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Old 10-14-2014, 10:53 PM
 
26 posts, read 28,832 times
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I am 25, been working in the architectural field for 2 years since finishing college. Going to be ready to start taking my exams roughly this time next year and I want to possibly relocate before then. Basically, living on Long Island is just ridiculously expensive, overcrowded and just not worth the 1000$ a month for a closet in a bad area for an apartment. I want to buy a house in the next few years and NY is just too expensive for me. I have been considering a move to North Carolina and maybe even Virginia, however I hate the heat and I think I would miss the winter too much. I have also considered moving out West but that is a huge change and I am not sure I am ready to take that leap just yet. So my questions are as follows.

- What is a good city for a young professional? good meaning affordable, nice, and has a lot to do. I dont need to live in the city itself, I just would like to be within an hour or so commute.

- Whats the best city area for a single guy in his mid 20's? Are there a lot of younger single women overall?

- How is the real estate market overall in PA? I know thats a very general question, but I am just wondering how it compares to NY/Long Island. Houses here on LI typically are about 450,000 and up, and unless u live in the middle of no where, upstate NY is farily similar to that / comparable. I have seen listings that are about half that in PA, is that typical?

- How are the taxes?
- How is the job market around the major cities?

I have been thinking Pittsburgh only because its one of the few parts of PA that i have heard of outside of philly, and it looks like a cooler city also. I am considering taking a trip to check it out there. Thanks in advance for any responses. I know some of the questions are pretty broad but I am at the start of my relocating search so I dont have too many specifics figured out yet. I just know I want out of NY and states that are similar to it in terms of cost of living, and that I prefer the east coast if possible.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,804 posts, read 68,501,123 times
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Pittsburgh, in my opinion, offers a very harmonious balance of amenities that makes our quality-of-life above-average.

I'm 27. My partner is 28. He's lived here since 2005, having moved here from Eastern PA. I moved here in 2010 from Northern Virginia via Eastern PA. We've found that the city is an ideal place to live for 20-somethings and 30-somethings. As with most major U.S. cities public schooling can be tricky; traffic/parking can be a bear; and there are pockets of high violent crime that can be easily avoided if you're not looking to be involved in illicit affairs.

I recommend Pittsburgh over Philadelphia simply because affordability seems to be one of your primary criteria, and Western Pennsylvania tends to offer a much better bang-for-your-buck factor than Eastern PA. The population overall in Western PA has been stagnant, at best, while population growth has been greater in Eastern PA as wealthier people from NYC/NJ/Long Island and DC/MD/NoVA have been moving there for cheaper housing and have driven up the cost of housing.

I can't speak for Philadelphia's employment situation, but Pittsburgh's unemployment rate is currently just over 5.0%, which is much less than the state and national rates. I'm an employer, and it's been tough to find candidates these days because the economy IS so robust here right now.

Taxes are relatively high here; however, they are probably slightly less than what you've become accustomed to on Long Island.

What I like about Pittsburgh is that it has the infrastructure and amenities of a very large city, yet it only has ~306,000 people right now, which means our museums, our aviary, our conservatory, our opera, our symphony, our zoo, our amusement parks, etc. tend to be less crowded (and slightly cheaper) than they are in many other cities. I really treasure this easy accessibility to recreation and entertainment.

What I dislike about Pittsburgh is that outside the diverse and more transient East End, where we happen to reside, just about everyone else is a native, and they'll ask you where you went to high school (just had this occur the other day, actually, in another part of town).
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:03 PM
 
3,874 posts, read 3,357,214 times
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I assume that you will be taking the ARE exam to become a licensed architect? You should know that there is no shortage of architects in the state of PA. Your first consideration before moving should be getting a job at a busy architecture/engineering firm. The best places for architecture are those cities that are experiencing a lot of growth: sunbelt cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Phoenix, most of Florida. If you want a cooler, more bracing climate and a more liberal culture, I'd consider Portland, Oregon and Seattle. Stay away from small towns. You'll starve.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:31 PM
 
26 posts, read 28,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
I assume that you will be taking the ARE exam to become a licensed architect? You should know that there is no shortage of architects in the state of PA. Your first consideration before moving should be getting a job at a busy architecture/engineering firm. The best places for architecture are those cities that are experiencing a lot of growth: sunbelt cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Phoenix, most of Florida. If you want a cooler, more bracing climate and a more liberal culture, I'd consider Portland, Oregon and Seattle. Stay away from small towns. You'll starve.
Yes, I plan on starting my exam this time next year and I would like to relocate before I start. I have a decent job in an architecture firm where I currently am, the problem is I dont get paid enough to live here, the only reason I have managed is because I still live with family. I am unfortunately underpaid and rent in long island is ridiculous. I have only stayed this long due to staying with family and because I have been getting my internship requirments done and out of the way. I also dont like the work our firm does, its very boring stuff, more engineering than architecture really. I would be pretty much sold on cities down south like Charlotte and Raleigh, they are currently the front runners for me, but the weather is a serious concern, I hate the heat. I love the winter, I grew up in upstate NY and went to college in VT, I am big on skiing/snowboarding.

So Pittsburgh isnt really expanding/growing at all? How about other parts of PA? I have read that the taxes are also high in PA and that is a concern to me as well. PA seems like the cheapest Northeast state to live in really and has the climate I am used to as well. Thats what has me considering the area. So would you say to stay away from PA? I havent really been there all that much so I have little knowledge on the state.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,009 posts, read 14,368,273 times
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Philly is bigger and there's more to do. As far as large cities go philly is affordable. Pittsburgh is also worth a look and maybe the Lehigh valley. Taxes are typically lower than ny. Charlotte has architects? Dubious claim.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:25 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,176 posts, read 2,954,013 times
Reputation: 2916
PA isn't that much cheaper than NYC because everyone from NYC, NJ, and Maryland is moving here. Pittsburgh has done a 180 in the last 5 years. Harrisburg would be the best bet and closer to the DC area for jobs.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:05 AM
 
1,171 posts, read 1,983,300 times
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Why not head farther north to Boston? Too expensive also? (I haven't checked it out)
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,009 posts, read 14,368,273 times
Reputation: 2754
PA is a lot cheaper than NYC
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Altoona Pa
1 posts, read 1,128 times
Reputation: 11
Altoona Pa has a very low cost of living; I located here from the Pa/Upstate NY border 15 years ago...I often travel back home to visit and the cost of living is still soooo much cheaper here. The Penn State Altoona campus is right here so there is no shortage of 20 somethings in the area. We are about 2 hours east of Pittsburgh and only 49 minutes below State College.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:16 PM
 
26 posts, read 28,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gettingouttahere View Post
Why not head farther north to Boston? Too expensive also? (I haven't checked it out)
Boston and MA is fairly similar to NY from what I know, so I dont know if it would be any better than where I currently am really.
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