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Old 07-05-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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Hi.

I'm moving from Salt Lake City to Baltimore in August to attend grad school at Peabody. I was wondering if people had suggestions about neighborhoods (so far I've been directed to Mt. Vernon, Charles Village, and Remington) and apartments. I'll be living frugally, so rent can't get past about $900. What should I look for in apartments security-wise, parking-wise, etc?

I imagine parking is a nightmare around these areas. Do apartments ever include parking, or does it usually cost an extra 1-2 hundred bucks/month? How is the public transportation around the downtown and peabody area?

Any other hot tips?
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Here is a good thread with info about Public Transportation and places in that area.

Moving from San Francisco-to rent downtown or bolton hill or mt. vernon?

That area is where the best public transportation in the city is between the Rail, Circulator, and Hopkins Shuttle.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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I just read through more of this board and realized there are a thousand posts just like this. Sorry. Here are some more specific questions.

1 - How much can I expect to pay for a reasonable, but cheap, 1 BR apt? I want to be close to Peabody, and have been considering Mt. Vernon primarily.

2 - I have a car and will be driving it to Baltimore, but am debating whether or not to keep it. How much does parking cost? How bad is driving in/around the city?

3 - Most popular question I'm sure: Mt. Vernon/charles village areas, safe or no? Can my GF take a bus home at night and be reasonably assured of her safety?
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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Mt. Vernon is a wonderful neighborhood, and perfectly safe. There are lots of reasonably priced apartments there, especially along Calvert St, St. Paul St, and Maryland Ave. (Check Craigslist for current prices, but I think you'll have no problem coming in under $900 for a 1br). The neighborhood is full of restaurants, bars, galleries, theaters, etc. It's a great walking neighborhood--everything you could possibly need for day-to-day living is within a few blocks, e.g. supermarket, pharmacy, laundry, bank, gym, post office, etc. I highly recommend the neighborhood, and if you will attend Peabody, it's perfect for you. To my mind, it is both safer, more convenient, more walkable and more beautiful than Charles Village.

Most apartments in the area are street parking only, although a very few buildings may have small dedicated lots. In order to park on the street, you need an Area 28 parking permit which you can buy for around $30 for the year. Finding a spot isn't always easy--you might have to swing around the block a few times, and your car probably won't always be right in front of where you live. But it's not a big problem.

I lived in Mt. Vernon for 8 years (moved out-of-state two years ago), and did have a car. But, I drove it once a month, at most. The only time I needed the car was to run out to the suburbs for Target or Home Depot. Everything else is an easy walk or bus ride away. There's a free shuttle bus run by Hopkins that Peabody students can take up to Charles Village. From Mt. Vernon, it's a short walk down to the Harbor and Federal Hill, and a quick bus ride to Fells Point. So, a car is really not a necessity.

You should also consider Zipcar Carshare. Do a google search for Zipcar and you can read about it on their website. There are Zipcars at the Homewood campus (about a 10min ride on the shuttle), and you can rent those by the day or by the hour for those times when you do need wheels. If it were me, I'd get rid of my car, and use Zipcar as needed. Much cheaper and less stressful than having your own wheels. But, that's me.

Whether your girlfriend will feel safe at night on the bus depends a lot on where she's going. The Mt. Vernon area is quite safe, even after dark. And as a young, single woman, I wouldn't feel unsafe taking a bus from, say, Mt. Vernon to Charles Village, or to the Harbor or Federal Hill, or Bolton Hill or Fells Point. But, some buses would require traveling through less-safe neighborhoods, and that may not be a great idea. But Mt. Vernon itself is quite safe. And there are many other young 20- and 30-somethings in the area, so it's a great place to be to make new friends.

Charles Village is adjacent to the Homewood JHU campus, and it's more of a college town vibe there. Living in Charles Village, you're more likely to need a car -- day-to-day things are less convenient to reach on foot. There's also less stuff to do. There are a few bars and restaurants for the college kids, and that's about it. It's definitely not my favorite neighborhood, but there will be lots of rentals up there if you don't find what you're looking for in Mt. V.

Good luck with your move, and I hope you enjoy Peabody!
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Currently the least expensive MLS property in Mt Vernon is $975. Parking really depends on the unit. The high rises tend to have parking available for a fee each month or you park on the street with a permit so you don't get ticketed. You should budget about $100-150 for BGE (Baltimore Gas and Electric) plus cable etc if you want those amenities.

Charles Village and Remington each have a couple well under the $1000 mark but in those you'd be a bit further from Peabody.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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I think the properties listed on MLS might be a bit on the high end. There are listings on Craigslist in the $600-$800 range in Mt. Vernon.

I can only think of two newer high rises in the area -- one at the corner of Center and Calvert, and another at Center and Park. Most of the places in the area are row houses and smaller, much older apartment buildings. I guess utilities may run higher in the high rise units that have central a/c. But in my experience, the BGE bill for my 900sqft apartment never ran over $80, and that was during the summer with 24/7 use of a large window ac. (This was, however, nearly two years ago.)

Many of the apartments in Mt. Vernon include heat and hot water in the rent, and that can be a big plus. Because my heat was included, the BGE bill ran as low as $30 in the winter. So davecj makes a great point -- which utilities are included in the rent can make a big difference in the overall cost of the unit.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
158 posts, read 354,719 times
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I own a small apt. building in Mt. Vernon and our one-bedrooms (around 900-1000 sq ft) are around $900 (but that doesn't include any utilities - - tenants pay for elec, gas for cooking/hot water/clothes dryer, and they split the heat and water bill with the rest of the building). My building doesn't have parking either, but I don't have a problem parking on my street or within 3 blocks of my house...
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Yeah? Any availabilities in mid-August?
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
158 posts, read 354,719 times
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I will check with the current tenants and let you know! Their lease is up at the end of July but I believe they want to stay for another year. I'll send you a private message if their apartment is available.
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