What are your thoughts on Rankin?

14 Replies

@Amalia Auge

Thank you. Isn't it amazing that all the helpful experts on the western PA area in this forum, so quick to thrust themselves into conversation and claim encyclopedic knowledge of the area, have nothing to say about little Rankin? Obviously no automated alerts, obviously no interest in a borough that used to rank among the richest in the county and is now well-known as a near-hopeless slum. Maybe it's a case of Thumperitis: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Hi Jim, 

Thanks for your reply. By the way, did you find anything interesting in Rankin? Maybe is a place that changes a lot 'street by street'... 

I may be able to find some trends of Rankin in one specialized website if you are interested. 

Warm regards in this cold (not for long) weather, 

Amàlia 

I honestly had to look up where Rankin was on Google Maps and I have lived in Pittsburgh for 38 years :) That whole area beyond (read: east of) Homestead and Munhall is "places near Kennywood" in my mind. I grew up on the Northside and that was my only reason to ever be over there.

It's next to Braddock and most folks rarely mention "Braddock" without saying "warzone", so I would imagine it would be a high risk play to invest in Rankin. That all being said, I am not very knowledgable about the area so I may be misspeaking. "Driving the area" using Google Maps I would rank investing there as the same risk profile as investing say New Kensington, Brackenridge, Aliquippa, etc.

I am not sure of the economic drivers in that area, on the bright side it's NOT in a flood zone :)

@Nick Michaels

Thank you, Nick. Isn't it remarkable how hyperlocal this city is? You try to explain that to people from California looking to invest here and you just get a baffled look...

With 130 municipalities just in Allegheny County that are all mostly different in terms in culture and folks living there, not to mention the 90 neighborhoods within one of those municipalities (City of Pittsburgh) I think it would be nuts to be an out of state investor investing here, but hey that's just me.

I'm sure many other midwestern cities are very much the same in terms of having varying neighborhoods

@Brian Whitney

Yeah, we're getting lucky on that. Still anyone's guess how lucky at the moment, but still, the range of the possible already exceeds what we'd hoped for back in 2014 when we started looking into the area. Much of that was preordained, though, by how the money for the tax-increment financing that went into developing the Waterfront came down in 1998. Everyone who was paying attention knew the TIF would run out in 2018, and the municipalities plus the school district would see a large jump in their budgets when they finally started receiving their full share of the property taxes from the Waterfront. You would have to be seriously slow upstairs not to understand that if Homestead's borough budget was increased by 50%, they'd find at least SOME useful things to do with the money that would lead to improvements in the area.

But obviously a lot of people weren't paying attention, and now, they're scrambling.

Rankin...well, I guess that's way too much to expect, but I thought I'd throw it out here.

Originally posted by @Nick Michaels :

With 130 municipalities just in Allegheny County that are all mostly different in terms in culture and folks living there, not to mention the 90 neighborhoods within one of those municipalities (City of Pittsburgh) I think it would be nuts to be an out of state investor investing here, but hey that's just me.

I'm sure many other midwestern cities are very much the same in terms of having varying neighborhoods

That's why I always suggest that an Out of State Investor get with someone that really does know the varying neighborhoods and properties of interest. It is overwhelming for someone who doesn't live here but it can be done and I have witnessed many success stories.

Hi all, 

So Rankin is a good one right? Jim: I read in another thread that you posted that there were some new projects in this area that would make it desirable. Do you believe the overall improvement of Rankin would start to be felt in around 4/5 years? This amount of time has been the one already needed in Munhall and cie to make it attractive both to investors and the population ? 

I'm ready to buy there (even to rehab) , I've done a bunch of them but not in the States. 

Another question : I was visiting houses in Penn Hills but several people have a quite mitigated advice about this area. May you give me your insights? 

Enjoy this lovely weekend, 

Ama

I think this all depends on your plan. I live on the Swissvale side of Rankin and walk/run/drive through a lot of this daily. Its rough, and it isnt changing. If you plan to Section 8 the buildings (pretty positive they would already be anyways) you could flourish here. But you wont get others to move to this area. There is easy access to ‘corner dealers’ and there is semi regular gun fire. Ive been made feel unwelcome as well when walking down random streets when I was familiarizing myself with the area. If you invest here, be prepared to do it with a Section 8 gameplan/model

@Tyler Shimmel

That pretty much sums up my view of Rankin as it is today nicely. It is impossible to imagine property values could go lower in what is a top contender for the worst borough in Allegheny County, where property can be had at absolute rock bottom pricing per square foot.

@Jim K. Tylers previous post is accurate. I live in one of the neighboring boroughs right next to Rankin. I used to deliver pizza through this neighborhood literally everyday for years and years. Then I quit and bought duplex and got my real estate license. But anyways there are a couple streets in Rankin where people who are older still live there and keep to themselves. But you have Hawkins Village practically right across the street which is notorious for shootings even though the police troll through that area heavily on purpose. On top of that you have the young kids from Braddock that run around everywhere making the neighborhood what it is today. Rankin will have the sec 8 tenant base so that strategy is something you would have to decide. But overall wouldn't invest my money in Rankin. Your still years away for any positive or any economical impact. Braddock is slowly on the rise but isn't even touching Rankin yet even though the 2 boroughs are right next to eachother. Feel free to connect with me and would love to go over investing options or answering any questions you may have about Pittsburgh and its submarkets.

So, Corey, do you know of ANY reason the time of Rankin being a slum might someday end, as it has for a place like East Liberty, for instance? Did you know that Rankin used to be one of the most prosperous boroughs in Allegheny County? Can you think of any circumstances that could make that happen again?