Looking to invest in Wilkes Barre Pa

1 Reply

So I’m going to look at a property in Wilkes Barre this evening. It sounds very promising. It has some remodeling work done to it already. The sellers agent said it could use about $10,000 worth of work yet and that the seller is looking for a quick cash sale. I was thinking of offering $45,000 and it’s a 3 unit building. 1/1 2/1 and a 3/1 units. It sounds like a great deal to me but I’m worried about the city and all of their regulations. Is there anything I should look into before going into contract? I read on the city website that I will need a rental inspection before I can rent the place out and I’m assuming I should make sure the owner has a new certificate of occupancy on the residence and had permits pulled for all work done. Any advice for investing in this area would be great. Also the property is on main st two blocks down from Kings college and it is not in the flood zone.

Thank you

@Dan Royer

It's been a while since I checked the Wilkes-Barre ordinances. But the last time I checked, you need to hire a property manager if you do not reside within the 20-mile radius of the City. For rental inspection, I think you need to do one every time you have a new tenant and at least once a year. This is a totally separate requirement from the occupancy permit. It's a hassle. 

Based on your description, I think I know what location you are talking about. It's an area where some students may live there but historically it's not considered a good area. So your target audience is either lower-income tenants or students. Both have their challenges. 

Like other cities, the desirability of the location can vary drastically within Wilkes-Barre. In some areas, you'll see wealthy people live there. If you walk down a block or two, you might be in a crime-ridden neighborhood. 

There are 100 other things you may want to consider before you buy a property but they don't have anything specific to do with Wilkes-Barre (e.g. asking for tenant-estoppel certificates). 

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it as legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.

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