Some people around the country don’t pay a lot of attention to Pittsburgh. At only about 306 thousand residents, it’s not the largest city in the nation, and tends not to invoke images of memorable landmarks or features. When it comes to Pittsburgh, steel is the first thing that comes to mind due to its booming steel industry which made it an industrial center during the early and mid 20th century. But Pittsburgh is so much more than steel. It had to be to survive de-industrialization of the 80s, and now has emerged as a technology center, a hot bed for entrepreneurs, and is considered the most livable city in the entire nation.
Calling Pittsburgh affordable is an understatement. The cost of living is low, and home prices are completely approachable making it one of the best cities for first time owners. The average price for a 3-4 bedroom, 2 bath family house in Pittsburgh is $162,000. By comparison, the national average is $264,540. Rent is also far cheaper at an average of $789 for all bedrooms compared to $1,087 nationwide. With its strong housing value growth and still-somehow-affordable housing prices, Pittsburgh offers some of the best opportunities for rent to own homes in PA and across the nation.
Unlike many other locations, these stellar prices don’t come at the price of opportunity. While other manufacturing cities underwent devastating economic depressions following the folding of their factories, Pittsburgh successfully transitioned to tech, education, and healthcare. Its economic policies have been so successful that the city has been called “The poster child for managing industrial transitions” which inspired President Obama to host the 2009 G-20 summit in Pittsburgh to discuss the global economy with international heads of state.
The former factories in Pittsburgh are rapidly being renovated into modern offices to host headquarters for companies like Google, Apple, and IBM which, combined with over 1,600 other tech firms, generate 20.7 billion dollars within the city each year. Pittsburgh has been ranked by entrepreneur.com as the best city for entrepreneurs. The city has also been been ranked by CBS Moneywatch in the top 10 for best cities for millennials and best cities to retire.
Beyond a low cost of living and economic opportunities, what makes Pittsburgh special is that it’s a city built for fun and entertainment. With more bars per capita than any other city in the nation, residents and visitors in the Steel City never come up short when it comes to nightlife. The Burgh is also number two in the country for most per capita pizza places, as well as dozens of gastropubs and diverse restaurant options.
For professional sports, a fan can do no better than Pittsburgh. Home to the Pirates, Penguins, and of course the Steelers the oldest team in the AFC with the largest fanbase in the NFL. Whether it’s baseball, hockey, or football, Pittsburgh has something for everyone, and each professional team embraces the same city colors of black and gold in a show of unique solidarity.
Pittsburgh residents also enjoy access to 68 colleges and universities including leading and nationally ranked institutions like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh takes education seriously, and features an above average public school system.
The city of Pittsburgh might not be on many people’s radars as a destination to set up shop, but that only contributes to what makes it such a gem. While other major cities struggle with affordable housing, traffic congestion, and a high cost of living, Pittsburgh manages to avoid those shortfalls while still offering all the advantages of urban living: good food, a great economy, and more bars than any Friday night adventure seeker can shake a stick at.
Welcome to Pittsburgh – An infographic by the team at Just Rent To Own