Hot Property: Not Your Typical Development in Oakmont
Learn more about the red hot real estate market — and why a growing neighborhood on the site of a former steel plant might just charm you.
It’s been a wild ride in real estate since the last Hot Property appeared in our Spring HOME edition.
Housing prices have shot through the roof. Median listing prices are up 23% this year, while inventory is down nearly 36%. Houses are selling within hours of being listed, while real estate agents line up showings every 15 minutes and field multiple offers — many of them coming in over asking price, right out of the gate.
Interest rates remain at all-time lows, and cash is king in this buying environment. What we’re experiencing now is typically what it’s like buying a home in California — and it’s not necessarily fun.
All of the activity is compounding an epic lumber and material shortage. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lumber yards curtailed production, believing demand would decrease. Instead, the pendulum swung the other way; the shortage has added a whopping $35,000 to the price of any new home. Storms in Texas also affected raw materials used to produce appliance insulation, furniture foam and paint. These items ALL have supply-chain issues, and that too is driving up costs.
Hopefully by the time you read this, the worst will be over.
In the meantime, agents are hustling to churn out paperwork and close on properties. If you must buy a house right now, make sure you have a bank pre-approval and liquid funds for your down payment. Also, know your tolerance for how much you’re willing to spend. The negotiations are fast and furious, so buckle up and be prepared — this market is not for the faint of heart.
THE RIVER’S EDGE IN OAKMONT
Seeing that the market was heading to a boiling point, I sought out some new construction for you to feast your eyes upon. I crossed a bridge, cruised on Route 28 and drove down a boulevard before I landed at The River’s Edge of Oakmont.
Dan J. Mancosh of Brooks & Blair Homes teamed up with Pittsburgh architecture and urban-design firm Rothschild Doyno Collaborative to develop this Allegheny riverfront property at the site of the former Edgewater Steel plant, which for years lay fallow.
Mancosh secured the property in 2005 and spent years working in the entitlement process, then modifying and improving plans before the project’s start in 2013. The result is a unique waterfront neighborhood located in the same charming bedroom community Mancosh grew up loving.
“I had a family connection to Oakmont. I was over there a lot as a kid,” he says. “My mom and dad thought they might retire there.”
While he originally considered only building apartments, Mancosh decided to add single-family homes, condos and townhomes featuring designs not typically found around western Pennsylvania.
“My wife, Linda, and I looked at houses on our trips to Daniel Island in South Carolina and Georgetown in Washington, D.C.,” he says. “We patterned the homes from what we saw built around Georgetown.”
This led to second-and third-floor balconies, high ceilings and wide front porches. The neighborhood also includes sidewalks for strolling, a clubhouse, a fitness center with an infinity pool and lots of riverside recreational opportunities.
For the interiors, Linda Mancosh took over, incorporating of-the-moment design trends. One model home features all-white walls and trim and is beautifully decorated with furniture from Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel and light fixtures from Kichler and Minka-Lavery.
Several of the model homes have an elevator upgrade; the Monroe model even has them as a standard feature.
Each home also has a private side courtyard and first-floor primary bedrooms. There are options for flex space for those who work from home.
Site coordinator Lori Hummel says The River’s Edge is attracting a lot of young families from outside the area who see the value in living in the Riverview School District — as well as in a community such as Oakmont, which has a traditional town feel.
“Each home has a bit of a different flavor because of the lot size,” Mancosh says. “We didn’t want to do cookie-cutter homes.”
Prices start at $780,000 and can climb above $1 million for the top-of-the-line model. There are also apartments available for rent, with leases starting at $1,500 per month.
Mancosh gushes about the local eateries within walking distance of the neighborhood, including The Lot at Edgewater. And let’s not forget about Oakmont Bakery — enough said.
The model home is located at 15 Carolina Ave. in Oakmont and is open on weekends. More information is available at riversedgeofoakmont.com or by calling 412/828-2000.
Rosa Colucci can be reached at email@example.com.