Yes, you can still buy a home in the Pittsburgh area for less than $200,000.


OWith inflation at an all-time high, are there any affordable gems left on the market for under $200,000 in Pittsburgh? The good news is that there are, but if you’re hoping to catch one, be prepared for a ride.

For example, Sara Augustine, agent at ReMax City Life, recently registered 1109 Davis Ave. in Brighton Heights for $179,900 (MLS #1540982) – and it was agreed within days.

Jeanie Leggate grew up in the all-brick Victorian, which she says was treasured by her parents. It has four bedrooms and a full bathroom, as well as many original finishes throughout its 2,200 square feet.

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Built in 1917, the house was purchased by Leggate’s parents, Richard and Patricia Leggate, in 1973, just before their marriage.

“My mom passed away in 2019 and my dad stayed until he died last December,” says Leggate.

The house has a magnificent porch with a tongue-and-groove ceiling in the original groove and a three-panel oak door with split leaded side windows.

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Once inside, chunky wooden beams and a beautiful staircase are just two of the standout features. There is also a built-in display case and a large fireplace with the original tiled facade.

A pair of pocket doors lead to the dining area, where a large window seat sits above the radiator. The room has another fireplace as well as built-in shelving. Further, the remodeled kitchen was a source of great pride for Richard.

“My dad tore the kitchen and breakfast room down to the studs and remodeled the whole space,” says Leggate.

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Along with new cabinets and countertops, he added a bar where the longtime couple would share a special daily ritual.

“They would come home from work every day, Monday through Friday, and share a glass of wine together while talking about their day,” says Leggate. “I have been very lucky.”

The kitchen also has a five-burner gas cooktop, built-in oven and plenty of storage space.

“My mom was Italian, she liked to make big meals,” says Leggate. “We called it ‘Patty Lee’s Kitchen’.”

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The level back yard, where there is room for a garden and plenty of play space, includes a large deck ideal for entertaining. Inside, a stained glass window with a white swan in the water is featured above the landing as you take the stairs to the second floor.

“It was original with the house,” says Leggate. “We’ve had new windows installed twice in the life of the house, but [my father] never let them touch that window.

The second floor has four good sized bedrooms as well as the only bathroom in the house. The whole house retains the original hardwood floors, doors, trim, millwork, doorknobs and locks.

On the third floor, Leggate and his brother have transformed the attic into a small apartment.

“It was my little getaway,” Leggate says.

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The house looked very different when her mother lived there, Leggate says. Paint colors were dark and all furnishings were Victorian. After his father’s death, Leggate, who is a physician for the city of Pittsburgh, received help preparing the property for sale.

“I have a wonderful group of friends,” she says. “We removed all the old rugs and painted the walls white.”

She notes that her father, who instilled in her his love for DIY, never brought a tradesman to the house.

“My father could fix anything,” she says. “We never called a plumber, he just knew how to do everything.”

Now that the house is under contract, Legette hopes the new owner will enjoy his father’s garden and that, just as his father did, he will fix the house to their liking.

“The house is habitable, so hopefully I can see it when they finish the next phase,” she says.

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Tips for Finding an Affordable Home in Pittsburgh’s Hot Market

Because most buyers looking for a home priced at $200,000 tend to be first-time buyers, ReMax City Life agent Sara Augustine has a strategy to get them through. a super competitive Pittsburgh market.

“As an agent, I want my buyers to have as many homes as possible,” she says.

Having the agent in your corner is just the start of helpful advice for first-time home buyers; taking advantage of current interest rates and programs is another. If the buyer has a credit score close to 800, Augustine also suggests reducing the sale price of the house by 3%.

“If you put in more money, that would definitely strengthen the offer, but I recommend saving the money for other things,” she says.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, sellers have generally not offered assistance to sellers with closing costs because they have so many buyers lined up; It may take a few offers before you land a house.

Further help is available through the Federal Housing Administration and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency programs, which help buyers who meet certain financial guidelines achieve their home buying dreams.

Hot Property is an inside look at unique and historic homes 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 provides an in-depth look at the area’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking home prices and sales and detailing where hot properties are. Rosa can be reached at [email protected].

On: Brighton Heights (

Population: 7,247

Planes, trains and automobiles: An average journey of 21 minutes to the airport. Daily transport via Port Authority. Street parking, carpooling.

Schools: Pittsburgh Public Schools ( Magnet, neighborhood and CAPA (School of Creative and Performing Arts) available.

District: The neighborhood is experiencing a revival, thanks to its location along Route 65 as well as an astonishing inventory of stately homes and churches laden with ornamental woodwork, stained glass and hearths. The neighborhood holds an annual home tour where many of these homes are featured. Large maple trees, a local swimming pool, access to Riverview Park and a strong community group attract many buyers hoping to revitalize the community. Brighton Heights is home to 11 distinct sets of urban stairs used to connect the neighborhood.


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