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Old 04-22-2010, 12:18 PM
 
194 posts, read 370,474 times
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After having read through several threads, over many days, regarding neighborhoods in Pittsburgh (as well as nearby suburbs), my head is spinning. So, with apologies in advance for adding yet another "where-should-I-live"-type thread, I'm hoping to get some input from forumites before driving over to Pittsburgh to look for a house.

I'm a single male, in my 40s, originally from blue-collar upstate NY, then 20-odd years in NYC, and a couple in Philly. I think part of my problem in deciding on where to focus is that I'm equally drawn, for very different reasons, to very different areas. On the one hand, I'm tired of urban living (noise, dirt, congestion, crime), and want to have a more peaceful/better standard of living; on the other hand, I like being an urban "pioneer," and being near creative/arts communities. Perhaps a decent compromise would be quieter areas within a reasonable commuting distance to the center?

I'm looking to buy a very modest multi-family home (to live in) and then, in the near future, another as an investment. I need to stay under $80K for each (cheaper is better), and plan to do much of the renovation myself. I know I can't afford the most beautiful, "trendy" areas (and don't necessarily want to live in them either), but I'm hoping to find a solid neighborhood (working class, etc.?) where there are still bargains to be had, and where there is potential for appreciation in value. I totally understand the vibe of transitioning neighborhoods/areas, and am not opposed to these; however, I know I definitely could not stand being someplace where there's a constant stream of SUV's blasting music all night, in part because of street drug traffic, or where I'd be constantly worried about safety (been there, done that). I'm also hoping, coming from NY State, to avoid insanely high property taxes, and have heard that looking outside of Allegheny County might be better in this regard.

Some of the many areas I've been looking at online - mostly based on price - include Brentwood/Carrick/Mt. Oliver/Baldwin; Brookline; Lawrenceville; Etna; Dormont, Heidelberg; and, in the city, East Liberty/Polish Hill/etc. I guess anyone reading this can probably see I'm pretty scattered (some might say clueless).

Any input would be greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance for all replies.

Last edited by dirimini; 04-22-2010 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Polish Hill and Millvale seem like possibilities to me.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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Lawrenceville is great, but it might be out of your price range.

Etna and Millvale are good options. Possibly Sharpsburg.

While I often recommend Etna and Millvale to people on a tight budget looking for working class neighborhoods, I realize that I don't often give Sharpsburg enough credit.

However, over the past few months, I've been impressed with Sharpsburg's thriving business district. When driving through, I've noticed there are very few empty store fronts. Whereas Etna has always struggled with empty store fronts. I attribute this to the fact that Sharpsburg has a larger walking population within walking distance than Etna. Because the reality is that most of these towns dont' have adequate parking to attract much business from non-residents. Regardless, all three areas are solid towns with affordable real estate that slowly increases steadily. These are not dying towns. They're just old towns that have become thriving suburbs with a town feel.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,495 posts, read 7,728,046 times
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80K? Better stick with Millvale/Etna.

Damn, hate it when I agree with hopes!!!
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:47 PM
 
194 posts, read 370,474 times
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to do some searches on these fora for all the locations mentioned.

By the way - does anyone have any input on any of these specific houses?

http://www.century21.com/property/index.jsp?id=35649089&campaign=listhub&refcode=C21 trulia
(In Mt. Oliver)

http://www.erashowcasehomes.com/mlsdetail.aspx?mls=795558
(In Carrick)

http://www.pittsburghmoves.com/property/propertydetails.aspx?propertyid=74757
(In Brentwood)

I realize all of these are in neighborhoods other than Etna and Millvale, but just asking. Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,495 posts, read 7,728,046 times
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I would only consider the one in Brentwood.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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I see you want brick multi-family buildings under 80k.

Bellevue:

Bellevue Real Estate - 85 N Balph, Bellevue, PA, 15202

Not brick, but Bloomfield is a great place to own rental property:

Bloomfield Real Estate - 3949 Liberty Ave, Bloomfield, PA, 15224

Not brick, but Oakmont is a very desirable neighborhood:

Oakmont Real Estate - 1144 -1146 Oakmont Ave, Oakmont, PA, 15139
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:29 PM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,400,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copanut View Post
I would only consider the one in Brentwood.
Same here. That's why I found some other alternatives.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:05 PM
 
194 posts, read 370,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Same here. That's why I found some other alternatives.
Thanks to both of you for the input - and thanks, Hopes, for the specific recommendations!

I'm getting the feeling, from reading other threads, that Mt. Oliver and Carrick might not be the best choices, in general?
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,495 posts, read 7,728,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirimini View Post
I'm getting the feeling, from reading other threads, that Mt. Oliver and Carrick might not be the best choices, in general?


Bingo!
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