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Monroeville among nation's most-affordable cities to buy home

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Monroeville was ranked nationally this month as one of the top 25 most-affordable places to buy a home.

A list of U.S. communities was compiled and published online by CNN Money, a subsidiary of CNN News. The list was based on the ratio of a community's median income to median home price. Monroeville ranked 22, with a median home price of $120,000 and a median family income at $72,122, according to the website.

The author notes a large business, medical and research district in the municipality of 28,000, which makes the area feel like a larger community.

And despite municipal services provided to residents — such as a library, senior center, dispatch center and refuse collection — Monroeville offers one of the lowest property-tax rates in the region, Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko said.

“I think it's very attainable for families to consider to move out here,” he said.

Monroeville real-estate agent Dick Reid said a home buyer can get a lot of house in Monroeville for a fair price. Reid said he recently sold a two bedroom home in Lower Burrell for $145,000, while he has a three bedroom home in Monroeville for $129,000.

Lower Burrell is a smaller community with fewer homes on the market, which decreases supply and increases cost, Reid said. But that's not to say Monroeville's housing market is unhealthy, just larger, he added.

“I don't think inventory in Monroeville is greater than other communities,” he said.

Only one community per county and no more than two per state were eligible to make the list. In addition, the list included only communities where more than 100 homes sold in 2012, according to the website.

The disclaimer calls in to question the accuracy of the list, said municipal data specialist Eric Montarti of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, a Castle Shannon-based think tank.

“You always have to just take it with a grain of salt,” Montarti said.

For instance, the website lists a 15-mile commute to downtown Pittsburgh, though it doesn't take in to account traffic on the Parkway East, Montarti said.

Sources for the publication included Onboard Informatics and information from county and municipal assessors' offices, according to the website.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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