If You Are Moving to Charm City

baltimore_neighborhoods_map

As a Baltimore resident since 1987 (30 years), I have a unique perspective on what areas are up-and-coming and how to get the best bang for your buck. Don’t make the mistake of looking at overpriced housing in a “hot area” or waste your valuable time with a realtor looking at neighborhoods that you ultimately won’t want to live in.

We can sit down over a pot of loose-leaf tea and pinpoint areas that would interest you personally based on your likes/dislikes/needs and my extensive experience with all aspects of Baltimore.”

If you want to buy in Baltimore

Terrific mortgage specialist Jen Orner can help you prequalify for a mortgage. Here’s a link with her contact info.

For a gem of an inspector before  you close the deal, try Bill Alderson of Fidelity Home Inspections of Maryland. Ethical and highly resourceful in terms of knowing the costs of any repairs needed, and especially familiar with Upper Fells, Canton etc.

Here’s an overall look at houses for sale in Upper Fells Point on Zillow.

If you want to figure out how much house you can afford, try this link:

Bankrate: How Much House Can I Afford?

From the Bankrate article, some rough guides:

Front-end ratio

A standard rule for lenders is that your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should not take up more than 28 percent of your income before taxes. This debt-to-income ratio is called the “housing ratio” or “front-end ratio.”

Back-end ratio

Lenders also calculate the “back-end ratio.” It includes all debt commitments, including car loan, student loan and minimum credit card payments, together with your house payment. Lenders prefer a back-end ratio of 36 percent or less.

If you want to rent in Baltimore

Craigslist has a very good selection.  I recommend that you pick a rowhome, either a full house or one with two or three apartments, instead of an apartment complex to get a feel for neighborhood life, especially if you have children.

Here is a search on Craigslist for apartments to rent near my homestay, which you can render as a map and adapt to the number of bedrooms and budget you have, clicking “update search.”

Here’s a CL search for room shares near my homestay.

You can also contact these local landlords to see what they have available:

  • Josh Winter, 410 -409-1302
  • Ron Tuli, 240-432-9026

Recommended Neighborhoods

If you are working at JHMI or Harbor East, your nearest recommended neighborhoods are:

  • Upper Fells Point,  Butchers Hill and Patterson Park
  • Fells Point, Harbor East, Canton, Brewer’s Hill
  • Mount Vernon (and take the Hopkins Shuttle)
  • Charles Village (cheaper with an undergrad vibe)
  • Mount Washington (if you want more green trees)

For UnderArmour:

  • Federal Hill and Locust Point
  • Fells Point/Harbor East (and take the Harbor Connector to work)

Crime

This link on the Trulia website can show you crime statistics for the areas you are considering. This link on the Open Baltimore site can help you drill down for details.

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