A local couple in the Shenango Valley is fixing up homes in the area to bring more people to the countryside. Marissa and Mike Foster are a contractor-realtor duo that have just finished up their latest project on Rutledge Road in Transfer. 

The farmhouse was originally built in the 1900’s but now has a modern spin. 

“Quartz countertops…awesome cabinet upgrades…we have stainless steel appliances, oversized dining space,” Realtor Marissa Foster said when showing the house to 21 News just before it hit the market. 

The Fosters poured a lot of work into the restoration while still keeping its history. 

“All throughout the home are the original woodwork, original soil core doors,” Marissa said. 

It’s the fifth house they’ve restored in the area. They said there's plenty of buyers out there but the current housing market makes sealing the deal tough. 

“The housing prices are high and interest rates unfortunately are high right now too so you have sellers less likely to sell,” Marissa said. 

On top of that, Marissa said people in the Shenango Valley tend to hold onto their homes for longer or pass them onto family members - creating a housing shortage for buyers.

“With someone from Pittsburgh or other surrounding areas wanting to move to a more rural setting they really are looking for something they’re used to which is a nicer, more updated modern home and it’s hard to find here,” Mike said. 

So, they’ve started buying up old homes and giving them a complete redo from top to bottom.

“It’s so great to get into these older homes, it’s a great structure,” Mike said about the upgrades to the Rutledge Road home. “We completely gutted all the electric brand new … some of the plumbing was a little dated so we replaced all the drain lines with PVC.”

“We live and we’re raising our family in Transfer and it's important to us that we invest where we live,” Marissa said. “It’s part of giving back for us. We have the resources and the knowledge to do it.”

Foster & Co. Reality will host an open house from 12 - 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 for the home at 978 Rutledge Road in Transfer. The house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms with a finished attic for additional space. It also includes the empty lot next door making it almost a full acre of land.

As for Marissa and Mike, they haven’t secured their next home to fix up just yet but say more are coming in the future. 

“It’s not about quantity for us. We don’t do this in six weeks. We spend our time. We’re careful and thoughtful,” Marissa said. 

“The industry calls what we're doing flipping but we really want to call it restoring because we believe we're doing something completely different,” Mike said.

Marissa at Foster & Co. can be reached at 724-638-7775.