Wednesday, December 6, 2017
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Jason Cohen has lived and worked as a real estate professional in Pittsburgh for over a decade. Over the course of his time in the city, Jason Cohen founded the informal real estate advising group, Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, which serves as a forum for investors seeking advice on their Pittsburgh-based ventures. In this post, Jason uses his familiarity with the region to offer insights into a few prominent Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
A neighborhood is more than a collection of similar houses along a street. It's a community; a place with a culture and quirkiness of all its own. Those who hop from place to place in search of a house or apartment aren't just looking for four walls and roof, but for a place they feel resonates with their own personality and practical needs. As a vibrant and ever-shifting city, Pittsburgh has a little something to offer every person who sets down roots within its limits. Jason Cohen, founder of real estate advising group Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, has owned and operated properties in all of the neighborhoods listed below. All are wonderful in their own, unique ways - and all are worth considering as communities to call home!
Median home value: $109,000
While united under the “South Side” moniker, this region is technically two neighborhoods, the Southside Flats and the Southside Slopes. Both are excellent places for working professionals to settle, given the region’s excellent public transportation system and its proximity to the city’s Business District. With its many restaurants and nightlife offerings, the area also offers plenty of opportunities for post-work pursuits.
Median home value: $155,000
If Pittsburgh needed to point out its intellectual center, it would have to indicate Oakland. Home to prestigious hospitals, universities, museums, and international cultural offerings, Oakland is the perfect home space for students, medical professionals, and academics alike. The area also boasts the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.
Median home value: $262,700
Technically a suburb of Pittsburgh, Mount Lebanon is a suburban township in Allegheny County, PA. Young families should seriously consider setting down roots in the area, given that the district is nationally-recognized for its school and has been awarded National Blue Ribbon School awards on multiple occasions. It’s a lively, vital area - perfect for families looking to grow!
Median home value: $264,000
For recent college grads kicking off their professional careers, Regent Square is the place to be. Ranked #1 by Niche as the Best Places for Millennials in Pittsburgh, the Square offers a multitude of subdivided homes and diverse entertainment options at a reasonable price.
Median Home Value: $334,900
Well-connected and close to the University of Pittsburgh, Shadyside is perfect for university students. The area boasts a wide selection of apartment listings and is home to a number of boutiques, shops, galleries, and nightlife offerings. An ever-changing and vibrant area, Shadyside is perfect for residents who enjoy living in upbeat, vital communities.
*Originally posted on JasonCohenPittsburgh.net
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
House flipping requires strategy. Savvy investors know that slapping on a fresh coat of paint and changing a few doorknobs won't bring about a significant return on their investment. Jason Cohen, founder of the real estate advising group Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, realized this need for investment strategy when he bought his very first property. With the limited funds available to him at the time, Jason couldn't afford to sink money into unneeded updates; he needed to plan out his renovations and open the property to tenants without going over a set budget. Working on that initial project, Jason Cohen learned that a few carefully chosen renovations could net him a larger return than a few haphazard repairs ever could. Aspiring house-flippers should consider undertaking these worthwhile and inexpensive updates when they purchase a property!
Install new carpet
Stained wall-to-wall carpeting is an instant deterrent for buyers. Throw it out! The flooring below may surprise you; oftentimes, ugly carpets conceal beautiful floors that only need a little wax and polish to shine. If the floor underneath the old covering is unattractive, investors should consider purchasing and installing a new carpet. Either way, buyers will appreciate the clean, fresh appearance imparted by the touched-up flooring.
Replace Bathroom Odds and Ends
Investors don’t need to gut an older bathroom to make it shine. Grouting and caulking, while time-consuming, is an excellent way to return a grungy bathroom to its previously fresh aesthetic. Additionally, minor pieces such as sink faucets, towel bars, vanity surfaces, and medicine cabinets can be replaced at relatively low cost and up the attractiveness of the space.
Paint the walls
Never underestimate the value of a good paint job. A new coat can do wonders for an older space by imparting a sense of freshness to spaces that appear dated or run-down. When painting, investors should opt for a neutral color palette in order to avoid turning away picky buyers.
Consider your landscape
A buyer makes their first conclusions about a property before they ever step foot through the front door. All the time and money an investor spends on a property’s interior may amount to nothing if the shingles on its exterior are shedding or the grass in unkempt. Mind the landscaping! A quick mow of the yard and a bit of garden work doesn’t require much time or money and makes a tremendous difference to buyers.
Mind the budget
In the end, budget takes precedence. While a house flipper may want to completely renovate the kitchen or replace the plumbing in the bathroom, such pricey changes might not always be feasible. Investors should consider repairing rather than replacing, and ditch non-essential renovations if they find themselves spending more money than they anticipated.
Originally posted on JasonCohenPittsburgh.net.