Pennsylvania

52 Replies

First time investor here looking to invest in affordable duplex's in Pennsylvania. Does anyone know of any good cities to start out in that's somewhat close to New York City ? I live on Long Island and are looking to get my feet wet this spring. Thanks

As a former New Yorker who was a realtor in both NY and PA (Orange Co, NY and NEPA) I learned a lot about North Eastern PA which includes the Pocono Mtns and Scranton-Wilkes Barre area. The Pocono area including Stroudsburg is made up heavily of former and present New Yorkers. The Poconos are are full of private communities some being gated. This is along the I-80 corridor and up around Milford. Along the I-78 corridor is Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. The best location for market size and rental prospects would be Between Allentown and the north side of I- 276 due to proximity to both Allentown and Philadelphia. For lower purchase price Scranton and Wilkes Barre have the edge. The best resale value in that area would probably be Clarks Summit. The colleges in NEPA are: Stroudsburg U, Kings Coll and Wilkes in Wilkes Barre, Keystone in Dalton (near Clarks Summit) and in Scranton there is Univ of Scranton, Marywood and a branch of Penn State.

In regard to the Poconos there is an abundance of single family opportunities in the private communities but also HOA dues and extra due dilligence to understand each community.

That is a tour of a small piece of PA. I hope it helps.

@Paul, excellent run down on the area. The Pocono's, Monroe, Pike, Wayne and Carbon Counties have long been attractive to NY & NJ residents. Price, taxes, location and life style continue to be the big attractions.

Hey Anthony, Lots of opportunity for low entry multis in PA. I myself invest in the Scranton/ Wilkes Barre area in C type nieghborhoods. Good opportunities in NJ as well. Do you have local REAs in your area? I would exhaust those first to really know what opportunies exist locally as well if so.

Rafael

I too am interested in class C neighborhoods of Scranton due to the low entry point for buy and hold rentals. What kind of cash on cash returns have you been seeing? Also do you have any streets or neighborhoods that should be avoided due to  crime?

My dad has owned approx 29 acres of land in the Poconos for close to 30 years. I don't know exactly where, but I do know that there are wetlands running through it. We have capital to build, but don't know whether to SFH's, small duplex's (for the college crowd) or small strip malls. Or should we selll? Any suggestions?

@Anthony Favoroso  

I invest in the Harrisburg, Central PA market.  #1 employer is the state government with the capital here, and the #2 employer is the Federal government with 3 military bases.  Unemployment is typically the lowest in the state, and there are many good paying jobs.

Some stuff that we have bought:

$34,000 rent $1,250

$32,000 rent $950

$36,000 rent $895

Originally posted by @David Krulac :

@Anthony Favoroso  

I invest in the Harrisburg, Central PA market.  #1 employer is the state government with the capital here, and the #2 employer is the Federal government with 3 military bases.  Unemployment is typically the lowest in the state, and there are many good paying jobs.

Some stuff that we have bought:

$34,000 rent $1,250

$32,000 rent $950

$36,000 rent $895

But these are not your typical MLS deals, though. Right? What's your average fixup costs after purchase?

@Ezra Nugroho  

all 3 were clean and paint.

2 had new gas furnaces from last owner,

1 had central air.

all 3 had off street parking. 

no walls were torn down,

no new kitchens or baths installed,

2 had no new floor coverings installed 

all 3 had recent new electrical service. 

all 3 had good roofs

all 3 were suburban

all 3 came from the MLS, anybody could have bought, I did!

My property is on Green Rd. between Apache Trail and Sterling Rd. Should I sell it or build luxury homes then sell?  (Just not sure if it's the best spot to build nice, new homes)

I work near Allentown and there is some good development going on there. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms just opened up a new rink with lots of commercial and residential space in the immediate area. Allentown is still low income and developing slowly but nearby Bethlehem is doing well in recovery from the downturn. With good access to NYC and to Philly I see this area doing very well in the next few years. If you are interested in partnering up for a deal up there let me know! Good luck.

@Anthony Favoroso since you are a beginner investor I would suggest to stay as close to where you live as possible. 

Especially if you are looking to do rentals.  These properties will require more of your time and probably more hands on then the general flips.

Also, the further you are away from your property the more control you will lose of it.  Things like property management, fixing, renting etc.....

As a beginning investor I would suggest learning these things.  Ultimately you will not need to do them, but you should at least know how to handle them.

If for no other reason, so that the people you hire to do those things for you don't take advantage of you.

@Peter Vekselman  Investing close to where you live is just not possible in NYC. At least not for a sub50k investor. York, Scranton, even Philly are 2 plus hours away. I sure won't be popping up to fix a leak so property management will have to be in the budget. Even a flight to York PA will take 2 hours then an hour drive. Property taxes though in York are frightening! How are investors seeing any gains. $2500 a year on a 5 bedroom. Yikes!