Purchasing City-owned properties

4 Replies

I've been searching around for my first deal in the area and happened across a city owned property. I found it while I was researching an off market property that is right next door to it. It's in a neighborhood that is up and coming and there are already renovated properties as well as new construction within a few blocks. I'm considering purchasing the off market property as well as the city owned property next door. 

Does anyone have experience purchasing city-owned properties? How long is the process? How do they determine pricing? I've already looked over the application and it seems they favor buyers who have lived in Pittsburgh, which is good because I lived in the city for the past 3 years until just a few months ago. I would fully expect this property to be a gut rehab but this could be doable within budget if the city price is low enough.

Sounds like a good find! Good luck!

@Ryan Kunzmann one of my partners is pretty schooled on the process. it can be easier said then done but possible. If the property is behind on taxes you will have to initiate a tax sale and that process can take time and cost money to get started. If you own the property next door I think you may have a better shot at purchasing through the city then if you didnt own the property.

Hi Ryan,

I was interested in looking over some city owned properties in Pittsburgh, so your questions about process and pricing are all things I would love to know more about. I know you said you came across the property by chance, and proximity. Have you continued with the process over the last few months? If you have any information (website etc.) that you could share it would be appreciated.

Here is the website that lists city owned properties:


I've been through it a few times.  A lot of vacant land.  A lot that say "buildings" but when reviewed are just vacant land or the building has been demolished.  I think what Alex is alluding to is that it is so overwhelmingly common for these to be small lots of vacant land that it's only practical to pursue them if you already own an adjacent property and can parcel them together.  If you have found a building and have seen it in the flesh and know the neighborhood, you are probably on the cusp of a pretty good deal.  

Are we talking about the Manchester/North Side area Ryan?

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