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Old 06-03-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
1,453 posts, read 1,223,932 times
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I think the Bradford Woods area would be good. It's a beautiful neighborhood and is in the very good North Allegheny School district. It's less than 30 min commute as well.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,879 posts, read 9,233,176 times
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You may find you want to firm up for sure whether you're looking at newer or older houses, as this may dictate area a bit. On the other hand, you could be open to either and look at everything. But I wouldn't send you to, say, Sewickley to look for a newer house or Franklin Park to look for an older one.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:58 AM
 
41,713 posts, read 46,254,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trlstreet View Post
Agreed, everyone has different priorities and a longer commute isn't always a bad thing. My wife works in Washington but won't consider moving somewhere closer as she doesn't want to live so far away from the city. So we pay higher property taxes AND she has a longer commute! I'm just making the point that a long commute solely based on lower property taxes probably isn't a smart one.
Totally agree. I was just pointing out something she might not have considered when listing her requirements.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:02 AM
 
41,713 posts, read 46,254,468 times
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I love Bradford Woods because most of the homes are secluded. She'll have all the trees she wants there!

Now the OP needs to decide if she wants a secluded house or a house in a housing development where there are lots of neighborhood kids.

Greg, good point about old vs new.

We should create a questionaire for the OP to answer all of the questions about criteria she forgot to include!!! LOL
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
44 posts, read 91,940 times
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Hilarious! Once again, I am astounded at the number of people that care to help me think of areas... This is awesome. Let me try to answer a few questions.... Commute trumps shopping, assuming neither is completely out of whack..so, if shopping is say 15 minutes away in one place and the commute is 30 minutes. I would rather move somewhere that is 20 minutes for commute and 25 minutes for shopping. Does that make sense? That being said, all of my responses are somewhat fluid and are always answered with...it depends.

The question about whether we want to be around other kids raises a good point. For this move, that is our priority. In our other homes in Houston, we had the older house with character and trees etc., but they were also the family neighborhood. I THINK (but don't pin point me because I still haven't seen any areas) we'd rather have newer if that is more likelihood for more kiddos.

As far as taxes, what would be SUPER helpful is know the difference in tax on say, 400K in one area over another. We actually live in an area right now with taxes over 10 (including our homestead exemption) because of the school location. It of course blows...but we're already making that sacrifice for the schools (which is ironic since neither is in school yet, but I digress... However, it would be much nicer to spend less if other areas are comperable enough.

As far as utilities, is anyone willing to give some averages on what to expect to pay? We're currently spending on average around 275-325 off the top of my head for electricity...Our summer bills are up to $400+ I'm hoping that our hot summer will help balance your cold winter. An additional new bill that has skyrocketed for Houston is water. We're up to paying about $150 on average for water thanks to a new tax. Is that the same there?

I think I have answered all of the questions, but please send me any questionnaires you like!! This is the best overview I could imagine.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
44 posts, read 91,940 times
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Oh, and thanks for the clarification on HAR.com vs. Pitt sites. We have looked at Pittsburghmoves and a couple of the others so glad to know that they are inclusive of all. That's the problem with not knowing the new area, I don't know what I may be missing.

One more question, are there still foreclosures in the area, and are they in places you would recommend? Are they really the 'deals' people tout them to be?
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:41 AM
 
41,713 posts, read 46,254,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joannagraham77 View Post
As far as taxes, what would be SUPER helpful is know the difference in tax on say, 400K in one area over another. We actually live in an area right now with taxes over 10 (including our homestead exemption) because of the school location. It of course blows...but we're already making that sacrifice for the schools (which is ironic since neither is in school yet, but I digress... However, it would be much nicer to spend less if other areas are comperable enough.
Property taxes for 400k in Upper St. Clair in Allegheny County would be about 11k.

Property taxes for 400k in Peters in Washington County would be about 6k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joannagraham77 View Post
As far as utilities, is anyone willing to give some averages on what to expect to pay? We're currently spending on average around 275-325 off the top of my head for electricity...Our summer bills are up to $400+ I'm hoping that our hot summer will help balance your cold winter. An additional new bill that has skyrocketed for Houston is water. We're up to paying about $150 on average for water thanks to a new tax. Is that the same there?
Hmmmmmm.....this might be tough for me to answer. I don't live in a house size comparable to a 400k house.

But. My water and sewage is cheaper. It's just under $300 per quarter. Every township has different prices for water and sewage though.

I think I pay approximately $80 month for electricity---that's the budget that includes my summer air conditioning along with my appliances, tv and computers year round. I'll have to look at my bill and get back to you. But my house is probably 1/2 the size of your 400k house to aircondition.

Also keep in mind that I do not turn on my air conditioner unless it is utterly miserable here. It was 96 last week. We didn't turn it on. It has to be super hot and super humid over an extended period of time for us to cave in and turn on airconditioning. If we see in the forecast that it's going to get cooler in a week, we chose to get through it. If we have a four week hot and humid spell that is intollerable, we break down and turn it on.

We don't do this only to save money but because we would never leave our house in the summer if our bodies becamse accustom to cooler temperature. We find that we are much more active enjoying outdoor activities if we allow our bodies to adjust to the heat.

My gas heat (we heat our houses with gas here) can be $400 in the highest month. My monthly bill on budget plan (stretches the bill out equallly throughout the year) is over $150/month. Again, I have to look at my bill to give you specifics. In addition to heating my home, gas also runs my water heater, clothes dryer, and my stove.

These numbers are the budget examples. That means $150/month is truly $200/month, which equals $1,800 per year and $80/month is truly $960/year.

There's an old thread here comparing utilities for someone else---I believe coming from Texas too. People did many comparisons, some of which were calculations based on square footage to give a more accurate idea. I'll see if I can find that thread and I'll post a link.

Last edited by Hopes; 06-03-2011 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Squirrel Hill
1,327 posts, read 1,879,985 times
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Texas has pretty high property taxes too.

Water will be cheaper, total cost of heating and cooling will probably be similar if you average them across the year.

Taxes are fairly comparable across Allegheny county, although it does vary some and taxes are based on a screwball base year system (which is supposedly what your house was worth in 2002) that has been deemed unconstitutional and will be presumably changing sometime in the near future. But the details of this aren't exactly clear. You can see what the previous year taxes were on many of the real estate websites. As a ballpark taxes work out to somewhere around 2-2.5% of current home value/year.

Living outside Allegheny county will cut your taxes 1/3 to 1/2 (ish).
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,879 posts, read 9,233,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joannagraham77 View Post
Commute trumps shopping, assuming neither is completely out of whack..so, if shopping is say 15 minutes away in one place and the commute is 30 minutes. I would rather move somewhere that is 20 minutes for commute and 25 minutes for shopping. Does that make sense? That being said, all of my responses are somewhat fluid and are always answered with...it depends.
Well, it won't ever be that dramatic. Nowhere is going to be 20 minute commute then 25 minutes to shopping, I don't think, unless you find a house in the precise corner of Franklin Park or Ohio Township or something that makes it so. I think worst case would be equal time for all but the most elaborate shopping that you would probably only do once in a while (say, visiting the extra upscale Ross Park Mall).

I guess the question will really be if commute trumps the property tax, which as someone demonstrated could be, well, even conservatively it's going to be a few grand per year of additional property tax to live closer. I can really get commute trumping everything, makes sense, but do keep that in mind for property tax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joannagraham77 View Post
The question about whether we want to be around other kids raises a good point. For this move, that is our priority. In our other homes in Houston, we had the older house with character and trees etc., but they were also the family neighborhood. I THINK (but don't pin point me because I still haven't seen any areas) we'd rather have newer if that is more likelihood for more kiddos.
Eh. It's probably going to skew newer for places with the most kids, at least within the radius you're talking about, but that doesn't mean you'll be isolated from other kids if you choose an older house. The thing is because most of these suburbs don't have a town center, the older houses are kind of scattered about on through roads whereas newer ones are in housing developments that get you off those 35mph+ roads. Generally people with kids want them to be able to play in the yard, and living on a 35mph road doesn't exactly lend itself very well.

For other expenses, remember also that there's income tax; I think Texas does not have state/local income tax? State income tax is 3.07% and in the places you're looking the local income tax will be 1%, although local is only on earned income (wages, effectively). So that may be another added expense that has no equivalent there. This will not vary by the locations you're looking at unless you start looking in the City of Pittsburgh (where the wage tax is 3%).
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: The Raider Nation._ Our band kicks brass
1,856 posts, read 5,734,122 times
Reputation: 2129
I would suggest Moon Township in the area near Flaugherty Run Rd. and Spring Run Extension.

For Beaver County I would suggest Independence Township off of Route 165. I'm specifically thinking of something near Saratoga Drive.

The aerial view of bing.com maps is great for checking out neighborhoods. Try a view of "Saratoga 15026" It's a Clinton address in Independence Township.


I know that you said Coraopolis, but I would be willing to bet that it's really in Moon Township. They share a post office.

Last edited by South Range Family; 06-03-2011 at 04:44 PM..
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