Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Danger Is My Business
    Reputation: Jason2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    37

    Need some help with Pittsburgh info

    My fiancee and I are moving out of Southern California and one of the places we're considering moving is Pittsburgh. The criteria I used to get the list of 5 cities (including Portland OR, Boise ID, Raleigh NC, and Des Moines IA) was based on available IT jobs, weather, housing costs, etc. I've found a lot of info on the internet, but I'd like to hear from some locals, so can you help me out with some more info:

    - Does it get very humid in the summer?
    - Is traffic bad in/around the city (especially in the morning/afternoon)?
    - Are property taxes real high in Allegheny County?
    - Which parts of the area should I look for newer affordable homes?
    - Anything else I should be aware of?

    That should take care of most of my concerns at this point. I read through some of the older posts for info on trails in the area. I'll have to do this for a couple of the other cities, so I'm going to have a busy week on the boards.

    Thanks!
    '05 Kona Dawg

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: InvictaS1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,851
    Yeah it can get really hot and humid here in the summer. Last summer wasnt too bad though, mostly mid 80's.

    Traffic in and around Pittsburgh usually sucks. People in Pittsburgh do not know how to drive. I would hate to have to drive into downtown Pittsburgh everyday. Traffic on the PA Turnpike usually isnt too bad, and you can get to almost anywhere in PA via the turnpike.

    Property taxes are pretty high in Allegheny County. You'd probably be better off finding a house in Westmoreland, Somerset, or Indiana Counties.

    Pittsburgh isnt the best place on earth but it sure aint the worst. I'm sure Pittsburgh is better than Des Moines Iowa. There is a lot of stuff to do in the Pgh area. If you like outdoor activities then PA is a good place to live.

  3. #3
    Danger Is My Business
    Reputation: Jason2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for the post InvictaS1. On paper (and on the internet), Pittsburgh sounds like a nice place with a lot of things to do. We're not really into the 'historical' side of Pitt, we're just looking for a place that has affordable housing (less than $300k for a modest house on 1/2 - 3/4 acres), good job opportunities, and safe neighborhoods.

    Any more info is appreciated.
    '05 Kona Dawg

  4. #4
    Nice no rass
    Reputation: Too Rass Goat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    682
    You better come and personally see pissburgh before deciding. I'm still waiting to be paroled from here, lol.

    Westmoreland county isn't bad, you couldn't pay me enough to deal with Allegheny again. If you want land, again, Westmoreland County, Somerset or even Fayette although Somerset and Fayette will be a PITA drive if working in downtown areas.

    Raleigh will likely have better jobs as there's nothing here in Western PA, it's a dead area with no signs of future life. No, that's not sarcasm.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: aspang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    144
    I would actually disagree about a few things that Too Ras and Invicta have said. Let me take it one question at a time:
    1. Yes it does get humid here. 80's with humidity is usually the worst (occasionally it touches the 90's) Not nearly as bad as it does in the south, and it usually lasts for 3 months. You get 4 distinct seasons here, and can ride most of the year depending on where you ride and if you don't mind riding in some nasty weather.

    2. Traffic is relative. For people that have lived in Pittsburgh their whole lives, the traffic is terrible! If you live anywhere else with serious traffic (i.e. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc...) than the traffic is a joke. I really don't think that the traffic is too bad around Pittsburgh.

    3. Property taxes are higher in Allegheny County than in the surrounding counties. I still choose to live in Allegheny, and I don't think they are too bad (at least for me).

    4. There are tons of places that are springing up here in Pittsburgh to live, although I am mostly familiar with Allegheny County. Robinson/Oakdale area is still growing, is pretty central to everything (airport, city, riding, Ohio and WV) The other thing to note about Pittsburgh, and I can't speak for the other places you mentioned, is that the housing market here is behind most other places in the US. You can get a much larger house for say $200K than you can in many other places in the states at the same price.

    I have lived here in Pittsburgh my whole life, and I have chosen not want to leave. I like everything about Pittsburgh, and I do believe that Pittsburgh is on the up and up. I work in the medical research field, and am in one of the better places in the US to do so. As far as IT positions, I do have a few friends that have recently moved here and have gotten IT jobs. I am not saying that the jobs will be plentiful, just that I know that they are available.

    And I do LOVE the riding here. Lots of places to ride in and around Pittsburgh, and some awesome places within a few hours (Slatyfork, Snowshoe, Jim Thorpe, State College, etc...). And besides, the Steelers play here. Why would you want to move anywhere else?!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    7
    I'll echo some of the statements. It is decently humid, not terrible but you get a lot of sticky nights. Taxes are on the high side but not unreasonable. Traffic isn't that bad at all, there are the 2hr windows in the morning and afternoon where it is "bad" but most of the time traffic is flowing nicely.

    Bethel park is a really nice area, a little on the high side for pricing of homes but an excellent area. It is far enough out of the city (<30 mins) to be quiet but you still have a lot of stuff close by. There is plenty of good riding out that way as well. You are also situated along the "T" for a nice train commute in/out of downtown if you find a job located there.

    The Cranberry area north of the city is another nice one to look at. About the same distance out as Bethel park and probably close in price range.

    Most of my family lives in Pittsburgh and I spent a lot of time there all my life growing up. As college time rolled around I knew I wanted to go to school there. Unfortunately after college, I had to move back to my hometown for the past 4 years and I've been waiting for the chance to get back to the 'burgh. I absolutely love that city.

    Like others said, I would visit first before making a decision. It's a city setting with more of a small town atmosphere. Some love it, some hate it.

    The riding is plentiful in the area and the surrounding 100 miles have enough to keep anyone happy for years and years. Good luck on the move and on the impending job search!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason2112
    My fiancee and I are moving out of Southern California and one of the places we're considering moving is Pittsburgh. The criteria I used to get the list of 5 cities (including Portland OR, Boise ID, Raleigh NC, and Des Moines IA) was based on available IT jobs, weather, housing costs, etc. I've found a lot of info on the internet, but I'd like to hear from some locals, so can you help me out with some more info:

    - Does it get very humid in the summer?
    - Is traffic bad in/around the city (especially in the morning/afternoon)?
    - Are property taxes real high in Allegheny County?
    - Which parts of the area should I look for newer affordable homes?
    - Anything else I should be aware of?

    Thanks!
    you definitely have a VERY tough choice ahead of you. there are definitely going to be downfalls for each city. i can only compare portland with da'burgh.

    in my opinion, and if you can afford it, portland would be the place to go. for several reasons. there are a VERY bike friendly city. bike lanes throughout. awesome single track, close to BC and several mtb friendly DJ areas. you will have to put up with alot of rain during the winter, but you can always go ski/snowboard Mt hood (1-1.5 hr drive). the thing with portland is $$$. Very expensive to live there compared to pittsburgh.

    dont get me wrong, i think that pittsburgh is VERY underrated and i think that people living here dont realize that. i know several people in the IT feild and they are all employed. that is all i can tell you about about IT jobmarket :-).if you have $300,000 for a house in or around the pittsburgh area, you are looking at a REAL nice house. that would, without a doubt get you a house on an acre or two of land. do you want to live IN the city? check out squirrell hill (which has frick park, which has some excellent single track for after work rides), shadyside, south side (being heavily developed, and has some mtb freindly DJ right there). if you are looking outside of the city, we need to know how far/long of a drive you are looking for.

  8. #8
    Danger Is My Business
    Reputation: Jason2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    37
    Thanks again for all of the info (the good and the bad). Where we live right now, summer lasts from June to October with stretches of 100+ degree heat for many weeks. I spend a total of 3.5 hours in traffic every day (I live 45 miles from where I work). There's way too many people in SoCal, property prices are absolutely rediculous (average home in my neighborhood = $550k, and that's cheap), everything is expensive (gas, insurance, etc) and the IT industry has been in a slump here for about 5 years.

    So, we're looking for a change. 4 seasons and cooler weather is great. A nice home (about 2000 - 2400 sqft) on a decent-sized lot (about 1 acre) would be nice. A commute of 30 minutes or less (each way) would be ideal.

    I've travelled to quite a few places in the US, and I do know that I want to avoid crazy humidity like Houston or South Florida. I also know that I want to avoid the extreme cold temps of Minnesota. I'll definitely keep the option of Pittsburgh open, and any other info that anyone has to offer is appreciated.

    mistaare- Portland is high on my list, but I'm also concerned about the cost of living there even though it's still more affordable than SoCal. I'm also concerned about going from very little rain and lots of sun to, well, the opposite of that.
    '05 Kona Dawg

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: InvictaS1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,851
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason2112
    Thanks for the post InvictaS1. On paper (and on the internet), Pittsburgh sounds like a nice place with a lot of things to do. We're not really into the 'historical' side of Pitt, we're just looking for a place that has affordable housing (less than $300k for a modest house on 1/2 - 3/4 acres), good job opportunities, and safe neighborhoods.

    Any more info is appreciated.
    For $300k you can easily get a nice house in the Pittsburgh area. The southwestern PA area is pretty undeveloped compared to Southern CA, you can really get some good deals on housing in the more rural areas.

    Crime in the southwestern PA area is pretty low, some of the neighborhoods near downtown Pgh are pretty bad though. I live in Greensburg which is about 30 min from Pittsburgh and serious crime is pretty much non-existant here.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason2112
    Thanks again for all of the info (the good and the bad). Where we live right now, summer lasts from June to October with stretches of 100+ degree heat for many weeks. I spend a total of 3.5 hours in traffic every day (I live 45 miles from where I work). There's way too many people in SoCal, property prices are absolutely rediculous (average home in my neighborhood = $550k, and that's cheap), everything is expensive (gas, insurance, etc) and the IT industry has been in a slump here for about 5 years.

    So, we're looking for a change. 4 seasons and cooler weather is great. A nice home (about 2000 - 2400 sqft) on a decent-sized lot (about 1 acre) would be nice. A commute of 30 minutes or less (each way) would be ideal.

    I've travelled to quite a few places in the US, and I do know that I want to avoid crazy humidity like Houston or South Florida. I also know that I want to avoid the extreme cold temps of Minnesota. I'll definitely keep the option of Pittsburgh open, and any other info that anyone has to offer is appreciated.


    mistaare- Portland is high on my list, but I'm also concerned about the cost of living there even though it's still more affordable than SoCal. I'm also concerned about going from very little rain and lots of sun to, well, the opposite of that.

    anyother questions feel free to ask!

    i know a really good realator for within city limits, and another for the south hills of pittsburgh. i will be more than happy give you #'s. most people around here have no more than an hour drive in traffic (one way). riding here is usually from april to november. august gets pretty bad as far heat goes, and jan can get prety damn cold. for the most part, its not to bad. i you are into skiing, there is a local resort about 65 miles from pitt, it has only 980 vertical ft (i.e. - its small).

    good luck

  11. #11
    Mmmm Rocks Good
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    640
    One thing you'll miss though here in P-burgh is the sun. Winters are long but not overly cold but gray, gray, gray. Summers are kick a$$ Great temps and humidity (I'm from Fla so I know both) Super nice people, a tremendous amount of killer riding year round IF you dress for it. There is something really cool about cruising rock hard frozen singletrack in 15 degree weather. There is a great riding vibe in da burgh, an active MTB club (porcmtbclub.org) Home of DirtRag and their infamous Punk Bike Enduro every 1st Sun in Dec. The price of housing is cheap compared to SoCal. Traffic isn't horrid compared to SoCal either. Pittsburgh has some really great schools if you have kids and there are a lot of IT jobs w/all the colleges, insurance Co's, banks, etc. For me the deal breaker is the lack of sunshine and MUD. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,511
    My wife and I moved to Pittsburgh about a year ago, and will probably stay here another year before I get into grad school and we have to move again.

    Navigating around here (for folks who aren't familiar with the area) is a nightmare (especially in and near the city). The outlying areas aren't so bad to navigate for the most part, but there are trouble spots.

    Traffic really isn't that bad. Again, there are spots (I live right off McKnight Rd aka McKnightmare) where traffic can get bad, but it's not consistently bad, even in the worst spots.

    I'm not so sure where PaMtnBiker lives, but he hasn't met the same people I have met! People in Pgh aren't the nicest folks in the country, that's for sure. I've met MUCH nicer people in Indianapolis, IN, Dayton, OH, Lansing, MI, Chicago, IL, and S. Utah. It's not NYC, though (never been to LA/SoCal, so I can't make that comparison). Most folks have fairly close-knit family and social groups and they don't readily accept new people. Good in some ways, bad in others. I've run into a few rather surly store employees, too.

    The accent is funny. Visit www.pittsburghese.com to get a primer on how people talk here.

    There are a lot of cultural activities here, which is cool. Sports, theater, music.

    The weather's not too shabby, IMO. It's breezier than most midwestern cities I've lived in, so the humidity isn't as bad. It can get pretty warm, but not usually oppressively so. Winters can be cold, but then again, they can be pretty mild (like this past winter).

    Housing isn't terrible, either. You can snag yourself a pretty nice place for $300k. Most folks live in older homes, and fix them up, though. There isn't a ton of new development going on, but if you look, you can find it. Bradford Woods is a nice place to live, and Cranberry is in Butler County and sits at the intersection of I-79 and I-76 (turnpike), so getting where you need to go isn't too tough. You also run the benefit of lower property taxes. That said, even in Allegheny County, while they're high, they're not really THAT terrible. Home prices are affordable enough that most folks have no problems with the taxes.

    I live in the Ross portion of the North Hills. I can be at North Park in 5-10 min or Hartwood Acres in 20. Even Frick Park is only about 30-40 min away if I wanted to get there. Moraine State Park is about 30 or so min away, as well. There's also Riverside Park, which is mostly fire road type trails, but is also 15-20 min away from me.

    Pittsburgh has a very definite working class vibe to it, and it's definitely not a city full of smug people. There's a ton of things to do, and it's a major college town if you like that sort of atmosphere.

    One thing I've gotta say...I LOVE the food here. Pittsburgh has a ton of great little Italian restaurants with incredible pizza, local specialties like the Pittsburgh steak sandwich (get your meat, your slaw, cheese, and fries all on one hoagie!), and great delis.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: drumbum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    603
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    Navigating around here (for folks who aren't familiar with the area) is a nightmare (especially in and near the city). The outlying areas aren't so bad to navigate for the most part, but there are trouble spots.


    Traffic really isn't that bad. Again, there are spots (I live right off McKnight Rd aka McKnightmare) where traffic can get bad, but it's not consistently bad, even in the worst spots.

    I'm not so sure where PaMtnBiker lives, but he hasn't met the same people I have met! People in Pgh aren't the nicest folks in the country, that's for sure. I've run into a few rather surly store employees, too.

    The weather's not too shabby, IMO. It's breezier than most midwestern cities I've lived in, so the humidity isn't as bad. It can get pretty warm, but not usually oppressively so. Winters can be cold, but then again, they can be pretty mild (like this past winter).

    Housing isn't terrible, either. You can snag yourself a pretty nice place for $300k. Most folks live in older homes, and fix them up, though. There isn't a ton of new development going on, but if you look, you can find it. Bradford Woods is a nice place to live, and Cranberry is in Butler County and sits at the intersection of I-79 and I-76 (turnpike), so getting where you need to go isn't too tough. You also run the benefit of lower property taxes. That said, even in Allegheny County, while they're high, they're not really THAT terrible. Home prices are affordable enough that most folks have no problems with the taxes.
    I agree with most everything NateHawk has mentioned. The people of Pittsburgh kinda take some getting used to (this coming from someone who has moved 5 times in the last 15 years). Navigating the roads will be horrible for the first year. Every major "route" is really only a winding 2 lane road. I'm sure a GPS would really be helpful

    The weather blows, although summers are typically great.

    Cranberry would be a great play to start looking for homes, especially if you're interested in the mtbing. It's really expanding quickly, and you could find most anything. As others have mentioned, North Park, Moraine, Hartwood are all possibilities from Cranberry. There are a couple ride leaders (from PORC) that live up North as well.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,511
    Quote Originally Posted by drumbum
    Navigating the roads will be horrible for the first year. Every major "route" is really only a winding 2 lane road. I'm sure a GPS would really be helpful
    It took me roughly 9 months to get comfortable navigating to the major destinations (various movie theaters, REI, restaurants, etc) without directions spelled out to me via Google maps or Mapquest, and at a year, I'm finally comfortable with the roads that I only need to print a map of my destination if it's a location I'm unfamiliar with (and I'm willing to experiment with new routes). 90% of the time, the directions you get from the web will not be the quickest or the shortest. Also, 90% of the time, you will NOT return home the same way you got to your destination in the first place.

    The city proper is pretty bike friendly if you like to commute by bike. The outlying areas are NOT. This is due to the nature of the narrow, twisty 2-lane roads that serve as corridors. There are no shoulders, and there are a lot of blind corners.

    Previous posters are correct when they say that Pittsburghers don't know how to drive. The concept of right-of-way was never taught here, I have decided.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: drumbum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    603
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    Previous posters are correct when they say that Pittsburghers don't know how to drive. The concept of right-of-way was never taught here, I have decided.
    Don't forget the Pittsburgh-left. If you don't like people cutting in front of a line of oncoming traffic, don't move here.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: antgrave's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    128
    - Does it get very humid in the summer?
    - Is traffic bad in/around the city (especially in the morning/afternoon)?
    - Are property taxes real high in Allegheny County?
    - Which parts of the area should I look for newer affordable homes?
    - Anything else I should be aware of?

    Well most days in the summer are about 87-93 degrees with 95-100% humidity..that just makes it about 100 times worse and you feel like you are walking through the air..everyone already told you about allegheny county..stay out...homes in the pittsburgh area though are very affordable being that not many people are moving into the pittsburgh area..i for one am moving out of this **** hole on july 5th..traffic is horrible in pittsburgh..and the bad thing is, ITS NOT EVEN A BIG CITY!! you could imagine what that would be like if it were..also people from pittsburgh are arrogant, obnoxious and rude...have a great time!! :-)
    cas im diggin a ditch where madness gives a bit.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8

    my $.02

    I have lived here on and off for most of my life. With a little bit of ambition and patience it is very easy to get ahead in pittsburgh and lead a very comfotable existance. I live on the extreme western edge of what could possibly considered pittsburgh (next to great riding at Bavington).

    OK, the weather is hit or miss. People are like any where else, some nice, some not so nice. it all depends. We have the same amenities of similar size cities and are very close to the greatest undiscovered playground in the US- the great state of West-by-god-virginia. Not enough time to list its virtues, but the riding there is off the charts good, the paddling, better.

    Traffic, etc, blows just like any other city, its not a big deal though. I live and work west of town and its a breeze. 15 minutes by car, 1 hour by bike- mostly on a rail trail.

    Look, we'd love to see you move here. there are opportunities and jobs if you look. I am in the technology construction business and feel the the economy is better than average.. 100k a year goes Faaaar...

    I have to admit, using Internet forums to get advice will bring out the cheerleaders, and the detractors, so I would consider a visit first. But, by and large, its not such a bad place if you are laid back, confident and cool, even if the city you live in is not considered the coolest. I dont let where I live define me, I work hard to define where I live. If you come to town for a visit, PM me and I will be happy to share some beta with you.

    Good luck in your search...

    Chris

  18. #18
    its all physics baby!
    Reputation: snowride720's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by InvictaS1
    For $300k you can easily get a nice house in the Pittsburgh area. The southwestern PA area is pretty undeveloped compared to Southern CA, you can really get some good deals on housing in the more rural areas.

    Crime in the southwestern PA area is pretty low, some of the neighborhoods near downtown Pgh are pretty bad though. I live in Greensburg which is about 30 min from Pittsburgh and serious crime is pretty much non-existant here.
    I am also a Greensburger, and InvictaS1 is right, it is pretty quiet around here, and housing is affordable compared to S CA. I recommend Hempfield for housing, also affordable taxes and slightly lower gas prices than surrounding townships/cities. Excellent trails are less than an hour away in the mountains, and rails-to-trails are right in Greensburg, Ohiopyle, Connelsville, and other nearby towns.
    "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."

    -A. Einstein

    "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by redneckhippy
    OK, the weather is hit or miss. People are like any where else, some nice, some not so nice. it all depends. We have the same amenities of similar size cities and are very close to the greatest undiscovered playground in the US- the great state of West-by-god-virginia. Not enough time to list its virtues, but the riding there is off the charts good, the paddling, better.

    Traffic, etc, blows just like any other city, its not a big deal though. I live and work west of town and its a breeze. 15 minutes by car, 1 hour by bike- mostly on a rail trail.

    Look, we'd love to see you move here. there are opportunities and jobs if you look. 100k a year goes Faaaar...

    I
    EXACTLY!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •