Skip to main content

Touring Baltimore Rehab Houses - Photos

I've been dreaming about houses. It's a mystery how many beautiful old victorians stand vacant in Baltimore when it lies just an hour up the road from Washington DC. Sure this is an old rust belt city but it's not like Detroit, it's close to Philadelphia and New York, there's a lot going on. We have Michael Phelps and Ace of Cakes, a symphony, opera, and one of the biggest ports in the USA. So how come there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of vacant houses in Baltimore?

I explored a few rehabs last weekend in an attempt to learn if they are worth it, I'm sharing some thoughts and photos here with you. I looked at 10 different houses from a 7 bedroom mansion-townhouse in Reservoir Hill (for $200k) to a small but charming house actually in a good neighborhood, Mount Vernon (also for 200k). These homes however are in fairly bad neighborhoods and are as cheap as it gets.

North Avenue Nomansland for $60k
From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1
For seemingly nothing, $60,000, you can be the proud owner of a four bedroom row house right across the street from Greenmount cemetary. Actually, we saw two townhouses, right next door to each other, and they are not as terrible as you might think, but after you sunk another $200,000 in rehabing this place, you would be lucky to sell it for a loss. I LOVE the 3 story townhouse, but I love having neighbors even more. This is one of the worst neighborhoods in Baltimore, it's a shame, there are so many potentially great houses. There's so much potential.

Another Neighborhood with Few Neighbors for $90k
From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

This 4 bedroom townhouse (the red one in the first photo) is in pretty good shape! It is very similar to the North Ave. houses, but better. Still it needs at least $100k in work including a new kitchen, 2+ new bathrooms, roof, windows, and who knows what else. But for $90k it's a big, beautiful house the likes of which never gets built any more. One major problem (see last pic) most of the neighbors are vacant buildings and shells.

Bolton Hill Beauty Past Her Prime for $160k
From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

From Baltimore Rehabs Pt.1

Even bigger and more fabulous than any other townhouses we saw that day, this house is seriously worth buying, if you can afford it. This is the worst house in the "best" neighborhood we saw, Bolton Hill. However it will take at least $150k just to fix the damage of time and water. Similar to the other townhouses pictured but even bigger, this place had been subdivided into apartments in the past.

Competing Against Time & Newer Homes in the Suburbs with Parking
I concluded at the end of my tour-de-rehab that the problem with Baltimore is the suburbs. Why would anybody abandon such nice architecture? Because they want to eat fast food all the time and shop at chains? No, because people are lazy and houses need money & maintenance all the time. All the places we saw lacked modern features, they all had oil heat (or nothing , horrible), and they lacked garages. They were all an efficiency nightmare. But all this stuff can be corrected. Another huge problem is the neighborhoods. To make buying a Baltimore rehab worth it, there needs to be a LOT of people interested in living in those neighborhoods. Nobody wants to go to sleep every night on a block of abandoned homes. Even still, it's not too late for a lot of really interesting people to take control of their city lives. Buy a rediculously affordable house, spread out and make a dream a reality.


Popular posts from this blog

NECO Alliance Rebates - Maytag, Samsung Appliance Rebates are Complete Bullshit

I just got tricked out of $300 I was told I was going to rebates from the purchase of my brand new $1500 Samsung refrigerator & Maytag dishwasher. Now, I can't recommend buying anything Samsung, Maytag, OR from Cummins Appliance after this customer experience.

Here's ONE of the incredibly lame emails I just received from NECO Alliance

Thank you for participating in the SAMSUNG APPLIANCES MARCH NECO ALLIANCE VISA REWARD CARD promotion. (March promotion? Never knew that...)

Your request for a rebate has been received and is being processed.

Unfortunately your rebate was rejected due to the following reason(s):
 -RECEIVED PAST POSTMARK (Gee, there was no deadline on my form!)

This email has been generated by an automated service machine.
   Emails sent to this address WILL NOT be responded to.
(You SUCK!)
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I guess I sent the rebate …

UX Design Process aka Web Product Design Process

So... I'm on Pinterest updating a 'board' for my portfolio and I discover that other people have pinned my Experience Design Process graphic from my website. Apparently this graphic comes right up in Google Searches if you search on on Experience Design Process. Since the image on my site is small I'm re-posting the graphic here! Can anybody guess what this image was originally create for?

I don't know what I was thinking about these colors!

So what is going on here?
In the middle of the graphic is a series of linear main steps to take in order to design an interactive digital product. The process starts with identifying a project's goals and ends with meeting those goals. In order to meet those goals you need to do some careful work... Surrounding the steps are a set of tasks (or methodologies) to perform in order to complete each step of the process. Over-arching the entire process are guidelines like "vetting" and "informed iteration" (show…

How to Help Grandparents with Their Technology

I'm sitting here writing this on my dad's old iMac realizing I could have done a better job helping him with technology over the past few years. I feel like a bad daughter, an interaction designer ought to do a lot better for their parents. My dad was very capable, and fiercely wanted his independence, so I didn't bother him.  Still, I was already doing "tech support" for friends and strangers, and I'm realizing now that I could have saved myself a bit of work after he passed me on his gadgets. So here's my advice to people who have an older parent or friend, even if they are not a luddite!

Make yourself the Admin.
Set up their gmail, give yourself access.  Give them their password, make sure it's super easy to remember but tell them not to reuse this password for any reason anywhere.

Set up their iCloud, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc tethered to their new Gmail.  Yes, plug their credit card into these accounts, they're still independent! Give them their…