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I agree don't do Swissvale or Edgewood yet, nor Homestead.
Monroeville and Murraysville are pretty nice.
Pleasant Hills is nice; West Mifflin is iffy. Some areas nice, some not. Hard to say; it is surrounded by not real desirable towns and cities.
Indiana is where I went to college. It is too far for decent jobs or transport you would rely on long distance bus companies like Greyhound to get back and forth. If you can't work at the university, you can't get much of a job and it is a 2 - 3 hour bus ride if you can get transport to the city when you need to be at work.
You might want to look at White Oak; it isn't too bad; it is close to some nastier areas but there are tons of doctor's offices, it is well kept; if I had stayed when I went back a few years ago that is where I would have settled. The schools are decent and it is a pretty well kept secret. Nice public and county parks. Decent shopping. Not sure about public transport.
Other areas Bethel Park is nice but may cost too much, also South Park, yes, there IS a place named South Park, and it is named for an actual county park. Those areas are nice and have public transport.
Buses everywhere take longer than driving, and both take longer in Pgh due to the lousy roads (it's not that they are narrow it is that they are trashed and under construction for sometimes years).
Also don't count on decent directions - all over PA it is the same - locals take perverse pleasure in PA in misdirecting locals. The whole state should just have a big sign charging a huge toll for driving through it since they don't really want tourists or the roads and people would be more welcoming, so just say STAY OUT and charge people who have to drive through. Check with long distance drivers all over the US - they hate driving through PA worse than any other state due to lousy roads, nonexistent signage, long detours, continual construction. You should know that from Philly area - I found it less inviting than Pgh and even Harrisburg (which is totally unfriendly).
If you want transport but no high real estate taxes consider N. Huntingdon Township, Irwin or N. Versailles maybe also; they are close to the PA turnpike and not far from public transport if memory serves - anyone else out there familiar with these areas and have more insight for the lady?
If you are 50+ it is hard to get a job anywhere but not impossible; let your dad push his experience, he may have a chance even though the job market is depressed.
The salary you cite isn't impossible but are you sure you can afford that much house with the taxes and the cost of winterizing stuff on that little bit of salary? Better check lower in real estate costs if you are only making that salary range. Also if what you do for a living claims that much salary where you live now, drop what you would get in PA to about 1/2 - 2/3 what you get elsewhere - it is an employer's market, not an employee's market; they can pay low as people are desperate for jobs. Benefits are awful, too - they pay for far less and charge far more than benefits other places in the US; in fact, if those benefits were offered to most employees in other areas of the US, the prospect would walk out the door and look for a job elsewhere.
Check out the postings on Crafton. Angellewis recommended the schools and the town is only 15 minutes from downtown PGH by bus. We looked there and really liked the houses. Since we haven't moved to PGH yet, you need to depend on others for the best advice...
Just so you know, i was raised in Crafton and live here now so i may be a little biased. Also want you to know that i've lived in FL, VA, NY, CO, and WA. All very nice places, but none as nice as Crafton as a place to raise a family. You mentioned you were looking for homes under $150K. Definitely doable in Crafton. You can get a very nice 4 bedroom home for that. You can get decent "fixer-uppers" for $40-60K--homes in nice neighborhoods that just have been neglected over the last few years. Sometimes its b/c older folks live there and just didn't have the means to maintain the home, but remained living there anyway.
As far as the schools go, they're ok, not great. Carlynton is the public school district in Crafton. Kids are safe there, there's no gang problems or racial problems or anything like that. They'll get a decent education and be able to get into college, but it's not a high-rated school district. There are 2 very good Catholic schools in Crafton. One is associated w/ St. Philip parish and is K-8. The other is Bishop Canevin High School. Both have excellent reputations. Both have a number of non-Catholic students.
There are also some work opportunities close by for your dad. a major busway runs through Crafton and makes commutes pretty easy to other parts of the city.
Well, thank you for all the help guys! I have decided to look at the murrysville/monroeville/north huntingdon (Norwin, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford) when i get there in a week.
The Mcmurray area is nice, but i think it's a little bit pricey.
If anyone could help me with this dilemma.
I am moving my parents to the pittsburgh area because i just hear awful things about philadelphia.
Sure, my dad can get a 24k/year job in philadelphia being at the age of 50, but housings are so expensive that they could never afford something decent in a nice area that has a good school system.
They are still debating whether they should go to Pittsburgh area or not because of the job issue.
We're looking to rent in the irwin area for the first 3-6 months while looking for a job.
My older brother and I can help my parents financially. So all he needs is a job at a grocery store as a stocker or at home depot or whatever that pays him 10 bucks an hour. The rest, we can take care of.
SO IS THE PITTSBURGH job market and health benefits are that bad?
my husband was just offered a job in Pittsburgh and let me tell you the health benefits are MUCH better than the ones we have here in NC (and cheaper!) For example we pay around $100 a month and have to pay a $2200 deductable then we pay 20%. The job in Pittsburgh we will pay $50 a month and the deductable is $700.
This is late, but would suggest that you look in West View or the older parts of Ross Twp, in the North Hills suburbs, a few miles north of the city line. The zip code is 15229, if you want to look on realtor.com to get a sense of the housing stock. There are lots of houses for well under $150K, and the North Hills School District, while it doesn't have the cachet of North Allegheny or Upper St. Clair, is decent and safe. It is a very easy commute to downtown and there are a number of large shopping centers and big box retailers along McKnight Road in Ross.
As for jobs, it's hard for a 50 year old man in most cities, but Pgh has more than its share of un- and under-employed middle-aged men. A lot depends upon his background and work experience and willingness to work.
Hi, I live in washington, co. pa, it borders Allegheney co (Pittsburgh), Taxes are lower in wash co, and you can be in downtown pgh. in 30 min. Look up Canon McMillan School District, I know the housing around this area is affordable.
I think you are on the right track looking at Murrysville the other towns on the west side of Westmoreland Co. I've debated living in Allegheny Co. and Pittsburgh for years, but I just can't do it because of the taxes. One thing to keep in mind is that the City of Pittsburgh has a 3% wage tax on top of everthing else which makes it pretty unattractive.
I live north of Cranberry right now. Butler County is a great place to live and taxes are dirt cheap (I pay $950 on my $105,000 house). If that's too far, Murrysville is a great place as well. I have two friends who just bought a house in Delmont (the next town east of Murrysville) and they love it. Watch out for taxes in Franklin Regional though. They can be high depending on the property.
N. Huntingdon and Norwin schools are also very good and the taxes are a little lower across the board. I am selling my house up here so that I can move closer to my job, and that's where I'm looking to buy.
As for the job issue, that can be a challenge. If all you're looking for, though, is something in the 25K range, that shouldn't be a problem. A lot of companies seem to be hiring out here.
You may want to check out Lower Burrell, zip code 15068. It's about 18 miles north of Pittsburgh. Excellent school district. Very good neighborhood. Homes in your price range. And it's Westmoreland County, so the taxes are much cheaper than Allegheny.
We live in N Huntingdon in Westmoreland co. and love the area and schools are good. 15642
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