Moving to Baltimore to invest in multi family

5 Replies | Baltimore, Maryland

My wife and I are looking to move from Austin TX to Baltimore at the end of Nov. I'm a software engineer that works from home and my wife is starting the course for her Maryland real estate license. Our goal is to house hack & BRRRR a multi-family house (at least a triplex) up to a 9 unit commercial property as our first deal. We also want to undertake the occasional flip in the near future.

We’ve been gathering as much information as we can online, but we recognize that internet research is no substitute for a “boots on the ground” understanding of the city. We are looking for a real estate agent that can help us find the right property.

We’re looking at the following neighborhoods but are open to other suggestions. Charles Village

Station North

Oliver St.

Belair -Edison

Washington Village (Pig Town)

Parker Heights

McElderry Park

We’d appreciate any feedback, helpful hints, or referrals for a great real estate agent.

It's nice when a client comes with some area of focus to begin your search.  It's a good list of starting points.  Some of those neighborhoods like Pigtown or Oliver don't have the housing stock that offers more than 2-3 bedroom homes.  You'd need to expand your search to areas with larger homes like Reservoir Hill, Bolton Hill, Marble Hill or the squares in West Baltimore.  


Hey Jamal,

I'd also recommend the reservoir hill area as well as west Charles village, and Bolton hill. I live in hampden and I own 23 units throughout the city and each part of the city definitely has its strengths and weaknesses.

Something I would consider is the order in which you purchase your homes and do the deals. You're 1-4 units are going to be the easiest to finance, as I'm sure you're aware, but the commercial lending environment for anything over 4 units is relatively tight right now. I do work with a couple banks that lend although on lower loan to value limits. When are you guys in town? 

I'm also a full time agent and would love to chat about helping you guys with your home purchase. 

@Jamal Williams those are some very diverse neighborhoods. You listed them pretty much in order from Charles village at the top to park heights or McElderry Park at the bottom. My guess is you wouldn't  want to live in the last two. you might have trouble finding anything larger than a 2 unit is McElderry park or a 3 unit in some of the others. 

Keep in mind once you get over 4 units, you loose the advantageous homeowner owned property financing.

Just a tid-bit I almost got burnt by a multi family property. In Baltimore if a house sits Vacant for more than a year it loses its multi family status and it can be a lengthy process (Some cases over a year) to get the status back. I had a house in bel-air Edison that I had a contract on did the numbers as a two unit, but it lost its status so I got out of the deal because Zoning said the lot size was too small for me to just request it back I would've had to go to court which takes time and money and the city could've still not let me legally rent it as a two-unit. So be careful with your search if the city knows it's been vacant over a year it will revert back to a one unit and you may not be able to get it back in some cases because of the lot size of the property and then you might not be able to legally rent as a two unit. Just something to be aware of on your property search. 

 I also like Chinquapin, and Northwood are as well. Here and there, there will be  a double unit.

I personally would skip Station North and Parker Heights, I kind of agree @Mark Moyer Reservoir Hill could be an option. Bolton Hill will be expensive. 

Good Luck!!!