Pete & Elizabeth

Pittsburgh, PA | Polish Hill

Pete & Elizabeth used the Fannie Mae Homestyle Loan to elevate a dated, mundane 1891 Polish Hill property to a new level!  They created a wide-open main floor with an open stairway and exposed a breathtaking view thanks to a 3rd floor bump-out.  Check out this stunning renovation that creates a spectacular living space while retaining a warm & cozy feel.

Putting together a list of expectations for their dream home left Pete & Elizabeth with a lot of pieces, but an unfinished puzzle.  “We knew the neighborhood we wanted to live in, and some of the things we wanted from a space, but every place we saw seemed to need a lot of work to meet our needs,” said Elizabeth. Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2014, Elizabeth and Pete had been on the hunt for a house they could call their home. 

As a couple who never developed a weakness for home renovation shows such as Fixer Upper or Property Brothers, they had never planned on tackling a renovation. After touring an old house that had been bought and flipped, they were disappointed in the quality of the renovation and lack of personalization. Looking at things they would do differently, Elizabeth and Pete had a thought: Did they want to lead a renovation themselves? That same day, they saw the turn-of-the-century era house with a beautiful outdoor space they would decide to make their home. 

Built in 1891, there were plenty of updates that needed to be made. First things first: the wiring and plumbing needed to be updated before the house would even qualify for a mortgage. Next, they took on their extensive laundry list of changes to the house including opening up the first floor, relocating the kitchen, adding a bathroom, and building a dormer extension in order to make the most out of their incredible top floor view.

The yellow house transformed to blue, the red carpet became a memory and the top floor view was opened to its full glory after the 18-month renovation was completed.  (The view is stunning!)

Admittedly, Elizabeth said there was no grand reveal at the end of the project. “We had been so involved with the renovation from the beginning, we were always onsite and underfoot,” she joked. 

It has been a year-long process of looking around and gradually realizing: ‘Yes, this is really real! We really live here!’ We feel a lot of gratitude and amazement.

A longer renovation than anticipated, Elizabeth and Pete found that their support of one another as a couple was invaluable. “We realized that every problem wasn’t going to be a total disaster,” said Elizabeth. Support from each other, and from Prime Lending made all the difference. “Working with Jeff was seriously one of the most positive things about this whole process. It can be very stressful, but the warmth and enthusiasm he brought to the project kept us going when things felt overwhelming” Elizabeth remarked.

As for future renovators, Elizabeth and Pete would advise you to “go for it. There are so many wonderful houses in Pittsburgh that need love and attention. This kind of process makes it possible to keep those houses thriving and give them a new lease on life.”

We were most excited to be back in the neighborhood we loved.