News & Politics

Best of Baltimore: Real Estate

For many couples, Baltimore offers easy access to the Washington area at a lower cost.

Best of Baltimore

When Brian and Becky Clifford decided to sell their condominium in DC’s Cathedral Heights area and look for something with more space, they began their search in familiar areas such as Capitol Hill. But after Brian received an e-mail about Silo Point, a new condo building in Baltimore, they decided to give Charm City a look.

“When we saw the size of the homes, we couldn’t believe how low the prices were,” says Brian, who has lived in the Washington area for 14 years.

Brian, a Senate staffer, and Becky, who works for a nonprofit in DC, settled on a 2,200-square-foot two-bedroom with den at Silo Point in Baltimore’s Locust Point neighborhood.

“We love the area, and we have a water view on three sides,” says Brian. And they couldn’t beat the price: They paid $150,000 less for their new condo than they did in 2006 for their Cathedral Heights one-bedroom.

During the week, the Cliffords plan to drive to the BWI MARC station and take the train to DC’s Union Station. “Door to door, it will take about 50 minutes,” he says. “And that’s 50 minutes where I’m not behind the wheel. I can relax, I can read.”

For many couples like the Cliffords, Baltimore offers easy access to the Washington area at a lower cost. According to RBI, a real-estate research firm, the median sales price in Baltimore in February 2011 was $205,350—compared with $360,000 in the District.

Prices are highest in Baltimore neighborhoods such as Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor, where water views and a lively restaurant and bar scene have drawn lots of young professionals. But plenty of bargains are to be had in nearby Mount Vernon and Charles Village, where many students live. Home buyers can also find good deals in Canton, where a large housing inventory has kept prices low, and in Hampden, an area that’s seen a lot of recent development.

Here are seven condominiums with new units on the market.

Located in downtown Baltimore, 414 Water Street (414 Water St.; 410-752-2794) is a 312-unit building with about 133 condos still on the market. Residents have access to a two-level outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a party room. All units have GE appliances and crown molding, and some have balconies. Prices start at $189,900 for a one-bedroom and go up to $400,000 for a two-bedroom with den.

In a former schoolhouse, Friends at Bolton Park (1714 Park Ave.; 410-727-0606) has six out of its 51 units available. Each floor plan is different. The community has a fitness center and is located near MARC and light-rail stations. One-bedrooms start at $100,000, two-bedrooms at $149,000.

The Pier Homes at HarborView Condominiums (1020 Pier Pointe Landing; 410-637-8190) are in the Inner Harbor. The townhouse complex has a fitness center and community room. Each home features private balconies, harbor views, a terrace, and a soaking tub; some have fireplaces, and parking spaces are available for purchase. Four homes are still on the market; prices start in the low $700,000s for a two-bedroom and go up to $2.7 million for a four-bedroom.

On the market since 2008, the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Federal Hill (801 Key Hwy.; 888-377-5056) offers a variety of floor plans. Elevators bring residents directly to their homes, where units come with Viking appliances and marble master baths. The property has an indoor pool, a fitness center, a screening room, a billiards room, marina access, and an on-site spa and salon. Prices start at $500,000 for a one-bedroom and go up to $4 million for a three-bedroom, 5,400-square-foot home. There are 130 units still available.

Silo Point
(1200 Steuart St.; 410-539-7456) went on the market in 2008, and 92 of its 228 units are still available. The high-rise has two conference rooms, a gym, 24-hour concierge service, and a resident’s lounge on the 19th floor. Units have hardwood floors, walk-in closets, and floor-to-ceiling windows with harbor and city views. Every home comes with a parking space. Prices start at $269,900 for a one-bedroom and go up to $2.5 million for the three-bedroom penthouse.

Mount Vernon’s Ten14 Condos (1014 N. Charles St.; 410-963-0245) are housed in three historic manor homes that were renovated and converted into condominiums in 2008. The 16 units come with environmentally friendly features such as bamboo floors and recycled-paper countertops. Prices range from $150,000 for a studio to $299,000 for a two-bedroom.

Six new units remain at Village Lofts (3201 St. Paul St.; 410-243-0324). Located in Charles Village near Johns Hopkins and the Baltimore Museum of Art, the condos feature nine-foot ceilings, stainless-steel appliances, and private balconies. Prices start at $299,900 for a one-bedroom.

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