If you’re thinking of moving to Pittsburgh, I’d like to provide you with my perspective on a few things you should know.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and have lived in a variety of neighborhoods.
You will find that we have a great blend of single family homes, multi-family duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, condos, townhouses, apartments and lofts. Whether you want to live within the city limits or in the many suburban neighborhoods, or in the very rural areas, there are plenty of options. While many homes in the area, especially within the City limits, may be over 100 years old, there are many areas of the City that are going through major revitalization with new condos, lofts and new shops. There is also continued new construction in the suburbs
Pittsburgh has always been known to the locals as The Steel City or the City of Bridges or the City of Champions. But we are also known for a world class center for Medicine, Technology, Education and the Arts. We have Google, PNC Bank, Highmark Insurance, Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh. The great thing is that there is something in Pittsburgh for everyone.
Whether you are travelling to the City from the East or the West, you will need to go through a tunnel, unless of course you know the alternate routes. We always joke that drivers on the highways leading into the tunnels don’t realize that the lanes are the same width outside the tunnel as they are inside the tunnel. I’m sure you can just imagine the amount of traffic 1 – 2 miles and sometimes more, outside the tunnels during rush hour each day and on most weekends. The South Hills offers commuters the ability to ride the T and the North Hills commuters can carpool, using the HOV lanes. We have cobblestone roads, really steep streets, which make winter parking and stopping a challenge. With over 400 bridges, you can certainly count on crossing over several on your daily commute. And once you move to Pittsburgh, you better learn how to make the Pittsburgh left as soon as the traffic light turns from Red to Green. Yes, even though the oncoming driver has the right of way as they are going straight, you can always expect that Pittsburgh driver to quickly make a left in front of you.
One of the things I love the most about Pittsburgh is that we are a city that has all four seasons every year, well actually, many times all four seasons in a single day, depending on the time of the year.
Between October and April, you can expect one day to be a beautifully sunny 75°F, and the next day could be snowing with horrible road conditions, and then the next could be 75°F again. In the middle of January or February, we can experience weeks of below freezing temperatures then a string of gorgeous 60°F days, followed up by a deep freeze with a foot of snow shortly thereafter. And then come the pot holes. If you think navigating the hills and tunnels is an experience, wait till you try navigating around the pot holes.
Between May and September, temperatures rise and bring with it the dreaded humidity, which for us Italians with Thick hair – expect the Frizzies. Even though we go through what seems to be a never ending rainy Spring each year, we do have a great frequency of sunny days which helps encourage everyone to get out and explore the parks and trails and everything else we have to offer.
Just know that it’s very common in this area to experience water in your basement and you’ll see many if not most homes in the area with a dehumidifier or a sump pump in the basement or a French drain around the perimeter of the exterior and interior of homes.
Make sure to seek our help regarding flood plain areas and whether or not flood insurance is required. Many of the municipalities have done extensive work over the past twenty years or so to reduce the risk of flooding. They’ve improved the topography and dug deeper in the streams and require dye tests in many areas before the sale of a property to make sure downspouts are not draining into the public sewer systems.
Lastly on the seasons, during peak summer months, expect hot and humid days to the point of being uncomfortable from the second you walk out of the house in the morning. Overall, Pittsburgh experiences these extreme cold or severe hot conditions on a limited number of days throughout the year and not for extended periods like you would find elsewhere. And, we certainly don’t experience hurricanes or tsunamis.
If you’re moving to Pittsburgh, I would suggest you do some research if you’re not familiar with our sports teams. Pittsburgh is a die hard black and gold sports town . It’s very rare to find a non-Pittsburgh sports fan in the Burgh. Whether it’s the six time Super Bowl Champion Steelers, five time Stanley Cup Champion Penguins, and five time World Series Pirates, We love them all. So you better jump on the bandwagon. These are hard core sports fans that have a following in many other areas of the country and can be easily spotted with their terrible towels. We’ve got great sports stadiums and arenas which are also often used for major events and concerts. Both the Steelers and Penguins have waiting lists that are years long for season tickets. We don’t have a pro-basketball team. But there are some good college rivalries with a great mix of Pitt and Penn State fans. Pittsburgh has also made it easy to travel to the games from all areas. Whether you take the T from the South, the Incline from Mount Washington, the HOV lanes from the North Hills, one of the Gateway Clipper commuter boats from Station Square, Mass Transit busses from West Hills, ultimately, there are lots of options and lots of parking.
Moving on to Parks and Recreation. Point State Park is located at the tip of the Golden Triangle in the heart of the City and brings together the three rivers. Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela. Point Park was actually built on the remains of Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne, located along two of the most travelled bridges in the area. If you’re looking for a great view of the City, the rivers, Mt. Washington, or a place to read a book, take a walk, ride a bike or get engaged, you can’t go wrong with the point. Lots of activities, concerts, and a great place to view the annual fireworks. You’ll also see plenty of boaters, kayakers and canoers along the rivers. I would also recommend checking out one of the six boats in the Gateway Clipper Fleet. They offer great dinner cruises, sight seeing cruises, casino nights and a lot more.
As you travel along the rivers, you will see plenty of places to rent kayaks, canoes or dock your boat. The closest real beach is in Erie, about 2.5 hours away from the City. There are lots of other state and municipal parks in and around Pgh that offer swimming, tennis, basketball, recreation centers, outdoor activities, shelters, skating rinks, camps for kids and so much more.
As an avid bicyclist, I’d be remis if I didn’t mention the many bike trails the city has to offer. Old railroad tracks have been converted all over the area to bicycling and walking trails. The trails offer fantastic views, whether along the river, over bridges or through some of our many state and municipal parks. Throughout the City, it’s very common to see one of the traffic lanes designated as a bicycle lane for commuters.
Along the Heritage trail, there are lots of areas to rent bicycles in 30 minute intervals and there is ample parking along the many access points. And as I mentioned in my Pro’s and Con’s video make sure to check out Bicycle Heaven, the world’s largest transportation museum dedicated to bicycles, located near the Heritage Trail along the Ohio River on Pittsburgh’s North Side. They have thousands of bikes on display and IT’S FREE. You gotta check it out.
Wrapping up recreation, as I’ve mentioned in my previous videos, Pittsburgh has so much to offer. From golf courses to Skiing just an hour from the City. We also have a Skating rink in the heart of the city, in the winter of course, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum, Children’s Museum, Carnegie Science Center, Kennywood Park, Casino, Strip District, and the Convention Center where Anthracon Furry convention is held every year. I could go on and on.
Last but certainly not least, Pittsburgh has so many restaurants whether you’re dining in the City or in the suburbs. You never have to travel far to find a great place to dine out. But, ultimately, you can’t pass up the Iconic Primanti Bros. restaurant where you will experience fantastic sandwiches with the french-fries and coleslaw on the famous local thick Mancini’s Italian bread. Primanti’s throughout the years has continued to open up locations not only within the city limits and stadiums, but they’ve also opened locations in the suburbs as well.
Thanks for watching. I’m Diane McConaghy with RE/MAX Select Realty and I’m always available to answer any questions that you may have about real estate or moving to Pittsburgh.
Make sure to subscribe to my channel for more videos on moving to or living in Pittsburgh.
I’ll see you on the next video.