Looking for affordable property? Buyers see mixed success at Allegheny County sheriff’s sales.

Sheriff’s sales take place on the first Monday of every month in the Gold Room at the Allegheny County Courthouse. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Foreclosed properties go to the highest bidder. But individual buyers aren’t guaranteed an affordable deal.

Jaime and Ron Hartz started noticing dilapidated properties near their home in Pittsburgh’s West End.

While they don’t have much money for a home investment, Jaime said, they do have the know how necessary to renovate a property to rent out for extra cash. They’d never attended a sheriff’s sale but had heard from a friend that it could be a good place to get a deal on a property.On May 6, equipped with a small list of properties across multiple areas in which they were interested, they walked into the Allegheny County Courthouse for the monthly sheriff’s sale. They didn’t walk away with a property.

“Considering we just went there to see what it was like, it was a little disappointing, but it wasn’t tragic,” Jaime said. “It was very educational.”

They didn’t bid on anything. One house appealed to Jaime because of its location in Millvale, but they felt overwhelmed and intimidated by the process. The bank won the bid, which the couple thought was inevitable.

“It went so fast,” she said. “I think my husband thought I was gonna bid on it, and I thought he was gonna bid on it. And then, by the time that happened, it was over.”

While Allegheny County sheriff’s sales often catch the eye of folks looking to purchase property for cheap, it’s often an uphill battle for individual buyers without large amounts of cash on hand.

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Looking for affordable property? Buyers see mixed success at Allegheny County sheriff’s sales.

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