If you were to tell me last year that I would be heavily investing in Pittsburgh, I would have thought you were insane.
But here we are. Two teams of contractors (soon to be three), 15 doors, and two flips later; we are full steam ahead in the Steel City. And we are just getting started!
We were backyard investors in our great city of Portland Oregon (pronounced Or-e-gun, not Or-e-gone). But the numbers stopped working, so we looked for other places to invest. We started investing in Pittsburgh, and are loving it.
So, Why Pittsburgh?
It’s a Great City. I had heard of Pittsburgh, but had never been there. We fell in love with the city on our first visit. It has a great vibe to it, and it reminded us of what Portland was like twenty years ago, before its boom. Lots of great neighborhoods, a ton of bridges and some great joints to grab a bite. Millennials are moving there in droves, and the rental market is very strong.
Home Prices. This is one of the main reasons we are investing in Pittsburgh – home prices. The home prices in Portland are ridiculous right now (300k for 800sqft 2/1? No way, Jose), so when we started doing our research on PGH, we started to get excited. You can buy a great house in a nice neighborhood for 180k. And if you wanted to buy rentals, well they cash flow all day long. If you were looking for B and C neighborhoods, you will be in investor heaven.
1% Rule? In Portland, we don’t come close to the 1% rule. It’s more like the .5% rule. (The 1% rule is just a quick calculation to see if a rental will cash flow. If you buy a home for 100k, and can rent it for $1000, you have a good chance to cash flow if it’s financed. 1k/100k = 1%)
In Pittsburgh, most of the rentals we buy hover around 1.5%. Many are at 2%. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that you get a whole lot of bang for your buck here.
Technology and Business. Pittsburgh was a steel town, and when the steel mills started to close in the 80’s, it had a rough go of it. But recently, the Steel City is reinventing itself. Technology like robotics and artificial intelligence have become the backbone to the resurgence of the city.
Led by Carnegie Mellon University, one of the best engineering schools in the country, and its top notch computer science and artificial intelligence programs, Pittsburgh has attracted companies like Facebook, Uber, and Apple. Those are some heavy hitters.
It’s also becoming a hotbed for startups as well. Venture capital funding in 2017 reached 1.4 billion.
And don’t forget the other major employers: Alcoa, Heinz, US Airways, and Bayer. Too many to name here.
You can see why we are bullish on Pittsburgh’s economy and real estate investing outlook.
Don’t Take Our Word for It. Pittsburgh is constantly getting ranked as one of the best places to live.
#1 Best City for Jobs – USA Today
#1 For 1st Time Home Buyers – Bank Rate
#7 Where Millenials are Moving – Time
#23 Best College Town in America – Wallethub
1 of 8 America’s Most Digitally Inclusive Cities – Brookings
#1 2019 Foodie Destination – BBC GOOD Food’s
#5 Most Resilient City in the World, Making it Attractive for Investment – London-based Grosvenor Group
Now you know why we love Pittsburgh – as a city AND an investment opportunity. We hope to be a part of the city’s resurgence for the next ten years.
Where are you investing?