Vacation/AirBnB home Baltimore City

12 Replies

Hi, 

I'm in downtown Washington, DC and am looking to invest in a second home in Baltimore City - used as a weekend family house (we have 2 small kids, under 3) and to rent out on AirBnb occasionally. We would like to stick to near Penn Station/Amtrak, or close to the hipster/yuppier parts of town, Fells Point/Federal Hill, or by Camden Yards. Budget is about $200k, for a 2 or 3 BR house - and open to doing some small DIY projects on our own or paying for bigger projects, like going lead paint free. 

We would be paying mostly or all cash, so we're not too constrained by cash flow. Our main criteria is being able to get back our cash (after taxes, maintenance, etc) in about 3-5 years if needed. Obviously, we know Baltimore is block by block, so we'd be visiting a lot - and we love the city, so that's not a problem.

The reason for doing this is that we have saved enough cash for a down payment in the DC suburbs - which is enough to buy an entire nice house in Baltimore. We had planned on moving to the suburbs when we had kids, but it turns out we're not feeling cramped yet in our condo, and DC has public preschool. We need to stay in DC for our jobs. So we'd like to stay and build some more equity in our condo for at least 3-5 more years. In the meantime, I'd like to keep our down payment cash parked somewhere other than the bank, but safer than the stock market,.

Any thoughts? Also, would love to network with any Baltimore City real estate investors. 

Hi Alice,

I actually live in Federal Hill - yes, we're yuppies - and am also contemplating the AirBnb route, so I thought I'd chime in. 

I'd stay away from condos if you're thinking about selling in 3-5 years. From what I've seen in Baltimore, they just don't seem to hold their value in the short term. This is obviously anecdotal, but I tend to see condos sit on the market for much longer than the average SFH in those neighborhoods. We're actually thinking of purchasing a condo for AirBnb, but this is mostly because we're more interested in cash flow and putting it on "autopilot," not so much appreciation in the short term.

We have some friends in the neighborhood that do quite well with Airbnb, and they seem to get most of their business from convention attendees. So I think you're on the right track with Fed Hill, Fells, and Ridgely's Delight (Camden Yards). I'd also throw in Otterbein, which has some affordable townhouses that might work. Barre Circle could work too. 

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to reach out with any neighborhood-specific questions. Good luck!

Hi @Alice Jou ,

Unfortunately as a real estate licensee I’m restricted from commenting on neighborhoods. At 200K you might not get all that you desire though. Have you thought about parking? It can be a big deal in those neighborhoods. Check out the listings in different areas online and compare it to what’s on Airbnb. Also check out https://livebaltimore.com/ and https://baltimore.org/neighborhoods-maps for some neighborhood info and visit the areas you’re interested in and talk to people in the neighborhoods. I'm sure you'll get more responses on here as well.

I actually know of an investor who purchased a property within walking distance from the convention center and has the property on AirBNB.  He is doing incredibly well, with a 90+% occupancy rate.  If you can find the right property manager, it's so worth the investment!

If you are considering airbnb,and I would stay around Camden Yards. You will have more options. 

Fells / Fed Hill areas are fine, but  you should find one with a parking spot which will be expensive, However, if you don't have parking spot, you will have hard time during those weekend visits, and will have harder time to airbnb without it.

Good Luck.

Hey @Alice Jou , as @Ian Smith mentioned, it might be hard to get what you want in those areas with $200k. That being said, we are working on a gut rehab in the Patterson Park/Highlandtown area which benefits from the "yuppiness" you mention but is not quite as expensive. We haven't put a price on it, but it will likely be around $300k. If you want any more info let me know!

My wife and I live in Fairfax, Virgina and we plan to make a similar investment soon. If you are still contemplating an Airbnb investment property in Baltimore, we highly recommend contacting Jenna and Matt. We recently visited Baltimore City and met with "Jenna and Matt", who manage a number of Airbnb investment properties in the Baltimore area. This Sunday afternoon they showed us around to a few of their Baltimore properties, many of which are downtown near the Inner Harbor in Fells Point/Federal Hill/Camden Yards. We visited on a Sunday because many guests checkout on Sunday morning, so Sunday afternoon was a great time to visit a few of their properties in one day. Jenna and Matt have been hosting through Airbnb for about 4 years. Jenna and Matt are classified as "Airbnb Superhosts" which is a distinguished title that they have earned through their high response rate, exceptional hospitality, and hundreds of 5-star guest reviews. After meeting with them we much better understand the Baltimore area, and their airbnb business. We were particularly impressed with their professionalism, and the high cash on cash returns that their investors are currently achieving. 

Agreed with the others that $200k is not enough for a SFH in Fed Hill/Camden etc. However, you could get pretty close up north in Hampden/Medfield, which are very nice places to live. If you were willing to take out a small loan, you could probably cover it via Airbnb. Anecdotal experience in this neighborhood shows that there are plenty of people who want to stay here on Airbnb - students, nurses, etc.

Does anyone know a good website to get Airbnb heat map statistics? Comps and occupancy rates. Specifically I am looking for the Baltimore area.  Just read an article about how airbnb stays in Baltimore doubled over the last year. '

A friend of mine has made it her full time job, but the city is trying to crack down.

Hi @Daniel Kauffman how do i reach out to Jenna and Matt ? Care to share contact info. Thanks.

We bought a 3 bedroom property downtown for Airbnb and it has performed better than expected so far. A lot of our success is due to the help that we got from Matt and Jenna. You can see the 14 Baltimore properties that Matt and Jenna manage at goo.gl/UyFi6x and they can be contacted at baltimorebnbs.com. I also recommend contacting Mike Kane with re/max canton if you want to look at properties. He's a local realtor that understands the downtown Baltimore market very well. 

Baltimore native and investor friendly agent, I would love to send you some properties to check out 
Originally posted by @Alice Jou :

Hi, 

I'm in downtown Washington, DC and am looking to invest in a second home in Baltimore City - used as a weekend family house (we have 2 small kids, under 3) and to rent out on AirBnb occasionally. We would like to stick to near Penn Station/Amtrak, or close to the hipster/yuppier parts of town, Fells Point/Federal Hill, or by Camden Yards. Budget is about $200k, for a 2 or 3 BR house - and open to doing some small DIY projects on our own or paying for bigger projects, like going lead paint free. 

We would be paying mostly or all cash, so we're not too constrained by cash flow. Our main criteria is being able to get back our cash (after taxes, maintenance, etc) in about 3-5 years if needed. Obviously, we know Baltimore is block by block, so we'd be visiting a lot - and we love the city, so that's not a problem.

The reason for doing this is that we have saved enough cash for a down payment in the DC suburbs - which is enough to buy an entire nice house in Baltimore. We had planned on moving to the suburbs when we had kids, but it turns out we're not feeling cramped yet in our condo, and DC has public preschool. We need to stay in DC for our jobs. So we'd like to stay and build some more equity in our condo for at least 3-5 more years. In the meantime, I'd like to keep our down payment cash parked somewhere other than the bank, but safer than the stock market,.

Any thoughts? Also, would love to network with any Baltimore City real estate investors. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here