Where to buy in Maryland for Buy and Holds?

25 Replies

Hi Everyone,

I am looking to buy another rental property in Maryland.  I have 2 in Howard County, but HoCo is expensive and I haven't had much luck finding anything well priced.  I'd like to stick close to HoCo as that's where I live and I don't want to travel far to fix up then manage the property.  I'm not afraid of a fixer-upper and actually prefer that.  Does anyone with experience outside of HoCo have any suggestions?  I'd like to spend no more than $200K.

Thanks for any suggestions!

All depends on what you are looking for. I prefer both Montgomery and Frederick counties to Howard.

PG County, Hyattsville “Arts District” Area. Used to be a dump. Now it’s gotten much, much nicer. Firesale on properties during the downturn and has since picked up. Or maybe something near Largo, where the new County hospital is going up in next couple years.

Thanks  for the suggestion Russell.  Frederick is a little far for me but I would be interested in looking in Montgomery county. Are there any areas with in Montgomery county that you think are better than others? 

Does anyone recommend buying rentals in Glen Burnie? The prices seem right on the houses that I've seen, but I'm not sure how strong the rental market is. If someone with experience in this area could chime in, I'd appreciate it.

Originally posted by @Sandra Holt :

Does anyone recommend buying rentals in Glen Burnie? The prices seem right on the houses that I've seen, but I'm not sure how strong the rental market is. If someone with experience in this area could chime in, I'd appreciate it.

I have a contract on one right now in Glen Burnie .  I look at Glen Burnie and Pasadena , kinda like Balto city .  Neighborhoods  change block by block . There are a couple of neighborhoods in each I wont touch .  Haurandale being one of them , there are too many rentals in the neighborgood , and its post ww2 track housing , built on slabs with metal framing , a real pain to remodel .  But right behind Haurandale on the south bound side of Ritchie hwy is a great area . Nicely constructed brick homes with lots of owners that maintain their properties .  I prefer Pasadena over Glen Burnie , especially if the property feeds into the Chesapeake High School district . All my deals up to now have been in Pasadena , BUT the numbers work exceptionally well on the one under contract in Glen Burnie 

I was yea close to buying a condo in this place.

but decided to hold my money to see what happens with new amazon HQ2, would rather buy condo in Pittsburgh, Philly, Baltimore, etc if it lands in an affordable city.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

@Sandra Holt @Russell Brazil I was told there is a 3% transfer fee for properties in Maryland. Is that accurate or were they just blowing smoke?

 It varies from county to county. Transfer and recordation taxes in most places are a little over 2%. Baltimore city I bet hits about 3%.

You'll be dealing with the same pricing issues in Montgomery County as Howard County. Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties, adjacent to Howard County, appear to have more opportunities in the ARV price ranges that are easy to move. Frederick County which physically adjoins western Howard County is a much better play than Montgomery County, as well.

Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I'm going to look in Anne Arundel County as it seems to be a place more within my price range. The DC area is in the top five for places that Amazon is planning on building its second headquarters so PG County maybe a good area as well but the Amazon decision won't be reached until next year. 

Good morning Sandra!  If you ever decide to branch out a little further north, there are really good opportunities here in Harford County.  Considering the distance, you would may need to hire a PM to help you out if it is too much of a hassle for you.  We are also close to the new Amazon distribution center in Cecil County :-)

Best of luck to you!

Hi, Check out the Spring Ridge Neighborhood right outside of Frederick. They have condos for sale between $170,00 -$190,000. These are located in the Oakdale School District which is becoming very desirable. No city taxes. I rent out two 3rd level units for $1400 a month. Also only responsible for wall to wall coverage of the property.  

I wouldn't drive thru PG county unless it was in an armored car.  Can't imagine going there regularly for repairs or showing to tenants.

One piece of advice I can give you is to pay attention to counties anti-discrimination laws.  There are national-level protected classes, state-level protected classes and also county-level protected classes.  

This is relevant because in PG county, for example, you can not discriminate against a potential tenant base od there "source of income".  So if someone is on the section 8 house program you can not deny them for being section 8.  You will need to come up with another reason to deny them but if they do happen to have good credit and no criminal history, ect and you still deny them, then you may be opening yourself up to potential lawsuits.

Just something to think about.  


Real estate in the Maryland area has gotten very expensive over the course of the last seven years.  I would look for off book houses in Howard County or private sales where the house may need a lot of work and the owner may not want to do anything in terms of fixing it up. All of my properties are within a 5 mile radius of my home. so it is a good thing that you want to purchase close to where you live.   

I believe that we are reaching bubble territory again in the housing market.  If you can be patient, build cash, and only put contracts on single family houses that are great deals; you may be able to find something with in the next few years.  This year alone I put I put contracts on 10 single families and four multi units and I did not get any of them. I have to keep reminding myself to stay patient because my deal is coming.  

Be aggressive in your search!  You deal is coming. 


@Anthony Evans thanks for your words of wisdom. I actually have an offer on a house in Baltimore County and I'm waiting to hear back. As much as I would like to stay in Howard County, I don't have access to those types of deals that would generate cash flow. I've also had pretty bad luck in marketing for off MLS deals in the past. For now, since Baltimore County is only about a half hour away from me and the numbers work, I'm looking there.