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Old 01-30-2012, 06:05 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
33 posts, read 72,640 times
Reputation: 40
Default My pros and cons of moving to Pittsburgh

So, last year I was all excited to move to Pittsburgh. My 20's are drawing to a close and I'm looking to make a change in my life and seek out new opportunities and experiences. I've heard nothing but good things about Pittsburgh and just thought, "hey, why not?"

But, there has been some changes in my life over the past year. I started a new job with great pay and benefits. (I'll be making about 30k a year, which is pretty good for around here, especially for someone with no college degree.) There is room for advancement in the company too.

But when I hop online and start doing the whole planning the move thing, I get a little overwhelmed. Finding a job, choosing the right neighborhood, etc. So I came up with a list of pros and cons. I was hoping the good folks of the Pittsburgh board could help me reach a decision.

So here it is, my pros and cons for moving to Pittsburgh:

Pro (for moving)
I really want to move. Don't get me wrong, I love North Dakota. But I'm not sure if it's because I'm turning 30 soon or what, but I just have this overwhelming desire to get out there and look for new experiences and opportunities. I've thought about other cities, like Minneapolis, Denver, Austin, Seattle, Portland, etc, but I just feel like if I were to leave, Pittsburgh would be the place for me.

Con (against moving)
Work. As you may or may not know, North Dakota is not only doing well in this recession, it's thriving. We have the oil boom out west and Ag and the more white collar type jobs here in the east. As I said earlier, I have a good job, which pays well for eastern North Dakota. I've done some looking at similar jobs in Pittsburgh and I think it will be hard to find something similar. I've read this board and hear people with college degrees talking about waiting tables and it's off-putting to say the least. I work in a call center, doing tech support, and as I said earlier, I make about 30k a year with full benefits. What are the odds of finding something similar out there?

Con (against moving)
Living situation. If you've seen any reports about North Dakota on the news lately, no doubt you've heard about guys making 90k a year but living in their pickups in a Walmart parking lot. I can tell that the stories are true. There is no place to live out west. However, I live in Fargo, which is in the eastern part of the state. Housing here is very affordable. I rent a 2 bedroom apartment with garage for 500 a month. Now, you might be thinking, "I bet it's in a bad neighborhood," but the truth is, there really is no "bad" neighborhood in Fargo. Which leads me to my next con...

Con (against moving)
Choosing a neighborhood, safety, and convenience. For those of you who have never been to North Dakota, I'll try to explain this the best I can. There is no place in the entire state I don't feel safe. I've walked the streets of the so-called ghetto areas of Fargo in the middle of the night and I've never thought I was going to get mugged or anything. But I read threads on here about which neighborhoods you should not go to, which my couch surfing experience to Pittsburgh last year reaffirmed, and it quite honestly scares the hell out of me. The idea that I could be robbed or killed just for being on the wrong street is a concept that is totally alien to me.

Price is also an issue it seems, when it comes to moving to a good neighborhood. My couch surfing hosts rented a nice 3 bedroom home in Shadyside. But they also pay dearly for it, about 2k a month, not including utilities. I'm not looking for anything that big, but they said I would have problems finding what I was looking for. I'd like to have a decent sized 1 or 2 bedroom apartment or house, with a garage, workshop, or even yard space. (I do little woodworking projects for a hobby/business) Basically somewhere I can set up a table saw and other equipment. Oh, and I'm looking in the 600 to 700 dollar price range. (I am willing to be flexible, naturally.) Also, my credit isn't the best. (It sucks actually.) But I do have some savings and will have no problem making first month's rent and deposit. But I just wonder how much bad credit will prevent me from finding a place.

Convenience. Right now, I don't really have to worry about living too far away from anything. No one ever says, "I'd love to go downtown tonight, but I don't feel like driving that far." Everything is just a short car trip away. You're never really so far away from anything that it becomes inconvenient. That's another thing, Fargo is a very car-friendly city. Except for living downtown, I don't know of anywhere where parking is an issue. If people are complaining about parking, it's because they have to park at the far end of the lot, not because there is no parking space for them. It's sort of weird to be browsing Pittsburgh apartment ads or job ads for that matter and seeing free parking as a perk. I'm not against public transportation, but I've heard it's not quite up to snuff out there, which again makes choosing a neighborhood all the more important.

Pro (for moving)
That's enough cons for now. I do love the city. I had a total blast with my couch surfing there last year. (Although I wanted to take the time to learn more about the city, we pretty much partied the whole time.) I talked to a lot of people while I was there and almost everyone was friendly. One of my hosts' friends was sort of a jerk, but I have friends who are jerks too.

Con (against moving)
I live in North Dakota. Obviously, you know that by now, but just stay with me. I'm about 1200 miles from Pittsburgh. It's not like I can just buzz over there for the weekend and check out and apartment or go to a job interview. Yes, I did the couch surfing thing, but it's still really hard to get a feel for a place until you spend a decent amount of time there.

This is probably my biggest dilemma. Do I move there, find an apartment, then go job hunting? In a lot of the ads I've read, they won't rent to someone who is unemployed. Or do I start sending out resumes, hoping that an employer will be satisfied with a phone interview, get hired, and then move?

So that's my rambling, incoherent, and incomplete pro and con list. Any help or additional thoughts you have would be much appreciated!
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: ɥbɹnqsʇʇıd
4,337 posts, read 2,920,415 times
Reputation: 3088
Quote:
Originally Posted by marshalt View Post
do I start sending out resumes, hoping that an employer will be satisfied with a phone interview, get hired, and then move?
Honestly this is a good thing to do wherever it is you move, be it Pittsburgh or Seoul.

Also, North Dakota seems lovely from what you're saying. At this point in my life a place like that seems more up my alley.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,093 posts, read 7,194,991 times
Reputation: 3479
Just reading your post, your "cons" are many and your "pros" are few.

You are young and if you want can get a job wherever, so you could move around a bit. If you dream of a move just do it. You can always go back home. No big deal.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:49 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
33 posts, read 72,640 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Teen Carl View Post
Honestly this is a good thing to do wherever it is you move, be it Pittsburgh or Seoul.

Also, North Dakota seems lovely from what you're saying. At this point in my life a place like that seems more up my alley.
Eh, I could write a whole list of cons about North Dakota if you'd like. People who have lived in a place all their lives getting kicked out because they can't afford 2000 a month to rent a 2 bedroom apartment, oil companies doing nothing for the communities they are tearing apart, locals being jerks to oil workers, oil workers acting like animals, state and local governments doing nothing at all to make all these people want to stay in the state and raise families after the boom ends... and those are just problems out west. There is the complete cluster-fart that is Devils Lake flooding and just flooding general.

Lack of good schools is a big thing. Unless your kids are in Fargo, Grand Forks, or Bismarck, they are getting a sub-par education. There is a lack of AP classes and unless you're into sports there isn't much in the way of activities for high school kids. And of course after high school in college there isn't much reason for them to stay.

But for me, I do love this place. I love the way a bar in town 50 people will be packed wall to wall on a Saturday night when they serve the best prime rib you'll ever taste. I love going to one of those small town bars and finding out the bar tender knew my grandpa. I love the flatness of the Red River valley. I love snowmobiling in the Pembina hills. I love the smell of wheat in the air during harvest time by Milton. I love the snow, I love the cold. I love it when it's 20 below and looking out over the frozen landscape and seeing the most glorious sundog I'll ever see, at least until tomorrow. I love looking outside during a snowstorm, and the way the trillions upon trillions of snowflakes reflect and refract the little bit of light until the whole world is pink. I love how I can drive 15 minutes and be in total darkness, until your eyes adjust and you see the stars in a way that most city people would swear is a computer generated image. I like how in my hometown I can't go for a walk without at least 5 people stopping to ask if I need a ride. I like how I can go to the mall and forget to lock my car and not worry about it.

Yes, I love North Dakota. I would say to anyone that is looking to make a change in their lives to go, you won't be disappointed.

So then you might be asking why I want to move? I guess it's just a need to experience something else. It's not you, North Dakota, it's me.

Maybe we can have a open relationship?
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:49 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,930,501 times
Reputation: 2820
Sounds to me like you first have to decide whether or not you really want to move to a larger city. There are lots of places that aren't North Dakota but aren't larger cities either.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
33 posts, read 72,640 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
Just reading your post, your "cons" are many and your "pros" are few.

You are young and if you want can get a job wherever, so you could move around a bit. If you dream of a move just do it. You can always go back home. No big deal.
The abundance of cons and the lack of pros doesn't mean the pros carry less weight. I'm a pessimist by nature and a worrier. The cons aren't deal breakers, they are just problems that I need to solve.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
1,128 posts, read 953,940 times
Reputation: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Teen Carl View Post
Honestly this is a good thing to do wherever it is you move, be it Pittsburgh or Seoul.

.
I second that. If it were me I would not be willing to give up a $30,000 a year job to move to Pittsburgh without a job secured and end up working fries at Mickey Dees. I understand the difficulty of making the journey, yet I would suggest taking a short vacation here (like 4-7 days) to get the feel of the area. There are some jobs that can be had around that pay without an education, but you will have to look around to find them. Anyways, good luck on your decision and I wish you the best of luck in whichever option that you choose
(oh and on the bad neighborhoods, the vast majority of the extremely dangerous areas are located in a section of the city where chances are you will never have to go through (i.e., Homewood, Lincoln-Lemington.) The only one I could see you going through on a regular basis is the Hill District (neighborhood between Downtown and Oakland (states 3rd largest CBD after Philly and Pgh), and if you stick to Forbes and Fifth avenues while going through there, you will be fine. We have trouble spots, but for a city of our size we are lucky in not having a place like East Cleveland or West Baltimore
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:01 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
33 posts, read 72,640 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Sounds to me like you first have to decide whether or not you really want to move to a larger city. There are lots of places that aren't North Dakota but aren't larger cities either.
I'm about 70-80% sure that I do want to move. And if I do move, it will be to a larger city since I've already experience small town living. (real small town living, like population in the hundreds, not thousands.) I've experienced small city life here in Fargo and now I want something different. But the things I want don't always jive with the things I need. So that's what I'm trying to figure out.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:14 PM
 
41,713 posts, read 46,215,761 times
Reputation: 27291
Quote:
Originally Posted by marshalt View Post
But for me, I do love this place. I love the way a bar in town 50 people will be packed wall to wall on a Saturday night when they serve the best prime rib you'll ever taste. I love going to one of those small town bars and finding out the bar tender knew my grandpa. I love the flatness of the Red River valley. I love snowmobiling in the Pembina hills. I love the smell of wheat in the air during harvest time by Milton. I love the snow, I love the cold. I love it when it's 20 below and looking out over the frozen landscape and seeing the most glorious sundog I'll ever see, at least until tomorrow. I love looking outside during a snowstorm, and the way the trillions upon trillions of snowflakes reflect and refract the little bit of light until the whole world is pink. I love how I can drive 15 minutes and be in total darkness, until your eyes adjust and you see the stars in a way that most city people would swear is a computer generated image. I like how in my hometown I can't go for a walk without at least 5 people stopping to ask if I need a ride. I like how I can go to the mall and forget to lock my car and not worry about it.
And I loved reading this! Our region has its own natural beauty, and I can forget to lock my car without worrying about it. We can't give you the stars, the bartenders who knew your grandpa, or safe strangers offering you rides, but those are things that will draw you back to Fargo when you're ready to have children after you've gotten the big city out of your system, just like many Pittsburghers who return to Pittsburgh to raise their families here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marshalt View Post
Yes, I love North Dakota. I would say to anyone that is looking to make a change in their lives to go, you won't be disappointed.
It's the 20 below that scares me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marshalt View Post
So then you might be asking why I want to move? I guess it's just a need to experience something else. It's not you, North Dakota, it's me.

Maybe we can have a open relationship?
Cute!
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,893 posts, read 3,756,426 times
Reputation: 2351
After reading your post, I have to ask, what makes you want to move? It seems like things are going well for you out there, and you seem to like where you live.

Why do you think a move to Pittsburgh might make you happier?

My impression is that you are looking for change for the sake of change, even when there is nothing wrong with your current situation. I was in that boat recently, considering a move to a different city. Then I realized that I like my house, I like my neighborhood, my job is secure, and I like my city. After living somewhere for a while, you learn all the negatives about a place and it becomes harder, I think, to love your city. I loved Pittsburgh when I first moved here. I think familiarity breeds contempt. Right now, I like Pittsburgh, but I'm definitely not in love with it anymore. Maybe you feel the same about Fargo. Every place has negative aspects.
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