and Magee Recreation Center.