New member from King of Prussia, PA

22 Replies

Hello to all.  My name is Greg and I will share my story quickly.

I started investing in real estate in summer of 2009 just out of college.  I knew nothing so I purchased a turnkey single family rental property in Norristown, PA and made some money for a couple years collecting rent on that place.  When I got married in 2011 my wife and I purchased a duplex and we lived in one unit and rented the other.  At the beginning of this year I decided to get serious about real estate and told myself I would aggressively grow my portfolio this year.  Here we are at the end of the year and I have acquired 4 additional properties with a total of 5 units.  3 of the properties where purchased very cheap, required a lot of renovations and now are rented out.  My goal is 4 additional properties per year.

I look forward to learning from the Bigger Pockets community and hopefully I can share a little knowledge as well.

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Welcome @Greg Ortlieb , be sure to browse through the Learn section above it is loaded with lots of great info.  Be sure to set some key word alerts for areas or topics of interest, like" Prussia"  or "turnkey"

Greetings from the far Northwest side of the Windy City (McHenry, IL) ! I am also a new member on BP, however I have been a long time fan.

Good Luck with your Real Estate adventure, if you ever need help with anything here in the McHenry, IL area, just let me know - Happy Holidays and Have a Great 2015 !

Hi Greg,

Thanks for sharing your story.  Do you mind sharing where you are buying your properties and what types?  I am curious into investing in the Northwest Phily area.


Hey Shawn,

My most recent properties are in Pottstown and then I have others in Norristown as well. Most the properties are single family homes but the current project is a duplex.  I don't know too much about the Northeast Philly area real estate so I don't have any specific knowledge to share on that but let me know if I can help with any general questions.



@Greg Ortlieb - how has your experience been investing in Pottstown and Norristown? Are you doing stuff in town or the more suburban parts (also any Section 8). 

I live in KOP and have been a little leery of investing in those areas, would be good to hear some advice. I currently have rentals in South Central PA (where I'm originally from). 


Im from Pottstown, and have a duplex on the edge of the town.  The only good part of Pottstown is that the housing prices have plummeted and foreclosures are plentiful.  But the high property taxes, and slight decrease in rental prices over the past few years have really had me focus on other areas.

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Welcome @Greg Ortlieb ! It's awesome that you have set a goal and have your sights set on growth. I realize its been while since the original post but what has been involved with the renovations you've done?

Also I like all the conversations rentals in other PA towns. There are a lot of areas in PA to learn about investment opportunities. 

@Zachary Paul - Thanks for checking in.  My places in Norristown and Pottstown are right in town.  I know what you mean about being leery about the neighborhoods.  What drew me to Pottstown was the extremely low prices.  I mean some of these houses are cheaper than buying a car. All the houses I have bought in Pottstown have needed alot of work (kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, roofs, heaters, plumbing, electric and so on).  I am not a contractor by any means but the first property I bought in Pottstown me and my dad did all the work ourselves (he isn't a contractor either).  On the next 3 projects I stepped back  and hired people to do the work.  Since most of the work is done upfront and most of the things in the house are new when I am done with them, I don't have too many maintenance issues with the tenants.  Other than the the normal complaints of a needy tenant I don't have too many issues.  I haven't used Section 8 yet but not for any reason, I have just been able to find regular tenants.

The project I am working on right now is a duplex in Pottstown.  I have had alot of headaches from the beginning dealing with the borough on permits, licensing and inspections.  The project is about 90% done and I have a tenant lined up but I can't get her in there because of the permit/licensing issue.  All in all nothing major though.  I'll get it cleared up soon.

The two places I have in Norristown were more turnkey properties.  They were purchased before I really got into the buy, rehab and rent strategy but those properties are also performing well.

My advice would be that it depends on your strategy and what you think you can handle.  If you want a place that requires minimal work and can be rented pretty quick they are certainly available in decent neighborhoods of both towns.  And on the other hand there are properties for half (or sometimes more) the cost of a turnkey property that can yield big returns.  For those ones you just have to be willing to manage a construction project for a couple months or have the money to hire someone.

Hope this helps.  Let me know if I can provide any more info.

@Percy N. , I know there is some discussion as to whether to use the Purchase price or Market Value when calculating cap rate.  Since the properties were purchased so cheap if you use the purchase price for calculation you get a cap rate around 60%,  if you use the market value you are around 17%.  Hope this helps. 

Hey @Percy N. ,

Since the properties are purchased so cheap and alot of work put into them I have seen great equity appreciation.  This equity was then used to purchase additional properties.  Moving forward now that the renovations are complete I don't expect any drastic appreciation but I am mostly interested in maximizing the cash flow.

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