New Building Permit Fees in City of Pittsburgh

The City of Pittsburgh recently went on a taxation and fee binge on anything and everything.

Beginning on May 1, 2019 a building permit fee for a total gut rehab ($150,000 rehab estimate) on a single family home will go from $150 to $850: that’s an 83% hike! Yikes!

What is the impact?

PGH Property Buyer believes that this will inhibit numerous homeowners and property owners from being able to make basic necessity repairs and enhancements to their properties.

In addition, it could absolutely hold back hard working carpenters, construction workers, and local small business companies from doing more business.

When it comes to rental property owners who invest their life savings into rental properties to supplement retirement, we could likely see them pass on this expense indirectly by raising rental rates.

One thing we can learn from this is that for every action comes a reaction!

Tips and Risks of Owning Vacant Property

Owning a vacant property comes with risks. Today we will discuss the challenges and offer solutions for owning vacant property.

We at PGH Property Buyer aren’t the only people who perceive a property that sits vacant as a negative. Did you know that homeowner insurance for property is automatically quoted higher if it is not occupied?

Vacant properties around Pittsburgh are easy targets for squatters and vandalism because many homes are very old and contain valuable copper pipes. Copper pipes are at the top of the list for what intruders desire to take.


-higher insurance

-higher probability of break ins, vandalism, squatters, stolen pipes

-no cash flow

-harder to maintain landscaping

-higher probability of wildlife pests accessing and destroying the interior

-greater likelihood of mold accumulation and pipes freezing and breaking

-greater likelihood of trespassers and accidents happening on the premises


-Make friends with the neighbors, and ask them to watch over your home. Exchange contact info and be supportive with each other.

-Hire a property management company.

-Install a camera and security system.

-Hire a landscaping company to maintain the grounds regularly.

-Rent, move in, or sell the property.

-Arrange a seller finance or rent-to-own scenario in which the occupant is responsible for the entire property upon executing the agreement.

A Seller’s Most Costly Repairs

If you were to sell your home on the market with Realtors involved, the buyer will likely order a home inspection, appraisal, radon test, sewer line test, and WDO test (wood destroying organism).

Here are some averages of the most costly repairs that may need addressed and repaired by the seller before closing:

Electrical – rewire the house to eliminate all knob and tube wiring: $10,000

Repipe and re-plumb – replace old copper and lead lines, damaged and stolen pipes: $10,000 for just the interior of the home

Re-roof a home: $10,000

Structural issues – carbon fiber wall strap for one wall: $5,000

Rebuild an average size retaining wall: $12,500

Replace siding: $15,000

Replace windows: $9,800

Waterproofing – stop moisture and water from draining into the home and stop it from working its way through porous foundation stone: $7,000 for one wall of a basement

These were some of the more common and most costly issues that arise when sellers go to sell their homes.