Best College Town around Baltimore MD area?

11 Replies

Hi all, I ran some numbers on a $350,000 4 BDR / 2BR house in the center of Charles Village. The numbers did not look to add up to be a profitable rental -- with $2,200 monthly payment-- $1419 P&I (I estimated this at 4.5% for a business loan, hopefully this # is not too low), $67 insurance, a staggering $715 in taxes (2.248% interest per year). On top of this, estimated $3000 capital expenditures / year. House was not a rehab project. I projected the following, projecting 4 different rooms with varying occupancy across $800, $725, $750, and $700 room (average around $743/room) : 

100% occupancy : $6300,  

89%  occupancy : $3000 

73% occupancy  :  - $3000.

I am more knowledgeable about investing in the stock market, and I cannot finesse these numbers to make sense. Even in the best case scenario, the ROI does not justify the large capital investment and relative lack of liquidity as compared to my stock portfolio (where I have more knowledge & risk tolerance, even in volatile markets). I think that the above would have made a lot more sense if it were not for the high Baltimore City taxes.

Given my own back-of-the-envelope calculations, I am looking for suggestions about different college towns in Maryland that are worth investigating.

Sorry if this post was too detailed. I greatly appreciate everything that I have read on this forum. If there is any flaws in my thinking or analysis above, kindly let me know that too! Thanks!

I'll add this is a Baltimore single family home that would ideally be rented to 4 different individuals, who would share the living space, near Johns Hopkins University.

@Will Ulmer have you looked around Towson? That gets you out of the city and into County tax range, which is way more reasonable

@Will Ulmer

All of Baltimore is a college town.

You can find good deals on the west side to accommodate UMBC students.  Catonsville has a lot to offer.  Stay off Wilkens Ave and the lure of the 5000 house.

To the north, you can find great deals that feed to Towson (Towson State, Goucher etc...) from the York Rd/Northern Pkwy area.  Lots of two unit properties over there.

Going east, you can find deals in Rosedale, Parkville and Carney that will work for Essex Community College students

and if you go south into the city, you get a bit adventurous, but you've got the MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art).

Lots of opportunities.

Stephanie

Originally posted by @Kyle Quaranta :

Will Ulmer have you looked around Towson? That gets you out of the city and into County tax range, which is way more reasonable

Be careful about Towson, the rule ( also called Towson University rule) in Baltimore county is no more than two unrelated people in one house.

You cannot really put 3 students in one house legally.

Originally posted by @Ozzy Sirimsi :
Originally posted by @Kyle Quaranta:

Will Ulmer have you looked around Towson? That gets you out of the city and into County tax range, which is way more reasonable

Be careful about Towson, the rule ( also called Towson University rule) in Baltimore county is no more than two unrelated people in one house.

You cannot really put 3 students in one house legally.

I thought the rule was that you have to register your rental with Baltimore if more than two unrelated people live in the house? Is there a rule that you can not have two unrelated people in the house at all? 

Anyone doing rentals in Baltimore requires you to register your rental more information can be found here https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/permits/rentalregistration/index.html

Originally posted by @Joseph Abad :
Originally posted by @Ozzy Sirimsi:
Originally posted by @Kyle Quaranta:

Will Ulmer have you looked around Towson? That gets you out of the city and into County tax range, which is way more reasonable

Be careful about Towson, the rule ( also called Towson University rule) in Baltimore county is no more than two unrelated people in one house.

You cannot really put 3 students in one house legally.

I thought the rule was that you have to register your rental with Baltimore if more than two unrelated people live in the house? Is there a rule that you can not have two unrelated people in the house at all? 

Anyone doing rentals in Baltimore requires you to register your rental more information can be found here http://www.baltimorehousing.org/property_registrat...

Baltimore County not  Baltimore city.

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/permits...

 Look at the bottom of Question Q 

Originally posted by @Ozzy Sirimsi :
Originally posted by @Joseph Abad:
Originally posted by @Ozzy Sirimsi:
Originally posted by @Kyle Quaranta:

Will Ulmer have you looked around Towson? That gets you out of the city and into County tax range, which is way more reasonable

Be careful about Towson, the rule ( also called Towson University rule) in Baltimore county is no more than two unrelated people in one house.

You cannot really put 3 students in one house legally.

I thought the rule was that you have to register your rental with Baltimore if more than two unrelated people live in the house? Is there a rule that you can not have two unrelated people in the house at all? 

Anyone doing rentals in Baltimore requires you to register your rental more information can be found here http://www.baltimorehousing.org/property_registrat...

Baltimore County not  Baltimore city.

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/permits...

 Look at the bottom of Question Q 

Ahh I missed the part about needing the house to be authorized as a room and boarding house by the county. The answer states. 

Please be aware that separate Baltimore County law prohibits more than two unrelated adults from living together unless the unit is authorized by the county as a rooming or boarding house.

I thought the rule was the you can have more than two unrelated adults if you just register your house as a rental unit.

Do you have any details on how difficult it would be to get a house authorized as a rooming/boarding house for college students or is it pretty much impossible to do?

 Look at the bottom of Question Q 

That narrows it down - they're all Question "Q". :)

A: Baltimore County law prohibits more than two unrelated adults from living together unless the unit is authorized by the county as a rooming or boarding house.

The process for registering a property as a boarding house is outlined here:

Boarding or Rooming houses in Baltimore County

Originally posted by @Tim Youse :

 Look at the bottom of Question Q 

That narrows it down - they're all Question "Q". :)

A: Baltimore County law prohibits more than two unrelated adults from living together unless the unit is authorized by the county as a rooming or boarding house.

The process for registering a property as a boarding house is outlined here:

Boarding or Rooming houses in Baltimore County

 hahaha I didn't see that,

Thanks for the correction :D))

Everyone, thank you so much for your insights. I am so thankful of your time and appreciate your responses.

@Stephanie Potter Thank you! Have you done deals in Towson? Any words of suggestions or things to look out for? I pounded the pavement today and like that area.

@Ozzy Sirimsi   @Tim Youse  @Joseph Abad  Appreciate the tip about # of tenants in Towson, looking at the zoning laws : "After the effective date of Bill No. 124-93, a new boarding- or rooming house is not permitted next to an existing boarding- or rooming house unless permitted after a public hearing pursuant to Section 408.B."

I was researching some of the rental housing application process for Baltimore MD : https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/permits... and found this contact information : "If you have questions about the registration or exemption process, email the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections at -- or call --."

Is this the best contact to find out if an adjacent property is nearby? Will they engage with me at this stage in the pre-purchasing process?

@Will Ulmer

Sorry it took so long to respond.

I love Towson.  I love Souris' Saloon. I miss the bear they had there.  Great food and great beer.

Lots of other places to go and things to do.  Lacrosse at Towson etc...

I would buy out around Timonium or south of Towson either over toward Calvert Hall, or even closer to the city in the Loch Raven area. Great single family properties off of Joppa Rd.

Stephanie

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