What $45k a Year Can Get You in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is one of the coolest, most affordable cities in America. For $45k a year, you can score a sweet set up and enjoy all this happening steel town has to offer, if you know what to look for.

Most experts agree that you should spend about 30% of your income on rent. That means if you make $45,000 per year, you should be looking for places priced at $1125 per month or less. In a city like Pittsburgh that has a low cost of living, you should be able to find some amazing options within that budget.

A Small Apartment in a Happening Neighborhood

Yuppies love the hip restaurants and nightlife of Lawrenceville. cc If you want a one-bedroom apartment in this hot neighborhood, you'll have to settle for an older building with less flashy appliances and finishings. Also consider turning your search eastward towards the more residential Upper Lawrenceville, which is still walking distance from the attractions of Butler Street.

Living in Lawrenceville is to live in the thick of yuppie culture. Enjoy a margarita on the back patio of Round Corner Cantina, or dance the night away at Belvedere's. During the daytime, you can take a stroll through the Allegheny Cemetery, and stop by La Gourmandine Bakery for the best pain au chocolat in town.

Snag a Two Bedroom in the East End

If you are hoping for a little bit of extra space, you can swing a two-bedroom apartment in Highland Park for anything between $850 to $1,200 a month. Use the second bedroom as a baby nursery, or transform it into a home office or art studio. This charming residential neighborhood is just south of the sprawling Highland Park and the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium.

Live Close to the Nightlife

If sports bars and fried food are more your speed, you might enjoy living in the Southside. And with two bedroom apartments ranging from $850 and $1,200 a month, you can afford to spread out a little bit. If you don't need the extra space or are looking to save some money, a one-bedroom apartment is only $750 a month. Walk down Carson Street and load up on shepherd's pie from Piper's Pub, or settle back with a pint of beer and a big order of wings at Fat Head's Saloon.

An Industrial District Gone Modern


Formerly a wholesale and warehouse district, new developments have transformed the Strip District into one of the coolest new neighborhoods to live in. The old school vendors still hawk bargain produce on street corners and bulk spices at the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., but the Strip District is also a wealth of cool restaurants and culture. Check out the latest exhibition at the Society for Contemporary Craft, and grab a gourmet sandwich from Thin Man Sandwich Shop across the street. After dark, sample the eclectic dinner menu at Kaya or hit up the Cavo Nightclub for a night out on the town. As developers have only recently realized the potential of this neighborhood, housing options are limited. You can find a studio apartment priced between $900 and $1300 a month in one of the new high-rises, but the easy access to downtown and the killer river views will make the steep prices worth it.

That North Side Charm

Cross the Allegheny River and settle down in one of the charming townhouses in Pittsburgh's North Side. Rental prices vary widely based on condition; a well maintained one bedroom costs between $800 and $1000 a month, while the same price could also get you a more run down two bedroom apartment. Just across the bridge from Downtown Pittsburgh, the North Side is home to numerous cultural institutions, including the Children's Museum, the Mattress Factory art museum, the Aviary, and the New Hazlett Theater.

Spread Out in a Rental House

If you don't mind finding a roomie, a sweet house can easily be split two or three ways. A historic, three bedroom house in Squirrel Hill can be had for around $2000 a month. With two housemates, rent comes out to a little bit less than $700 per person. Or only take on one roommate for a rent of $1000, and a spare room to do whatever you'd like with. Squirrel Hill is conveniently located next to Carnegie Mellon University, with a slew of shops and restaurants running along Murray Ave. On the edge of both Schenley and Frick Parks, this charming residential neighborhood is a perfect place for families.

Affordable rental houses are aplenty in Bloomfield as well. Rental prices vary widely with two or three bedroom houses going for as cheaply as $950 a month, or for as much as $1600. This rapidly developing Pittsburgh neighborhood is known for its distinctive rowhouse architecture. Don't miss Little Italy Days every August!

Every Pittsburgh neighborhood has it's own personality. If you want to rent a small studio in the hottest neighborhood, check out the apartments in Lawrenceville. If you'd rather trade the cool factor for some extra space, consider renting a house in Highland Park or Bloomfield. No matter where you end up, this steel town is sure to win your heart.

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