Any advice in Pittsburgh?

25 Replies

I think I have narrowed it down to Pittsburgh.   it's so hard to find anything in Cali.  

Any advice in Pittsburgh? 

Are there any agents out in Pittsburgh that anyone can recommend?

Anything to watch for in Pittsburgh when looking for a rental?  Since the weather is so much different from California. 

@Lex Phumirat Pittsburgh is a great market and still very affordable and a good place to start. Make sure you build your team and get to know the specific area you want to invest. We buy and sell 2-4 homes a month here in this market and you can get burned if you are not spot on with your market values, the upside and downside of the neighborhoods you are choosing to buy in. Best to interview a few agents who specialize in Investing here and ones who currently have a successful portfolio. You dont want advice from an agent who has little experiences and who owns a portfolio that is not something to be proud of. Build your team of experts, pay them well, take their advice and then let the chips fall where they may.

@Lex Phumirat Hi Lex, Thanks for the private message. I look forward to hearing from you and talking more about the Pittsburgh market. Pittsburgh is a great market to invest in as the buy-in is a lot more conducive than other more saturated markets. Pittsburgh has changed for the better with the influx of technology based businesses hiring more people who are in turn  looking for places to rent. This combined with a very proactive Mayor who seeks initiatives that encourage economic growth have really become attractive to those investing in Pittsburgh. 

As far as where to start when you are here, that's dependent on what kind of investment property you are looking for, what your budget is, and what your goals are.

My advice to anyone investing is to first determine what kind of REI property you are looking for, talk to the locals, get on automated searches, tour or have a real estate expert tour for you interesting properties, get your financing in order (Always consider getting a pre-approval) and get ready to "Pounce" once you see a property you want as it's still a Seller's market and many are vying for the same property as you. Timing is everything.....Gary

@Lex Phumirat Pittsburgh is also on my radar. I have been doing some research and a lot of experts recommend Pittsburgh. I currently live in Toronto, Canada and the market here is out of control...no way I can buy and hold here.

Have you made any progress as to where to look? What area? 

@Alon Rokach i’ve Been doing a lot of research about Pittsburgh everything seems to be good so far.  I’m flying out there on the 12th of this month to get a feel of the city.

Gary has been helping also.  I’ll be investing there for sure.  It will be my first investment so it’s a bit scary as my first investment will be out of state.

I read all the books I can read, so I guess it’s time to put it to the test hahah wish me luck.

@lex I have just started to look into Pittsburgh and like you said, it looks good. The properties are very cheap and tax is really low. 

This will also be my first purchase and like you, am a little scared, but not to worry... You did your research, you'll be good. 

Please let me know what you find out there...I'd be really interested in hearing. 

Good luck!

@Alon Rokach Hi Alon, unfortunately by answering that question, it may be deemed as self promotional and that is against the rules of BiggerPockets when posting in the public forums. Feel free to reach out to me via PM...Thanks, Gary

Welcome to the Pittsburgh market! You will meet some of the best people in this market. I agree with Alex, build a good team here. And make sure you network! Join investors groups on facebook. Thanks so much!

Quick update. 

Put in a couple of offers out in Pittsburgh.  Lost one offer for a Duplex, wished I had offered a little higher than asking price. Lesson learned on that one. The numbers looked really good even if I offered a little bit above asking. I shouldn't have tried to get a discount lol. 

However, I was hard to find a good multifamily in a good area while having a good cash flow that's worth it for me from out of state. Was a bit scared since being my first investment purchase? 

I did however got an accepted offer recently for a Single-Family Home and should be closing by the end of Nov if all goes well.  

This Single Family Home will give me a decent cash flow. not an amazing cash flow, but good enough for me to get my feet wet and learn the process and the city. 

The Single Family Home was a lot cheaper than the Duplex which helped ease my worries a bit. 

@Gary Swank was the Agent that helped me the whole way. . He walked me through everything and advised me on which areas are bad and which are really good.  What a great Agent!!  Hoping this will be one of many. 

@Lex Phumirat How did your 1st investment turn out, were you able to get it rented out right away? I am in southern Ca looking to purchase a buy and hold rental In Pittsburgh myself and any info you could share would be greatly appreciated.

Biggest two things would be understanding Pittsburgh has a lot of older housing stock so it's important to be familiar what these older houses can mean from a maintenance standpoint.  That and having boots on the ground to advise on the areas that meet your criteria.

How is the single family rental market in areas like Verona and Penn Hills? Are these areas in uptrend or downtrend? Read news of snow storm causing landslides... is that common?

I am an investor and real estate agent in Philly and have some family in Pittsburgh that have been encouraging me to invest there. I wanted to take a look at a couple properties and found that my Bright MLS was not working in Pittsburgh are you guys using another MLS service? Is it West Penn MLS, what are the costs associated with it?

@Alon Rokach Just wanted to each out to you and see if you decided to make the move to invest in Pittsburgh. Would love to connect with you and answer any questions you may have. I love this city and invest in it as well. So feel free to reach out an thank you!!!

@Lex Phumirat I was exactly in your shoes a few months ago. I made my first visit mid September, bought a house before I came back home. Made my second trip out there and can’t wait for my third.

I’m a complete real estate noob so it might have been a little tougher for me but Pittsburgh is nothing like California. First thing I would get used to is everything here is OLD. The house I bought was “built” in the 1900s.

Second, you should really figure out what you want to do. At first, I searched for houses based on school districts and thought I’d invest in Upper Saint Clair and Fox Chapel.

Then I learned about Shady Side and Squirrel Hill. Those areas are much more different than that first two areas I thought I wanted to invest in. Now my strategy has completely changed.

The last most important thing. It’s seems like you have the ability to take action. Through that, I found that the conversations that you have with people are more impactful. I was able to meet my agent who I think is okay. She works on the flips so just by being associated with her (by being the buyer) I got to see a little bit inside her partnership and know there’s at least a competent rehabbed in the area. We are considering making an investment though them. Lots of people are a lot of talk and waste a lot of time. If I was not serious about pgh, I wouldn’t have made a friend I’ve meet through bigger pockets. So go out there and conquer. Hope to see you in pgh soon.