5 Things To Know BEFORE Moving to Pittsburgh, PA

March 28th, 2023

5 Things To Know BEFORE Moving to Pittsburgh, PA

Living in Pittsburgh 

Are you moving to Pittsburgh? Make sure you know these five things before moving to Pittsburgh, PA. 

Pittsburgh, PA, has a 7% lower cost of living than the national average, along with being a convenient, unique, and exciting place to live. Located in western Pennsylvania at the junction of three rivers, this city has a beautiful mix of historical attractions, museums, delicious restaurants, stunning parks, and so many things to do and see. 

Sometimes known as the "city of bridges" for its 446 bridges scattered throughout the city and dominant role in the U.S. steel industry, living in Pittsburgh provides its 300k residents with a semi-urban feel without the cost of other big cities but being conveniently close to many. 

Image of downtown Pittsburgh from above across the bridge

Pittsburgh has a relaxed northern American vibe with some great neighborhoods full of affordable housing options and fun things to do on the weekends, such as the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or Heinz Stadium to cheer on your local team. 

Known as a family-friendly city, Pittsburgh is also a fantastic place to raise a family with its great education system and many green spaces, making it a wonderful area to work and live in. Whether you are looking for a more affordable city to live in or the excitement of having big-city amenities with a more small-town feel, Pittsburgh has the perfect place for you. Let's take a look at some of the things you should know before moving to Pittsburgh, PA. 

Here are the things you should know about life in Pittsburgh! 

Cost of Living 

Pittsburgh is known to be an affordable city to live in, with its overall cost of living being 7% lower than the national average and around 16% lower than living in Philadelphia, PA, another large city in Pennsylvania. Being in the top 100 largest cities in the country, you get to enjoy the excitement that living in a larger city provides, but you do not have to break the bank to live here. 

The overall average cost of living in Pittsburgh per month for a family of four is around $4,065 without rent. With an average income of $50,5k, this city is affordable for many individuals depending on lifestyle and spending habits. 

Attracting many people from surrounding areas, this city is also conveniently located between many other large Metropolitan cities and areas. This makes it easy to travel for work, take a quick vacation, or be closer to nearby family and friends. Before moving to Pittsburgh, let's take a look at some of the costs of living in Pittsburgh below. 

Cost of Living Item Pittsburgh Median (Family of Four)
Home Value  $219.9k
Income $50.5k
Food $1,422 
Utilities $1,705
Public Transportation  $95 per month
Gas $3.668

*Information came from FRED, United States Census Bureau, Living Cost.org, AAA

Real Estate 

According to the West Penn Multi-list data, the average home prices in Pittsburgh have dropped about 40% in some of its best neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs. This is primarily due to increasing interest rates throughout the state and the current economic recession around the country. 

Currently, the median home value in Pittsburgh is around $219.9k, an astonishing cost for a larger city and about half of the country's average of around $428k. Having such an essential and integral historical past, you can still see touches of American history in the housing styles and architecture around the city in these townhomes, condos, single-family homes, and available apartments. Similar to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh values the use of its original structures and materials as well as continuing to grow with some newer construction homes and designs. 

First established in 1758 and known as the "gateway to the west" with its three rivers meeting at this city's location, the homes here reflect its history and location. The main housing styles found in modern-day Pittsburgh are; Colonial, Victorian, Ranch, Cape Cod, Greek Revival, and contemporary.

Image of house front steps and door with wreath on front door

Many of the older homes showcase the use of external brick, multiple windows with shutters, front columns, and chimneys. But, being a location that many people have wanted to move to over the years due to its location, cost, and slower way of life, many newer contemporary homes are also popping up in some of Pittsburgh's best neighborhoods and suburbs. 

If you are looking at moving to Pittsburgh, let's take a look at some of the best neighborhoods and their median home values below. 

Neighborhood Median Home Value 
Squirrel Hill North  $530k
Shadyside  $400k
Regent Square  $300k
Mount Washington  $250k
Point Breeze $500k
Highland Park  $540k
Strip District  $600k


If you are someone that enjoys every season of the year, Pittsburgh is perfect for you. Summers are known to be warm and partly cloudy, and the winters are known to be cold, snowy, and fun! 

The warm season in Pittsburgh lasts from May 24th to September 18th, with an average daily high temperature of over 74 degrees. Summers are a great time to enjoy the green parks and catch some sun near the water. Pittsburgh also has the country's second-largest number of registered pleasure boats, with many families and individuals utilizing the waters surrounding the city during these warmer months. 

The cold season is slightly shorter, lasting from December 2nd to March 2nd. The average daily high temperature during this time is below 46 degrees and sometimes reaches below freezing. With these cold temperatures comes the snow. The average snowfall per year in Pittsburgh is 11.7 inches, with an average of 47 snow days. 

But, instead of staying inside, away from the cold during these months, the residents of Pittsburgh choose to celebrate it. With winter festivals, ski slopes, ice skating rinks, and plenty of places to warm up inside, many residents actually enjoy this season the most. 

Image of a snowy street with cars on each side

With such diverse weather and being surrounded by water, Pittsburgh is prone to a few natural disasters and dangerous weather, such as flooding, blizzards, tornados, and the effects of tropical storms and hurricanes hitting the northeast coastline. 

Before moving to Pittsburgh, ensure you know what to do in case of some of these storms that can occur, as well as stock your closet with outfits for any season and weather. 

Things to Do 

One of the best parts about living in Pittsburgh is the array of things to do and see while living there. Visitors and residents alike come to this beautiful city to enjoy its many museums, historical centers, parks, impressive botanical gardens, sports centers, zoos, and aquariums. 

What once used to be the epicenter of the steel industry is now a city full of towering buildings, two inclined railways, 446 bridges, and charming neighborhoods. With many families living in the city, there are tons of family-friendly activities to do, as well as exciting nightlife activities for a nigh-out on the town. In fact, the city comes alive at night with almost 12 bars for every 10k residents, making it a vibrant and exciting place to be when the sun goes down. 

If bars and dance clubs aren't your scenes, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the nightlife in Pittsburgh as well. Along its dazzling streets, you will find craft cocktail lounges, bars with live music, theatres to see musical performances and plays, plenty of delicious restaurants, and breweries with games and tvs. 

A great city for singles, young professionals, and families, there is something for any vibe you are feeling. Let's take a look at some of the local favorites of family-friendly things to do in Pittsburgh below. 

Ariel image of the PNC Park and Pittsburgh bridge

Local Favorites 

  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden-This glass castle located in Schenley Park is actually a gorgeous botanical garden and a Pittsburgh landmark. Home to dozens of exhibits, classes, and events year-round, you can never go wrong by visiting. Providing a world-class garden experience since 1893, this 15-acre garden has a 14-room glasshouse and 23 gardens, leading as an example with sustainable architecture and greenhouse practices. 
  • PNC Park-This scenic baseball stadium is located on the North Shore of Pittsburgh and is the fifth home to the Pittsburgh Pirates. With views of the river and fans coming together from all over the city, this is the perfect location to enjoy some hotdogs and cheer on your team with friends and family. 
  • Point State Park-This state park is located at the point of downtown, surrounded by water on 36 acres of land. A scenic area to enjoy a picnic overlooking the water, take photos of the large fountain, jog on the paved paths, play outdoor games with friends, or layout in the large field. 
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History-A, natural history museum located in the Oakland neighborhood and first founded in 1896. This exciting museum holds 22 million specimens, including one of the finest paleontological collections in the world. Explore the world through a different lens and learn new things whenever you go, making you want to go back. 

Getting Around 

As a beautiful mix of suburbia and city, getting around Pittsburgh is convenient and easy. Although there are not as many buses and rail lines in surrounding areas, there are over 80 serving the downtown area daily. 

The average cost of public transportation in Pittsburgh is $95 per month, slightly below the national average of $102 a month. The light rail in Pittsburgh is perfect for shorter trips to other neighborhoods and areas, while the bus system travels all over the city. 

Pittsburgh is also considered a very bike-friendly city with protected bike lanes, bike shares, and bike parking for those that want to take their transportation on two wheels. But, about 85% of the Pittsburgh population owns and operates their own vehicles daily. 

The median gas cost in Pittsburgh is around $3.668 per gallon, and if you want to park downtown, the average cost of a meter or parking garage is around $5-$19. One of the biggest reasons that many residents try and utilize public transportation as much as possible is because the Pittsburgh roads are considered some of the worst. Being located between many other major cities and states, the roads get constant wear and tear, as well as the overall layout is very confusing with its multiple bridges, intersections, and traffic. 

Overall, when moving to Pittsburgh, first decide on your location before choosing your mode of transportation. If you are located in the heart of downtown, most things that you want and need will be in walking or a short public transportation ride away. But, the further away you get the worst the roads and unfortunately your means of transportation get. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Pittsburgh


  • Affordable housing
  • Lots of family-friendly activities 
  • Convenient Location 
  • Good Education
  • Sports Teams 
  • Diverse Housing


  • Cold and snowy winters
  • Crime rates 
  • Rivers are polluted 
  • Terrible roads

Living in Pittsburgh, PA-Final Thoughts 

Pittsburgh is a great place to live, with affordable housing options, family-friendly activities and attractions, exciting nightlife, sports teams to cheer on, a rich history, and great quality schools and jobs. With so many beautiful neighborhoods and housing options in a convenient location, there is something for everyone here. 

One of the best cities to live in according to its cost of living, Pittsburgh is an exciting place to live. Before crossing its iconic yellow bridge and calling this beautiful city your new home, find what neighborhood and area fits your needs and interests most with its large selection of different housing options and prices. 

If you or anyone you may know is moving to Pittsburgh, PA, make sure to contact us here so that we can get you connected with one of our Realty Specialists. Whether you want to live in the heart of the city or in a calm and charming neighborhood just outside of it, we will work with you to find the perfect home. No matter your budget, style preferences, or needs, we will be with you every step of the way. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.