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Old 09-09-2019, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,443 posts, read 67,778,672 times
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Unfortunately, like much of this country, many of Pittsburgh's suburbs were built with the automobile in mind first and foremost and pedestrians/cyclists as afterthoughts. As such we don't have many urban/dense/walkable suburbs, especially on that side of the metro area.

Along the I-376/I-79 corridors west of the city you'll want to check out the areas already mentioned---Sewickley (yes, it is small), Bridgeville (even smaller), Canonsburg (also small), Crafton (tiny business district), Carnegie (small), or Mt. Lebanon (best bet). I'm surprised that with how large Robinson Township, Moon Township, North Fayette Township, Findlay Township, and South Fayette Township are all becoming that work hasn't been done to build one of those new faux "town center/lifestyle center" types of places yet since people are increasingly wanting to live where they can be close to coffee shops or parks or restaurants.

I believe South Fayette Township was trying to see it happen with Newbury Market, but that has been slow to get off the ground. Settlers Ridge in Robinson Township comes somewhat close but doesn't have much housing nearby save for an apartment complex across a busy road.

Pittsburgh doesn't do suburbs well, unfortunately.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,557 posts, read 12,170,337 times
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As others have said, if you want walkable and close to the airport - particularly also including not run down, safe, and good public schools - Sewickley is far and away your best choice. I'd quite honestly say that it's one of only three suburban downtown areas which have the traits you're looking for regardless of commute (the other two being Aspinwall and Mt. Lebanon).

Going through the other nearby - less ideal - options:

Coraopolis is a bit closer to the airport, but more of a working-class town which doesn't have a business district anywhere near as nice as Sewickley. Schools are mediocre - arguably because it has a very small school district and lacks the resources needed - though there is an effort to attempt to merge with nearby Montour SD I think

The Bellevue/Avalon area is much closer in toward the city but has a nice vibrant walkable business district. Again though, more of a working-class area. Some minor safety issues, and schools are generally considered below average.

Turning to the south, the Crafton area has some nice old homes and a good commute via 376, but it has a pretty small, crappy downtown area which was mostly demolished in the mid 20th century. Schools are okay.

Further south than that there's Carnegie. Carnegie actually has one of the better suburban business districts in the county, and feels a little more "big city" in terms of its layout than Sewickley. The problem is while the downtown are has had a real revival in the last decade, the residential neighborhoods surrounding it are still kinda undistinguished and working class. Shares a school district with Crafton.

Further south than this is Bridgeville. Bridgeville has an okay business district - better than Crafton or Coraopolis, but worse than the other ones I listed. Local schools are above average.

Past this, you're talking really about the city proper over any suburban options. A Mt. Lebanon to Parkway West commute is feasible, but if Sewickley wasn't urban enough for you, you really would only want to look for houses in one section of Mt. Lebanon (Uptown) because it's a pretty big municipality, with large sections not all that walkable.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:00 AM
 
1,328 posts, read 2,056,247 times
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Thank you very much, all! I have reviewed your input with interest and will try to tool around in a rental car for a day or two and see as many of these places as I can should I make the trip out your way.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:17 AM
 
1,328 posts, read 2,056,247 times
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I've also been keeping an eye on Dormont. While the schools aren't as highly ranked as they are in Mt. Lebanon and the business district isn't as bustling as the one in Mt. Lebanon, it looks like a pretty good compromise, especially when it comes to value for money.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:17 PM
 
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Per your criteria, Mt. Lebanon is your best choice. It is a much better commute than Sewickley. Getting over the bridge to/from Sewickley every day will be a PiA. And Lebo has the trolley to downtown/north side and closer to Pittsburgh. As noted, seconds from Dormont. Great schools, well kept area. Not flat like Sewickley, though.

Obviously ask others outside this forum for their opinion. This forum, in its current state, isn’t the best place for advice on any subject.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
6,027 posts, read 7,412,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maclock View Post
I've also been keeping an eye on Dormont. While the schools aren't as highly ranked as they are in Mt. Lebanon and the business district isn't as bustling as the one in Mt. Lebanon, it looks like a pretty good compromise, especially when it comes to value for money.
The Keystone Oaks district isn't as highly ranked as Lebo (most in the area won't be since it's at the top), it's still not a bad school district and Dormont is a good area to live in too. Your property taxes will be much more manageable in Dormont as well I think than Mt. Lebanon.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:38 PM
 
2,580 posts, read 2,077,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
The Keystone Oaks district isn't as highly ranked as Lebo (most in the area won't be since it's at the top), it's still not a bad school district and Dormont is a good area to live in too. Your property taxes will be much more manageable in Dormont as well I think than Mt. Lebanon.
I believe the rate is about the same, lebos school taxes are higher but the boro taxes are less.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Weirton, W. Va.
498 posts, read 174,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maclock View Post
Thank you very much, all! I have reviewed your input with interest and will try to tool around in a rental car for a day or two and see as many of these places as I can should I make the trip out your way.
That is your best bet for sure. As you see a lot of folks are echoing pretty much the same areas. Steel city rising is right. Pittsburgh overall does not do suburbs very well, in the sense if you are looking for small cities and towns with their own business districts intact right outside the city. I honestly think the Bellevue and Coraopolis boroughs May be the closest to small town feel next to the city. The school districts there arenít bad, they just arenít outstanding like a mt Lebanon or sewickley. I will tell you the business district of Mt. Lebanon is basically an extension of Dormontís as it is right next door. Most of mt Lebanon is old stone houses with the slate roof on steep hills. I am also not sure of the commute in and out to work from there. Iíd drive it during rush hour if I were you to see.

Pittsburgh has a lot of nice suburbs. They just arenít of the small town varieties. The ones that do exist it is hard to find one that isnít basically a ghost town.

It will be a trade off wherever you choose. I do think beaver borough is the best of everything you want except being right next to the city. It has beautiful homes, walkable downtown and itís school district is close to on par with mt Lebanon.

I think working out west the last thing you want to do is put a tunnel between your home and your commute. If you see rush hour you will understand.

Good luck and let us know what happens
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Old Yesterday, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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Moon is nearby and would be worth checking out, as would be Robinson. I live in Scott so I am very familiar with Mt. Lebo, Scott, Bridgeville, Collier, Greentree, and Carnegie. In terms of school Mt Lebo is the champ probably followed by South Fayette (I think Bridgeville is SF) and maybe Chartiers Valley (Scott, parts of Collier). Carnegie is Carlynton AFAIK and I wouldn't touch Carnegie with a ten foot pole for a personal home because of high taxes and poor school district (check zillow and see how many rentals there are there). Greentree is expensive IMO, and its district KO isn't very good anymore. Greentree's higher prices and higher taxes subsidize the district (at least this used to be the case). If you don't need to be near Pittsburgh and don't ever foresee this changing, I would stay out in the Robinson region. Newer construction, newer commercial areas etc.

The only caveat would be to warn you the parkway west inbound in the morning is a parking lot going into town. I mean even at 11am on a Sunday. Just ridiculous all the time. Because of my location I can cut in at the end off Banksville and avoid the parking lot to get into Ft Pitt Tunnels but coming from out west you won't have such luxury. If this is a concern or if school district/ease of resale is paramount I'd probably recommend Mt. Lebanon, or Scott if you're going to use private schools (right next door, less taxes). I can get to 79 from here in 7-10 minutes max.

Here is a helpful map of the school districts in this county:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._Districts.png

Good luck
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Old Today, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (lovely hills but no ocean...)
1,212 posts, read 650,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy2073 View Post
I believe the rate is about the same, lebos school taxes are higher but the boro taxes are less.
Let's say Lebo taxes somewhat higher than Dormont but you get more for your tax dollar in Lebo. The police force works the hardest of any I've ever known.

But then you can have the Lebo "attitude". Dormont has little more character and grit. And way more affordable classic homes. A $200k home in Dormont can cost twice that in Lebo. And KO schools are very good. Not great like Mt. Lebanon. Anyway...good luck.
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