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Old 05-26-2007, 11:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,131 times
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Default Why so cheap?

Hi, my wife and I were looking at home prices in the and around the Pittsburgh area and noticed they seemed to be unbelievably affordable. Can someone tell me why this is so? I've never been to Pittsburgh PA. Only Philadelphia PA. many years ago. The people there seemed nice, but I didn't really like the city much. Is Pittsburgh similar to Philadelphia? Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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I don't think Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could be any different while still being in the same state. Philadelphia is obviously much bigger, much more densley populated, a lot flatter (Pittsburgh is situated in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains), a bit more cosmopolitan, has a higher crime rate, and the cultures are quite different. Philadelphia has your standard East Coast culture; Pittsburgh is a mix of Appalachian and Midwest cultures.

Why so cheap? Quite simple: little demand. The Pittsburgh metro area's population continues to be stagnant, perhaps even slowly losing population. Pittsburgh's economy is pretty flat, it's not really generating new jobs, and there's no influx of workforce to take these non-existent jobs, so there's no source of pressure on real estate prices. The economy is basically sufficient to support the existing population and not much more. If you can find a job in Pittsburgh, it's a very decent place to live.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Why so cheap? Quite simple: little demand. The Pittsburgh metro area's population continues to be stagnant, perhaps even slowly losing population. Pittsburgh's economy is pretty flat, it's not really generating new jobs, and there's no influx of workforce to take these non-existent jobs, so there's no source of pressure on real estate prices. The economy is basically sufficient to support the existing population and not much more.
Since the fall of the steel industry in the 1970s, Pittsburgh's economy has been on a steady increase. This steady economic increase is what keeps housing prices and cost of living under control. Since economic booms eventually bring economic busts, I have no desire to see another economic boom in Pittsburgh. I've lived through a depression once in my life. I do not wish to experience it again, nor do I want to experience the rat race that comes with an economic boom.

Drover, we're basically saying the same thing, but I like the way I say it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
If you can find a job in Pittsburgh, it's a very decent place to live.
Agreed. Pittsburgh's quality of life is very desirable.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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I have known 2 people personally who had degrees in their respective fields who decided to move back to Pittsburgh. Well they both were unable to find a job and were forced to leave. If you are looking or even considering on moving here, you should have a job lined up BEFORE you get here or you will be packing up your bags in 6 months.

I personally am getting the heck out of this place. I can't stand it here.

Also I would look into the cost of taxes, utilities, and food before saying how cheap Pittsburgh is. There are a lot of hidden "taxes" in this place. Yes your house may be cheap compared to other markets, but it has to be for a reason.
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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Philadelphia and Pittsburg are very different. to Pennsylvanian's in rural areas, they are often viewed as a blight that increases tax dollars for the rest of the state.

but to be more objective, if you want a large city they offer all that any other large city offers.

Philadelphia is thriving and always has been. Pittsburg took a hit with the steel industry decline and portions of it have still not recovered. Pittsburg is working on coming back via the tourism industry and has some pretty cool tourist stuff now.

personaly if i could avoid it I wouldn't live in either city, but the outskirts of either are nice. I have friends that live in the outskirts of both cities and they are all happy with their choices in residences.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdlady View Post
I have known 2 people personally who had degrees in their respective fields who decided to move back to Pittsburgh. Well they both were unable to find a job and were forced to leave.
Anyone would be crazy to move anywhere without first obtaining a job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdlady View Post
I personally am getting the heck out of this place. I can't stand it here.
Where exactly is "this place?" Another post of yours indicates that you live outside of a small town with a population of 14,000 people. That doesn't sound like Pittsburgh. Your post would probably make sense if we knew where you lived specifically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdlady View Post
Also I would look into the cost of taxes, utilities, and food before saying how cheap Pittsburgh is. There are a lot of hidden "taxes" in this place. Yes your house may be cheap compared to other markets, but it has to be for a reason.
Be forewarned that your desired destination, southern California, has many people escaping the high cost of living there. We have quite a few members here in the Pittsburgh forum who simply can't wait to leave California. Many people can't even afford to own homes in California. That's not the case in Pittsburgh---even with it's tax structure it's more affordable in Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmartian View Post
personaly if i could avoid it I wouldn't live in either city, but the outskirts of either are nice. I have friends that live in the outskirts of both cities and they are all happy with their choices in residences.
I don't think the OP was talking about just the city of Pittsburgh when he asked about Pittsburgh. The OP specifically said he doesn't like the city of Philidelphia which indicates to me that he's not really into city living but prefers suburban or rural living. And Pittsburgh has rural living within an easy commute to the city. His way of life can be found more easily in Pittsburgh than Philidelphia. In the Pittsburgh are, the rural life can be found within the distance of just a 30 to 40 minute commute during rush hour; the suburban life can be found within just a 15 to 20 minute commute during rush hour.
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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I am not sure where the Appalachian and Midwest cultures comment comes from. Pittsburgh is on hills yes. Some small towns far from the city have typical small town qualities and the hills give it its own take, but the city and largely the metro are not "Appalachian."

Pittsburgh is a Northeastern city, but the Northeast it not merely the East Coast, but inland areas as well, including Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Albany and other cities. Being further inland and smaller than Philly gives it a different character, but it's not the Midwest. If you travel to the Midwest, you'll see the difference.

The overall population growth has been slower than many regions of the country due to the loss of industry 20-30 years ago. That part of the region is history and it has moved on, but it doesn't happen over night and has made the region a stable housing market. It doesn't boom or bust.
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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Notwithstanding the hills, Pittsburgh is definitely more midwestern than east coast. It has far more in common with Cleveland than it does with Philadelphia, Boston, NY, or DC. The slower pace of life, lack of diversity (virtually no Asians or Hispanics), lower cost of living, family-oriented culture, etc. are all very characteristic of midwestern cities. Not to mention the weather......
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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While the culture of Pittsburgh and surrounding counties are not "Appalachian", the mountain chain does separate Pennsylvania in many ways. Pittsburgh is definitely more Midwestern than Philadelphia.

Check out the magazine stand in the Pittsburgh supermarkets and you'll find a magazine called Midwestern Living. That magazine isn't sold in Philadelphia supermarkets.

Another quick example is that Pittsburghers say pop and Philadelphians say soda. Nothing could be more Midwestern than the word pop.

Check out this cool interactional map about what Americans call soft drinks: http://popvssoda.com:2998/ (broken link)
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