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Old 11-04-2010, 12:29 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,240 times
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My husband and I are finally fed up with NYC and have decided to move out. After doing some research Pittsburgh came out as a winner. I am in banking/finance, my husband is electrician. We have two school age children and my parents will probably be living with us. We don’t want to live in an urban area (NYC was enough), but at the same time we don’t want to spend hours commuting. How hard do you think it will be for us to find jobs? Can you also recommend me areas (in the northern part of the city) that are safe, have decent schools, with affordable housing and not crazy taxes. Please help.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:24 PM
 
409 posts, read 918,970 times
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The switch from urban to suburban happens very quickly outside of the city limits. You can even get into some downright rural areas within a reasonable commute.

It really depends on what you are looking for.. How much you want to spend, how far you want to drive for shopping, how big of a lot you want. Are you looking for an older home in a quiet but dense neighborhood, do you want a newer single family home in a development, or do you want to be out in the middle of nowhere?

I'm also assuming you are looking to purchase rather than rent.

Ross Township, Shaler, McCandless, Hampton, and Franklin Park might be some good places to start looking, but certainly not an exhaustive list. You can find homes at all different prices and styles in all of the suburban municipalities.

Here's school district rankings for Western PA:
http://northofpittsburgh.com/docs/sc...nking%20BT.pdf

And here's the whole state:
http://www.psk12.com/rating/index.php

Generally speaking, this area has a lot of good school districts, so just because it may not be at the top of the western pa list doesn't mean it is awful.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:47 PM
 
1,719 posts, read 3,868,969 times
Reputation: 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by An'ka View Post
How hard do you think it will be for us to find jobs?
Well, the economy is in the toilet but there are jobs to be had in Pittsburgh. I would advise that you check out Bank of New York/Mellon and PNC for jobs. They are the financial titans in the area. As for your husband, the prospects are bleak unless he's union. The private contractors around here tend to pay crap (unless you get lucky). If you're non-union prepare to work for $10-$15 an hour with little or no benefits. It doesn't matter how experienced he is. You also need to be licensed to work within the city limits. The outlying municipalities have much more lax licensing requirements however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by An'ka View Post
Can you also recommend me areas (in the northern part of the city) that are safe, have decent schools, with affordable housing and not crazy taxes. Please help.
May I ask, why are you limiting yourself to the northern areas of the metropolitan area? I take it you are looking for a suburban area? Check out the North Hills (Ross and Shaler). Allegheny County taxes are very high. However, this is balanced out by the fact that property is so cheap here. Take a nice house in a nice suburb of NYC and you're looking at like what...$500,000 or so? That same house is going to be $150,000 in Pittsburgh. So, even though the millage rate is high the tax bill ends up being similar because of the low value of the properties.

If Allegheny County taxes bother you that much then you also can look at the surrounding counties. If you don't mind being a little further north (but still within reasonable commute to the city) check out Cranberry and Wexford (both in Butler County with lower taxes).

But, it would help if you told us what kind of vibe you are looking for and what your price range is. Are you looking for a bustling suburb with mini-malls and Best Buys? Are you looking for a more rural suburb? Or maybe a town with a walkable downtown?

One last thing: HAVE JOBS BEFORE YOU COME HERE. Sorry for the caps...I am just trying to make a very important point.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:48 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,240 times
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Thank you for your response and ideas. I will definitely check those areas out.

We will definitely be buying (something around 275K -325K)

We don’t want to spend more than 45 minutes for commute and maybe no more than 30 minutes to get to a large store/supermarket (Costco for example)

We don’t want anything bran-new. It can be an older (about 20-30 yrs old) house in a quite neighborhood with not that many neighbors around

I don’t know anything about land, but anything more than .25 acres would be great.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:55 PM
 
1,719 posts, read 3,868,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An'ka View Post
We will definitely be buying (something around 275K -325K)
For that price range you can get an incredibly nice home here. Go over to Pittsburgh's craigslist and peruse the real estate section. You will start to get an idea about prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by An'ka View Post
We don’t want to spend more than 45 minutes for commute and maybe no more than 30 minutes to get to a large store/supermarket (Costco for example)
Well, if you get a job downtown then I can assure you there are tons of affordable suburban options that meet your criteria.


Quote:
Originally Posted by An'ka View Post
We don’t want anything bran-new. It can be an older (about 20-30 yrs old) house in a quite neighborhood with not that many neighbors around J
Like I said, check out along the 279/79 north corridor from the city. North Hills being the first ring suburbs and Cranberry/Wexford being somewhat isolated (but still reasonably close) suburbs. I realize you probably don't believe me (coming from NYC), but your price range is enough to get a brand new home in a nice development in suburban Pittsburgh.

One last thing, you will probably earn significantly less money here than where you do now. However, this is offset by the lower cost of living.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:02 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,240 times
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Thank you very much. You have been very helpful. I will check everything out. And I know about job situation. I promice I will not go anywhere untill one of us will get a job
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,877,467 times
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I'd think that much of "the city" will seem downright suburban compared to ny.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:10 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,240 times
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Good. That means that I will have more options.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:34 PM
 
409 posts, read 918,970 times
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I like Pine Township but it is kinda inconvenient in terms of location. You can get a nice new house on a big lot there for your price range.

You can also head up 28 around Tarentum, Natrona Heights areas. The towns themselves have kind of languished but you can get huge lots with amazing houses on them for your price range in West Deer and Frazer Townships. You are going to be pretty rural out there and location again is inconvenient but it might be worth a look.

Cranberry is popular suburban area because it's convenient to downtown and the turnpike, the taxes are low.. although a bit bland in terms of character - it's mostly chains and big developer housing.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Bradford Woods
1 posts, read 2,979 times
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You should check out Bradford Woods!! It is in the northern suburbs and easy access to 79 and turnpike. It is a small community that is a wonderful place to raise your children and in the North Allegheny School district!!
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