Hot Property: This Home in South Park is Perfect for a Family

Close to the park of the same name, the all-brick home has an updated interior and a three-seasons room.
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When Dawn Ahern was house shopping with her husband 36 years ago, they stumbled upon the perfect home at 945 Fredericka Drive in South Park by accident.

“We looked at a house on the same street,” Ahern says. “We thought the price was a little bit more, but it had a fenced-in backyard and I wanted a dog so bad, so I said, ‘That’s it!’”

Ahern got her home, her English Springer Spaniel and two more since. She is now selling her home to be closer to aging family members.

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She listed the recently renovated three-bedroom, two-full-bathroom home for $269,900 (MLS# 1497909, Lu Ryan, Howard Hanna Real Estate, 412/708-2300, It went under agreement within 48 hours.

The home started life as a Mid-Century Modern split level. Built in 1956, it has lovely original oak floors, generous yard space and a great location that’s less than a mile from the entrance of South Park.

“It was such a convenient home to live in,” Ahern says. “Not far from Downtown, convenient to the ‘T.’ I worked in town for 40 years.”

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The all-brick exterior features lots of windows, a wide driveway and a two-car garage. In the 1980s, the couple added a three-seasons room to the back of the house. 

“We pretty much lived back there as long as we could until it got cold,” Ahern says.

Inside, the home’s renovations mostly took place after Ahern’s husband died nine years ago. She says he had different ideas about how they should spend their disposable income. 

“I’d talk about the remodel, he would rather travel. ‘Let’s go skiing!’ he would say,” she recalls.  

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The home originally featured a small powder room in the entry that Ahern removed as a way to open up the space. She also replaced the limestone fireplace façade with stacked stone and a gas insert. Five years ago, she upgraded the kitchen cabinets and appliances. More recently, she tore down a wall so the fireplace could be enjoyed from all angles. 

“I always wanted to do that, and I love how it turned out,” Ahern says. 

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There originally were four bedrooms in the home, but Ahern captured a small bedroom and expanded a bathroom to create a bright, airy space.

Hardwood floors, a custom shower with a tile seat and Hollywood-style fixtures make for a luxurious bathing experience. Tile accents, a new 60-inch vanity and oil-rubbed bronze knobs add additional warmth to the bathroom.

The second bathroom also got a total makeover. It features a bath/shower combo, a new vanity and medicine cabinet and more oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. It’s warm, comfortable and roomy.

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The three bedrooms are spacious, with hardwood floors, bright white paint, and lots of closet space. The large basement is finished and features a drop ceiling, carpet and a gas fireplace with a brick façade. Ahern says this is where she and her husband would unwind from the day. 

“We used to call that our “Jeopardy!” room,” she says. 

The home also has a separate laundry room, plus two more tandem rooms lined with shelves that are great for storage. Ahern says she is not sad to be leaving the house — it has served her family well.

“It’s a happy transition,” she says. “I am going to live and help my mom. It’s good.”

Drawing on her years of experience covering the region’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property will offer 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

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