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Old 09-25-2010, 10:18 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,711 times
Reputation: 13

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Can't find a suitable neighborhood. We are older, professional, no children. I want to move back the Pgh after many years away because of the cheap housing.

I currently live in a much bigger more expensive city, in one of the city residential areas with shopping, major streets and the subway within a 10 minute walk. I don't expect to find this level of living in Pgh, but I can't find anything even resembling a similar neighborhood in Pgh. I've never been a suburbanite. (In fact, I've always been somewhat nausiated by the thought of spending my life driving around from one collection of big box stores to another and experiencing my fine dining at the Olive Garden, Bob Evans and TGIF Friday's.)

I was initially interested in Squirrel Hill, where we lived for year in the 90's, but the housing stock there is just too old. In fact, that's a big problem for most of the city. It's hard to find a house that isn't at least 80 years old without going to the medium to far suburbs. I'm not interested in a blue collar ethnic areas, which make up most of the city. Shadyside is too young and I'm way past that scene. There really seems no options in the city.

I next looked at the near suburbs with some semblance of a real center. I see nothing to the east or west, except perhaps for Sewickley, which has a real town business area, but it only has only old houses, which are a bit expensive. I looked around North Hills, but it just didn't appeal.

I next looked at the near, older and settled southern suburbs. Mr. Lebanon might have been my first pick in all of the area because it seems a reasonable tradeoff between city and burbs. But it is out of the question because of the property taxes, the huge increases projected over the next few years, and even more troubling, the arrogant attitude of government toward complaints about the high property taxes. Upper St. Clair is ok, at least it looks like a professional area with a top school system (although we have no children, selling a house will be easier) and seems to have sense of community pride. But it is a little too suburban. Still, the area closest to Mt. Lebanon is still on the radar because I can't find anything more promising. Whitehall seems a bit more urban and apparently has a few good areas, but I don't know much about it.

I've already given up finding a neighborhood where we could walk to thing. I 'm just looking for one where we would have to drive 3 miles to get anywhere. We're looking 200-300k. I've already concluded that any area that has many houses under, say 175k, is not what we are looking for. Commuting is not an issue.

I'd appreciate suggestions about possible places we might have missed or not considered.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:35 AM
 
8 posts, read 10,433 times
Reputation: 11
Let me know if you find a good answer!
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,872 posts, read 7,704,688 times
Reputation: 2106
I saw some new houses advertised with sweeping views of downtown. I think it was mt. washington but I've been unable to find the ad again. outside that, it seems mostly condos downtown that are new. is a new house really better than a completely renovated old one?
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:51 AM
 
4,712 posts, read 4,767,209 times
Reputation: 2049
Quote:
Originally Posted by clodius1 View Post
Can't find a suitable neighborhood. We are older, professional, no children. I want to move back the Pgh after many years away because of the cheap housing.

I currently live in a much bigger more expensive city, in one of the city residential areas with shopping, major streets and the subway within a 10 minute walk. I don't expect to find this level of living in Pgh, but I can't find anything even resembling a similar neighborhood in Pgh. I've never been a suburbanite. (In fact, I've always been somewhat nausiated by the thought of spending my life driving around from one collection of big box stores to another and experiencing my fine dining at the Olive Garden, Bob Evans and TGIF Friday's.)

I was initially interested in Squirrel Hill, where we lived for year in the 90's, but the housing stock there is just too old. In fact, that's a big problem for most of the city. It's hard to find a house that isn't at least 80 years old without going to the medium to far suburbs. I'm not interested in a blue collar ethnic areas, which make up most of the city. Shadyside is too young and I'm way past that scene. There really seems no options in the city.

I next looked at the near suburbs with some semblance of a real center. I see nothing to the east or west, except perhaps for Sewickley, which has a real town business area, but it only has only old houses, which are a bit expensive. I looked around North Hills, but it just didn't appeal.

I next looked at the near, older and settled southern suburbs. Mr. Lebanon might have been my first pick in all of the area because it seems a reasonable tradeoff between city and burbs. But it is out of the question because of the property taxes, the huge increases projected over the next few years, and even more troubling, the arrogant attitude of government toward complaints about the high property taxes. Upper St. Clair is ok, at least it looks like a professional area with a top school system (although we have no children, selling a house will be easier) and seems to have sense of community pride. But it is a little too suburban. Still, the area closest to Mt. Lebanon is still on the radar because I can't find anything more promising. Whitehall seems a bit more urban and apparently has a few good areas, but I don't know much about it.

I've already given up finding a neighborhood where we could walk to thing. I 'm just looking for one where we would have to drive 3 miles to get anywhere. We're looking 200-300k. I've already concluded that any area that has many houses under, say 175k, is not what we are looking for. Commuting is not an issue.

I'd appreciate suggestions about possible places we might have missed or not considered.
I'm not following, you want to move back but HATE DAMN near everything???!?!??!?

Where are you living at now, that you're keeping so secret? Pittsburgh is an Old City.....its not like the Sunbelt NEW NEW NEW everywhere....Alot of people find this charming...

Look at living Downtown if you want brand spanking "New" it has a strong push to become more residental....why not jump on the wave now before it gets to big...

Pittsburgh does have neighborhoods with all the Amenties such as you discribe with the "BIG MORE EXPENSIVE CITY" minus the subway part....but that can be overrated.

No Pittsburgh is not NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami, or SF...and one shouldn't expect it to be...but as far as amenties Pittsburgh keeps up damn well compared with most cities.

If the last time you've been to the burgh was "Many Many" years ago...No Doubt that your opinions are probably insanely outdated by now, this city has changed so much over the years it almost worth a trip just to update your perspective.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,449 posts, read 7,638,021 times
Reputation: 4637
Buy a condo in Cranberry.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
76 posts, read 86,230 times
Reputation: 127
Default Awesome question...

The first thing you mentioned was a desire to take advantage of the inexpensive housing here. Next you mentioned your disappointment in finding the housing stock so old, which of course is the primary reason for the low cost! You are not going to get one without the other, so your first step is to reconsider your primary motivation for returning.

I laughed when I read you didn't want a blue collar or ethnic neighborhood. We live in Mt. Lebanon and even here you will find pockets of pro-union, Steelers tattooed, pierogi eating Yinzers. I'm one and live happily in a little brick worker's house down the street from a doctor's humongous mansion. You can't get away from blue collar in Pittsburgh, it defines the place right down to the bone. Its like saying "I want to live in Lancaster, but I don't want any f---ing Amish around!"

It seems to me you have done quality research and know the city well enough to have answered your own question. You should stay where you are at.

Also, saying that you don't want any sub-175k houses near you makes me think you are a douche.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:56 PM
 
1,172 posts, read 948,822 times
Reputation: 641
Aspinwall sounds like a fit, but I'm not sure how old the housing is
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:03 PM
 
85 posts, read 24,358 times
Reputation: 117
I actually tend to agree that the old housing stock is not a highlight, but more a downside. I've lived in the City for about a decade, and have been renting that whole time. The issue isn't simply that the housing stock is old, it's also that in some cases, the housing isn't well-maintained. My guess is that many people either don't have time or don't have the resources they need to upgrade. I know I wouldn't have the time (or, really, the interest or passion) to upgrade a home...I'd rather spend my weekends having fun, and that's why I'm more interested in condos or lofts than detached homes.

As someone considering buying, I'm somewhat in the same boat as the OP, in that I want to be in the urban core, and I don't want to need to do a lot of upgrading. For me it's not what color your collar is, but how noisy you are, which rules out neighborhoods such as Bloomfield, Oakland, etc. I have been looking primarily in Downtown, North Side, and Lawrenceville. Lawrenceville has a so-called blue-collar reputation, but it looks pretty yuppie to me anymore - it's all full of bistros and art galleries, and more keep coming in, esp. on Butler St. There is also Shadyside, if you're interested. I don't really like Shadyside...it's a bit more sterile than I care for, and the transit's not great unless you live right next to an EBA station, but it's something to consider. (BTW, don't look in Friendship...the houses are really old here.) I have also considered the South Side. The housing stock can be newer there, depending on where you look. I am nervous about the noise level and the constant partying, though, so that neighborhood is not a serious consideration.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:16 PM
 
85 posts, read 24,358 times
Reputation: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ossewa View Post
You can't get away from blue collar in Pittsburgh
I really don't know any blue-collar folks, actually. Pittsburgh is still being portrayed by its blue-collar, steel mill reputation, when in reality, it's a high-tech and healthcare hub, and most jobs require a bachelor's at minimum. And honestly, you will find people of every socioeconomic class EVERYWHERE. In New York, you'll see the power broker Wall Street richy-rich and the born-and-bred in Mott Haven Yankee fanboy sharing the a subway seat.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: ɥbɹnqsʇʇıd
4,447 posts, read 3,169,050 times
Reputation: 3239
Well let me first say a lot of people are going to be angry towards you for your opinions of the city's housing. But you are correct, houses here are very old which is part of the reason why they're so cheap. Some people can't come to grips with the fact that not everyone finds our housing situation "charming".

Honestly if you're looking for newer housing, Whitehall is not the place for you. You might want to check out Cranberry or even places in Wexford. That's pretty much where you're going to get the criteria for newer houses without the Pittsburgh "charm". They are suburban, but that's the best you're going to find here that will fit your criteria.
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