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Cheap Housing-unchanged in 20 yrs
Old 01-16-2011, 07:59 AM   #1
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Cheap Housing-unchanged in 20 yrs

Housing prices have stood still at six towns in Mon Valley

Nice urban places to live if you can deal with the lumpen stigma.
Pitcarin is a nice lower middle class close knit community with relatively low crime. It is also aggressivly white.
Turtle Creek and Wilmerding are are like Pitcarin but integrated.
Braddock is a hopeless ghetto. Can't speak on the others.

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Old 01-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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I somehow missed this article when reading through the Post-Gazette online this morning. I am familiar with these areas in a vague sort of way having moved to my present small city from Murrysville (referred to in the article by one of those interviewed as Plasticville...ha, ha). These places have the great advantage not only of price but of proximity to Pittsburgh if you work there. Probably all on bus lines (which have been cut back due to budget I think). There are probably isolated very nice pockets in all of them. I have a friend who lives in Forest Hills in her parent's old house, and it appears to be attractive and liveable to me. I envy her short drive into Shadyside and Oakland and the cultural district.
I grew up in a defunct steel town now very comparable to Braddock on the other of side of Pittsburgh. Whenever I hear mention on the news of my old hometown, it is in relation to a drug bust or a murder. But there are still nice areas to the place even now, but lots of houses for sale cheap and the schools are on the ropes.
I wish these towns well. They are examples of what happens to formerly nice places when the industrial jobs vanish. Maybe with the real estate shake up in the suburbs and higher gas prices, they will see a resurgence.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
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Actually we thought seriously about rural western Pennsylvania as a retirement location, but personally I am a little apprehensive about the level of cold and snow there so we put the idea on the back burner for now. I have never lived that far north. In the unlikely event that we find we don't like southern Missouri after we move there, we may reconsider.

Another issue is the cost of heating oil, which I understand is getting higher all the time. I understand that most houses there are heated with heating oil instead of natural gas.

Struggling communities like these can benefit from the $$$ inflow that retirees bring, and most retirees don't need jobs but appreciate low prices. A match made in heaven.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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I grew up in Murrysville, too (3512 MacArthur Drive), and if not for the saving graces of the U.S. Navy I'd probably still be plotting my escape.

Back in the 1970s the local school system was bursting at the seams. Now they're trying to figure out how to consolidate even further to save on maintenance costs. When we drove through again in 2007 it seemed as though every 10th house was for sale, and some of those signs were lookin' pretty weathered.

A high-school friend's holiday card always includes at least one photo of at least a foot of snow.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
I somehow missed this article when reading through the Post-Gazette online this morning. I am familiar with these areas in a vague sort of way having moved to my present small city from Murrysville (referred to in the article by one of those interviewed as Plasticville...ha, ha). These places have the great advantage not only of price but of proximity to Pittsburgh if you work there. Probably all on bus lines (which have been cut back due to budget I think). There are probably isolated very nice pockets in all of them. I have a friend who lives in Forest Hills in her parent's old house, and it appears to be attractive and liveable to me. I envy her short drive into Shadyside and Oakland and the cultural district.
I grew up in a defunct steel town now very comparable to Braddock on the other of side of Pittsburgh. Whenever I hear mention on the news of my old hometown, it is in relation to a drug bust or a murder. But there are still nice areas to the place even now, but lots of houses for sale cheap and the schools are on the ropes.
I wish these towns well. They are examples of what happens to formerly nice places when the industrial jobs vanish. Maybe with the real estate shake up in the suburbs and higher gas prices, they will see a resurgence.
Lived on the border of Murrysville for 6 years.
Know what you mean about many a mill town going downhill like Braddock, McKeesport and others. The neighborhood where I grew up in the City has really went down hill. Sad to see them make the news so often.
At least we have a good football team.

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
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Actually we thought seriously about rural western Pennsylvania as a retirement location, but personally I am a little apprehensive about the level of cold and snow there so we put the idea on the back burner for now. I have never lived that far north. In the unlikely event that we find we don't like southern Missouri after we move there, we may reconsider.

Another issue is the cost of heating oil, which I understand is getting higher all the time. I understand that most houses there are heated with heating oil instead of natural gas.

Struggling communities like these can benefit from the $$$ inflow that retirees bring, and most retirees don't need jobs but appreciate low prices. A match made in heaven.
The state of PA is very friendly to retirees. Prices are low. Low priced natural gas is pretty widespread in western PA. Even I have it out here in the sticks.
Now if you can just warm up to the "free airconditioning".

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Old 01-16-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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No thank you. Too far from "civilization" as I like it. (living in a town of restaurant/bars & banks at the moment)

As to that particular location, too many Steeler & Penguin fans!! I might become too well known to the "law"!!
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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Nords, I used to live on Sardis Road in Murrysville. I rarely go back these days except twice a year for dental check ups. I sold my house there in 2004. Rte. 22 has been widened to four lanes and there seems to be a lot of growth in the municipality. I think M'ville used to pride itself on rural living just over the Allegheny Co. line, but I think it has become more like an extension of Monroeville.

W2R, every one I know heats their home with natural gas. But there still must be significant numbers who use oil as I pass trucks making deliveries quite regularly.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:45 PM   #9
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As to that particular location, too many Steeler & Penguin fans!! I might become too well known to the "law"!!
It's never quite returned to the hysteria of the late 1960s/mid-1970s...

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Nords, I used to live on Sardis Road in Murrysville. I rarely go back these days except twice a year for dental check ups. I sold my house there in 2004. Rte. 22 has been widened to four lanes and there seems to be a lot of growth in the municipality. I think M'ville used to pride itself on rural living just over the Allegheny Co. line, but I think it has become more like an extension of Monroeville.
It was my first visit back in over 20 years, and I got totally lost between Monroeville and Murrysville. Nothing looked even remotely familiar. But when I stopped at a gas station for a clue, a couple of deer strolled through the wooded area behind it-- totally unconcerned at the urban environment.

I couldn't even tell if the pine trees still spelled out "MURRYSVILLE" on the hillside across the highway below the high school.

Maybe I'll be back for our 40th or 50th-- but there wasn't much interest in our 20th, 25th, or 30th...

Our daughter didn't care for Carnegie-Mellon because the campus (and that part of Pittsburgh) looked "old".
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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Nords, Murrysville's claim to fame, the tree line sign, is still there. I don't know who maintains it. One thing I missed while a resident was a definable, walkable town center... just Rte. 22 and Old William Penn Highway in parallel lines with a jumble of businesses up and down and one drove everywhere. A lot of the farms in M'ville and Export have been turned into housing developments, all expensive. I think most people probably still commute into Allegheny Co. to earn their living. CMU is a fine school, but I can understand your daughter's preference for the amenities offered by other campuses.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
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Unfortunate example of community decay when good manufacturing jobs leave - there are tons of towns like this in PA and upstate NY.

I am worried that we will see similar towns in future when "good service jobs" leave - there are a number of prosperous towns held up by financial service jobs - that can't be sustainable with outsourcing and consolidation.

But back to Pittsburgh - that's a wonderful place to retire ! Low cost of living, lots to do, urban center, universities, etc.

Don't worry about the cold/snow - a bigger concern however is the lack of sunshine - Pittsburgh has only one more sunny day that Seattle....

World Facts and Figures - Weather Facts and Statistics
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #12
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Geez. I didn't realize that we got so little sun in Pittsburgh. No wonder many of us are on Vit. D supplements. Although I am just back from FL so maybe my levels are up a bit, at least temporarily.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:40 AM   #13
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Unfortunate example of community decay when good manufacturing jobs leave - there are tons of towns like this in PA and upstate NY.

I am worried that we will see similar towns in future when "good service jobs" leave - there are a number of prosperous towns held up by financial service jobs - that can't be sustainable with outsourcing and consolidation.

But back to Pittsburgh - that's a wonderful place to retire ! Low cost of living, lots to do, urban center, universities, etc.

Don't worry about the cold/snow - a bigger concern however is the lack of sunshine - Pittsburgh has only one more sunny day that Seattle....

World Facts and Figures - Weather Facts and Statistics
Though I'm a Philadelphian I'll second what you are saying about Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed my visits there and for a while we were looking into relocating. It is a serious sports town.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
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Though I'm a Philadelphian I'll second what you are saying about Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed my visits there and for a while we were looking into relocating. It is a serious sports town.
Coming from Philadelphia, I think you'd have trouble getting a long-term visa to be a Pittsburgh resident...
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