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Old 03-25-2013, 01:34 PM
 
19 posts, read 29,649 times
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Hello,

We are thinking about buying a condo and moving to Baltimore. Currently we rent in NOVA, but it is a very long commute that would be about halved if we moved to Inner Harbor area.

We have visited Baltimore several times and we loved it. Since real estate is significantly cheaper and the commute (as mentioned) more favorable, we are seriously considering purchasing a condo in a walkable area close to water.

We have one small child and were initially looking at Inner Harbor and Harbor East but now are considering Canton as well because it tends to have more 3 bedroom properties. What is in your opinion a difference between these areas and which one would you recommend to a homebound couple with a child? How do safety and walkability compare? Are there any families? I am aware people consider this to be 'singles' areas but we prefer urban lifestyle. Are there any other areas of Baltimore that you recommend?

Thanks a lot for any and all comments!
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,881 posts, read 7,304,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CataMD View Post

We have one small child and were initially looking at Inner Harbor and Harbor East but now are considering Canton as well because it tends to have more 3 bedroom properties. What is in your opinion a difference between these areas and which one would you recommend to a homebound couple with a child? How do safety and walkability compare? Are there any families? I am aware people consider this to be 'singles' areas but we prefer urban lifestyle. Are there any other areas of Baltimore that you recommend?

Thanks a lot for any and all comments!
Hmm. I know when I am walking down to the harbor, I pass lots of heavy traffic, homeless people and dirty streets. Can't really imagine having a family down there (course I am a suburb girl).

Harbor East is much nicer and pricier but I don't know how family-oriented it could be.

I'd have to say Canton is probably the best option. While it is majority singles, I do know of several small families with babies and little kids who have homes there and you can get more bang for your buck. There is also possibly Patterson Park (the park is huge), Upper Fells and maybe Mt. Vernon which has a lots ot artsy, college types and lots of great old architechture.

There is also Federal Hill (though again, big singles area) and maybe Charles Village, which is kinda quiet, collegey and lots of big, old homes.

Live in Baltimore - Neighborhood Profiles
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Canton, Baltimore
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I moved into Canton last August and while I'm among several young singles in the area, I definitely see lots of families around as well. Personally I love living in Canton and based on what you're looking for I don't think you'll be disappointed with it
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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There are some great neighborhoods near the water where you could get a nice sized house with a yard, and potentially deck space and parking. I would suggest looking in Fells Point, Canton, Butchers Hill, Federal Hill, Riverside and Locust Point. All have growing family scenes, nice park space and some actually have some pretty good elementary schools.

I'd suggest reaching out to the Downtown Family Alliance.

Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance | Making Baltimore a place where families can thrive.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:16 PM
 
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Thanks a lot for the thoughtful responses. I like Canton a lot, but Harbor East seems a little bit more walkable - for example, it seems like I would need almost 50 minutes to get to Barnes & Noble and at least 30 to Whole Foods... I understand that nothing is close to everything, but these two seem important (but then, might turn out not to be...).

KLynch, thanks a lot for the link, if we move to Baltimore, we will definitively join that network. However, for our budget of about 400k it looks like house is not going to happen, as townhomes within our range are typically without parking, similar size to condos but spread over 3-4 levels.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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Yeah the Inner Harbor 'area' would be the last place I would move with a child unless you dont plan to stay long.. Canton, Federal Hill, Butchers Hill, and Patterson Park are good options that have been suggested since they provide much better amenities and open space which may be more family oriented.. If you do Fells.. stay away from Broadway since its a nightlife district..the further east of it you go from there..which is basically Canton.... the better.....
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:32 PM
 
1,175 posts, read 2,494,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CataMD View Post
Thanks a lot for the thoughtful responses. I like Canton a lot, but Harbor East seems a little bit more walkable - for example, it seems like I would need almost 50 minutes to get to Barnes & Noble and at least 30 to Whole Foods... I understand that nothing is close to everything, but these two seem important (but then, might turn out not to be...).

KLynch, thanks a lot for the link, if we move to Baltimore, we will definitively join that network. However, for our budget of about 400k it looks like house is not going to happen, as townhomes within our range are typically without parking, similar size to condos but spread over 3-4 levels.
Yeah, you wouldn't want to walk to the Inner Harbor from Canton too often. Harbor East is mostly apartments and Condos, but right next to it are Little Italy and Fells Point that have rowhouse options also.

I think you'd be surprised what upper 300's could get you in this city. I'd suggest hooking up with a good realtor and getting a feel for all of the different areas and seeing a lot of different styles of places. There are several other Downtown area grocery stores other than Whole Foods too.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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For a family with kids, I would choose Locust Point, but it is the furthest away from the harbor area attractions. There is a nice park with playground (Latrobe), Fort McHenry at the other end (nice trail aroudn, we fly kites there, were just there on Sunday), a Harris Teeter. LP is thought to be one of the nicer, safer city neighborhoods. Plus it is right by 95 for quick out.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
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My favorite neighborhood in Baltimore is Bolton Hill.

However, to answer your question, I believe that Harbor East is the top dog as it comes to ammenities, safety, and overall urban vibe. The Harbor East development has done wonders for the downtown area. Harbor East is also bounded by Little Italy and Fells Point which also makes it a very walkable neighborhood. It is a quick hop to I-83 from Harbor East. In addition, the boardwalk that connects Harbor East to Fells Point to Canton is wonderful!

The Inner Harbor and central business district are up and coming, but seem to lack vibrancy once you get about 2 blocks north of the Harbor area. Some areas within the Downtown core are still questionable.

Last edited by santafe400; 03-25-2013 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:35 PM
 
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I'm assuming you and your husband are working somewhere between Baltimore and Washington?

Commuting from the south side of the harbor (Federal Hill, Locust Point and Otterbein) is significantly quicker than from the north side (Canton, Harbor East and Fells Point), where you have to weave through city streets before hitting a south-bound interstate. Plus the tolls for taking the 695 tunnel do add up.

Federal Hill is the oldest of the gentrified areas and has a nice housing stock which is often superior to the houses in Canton. It also has an older long-term population and families and there's a Harris Teeter nearby.

Parking is always going to be problematic but you may be able to find private parking (at a cost, of course). While $400K is a healthy budget and will get you a pleasant place to live, you must factor in the high property taxes which will probably be around 8-9K a year.
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