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Unread 06-11-2007, 09:54 PM
 
522 posts, read 1,099,417 times
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Default SOMEthing Inbetween!!!

Many thanks to all the forum members who have set me straight in the "Nothing Inbetween" thread. I guess what it all boils down to is that I AM looking for something inbetween...inbetween a Hummer Home and a shack. So,

Where, locals of Pittsburgh, would you recommend I begin searching for a home if I've concluded I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of $140,000-$160,000 to spend. I can't believe that's a "starter home" nowadays, but if it is, it is. Location isn't a huge priority...I'm on the road all about Western PA for work. I could be in Erie one day and Uniontown the next, although the majority of my time is spent in central Allegheny county. I wouldn't rule out Butler, Westmoreland, Washington, and Beaver Counties either. I'd consider myself more of an urban guy than a rural one, though I don't need to be IN the city. Just outside would be fine by me. I know this makes me the devil, but I quite like having a big box store or thirty and a plethora of chain restaurants nearby. American Consumerism at its finest!

I'd appreciate specific recommendations anyone has!

Regards,
Captain O
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Unread 06-11-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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I recommend looking into Shaler, Ross, O'Hara, Indiana, and West Deer for an older ranch or split level.
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Unread 06-11-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I recommend looking into Shaler, Ross, O'Hara, Indiana, and West Deer for an older ranch or split level.
Did I mention the only thing I hate worse than split levels are...well...you know what, I think I hate split levels the most!

Seriously, thanks for the input. I realize I'm not going to find my dream home in that price range and that it is going to be an effort full of compromise.

Thanks,
O
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Unread 06-11-2007, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago
34,969 posts, read 50,785,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious View Post
Where, locals of Pittsburgh, would you recommend I begin searching for a home if I've concluded I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of $140,000-$160,000 to spend. I can't believe that's a "starter home" nowadays, but if it is, it is.
Oh how nice it would be to live in a place where one could be disillusioned at the idea of a $140,000 starter home. That won't even get you a townhouse around here any more. MAYBE a condo in a highrise in desparate need of updating -- but only a one-bedroom. And there are a lot of metro areas more expensive than Chicago. Ask Tallysmom what that'll get her in her neighborhood -- probably a phone booth (but not the land it's attached to).
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Unread 06-12-2007, 04:56 AM
 
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That was our price range too. Granted we only looked in areas close to CMU, but we found a fair amount of properties in the area. Our realtor did show us listing from Shaler - and there are a bunch of great looking houses in that area. The same for Penn Hills. While there wasn't much for sale in Edgewood, anything that's not a victorian is listed in that price range. Our house is definitely a trade-up for us, but only niceness-wise not price-wise. We sold our crappy house in Baltimore for 50k more than we bought here. It's like a dream!
ps- we hate ranchers/split-levels so none of the houses we looked at were those.
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Unread 06-12-2007, 06:10 AM
 
522 posts, read 1,099,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Oh how nice it would be to live in a place where one could be disillusioned at the idea of a $140,000 starter home. That won't even get you a townhouse around here any more. MAYBE a condo in a highrise in desparate need of updating -- but only a one-bedroom. And there are a lot of metro areas more expensive than Chicago. Ask Tallysmom what that'll get her in her neighborhood -- probably a phone booth (but not the land it's attached to).
And if I did the exact same thing I do now in Chicago, I'd make twice as much as I do now (I have a friend that lives in Chicago, so I know!). So it would be a wash. If I was in the Chicago forum, I'd be posting "I'm looking for a starter home in the $280,000-$320,000 range") For all future posters...it has been well established that Pittsburgh's housing costs are extraordinarily low compared to the rest of the country. I am looking for local recommendations in this thread, not horror stories about how expensive it is out your way. I'm not being rude, just that everyone wants to always tell me how good I have it, and I just want some recommendations on where to live

Here's 1,000 listings of 2 bedroom condos, townhouses, and single family homes in the Chicago area for all under $150,000... some of them look fairly nice. I know many of those listed are "just outside" of Chicago, but in my original post you'll see I was not only looking in downtown Pittsburgh, but also the neighboring 4 counties as well.

Chicago Tribune Home Search - List View

Look at this nice little home...exactly what I'm looking for, and less than an hour from the city... They're out there, Drover.
Chicago Tribune Home Search - Property Details

CaptainO

Last edited by CaptainObvious; 06-12-2007 at 06:27 AM..
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Unread 06-12-2007, 07:24 AM
 
121 posts, read 241,653 times
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You can probably get a decent house for that in many city neighborhoods. I know for a fact that my father bought a nice new-ish house in Highland Park within that price range a few years ago. By new-ish I mean I am not sure of it's age but it's definitely not a fixer-upper.

I bet you could pick any neighborhood that's nice but not currently trendy (e.g. maybe not South Side or Lawrenceville) and find some homes in that range there. Who knows, maybe you can still find it in Lawrenceville too, but I hear the prices are rising there.

Good luck!
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Unread 06-12-2007, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Chicago
34,969 posts, read 50,785,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious View Post
And if I did the exact same thing I do now in Chicago, I'd make twice as much as I do now (I have a friend that lives in Chicago, so I know!). So it would be a wash. If I was in the Chicago forum, I'd be posting "I'm looking for a starter home in the $280,000-$320,000 range") For all future posters...it has been well established that Pittsburgh's housing costs are extraordinarily low compared to the rest of the country. I am looking for local recommendations in this thread, not horror stories about how expensive it is out your way. I'm not being rude, just that everyone wants to always tell me how good I have it, and I just want some recommendations on where to live

Here's 1,000 listings of 2 bedroom condos, townhouses, and single family homes in the Chicago area for all under $150,000... some of them look fairly nice. I know many of those listed are "just outside" of Chicago, but in my original post you'll see I was not only looking in downtown Pittsburgh, but also the neighboring 4 counties as well.

Chicago Tribune Home Search - List View

Look at this nice little home...exactly what I'm looking for, and less than an hour from the city... They're out there, Drover.
Chicago Tribune Home Search - Property Details

CaptainO
There's a reason why that cute little Cape Cod is "only" $150,000 -- because it's in Chicago Heights, which is a nasty little place that no sane person would voluntarily live if they had a better alternative. After doing a cursory glance of the list you provided, so are most of those places. Many of these listings are 50, 60, 70 miles from the city or more -- you've got listings as far away as Rockford (basically Illinois' equivalent to Youngstown only not as close to Chicago as Youngstown is to Pittsburgh) and Lake Geneva Wisconsin.

So I revise my statement: $140,000 won't buy you townhouse here except in places that suck or, on a good day, are merely marginal.

Last edited by Drover; 06-12-2007 at 12:52 PM..
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Unread 06-12-2007, 01:37 PM
 
2,439 posts, read 5,512,960 times
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I'd look in the 15229 or 15237 zip codes in Ross Twp. Or maybe parts of West View, depending upon how much yard you want. (Most West View lots are pretty small). This is where I grew up and where my parents still live. The houses are not huge, and definitely not new, but they are solid brick or mostly brick construction. The area is very safe, the schools are good, and you are just minutes from the big-box paradise that is McKnight Road. It's also very easy to get into the city for a ball game or museum visit. You might need to bump your price to $160K, but there are many houses in this price range currently on the market in 15229, according to realtor.com.
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Unread 06-12-2007, 02:36 PM
 
1,549 posts, read 1,377,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious View Post
Many thanks to all the forum members who have set me straight in the "Nothing Inbetween" thread. I guess what it all boils down to is that I AM looking for something inbetween...inbetween a Hummer Home and a shack. So,

Where, locals of Pittsburgh, would you recommend I begin searching for a home if I've concluded I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of $140,000-$160,000 to spend.
I think there's plenty of houses in that general range that I would consider to be good starter homes (unless you absolutely need to count on quick home value appreciation, which is always hard to predict). I went on the Howard Hanna website and got 500 hits for Allegheny County in the $125,000-$175,000 range (the search options only work in $25,000 increments), and likely more were available but it got maxed out at 500. Here's an example of what's on the first results page, it's a 3BR in Crafton, a mile or so from the I-279 (Greentree exit):

Howard Hanna Real Estate

Looks fine, and is neither a shack nor a hummer house..

Here's another in Shaler, from the map it looks just up the hill from Etna, again on a quiet street, about a mile from Route 28 and less than that from Route 8:

Howard Hanna Real Estate

As was mentioned in the "Nothing..." thread, you likely won't find that many newer homes for those prices in Pittsburgh because the population loss in the city and many older suburbs has left a bunch of empty solid brick homes (that many times need updating, but I think the 2 houses above don't look so bad), eliminating the need to build new houses of similar dimensions.
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