Things to Know About Buying a Home in Baltimore
- January 28, 2021
- 1 Comment
The average home price in Baltimore during 2020 was about $350,000, which is incredibly affordable when you consider that in the Washington, D.C. area the cost is about $700,000.
So with affordable houses and lots of great housing stock, you can definitely have your pick when you buy a house in the city. But just like making this commitment anywhere, there are some area neighborhood quirks you should know about before buying a house.
Your Negotiations with Tenant
If the seller cannot negotiate with the tenant, you will have to try to negotiate with them. If you try to break the lease or force an eviction, you may end up with a lawsuit on your hands. If the tenant refuses all attempts at negotiation, they have the right to complete the lease under the current lease terms. Make sure to approach the tenants gingerly. Once the property is sold, they have the right to leave the house in whatever state they please. If you purchase this property as a foreclosure, most states allow a notice to tenants to vacate in as little as 30 days.
It is super important to know the neighborhood that you are moving into fits with your personality, lifestyle and needs. Do research to find out if there is higher crime in one area vs. another, if there are better schools in one are or not, etc.
Baltimore is a unique city, because it is hard to tell what kinds of people live where. The demographic isn’t distinguishable by the types of home (single family, rowhouse or condos) or by the location of the neighborhood within the city.
It is very important to go to the area where you want to purchase a home and talk to neighbors and surrounding places to determine if your lifestyle will mesh with those of the people around you.
Wonder About Walkability
For some people, being able to walk to amenities is really important, and not all Baltimore neighborhoods are as walkable as others. Ask yourself the key questions about what you might want to walk to and what doesn’t matter. Does walking to a grocery store matter? Do you need a coffee shop right around the corner? Do you need a gym in your area? There are some great neighborhoods that you might think are perfect if you’d rather walk to a bar than the gym, or take a walk with your dog rather than walk to the grocery store.
THE BLOCK SYSTEM
Similar to the randomness of the neighborhoods in Baltimore, the blocks can change quickly in the city.
While the block your home is on may be safe, turning the block may take you into an unsafe part of town, and it can even depend on the time of day for it to be unsafe.
Take caution when looking at homes and spend a lot of time at the property before making a decision.
- Spend time during the day, night and early morning
- Different times of the day can bring different crowds, and can change the demographic of people
- Talk to neighbors and store owners nearby to get a feel for the safety of the area
- Look at online neighborhood forums to gain even more insight into the neighborhood
Seller Negotiations with Tenant
Depending on your plans for this property, you may or may not want the current tenants to occupy the property after you purchase it. If the seller is motivated enough, you may be able to make an offer contingent upon the tenants vacating after the sale; this option is the least hassle on your part. It will then be up to the seller to pursue multiple channels to negotiate the relocation of the tenants.