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Old 04-13-2021, 10:33 AM
 
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I'm am looking to buy a luxury condo in the Harbor East area of Baltimore. My budget is around $400K. Is this a reasonable budget?
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:54 AM
 
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"Luxury" is an empty word. You have Harbor East units that go for $1200/sqft and market as "luxury" and you have Harbor East units that go for $300/sqft and market as "luxury." $400K is enough to get you into a couple of the older (2005-06) buildings in the area. Remember to account for differences in condo fees and property taxes when directly comparing units.
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Old 04-13-2021, 12:39 PM
 
233 posts, read 147,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufflove View Post
"Luxury" is an empty word. You have Harbor East units that go for $1200/sqft and market as "luxury" and you have Harbor East units that go for $300/sqft and market as "luxury." $400K is enough to get you into a couple of the older (2005-06) buildings in the area. Remember to account for differences in condo fees and property taxes when directly comparing units.
Good point about "luxury" being an empty word. Never mind that. I did a quick search on Zillow and found this at just under $400K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...67870521_zpid/

Would something like this hold any value, if I decide to sell it in 5 years time? Or I'd be better off buying something newer?
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:57 PM
 
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Disclaimer: my neighborhood-level RE knowledge is almost exclusively limited to the DC suburbs. I don't actively track Harbor East or other Baltimore submarkets with any regularity.

Speaking broadly re: holding value: prospective buyers are likely to view a 15 year old home/condo and a 20 year old home/condo in very similar lights. That is to say there isn't likely to be much of a value drop off if you sell a 15 y/o unit 5 years from now (assuming all other things - namely market demand - were to remain the same). On the other hand, there absolutely is a premium paid for a 0-5 year old building when everything is shinny, new, and on-trend. There is a significant chance that price premium paid will evaporate as the building's initial sheen wears off and elements of the unit/common areas begin to date themselves.

As for the specific unit you mention: note that it's been up for sale, on and off, for 4 years now. Now maybe that's in part because it's successfully rented out quickly and the owner was happy with that option. Or maybe units commonly take a long time to sell in the area; a substantial number of the current Harbor East listings have been active for 100+ days so it appears that might the case. That may or may not be a red flag for resale prospects. A local agent should be able to offer insight and concrete data to consider. Good luck in your search!
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:02 PM
 
453 posts, read 183,070 times
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The market is hot at the moment but Baltimore historically rarely has hot markets. Back in 2019 before COVID hit I glanced at various condos for sale in Harbor East and downtown, and all were reselling at below previous purchase prices. In some cases significantly below.

Condos and houses are two different markets, appealing to different demographics. The Harbor East/Fells/Canton condos mostly come with high HOAs that turn off young buyers, and the pool of higher earning singles/dinks who'd be prime candidates to buy luxury condos is always small in Baltimore. They exist, but the competition for their dollars is great and stretches across many markets.

If you buy a condo for $400k today, will it be worth $400k five years from now? Possibly. Then again it may be worth $450k. Or it may be worth $350k. But the other problem associated with condos are the aforementioned HOA. The condo in the link provided a few posts up has $809 monthly HOA. Which is just about $10k a year. Or $50,000 across five years (assuming the HOA doesn't go up, which it almost certainly will).

You could sell the condo for $450k but your 50k appreciation is wiped out by having spent 50k on the HOA.

Keep in mind that with condos, you still need to pay your property taxes separately from the HOA. And most condo fees don't cover all utilities, only some of it, usually water and maybe heat.

Homeownership comes with a cost, but a 400k house is almost never going to have 800 a month in expenses on top of the utilities/taxes.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:07 PM
 
19 posts, read 2,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
The market is hot at the moment but Baltimore historically rarely has hot markets. Back in 2019 before COVID hit I glanced at various condos for sale in Harbor East and downtown, and all were reselling at below previous purchase prices. In some cases significantly below.

Condos and houses are two different markets, appealing to different demographics. The Harbor East/Fells/Canton condos mostly come with high HOAs that turn off young buyers, and the pool of higher earning singles/dinks who'd be prime candidates to buy luxury condos is always small in Baltimore. They exist, but the competition for their dollars is great and stretches across many markets.

If you buy a condo for $400k today, will it be worth $400k five years from now? Possibly. Then again it may be worth $450k. Or it may be worth $350k. But the other problem associated with condos are the aforementioned HOA. The condo in the link provided a few posts up has $809 monthly HOA. Which is just about $10k a year. Or $50,000 across five years (assuming the HOA doesn't go up, which it almost certainly will).

You could sell the condo for $450k but your 50k appreciation is wiped out by having spent 50k on the HOA.

Keep in mind that with condos, you still need to pay your property taxes separately from the HOA. And most condo fees don't cover all utilities, only some of it, usually water and maybe heat.

Homeownership comes with a cost, but a 400k house is almost never going to have 800 a month in expenses on top of the utilities/taxes.
The last time Baltimore's real estate market was this hot was before the economic crash in 2008. Millennials like city living. Being around diversity doesn't scare them.
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Old Today, 07:53 AM
 
453 posts, read 183,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubism40 View Post
The last time Baltimore's real estate market was this hot was before the economic crash in 2008. Millennials like city living. Being around diversity doesn't scare them.
And you have a point? We are not talking about millennials or preference for diversity. That aside, this thread is about condos in Harbor East. Condos remain a niche market and are much more prone to the vagaries of the market than a SFH or rowhouse. Luxury condos in particular.

FYI the Baltimore suburbs has more racial diversity than the city at this point, which probably shocks quite a few of you.
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