This Peters Township Home Became a “Field of Dreams” for a Blended Family
Once a three-bedroom home, the extensively renovated Tudor-style residence now has seven bedrooms — and a magnificent outdoor space.
“If you build it, they will come.”
That infamous line, delivered by actor James Earl Jones to Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams,” has come to mean many different things to many different people throughout the years.
In the case of Michelle Owczarzak, it meant building a family home at 115 Inverness Drive in Peters Township that exceeded even her wildest dreams.
“The house is really the story of our family,” she says.
Originally purchased in 1999, the home started as a simple three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom Tudor-style house. Today, it features seven bedrooms, five-and-one-half bathrooms and more than 4,800 square feet of interior living space. Outside, multiple terraces, courtyards and a swimming pool add to the dynamic residence.
It is on the market for $988,000 (MLS #1496752, Monica Mahla, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, pittsburghmoves.com or 724/986-2956) and is open by appointment.
When Owczarzak bought the home, she and her former husband had a toddler and were expecting their second child (they eventually had four sons).Their growing family sparked a renovation that added a third floor with four more bedrooms, plus two full bathrooms, to the space. The second floor received an additional 400-square-foot primary bathroom and a laundry room.
“That was hysterical,” Owczarzak recalls. “[The boys] all ended up piled in each other’s rooms.”
The story didn’t end there, however — a plot twist led to the empty rooms being filled.
“We ended up adopting a baby girl.” Owczarzak says. “After our marriage ended, I met a wonderful man with four children, and so we ended up raising nine children together in the house.”
For their wedding, the newly married couple decided to revamp the ½ acre lot. They worked with landscape designer Joe Toomey, who created a spectacular 10-foot-tall waterfall with a walk-behind grotto. Other projects included a second koi pond, a front courtyard and a plethora of covered and uncovered terrace spaces.
The result was an outdoor space perfect for entertaining. And with such a large family, plus the couple’s involvement in charity efforts, it wasn’t uncommon for the Owczarzaks to host large gatherings with more than 100 guests.
The landscaping also includes more than 72 potted plants and window baskets. At night, soft custom lighting makes it glow.
“We installed a full irrigation system for all of it,” Owczarzak says. “The plantings are filled with perennials, hostas and literally hundreds of daffodils and tulips that bloom in the spring.”
An underground spring feeds the koi ponds, keeping them full. The couple also added a special turf area for their dog as a way to avoid muddy paws coming into the house.
Inside, there’s a two-story entrance, hardwood floors and lots of traditional custom woodwork. A two-story great room with a wall of windows is anchored by a fireplace and space for a billiards table. It opens to a banquet-sized dining room that easily seats 12 people.
The kitchen has cherry-wood custom cabinetry with double ovens, a commercial-style gas cooktop and large walk-in pantry with abundant storage space. Granite countertops and Tuscan-style lighting add to the inviting atmosphere.
The formal living room features a wood-burning fireplace with a stone façade and integrated log storage. Generous, multi-layered crown molding adds more warmth to the space.
Owczarzak frequently works from her second-floor office, painted a fern green, which features a Juliet balcony that overlooks the great room with its view of the magnificent outdoor space.
You could get lost in the large owner’s bedroom suite. A cozy fireplace wall anchors a king-sized bed and more windows. The bathroom features a furniture-style vanity console with two sinks, a two-person shower and a two-person soaking tub that sits under a high dormer window. It is accented by a crystal chandelier.
The second-floor laundry room is practically commercial grade.
“You can imagine doing laundry for 11 people at a time,” Owczarzak says. “There are sorting stations and hanging stations, with additional hanging components. I also installed a steamer station.”
The couple also tackled a massive renovation of the unfinished basement.
“We excavated and put in a full bath, bonus room, craft room and wine cellar and made it accessible from the outside,” Owczarzak says.
The conveniences continue with an attached two-car garage as well as an additional two-car detached garage, plus extra parking spaces in the driveway. The house is a five-minute walk from the area’s new high school and is located near the elementary school.
“It was an enormous benefit being here raising all of these children,” Owczarzak says. “One of the great treasures of the township is the library. Also, because we are in Washington County, we don’t have assessments like Allegheny County, so our taxes are reasonable.”
With all these amenities, you may wonder why the couple is moving.
For their next chapter, the couple is relocating to a riverfront building Downtown. An army veteran and a dentist, Timothy Owczarzak is creating a nonprofit that provides free and reduced dental services for military veterans. For the first time in her career, Michelle Owczarzak will be able to walk to work. “We are really excited to move into the city that we love,” she says. “We love the water and it will be a playground for us.”
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: Peters Township (peterstownship.com)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 35-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport primarily by personal car. Some street parking.
Schools: Peters Township Area School District (ptsd.k12.pa.us). The district is ranked 15th out of 493 districts in the state. With an average student-to-teacher ratio of 15.9, it offers lots of specialized instruction and boasts a graduation rate of 97%. High school extracurricular activities include athletics and a musical curriculum that spans grades 1-12.
Neighborhood: Occupying 19.5 square miles, Peters Township was incorporated in 1781 after a land dispute with the state of Virginia. It remained largely unpopulated until the 1950s. Today, it is one of the area’s most sought-after suburbs, attracting residents with its award-winning school district and low taxes. The township has many outdoor recreation areas, including Peterswood Park, where a full slate of free summer movies, concerts and family activities take place this summer.