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I wouldn't go as high as $1000 a month for a studio, even in Shadyside which is the most expensive, you can probably find a decent looking studio for 700ish. I lived last year in North Oakland on the edge of shadyside, and had a 1 bedroom for $850 and that was with all utilities included. A roommate would definitely cut your costs nearly in half. As far as extra money to have a social life, Pittsburgh isn't too expensive around Oakland and Shadyside, which is where most students prefer to go. Most places have half-price appetizers and happy hours all the time. I probably get by on about $800-$900 a month currently living in Squirrel Hill in a 2 bedroom and I go out to eat/ drinking about once or twice a week.

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@Pinkster12 Do you mean is the University of Pitt dangerous?    ghetto: a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area,inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or otherminority

CMU has a pretty all-encompassing list that includes JL Land and Sterling as two top companies! My friends in Pittsburgh use Walnut Creek and love them, as well.   Shadyside and Squirrel H

So I'm a moron for being honest about the weather? I am from this area but don't know how to dress? You sound like the socially inept, backwards neckbeard Pennsyltucky stereotype that people hate abou

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Been in Pittsburgh for 7 years so far, lived in Pitt dorms, then 3 different apartments. You really need to start looking early for apartments, we're talking looking by february for leases starting in August. Found the first two places through friend/family connections, current place found on Craigslist. $750/mo rent, 2 bedroom , 1 bath. Only water included. Runs about $1000/mo with all utilities, including Internet. They are going to have to pry this lease from my cold, dead hands.

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All the information in the past couple posts is pretty current. The main 3 areas people live are Shadyside, Oakland, or Squirrel Hill.

 

Shadyside is likely the most expensive, probably running at least $900 for a decent 1-bedroom. Regardless of area, having a person to split rent with will benefit you. Shadyside has a good amount to do, lots of restaurants, bars, shops, grocery stores, etc. The buses will take you to Pitt in about 10-15 minutes depending where in Shadyside you're coming from. Walnut Capital is a good leasing company, they're a bit more expensive, but they're really good about maintenance and helping with whatever you need. 

 

Squirrel Hill is nice and quiet, but also has a main street (Murray Ave or Forbes Ave) that has pretty much whatever you need (grocery stores, restaurants, 2 or 3 somewhat ok bars, a few shops). It's a largely jewish neighborhood (40% is jewish) but the rest is made up with a lot of graduate students from both Carnegie Mellon and Pitt. Depending on where you are in Squirrel Hill you could be very close to Schenley Park, and once again there are many buses which will take you to Pitt in about 10-15 minutes. 

 

Oakland is where Pitt is actually located, and is mostly where undergrads live. It's nice to be near the campus, but most grad students don't live there. It is cheaper, but you get what you pay for. I would probably advise against Oakland. Unless it's North Oakland on the edge of Shadyside. 

 

Some people live out in bloomfield or friendship but you would definitely want a car as the buses come much less often and take much longer to get to campus, but I hear they are nice.

 

Hope this helps!

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Some people live out in bloomfield or friendship but you would definitely want a car as the buses come much less often and take much longer to get to campus, but I hear they are nice.

 

I'm gonna have to disagree with you there; I live in Bloomfield and the bus comes every 20 mins and has never taken more than 15 mins to get to campus. I don't have a car, and I get around just fine. As long as you make sure to live near the bus route (the 54 goes through Lawrenceville and Bloomfield on its way to Oakland), you should be fine.

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Hello! 

 

I'm seriously considering moving from Boston (where I have lived for most of my life and am currently finishing my undergrad) to Pittsburgh for grad school next year. The program I would be joining is amazing and I really liked the campus and the people when I visited, although I didn't get to see very much of Pittsburgh itself. I would be there for a Master's first and then maybe for a PhD (so anywhere from 2-7ish years). My other option is to stay in Boston at another school/program that is good but lower-ranked and not as exciting as the one in Pittsburgh.

 

I've lived in a suburb of Boston for most of my life, and I know that Pittsburgh is a smaller city. I've heard a lot of both positive and negative things from people, but the more input the better. I'd like to hear more about people's experiences, quality of life, etc etc as students there, particularly anyone who moved from a bigger city (like Boston). Any info would be super helpful!!! 

 

Thank you!

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On 3/6/2013 at 6:39 PM, bricheet said:

Hello! 

 

I'm seriously considering moving from Boston (where I have lived for most of my life and am currently finishing my undergrad) to Pittsburgh for grad school next year. The program I would be joining is amazing and I really liked the campus and the people when I visited, although I didn't get to see very much of Pittsburgh itself. I would be there for a Master's first and then maybe for a PhD (so anywhere from 2-7ish years). My other option is to stay in Boston at another school/program that is good but lower-ranked and not as exciting as the one in Pittsburgh.

 

I've lived in a suburb of Boston for most of my life, and I know that Pittsburgh is a smaller city. I've heard a lot of both positive and negative things from people, but the more input the better. I'd like to hear more about people's experiences, quality of life, etc etc as students there, particularly anyone who moved from a bigger city (like Boston). Any info would be super helpful!!! 

 

Thank you!

 

Hi! I'm in the opposite situation as you: I live in Pittsburgh and I am likely moving to Boston in the summer/fall for grad school. 

 

I can repeat what everyone else has said in here: Pittsburgh is a totally affordable city on a graduate stipend, especially compared to Boston. I am in total sticker shock just looking at the cost of living in Boston! 

 

As for neighborhoods to live in, I would definitely recommend either Shadyside or Squirrel Hill. Most graduate students live in one or the other. Shadyside is definitely more upscale and has nicer shopping and bars, but Squirrel Hill is a little cheaper and if you live anywhere near Murray Ave, you can walk to the grocery store and there are other shops on that road as well. Regent Square is also a nice area, but way more residential -- not as many students. I'd stay as far away as possible from South Side/The Slopes. South Side is basically a huge bar area and so if you value privacy and the quiet, it isn't that great of an area as a graduate student. Oakland is okay, but it's also become really populated with undergraduates so there is a ton of noise and partying there all the time. Fun for a Friday night, but not so much for a place to live. 

 

I moved here last August from the suburbs and were it not for needing to move to attend a different program, I would definitely stay here. If you are planning on attending Pitt or CMU, riding the bus is free which is super nice. I don't really consider Pittsburgh a city in the way that I do New York, Chicago, or Boston. It feels more like a ton of different neighborhoods right on top of each other, each with its own ethos.

 

If you do plan to visit, don't plan on spending much time downtown. It's basically a big business area with a few nice/upscale restaurants. When I first visited and only saw downtown, I thought I was moving to the most boring place on the planet. 

 

Also, everyone will tell you that when you get to Pittsburgh, you need to eat a sandwich at Primanti's. I'd skip that and just go straight to Fat Heads in South Side. Primanti's is a big touristy place and all, but really it's just a sandwich with fries and coleslaw on top. Plus, if you like beer, Fat Heads has 42 on tap! D's Six Packs and Dogs in Regent Square is another hidden treasure if you're into beer: they have over 1,000 different ones and you can make your own six packs. 

 

I think that's everything important.

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Hi! I'm in the opposite situation as you: I live in Pittsburgh and I am likely moving to Boston in the summer/fall for grad school. 

 

I can repeat what everyone else has said in here: Pittsburgh is a totally affordable city on a graduate stipend, especially compared to Boston. I am in total sticker shock just looking at the cost of living in Boston! 

 

As for neighborhoods to live in, I would definitely recommend either Shadyside or Squirrel Hill. Most graduate students live in one or the other. Shadyside is definitely more upscale and has nicer shopping and bars, but Squirrel Hill is a little cheaper and if you live anywhere near Murray Ave, you can walk to the grocery store and there are other shops on that road as well. Regent Square is also a nice area, but way more residential -- not as many students. I'd stay as far away as possible from South Side/The Slopes. South Side is basically a huge bar area and so if you value privacy and the quiet, it isn't that great of an area as a graduate student. Oakland is okay, but it's also become really populated with undergraduates so there is a ton of noise and partying there all the time. Fun for a Friday night, but not so much for a place to live. 

 

I moved here last August from the suburbs and were it not for needing to move to attend a different program, I would definitely stay here. If you are planning on attending Pitt or CMU, riding the bus is free which is super nice. I don't really consider Pittsburgh a city in the way that I do New York, Chicago, or Boston. It feels more like a ton of different neighborhoods right on top of each other, each with its own ethos.

 

If you do plan to visit, don't plan on spending much time downtown. It's basically a big business area with a few nice/upscale restaurants. When I first visited and only saw downtown, I thought I was moving to the most boring place on the planet. 

 

Also, everyone will tell you that when you get to Pittsburgh, you need to eat a sandwich at Primanti's. I'd skip that and just go straight to Fat Heads in South Side. Primanti's is a big touristy place and all, but really it's just a sandwich with fries and coleslaw on top. Plus, if you like beer, Fat Heads has 42 on tap! D's Six Packs and Dogs in Regent Square is another hidden treasure if you're into beer: they have over 1,000 different ones and you can make your own six packs. 

 

I think that's everything important. 

 

Fat Heads is by far the best, good assessment overall. haha

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Hello all! It's looking more and more like I'll be going to Pitt, so I'm starting to look at my relocation options. I'm thinking Shadyside, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with rental companies in the area? Any companies in particular I should stay away from, or ones you can recommend? Thanks in advance!

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Hello all! It's looking more and more like I'll be going to Pitt, so I'm starting to look at my relocation options. I'm thinking Shadyside, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with rental companies in the area? Any companies in particular I should stay away from, or ones you can recommend? Thanks in advance!

 

Living in the area, I've heard to avoid Lobos Management like the plague. I've heard Walnut Hill is nice. I've lived with Mozart and they've been pretty good to me. 24/7 emergency maintenance which I always appreciate. I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to housing, though.

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Hello all! It's looking more and more like I'll be going to Pitt, so I'm starting to look at my relocation options. I'm thinking Shadyside, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with rental companies in the area? Any companies in particular I should stay away from, or ones you can recommend? Thanks in advance!

 

No to Walnut Capital 100%.  While their apartments are very nice and they allow dogs (which was a plus for me), I cannot recommend them.  In my experience they were extremely unprofessional and not always clear on policies, and they charged outrageous fees.  I agree with Espresso Shot about Lobos and Mozart, at least from common opinion in the area.  

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No to Walnut Capital 100%.  While their apartments are very nice and they allow dogs (which was a plus for me), I cannot recommend them.  In my experience they were extremely unprofessional and not always clear on policies, and they charged outrageous fees.  I agree with Espresso Shot about Lobos and Mozart, at least from common opinion in the area.  

 

Can you recommend any good rental agencies that allow dogs? 

 

Also, does anyone know when is the ideal time to start looking for apartment if you are moving in August? So far I haven't found much yet. 

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Can you recommend any good rental agencies that allow dogs? 

 

Also, does anyone know when is the ideal time to start looking for apartment if you are moving in August? So far I haven't found much yet. 

 

Oak Hill allows small dogs and has beautiful apartments, but it is more expensive than most places.  It's technically in the Hill District, which has a bad reputation in the city for leading crime rates / 40% of the residents being below the poverty line.  I've found that those statistics mainly refer to the central part of the Hill, while Oak Hill is on the border of Oakland and the Hill.  As a young female living alone, I had zero issues in the plan.  (I figured I'd warn you because when you move to Pittsburgh everyone tells you to stay away from there blah blah blah)

 

I think Mozart allows small dogs as well, but I'm not positive about this because I haven't personally lived there.  The Cork Factory in the Strip District allows dogs, but I think it's very expensive / possibly condos.  In general, the neighborhood of Lawrenceville is very dog friendly, so I'm sure there would be apartments there that allow dogs.

 

If you have a dog bigger than 30 pounds, you might have to look at apartments owned by individuals rather than companies.  I have a 40-pound pit bull, so I live in my own house, since very few places would allow the breed / that size.

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Anyone heard anything about JJ Land? They seem to have the most economical prices in a large amount of areas.

 When I first moved to Pittsburgh, I was warned to stay away from JJ Land. The person I spoke to had rented from them, as well as done some repair work for them to offset their rent, and he said they can be some of the worst landlords. Almost as bad as Lobos, which I have never yet heard a good word for. Often the best places are from the landlords that either don't have websites or don't really keep their websites up to date. You kind of just have to visit the area and speak with as many realtors as you can. Also, try out landorslum.com if you want information about different landlords; it has a bunch of anonymous reviews of various landlords and, though I would take it with a grain of salt, it helps to know which land lords are actually slumlords.

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Scratch the nice things I said about Mozart Management.

 

They just gave me two hours notice to show my apartment five months in advance even though I asked that they not show it and they gave me so little notice I can't even go home and lock up valuable items.

 

I am so irritated.

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Scratch the nice things I said about Mozart Management.

 

They just gave me two hours notice to show my apartment five months in advance even though I asked that they not show it and they gave me so little notice I can't even go home and lock up valuable items.

 

I am so irritated.

 

Ugh....that's definitely a dealbreaker for me. I've got cats, so I expect landlords to give at least 24 hr notice so either my husband or I can be there to make sure they don't get out. :-( Sorry they're being annoying to you!

 

Does anyone have experience with Forbes, Franklin West, Shadyside Commons, or Regent Square? Also, most of the grads I've spoken to live in the Shadyside or Squirrel Hill area--are there any other neighborhoods that people recommend? Do students live in the Strip District at all? Some of those lofts are super cool....

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Ugh....that's definitely a dealbreaker for me. I've got cats, so I expect landlords to give at least 24 hr notice so either my husband or I can be there to make sure they don't get out. :-( Sorry they're being annoying to you!

 

Does anyone have experience with Forbes, Franklin West, Shadyside Commons, or Regent Square? Also, most of the grads I've spoken to live in the Shadyside or Squirrel Hill area--are there any other neighborhoods that people recommend? Do students live in the Strip District at all? Some of those lofts are super cool....

 

The lofts in the Strip definitely look cool, but are way off limits on most student budgets. The strip district is great for going out to dinner or for their Saturday morning farmer's market (cheap, fresh produce!) but I would shy away from living anywhere downtown. The first time I visited Pittsburgh, I thought it was the most boring city on the planet because I only visited downtown. I assumed that in a city, most exciting things would occur where the actual city is. In my experience of Pittsburgh, this is not the case. Downtown is mostly just the business district. Living there would make things like grocery shopping a bit difficult. The surrounding neighborhoods are where the majority of graduate students live. Most graduate student life also takes place in these neighborhoods.

 

Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are definitely the two neighborhoods that I'd recommend but Regent Square is also nice. It's a bit more residential and not a ton of grads live there, but it is definitely a pretty area and very close to Frick Park. It's about a five minute drive from Squirrel Hill so you would never be far. If you do end up checking out apartments or houses in Regent Square, don't forget to visit D's Six Packs and Dogs! It's like a hidden beer treasure in Pittsburgh. They have over 1,000 beers in the back that you can use to mix and match your own six packs. They have everything from Miller Lite to rare Belgian Tripel Ales. It's awesome. (I'd recommend staying away from the Miller Lite and diving straight in to the better beers!) I looked at apartments with Franklin West. They were very kind when I was looking but I never did rent with them so I'm not totally sure. They seemed very expensive, though.

 

Another question--I know that in some cities its free for the renter to use a realtor to find a place. Is this the case in Pittsburgh? If so, anyone have any realtors they recommend?

 

If you're looking for an apartment, there are so many different agencies that it's pretty easy to take a few days to come to Pittsburgh on your own without the use of a realtor. If you really want to use one, though, I have no idea if it is free. I don't actually know anyone that has ever used one for apartments! If you're looking for a house, on the the other hand, that's a different ball park.

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Any suggestions for best time to look for an August lease? I'm trying to plan a trip to look at places with  my roommates and its starting to look like we might not be able to go until mid- May (17/18). Will this be too late to find a place? we need a pet friendly place so our options are limited as is.

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Any suggestions at all on how to find an affordable apartment (if you live abroad and can't visit)? My dilemma is that I absolutely want to live alone, but don't know how ti make a living on maybe $1300 to $1400 a month.

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Any suggestions at all on how to find an affordable apartment (if you live abroad and can't visit)? My dilemma is that I absolutely want to live alone, but don't know how ti make a living on maybe $1300 to $1400 a month.

 

That is more than enough to live on in Pittsburgh. You can find a studio in Shadyside or Squirrel Hill for $600-$800. They are probably even cheaper in Oakland, but Oakland is a bit loud and full of undergrads. You might benefit from checking Craigslist if you haven't tried that already.

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On 4/2/2013 at 8:16 AM, LRPolicy said:

Any suggestions for best time to look for an August lease? I'm trying to plan a trip to look at places with  my roommates and its starting to look like we might not be able to go until mid- May (17/18). Will this be too late to find a place? we need a pet friendly place so our options are limited as is.

 

Mid-may will definitely give you enough time to find a place. Granted, earlier is always better but when I first moved down here I didn't get a chance to find an apartment until late June - early July. For pet friendly, your options are indeed limited. I have a bigger dog myself (about 65 pounds), and I rent through Walnut Capital who I've had no issue with. They ask a half-month's rent non-refundable deposit for pets, but that is much better than others who sometimes ask a whole months rent. From my experience, Franklin West also will allow dogs of bigger size (even though their information says a 30 pound max), and has very nice apartments. Generally, they are quite big and a little more expensive, but if you have a roommate and a dog it's a good idea. Squirrel hill is very dog friendly with a lot of parks and other people with animals. Most companies in in the area do not allow dogs, so I would recommend calling around a bit to find the places that do and then targeting them.

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  • 3 months later...

It's likely past the point for anyone looking for rents, but I lived with Walnut Capital for my masters and had zero complaints.

One thing you must understand about Pittsburgh is that it has a very dodgy management culture. No matter where you stay, you will likely deal with the management company showing your space the moment you give notice, they will always hike your rate when you re-sign, and they will be reluctant to tackle any minor complaint.

That said, my best advice is to search the units very carefully and make your decision in that regard. I had nearly no interaction with my management company while staying at Walnut Towers, but because the unit was in very good shape and the pseudo-landlord was helpful (albeit unpaid and overworked) I didn't need to interact with them.

Squirrel Hill tops Shadyside for affordability, proximity to shopping, quality of restaurants, and ease of access to the parkway and buses.

Crime is everywhere, even Shadyside and Regent Square. It is not uncommon for apartments on the groundfloor in plain view of the street to be burglarized. Always get a place on the second+ floors.

Snow will be a problem without ample parking. Pittsburgh has one rule: respect the chair - if there aren't enough parking spots in a lot, expect to find lots of cleared areas with folding chairs staking a claim. It's very nice if your unit has ample space.

When you move there, go to Silk Elephant on Murray and get their curry. You'll thank me later.

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  • 3 months later...

@Pinkster12 Do you mean is the University of Pitt dangerous? 

 

ghetto: a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area,inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or otherminority group, often as a result of social or economicrestrictions, pressures, or hardships.

 

dangerous: full of danger or risk; causing dangerperilous; risky;hazardous; unsafe.

 

It would be easier to answer your question if you clarified what you meant. Crime statistics are reported for nearly every area.

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