Looking to invest in Pittsburgh? Any advice?

11 Replies

Hey @Karen Lunger

Just keep in mind you should protect yourself with a builder’s risk insurance policy. To use some hard money lenders a lot of times and to really ensure the private lenders position and strengthen your proposal, you should get some construction insurance. If you need any help with that aspect of it please just let me know.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Millvale as a secondary up and coming neighborhood. You can still get a deal on a house vs. anything in Lawrenceville. Does anyone have any opinions on this? 

Hi Debra!

I think you are right about Millvale being an up and coming area. The only issue there to be aware of is flooding and the requirement for flood insurance which could eat into your cash flow.

Hi Max,

Thank you for the reply. I’m glad you agree. I understand the dangers of speculating, but microbreweries, French bakeries, and axe throwing facilities make me think that it might be a little more than speculation. Yes! I’ve been thinking about the flooding. I grew up in Millvale and fortunately, on a hill, so we didn’t have to worry about flooding, but I have family members who lost a lot due to flooding. My mom’s childhood home went over the hill, so there’s that! 

My dad grew up in Lawrenceville and a few family members have property there—lucky them. 

There are a lot of solid areas to invest in Pittsburgh. Since we live in the North Hills, we like Etna, Shaler, Millvale, West View, Ross, Sharpsburg, Blawnox and lesser (cheaper parts) of O'Hara (mostly bordering Sharpsburg or Blawnox). We have also considered West Deer, Reserve, Indiana Township, and Springdale. Its just a matter of what you can get when you're ready to buy. The best value properties move quickly. If a property has been on the market for some time, there's a reason why other investors passed it up. I've seen properties listed in Penn Hills with 'can rent at' marked too high for what you can actually get. Perhaps with section 8 you can get more rent but you'll have more work also. Always do your own ROI calculations and property tax calculations (county, school, local). Some properties don't make sense for pure investment but are good to offset mortgage cost when you live in one unit and rent the other(s). Sometimes the property values get so high in the desired areas that the rents one can charge won't cover the mortgage and other costs (ie flood insurance). We do have one property in a flood zone but the numbers still worked. Tight at first but as we raised rents, fixed up units the numbers got even better. You can do an address search on a FEMA website to check for flood zones.