How would one rate these programs against each other? I was curious if it is better to apply to cmu only after hearing from princeton (typically at the end of february) instead of applying to both.
I can't until I see your complete application.
Don't expect anyone to give you a meaningful answer with 3 lines of stats. For all I know, you can be an ideal candidate or an immediate reject after a quick 30 seconds glance.
You could do the CMU program in New York (they have a floor at 55 Broad Street in downtown Manhattan, as do Cornell and NYU-Polytechnic) where they have a video relay from Pittsburgh, so you don't necessarily need to move to Pittsburgh for the duration of the program. The classes are in the evening, so you could work in NYC during the day.
For Princeton, it's a full-time/daytime program, so you basically need to move there.
Also, in terms of number of students, the Princeton program is quite small, while the CMU program is rather large.