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Relo to PIT

Chicago, IL
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Relo to PIT

Will relo to PIT very soon. Had a quick neighborhood search this past weekend. Single male, late 30's.

My needs:

A destination neighboorhood - within 5 min. of "stuff"; shopping, grocery, food, bars.

Easily accessible/drivable to work, which is located near the airport -I will travel a bit for work, too.

Safety/parking - I like my car parked indoors, free from weather.

Townhome or single-family home is definitely affordable - I like newer or recently rehabbed homes.

People - I am brand new to the city, I'd like to find a place which welcomes 30-40-somethings (not just the late night "party" crowd, but chill out atmosphere, too).

I've lived in cities before (Memphis and Chicago) and I've also lived in more layed out suburbs/subdivisions.

This weekend I saw Southside and was impressed, but got no flavor for the people. Liked Squirrel Hill a bit. On the suburb side, Robinson and Moon Townships.

Any other thoughts are appreciated? I did some searches, so I'm trying to be a little more specific about my needs/wants. Thanks.

Pittsburgh, PA...
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11. Re: Relo to PIT

I know the area around the airport very well because that is where I live. I am also a real estate agent. The recommendations for Moon and Robinson, as well as North Fayette and Findlay are very good. Prices for homes are very good right now, because our housing market has been quite slow. Plenty of townhouses available in all of those areas. Those areas are also all very close to shopping. Robinson Township/North Fayette have just about everything you could want regarding shopping/grocery/food/bars.

The real estate taxes in Beaver County (Center/Hopewell areas) are NOT actually that much better than Allegheny County. In fact, North Fayette, Findlay and especially Kennedy Township (near Robinson), often have LOWER taxes on townhouses that are comparable to those in Hopewell. In addition, there is much more shopping, etc. that is very close. The "better taxes in Beaver County" story is something that was true many years ago, but not so now. It really depends on the individual municipality, not the county. Once you narrow things down to a couple areas, you can compare and contrast the taxes/housing costs/convenience, and determine what works best.

The Southside and Squirrel Hill are very nice/fun areas, but may be a bit far for the commute to work at the airport. It all depends on what you are comfortable with, regarding a commute. Rush hour traffic in Pittsburgh isn't nearly as bad as it is in bigger cities like Chicago, unless there is an accident on the Parkway. Once there is an accident (which you can expect to happen a few times a month) the parkway can get unbelievably slow, and depending on where a car accident is, there are not usually very good alternate routes to get you to your destination quickly.

Pittsburgh is generally a very friendly city. The people are great, and very welcoming. No matter where you live, you should have no problem meeting people. My wife and I are in our 30's and have no problem meeting plenty of great people in the airport area. We would be happy to meet/introduce you to 30/40 somethings in the area.

For a great "chill out atmosphere", I would recommend two bars that focus on great beer and are in the airport area. The Sharp Edge Creekhouse, located in Crafton, off Route 60, and Bocktown, located in The Pointe at North Fayette (the shopping center across the highway from IKEA). The Sharp Edge is known for an impressive selection of imports, especially Belgian beers, and Bocktown is known for an amazing selection of American microbrews. Not sure if you are into those things, but the atmosphere is perfect for what you mentioned you were looking for.

Once outside of the airport area, others will be able to answer your questions better than me, but if you have any other specific questions about the airport area, you can send me a message directly by clicking on my screen name, and going to the Traveler Network tab.

Pittsburgh...
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12. Re: Relo to PIT

Scaldis, that was a great post!

I know Hopewell school district has gotten out of hand with raising taxes in the last few years, but I really thought we were still much lower than Allegheny County. I guess not!

Pittsburgh, PA
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13. Re: Relo to PIT

Like the real estate agent said, in many cases you will find that the taxes in the airport communities are comparable to taxes in Beaver County. Worse case if they are a little bit higher, the extra gas that you spend commuting will eat up any savings (not to mention the wasted time). Also consider that those extra taxes may pay for services that you would like to have such as libraries, prompt snow removal in the winter time (less chance of wrecking your car), fire hydrants (and lower fire insurance rates), full-time local police forces, and streets paved with asphalt instead of using tar-n-chips (less chipped windshields). Now if you find an area farther out from where you work that you really enjoy, then go for it. Just don’t cross nearby communities off the list because you heard that taxes were lower somewhere else. That said, taxes in the City of Pittsburgh are way more expensive than taxes are in the airport communities. If you live in the City of Pittsburgh, expect to pay a 3% local wage tax. Almost anywhere else in the state, you will only pay a 1% local wage tax. Depending on where you park your car in Pittsburgh, you may also be subject to the City’s 50% (that’s fifty percent) parking tax. You may or may not find that paying the extra money in taxes is worth it to you for the lifestyle that only the Southside can provide.

Speaking of lifestyle, what types of amenities are important to you? I’ve tried to summarize some of the better points of the communities near the airport below.

School Districts:

The Quaker Valley School District (across from the Ohio River) is by far and away the best school district in the area. Moon, Robinson, Western Allegheny are all good school districts. Cornell (services Neville Island and Coraopolis) is a small district that struggles more than the above mentioned districts. If you are planning on renting, the school district really doesn’t matter that much.

Suburban, Rural or Village atmosphere:

Robinson Township is the most suburban followed by Moon Township then North Fayette. Findlay is mostly rural. Robinson and North Fayette have more big-box retail stores while Moon has more offices and hotels. Findlay is becoming more industrial. For an upscale village setting try looking at Sewickley. Coraopolis is a safe area that has a village environment, but struggles for businesses. Neville Island is nice if you enjoy being near the water.

Income levels:

Most areas have above-average income levels for the area. The highest income area is Sewickley followed Moon. The lowest income area is Coraopolis.

Parks and Recreation:

If you like biking, walking or jogging, consider a place near the Montour Trail. It is on the border and runs through Moon, Robinson, Findlay, and North Fayette. If you want to walk on a sidewalk, then Sewickley or Coraopolis would work. If you like Golf, Moon has an 18 hole municipal golf course, a pitch-n-put/driving range/executive course, and an exclusive private country club. Sewickley has an even more exclusive country club. Findlay has an 9 hole golf course with a driving range. Neville Island has the Island Sports center which is an indoor golf driving range and ice arena. Moon also has an ice arena. Neville Island has a bowling alley. Although all areas have municipal parks, Moon Township has more acreage devoted to municipal parks than the surrounding communities. However Moon does not have a swimming pool. A wave pool can be found at the large Settlers Ridge county park in North Fayette. Both North Fayette and Robinson maintain small municipal outdoor swimming pools. There is a YMCA that focuses on racket sports between Moon and Robinson. There is a YMCA with all the bells and whistles, including indoor pools in Sewickley. If you have a boat, the nearest (free) public boat launch is in Sewickley near the Sewickley Bridge. The nearest (free) place to launch that has adequate parking is at the fish and boat commission launch ramp , which is near the big blue Neville Island Interstate 79 bridge.

In summary, there are many things to consider when relocating, but I hope that I have helped you by telling you a little bit more about the airport area. Please post if you have additional questions.

Chicago, IL
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14. Re: Relo to PIT

Still keeping my eye on my post, so thank you all for the great ideas for places to look at inside and outside the city. thx. bkramt1

Pittsburgh...
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15. Re: Relo to PIT

MyAdvice, you make Beaver County sound like farmland full of goatpaths!

We do have libraries, full time police patrol, prompt snow removal and all the other amenities available in the suburbs that are in Allegheny County.

I do agree, though, that Sewickly is a very nice area and also worth considering.

Pittsburgh, PA
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16. Re: Relo to PIT

Gypsy – There are many great places to live in Beaver County. I grew up there and so did my wife. We both have family members that live in Beaver County. However, there is a difference in the level of services offered on average between municipalities in Allegheny County and the municipalities in any of the surrounding counties. This is not because these municipalities or counties don’t try hard; it is principally because these counties have less dense populations and have less per-capita income.

From a local government services perspective those differences in population densities and per-capita income matter in terms of the size, scale, frequency and scope of services that can be offered. For example: while there are libraries in the surrounding counties, on average there are less libraries, the hours of operation are reduced, the size of collections are smaller, and there are less computers available than those in Allegheny County. Also, while some communities in surrounding counties have local police forces, their police forces are on average smaller, rely more on part-time officers for staffing and few have detectives. Road crews in general have less people per road mile and apply less salt to their local roads than their Allegheny County counterparts. One final example is that the public transit system is much more extensive in Allegheny County than in any of the surrounding counties.

Some people won’t mind the level of services that a particular municipality in a surrounding county may offer. Others will move to a municipality or county because they heard that their taxes would be lower, and then try to get the local government to offer a higher level of services. My point is to simply consider the services offered for the tax dollar. An individual may find that a few extra bucks a week in taxes may provide services at the level that the individual wants and expects.

Pittsburgh...
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17. Re: Relo to PIT

South Side would be a great place for you. You might consider the new townhomes close to the river around 18th street. This is near the grocery store, bike/walking trail, and social bars. They are quite nice and I believe have garages with them.

Washington D.C.
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18. Re: Relo to PIT

You should take a look at Shadyside, Lawrenceville or Regent Square. A lot of cool things are happening in East Liberty and Penn Circle, but that may be a few years away.

Check out Pop City; http://www.popcitymedia.com/

They have the latest development and residential news. There is a lot of mix use contruction going on downtown

19. Re: Relo to PIT

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