Erie, PA Investing and General Advice

7 Replies

Was wondering if anyone had experience investing in Erie, PA? I'm interested in starting my REI journey there because I am familiar with the area and have a lot of family there. However I am not sure if that is a strong enough reason to invest there. A lot of the research I've done shows that it has a declining population and not much job growth happening, with many large employers laying off a lot of people. Does data and information like this affect where you guys invest? Or is it possible to be successful anywhere as long as you have a strong knowledge of the area and its market? Any info would be helpful!!

@Greg Bohn your statistics will directly affect the values but that doesn't mean you shouldn't invest there. You may actually want to invest there as the prices decline. Make sure you know your market regardless if its declining or increasing in value. You can make money everywhere if you are smart. 

Just now seeing this post. We live in Erie and while you are correct that some of the big companies have laid off a lot in the last dozen years, it's still the largest city in northwestern PA. It has an airport and is centrally located between Cleveland and Buffalo. Millcreek has a great school system. I don't have a ton of experience as we are really just in the beginning phases but there's definitely potential here. Just be selective with the neighborhoods you choose. Also, I don't see a decline in the housing market prices. Not a lot of increase either though. Erie is probably always going to be a city that has a good market just because of it's location.

@Teresa Sekanina Hi Teresa! Thanks for the insight, I've realized a lot of that now that I've done more research on the area and talked to some investors and real estate agents. I definitely think that Erie is a good place to invest as long as you are smart about it, as with any place!

@Greg Bohn Hi Greg. Definitely a lot of people doing well in real estate within the Erie market. I recommend you join the northwestern Pennsylvania apartment association if you haven’t already. They host monthly dinners in Erie that have been great networking events that has a ton of investors there.

You look rather young to me Greg so I would suggest you do invest smart and take care of yourself first. However it is not always the desire for money that will lead or contribute to your financial success. Once you have earned some money and mature a bit you may find that it is also part of the responsibility that comes along with success that may lead you to simply want to help a community maintain or improve its quality and value. I have found that oddly this can lead to an even greater financial reward for the simple reason that you may not have that much competition to deal with as a real estate investor, plus you will find that in places like Erie, which by the way I have also invested in, you might find some great hidden gems in what appears to be nothing but rubble.

This is one of the reasons I invest in Detroit, and to date I have not made a single investment in Detroit that has returned anything less than 100% on my investments in a relatively short period of time. In the last investment I made in Detorit I earned a 1000% return, 10 times my money in about one and one half years. You are correct though in your understanding that you have to go about it in a careful and intelligent manner. I have always said that real estate investments must make good financial sense , all things considered. 

There is also a great deal of money that can be earned through a community development or redevelpment strategy. You might think that you are investing in people rather than only a property but it is people after all that bring the money to the table we are all trying to capture. Where people have a deep affinity for a particular location, a place they either call home or want to call home there is your hook that leads to getting motivated buyers or renters. like you said, be smart about it.