Big Love Filled This Small Oakmont Home Nestled on a Hill

Located near many of the borough’s amenities, the century-old, three-bedroom home has been extensively remodeled.


From a historical house that had been moved twice to a low-maintenance condo, Oakmont is filled with interesting properties, among them this three-bedroom house built in 1872. 

Tucked away on a hillside, 800 Maple Way has been in Rita DeLellis’ family for more than 80 years.   

“I grew up in that house,” she says. “It was my old homestead; there were eight children under that roof, four boys and four girls.”


Now that DeLellis and her husband, Jimmy, are making their snowbird lifestyle permanent, they’ve listed the remodeled, 1,216-square-foot home for $179,900 (MLS#1577275, Lori Hummel, Howard Hanna Real Estate, It is open by appointment.  

DeLellis says when her immigrant parents moved to the home decades ago, it had an even smaller footprint. The home also only had one bathroom—and it was in the basement.  

“My daddy knew that he had to build two more bedrooms; [he] added another bedroom to the right and built on top of it,” DeLellis says.  


After most of the siblings left for college or to get married, the home eventually passed to DeLellis’s brother, who was living there when their parents died. As for DeLellis, she and her husband had moved to Colorado to be closer to their son, but vowed to come back to Pittsburgh one day to help their daughter, Dina, when their grandchildren arrived. 

That time came in 2009, when DeLellis’s brother decided to sell the family house. 

“The main bathroom was still in the basement,” DeLellis recalls. “Can you imagine, one bathroom with 10 people — and it was in the basement. We thought that everybody just had one bathroom in the basement.” 


Over the years, her handy husband transformed the house. One of the first projects he tackled was adding another bathroom. He also installed railings, fencing and a rear deck and revamped the front porch

“I told Jimmy, ‘I’m too old to go to the basement in the middle of the night, I need a bathroom,’” DeLellis says. “So, he converted an upstairs bedroom into a nice bathroom.” 


He also turned part of the living room into a powder room, built a pantry and installed Pergo flooring. In the kitchen, he added new paint, cabinets and countertops. DeLellis says her mother used to make homemade ravioli and bread in the kitchen — a tradition she carries on today. Her mother, she says, would have been “ecstatic with the whole renovation.” 

Another addition is a breakfast bar situated in front of a window that has a view of the area’s rolling hills. 

“In the fall when the leaves are turning, it is such a pretty sight to see; the hills of Verona,” DeLellis says. “It is so pretty on the 4th of July. We could see all of the fireworks from the kitchen.” 


Pine accent details also were added to the living room and the first-floor bedroom walls. The living space is cleverly decorated with a simple sofa, lounger and accent chair. A dining room carved out on the first floor easily fits a farmhouse table. 

“Some of the furniture will be staying if the new buyers want to keep it,” DeLellis adds. 

Upstairs, two carpeted bedrooms measure 16-by-8 and 24-by-10 square feet, respectively. 


As for that basement bathroom? Jimmy completely overhauled it. The dry, fresh space has full walk-out access and a laundry area, as well as room to set up a small exercise room or office. 

As they prepare to move, Rita fondly remembers the large amounts of love shared in the little home, including Christmas Eve celebrations with their big extended family. Her mom, she says, is surely happy with the way the home turned out. 

“I know she is looking down on me and smiling right along with me,” she says.  

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

About: Oakmont (
Population: 6,303
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 40-minute commute to Pittsburgh International Airport. Street parking. Public transportation. 
Schools: Riverview School District (
Neighborhood: Known for old houses and old charm, Oakmont, nestled along the Allegheny River, is home to the world-renowned Oakmont Country Club. A handsome and vibrant business district runs along both sides of Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue and features loads of restaurants and bespoke retail shops. The independent Oakmont Bakery is a destination in itself, while the renovated Oaks Theater features live entertainment. Many residents enjoy an evening stroll along the sidewalks and walking paths.

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