159 Wray Large Road in Jefferson Hills. Photo courtesy of Property Vids Production.

When Ed and Christine Haythorn bought two lots in Jefferson Hills, totaling a little more than two acres, they tore down the old house and built a customized farmhouse that exceeds most people’s expectations of what a farmhouse can be.

The 9,500-square-foot home is multi-generational, says Maria Werner, a RE/MAX realtor who has listed 159 Wray Large Road for sale at $845,000. Many people are paying that much for new homes in the Pittsburgh region because of today’s construction costs, she says, “and you get a lot less [with them].”

The Haythorn’s house, with a lower-level in-law suite, has knotty pine floors and hand-carved chandeliers from Italy (the one in the entryway lowers for easy cleaning with the turn of a key kept upstairs). 

“It’s the details in this home,” says Werner. 

Particularly impressive, she says, are the World War II-era corbels under the fireplace mantle, and the sconces on the wall as you enter the bathroom. The mantle itself is made from wood reclaimed from a barn in Jefferson Hills.

The lighting fixture over the wet bar in the game room is crafted from an antique elevator in New York City, Werner says. Much of the couple’s decor came from The Guiding Light in Oakmont.

From the front porch that spans the length of the home, to a wooded portion of the Jefferson Hills park behind it, the site is not only beautiful but also well situated, Werner says.

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“It’s in front of the park, and close to the extension to 43 to go to Monroeville or the airport,” she says.  

The Haythorns envisioned a farmhouse when they built it in 2003, she says, “but it’s so unique in the way it’s set up and the different things in it. Off the kitchen, they have a butler’s pantry that’s plumbed to be a full kitchen. Then double doors take you into the dining room.”

There are also first-floor his and hers offices, and a primary suite with a walk-in closet, dressing room, and bath with cast-iron tub and brass piping. The bedroom also has access to a deck.

“The dressing room is huge,” says Werner. “You could put an island in the middle.”

“This is really a multi-generational home. That’s become a thing, with people working from home and maybe having a nanny,” Werner says. “There’s a kitchenette in the lower level, along with the wet bar, and it has its own [stacked] washer and dryer. They’d also have their own attached garage.”

The Haythorns decided to sell, she says, after their kids grew up and the 5-bedroom, 3.5-bath home — with its billiard room, wine-tasting room, family room and bonus room — became too big for two people.  

When the home went on the market over Memorial Day weekend, feedback was good from the first few showings, though no one made an offer. “One said it was too large,” Werner says, “and someone wanted it for multi-generational living, but actually needed bigger. They’ll have three families together.”

Werner says she sees more and more of such blended families these days. 

“Our parents are getting older, and the husband and wives are working, so the parents become the daycare [givers],” she says, reminiscent of the way extended families once filled rambling farmhouses in America. “They all lived in the same house. So it’s like it’s come full circle.”

Sandra Tolliver is a freelance writer, editor and public relations professional in Upper St. Clair.