Insiders' Tips on Top Housing Markets

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Pittsburgh home divided into apartmentsThe top two housing markets in the nation right now are.... drumroll, please... Pittsburgh, PA and Louisville, KY. So says MSNBC.

Both cities have what a bunch of others do not: middle class affordability, low numbers of foreclosures, and stable pricing that indicates the market is neither too hot, nor too cold, but a Goldilocks-approved just right for buying or renting.

Renting in these markets? You're in luck. We sought out the coolest places in both cities and the sites to give you the inside scoop.



Pittsburgh

Searching for a hot neighborhood in the Steel City? Popular Pittsburgh blogger Lindsay Patross of IHeartPGH.com offers three recommendations: downtown adjacent East Liberty (recently profiled in The New York Times), South Side, and Mount Washington.

She recommends a few hangouts, too. The Shadow Lounge in East Liberty offers live music, poetry readings, and African dance, among other events. OTB Cafe (OTB Bicycle Cafe), located in the South Side mixes bikes, beer, and "bloody good food." Redbeards Bar and Grill in Mount Washington, offers an outdoor patio and fans devoted to their chicken wings.

Read up on the city before you move to Pittsburgh, or, to suss out where you'd like to live next. Patross recommends checking out local bloggers Joe and Betsy.com. She also recommends FoodBurgh and Franktuary for notes on the food scene and Should I Drink That for craft beer recommendations around the city.

(Check out more of Pittsburgh's hot spots here.)

Louisville

Zanzabar LouisvilleMoving to Louisville or thinking about it? Michelle Jones is your go-to girl. Jones blogs about everything cool in the River City at ConsumingLouisville.com. She recommends the hot neighborhoods of Germantown, Schnitzelburg, and East Market.

Up-and-coming Germantown - once called Frogtown due to the number of hoppity critters on Beargrass Creek - is just three miles from downtown Louisville. The Swan Dive is Germantown's choice restaurant, bar, and preferred music venue.

Schnitzelburg is equally close to downtown and known, among other things, for its street ball game called "Dainty". Jones recommends Zanzabar, at left, as the place to see and be seen. It's retro-location has been recently reopened after its establishment 80 years ago.

Another hot Louisville neighborhood location is 732 Social, in East Market. Billed as "Fresh. Local. Social.", the restaurant features farm-to-table cuisine. Find it at the base of the Green Building.

Michelle advises checking out the following local blogs to really get a flavor of what's happening in Louisville: Broken Sidewalk, for urbanism and development news, Backseats and Bar for the music scene, and The 'Ville Voice for overall news.

With two great cities, how will you choose between them?
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