Reading PA Multi-Family Concerns

4 Replies

I am a Realtor and investor right outside of Philadelphia in Montgomery County Pennsylvania (Blue Bell/Ambler). I have been looking for a market where Multi-family properties produce good results (say maybe 1.5 %) where at least 1 unit will pay the principal/interest and tax. I have been running numbers on the Reading, PA area and they come out great. I have a few friends who have been able to direct me to the safer neighborhoods and also like that there are numerous property management companies located within walking distance. Been researching Pros/Cons of owning investment properties in Reading. I see they have an extremely high transfer tax and the actual municipality can be tough on investors. I plan on keeping my properties up to date and in good condition so that does not concern me as much.  I am definately hiring property management and already scheduled an interview. My main goal is cash flow and debt pay down. Planing on buying a $100,000 property with a 15 year mortgage. 

Does anyone have any experience in the Reading, PA market. Anything I should be looking out for? What were the worst things that you dealt with? I always like to find out the worst people have dealt with and make my decisions based on this.

Thanks so much in advance.

Matt Daley

@Matt Daley When interviewing Property Managers make sure you ask about all fees. Most will charge a percentage of the monthly rents and a leasing fee to find you tenants; but many have a great many fees that often add up to 20% in hidden costs. Vacancy fees and a mark up on renovations and repairs are common and can really add up. Good luck! 

Hey @Matt Daley ,

I'm an investor in the Reading/Berks area. I can say that I would not consider Reading to be investor friendly.  Based on surrounding municipalities, I think the taxes and fees are higher and they property maintenance department is very strict.  While strict is good, I feel like they look for ways to charge you for everthing they can.  So my advice is to make sure you factor those costs in and make sure you allocate at least 10-15% of your cashflow each month for maintenance and keep up with it.

There is a local meetup the first Wednesday of each month that has about 100 regular attendees.  I would highly recommend coming to that.  There are plenty of landlords there including myself that are willing to share stories.

Originally posted by @Cesar Tamayo :

Hey @Matt Daley ,

I'm an investor in the Reading/Berks area. I can say that I would not consider Reading to be investor friendly.  Based on surrounding municipalities, I think the taxes and fees are higher and they property maintenance department is very strict.  While strict is good, I feel like they look for ways to charge you for everthing they can.  So my advice is to make sure you factor those costs in and make sure you allocate at least 10-15% of your cashflow each month for maintenance and keep up with it.

There is a local meetup the first Wednesday of each month that has about 100 regular attendees.  I would highly recommend coming to that.  There are plenty of landlords there including myself that are willing to share stories.

I see a MF building on MLS wich is described as Iconic Landmark in Reading PA . Do you think there are additional maintenance and permits cost associated with this type of property ?

@Lana Lee  I don't know for certain but I would assume so.  Reading has a historic district and given how strict they are with non-historic district properties, I would feel pretty confident that they have some sort of special costs with these properties.  

What I would suggest is calling the Property Maintenance department and ask about a particular property or area and see what they say.  They have been helpful with those types of questions in my experience.