An Affordable Home in Squirrel Hill? Yes, It’s Possible

The well-maintained, brick townhouse is within walking distance of the neighborhood’s thriving business districts.
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PHOTOS BY PAUL WAKIM

Homebuyers looking to break into the trendy End End housing market are going to want to take a look at 6656 Northumberland St. The moderately priced, three-bedroom, 1½ bathroom, all-brick townhouse has just hit the market for the first time since 1993. 

Listed for $299,000 (MLS# 1557200, Reena Blumberger, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com), it is open by appointment.   

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Built in 1913, the home has a lot of desirable features, including off-street parking, a brick patio and a flat, easy-to-maintain yard. It’s also located a short walk from Frick Park, the historical Homewood Cemetery and is a few blocks from Squirrel Hill’s bustling business districts

Betty Klein purchased the building nearly 30 years ago and used it as a rental property, according to her son-in-law. 

“My mother-in-law was a real estate agent for many years, and when she saw a nice piece of real estate she would invest in it,” Larry Mondry says.  

Klein is no longer active in real estate, but “My wife, Susie, has been managing her mom’s real estate for some time,” Mondry says.  

6656 Northumberland Street

Although it has some wear and tear from renters, the 1,360-square-foot home has been well maintained under the family’s care. 

The front door opens to a sunroom, where a large picture window floods the space with light. From there, you can see through to the other end of the home’s open floor plan. With a quick refinish, the original hardwood floors, which run throughout the home, will be as good as new. 

Beautifully curved plaster walls lead to the living room, where there’s a decorative fireplace and built-in bookshelves. Nine-foot-tall ceilings give the space an airy feeling. 

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A transitional light fixture sits above the dining table space, and another large window fills the room with natural light. There also is a bar-height counter that opens to the kitchen. 

“The kitchen was remodeled around three or four years ago,” Susie Mondry says. 

The updated kitchen features white shaker cabinets, open shelving, black granite countertops and an abundance of storage space. A stainless-steel appliance package was installed during the remodel. 

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The finished lower level has paneled walls, vinyl plank floors and a suspended ceiling with recessed lighting, making the space light and bright. At the far end of the room, a retro bar with vinyl padding and nailhead design is a sure conversation starter. Wall shelving rounds out the room. 

The basement also hosts a half-bathroom, utility space and laundry room outfitted with a washer and dryer that stays with the home. 

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One level up, a staircase with the original iron railing and a hammered, black-and-bronze finish winds beautifully from the living room to the upstairs hallway. 

The three bedrooms include a large primary bedroom with a ceiling fan and ample closet space. The second bedroom features a wall of built-in closets and drawers. Bifold paneled doors, as well as space for a built-in television, take up the far wall. The third bedroom is perfect for a nursery or home office. 

The second level’s full bathroom has a tub/shower combination. The walls and the floors are tiled in a creamy white paired with black accents. 

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The home features radiant heaters as well as some radiant floor heating. The entire home has plaster walls and is painted a clean shade of white. 

G.M. Hopkins Historic Maps show that in 1890, this land was part of the property that belonged to Jas. B. Murray. His two lots stretched from South Dallas Avenue to Shady Avenue. Northumberland Street did not exist at that time. The next map, created in 1910, shows Northumberland Street, as well as the land being subdivided into the Hamnett Plan on one side and Prospect Place, where this home sits, on the other. 

 

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The lots are still very much as they were configured more than 100 years ago; the presence of the cemetery and Frick Park also has preserved this part of the city as a lovely residential area that includes a plethora of greenspace.  

With the recent rise in home interest rates, the Mondrys are hoping that this moderately priced property will find owners who previously may have been priced out of this neighborhood. 

“It’s a sad thing, less and less people are in a position to have the dream [of home ownership],” Larry Mondry says. “It is a unique price point for that area.” 

Hot Property, an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property gives an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking housing prices and sales and detailing where the hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at onecordovaroad@gmail.com.

About: Squirrel Hill
Population: 11,363
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 30-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport via Pittsburgh Regional Transit. Street parking.
Schools: City of Pittsburgh (pghschools.org)
Neighborhood: Historic, eclectic and vibrant, Squirrel Hill’s landmarks include Frick Park, Schenley Park, The Bob O’Connor Golf Course and parts of Chatham and Carnegie Mellon universities. The city neighborhood’s business district meets at the apex of Forbes and Murray avenues, featuring restaurants, tea houses, a movie theater and shopping.

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