Philadelphia PRA Listings

3 Replies


I just wanted to know if any Philadelphia investors have dealt with the City to purchase properties?

I am currently trying to purchase 1 to 3 properties listed as PRA properties. Even going through the beginning stages of this process I'm not sure of what some of the statuses mean.

(Owner - Available) being the main one.

Does that mean the City or the listed individual on the property Owns it?


Owner: Joe Smith

Asset Use: Vacant Building

If it is the Individual can I circumvent the city if I am able to locate the Owner?

Any input is much appreciated.

@Kenny Stewart  

Buying from the city has become increasingly difficult. You may have followed the discussion and developments over the past few years regarding the land bank and the development of rental properties in gentrifying neighborhoods.  Basically, because Philadelphia is, well, Philadelphia, there is a lot going on with power struggles in council, etc... Anyway, because of all that, there are freezes on city-owned properties that are seemingly offered for sale.  The best thing to do is figure out what district the property is in and go to that district's councilperson's office and ask for help.  

I actually am in the process of buying one now and there is certainly a special language to it all.
Circumventing the owner really does not seem to be an option once it is on the city's list. I'm in the early stages of getting a PRA owned house and it seems that they do spell it out pretty well.
They sent me a price sheet where I agree to paying their price or not. If so, the process of owning it seems .... Seems... Painless. But the jury is still out.

@Kenny Stewart  @Hilary Karaman I agree with Hilary, buying land from the city as a developer is an interesting business. We have been speaking with the councilman's office for over a year and are just getting their attention. They are interested in building affordable housing for our area specifically. Different councilmen's districts may be interested in different purposes for city owned land from doctors offices to soup kitchens depending on what the community needs. 

Occasionally the city does give land to homeowners/neighbors to be used as a "Garden lot" as well. However I have seen many homeowners get them as gardens and turn them over for sale in a few years. It is ambiguous how long they need to be held for.

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