Baltimore Maryland - Yes or No?

32 Replies

@Sherman Ragland I only manage 2 properties myself and that's strictly because a full time guy on one of my construction crews lives on that block, the rest are professionally managed, I wouldn't be able to do anything else if I managed all my properties by myself.

So much information on here thanks to all who contributed. I’m trying to get started in the baltimore area where should I look first

@Ian Barnes - thanks for the response.  

My perspective is from someone who lived in Baltimore (1980's) went to DC (Old Town Alexandria, VA) and then came back. My advice is especially for folks heading to Baltimore from the DC market. People who may have first hand experience buying "crappy" properties in (and around) DC and making serious money in 2-3 years, just because it's DC.

As we know, Baltimore doesn’t work that way.  It’s true that if you invest 30+ years of your life (like we have) getting to know Baltimore, you can pretty much buy anything/anywhere and still make money, if you do it right. My best cash flowing property is a 12-unit “in the hood”.  

My comments, again are directed towards the “first timer” heading to Baltimore from DC who wants to avoid some if the pitfalls others (from DC) have experienced by expecting the market to behave in a way they are probably used to, South of 695...

P.s. I seriously disagree, however, that most properties in Baltimore (at least the ones rehabbers go after) are younger than 60 years, but 60 years is not the issue. Lead paint and Baltimore’s (court system) way of going after Landlords when kids have been exposed to lead paint in their units.  It is no where near as big an issue, outside of Baltimore City.

@Sherman Ragland , who doesn't get there units certified lead free inside and out? Costs 300 dollars from leadprobe and usually requires about 2k-3k worth of work, and a 10 dollar fee to MDE.  If your certified lead free, there's no case, cause there either isn't lead anymore or its been encased.  And if your from DC, and you don't work with someone that's boots on the ground in Baltimore and know what they are doing construction wise plus dealing with a very unique city, then of course they have a very good chance of not being sucessful.  I have clients from China, Saudi Arabia, Israel, England, etc that all invest in Baltimore and have never stepped foot in the city, cause they're working with experienced, reliable people.  The problem with most new investors outside of Baltimore City is they come in, buy properties cause they think they are cheap, have no clue about construction, use cheap contractors, who in turn do half of what is necessary to get a property to code.  On top of that, these outside investors then never show up to the property or manager the construction, and expect everything to turn out perfect. It never does.

Lots of great info on this thread! I'm currently working on a flip, but have been wanting to invest in small multi-family (2-4 units) for buy and hold in Baltimore City for a while. However, it seems like prices keep driving up to points where the numbers don't really make sense anymore. Also seeing lots of properties, both distressed and rehabbed, that are being auctioned off and end up getting WAY overbid. 

What are everyone's thoughts on small multi-family units? Still worth pursuing, or are SFH's the way to go?

Thanks in advance! 

@Stacy Weng  I have a 2-unit that cash flows really well but IMO, there arent enough units in the building to make all the extra work that comes with the multi family worth it. I would look at 4-units or stick with the single-family. Just my 2 cents 

@Sherman Ragland I agree with you 100%. in 2016 I bought a property near JH for $15K, and a local contractor gave me an estimate of $40K to fix the place up, he went over budget, after $65K and 8 months later he abandoned the project. I ended up hIring someone else to do the heavy lIfting and dId most of the work myself. at the end, It cost me $102K to have the place repaIred and took almost a year to fix It. Total cost after repairs was about $117K. After all I went through I sold it for $125K!

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