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I am willing to answer any question about living in Pittsburgh to the best of my knowledge.

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Guest econapp2

hi there. i just received a funded offer from CMU (econ). could you tell me a little about the residential areas of pittsburgh? is living in the city a good idea or is the campus fairly accessible from any particular suburb? (i've visited the city only once.)

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Guest Burgh

Congrats on the offer! By "the city", do you mean downtown Pittsburgh? I don't know any CMU student who lives downtown but I guess some UPitt students do. Normally, CMU students live in the areas that are close to campus or on the bus route. See the links for the common neighborhoods.

http://business.tepper.cmu.edu/default.aspx?id=142499

http://www.housing.cmu.edu/CommunityHou ... hoods.html

I live in Oakland and it's a 10-minute walk to CMU. If you choose to live in a neighborhood that is not within walking distance, you should be able to take a bus to school. We pay about $35 per semester for unlimited bus rides and of course that's only for one person. The bus pass sticker is on your CMU ID so it can't be shared.

The off-campus apartments or shared houses have reasonable rents. If you're willing to share a place with another person, the rent could range from $350-500. Studio rooms are about $450-600. Pittsburgh is on craiglist so you can check it out for the current rates.

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Guest Lambda

You can check craigslist for some idea of rents, but I don't suggest apartment hunting in Pittsburgh using craigslist. It hasn't really caught on much there, so not many landlords use it to advertise places to live.

I lived in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill while I was there, and both are great neighborhoods with easy busline access to campus. Oakland is okay, too, but it's dirtier and more drinking/party oriented. If you're looking for a quiet residential area, head to Shadyside.

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Guest Pittsburgher

I live in a one-bedroom apartment in Shadyside and the rent is about $700. It's big enough to be shared by 2 people so it's possible to find a place for $350. There are also some nice and quiet apartment complexes on Craig street. I like shadyside and oakland since they're winthin walking distance and are also on the cmu shuttle route.

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Guest CMU student

check out apts on centre .. there are 2 grad student apts ... around centre and millvile ... i live in one of them .. it's a really good apt ... also make sure you either 1) have a car, 2) live near the CMU shuttle, 3) live near campus, or 4) live near a bus stop .. cause walking in the snow sucks

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Guest Chem

Hi , is the area around UPitt safe to walk around later at night (11pm-2am)? I have heard some people say it's not a safe city, but I live in Harlem right now...I don't think it can be any worse. Also, if anyone has any great tips on apartment hunting, I am all ears. Thanks a bunch guys.

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Guest Lambda

I felt perfectly safe walking alone (I'm female, btw) in the area on/near campus at that time of night, as well as in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. There will be an occasional violent problem at "The O", so it's best to avoid that late at night. It's also best to avoid the large parking areas, as there are sometimes muggings in those places. If you stay on the well-lit sidewalks, you'll probably feel just fine. There are homeless people on the streets around campus who will ask for money, but they're not dangerous. Less safe areas at night are the parts of South Oakland and North Oakland further away from campus, and Downtown Pittsburgh. If you're going to be in those areas, be sure to take a friend (or more than one!).

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Guest Chem

I was there last weekend and it was great, I love the place. It has a small town feel even though it is less than 20 minutes from a major city. I have decided to go to UPitt and am currently looking for housing options. Anyone has any suggestions on housing? I am looking primarily 1 Bedroom apartment. I am thinking roughly 650-700 per month. What are the reputation of the rental companies... they seem to have some nice apartments arond the campus.

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Guest guest

Chem: I'm an UG at Pitt currently living in campus housing, but I'm sharing a house next year in Squirrel Hill and paying ~$450/mo for rent, electricity, cable, Internet, etc. $600-$700 should be more than enough for housing and utilities, even for a (less economical) 1 br apt. I second the recommendations of Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, and North Oakland, and suggest that you make sure you're decently close to a bus line. If you want to walk everyday, Central Oakland (e.g. Dithridge, Craig) is, well, central, and North Oakland is tolerably close. I lived on S. Millvale near Bloomfield in N. Oakland one summer and a had a pleasant walk to work everyday.

I've avoided S. Oakland for the reasons mentioned.

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I completed my UG at Pitt and here are a few suggestions (some have already been mentioned already...)

Stay away from South Oakland, especially if you are a graduate student. It is very noisy there and a lot of slum lords like to take up business there (I fell victim my Junior year).

Shadyside is a great place to live, its very hard to find a place if you aren't a graduate student (they won't rent to UGs) and the rent is more reasonable there than in Oakland (in my experience).

Squirrel Hill is also a great neighborhood with lots of eating options! If you want to have a large Jewish presence, Squirrel Hill is the place to be in Pittsburgh! Squirrel Hill is also rather close to the Waterfront where there are options for weekend fun (and a Giant Eagle with cheap gas!) such as a great movie theatre and an outdoor shopping center.

If I were to have stayed in Pittsburgh for my graduate career, I would have lived in either Shadyside or Squirrel Hill. I never felt unreasonably uncomfortable walking around in Pittsburgh at night (I'm female and the most I did to protect myself was arming myself with my keys at ready) and came home late from work nearly everyday.

I'm more than happy to answer specific questions regarding Pittsburgh or Pitt if anyone has them!

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Guest dettociao

in response to "the closer to CMU...etc"

I don't think so. I think the farther from the center of activity (bars, clubs, hangouts, the 'O', downtown, and the strip) the safer it becomes. Just like any city. It has nothing to do with proximity or distance from CMU.

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Guest asdf

Pittsburgh sucks. CMU sucks. And yes I'm a CMU student. I'm lucky enough to get out early and head for a PhD program far away. The problem with CMU is that it smells like shit in the spring, it's too hot to go outside in the summer, it's too cold to do anything in the winter - but I guess Fall - e.g. mid October early November is OK. You need a car if you want to shop. The ghetto eagle closed down and fucked over all the students without cars in walking distance. The food here is subpar all around. Everything but rent is over priced. IMO food is wayy over priced. It's like the delivery places are all colluding to keep prices well above MC.

Life is better with a car but I wouldn't really know. Needless to say I'm glad I'm leaving here.

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Guest pghphdst

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, or Friendship yet as great and very inexpensive neighborhoods to live in that are walking distance to grocery stores, great restaurants, and on lots of different buslines.

Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are so expensive in comparison and half the time (Shadyside especially) they're just as littered, loud, and unfriendly to quiet study as South Oakland's student slums.

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Looks like I'm re-opening the thread first this year.

I have been offered a PhD at CMU. The stipend should be about $1'850/month after taxes.

I read that rent is cheap ($700 for 1-bedroom apt. + utilities). How about the rest of living expenses?

How about having a car?

How much will a single person spend, with a (modest) car, and having some fun downtown (eating out twice a week, cinema, pubs and the like)?

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I live in Bloomfield (phd student with funding at pitt) and love it here... I currently live with my s.o. in a single family home (three bedrooms, basement, yard, super nice fixtures and appliances, $875/month plus utilities). When I started grad school (four years ago), I lived alone in this neighborhood and paid $500/month (incuding heat) for a huge one bedroom... and compared with my friends who also lived in the Bloomfield/Friendship/Lawrenceville area, I paid a lot even by today's standards.

Also think about Morningside, Highland Park, and even parts of East Liberty (near where Whole Foods, Borders, and Trader Joe's moved in) as they are up and coming but still reasonably priced.

I honestly wouldn't bother paying Shadyside, South Side, or Squirrel Hill rents... Shadyside in particular is just an overpriced post-adolescent business casual South Oakland. When my partner lived there, we dealt with the same loud party trains, the same rowdy drunkards, and the same amount of litter/broken glass as I did as an undergrad in the student slum neighborhood.

The best way to find an apartment in Pittsburgh is to go to a neighborhood about a month or so before you plan to move in and walk around taking down numbers. You can also do the craigslist thing but the rent prices there are very inflated.

If I could do it all over again, I'd start looking for a house to buy in Highland Park, Lawrenceville, or Bloomfield since mortgages can be about the price of rent in those areas... And you'll (most likely) be here long enough to build equity.

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Also, the bus system is decent enough that I survived living in the city (as a grad student and prior to that) for five years without a car. It wasn't a glamorous time in my life, hulking bags of groceries the blocks home from the bus but it worked out fine. There are also campus shuttles for both CMU and Pitt that will take you to the neighborhoods that border campus.

I have a car now that I rarely use though it is a lot easier to get groceries. I have laundry in my building so that hasn't been a problem. You can take buses to the retail shopping districts in Shadyside, the Waterworks, the South Side Works, and the Waterfront. You can also take them into the suburbs to go to some of the malls.. And the Trolley (called the T) goes to the suburbs to another pretty nice mall if that's your thing. This stuff will take up the bulk of a day but as long as you don't have a shopping addiction, you should be fine.

I never drive to campus.. I always take the bus or walk. A lot of people bike too but I get nervous riding in traffic. I don't know anyone who lives in Bloomfield, Friendship, Squirrel Hill or Shadyside who works/studies in Oakland (where Pitt and CMU are located) that drives to campus.

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I make less than you per month on my Pitt humanities Teaching Fellow stipend and don't take out loans to supplement my income during the year. I don't have a bunch of money left over for savings or anything but I do go out to eat and to bars regularly, I shop often, I buy organic groceries, and generally have a lovely life on my modest stipend with no trouble.

To be fair I pay a little more than half of what you guessed would be your monthly rent, but you can find cheaper places than that if you look in the neighborhoods I listed.

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I am going to UPitt for grad school in August, and I have no idea where to live.

My friend suggested an apartment at Atwood Street. What is the area like? Is it a good choice?

How about somewhere in N. Dithridge St.?? Atwood St. versus N. Dithridge St., which one is better?

Or can anyone suggest a place which is good to live in?

Thanks

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Hi!

I guess I will open the thread for 2008. I will be a grad student at CMU next year. How about Neville Street in North Oakland? The apartment seems nice and it is about a mile to campus? Thanks.

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