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Like many cities throughout the U.S., Baltimore City has experienced a renaissance in recent years, as investors and home buyers have bought properties in neighborhoods throughout the city. Homebuyers, drawn by the city’s relatively low cost of living, proximity to the water and Chesapeake Bay, and abundance of jobs, are relocating to Baltimore from all across the Baltimore / Washington D.C. Metropolitan region.
INTERESTING FACTS:

Average Sale Price of a Baltimore City Home in 2000 - $82,228
Average Sale Price of a Baltimore City Home in 2004 - $131,405
As demand for housing inventory in Baltimore has increased, property values have skyrocketed. Low interest rates, an abundance of new financing products available, rising prices in the Washington D.C. market, and homebuyers desire to live near their place of work, are all factors that have helped fuel Baltimore’s robust real estate market. Investors, attracted to the market, by high demand for houses, low housing costs, and rapid appreciation have flocked to the Baltimore market from areas as far as California, New York, and Florida.

Although prices in Baltimore have risen dramatically in recent years, Baltimore housing prices are still low when compared to other markets. The Baltimore market continues to provide excellent opportunity for investors as demand for housing and rentals remains high, and vacant housing is rehabbed in traditionally less popular neighborhoods. Below is a quick resource guide for investors interested in buying Baltimore City properties.

LOCATING PROPERTIES
FORECLOSURES

HUD Properties – The U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development offers foreclosure properties for sale throughout the U.S. HUD sells properties through its contractor, Homesource. All contracts must be submitted online through a licensed real estate agent.

Available Properties - http://hud1.towerauction.net/MD.htm

VA Properties – The Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers foreclosure properties for sale through the Ocwen Financial Corporation.

Available Properties - http://www.ocwen.com/reo/reocitylist.cfm?statechosen=MD

SCOPE (Baltimore City Owned Properties) – (Selling City Owned Properties Efficiently) Baltimore City has partnered with the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors to sell City Owned Properties.

Available Properties - http://www.realtorsbaltimore.com/scope/

Baltimore City Tax Sale Properties – Each year Baltimore City gives investors the opportunity to purchase city property tax sale liens.

Tax Lien Certificates Online - http://www.tlcol.com/tlcol/md/baltcity.nsf

Fannie Mae Owned Properties – Fannie Mae provides properties for sale through the Fannie Mae web site.

Available Properties - http://www.mortgagecontent.net/reoSearchApplication/fanniemae/reoSearch.jsp

Freddie Mac Owned Properties – Freddie Mac provides properties for sale through the following web site.

Available Properties - http://www.homesteps.com/hm01_1featuresearch.htm

AUCTIONS
The following auction brokers offer properties for sale throughout Baltimore City.

Express Auctionshttp://www.expressauction.com
Alex Cooper Auctioneers - http://www.alexcooper.com/
A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneershttp://www.ajbillig.com
ESTIMATING PROPERTY VALUES / RESEARCHING PROPERTY OWNERS
Maryland State Department of Assessment & Taxation – The Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation maintains a detailed database of every property in the state. The state web site can be used to research the sales price paid for a property, the current owner of a property and the current assessed value of a property.

Real Property Search - http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/

Baltimore Sun - The Baltimore Sun maintains a database of recent property sales accessible through the Sun web site.

Home Sales Database - http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/realestate/bal-homesales2005,1,6534360.formprofile?coll=bal-realestate-utility
FINDING CONTRACTORS

Investing in Baltimore City properties often requires the use of a contractor for house rehab or repair.
Homebuilders Association of Maryland – The Homebuilders Association of Maryland maintains a detailed list of their members.

Homebuilders Association of Maryland Web Site - http://www.homebuilders.org/

CITY BUILIDING PERMITS & INSPECTIONS

Baltimore City Building Permits Office
417 E. Fayette St., Room 100
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone - 410-396-3360
Email - DHCD_Permits@baltimorecity.gov


Permit Information - http://www.baltimorehousing.org/index/permits.asp
Filing Requirements - http://www.baltimorehousing.org/index/permit_requirements.pdf
Frequently Asked Questions - http://www.baltimorehousing.org/index/permits_faqs.asp
Permit Fees - http://www.baltimorehousing.org/index/permits_fees.pdf
Permit Application Form - http://www.baltimorehousing.org/index/permitapplication.pdf
Plans Review Procedure - http://www.baltimorehousing.org/index/permits_plans.asp

CONTRACTOR LICENSING

Check to see if your Baltimore City Contractor is Licensed or has had any Complaints filed against them – Click Here
INVESTOR FINANCING
TYPES OF LOANS

The following investment products are popular with investors:

FHA 203k Loan The FHA 203K loan provides cash for both the purchase of a property and improvement of that property after the purchase. FHA 203K loans enable the borrower to finance a first mortgage home improvement loan based on the total anticipated “improved” value of the home. Borrowers receive a lump sum to purchase the property and installments as milestones are hit during the renovation process. The 203K loan is popular in many Baltimore neighborhoods due to the large number of rehabs.

5/1 Interest Only ARM The 5/1 Interest Only ARM provides the borrower with a fixed rate for five years and then adjustable rate for the remainder of the loan. This type of loan provides an extremely low payment but does not pay off any of the principal of the loan during the life of the loan. This product is excellent for investors buying rental properties in rapidly appreciating areas, who wish to hold their properties for a short term, and desire a low monthly payment that can easily be covered by the rent received from the tenant.

LENDERS

Lenders – It is important to work with a lender that has experience in working with rehab and rental properties in Baltimore. The Lender’s experience in recommending products, choosing appraisers, and structuring the loan will make all the difference in helping make the investment successful.

Featured Lender Baltimorecityrealestate.com’s featured lender, First Horizon Home Loans, specializes in working with investors and can provide information on these products and others that work well for investors. For a free credit report and instant approval, contact Pete O’Donnell / First Horizon Home Loans – 1 800-801-7657.
LANDLORD RESOURCES
Tenant Screening – Tenantfacts.com offers credit checks, background checks, and late rent reports. Visit their web site - http://www.tenantfacts.com/

Rent Notices – Rentnotices.com can provide eviction and late rent notices as well as representing landlords at rent court. Visit their web site - http://www.rentnotices.com/
GROUND RENT
What is Ground Rent? - Click Here
REAL ESTATE AGENTS
An experienced licensed Real Estate Agent can assist investors with all aspects of the investment property buying process. Because sellers typically pay all real estate agent commissions, using a licensed real estate agent is free for investors.

BALTIMORECITYREALESTATE.COM FEATURED REAL ESTATE AGENT

Chris Cooke
Re/Max Sails
Direct Phone – 443 802-2728
Office - 410 814-2408
Email – ccooke@remax.net


Background
  • Real estate investor for over 9 years.
  • City resident for over 7 years
  • Specializes in working with Baltimore City Investors
  • Headquartered in Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore
Services Offered
  • Locating investment properties
  • Selling investment properties at low cost.
  • Providing buyers assistance at buying auction properties
  • Locating lots for builders
  • Investor Property Selling Assistance
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