Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The other day I noticed this cool post on Craigslist. I've been considering becoming a slumlord for some time, and here is an opportunity to grab a live-able 4-bedroom house for a mere 23.5k. Total rent at just $250 a month plus utilities on such a house would cover all taxes and maintenance. It seems kind of like an opportunity for profit.

I decided to sleuth. The county website appears to show the house was acquired by its current owner for a mere $1, and the previous sale was in 1997 for 5k. The county website also shows about $600 in back taxes, and this is probably just a fraction of the back taxes owed. None of this is all that surprising. Deals like this are fairly typical in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

What I find more interesting is the man behind the house. Sketch Master Flexx, an artist, is profiled at least twice in Pittsburgh city papers, in 2004 and in 2006, due to his experience squatting in an abandoned house on the North side, on which he installed enough solar panels to run his stereo.

The weirdest thing the sale of the house to Mr. Sketch Master was on July 30, 2010. How could he have replaced the plumbing, installed new insulation, new drywall, and numerous other repairs as claimed in such short time? If his past is any indication, probably he was squatting there for some time before the purchase. I should learn more tonight.

Update: I estimate the house needs about 5k to 20k of work and then it would be charming. This investment would be entirely worthwhile in a better neighborhood, but here I'm not so sure ...


Anonymous goodbadi said...

Run away! Run away! Rental properties are nuthin' but headache, heartache, and hassle.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm waiting with bated breath to hear more!


7:48 AM  
Anonymous Mountaineer said...

Unless you're planning to quit school, do not get into landlording.
Get an opinion from kbs.

5:02 PM  

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