I've lived in Pittsburgh my whole life and have always had an interest in the many different neighborhoods and the unique cultures of each area. Lately my partner and I have been thinking about buying a property or two in the Hazelwood nneighborhood of Pittsburgh. I know it is a distressed town after the collapse of the steel industry, but I also know that Uber and CMU both have recently developed a presence there and the former Almono steel plant site is ripe for development. We were thinking about buying a property, putting in some sweat equity initially, then rent the place out while the area gentrifies.
Has anyone invested in this area? Do you have any success and/or failure stories that a new investor should be aware of? Any relevant information would be extremely helpful.
What you are contemplating is certainly a popular sentiment in that area Rick. A new york based investor just bought a whole block of dilapidated row houses right next to the almono site. Here is a link to the story from the post gazette. Right now it is still speculative and early, but fortune favors the bold and if you can get in early all the better. I think you will eventually have a winner on your hands if you get in now, but it will take some time for that market to develop. Will it be 1, 2 or 5 years from now? That's the question.
@Rick Miller Potentially anywhere along the rivers in Pittsburgh can be a prime area to invest in. And a lot of buzz is circling around Hazlewood, specifically the 178 acres known as Hazlewood Green, being the next real estate development story as is also told in this article's link. This is still in the very early stages and the pick for Amazon HQ2 will not be announced until the end of this year. It may be Hazlewood, it may not be. But regardless, Hazlewood looks geared towards making a come back, but we just don't know what the definitive time frame is. As always it's a great idea to buy earlier just as a neighborhood is starting to make that come back. But you definitely have to do your homework. Good Luck...Gary
Hey @Gary Swank , glad to hear you're hopping into investing. I'm thinking at this point of the game, you're probably better off focusing on making money now and investing in deals that you know will make you profitable now versus speculating on something that far out...
@Rick Miller here is what scares me about all the tech sizzle and future development projections. If you look at the waterfront and then Homestead just up the hill, its been 20 years or so and nothing super significant has happened to that area. I think it may just be starting to jump a little but that took a long long time. Its speculative if you think Hazelwood is the next big thing. First of all its a very small area. Secondly you may have to wait 10-20 years before it explodes and in the mean time you have to deal with that demographic tenant until the area does turn around. All I am saying is that Pittsburgh is a funny place when it comes to RE and just be careful and weigh all of your options and have a plan B and C for exit strategies just in case.
I know at least one of the top 3 biggest home buyers in the city has been buying there recently. You can definitely find good deals there. I like the way you're thinking "We were thinking about buying a property, putting in some sweat equity initially, then rent the place out while the area gentrifies." Regardless of how long it takes for the the area to reach it's potential, I think it's an area that will attract good rents and should cashflow well.
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