First-time Homebuyer in Maryland? Here’s What You Need to Know
Buying a home is an emotional decision – this is where your babies will take their first steps, the stairs they’ll descend in their prom attire, and the front door they’ll cross in a graduation cap. It’s where your children will come and go from college, and where your babies’ babies will celebrate each and every holiday.
Every day at The W Home Group, dreams come true – and at a price that can’t be refused in today’s market.
But beyond the affordable property values and cost of living is a vibrant, thriving community on the rise. Welcome to Baltimore.
Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., and it remains one of the largest ports on the Atlantic seaboard. Despite easy access to Washington, D.C. and New York, it was once a sort of industrial graveyard. However, thanks to citywide initiatives, the city is cleaned up, and Amazon’s new arrival in town only means the job market will continue to boom.
Property values are up too, more than 33% in the last year alone, and Zillow predicts them to grow another “10.5% within the next year.” Almost 50% growth in under two years? Not too shabby. Many have forgotten the Baltimore housing market, and they are missing out on a key investment opportunity with significant rewards. Baltimore has been largely rehabilitated compared to its gritty portrayal on The Wire (Governing makes a great commentary), but public perception is yet to catch on. Despite this incredible growth, property values are still affordable enough to welcome in a new generation. A younger demographic is coming to town, and it is breathing new life and energy into the area.
WHAT’S BALTIMORE LIFE LIKE?
Baltimore will always maintain a maritime focus due to its bustling ports, but the city has a lot more to offer beyond its passing ships. Top industries today include healthcare (Johns Hopkins is a huge employer) and education, as well as life sciences and cybersecurity. Most notably, though, it’s a millennial-driven job market, which, in turn, is modernizing the city in every aspect. Just from University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins alone, there are a ton of students in town, all of whom are actively renting properties all over the city. This presents a fantastic opportunity for homeowners and investors.
The public transportation system, in addition to the city’s excellent walkability, are all huge benefits for more transient members of the community, while locals love the accessibility to nearby hot spots. The universities bring life to the city with its cultural and sporting events, but that’s not all there is to do. Maritime is highly celebrated through the National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor. Catch an Orioles game at Camden Yards or fly like a bird at iFLY Baltimore. History buffs will appreciate Fort McHenry, the inspiration of The Star Spangled Banner, and art enthusiasts frequent the Walters Art Museum and American Visionary Art Museum for regular inspiration.
Life on the water extends to the dinner table too, where fresh seafood abounds. Maryland crab is a staple here, but there are also two James Beard nominees in town, at Charleston and Woodberry Kitchen. Eater also takes note of the cannoli at Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop! After dinner, grab a drink at one of the many bars, taverns, and clubs in Fells Point.
WHERE DO I LIVE?
Baltimore city itself remains more affordable than the surrounding suburbs, but there are many beautiful, unique Baltimore neighborhoods throughout the entire area that each boast their own character and benefits. Live Baltimore offers a great interactive map that will help you get acquainted with all of the beautiful, charming neighborhoods within our great city! We take a look at the local favorites here!
Hampden is a favorite here. Historically a blue-collar neighborhood, it too has recently been touched by the urban renewal gracing the city. It offers a more bohemian take on the urban neighborhoods, with artsy hipsters taking up residence. It also offers more single-family homes and duplexes than other areas in the city, and “The Avenue” offers a line of unique shops and restaurants.
Guilford is one of the most popular and exclusive neighborhoods within the area – therefore, carrying one of the higher price tags. Homeland is a more affordable option nearby, most noted for its many man-made lakes and quiet suburb lifestyle.
As Great American Country writes, “No neighborhood has benefited from the trend in urban renewal quite like Federal Hill.” With historic row houses from the 1800s, singles and newlyweds who enjoy the many hotspots both in town and the nearby Inner Harbor. Many homes here even offer rooftop decks, making them a huge draw for downtown professionals. Also, check out Otterbein, which offers accessibility in a quieter setting.
Charles Village is home to the “painted ladies,” Victorian row houses in vibrant hues. Big on culture and diversity with an open-door policy toward newcomers, this area is home to everyone – singles, families, and young professionals. Due to its close proximity to a Johns Hopkins campus, it also is home to many students and staff from the university. On sunny days, expect to see the many residents enjoying the view on their brightly painted front porches. Waverly is the most affordable option around here, with a lower crime rates and mix of both working- and middle-class families.
Canton was once the center of the industrial boom within a Baltimore, with a long history of immigrant residents and families. It now is almost unrecognizable with its part in the city’s revitalization. Luxury condos meet the traditional Baltimore row house, and its O’Donnell Square is famous for its frequent street festivals and celebrations.
Mt. Washington, once overrun with street cars during the olden days, now offers the Pittsburgh Light Rail (“the T”), which navigates this quiet suburb. Small bungalows and rowhouses are centered around the Mt. Washington Village, full of shops and restaurants. With so many neighborhoods to explore in Baltimore – over 225, to be exact – it can be incredibly overwhelming when approaching the homebuying process. But it doesn’t have to be.
We will expertly and easily navigate the homebuying process so you can get back to what’s really important – living.
Ready to get started? Welcome home. Welcome to The W Home Group.