Hot Property: This Updated Colonial in Upper St. Clair Has a Flat Lot
The four-bedroom home on Swanson Lane is close to schools, shopping and I-79.
When Jamie and Steve Del were house hunting, they did something extraordinary for Pittsburghers — they left the North Hills to move to the South Hills.
The couple had fallen in love with a four-bedroom, Center Hall Colonial with great bones. Located at 1678 Swanson Lane in Upper St. Clair, the home had the added bonus of being on a rare half-acre flat lot and on a cul-de-sac
“Our neighborhood has the best location,” Steve says. “It’s really close to the high school and there is easy access to get on I-79. We are also near the malls and tennis courts.”
Now, 15 years and a few extensive renovations later, the couple is looking for a change. They have listed their home for sale for $425,000 (MLS# 1492961, Dora Rudick, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 412/506-2394, coldwellbankerhomes.com). It is under agreement.
The exterior is a low-maintenance, tan-colored brick with black shutters and a small vinyl siding accent above the front door.
Inside, the couple made many changes, beginning with the main living areas.
“When we first bought it, the interior had an ’80s look,” Jamie says. “We did a lot of work on the family room and kitchen.”
The couple took down the wall between the rooms to create an open space. New cherry-stained cabinets, granite counters and stainless appliances also were installed, as was new flooring and carpeting.
Last winter’s chill was eased by a wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen benefitted from removing the wall, allowing for an abundance of light from the family room to fill the space.
A door leads out to a back deck with views of the pretty yard. Like most homeowners, the pandemic forced a reconfiguring of interior space. In this home, the large dining room houses a desk and is being used as a home office.
On the other side of the main entrance hall, a formal living room remains a family-favorite meeting place for live music.
“I play piano and our two older children also play instruments,” Jamie says. “It’s been a nice place to gather and we have concerts in that room for each other.”
Upstairs, four bedrooms begin with the main suite. It features a walk-in closet, a new master bathroom, carpet and paint.
“We completely gutted it,” Steve says. “We have two separate vanities. It was finished pre-COVID.”
The new shower has sliding glass doors and a large niche for products. The separate white vanities, each topped with granite, are on opposite sides of the room. The closet also got a makeover.
“We redid the master bedroom closet to handle all of your stuff,” Jamie says.
The other three bedrooms all have new engineered wood floors. The bedroom belonging to the couple’s eldest son also has a cool study nook with a window.
The bedrooms are serviced by a newly renovated hallway that features two separate vanity spaces cleverly wrapped around a corner. The efficient use of space allows for multiple family members to use it.
The spacious basement has a large laundry area with front-load machines, an exercise area and a media viewing area. New lighting and carpet provide a fresh canvas.
There is a sliding glass door that opens to an expanded patio hardscape — but the real draw is the yard.
“It’s half an acre,” Steve says. “People can’t believe that we have a level lot. It has been good for football, baseball and entertaining.”
The couple says there is a lot of community life in the neighborhood. Pre-COVID, they used their large yard to host the neighborhood’s Easter Egg Hunt.
“We had more than 40 kids back there,” Jamie says. “It’s been a great place to live.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Upper St. Clair
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Just a 25-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport via Port Authority. Street Parking.
Schools: Upper St. Clair School District, (USCSD.k12.pa.us)
Neighborhood: Named for Scottish-American soldier and politician Arthur St. Clair, Upper St. Clair has origins that trace back to the mid-18th century after settler John Fife arrived from Scotland. Several Historic landmarks and buildings still stand in the township.