Do you like Philly’s and Penguins? You’re not alone! With its close proximity to Pittsburgh, great schools, plenty of parks, and other perks, Allegheny County is one of the most popular places to live in Pennsylvania.
Making a move can be stressful, but we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know to find the best home in the best place for your family in Allegheny County.
Related: Buying a house? Prepare by reading our complete home buying guide.
Allegheny County Neighborhoods
Allegheny County is popular because its cost of living is relatively low and it’s full of many vibrant communities with no shortage of arts and culture. It’s a large county where you can find everything from a large city like Pittsburgh to a small suburb like Monroeville.
Each place has its own personality as well as perks, so it’s important to find a neighborhood that fits the needs of you and your family before you begin seriously looking at homes.
The most popular places to buy a home in Allegheny County include:
Franklin Park consistently shows up on “best places to live” lists in and around Pittsburgh. With great green spaces, parks, and schools, it’s a top choice for home buyers with families.
The median single-family home price in Franklin Park is $371,100. Even though it’s expensive, over 95 percent of the people living in Franklin Park own their own home, which is a pretty surprising home ownership number. Many of the people who live here work and commute to the universities, hospitals, and other businesses in the area.
Located south of Pittsburgh, Jefferson Hills boasts a very low crime rate and wonderful outdoor trails. A lot of first-time home buyers are attracted to this area because of its average cost of living for the area and proximity to downtown. It’s just 10 miles away from Pittsburgh. You’re looking at an average home price of around $193,700 in Jefferson Hills.
Plum is a vibrant borough in Allegheny County. Each year, they host the Plum Community Festival that features live music, food, and antique cars. The Oakmont Country Club, which has hosted the U.S. Open eight times, is located in Plum too. The average home price here is about $106,400. This makes it an attractive place to potential home buyers.
A large, diverse community that is good for families, Penn Hills has a very low cost of living. For the area, you’ll find average schools here but high rates of home ownership. The median home price here is $94,500.
In the greater Pittsburgh area, this is one of the most affordable communities you’ll find. With a median home value of $163,400, the cost of living makes this an attractive borough very close to all Pittsburgh has to offer. It’s popular with both young professionals and retirees and has very highly rated public schools.
A very family-friendly community, you’ll find an abundance of parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and nightlife here. It has a very highly rated public school system, too. The median home price is $195,700.
The good news about Sewickley is that it’s a safe place to live with great schools. The bad news? It’s a safe place to live with great schools! A lot of people want to live in this community, so the schools can be crowded, home prices high, and the real estate goes fast. The average price for a home here is about $284,900.
If you’re looking to get into a community where the real estate market is only going to get better, then Forest Hills should be on your list. It’s close to Pittsburgh but still gives you a suburban feel, with plenty of parks. Right now, the median home price sits at about $140,200, but it’s only expected to go up from there.
If you’re looking to get a lot of bang for your real estate buck, then look no further than Churchill. It’s got above average schools, it’s safe, and the cost of living is affordable. It also has a variety of restaurants, parks, and nightlife, so there’s plenty to do for everyone. The median home price in Churchill is $190,700.
If you’re looking for a quiet place with a very low cost of living, then McKeesport may just be what you’re looking for. The community has many parks and shops and attracts many retirees. It has an average public school system. The median home price here is $54,100.
If city living is for you, then you can’t overlook Pittsburgh itself. It’s a diverse city that is still family-friendly, with relatively low crime and an average public school system. The median home price in Pittsburgh is $146,800.
There are more great places to live in Allegheny County, so talk to your realtor about which may be the best for you.
If you’re looking to move to Allegheny County with kids, then school districts will help determine where you should look to buy.
Your real estate agent is a great resource when it comes to finding the best schools, but they’re not the only place to turn for help. Online research can help too.
Go online and check out these websites:
National Center for Education Statistics
You’ll find information collected on schools by the federal government here. It provides data for each school district and even individual public schools.
A national non-profit, GreatSchools rates each school and shows you information about test scores, reviews of teacher quality, test scores, information about programs, principal leadership, and parental involvement in the school system.
This comparison tool allows you to compare schools you’re looking at side by side to help you get a better picture of how they stack up.
How to Find Homes for Sale
Now that you know where you may want to buy in Allegheny County, what’s the best resource for finding homes for sale? Start your quest with a realtor.
The good news is there are many resources you can use to help you in your search. Whether you’re looking for a 3-bedroom ranch or a grand old fixer-upper, real estate professionals in Allegheny County are ready to help you find it.
If you don’t have a referral to a real estate agent from a friend or family member, then the best place to start is the internet. Search these directories to get started:
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
In southwestern PA real estate, Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest real estate companies you’ll find. They can help you find Allegheny County real estate as well as assist you in selling a home, provide professional advice on investing, and offer you some advanced tools to help search the area. And don’t forget, this area is their expertise.
Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh
The whole reason the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh exists is to help preserve and promote the right to own and use property. It provides services and programs to help its members conduct business and can point you to a Pittsburgh area (and Allegheny County) real estate expert that has a proven track record of dependability and honesty. Use their Real Estate Services Guide to find an affiliate partner and get your home search started.
Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR)
PAR is made up of residential and commercial realtors. This organization helps to promote home ownership by holding its members to high ethics and standards. Using this site to find a realtor to work with means you’ll be getting quality service from someone who has performed up to high standards.
Local Online Newspapers
The classifieds sections can be a great place to look for leads on homes such as an open house or new listings that have just become available – and the real estate agent is already attached!
The two best classified sections for Allegheny County real estate include the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribute.
Your home is more than a place to live, it’s part of a larger financial plan. That’s why it’s important to take the time to understand what an Allegheny County home you’re interested in is worth.
Luckily, you can find out the property value of any Allegheny County home you’re interested in pretty easily and for free using these websites:
- Real Estate ABC
- Chase Mortgage Services
Many of these sites can be used to find out more information about the specific area the home is in, the schools, and median listing prices, and tax assessments on the property.
All About Taxes
You know what they say – taxes are one of the only certain things in life. Everyone has to pay them at some point, especially property taxes. When you’re looking for a new home in a new place, it’s a good idea to understand how much your taxes may be. Enter the county assessor.
Allegheny County makes it easy for you to find out how much a property you’re interested in buying will cost you in taxes per year. Simply go to their website and enter the address. Voila! All the information the county assessor has will be displayed. Just click on the “taxes” tab and you’ll see how much the taxes on the property are estimated to be per year.
Should You Move To Allegheny County?
Allegheny County has a lot to offer. If you’re interested in moving there, then do your due diligence to ensure you’re finding not only the right home in the right place for you and your family but making a sound investment as well. This guide will help ensure you’re on the right track!