Living in Pittsburgh on a Budget

Post by 
Solomon Hanes

It’s relatively easy to start living in Pittsburgh on a budget.

Pittsburgh housing has a surprisingly-low average cost opposed to other big cities (an average of $850 a month). 83.5% of homes in PGH are under $363,000. The total cost of living is about 15% lower on average when compared to Philadelphia. Although gas for transportation can get a little expensive, food costs are on par with the national average. With an average income of $63,000, and flat-rate state income taxes, Pittsburgh is more affordable than you might think.

So, are you thinking about moving to Pittsburgh? Is your budget leading your apartment decision?

Below are a couple methods to help you figure out if you can start living in Pittsburgh on a budget:

1. Figure Out Your Budget

Start smart. What can you afford?

Set your sights before you start aiming- -Pittsburgh has tons of options to pick from, and we wouldn’t want you getting caught up in researching places you can’t afford!

Make sure you’ve zeroed out your budget, then take your max allowed housing budget and start searching for apartments in that range.

2. Use a Cost-of-Living Calculator

After you’ve figured out your budget, it’s a good move to see if you can afford Pittsburgh in the first place. You probably can, looking at the statistics from the beginning of this article! Still, prices fluctuate frequently. At the time you’re reading this, the statistics above might even be outdated. So, just to be sure…

You should determine if Pittsburgh is in your ballpark by using a Cost-of-Living Calculator.

These calculators gather all of the current cost statistics for popular cities (like Pittsburgh) and help you gauge if you could live in those cities.

Here are the calculators we recommend for living costs in Pittsburgh:

  1. Payscale.com
  2. Epi.org

3. Find your Desired Neighborhood

If you’ve already figured out your rent budget and used a Cost-of-Living calculator, good on you!

Now that Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas are green on your radar, it’s best that you pick a neighborhood.

Google some of the best neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area. There’s a lot of really good ones! Do you want to be really close to the city, or are you looking for a quiet suburb? Just note, as you might already guess: the closer to the city you get, the more expensive it’ll probably be. We’ve made a resource for you on picking a good neighborhood.

Do your research! We love North Side and, if you want to be more outside of the city, Mt. Lebanon. You can see some apartment options in those locations here.

4. Find an Apartment that Works for You

This is when the search can take a bit of time. You’ve got a lot on your plate with all of the options out there, so make good use of that time of yours!

Things can get frustrating quickly: Nothing fits your budget in your desired neighborhood. The apartments are ugly. The school districts aren’t great.

We might be able to help!

If you love North Side, you might want to check out this place: http://bit.ly/2wj33NM

If you like Mt. Lebanon and you’re looking for something a little more upper-class, try this place on for size: http://bit.ly/3amJ7YO

If neither of those places have all of the specifications you’re looking for, go here for a full list of available apartments. You’ve got options!

Hopefully by now, you feel equipped to find that next home of yours.

Remember the steps:

  1. Figure out your budget (the most important step!)
  2. Use a Cost-of-Living calculator
  3. Find your desired neighborhood
  4. Finally, find an apartment that works for you

Best of luck to you and welcome to Pittsburgh – almost!

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