Good Schools and Nice Neighborhood? Check and Check in Mt. Lebanon
The sunny, four-bedroom, multi-level home is on a tree-lined street with sidewalks.
The most important amenity Min Leamon and her husband, Steven, were looking for when they moved to Pittsburgh seven years ago was a good school district. They found that — and so much more —in Mt. Lebanon.
“We came from Wilmington Island, Georgia,” Min says. “We chose several areas to focus on and were drawn to Mt. Lebanon because the graduates and alumni were very successful. Everything was so positive.”
When the couple came across the lovely, four-bedroom, 2½-half bath brick home at 188 Sunridge Drive, they knew they had found home. With more than 1,950 square feet of living space, and an open floor plan, it checked all the boxes for the well-traveled family.
“My dad was in the military and we moved a lot,” Min says. “And my husband and I moved several times because of our jobs in the last several years.”
At the time, the home had several bids, so Min wrote the seller explaining how much they wanted the home because of the quality of the school system, as well as how important education was to their family. Unbeknownst to them, the seller was a teacher; their bid was accepted.
Now, the family is once again moving because of work and also family obligations. Their home is listed for $399,000 (MLS#1614114, Lu Ryan, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com). It is open by appointment.
Built in 1968, the multi-level home is on a tree-lined street with sidewalks. Inside are natural oak hardwood floors and large windows that infuse the rooms with light.
“The openness of the space has to be appreciated,” Min says.
Off the tiled entrance hall is a formal living room with neutral-hued paint and enough space to house a sectional couch and an upright piano. Past the hallway powder room is the kitchen, a breakfast area and a family room, which includes a gas fireplace.
The 10-by-14 square-foot kitchen has solid, raised-panel oak cabinets, stainless-steel appliances and a built-in pantry cupboard. The counter’s long breadth makes prepping meals easy.
In the breakfast area, a pair of oak French doors lead to a roomy deck with space for several sitting areas and an updated backyard.
Min says Steven took the lead in removing several overgrown trees from the backyard that were causing concern. Once that was done, the other work began.
“Originally, the hill had no grass on it,” she says. “We put the grass on the hill to help hold the hill; we put down the tall greens and planted evergreen so that we would have green back there in the winter.”
Steven also installed a firepit in the corner of the yard; at the top of the hill is a swing set with a mulched area. The area doubles as a perfect viewing spot for fireworks.
The home’s four bedrooms range in size from 13-by-10 to 11-by-13 square feet; like the rest of the house, they have natural oak flooring. While the primary bedroom has an attached bathroom, the other three bedrooms are serviced by a full bathroom in the hallway.
The Leamons took advantage of stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic to add a gym to the basement. The well-equipped space has removable rubber flooring, treadmills, weights, benches, kettlebells and mats. There’s also an integral, two-car garage.
While the sunny home has plenty of amenities, it’s the neighborhood’s community life that makes it second to none.
“There is a little park that was made possible from the donations here, Highland Terrace Park; we have a swing, a little slide and a basketball court. There are weekly food trucks,” Min says. “Two of the neighbors arrange everything and keep everyone together on a community Facebook page.”
All this makes this latest relocation harder than the family’s previous moves.
“A part of me just had a hard time moving on,” Min says. “It was a very hard decision to make.”
Drawing on her years of experience covering the region’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property takes an inside look into unique and historic homes currently 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 will give an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, track housing prices and sales and detail where the hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Mt. Lebanon (mtlebanon.org)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 25-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport via Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s T-Rail line and buses. On-street, metered and by-permit parking.
Schools: Mt. Lebanon School District (mlsd.org) has a high academic rank, with 93% of its graduates going on to post-secondary education. The dynamic music, theater, sports and academic programs include AP programs.
Neighborhoods: Mt. Lebanon has one of the most vibrant, thriving (and dog-friendly) business districts in Allegheny County. Take a stroll and visit Rollier’s Hardware, Uptown Coffee and The Fabric Place. Restaurants range from grabbing a quick slice of pizza at Mineo’s to upscale dining at Bistro 19. Benches and trees welcome visitors and the historic churches located up and down the main drag are a marvel to behold any time of the year.