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The Paris of Appalachia… Pittsburgh, PA

In 2009, Brian O’Neill wrote a book title, The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-first Century. He leads off the book with this profound statement about the Steel City:

“This isn't so much a history of Pittsburgh as it is a biography. Sometimes we're so afraid of what others think, we're afraid to declare who we are. This city is not midwestern. It's not East Coast. It's just Pittsburgh, and there's no place like it. That's both its blessing and its curse.”

That’s a deep statement and for a Yinzer (definition of Yinzer found here) like myself, and as if I needed another reason to proudly boast about the city I’m from… SmartAsset completed their study on the best cities for first-time homebuyers and put Pittsburgh as #1. The study looked at the number of HUD-approved lenders, loan funding ratios, average price per square foot, affordability ratio, stability score… and the city with the most Super Bowl trophies (I added that in), but what I’m getting at is the study looked at a lot of data points. They found that Pittsburgh was affordable, with the average price per square foot coming in at $91 (13th-lowest in the study) and that homes retain their value as we had zero quarters of negative growth in home values between 2012 and 2017. If we then sprinkle in factors like the engineering talent coming out of Carnegie Mellon, top tier health care professionals coming out of the University of Pittsburgh, a unique/diverse food and bar scene and a bevvy of other cultural sites to explore… it’s easy to see how Pittsburgh’s growing its popularity. I’ll be honest… it really is a fun time to be a part of this storied city.

Speaking of storied cities… let’s head down below the Mason-Dixon line and talk about another booming area in the U.S., Charleston, SC. ranked Charleston #27 on its 2018 “Top 100 Best Places to Live” in the U.S. Besides the fact that this historic port city has become a hot spot for tourists with its beaches, redevelopment of the waterfront and an entertainment scene that can keep you bust days… the housing market is heating up. ranked Charleston #7 on their “Top 10 Housing Markets” to watch list. The median list price for a home in Charleston is $364K and with a very strong job market, buyers are flocking to the area. It’s no wonder why Princeton Mortgage decided to open our newest location down there!

Like Pittsburgh, Charleston is a great place for our (Millennial) generation to consider as we take over the home buying market. Even though we are facing some obstacles (job stability, decreased housing inventory and of course… STUDENT LOAN DEBT) considering Pittsburgh and Charleston for planting your roots isn’t the worst idea. Oh… and if you’re interested in a career in the mortgage industry… we’re hiring in both locations (I had to fit in a shameless plug)! Click here for more information about our career opportunities


Talk to you soon!


The opinions expressed in this post are the sole view of the writer and do not reflect the opinion of Princeton Mortgage Corporation.

Photo by Jen Palmer on Unsplash

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