Visiting Pittsburgh's Neighborhoods/How to Choose a Neighborhood

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Birgo

Visiting Pittsburgh’s Neighborhoods:

Pittsburgh is a fascinating, thriving city.  It overflows with history, culture, and activity.  However, there are multiple neighborhoods, all with a unique mini-culture.  Which one should you visit, or consider taking up residence in?

Downtown:

Downtown Pittsburgh is an awesome place to live.  It must be, considering it has 92% residency! There is plenty to keep you busy here, from restaurants, to theaters, to parks.  It has a small-town feel, but with big city culture. However, the downside to all this is the lack of parking spaces due to the attracted tourists.  For a resident, this might not be such a bad thing considering most things are within walking distance.

Shady Side:

If you’re an avid shopper, centrally-located Shady Side is for you.  Filled with beautiful, Victorian-style buildings, and with everything you might need within walking distance, it’s considered one of the best places for millenials, despite having extremely high rent.  

Strip District:

This square half-mile of land is filled with restaurants and some consider it a “Foodie Heaven”.  Even though there are a couple of historical sites such as the Heinz Historical Center, it’s more recently become home to a few technological offices, including Apple and Uber’s Advanced Technology Group.  

North Side:

If Shady Side is filled with shopping opportunities for the millenial, North Side is filled with culture, beer, and sports.  This is where Birgo Realty is located, so we might be a bit partial! Home to the Pirates and Steelers, this neighborhood is filled with team spirit.  Of course you can’t have sports fans without numerous breweries to sustain them. If sports isn’t really your thing, maybe museums are. North Side is home to some of the most unique museums you could imagine, including a bike museum where every exhibit is also on sale.  

It’s amazing what there is to do in Pittsburgh.  We barely scratched the surface. Whether you’re a historian or foodie, shopper or sports fan, a tourist or considering living here, there’s plenty to explore in Pittsburgh.  

How to Choose a Neighborhood:

Choosing the next neighborhood to make your home can be a stressful experience but it doesn’t have to be.  There is a simple method with three simple lists you can make to help pinpoint what you want.  

  • What do you need?

This the most simple, as well as the most important.  Do you need a parking space? Do you need easy access to public transport?  Do you have a pet that needs space to run around? Do you need certain stores nearby?  

It’s also important in this step to differentiate what you simply want versus what you actually need.  

  • What do you want?

This list might get a little longer, which is why it’s important to remember that these are nothing more than wants, and they cannot be a deciding factor.  Maybe your perfect neighborhood is out there, but it’s probably going to be extremely hard to find, so prepare to make some sacrifices or compromises. Do you want nearby parks?  Perhaps a favorite store you’d like easy access to? Is there a certain landscape that particularly appeals to you?

  • What are deal breakers?

This one is perhaps just as important as the first step, but a little less pleasant to deal with.  Is there an unusually high crime rate? Is the cost of living outside of your budget? Is the commute to work just too long?  Be careful what you declare a “dealbreaker,” because if your mind deems it so, it won’t budge even if it really isn’t that big a deal.  

Once you’ve created your lists, it’s time to find the best match for you.  You may find yourself compromising, or adding and removing from your lists, and that’s totally fine.  You may even make multiple lists, breaking down the categories even further. At the end of the day, your needs, wants, and deal-breakers will help you find the perfect neighborhood.

For more on the different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, check out our other blog post!

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