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Old 01-20-2009, 11:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,124 times
Reputation: 12
Question Young Couple Looking to Relocate/Buy Home

Hello everybody!
My husband and I are looking to relocate to the Pittsburgh area from NEPA. We would like to purchase a home.. 3BR 2BA (give or take on either) in a safe, friendly neighborhood. The price range is a little lower - like under 150K for a house. I would prefer to not be able to look in my neighbor's window from mine. Nicer schools would be a plus for when we decide to start a family. Within 30 minutes from Pittsburgh would be ideal, with more of a suburban atmosphere with places to grab some groceries and a beer after work. Any suggestions?

Also, I was curious about differences in different areas of Pittsburgh. What are the major differences between the north and the south ends of the city areas/suburbs? East and West? I'm from the Dallas (TX) area originally, and I know the South/Southwest end of it is not so nice, with the North/Northeast end of it being the ideal suburbia. Is there a similar set-up in Pittsburgh?

Thanks in advance for any help
AiMFiRE
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, the Iron City!!!
802 posts, read 1,985,891 times
Reputation: 231
I'm originally from Big D as well (NSHS Class of 85), so I feel ya, fellow Texan!

I'm recently here from NYC, Chicago and points beyond in my northward quest for habitability, and have fallen for Pittsburgh like a girl-next-door....

I'm on the south side, currently in the Mount Oliver area (NOT recommended), but soon moving into our new home in Carrick, a formerly Irish enclave that has maintained its character while still catering to blue-collar sensibilities. We found a great 2 story colonial in great shape (passed the inspection w/ flying colors!!!) for only $113K (after deductions).

There'll be LOTS of different areas here that might fit your bill, so I'd seriously recommend you take a trip up here to scout out the area first. See the different neighborhoods and their proximity to the places you'll be wanting to go... meet some of the locals...

...and if you need a good agent, I can certainly recommend the one we've been using!!!!


GO COWBOYS IN 2009!!!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Sebeka, MN
2,901 posts, read 2,727,281 times
Reputation: 2673
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimfire81 View Post
Hello everybody!
My husband and I are looking to relocate to the Pittsburgh area from NEPA. We would like to purchase a home.. 3BR 2BA (give or take on either) in a safe, friendly neighborhood. The price range is a little lower - like under 150K for a house. I would prefer to not be able to look in my neighbor's window from mine. Nicer schools would be a plus for when we decide to start a family. (Stay out of the City of Pittsburgh Limits) Within 30 minutes from Pittsburgh would be ideal, with more of a suburban atmosphere with places to grab some groceries and a beer after work. Any suggestions?

Also, I was curious about differences in different areas of Pittsburgh. What are the major differences between the north and the south ends of the city areas/suburbs? East and West? I'm from the Dallas (TX) area originally, and I know the South/Southwest end of it is not so nice, with the North/Northeast end of it being the ideal suburbia. Is there a similar set-up in Pittsburgh?

Thanks in advance for any help
AiMFiRE
You need to read a lot of the recent threads here. Most important; if you are going to raise a family, go into the suburbs. The City buses students and your children could be going somewhere they don't want to.

30 minutes out of the city leaves may neighborhoods open to you. Your price can work with the very best choice, Mt Lebanon. However the homes in some of the neighborhoods aren't miles apart, nor are the row houses though.

Look at Mt Lebanon First before ruling it out. Don't be fooled by people who think it's snobby or high priced because there are a few of those there. Mostly it's a Middle Class Family oriented "walking" community. It's what is known as a Pittsburgh bedroom suburb.

As I suggested read many threads here, many relate to the same subject. The North Hills has some more wide spread property at some lower costs. Those areas can be nice. I found the schools to be a bit rougher but they are doable.

The one thing that Mt Lebanon has going for it, the proximity to the city, the 20 minute drive in to town AND the Light Rail Service. Your kids won't be bussed anywhere, Mt Lebanon doesn't own buses for travel to and from school, they are for sporting events and field trips. Education at Mt Lebanon is SUPERIOR to most schools. It's almost like a College experience, the choices the academic challenges and teachers. I say this from personal experience, a 1979 Graduate.

If you are serious about a move into Pittsburgh and aren't going to have childeren, the city has so many places worth looking at, however I saw you referenced that fact. Look outside the city.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,124 times
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Thank you very much for the advice on Mt. Lebanon, slamont. I will look into it.
As for By~Tor, what the hell happened this year!?? Ugh. Lucky for me the Steelers are a close second as far as favorite NFL teams go... so at least I can enjoy the Super Bowl! The boys really need to find a QB that doesn't choke under pressure.. it's getting old. LOL. I could go on..
AiMFiRE
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Southwest Pa
1,009 posts, read 2,167,759 times
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That price range and the driving distance limits you a bit but not seriously. Still a lot of good places to consider. Perhaps the edge of Washington County where it borders Allegheny. Close to shopping, still some fairly good prices for a modest home and I-79 is close. You should be able to find some elbow room and a good school district. Might be a few spots over in Westmoreland County, again near the border. Traffic can be a bit of a bother but you are close to the turnpike and the Parkway.

The only other thing I'd add is that if you have a daily commute, anything along Rt 88 or Rt 51 will make for a real bugger of a drive.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,520 posts, read 5,691,009 times
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When you say Washington County, what towns are you recommending?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazzwell View Post
That price range and the driving distance limits you a bit but not seriously. Still a lot of good places to consider. Perhaps the edge of Washington County where it borders Allegheny. Close to shopping, still some fairly good prices for a modest home and I-79 is close. You should be able to find some elbow room and a good school district. Might be a few spots over in Westmoreland County, again near the border. Traffic can be a bit of a bother but you are close to the turnpike and the Parkway.

The only other thing I'd add is that if you have a daily commute, anything along Rt 88 or Rt 51 will make for a real bugger of a drive.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
3,317 posts, read 2,858,532 times
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I would think twice about moving to Washington County if you are concerded about a 30 commute to work. I don't think that you can get to town during rush hour in a that time. I had a friend commute in from Bridgeville/South Fayette and he said it was over a half hour getting to town and over an hour getting home. I think Bridgeville is still in Allegheny County. Basically you may want to stick with the closer in suburbs. Mt. Lebanon is one. However, the houses are older and closer together. Also for you price range you are probably getting a pretty small house in Mt. Lebanon and you may have to be open to a one and half bath home. Mt. Lebanon is not as upscale as people think. Part of that perception is that there are not really any bad areas of Mt. Lebanon. I would also consider some of the towns along Route 65. They aren't that far out of town. Ben Avon is pretty nice, however taxes are pretty high. Emsworth if more affordable and is in the same school district. Oakmont is a great town with a diverse housing stock however the commute to town is probably over 30 minutes during rush hour. Again these are all older suburbs so a having two full baths is not going to be a given.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:06 PM
 
372 posts, read 501,757 times
Reputation: 72
Default North versus South

This is more of a religious argument than anything else. People from the South Hills (Mt Lebanon, Upper St. Clair) will swear that it is the greatest place to live in Allegheny County and people from Sewickley and the North Hills will insist that their municipalities are the greatest. Moreover, there is a tendency for families to remain in these areas for generations. I know people from the South Hills who have never been to the North Hills and vice versa.

I've lived in many of these municipalities since moving to Pittsburgh and my observation is that there are strengths and weaknesses to all of these and you really have to tour each to get a feel for what you would like.

The so-called "best" school districts include (in no particular order), Fox Chapel, Upper St. Clair, Mt Lebanon, and Quaker Valley (Sewickley area), but there are many find schools in the City of Pittsburgh and the other school districts, as well. The City of Pittsburgh public school system is undergoing some consolidation which has not been well received by all of the citizens and you may want to research this issue if you plan to live in the city.

My general rule of thumb is try to avoid a tunnel at all costs if you are going to work in town. The Squirrel Hill (East), Liberty (South) and Ft. Pitt (Southwest) tunnels are sources of significant bottlenecks at rush hour although the city has far too many cars for its small footprint which is a problem in and of itself.

If you prefer public transportation, the South Hills has the only dedicated rail system which is a big plus if you live near a station. The East Hills has the East busway, an express route which starts in Wilkinsburg and has stops in East Liberty and Shadyside as well as the Strip District.

There is bus service to the North as well, but I find it less practical than a car.

In terms of neighborhoods, the best neighborhoods, IMHO are probably in the city. I lived in Shadyside, East Liberty, Squirrel Hill and Oakland and never needed a car. As you move farther out this becomes more problematic especially if you have that 30 minute restriction.

Having said that there are numerous small-town type areas along Route 19 (Dormont, Mt Lebanon, to the south, Observatory Hill and Perrysville to the north), Allegheny River Boulevard (Oakmont), Ohio River Boulevard (Bellvue, Avalon, Emsworth and Sewickley), Route 51 North (McKees Rocks, Coraopolis), which have mixed retail, commercial and residential areas where it is possible to do many things on foot.

Allegheny County/Pittsburgh has one of the largest park systems in the Country, with Highland, Riverview, Schenley and Frick Parks in the city, North Park to the North, Settler's Cabin to the West, Boyce to the East, South Park (South, obviously) and smaller parks throughout.

If you had the luxury, you might want to consider renting for a brief time and allowing yourself to explore the neighborhoods (while the Feds work out the whole mortgage mess). Since I came here as a student, I had the luxury of taking my time in deciding which neighborhood was best for me.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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Pittsburgh is such an awesome place, you can't go wrong. The city and surrounding suburbs are as scenic as it gets. There are so many great options in regards to places to live both in the city and in nearby suburbs. I personally prefer the North Hills School District (10 min. from the city) - outstanding school and easiest commute into the city. No tunnels, and 279 north has the usual traffic but without a tunnel it's not nearly as bad. The booming growth in Robinson and Cranberry (30 min outside) is worth checking out, and Shadyside is incredible for in-city life. While the greater Pittsburgh area has 2.5+ million people, the cultural options are of a city double that. Theater, ballet, art, museums, you name it - it's here and of highest quality. And oh yeah, the sports aren't so bad either
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,893 posts, read 3,753,593 times
Reputation: 2351
I wouldn't be afraid of living in the city with a family. There are plenty of sensible city neighborhood options -- and your kids won't be bored.

I will always regret that my parents raised me in the country/suburbs. I was bored most of my life growing up.
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