New to the Baltimore Area - Trying to House Hack

7 Replies | Baltimore, Maryland

I have recently moved here from Pittsburgh, PA and have grown more serious about house hacking after hearing/reading about it here on the forums. I currently live in Canton of Baltimore City and have started looking at homes in Baltimore City.

My current strategy is to find a house (preferably 3 person) and have 2 roommates to support the financing of the home. I've had trouble finding any sort of duplex or the like in the city, which is why I am looking at the roommate strategy. 

Unfortunately, the prices in the city are a little high ($275,000 - $350,000 for 3 bedroom 2+ bath), based on my analysis (using the tools from BP) to warrant purchase - with a low money down purchase with where rental prices are ($2,300 - $2,600).

Does anyone have any suggestions on locations to check out? I have been searching Upper Fells, Canton, Brewers Hill, and Highland Town. I'm not totally opposed to moving out of the city, but I currently enjoy city life and would like to stay. I was looking for a way to jump in to the REI world with a little less risk using a house hack - but am currently having some trouble. I am still learning and look forward to any advice or comments on my current thoughts.

Looking forward to your thoughts and glad to be here!

Noah

Another place to consider is  Hampden or Remington. Remington is cheaper but Hampden is trendier.  

@Noah Schettini I was in the same boat. I ended up going the rehab+flip route instead but did a lot of legwork on looking for a rental property that I could live in and have roommates cover my my monthly payments. My search was focused on Fells Point/Canton. As far as 3 BRs go, it's difficult to have two roommates rent cover the costs (and then some) of your monthly payments (taxes, insurance, mortgage). HOWEVER, the 4 BR play will work on prices in this area if you're willing to go for something in the 300-350k+ range and you are ok with having 3 roommates. Echoing @Ned Carey you will also be able to find 3BRs that make the numbers work in areas of the city outside of Fells Point/Canton (examples include Remington, Hampden, Highlandtown, North of Patterson Park). Feel free to DM me and I can give some more context or answer additional questions. 

Hey @Noah Schettini Welcome to Baltimore! We are neighbours. I live/house-hack in Upper Fells Point. 

I think the idea is to start looking on the fringes now, and I'd suggest looking at 21224 instead of 21231. There are some upcoming and areas  [south of Fayette], where you may be able to snatch up a multifamily property. 

Start by setting an automatic notification on Realtor for these areas, so when a property comes online you can quickly analyze the deal and maybe put in an offer in. I did a quick search for you, take a look  here . 

I'm sure you'll find something out there for you. Good luck. Thanks! - Ola 

            I'm by no means saying that your numbers are off but I would be interested to see how you analyzed the purchase price and rental income in Canton. I actually encourage all of my friends to buy a property in Canton and rent the rooms out, most of them have taken my advice. Putting a room on the market in Canton is like releasing a new iphone, people just flock to your add. A house in Canton will never sit vacant unless you're way overpriced AND EVEN THEN. People love City life, the bars, and Patterson Park. No matter how bad this place gets, the market doesn't seem to slow down over here. Yes, the prices are a bit steep but the bedrooms consistently rent for $800-$1100 depending on parking/rooftop deck/location. My take on Canton is that as long as you don't over pay, you can't lose. I also feel like that could be a good building block for new investors. 

-Eric

Originally posted by @Noah Schettini :

I have recently moved here from Pittsburgh, PA and have grown more serious about house hacking after hearing/reading about it here on the forums. I currently live in Canton of Baltimore City and have started looking at homes in Baltimore City.

My current strategy is to find a house (preferably 3 person) and have 2 roommates to support the financing of the home. I've had trouble finding any sort of duplex or the like in the city, which is why I am looking at the roommate strategy. 

Unfortunately, the prices in the city are a little high ($275,000 - $350,000 for 3 bedroom 2+ bath), based on my analysis (using the tools from BP) to warrant purchase - with a low money down purchase with where rental prices are ($2,300 - $2,600).

Does anyone have any suggestions on locations to check out? I have been searching Upper Fells, Canton, Brewers Hill, and Highland Town. I'm not totally opposed to moving out of the city, but I currently enjoy city life and would like to stay. I was looking for a way to jump in to the REI world with a little less risk using a house hack - but am currently having some trouble. I am still learning and look forward to any advice or comments on my current thoughts.

Looking forward to your thoughts and glad to be here!

Noah

Alternative to what you are looking for is definitely Hampden. 

Bars are in walking distance, popular restaurants of  Baltimore in walking distance renovated rotunda has new options,Remington is also in walking distance where R house, Parts and Labor, Clavel located. Also charles village is in walking distance. It is 4 miles to city, Uber ride is like 8 bucks.  It became trendy and it is going to stay like it for some years. New Years celebrations gets crazy.

You can easily get roommates.

Although I might be biased since I live in Hampden, I think it is the best alternative to Fed Hill, Fells and Canton

I did the same thing and house-hacked, though we went with a detached in the city because we needed more space for our lifestyle (music studio in our basement).  It's so smart and I honestly don't know why more people don't do the same.  I suppose some people really prefer their privacy, but I'm so used to living with people or having tenants that it would be weird not to.

@Noah Schettini welcome to Baltimore!!!  I am originally from PA more central PA.  I am not sure what your financial situation is but ever consider a 203K loan.  If you are not familiar the loan will allow you to finance your purchase and the cost of the rehab.  Would be great in your situation because you are going to owner occupy the house and would allow you to buy something that might need some work and  you get it at a discount.  If you make the right repairs could be into a place with some built in equity.  Good Luck!