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Old 03-10-2011, 12:34 PM
 
5 posts, read 4,908 times
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We're a couple looking to buy a home in a neighborhood that is a reasonable commute to both Cranberry (where one of us works) and Oakland/Uptown/Shadyside (where the other one will be working).

We currently live in Regent Square, which we absolutely love, but the commute to Cranberry is atrocious and will only get worse once they start working on the SqHill tunnels.

We've been looking most at Bellevue, Avalon and Ben Avon because it splits our commutes geographically, but we're not sure we're ready to be out in the burbs yet. Neville Island pollution is also scary.

We've gotten used to being within walking or biking distance of a glut of great restaurants and bars, having Frick Park right outside our door, good public transportation and the great old houses. Greenfield seems to maintain most of that (minus the housing stock) while putting us close to 376 and eliminating the tunnels, but it's pricier and still a haul from Cranberry. Aspinwall is cute, but expensive, and still a decent drive from Cranberry.

We want a neighborhood where we'd feel safe running at night, with green space nearby, and at least a small walkable main street. We'd like to be 30 minutes from both Cranberry and Oakland. Being bikeable to Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Lawrenceville and the South Side would be awesome (but probably not realistic). Being no more than a 15-20 minute drive from any of those places is really important. We couldn't care less about proximity to malls, fast food chains or new housing developments. Cookie cutter and big box suburbs like Cranberry need not apply. We won't have school age kids any time soon, so schools are only important as far as they'd impact resale.

Are there any other neighborhoods we should be considering? Any thoughts on the neighborhoods we are already looking at? Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
3,383 posts, read 3,123,859 times
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FYI Bellvue is dry. Ben Avon doesn't have much of a business district. If Aspinwall is too pricey I am at a loss for city neighborhoods with a business district. I would suggest the Mexican War Streets but that isn't cheaper than Aspinwall. Bloomfield maybe?

Friends that used to commute to Cranberry from Aspinwall would take the turnpike.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,500 posts, read 7,739,715 times
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Oakmont. 2 exits to Cranberry.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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I should have mentioned, Lville, Bloomfield, etc are out. 28 is a mess, so the commute to Cranberry would still blow. We thought about the War Streets but after my car got broken into at 2pm in front of the Aviary we took that as an omen and crossed it off our list.

We've also thought about Brighton Heights and Observatory Hill, but after looking at houses up there the neighborhoods didn't really call to us. Riverside Park would be nice though.

We don't mind that Bellevue is dry... BYOB is fine and there's a great beer store.

Aspinwall isn't out of our budget, but after looking at plenty of nice houses in Avalon in the 100-130 range, 220 for an equivalent house in Aspinwall is a tougher sell. Avalon and Aspinwall as neighborhoods just don't seem that different in my mind. If it was Avalon vs Squirrel Hill it'd be a different story.

Oakmont is nice, but still 35m from Cranberry and at least 35m to Oakland. If one of us is going to have a long commute, the other's should at least be under 20 minutes.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:50 PM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
3,383 posts, read 3,123,859 times
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Aspinwall is worth the premium. Can't really compare it to Avalon. Ben Avon is a fair comparison but not Avalon. Aspinwall's draw is that is close to the East End and in the Fox Chapel School District. Basically, you get a lot of people that want a side walk neighborhood with some shops to walk to but can't stomach the thought of city schools or don't want to go the private route.

It all depends on your budget. In my experience most of my friends spend towards the top of their budget to get in a nice neighborhood. For them, a nice neighborhood won out over an equivalent home in a less desireable neighborhood with the smaller mortgage.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,890 posts, read 10,188,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famouspotatoes View Post
We've gotten used to being within walking or biking distance of a glut of great restaurants and bars, having Frick Park right outside our door, good public transportation and the great old houses. Greenfield seems to maintain most of that (minus the housing stock) while putting us close to 376 and eliminating the tunnels, but it's pricier and still a haul from Cranberry. Aspinwall is cute, but expensive, and still a decent drive from Cranberry.
Aspinwall has this much more than Avalon or Bellevue (or Ben Avon or Emsworth). That's the difference. Also you said yourself you were concerned about the pollution.

But, the commute to Cranberry will be way better from those places than from Aspinwall.

Bellevue would probably be closest of those on that side, except for the bar part. If you give up the bar part, there's a cool new restaurant there just opened called Bite. And, hey, they might even manage to get a referendum on the ballot to allow (at first) 2 restaurants to have booze.

I get the feeling you are the Cranberry driver and thus want to push for the closer place?
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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Actually I'm the one working in the city. It just seems that if we're going to move somewhere that kills my bike commute it better really cut down on that drive to Cranberry.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:33 PM
 
748 posts, read 1,489,163 times
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You might want to Consider Mt. Washington, actually.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famouspotatoes View Post
Actually I'm the one working in the city. It just seems that if we're going to move somewhere that kills my bike commute it better really cut down on that drive to Cranberry.
Ah! Bike commute, there's a missing link. Well, but Aspinwall shouldn't necessarily kill your bike commute I don't think. Something to think about. There would be an uphill on the way in, but I'm guessing you have that now a little. It's probably longer but not necessarily by a lot if it's Oakland. Now if you really mean Uptown or Uptown end of Oakland, well, that would be perhaps too long, depending upon your view of it. (Do you rotate between UPMC hospitals perhaps?)

Mt Washington is actually an interesting choice too. Good call. The commute to get out to Cranberry would be straightforward: McArdle down to Liberty Bridge then smooth sailing with a true reverse commute after the bridge. You could bike commute from there as well, though there's a rather tough uphill on the way home. (But at least it's near the end!)
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:47 PM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,477,142 times
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If you are also considering suburbs, I recommend McCandless or Hampton. Both are dead smack in the middle with a 25 minute drive for both of you.
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