Monday, April 29, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Monroeville

Today I'm highlighting 1081 Jefferson Heights Rd.If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm drawn to the more contemporary, open floor plans. I like how this house looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright house, yet has a very reasonable price tag. It looks clean, well-kept, and well-staged. Tony and I looked at a farm house on this street three years ago that is literally across the street. I don't like that there are no sidewalks on this street, a problem I can't seem to get away from in this town. What's the deal Pittsburgh? Is it too much to ask for a girl to want to walk safely in her own neighborhood. I've turned into the 60 yr. old crossing guard in our old neighborhood who yells at cars to slow down. Stepping down off my soapbox are some pictures. You can take the virtual tour here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Real Estate Monday: HGTV Smart Home

I'm down in Jacksonville, Fl this week visiting my parents, and the HGTV Smart Home just happens to be 15 minutes away from them. We drove by Sunday morning and found out they were giving tours later that day. I was surprised by how many people were there, and I didn't get very many photos because of that. Walking through I heard the same thing come out of everyone's mouth- "This could be my new home". Someone will win it. I'd be pretty ecstatic myself, but I gotta be honest and state what I think everyone else was thinking- it was surprisingly small! I'm talking 10'x12' bedrooms. It was sufficient, sure. Each of the three (yes only three!) bedrooms had their own bathroom, which is more than my house has. But I guess I was expecting bigger for an HGTV Smart Home. Here are some pictures I snapped. I love the beachy color scheme, appropriate for its 5 minute bike ride to the beach. It's located in a neighborhood called Paradise Key that gives off a nature preserve feel. Knowing Florida that means snakes! You can see more pics online of course, but here are the few I took (and a couple I snatched off their website to show you). 
Front view 

Master Bath
Master Bath: This is seriously the size of a bedroom itself.
All the toilets in the house were these awesome computer operated,self-closing toilets. Now if they could replace the toilet paper on the roll, we'd be in business. 

Outdoor Shower: really neat concept, but it's on the garage side of the house, not in the back by the pool like you'd think. 

Outdoor kitchen

2nd Floor Hallway turned loft
They put a tv on the opposing wall, but it's hardly big enough to call it a second family room. 

Beautiful Stairwell

Guest Bedroom
Guest Shower
Beautiful, subway tile in a warm, chocolate brown. 

Dining Room
I LOVE that they put three china cabinets side by side along the wall to create a statement.
The curtains are on a track around the whole space to close off the dining area. This would make for some cozy dinners. 

By far my favorite room in the house. The colors are awesome. It doesn't feel like a cookie cutter kitchen at all.
In the back right corner there's another room for the pantry and the laundry room, plus a back door that leads straight to the outdoor shower, then garage. 

All in all, a beautiful house, of course. I believe there are still 39 days left to enter to win. 

Also, here are a few other pictures of some houses we saw in a new development called Rivertown. It's this adorable, little community right across from the river. They're building new craftsmen style homes from $170k-mid $200k. 

Neat idea for end tables: stained vertical stripes for a rustic modern look. 

The view across from the house. 

The view from upstairs. Look at the detailed columns in the open floor plan.
My favorite part of the kitchen. The breakfast nook with built-in cabinetry. 

Check out the mirror. We have that at Redesignation, too.
Cute little girl's room. 

Isn't it all so warm and inviting? Hope you enjoyed my real estate vacation Monday. We'll be back in the burg for more next week. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Potpourri

This is a day late and a dollar apologies (because  I'm sure y'all are on the edge of your seats waiting for this). I was packing for our trip to Florida to visit my parents. T and I are getting out of town while it's my husband's busiest season in landscaping. I thought I had the perfect house to share yesterday, like perfect for us to throw our house on the market today and make an offer on perfect. And since the house had only been on the market seven days, I thought I was safe. I called the Realtor and apparently four other people thought it was perfect, too, and came in with four offers for asking price! I congratulated the Realtor and excused myself to sulk. Not really. But I was kind of sad. Here's the listing for that coveted house. It's a duplex, and I like its bones.
I also found a cute, little home in Mt. Lebanon. It's definitely a flip, which I'd be fine with as long as they didn't cut any corners in the remodel. I have no idea about the area its in. Is there even a bad area in Mt. Lebo?  I like the vanity in the bathroom, the fact that it's on a corner lot, and the fireplace. It's small, but looks adequate and clean (that's always a bonus)!
244 Adeline Ave.
And one more for the road- this one is also in Mt. Lebo. It reminds me of a fun lake house cabin. Only two bedroom/two bath, but large rooms all around, and it looks like a finished basement. I think it's a shame they couldn't stage this. I could totally decorate this place in a rustic modern motif and fall. in. love. I promise that's a real design term, even though I like to think I made it up. And look at that backyard... it goes on for miles, and miles. Have a wonderful Monday, I mean, Tuesday :).

985 Pine Ave.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Worst DIY Project Yet: Chevron Stripes

Chevron stripes- they're cute, trendy, a touch modern, and ultimately my worst DIY enemy. I'd like to consider myself a semi-intelligent person, one who can at least draw what looks like a bunch of "v's", but alas they had me beat. I see all these adorable projects on Pinterest or other design blogs and they make it looks so simple. I've come to the conclusion that those people are actually not human- they're superhuman. So if any of you chevron superheroes out there would like to share your advice on how to equally space those pesky little "v's", please (please) do. In the meantime, here's a step by step tutorial of what not to do. It's like the show What Not to Wear, only it's What Not to Do...I think I'm onto something here.
Welcome to one wall in our living room- the window seat, aka the radiator cover. I haven't been able to find a cushion big enough to cover it, and I'm too cheap to get one custom made. So I decided to paint it and throw some pillows in the corner. My step one was cleaning it off. It was embarrassingly dirty. Like five paper towels and windex dirty.  

After eyeballing where I wanted to put my tape, I realized I needed a center point of reference because tape doesn't tear off at a perfect angle to form the v. I used duct tape because it was all I had. Don't do this. You'll see why later. 

I used tape in between the stripes to measure the width before laying down the next stripe, and then pulled the middle one back up again, leaving the white part to be painted later.

I took a razor blade and used a coaster as a straight edge. Yes, a coaster. Yes, duct tape. Yes, I am ridiculous. This is what not to do, remember? I followed the outer edge of the left line of the v and scored it. Then repeated on the right side of the v, until the two scored parts met and I could peel up the middle section. Confused yet? 

I rolled on paint with a small, thin roller. This was by far the easiest step. Everything else up to this point took me forever to eyeball, lay the tape, and cut out the middle line connecting my edges. I almost wish I would have had one of those protractor thingies, and just measured my angles with a pencil and ruler instead of using tape and my eyeballs. 

I think I can paint a straighter line sans tape than the result I got after ripping up the duct tape. Can you see those chunks of white paint that were ripped off, too? Nothing better than creating more work for yourself because you're too lazy to go buy painters tape. Here's a really good tip on how to paint stripes without having the paint bleed through the tape from this designer's blog. Paint the the first coat the same color as your wall, and let it dry, thus sealing the tape. When you go to paint your second coat with the color stripe you want, the only thing that will have bled through the tape is the original color you painted. I clearly didn't do this here, but I'll definitely do it next time I attempt any stripes. 
Has anyone else out there successfully attempted chevron, or should I just stick to my go to vertical stripe? 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Churchill

Since I've started this business, one of my favorite era's of furniture has become Mid Century Modern, or furniture designed/made between the 50's and 60's, aka retro. This house I'm about to show you was built in 1954 and completely encompasses all things Mid Century Modern. I drove by it a couple of weeks ago, and since then it might already have a contract on it, but it still never hurts to look, right?
So without further adieu I give you 1898 Brushcliff Rd.
I love how you just know this house is going to be sneaky-big since it's built on a cliff. 
 Ok, I don't know about you, but this makes my jaw drop! I love this deck, and the back yard, and the feeling of being in the mountains even though you're not. Oh, Brushcliff road, how you get me!

The lowdown- you'll have to click on the address link above if you'd like to see more pictures (check out that glass atomic coffee table!). The house does need some updating. And by some, I mean all the carpets and bathrooms need attention. HELLO green carpet from the 50's, we hear you loud and clear! But that's just cosmetic, and serves as a good negotiating tool. The bones are all there (4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, open floor plan), and that's what's important. As long as it's structurally sound, this one would be a piece of cake to remodel.
Location- it's fairly convenient, sitting right between the Wilkinsburg and Churchill exits off 376. Both don't have that great of school systems, but alas, welcome to Pittsburgh. Wilkinsburg has higher taxes, so I'd want to make sure this is truly considered Churchill with a price tag of anything over $100k.  It's not really in a walking area... my pet peeve, but not a deal breaker.
Price-wise-You never want to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood, so it worried me when I saw a house down the street on the market for $80k. But there is an extremely stately home right at the entrance of the street that zillow puts at over $400,000 so rest assured this house fits comfortably in the middle price-wise. 

...wish this were like house hunters, where I could show you after pictures once new owners move in...

Happy Monday!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Real Estate Monday: Oakmont

Hi. Welcome back to Real Estate Monday. If you missed the first one you can click here to learn more about the series.Today you're getting a 3 in 1 deal. While my husband and I were looking at this one multi-unit in Verona, the Realtor showed us another property he thought we might be interested in. He was right. I was interested. They were three homes in Oakmont, located on the same property, all completely renovated, or at least in the process of being renovated. It's actually not really on the market yet, but the Realtor just put it on Craigslist yesterday.
I love Oakmont because it's a small town, close to the city, yet far enough away geographically to where I don't think it'll ever experience any problems associated with living in a city. It has an excellent school system, a yummy bakery, and good restaurants all within walking distance.
Here's the history: the owner grew up in the main house (we'll call it house #1). His parents eventually sold it, and he recently bought it back to gut and restore. All three homes will be for sale together, or he'll sell the main house separate from the other two. Here's a view from the back of the property looking at the 3rd house. Taliila is wedged on the front stoop.

House #1: It's going to be listed at around $309k by itself, but negotiable if buying all three. It has three stories, 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. We walked into the back door off the deck right into the eat in kitchen. It wasn't finished when we toured it, but we got the idea. To the left, there was this adorable little room that would make the most wonderful playroom. Little is the operative word, as it was built above the garage, but Taliila was a believer. 

I love that it was right off the kitchen, so you could be cooking and your kids could be in their own space separate from the big people areas. No more toys in the family room- in my dreams, right? Sorry for the awful pictures, I'm sure it'll be properly photographed once it's listed on the market. I'm not a huge fan of dark cabinets, but at least they didn't skimp on the granite. It has a pretty cranberry color speckled throughout. There'll be stainless steel appliances in all the holes :)

Looking towards the back door. Living/Dining room is to my right

The living room and dining room are combined, yet separated by hard wood and carpet. I like an open floor plan concept, and even though the kitchen is not completely open to this area, at least these two rooms are. 

 I'm dying to have a proper foyer like this where you can set things down and not have it flow into your living space. This has plenty of room for shoes, keys, purses, benches, tables, etc.
Looking towards the stairway from the living room. To the left of the stairs is a half bath. Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of the upstairs, but the master has its own private bath, plenty of room to put a walk-in closet, and beautiful, large windows. There are two other decent sized bedrooms on this floor and a full bathroom for them to share. On the third floor are two more rooms, fit for an office and a dream bedroom for a teenager.
House #2: Said to be an old firehouse, it's the smallest of the three and my favorite. The first floor is 500 sq. ft and completely open. It has a new kitchen, a small dining area, and family room. Straight from the doorway you can head up the stairs where there are two bedrooms and a small bathroom. This would be a great place for a single parent, or an awesome guest house. I'd feel secure being in between both houses, while having a decent space of my own. I could see it renting out for between $800-$1000. Both house #2 and #3 are going to be listed at around $189,000 for the pair. 
House #3:Three bedrooms, one bathroom, new eat-in kitchen, decent unfinished basement. If this house had a few more elements, such as a little extra storage on the main floor, I'd called it a day and move in tomorrow. The kitchen has ample room for a big island that you could throw a bunch of stools around. The living room is a good size with plenty of ways to arrange furniture. Upstairs the two guest bedrooms are a little tight. I don't think they even had closets, so technically I'm not sure if you're allowed to call them bedrooms. But my daughter would be perfectly happy to sleep in there. The master bedroom was on the larger side, however, complete with an awesome sun room that would make an amazing office.  This house could easily rent to a small family for around $1100. 
Kitchen has a back door as well
Custom tile work in the upstairs bathroom.
Buying all three homes is unfortunately out of our budget, but for the right person it could really pay off. If you don't mind being a landlord, renting out the two houses could almost cover your mortgage. Or even renting out the 3rd house, while living in the main house, and keeping the smaller one for your in-laws... now we're talking! 
Happy Monday, I hope you enjoyed today's real estate adventure. 


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