Canton Personal Residence/House Hack

2 Replies | Baltimore, Maryland

What's the market trend in Canton right now?  I'm looking for a personal residence that I can house hack - preferrably a 3br/2ba or one that has space I can upgrade to a 3br/2ba.  Prices to me seem to be a little high, yet I keep hearing that the market is slowing.  I'm not necessarily one for "timing the market" but at the same time I'm not in a huge rush and wondering if I should tough it out for another 3-6 months.

Today I looked at a potential property, it's a short sale, was purchased in 2007 for $275,000, currently asking $240,000.

A couple weeks ago I put in an offer (they barely countered, basically said nope.) on a 2br/1ba with no central air but plenty of room to make it a 3br/3ba (and a parking pad!) for $255,000 (seller pay closing) on a $265,000 asking price house.  I know I came in kind of low; they bought it in 2014 for $242,000.  Am I way off?  

It just seems to me that the sellers are still wanting too much for what seems to me to be a slowing area...  

Not sure about Canton, but I just closed a month ago on a 3/2.5 in Fed Hill that I turned into a 4/2.5 for a house hack. 

To me the numbers worked great when I looked for finished/unfinished basements that could turn into a bedroom. 

I watched intently from October to May  and prices continually dropped and dropped and dropped. Haven’t kept as close of an eye since May, but I didn’t see any reason it would slow down. 

That’s one thing I’m looking at, adding a bedroom and possibly a bath to the basement.  

Two identical models/footprints I looked at:

A -  2 beds 1 bath. Hot water baseboard heat (gas boiler). Bath is upgraded but dated (prob in 90’s), kitchen is updated probably mid 2000’s.  Basement is full height, has a front room that could easily be turned into a bedroom.  Basement would need a dig out/pump for a bathroom install.  Rooftop deck with interior stairs, plenty of room to add a 2nd bath upstairs (master bath) and maybe even move the washer/dryer upstairs.  Parking pad. No central air. $265k

B -  Same footprint/style as A.  But already  3 bed 3 bath.  I don’t like how they laid out the upstairs baths.  I don’t like how they installed the central air ducts.  No room now for an interior stairwell for a rooftop deck, and currently no rooftop deck.  Hot water radiator, oil fired boiler looks original to the house (1915-ish).   The bedrooms are all the same size.  The basement bath is not a dugout/pit, the toilet has a mascerator and the tub is raised (at 5’9” my head hit the ceiling in the tub), so I’d like to change that.  It does have a parking pad, also.  $285k

Option A I could get 1 roommate and wind up paying less than I am currently in rent.  Add a bath to the basement and finish off the bedroom. Move the tenant into the basement/bath while I update the upstairs with a master bath and laundry.  Also add central air (most likely a Mini split system).  Then get a 2nd roommate and my mortgage would be covered.

Option B - I could conceivably get 2 roommates immediately.  Slight inconvenience to the basement tenant while upgrading the basement bath.  Needs boiler conversion to gas boiler (house already has gas for stove and water heater).  But I really don’t like the layout of the baths upstairs and also how they tan the ducting for the central air.  Very inefficient use of the space upstairs (space that is currently open in Option A).