Pittsburgh: Park Place

Have you ever heard of Park Place? We live there now! Usually when people ask me where we live, I say Point Breeze and then they often ask, where in Point Breeze? I tell them and then they say something like, “is that part of Point Breeze?” with a mildly skeptical expression. Yes it is! However, it’s also considered its own neighborhood — Park Place. The city portion is considered part of Point Breeze and there are also a few streets into Wilkinsburg.

I found this map of Park Place here.

And according to Google, here is Point Breeze:

We have a Park Place Neighborhood Association and a Facebook page!


Some great things about Park Place:

Proximity to Frick Park: Frick Park is Pittsburgh’s largest historic regional park with 644 acres. We can walk to the Frick Park trails from Park Place. During the summer, my family walked/biked to the Frick for their Summer Fridays concerts.

Boys and I on a hiking snack break

Forbes & Braddock Playground: There’s a great playground, pavilion, tennis courts, baseball field and access to the Frick Park trails.

In a tree by the playground

We have schools! Shady Side Academy Junior School and the Environmental Charter School Primary School are both located in Park Place. The Environmental Charter School building was actually the Park Place School from 1903- 1979 and the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Proximity to Regent Square Businesses: We can walk or bike to D’s, Square Cafe, 61B and all the other great businesses in Regent Square.

Sidney being responsible for my leftovers….

Madeleine Bakery & Bistro: We have a great bakery and cafe (at the border of Regent Square).

Proximity to East End Food Co-op: We can walk or bike to get groceries.

It’s Flat! Another great thing about Park Place that I didn’t even really consider until we moved here is that it is so flat. We have been biking more than ever before because there are no hills. Taking walks or bike rides is much more enjoyable without all the hill climbing typical for Pittsburgh.

Interesting article about how the millennials are now choosing real estate based on walkability. Excerpt:

“Walkability is a really big thing,” he said in the report. “They want to be able to walk to neighborhood coffee shops and bakeries … Health and wellness is a priority for them, so they like to be close to fitness facilities and yoga studios.”

He continued: “Location has always been a factor in real estate, but what’s changed is the definition of what is a good location. It used to be that the prestigious neighborhoods were gated and secluded, often outside of town. Millennial buyers want to be close to the action.”

Up and Coming Business District: There is small street of commercial property and store fronts on the border of Park Place and Wilkinsburg on S. Trenton Avenue. We took a walk down this street recently to check it out. There are a few vacant store fronts and not a lot happening at the moment but there is a great, little bike store, Fern Hollow Bicycles. I took my bike there when I was trying to mount a child bike seat to the back and the owner was very helpful. I’m really hoping some other new businesses find this street and revive it.

Families are Moving In: We experienced this at our Mt. Lebanon house and our house in Forest Hills. When we first bought, there were a lot of folks on the streets who had owned the houses for 30+ years. Over the time that we lived there, we saw many of these people selling and young families moving in. Seeing kids playing outside and with neighbor kids is good for everyone and I see it happening here too.

Unique Architecture: I posted about our house before. Our house style is one of many, many different styles found in Park Place. Here’s a before and after (in progress) for you of our house.

You too could buy an old, broken house and restore it (very slowly)

Real Estate Value: A lot of the neighborhoods in the area have gotten really expensive. In comparison to Highland Park or the main part of Point Breeze, Park Place offers a good value while still being a great location. Speaking of which, our neighbor’s house is for sale. And just in case you are not aware of this, I am a real estate agent. Just saying. πŸ™‚ Get in before the prices go up!!

So that’s our new neighborhood, Park Place πŸ™‚

505-507 California Ave, Oakmont, PA

First off, this is not my listing, I just love this house. It’s AMAZING! I would like to buy it but Aaron said, “you don’t want to live in Oakmont.” Whatever AARON. I’m willing to run an Air BNB to make this happen.

It’s walkable to a trail, library, restaurants and more.

Plus, I really want a house that has a separate apartment included. This one has a full separate mother-in-law suite with its own address. The apartment is two stories and 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. I really want to go see it.

I’m just posting it here because I think it’s a really unique house in Pittsburgh. It’s 6,000+ square feet on half an acre in Oakmont. It would be a great Bed and Breakfast. Here’s a link to the listing.

Here’s the real estate tax calculation. It’s assessed for $399,600. The millage in Oakmont is 31.4673.

$399,600 x .0314673 = $12,574 eeeek

Alright, I’ll just be over here calculating mortgage payments and possible rental income on the in-law suite. πŸ™‚

Pittsburgh: Regent Square

I’ve started two blog posts about different types of mortgages but there is just so much information to include, it’s been hard for me to complete. Still working on it!

In the meantime, I thought I’d talk a little bit about the area of Pittsburgh known as Regent Square. This little area East of Frick Park is a very hot real estate market. It has a business district, its walkable, it has Frick Park. I love it (and would love to move there πŸ™‚ ) But Regent square is also a unique area of Pittsburgh because it is not its own municipality.

The area outlined in orange on the map below is Regent Square according to Google.

Regent Square is made up of parts of Swissvale, Wilkinsburg and the City of Pittsburgh. This means that depending on where you live in Regent Square, your real estate taxes (and income tax) could vary wildly. The school district also varies depending on the part of Regent Square.

In terms of real estate taxes, the total millage for the 3 municipalities that make up Regent Square are:

  • City of Pittsburgh: 22.63
  • Wilkinsburg: 48.23
  • Swissvale: 38.08

As an example, if you were buying a house for $250,000, here is what your total annual real estate taxes would be in each of these areas:

  • City of Pittsburgh: $5,657
  • Wilkinsburg: $12,057
  • Swissvale: $9,520

These are big differences! This difference in real estate tax greatly affects the value of real estate here. In my experience, a house in the city of Pittsburgh portion of Regent Square will be worth more than a similar house in the Wilkinsburg or Swissvale portion. The real estate taxes make a big difference in what people can afford. Your mortgage payment would be significantly different depending on the area.

In the city of Pittsburgh, you would be paying $471 per month toward the real estate tax portion of your mortgage payment. If you were in Wilkinsburg, the real estate tax portion of your mortgage payment would be $1,004.

Just to be a little more clear, if you took out a mortgage for $250,000, here is an estimate of what your mortgage payment would be. (Principal+Interest+Taxes) (Using an estimated interest rate of 4.25% and not including home owner’s insurance)

  • City of Pittsburgh: $1,701/month
  • Wilkinsburg: $2,234/month
  • Swissvale: $2,023/month

And just a quick note about schools: Wilkinsburg is Wilkinsburg School Disctrict, Swissvale is Woodland Hills School District and the City of Pittsburgh portion is Pittsburgh Public Schools.

You can check the municipality of a particular house on the Allegheny County Assessment Site. (I bring up that website on pretty much every post…but it’s really full of useful information). Search for the address and then on the General Information tab, it will list the municipality. The one below is 14th Ward – Pittsburgh.

Hope that is helpful to you! I think it’s pretty interesting information. I also recently found out about an area of Pittsburgh near Regent Square that is called Park Place?! Who knew??