Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition | Affordable-ish Housing | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition

click to enlarge Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition
Photo: Courtesy of Zillow
300 Bodkin St.

Every week, two completely opposed trains of thought pull screeching into the same unfinished T station in my brain, from opposite directions.

First: “I have had a way better life than I probably deserved because I liked the vibe of Pittsburgh.” It’s not the most fascinating city in America (New Orleans, maybe), and it’s not the cheapest place to live (probably Youngstown or Saginaw or something) — but it might be the cheapest interesting place to live in America. That’s something.

Second: “Is it over now? Is my brain stuck on 10-20 years ago? Did I imagine the whole thing — like the time as a kid when I dreamed up a whole alternate-reality Stillers dynasty (led by Neil O’Donnell!) in my head?”

Currently, the latter train of thought seems to have the edge. But then I find a nice piece of the underrated South Hills with some good homes for sale, and I come around again.

For sale: 300 Bodkin St., Brookline, $184,900.
Give me a house with a porch (hold the house, please). Seriously, who needs to live indoors? (Yes, I have heard of winter.) Savor the night breezes, sip coffee, wave to your neighbors, be a little nebby, get to know the local squirrels, birds, and stray cats by name. Listen to the Buccos while reading the newspaper like it’s 1964 and Willie Stargell is warming up in the on-deck circle. Or be the person who plays chess on his porch all the time. Or balance out that crucial sitting-on-the-couch-looking-at-your-phone time with, uh, doing the same thing on the porch. This tidy, 1900-vintage Brookline abode has a metal roof, and a first-floor office, which probably seemed like necessary additions at one point.

click to enlarge Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition
Photo: Courtesy of Zillow
1201 Creedmor Ave.
For rent: 1201 Creedmor Ave., Unit #1, Brookline, $1,395/month
There was a time when all the cool kids wanted to move to Brooklyn, and it was funny to imagine if some got lost and ended up in sleepy Brookline instead. And then — plot twist — they loved it, because it was charming and way cheaper to live in. It still is. Brookline has one of Pittsburgh’s most complete and underrated walkable main business districts, with a nice selection of unique grocers (Pitaland, Las Palmas), good restaurants (Oak Hill Post, Kickstand Sandwich Shop), bakeries, ice cream shops, and bars. This cream-colored brick home appears well-maintained, with the usual updates and nice porches in the front and back. In the living room, someone took off with the “Live, laugh” and left the “Love” on the wall, which definitely should not be read as an omen of anything.
click to enlarge Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition
Photo: Courtesy of Zillow
1537 Reamer St.
For sale: 1537 Reamer St., Brookline, $210,000
When you come home after a long day and there’s a small child (or a pet) that’s obviously happy to see you, that’s one of the best feelings in the world. Well, this house kind of looks like it’s happy to see you. Yes, when you look at too many houses, sometimes they look back. Yes, it’s totally the windows that protrude above the roofline, like eyebrows raised in excited surprise. Three-bedroom homes for $200K in decent neighborhoods aren’t exactly abundant these days, so a little surprise is warranted.
click to enlarge Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition
Photo: Courtesy of Zillow
631 Southcrest Dr.
For rent: 631 Southcrest Dr., Brookline, $920-$970/month
When it comes to sub-$1,000 rents, you can’t be too picky. But this checks a lot of boxes in well-connected Brookline: it’s close to bus lines, a library, Moore Park, food and drink, and super-convenient to job centers in the south, west and Downtown Pittsburgh (not East End or Oakland, though).
click to enlarge Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition
Photo: Courtesy of Zillow
423 Pin Oak Pl.
For sale: 2423 Pin Oak Pl., Banksville, $219,900
Ranch homes are like ranch dressing, the ultimate comfort food of American housing. The one-story ranch home with a two-car garage, symbol of the first age of sprawl in the 1950s, isn’t as easy to find in the city, but there are enough. The light brick and low profile actually blend well into the rolling topography of this neighborhood, but the lack of sidewalks unfortunately comes with the territory for this era of housing development. The carpet and drapes clearly haven’t been updated in a long time, which might affect the price a little.
click to enlarge Affordable-ish Housing in Pittsburgh: Brookline not Brooklyn edition
Photo: Courtesy of Zillow
Beaufort Court, 1-17 Beaufort Ct.
For rent: Beaufort Court, 1-17 Beaufort Ct., Brookline, $1,300/month
A very odd-shaped duplex with stacked residences, but it includes a fair amount of room on the second floor, and a garage. Faux-wood flooring isn’t exactly beautiful, but it’s better than the kinds of carpeting you usually find in these places. Small dogs are allowed, but big dogs are not, which is an important distinction, but begs the question: whose job is it to measure the dogs?

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