Jason Cohen Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Real Estate Market

5 Updates Landlords Shouldn’t Make

5 Updates Landlords Shouldn’t Make

Jason Cohen is a real estate investor and broker working in Pittsburgh, PA who has built his career around turning dilapidated properties into profitable rentals. As a veteran operative in the field, Jason is well-equipped to discuss the do’s and don’ts of property rehabilitation – and here, he points out a few renovations that investors shouldn’t make when they begin to prepare a home for future tenants.


Marble countertops, shiny tiled floors, and a brand-new patio: while they might be pretty, upgrades like these won’t help your bottom line. If you plan to invest and maintain a profitable rental property, you’ll need to strike a balance between updating the space and minding your budget.  By creating an appealing setting, you can make more of a profit by increasing the rent – however, if you stray from updates to full-scale renovation, you might end up dealing with a property that costs more than it earns. Here are a few renovations that investors shouldn’t make on a rental property.


Adding a Swimming Pool

A pool may seem like an ideal addition to the backyard, but it won’t necessarily increase the value of the home. The feature can also take away space in the backyard for pets or children to play in on the property and make it seem unattractive to families who lack the time or resources to maintain it.


Room Addition


According to loans.usnews.com, room additions don’t always pay off due to the high cost of the construction. Projects with a lower price tag – such as appliance updates and repainting – tend to have a better ROI for landlords.


DIY Projects


From painting the walls to installing new sinks, DIY projects are cost-effective at a price; while they may seem cheap at the outset, they often look they were performed by someone who had a lack of experience and ultimately turn away would-be tenants. It’s necessary to leave the work to professionals to ensure that your money is an investment that pays off and attracts more tenants in the coming years.


High-Maintenance Landscapes


According to Time Magazine, creating a beautiful garden benefits the aesthetics of a home – but it doesn’t justify increasing the rent that you charge. It can also require a significant amount of money for landscaping services to upkeep the property or the tenants may not want to spend their weekends pulling weeds and watering different areas of the yard. Stick to landscaping that is easy to maintain to ensure that you don’t waste your money if you’re renting out the house.


Upgrading Everything


Many landlords make the mistake of upgrading everything and assuming that the home needs to have all new features or materials to attract good tenants. Overspending on upgrades can make the house appear too chic and regal for the local area, making it necessary to keep the upgrades to a minimum. Stick to adding new fixtures on the cabinets or new hardwood floors in the living room to make upgrades that are minimal, yet aesthetically effective.


For more of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh’s insights on real estate, please visit JasonCohenPittsburgh.org.

5 Points to Cover Before Beginning a Real Estate Negotiation

5 Points to Cover Before Beginning a Real Estate Negotiation

As a veteran of the Pittsburgh real estate scene, Jason Cohen is well-versed in the tips and tricks of property negotiation. Here, he outlines a few points that would-be sellers should look into prior to sale.


Talking about money is rarely comfortable, especially if you don’t do so regularly. However, knowing how to negotiate a deal in the real estate industry can ultimately allow you to save thousands of dollars with each transaction that occurs. Although the process can be intimidating when you’re working with another party, preparing for the conversation with a little property work and research can go a long way towards helping you get the best possible deal. If you want to make sure that you’re ready, there are a few things to know before stepping up to the negotiation table.


  1. Home Repairs


Performing an inspection of the property that you want to buy or sell will give you a chance to better understand the value of the building itself. Hire a professional to inspect each part of the house, and consult with them afterwards to better understand the state of the property. Collaborate with the inspector to assess how much work the house will need, and whether the property has any flaws (ex. improper wiring, mold, poor roofing) that could affect its overall value.


  1. Furniture


Check to see if there’s any furniture on the property that you want to be included with selling the home, which includes patio furniture or appliances in the kitchen. The buyer may want all of the furniture, allowing you to raise the price to reflect the value of what’s included in the price of the home. Anything that is excluded will need to be listed in the final two-party contract.


  1. Financial Contingencies


Understanding the finance contingencies will allow you to better negotiate. Is the buyer paying upfront in cash? If so, you might be able to pull some strings to shorten the closing timeline complete the transaction quickly.


  1. The Closing Costs


Whether you’re buying or selling a home on the market, knowing the closing costs will make it easier to determine if it can be negotiated. The buyer may ask that the seller covers a flat rate for the closing costs or a percentage of the total amount. Although the seller can pay for the closing costs, it also means asking for more money with the selling price of the house.


  1. Closing Date


Many people are unaware that the closing date can also be negotiated by sellers if they want to avoid the cost of owning the home for several more months. Buyers who purchase the home will avoid having to pay the following month’s mortgage payment.


To read more of Jason Cohen’s work, please visit JasonCohenPittsburgh.org.

About Jason Cohen Pittsburgh

Jason Cohen is a real estate investor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He created Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, a group of real estate enthusiasts committed to helping others invest in real estate, and he has thrived in the area since 2002.

As Jason’s career has grown and flourished, so has Pittsburgh itself — transforming from an industrial “rust belt” city into a major cultural center abundant with high-end multi-family rental properties. Jason has seamlessly handled the dynamic nature of Pittsburgh and of the real estate industry in general. A research-driven professional, he consistently enables smart and profitable investments in the area, helping to transform modest properties into high-end rentals in Pittsburgh’s hottest neighborhoods.

Jason Cohen first entered the world of real estate shortly after his graduation from the University of Texas. He started out by investing in distressed properties in Pennsylvania. After some experience working full-time for a real estate company, he decided to pave his own path in the industry. He has worked as an independent real estate agent and developed the Jason Cohen Pittsburgh team ever since. The team consists of highly qualified investors, property managers, leasing agents, and contractors.

Over the course of his career Jason has become highly proficient in acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, multifamily real estate investments, asset repositioning, real estate management, real estate brokerage, and new construction. He has excelled in high-level investment strategies, but is also no stranger to “ground work” when it comes to the industry. He is well-versed in each step of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh’s unique system: researching local areas and investing in properties, performing renovations to transform these properties from dilapidated eyesores into high-end units, and ultimately repositioning the properties for maximum profit in renting and selling.




Jason Cohen Pittsburgh is the group of choice for anyone who needs advice, analysis and due diligence, and general expertise in matters of investing, whether they are short-term or long-term. Jason Cohen Pittsburgh has dealt with properties in a variety of neighborhoods throughout parts of Pittsburgh, including the South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Mt. Lebanon, and Regent Square. Each and every one of these locations, paired with Jason’s overall knowledge of real estate investing, has allowed him to play a part in restoring Pittsburgh’s place as one of the most popular cities in the United States.

This blog will share news, updates, and insights regarding Pittsburgh and its real estate market from the perspective of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh. Stay tuned!