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Old 09-11-2012, 02:51 AM
 
Location: Washington
18 posts, read 11,508 times
Reputation: 18

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I plan to move back to Pittsburgh sometime this winter. I haven't lived in Pittsburgh for a very long time so my knowledge of the city is general.
My family is comprised of my dog, cat, and me. I would like to rent a quiet and convenient one bedroom or studio for a few months for up to about $1000 per month while I look around for a place to buy. I need the place to be safe in that I like to walk my dog at all hours of the day and night and I love my privacy. My preference is that it is in a true neighborhood where people know one another, talk, are friendly with one another.
I also need to be able to rent it safely. My research thus far has shown that the rental agencies, craigslist, buildings, etc are pervaded by scams but I am unable to come to Pittsburgh to find the apartment myself. I need to find it online.
Would someone be kind enough to recommend appropriate neighborhoods and give me ideas as to how to protect myself and ensure that I'm getting what I think I'm getting when I do rent?
btw, I'm a semi-retired professional and have never made a move like this without time to find a temporary place in person before so this situation is a bit frightening.
Thank you so very much for your help.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:15 AM
 
10 posts, read 9,390 times
Reputation: 21
Do you want to live IN Pittsburgh or in one of the suburbs?

I will preface my this by saying I live in the North Hills, just across the Highland Park bridge- I have never lived in the city. But I am familiar with the following areas...

In the city itself, I would recommend Highland Park, Shadyside, or Squirrel Hill. In all of these neighborhoods you will be looking at street parking and houses that are pretty close together. They all have bus lines that run through if that is important to you.

Highland Park has lots of old, beautiful houses that are HUGE and broken up into apartments. I see lots of young professionals out walking their dogs there. I also know a number of doctors, lawyers, etc who own homes there. It is a nice area, quiet, a lovely park and is close to the Highland Park bridge, access to the hell that is known as always-under-construction-28. It is also backed up to East Liberty, which is not the best area of town, but is not terrible. The crime does not seem to cross over, from what I understand.

Shadyside is another lovely area. Houses are crammed CLOSE, and street parking is tight. Lots of Pitt students live in rented houses, from what I understand, but there are also nice houses - other people could speak better to what the population is like. There are nice shops that you can walk to. It is as safe as an urban neighborhood can be, again from what I understand.

Squirrel Hill I know the least about except to say that it is beautiful. Houses are expensive. Lots of money there. Don't know about rentals, but I know that people DO rent there- you would no doubt love living there. It would be safe, I'm sure.

If you are open to living outside of the city, the house just up the street from me is for rent! Seriously. I live in a safe, quiet neighborhood. Dead-end street. Don't know what they''re asking but if you're interested I can get you the phone number. *

*I was not paid or in any way compensated for this endorsement
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:35 AM
 
606 posts, read 405,590 times
Reputation: 800
I'm not sure I'd recommend Highland Park for someone whose #1 consideration is safety. I know quite a few people who live there and like it, but several of them have experienced low-level crime (property crime, trespassing on their property, drug deals near their residences).

Shadyside is better, I think, but there aren't a lot of great dog-walking areas, and the closer you get to the commercial district the more petty crime there is. I would feel comfortable in both Highland Park and Shadyside -- I don't think they're unsafe neighborhoods in absolute terms -- but safety would be somewhere around the middle of the list for me in terms of what I'm looking for.

Squirrel Hill is a good option. There's a wide range of prices available in the neighborhood, and the folks I know who have rented have generally been happy. Some of the duplexes and townhouses on Beechwood near Frick Park and on the side streets near Colfax are rentals and would give you the community feel you're looking for along with great proximity to the dog run. Finding a one bedroom near the park might be tough, but there's little or nothing in the neighborhood that feels sketchy.

Swisshelm Park or South Point Breeze would be excellent fits, but I don't know if you could find a studio or 1 BR in either.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Bethel Park, PA
142 posts, read 209,098 times
Reputation: 139
I don't mean to pick apart a singular reference, but how would anyone define "across the Highland Park Bridge" as the North Hills? The only tertiary association would be perhaps the northern reaches of O'Hara. But right across the bridge, strictly speaking, would be Sharpsburg and Aspinwall. Neither of wich are ever defined as the North Hills.

And I say this in all honesty and humility. I live in the South Hills, and that would be analogous to saying that Robinson or Crafton were South Hills.

OK, as you were.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:57 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,673 posts, read 8,017,150 times
Reputation: 4256
Considering you used the word, safety or safe several times, I am going to recommend Aspinwall. It is within your price range and you can get to Highland Park in about two minutes. Why not be VERY safe and really not have to lock everything up all the time. You could try Harold Sankey at Fox Chapel Real Estate. They have a bunch of rentals in Aspinwall and that is where their office is. You don't need to live, "in the city".

Last edited by gg; 09-11-2012 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:31 AM
 
4,100 posts, read 3,269,684 times
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Does Aspinwall have any good parks for dog walking? While Highland Park is very close, it is across the river and most people would drive that instead of walking.

Shadyside and Highland Park are by no means dangerous, but if you're planning to walk your dog around at like 1 in the morning I think you may be uncomfortable with it (both can have occasional spillover crime, and Shadyside has vibrant nightlife, which is not good since you want a quiet area with some privacy). Squirrel Hill and South Point Breeze are your best bets in the city due to their quiet nature and that they are both adjacent to Frick Park which is great for dogs.

Do you know where you will be commuting to yet?
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:40 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,673 posts, read 8,017,150 times
Reputation: 4256
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrarisnowday View Post
Does Aspinwall have any good parks for dog walking? While Highland Park is very close, it is across the river and most people would drive that instead of walking.
I am uncertain how the riverfront park is coming along? It has been a while since I last checked. There are no parks for dogs in Aspinwall. Most people walk them on around. It is a very nice place to walk. There is a dog park in FC, but you have to pay if you are a nonresident. I was glad to see that rule put into place.

To the OP: Why is there a thumbs down symbol on this thread?
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Highland Park
149 posts, read 151,133 times
Reputation: 306
Highland Park and Shadyside have very different feels regarding safety. I don't think it's accurate to lump Highland Park in with Shadyside or to suggest that Highland Park is unsafe.

Shadyside has higher property values, but it also has more rentals and three business districts (Walnut, Ellsworth, South Highland) that are each much more active than Highland Park's one business district (Bryant). As a result, there are higher rates of muggings and petty crime (e.g., car break-ins) in Shadyside than in Highland Park or other East End neighborhoods.

Highland Park is a fairly large neighborhood and feels different in different spots. The area to the east of Highland Avenue - which is up on a big hill that is way above the rest of the neighborhood - is wholly residential, is dominated by doctors, lawyers, and academics, and is probably one of the safest parts of the city. The rest of the neighborhood - to the west of Highland Avenue - varies by block. Most blocks are fully gentrified and are just as safe as the hill area, but some blocks, especially close to Stanton Avenue, are run-down and see more crime.

If you want to be safe walking your dog at 2 am but also want to live in the city, the part of Highland Park to the east of Highland Avenue would suit the bill quite well.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:52 AM
 
1,547 posts, read 964,852 times
Reputation: 1042
Where are you moving from? What you are used to might make a difference.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:59 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,673 posts, read 8,017,150 times
Reputation: 4256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Magarac View Post
Highland Park and Shadyside have very different feels regarding safety.
Not only that, but the sections of both of those places are totally different. For example in Shadyside you would have a very different feel on Westminster than you would on College. In Highland Park you would have a very different feel on Negley/Stanton in comparison to High Park Place or Greystone Drive.

On a different note, if you are in Aspinwall, you don't have those wild differences. I suggest Aspinwall because of the way you wrote the subject.
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