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Old 10-24-2011, 10:43 AM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,678,923 times
Reputation: 2177
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLynch10 View Post
Baltimore had a pretty impressive last 10 years as well, think about what Patterson Park, South Fed Hill, Harbor East, Canton, Hampden, and Flag Courts looked like 10 years ago. .
Canton was already transforming when I lived at Tindeco Wharf in 1989. Deformstoning, etc was already creeping uptowards O'donnel steet even then. The american can thingie was having a big impact way back in the late 90s already. Even if they are all the way up to Eastern avenue, thats relatively slow for one of (IIUC) the hottest nabes in baltimore.

Which sides of Patterson Park - Butchers Hill was already transitioning when DW and I went to morning edition on one of our first dates in 1987.

I know less about whats happened in the other nabes.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:45 AM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,678,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLynch10 View Post
Hopefully WestPort, Washington Hill, Pig Town, Greek Town, Reservoir Hill, Remington and Hollins/Union Square will be some of the stars of the next 10 years. The whole Middle Branch Harbor has the ability to become pretty awesome as well.
yeah, that would be great.

Again though - hollins/Union square was up and coming in the late 1980s (when we used to go to Menckens cultured pearl) and reservoir hill was getting its first developer done rehabs then too.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Many of those neighborhoods have been up and coming for a long time, but the improvement they experienced in the last 10 years is pretty dramatic. Federal Hill pretty much encompasses an entire peninsula now, and just about every underutilized piece of property has been redeveloped or is in the process.

There have been thousands of rehabbed homes in Canton in the last 10, as well as 100's of new businesses, with more huge projects in the works in the Brewers hill area. North of Patterson has dramatically changed, not a great neighborhood yet, but much different. I have a friend that has owned for 10 years east of the park, and man his area has changed, and Butchers Hill has gotten even nicer, and Upper Fells is kind of a new thing.

Just because something is transitioning doesn't mean it doesn't have a long way to go. Fed Hill and Canton are now considered huge areas, and they are much more filled in as well.

Pig Town, Res Hill, Station North, Greek Town, Remington, Hollins/Union have all already begun transitioning, but they all have a long way to go.

Here is a good article on Union Square over the last 5 years.
Urban 'pioneers' risk much for their neighborhoods - baltimoresun.com

So the hope for the next 10 years is the nice neighborhoods become nicer, the up and coming become safe and cool, and the next ideas are flowing.

If Anacostia is considered a hot neighborhood in DC, than I guess it's safe to say their isn't a place in that city off limits to gentrification and transition.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:10 PM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,678,923 times
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well the transformation of SoBo and Locust Point sounds dramatic - I need to get there - it was still pretty much solid working class south of Cross Street when we left. And yeah, Im vaguely aware of Brewers Hill, which I guess has seen very dramatic changes.

But overall my sense is that while the pace may have picked up between 2000 and 2007, overall the pace of change has been leisurely - typically transitioning nabes in baltimore have changed as much in 20 years or more as transitioning DC nabes have done in less than 10 years.

thats NOT to sneeze at that accomplishment. When I was living in Charm City, there were lots of folks who thought that the then existing gentrification was unsustainable. Certainly that the trend could not continue in the face of baltimores problems. From the sound of this forum, the pessimism has never gone away. Kudos to all the people who continued to pioneer and push the improvements forward.

But to return to the (long gone?) OP - the two markets do still differ dramatically, to the point that looking for bargains in baltimore strikes me at least, as a worthwhile activity.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
16,653 posts, read 20,405,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
well the transformation of SoBo and Locust Point sounds dramatic - I need to get there...
And yeah, I'm vaguely aware of Brewers Hill, which I guess has seen very dramatic changes.

But overall my sense is that while the pace may have picked up...
In Baseball terms:
Baltimore is like a team of small ball hitters.
Real good at the singles and doubles... but too many runners are left stranded.
They just never quite bring the runners home enough to win enough for the Pennant race.

In a way that has been "charming"...
but it has also just gotten old mainly because of the serial dysfunction at the decision making level.
No one has been able or willing to trade up for the big hitter.

Quote:
But to return to the (long gone?) OP - the two markets do still differ dramatically, to the point that looking for bargains in baltimore strikes me at least, as a worthwhile activity.
Maybe. If you're willing to commit to the City.

But if your heart and your social life and your professional aspirations
are in that other town at the other end of the Penn line... maybe not.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:19 PM
 
264 posts, read 248,265 times
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Fantastic points. This has really put the possibility of moving to Baltimore for me into perspective.

So far my options are:

Georgetown/Foggy Bottom/Dupont:
$700,000 gets me a 1 or 2br Townhouse (900sqft)

Bolton Hill/Mt. Vernon/Reservoir Hill:
$450,000 gets me a 6 or 7br Townhouse (4200sqft)

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Old 10-24-2011, 03:01 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
16,653 posts, read 20,405,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Econolodge-911 View Post
So far my options are:
Georgetown
Bolton Hill
But that's a false choice.

As I phrased it in the first comments (Post#4):
PS: the ROI aspects and even the costs shouldn't be a part of the basic choice (of which city to live in)...
Once you've made the choice to do X or do Y (that you're DC people or willing to try to be Baltimore people)...
then find the best deal within that.


hth
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:32 PM
 
1,170 posts, read 1,269,043 times
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I'd recommend getting a hotel room in Mt. Vernon for a weekend, seeing lots of properties and enjoying the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. See how much you like it.

Tried Joe Squared last night for dinner in Station North.... Very good!
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
101 posts, read 131,918 times
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Just about one year ago my wife and I moved from DC to Baltimore. Wife commutes via MARC, I work from home.

Our decision was based on both financial and social considerations.

Financially, we determined that for the amount we could get for our DC house, we could live in a comparable or better home in Baltimore and, in essence, either live for free or shorten the years to our retirement by about 10 years. We bought a property in an historic neighborhood that required a great deal of work. We were specifically looking for this so that we could create the home we wanted AND take advantage of the Historic Rehab Tax Credit -- when we are done with the rehab we will basically be paying taxes on a house assessed at less than half the value of what we put into it (acquisition and rehab costs combined).

We plan on being in Baltimore for at least 10 years, so we are not too concerned with home's appreciation in the short term. We have found that many people in our neighborhood have invested way more into their homes than they can reasonably get out of the house in the short term. But, they don't care. They, like us, are more interested in quality of life and how they will live day to day in their home.

Socially, we have always liked Baltimore, and visited frequently during the 20+ years we were living in DC. As numerous other posters have noted, either you like Baltimore or you don't. If you find you don't really like the place on your visits, definitely do not move here. You will just be embittered and reminded on a daily basis upon your return commute to DC that you made a bad decision.

Baltimore is not, and never will be, "DC Lite." In fact, Baltimore doesn't really think of itself in terms of DC at all. If anything, it compares itself to Philly or Brooklyn. Having spent many years in Chicago and Detroit, I think of Baltimore as a smaller East Coast versions of those cities.

One true story about the difference between Baltimore and DC: I have been both the GC and laborer for our rehab project here, so am at the house on a daily basis. I am usually in my work clothes, which are covered in paint, plaster, and sawdust, and I generally look like a homeless person. Yet, in the past 6 months I have met every single family on our block (both sides), plus about a dozen other neighbors within a three block radius, just by being in the neighborhood and saying "hi" to people on the street. In the 15 years we lived in Dupont Circle I met a grand total of 11 neighbors in the entire neighborhood.

Another true story: We have not waited more than 10 minutes, ever, for a table at a restaurant here in Baltimore, and we have never ever felt rushed to get out at the end of our meal. Plus, you can actually get a seat at a bar on weekends and hear your conversation at a normal speaking level.

If you find you like Baltimore then by all means make the move -- there is some absolutely stunning housing stock here for almost Detroit prices -- but don't expect it to be either DC Lite or just a farther out suburb of DC. It is a separate and distinct city that just happens to be a 50 minute train ride from Union Station.

Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
7,285 posts, read 13,815,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InDC View Post

We plan on being in Baltimore for at least 10 years, so we are not too concerned with home's appreciation in the short term. We have found that many people in our neighborhood have invested way more into their homes than they can reasonably get out of the house in the short term. But, they don't care. They, like us, are more interested in quality of life and how they will live day to day in their home.
To me, this is what buying a home is all about. I do not understand all of the ROI stuff. There was a point in American history where home prices where roughly double the average national salary. Not that long ago, someone who made $100K a year could buy a $500K home. I'll leave the banker's side out of it, but many people in this situation figured they would just make the payments for a few years than flip the property for $200K in profit because home values were appreciating so fast.

I know I am crazy for not thinking like everyone else, but unless you plan on living in the same location for 10+ years, why bother buying? DC attracts a certain kind of crowd and can "afford" to charge a premium for housing. Heck, even DCs 1960s Modernist architecture still withstands the tests of time and gives the area a unique feel. DC is cosmopolitan. Baltimore, not so much.

The best thing about Baltimore is the one thing that holds it back: its image. People across the country hold the opinion that Baltimore is some thugged-out, crime ridden, depressed East Coast city that has despair around every corner. The only place I can think of with a worse reputation is Detroit. In a way this is good. It will prevent people from moving to Baltimore en masse to take advantage of the cheap property (yeah, yeah, property tax high blah blah, in the end it is still cheaper to buy in Baltimore) and turn Baltimore into another generic U.S. city.

What makes Baltimore awesome is that it is a hidden gem that will remain hidden for quite some time. Unfortunately, if you want to look at in such a light, it will make a ROI on a home purchase nil to none for at least another decade.


Quote:
Originally Posted by InDC View Post
Having spent many years in Chicago and Detroit, I think of Baltimore as a smaller East Coast versions of those cities.
Crime in Chicago is way more out-of-hand when compared to Baltimore; Detroit, too. And both of these cities are huge compared to Baltimore. Both cities are also a heck of a lot colder in the winter, too. Baltimore's blight, while bad in some areas, is no where near as bad as Detroit and realistically can be compared to Chicago. Or even New York City.

Baltimore, in a way, is the all-American city. It's kind of odd, but Baltimore seems to encompass everything I can think of that would represent the stereotypical American city.
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