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Old 07-09-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
1,261 posts, read 5,043,003 times
Reputation: 719

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All I can say with this economy is be happy you have a job and a place to live.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,358 posts, read 20,143,021 times
Reputation: 16326
I used to live in Brentwood

Don't be in such a rush to buy, you have only been "away" from home and in this area a short time.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,100 posts, read 67,176,437 times
Reputation: 15733
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEATHER72 View Post
All I can say with this economy is be happy you have a job and a place to live.
I actually had a couple of job offers and am wishing I had done a bit more "shopping" to apply in Pittsburgh as well. I LOVE the job I have now, but I just can't foresee myself living here long-term if I'll never be able to afford a tiny home of my own in the city on a CPA's salary. "With this economy?" WHAT recession? Have you not seen the cars many people in NoVA are driving around in, seen the lines at restaurants, movie theaters, etc.? People seem to be spending money like it's water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
I used to live in Brentwood

Don't be in such a rush to buy, you have only been "away" from home and in this area a short time.
I know. It's just depressing because any one of those $75,000-$90,000 homes would be a CASTLE for me! I could have a bedroom for myself and a bedroom for my guest(s) that could double as a doggy room (WOOF! WOOF!) I could take the bus to my job in Downtown Pittsburgh. I just don't understand why Pittsburgh's housing prices are so depressed? There ARE jobs there, as several of my friends relocated there after college and love the city. The city has a very high quality-of-life. What's the "catch" for such gorgeous homes as those to be so cheap when crappy homes here are out of my price range, potentially indefinitely? What does NoVA have that Pittsburgh doesn't?
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,358 posts, read 20,143,021 times
Reputation: 16326
You might be surprised at how much other things in Pgh. cost (I pick up groceries, fruit and veggies, etc. regularly for friends when I'll be visiting them there) groceries are higher there (I think because they don't have the competition we do), gas is usually higher, utilities, etc.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:48 PM
 
446 posts, read 1,486,207 times
Reputation: 146
While I've only been to Pitt twice, it is a great town. I enjoyed walking around Oakland and the university area.

I think what Pittsburgh lacks is that it is not on the East Coast business center corridor. DC, NY and Boston are all hot center areas just like Seattle, SF and LA on the west. Most cities in between cost much less.

I will say I enjoy walkable and fun areas so if I had to choose between Oakland and Centreville, I'd go with Oakland any day.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:49 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,205,174 times
Reputation: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Back "home" in NEPA you could buy a well-kept single-family detached dwelling within walking distance to the downtown core of either Scranton or Wilkes-Barre for $150,000. Here a home like that would cost $600,000+. Why? Salaries most certainly aren't four times as much down here.
Its simply supply and demand. The demand for nice, desirable, walkable neighborhoods in Northern VA is higher than in NEPA. Additionally, I would imagine wages are higher in NOVA as well. As long as their is a high demand for housing and people who can "afford" (and I use that term loosely) to live their, prices will be high.

I would imagine that if suddenly 20,000 new high-paying jobs were introduced in NEPA, the prices of housing would increase. If developable land close to those jobs were scarce then that increase in housing price would be amplified...

Isn't much fun for us who don't make 120k a year, but its life..lol.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:52 PM
 
80 posts, read 291,697 times
Reputation: 38
You need to buy further out, you need to use an FHA loan and you need to get a gift from your parents. You can buy in Prince William County at fairly reasonable prices right now.

By the way, you can find a bunch of townhouses in parts of PWC such as Woodbridge and Manassas in the price range of your Pittsburgh places. Prices in the county have essentially leveled off now (it's essentially bottomed in PWC) and townhouses have been hit really hard.

http://franklymls.com/MN6994926
http://franklymls.com/MN7096236
http://franklymls.com/MP7093243
http://franklymls.com/MP7093243
http://franklymls.com/PW7089564
http://franklymls.com/PW7007111
http://franklymls.com/PW7097818

Last edited by typical guy; 07-09-2009 at 08:02 PM..
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:07 PM
 
206 posts, read 400,026 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
What does NoVA have that Pittsburgh doesn't?
Jobs. Your personal anecdotes aside, the Pittsburgh job market, along with many other rust-belt cities, is not doing well. Ironically, it is people like you (not being pejorative) fleeing their home state's economy from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc. that are buoying the housing market here with lots of demand. Regardless of actual salary, demand increases housing prices because of rental values, and in Arlington there are lots of places to rent.

As I'm sure you're aware, Federal employees in the DC area are paid more locality pay to offset the higher cost of living (although it doesn't really help all that much). If you move to Pittsburgh be prepared to take a pay cut.

I was able to buy a house at the age of 24, but it was a townhouse way out in Western Fairfax and pre-housing boom. During the hay days of real estate is seemed like easy money, but to be honest it is kind of an albatross around my neck now. I got tired of living in the boonies and wanted to move closer in, but didn't want to try and sell the house in such a dour economy. I was fortunate in being able to rent it out to a great family, but I'm always concerned about when the day comes they decide to move out, or something big breaks requiring an outlay of serious cash.

I rent in Arlington... I suppose I would buy if I could afford it and could get another mortgage (unlikely), but renting has a lot of advantages. Nothing is your responsibility. You think you'll be able to get rid of your car, but frankly in that part of Arlington it would be a large inconvenience, especially on weekends. Don't forget to factor in the much larger energy bills trying to heat/cool more space with 1940s era insulation.

If you want a house, look at finding a roommate occupying a house in North Arlington. Lots of houses are up for rent, and I'm sure most owners would be accommodating of setting up a small garden. If you end up in an apartment or condo, Arlington also has a community garden program. Community Garden Program : Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources : Arlington, Virginia

Don't despair, it's nice to have a goal, but make the best of the situation you're in today.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,498,652 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
What does NoVA have that Pittsburgh doesn't?
How about an abundance of college-educated gay people and dozens of good Korean and Vietnamese restaurants?

Don't get me wrong, I like Pittsburgh, but it's not a terribly popular destination for LGBT folk, immigrants, or non-Pennsylvanians with college degrees. It does, however, have a lot of very affordable row houses in middle-class neighborhoods. Based on all the Penn State and Steelers stickers you see on cars here, I think the row houses' previous owners have all moved to the DC area.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:22 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,346,461 times
Reputation: 1060
Scranny, being that you're single = you're getting raped at the paycheck, and vehicle insurance, etc. etc. To be able to buy a nice place you will need to get married and have that extra income. In addition, working 2 jobs if you have time. I actually am doing 2 jobs and pulling in 2x salaries right now so I can pay off my house faster, add in my wife, and it's 3x salaries total. I'm working hard because our area allows for it, and I'm a young lad like you. We don't buy big cars, both have 35+ MPG cars both paid off. We go out to eat once a week and don't spend, but we buy nice things. It takes a little planning and patience Scranny, so relax. We all knew this shock was going to happen to you, but you had no idea.
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