Julie Rost tells clients to jump in with both feet: There are a lot of home buyers who didn’t make a purchase last year and there’s still not enough housing stock in Pittsburgh to go around.
“If you see something you like, you might not have a chance to get all your questions answered before you submit an offer,” says Rost, a real estate agent with Zillow. “Have your pre-approval letter ready, have your closing date and be prepared to be in a multiple-bid situation.”
Suburban markets typically don’t see a lot of inventory until the weather breaks in spring, says Rost. By then, she’s hopeful that as more people get vaccinated, older sellers who have been hunkered down during the pandemic will make the move they’ve long anticipated.
The pandemic has caused some people to make habit-changing decisions when it comes to buying a home, says Rost.
“We’re starting to finally see some people move in from out of state, some for job reasons,” she says. “I’ve got people who took jobs in 2020 … and intended to relocate but haven’t, and now they want to make that move. I’ve got other buyers who have chosen Pittsburgh — almost randomly, in some cases — to come and raise their families. It’s a remarkable testament to Pittsburgh that people who have never been here before would do their research and that’s where they want to go.”
Interest rates mostly remain under 3 percent, so it’s a good time to buy. If you have $325,000 to spend, there are homes listed in and around the city, from very old to relatively new:
Neighborhood: 528 Hemlock St., North Side
Asking price: $325,000
Description: This restored 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home built in 1898 has grace and style, with hardwood flooring and original woodwork, outstanding city views and a mature, fenced garden. There is a deck and a balcony off the master bedroom, as well as a second-floor media room. The four fireplaces are decorative but could be converted for use with gas logs. Parking is off-street.
Neighborhood: 112 E. North Ave., North Side
Asking price: $324,999
Style: Row house
Description: This 2.5-story home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a front porch and a 2-car garage shows why the Mexican War Streets are popular. Located across from Allegheny Commons Park, the home was renovated 15 years ago but retained its oak flooring, original trim and three fireplaces. The rooms are large, including a remodeled kitchen with lots of storage space.
Neighborhood: 2813 Edwards Way, South Side
Asking price: $329,000
Description: Built in 2008, this limestone home near SouthSide Works has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and an oversized 2-car garage. The fenced backyard and deck offer privacy for getting outdoors. Beautiful woodwork and lots of natural light make the most of the open floor plan. The upper-level master bedroom has a sitting area, bath, walk-in closet and laundry hookup.
Neighborhood: 1 Pius St., Suite B7, South Side
Asking price: $324,900
Description: Your design input can put the finishing touches on this 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath condo in Angel’s Arms, the former St. Michael the Archangel Church. Domed ceilings, arches, circular windows and ornamental plaster are some of the unique architectural details. This unit has a large, open floor plan and impressive views. The monthly condo association fee is $400.
Neighborhood: 3433 Butler St., Apt. 401, Lawrenceville
Asking price: $330,000
Description: This 1-bedroom, 1-bath unit in Square View, a 2-year-old converted building in Doughboy Square, sits in the heart of Lawrenceville. The building has large windows, an elevator, bike storage and a garage. Desmone Architects will custom finish the unit for the buyer. It already has quartz counters, hardwood-inspired flooring and stainless steel appliances.
Neighborhood: 5600 Munhall Rd., Apt. 911, Squirrel Hill
Asking price: $325,000
Description: This remodeled apartment in a 1963 high-rise has beautiful city views and an open floor plan flowing from the stunning kitchen to the dining/living area. It has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, including a master suite with a large closet. The balcony faces Downtown, providing sunset views. Building amenities include an indoor pool, fitness room and indoor parking.