August 25, 2020

6 Months later...a Pittsburgh House Tour

Last week was a huge sigh of relief because we finally got our security deposit back on our Pittsburgh rental. It was a relief because the agency made us jump through dozens of hoops just to rent the place...$35 application fee each, $30 to register our dogs on a database each year we were there + provide vet records, have every utility switched in our names with account numbers written down for the agency's records before we could move in...I could go on and on. The biggest issue was that, not only did we have to put down a full month's rent as a security deposit, but we had to put down a duplicate amount as a pet deposit...and still pay per month, per pet. 

My head aches just thinking about it and remembering the stress of it all, frankly. We always felt like we were being taken advantage of during that process. 

In the end, we did everything they asked because we needed a place to live and had no other options. 

Two weeks ago, they told us they were giving us the entire deposit plus the entire pet deposit back because we'd done such a good job taking care of the place and cleaning it before we left. They were originally supposed to charge us for carpet-cleaning and they didn't. Woo-hoo. 

We didn't ask questions. We just deposited the check and now we are done with Pittsburgh. 

Everyone has a pre-shutdown story where they just couldn't believe that it had been real life, considering the entire country started shutting down two weeks later. For me, it was when our friends from Denver came to visit us for Presidents' Day weekend and we spent a few days seeing/eating/doing everything in Pittsburgh. (The next week all three of us were sick with chills, fever, body aches, etc...just saying...)

Life was good, right?

I took these pictures with the intent of sharing them once we were long gone from Pittsburgh. I took them right before our friends arrived from the airport because I was thinking This might be the last time this place looks fully put-together because I'm going to start packing next month because we're moving in May. bahahaha, right? We ended up ending our lease July 15th, due to Covid pushing our moving date and start date in Kansas.

But I do try to take pictures of our houses once they're "done". 

The bane of my existence: the front door just opening into the living room. The fixation I have on entryways now is unreal. 

Not our curtains. 
They were pretty high quality, up on a track. I made them work. I had the fireplace baby-proofed for a bit. Then he kept pulling the foam off so I gave up. 

The dining room. 

This was my only real baby-proofing after Wells could really walk. It was the only thing I was afraid of him getting into. He almost never did, though.

The kitchen, if I had to pick, would be my favorite room. There was a decent amount of workspace. I mean, the water hookup/icemaker on the fridge didn't work, the garbage disposal was always jamming, the dishwasher was inserted crookedly, and the oven died more than once...but the gas stove was a delight. 

That countertop is not granite. It's a bumpy epoxy paint, most commonly used for garage floors. Which the neighbor helpfully told me she would never eat off of because you'd probably get sick from it.

This kitchen did have a ton of storage but since it was built 50-60 years ago, there weren't many outlets, which gets to you after some time. 

The bathroom was the only professionally remodeled room in the house and it shows. The subway tile was lovely, decent amount of storage, etc. I just wish there had been two bathrooms like this. 

Wells' room. I did a separate post on this. But that purple carpet was interesting. The neighbor told me it was originally installed in the house when there was a little girl living there and now this little girl is 48 years it's an old carpet. 

The guest room/office. There was nothing that could be done to make this room look good. The walls were dingy white, the blinds were too small for the windows, etc. I tried curtains and that barely worked. The great rug from Wells' first nursery looked terrible on these floors. The point of contention was mainly the floor: they had pulled up carpet and never refinished the wood so it was a mess. 
(Also, that's our dresser mirror up against the wall. It didn't fit in our room.)

And the half bath was in the guest room? Whatever. 

And our room. Same issue with the floor. It had random scratches and paint marks and nail holes everywhere. It was original hardwood but no one had ever refinished it. You could still see the carpet staples, with the occasional carpet fiber along the wall. It reminded me of this experience in Colorado and I was surprised we didn't come across a tack strip. 

Do you remember on Father of the Bride where George describes their house as "warm in the winter and cool in the summer". This house was the opposite: even with central air, it was warm in the summer and cool in the winter. In fact, it was downright drafty. I had to put blankets in the windows of our bedrooms. Our room stayed the coldest, so I had a space heater I'd fire up on really cold nights. Scott swore that sleeping in there gave him a sore throat and he blamed more than one cold on that room. So he slept on the couch a lot. 
In the summer, the bedroom was so hot that Scott couldn't stand it either. 
The windows were either poorly installed, the insulation was non-existent, or (most likely) both. 

My dad also mentioned the A/C return vents were in the wrong spot; if you look at the picture up there of the guest room, you can see that the return is on the wall, under the window. They're not supposed to be on exterior walls. The actual heat/air vents were on the interior walls (they were wall vents, not floor registers). 

So, essentially, the air and the heat were circulating backward, wonder if was always warm when it was supposed to be cold and cold when it was supposed to be warm. 

Clearly, I've spent A LOT of time fixated on this. 

Anyway. House #6 is done and gone. Finally. House #7 seems to be much more promising. 

(Our a/c return vents are properly positioned. I checked as soon as we moved in.)


  1. An entry way is a must for me in a home too! I love subway tile, it makes any space look classy to me.

  2. I was going to say, at least you had a good kitchen... but then, the risk of dying from poisoning sort of ruined that


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