Empty lots - rookie questions...

2 Replies

Hi everybody,

I'm a newer investor in Pittsburgh and I've been getting a lot of calls about empty lots and condemned houses in low-priced parts of Pittsburgh (Low price being $12-40k ARV for single family 3/1 or 3/2).


For example: 1018 Lakewood Ave Elliott Pittsburgh PA 15220 - a burned out lot, seller owes 5400 in back taxes (as is common when they call me).

I'm guessing these are best left to the city? Let them tear down the condemned houses, and sell off the lots at tax auction? 

Is that how it works? 

Also, how do you find out what a vacant lot sells for in your area? (or doesn't sell for) I'm guessing it's the same as searching comps on zillow and redfin (recently sold)? Asking realtor? 

Thanks... hope that made sense.

@Matt Hegedus

I'm no expert, but unless you or somebody you know wants to get into the meth lab/flop house business, steer clear of these places.  Even if you got them for free, you would incur the cost of razing the existing structure and then erecting a new structure, all in the hopes of a total sales price of what, $50k?  You'll have more than twice that into it.

Originally posted by @Jon Behlke :

@Matt Hegedus

I'm no expert, but unless you or somebody you know wants to get into the meth lab/flop house business, steer clear of these places.  Even if you got them for free, you would incur the cost of razing the existing structure and then erecting a new structure, all in the hopes of a total sales price of what, $50k?  You'll have more than twice that into it.

 Haha, so meth labs would be more profitable :-)... 

I did some digging on the forums and found two options for this guy (in this particular neighborhood):

1. Try to sell it to the neighbors or

2. Donate it to the city, which will happen anyway regardless.

Thanks Jon!

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