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July 30, 2008

Silo Point sets prices

Patrick Turner started work on the grain-elevator-turned-condo-project in Locust Point before the housing market took its U-turn, like many developers. Unlike many developers, he skipped presales and said he'd wait to set prices at Silo Point until late in the game.

That day has come, Lorraine Mirabella reports:

Preview pricing on the more than 30 floor plans starts at $264,000 for a one-bedroom condo; in the $450,000s for a two-bedroom unit and about $550,000 for a sky townhouse. Turner said that the priciest units in the tower building will sell for about $1.5 million and that he expects to price two large penthouses at more than $4 million.
Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 9:51 AM | | Comments (81)
        

Comments

Hey, its the Grainery project from 'The Wire'!

Seriously though, any potential buyers in this audience? I have to admit, they do look sexy... however; their price-points are far outside my budget.

Is it also sad that as cool as they are, I have that 'same-old, same-old' feeling about them? I don't think Baltimore has any mass shortage of high-end condos right now and this project seems like just another log on the pile.

Does anyone know of any condo projects in the works (within the city) that isn't targeting the luxury crowd?

lol...some more luxury condos....

I see nobody is buying, and school is about to start. When are the folx gonna start get the prices down, or are they unable to...

Keep dreaming on those prices.

PLEEEAAAZZZZZEEE is Stilo Point kidding??!!! Who are they trying to attrack? Most people in Maryland can't afford these prices! Heck you can take the prices that Stilo Point is offering for at least a 1 bedroom and buy a REAL home!!! Its time that Maryland be affordable for Marylanders not people with Luxury ideas and Luxury pay checks from out of state. This is NOT New York City, Chicago, Miami, or LA! Yes its a major city but who are these people kidding? I also agree with Nick T, where are the affordable condos that real people can afford?

I'll be the dissenting voice: I'm excited to check these out. Repurposed real estate like this is a lot more interesting than most other new construction out there these days--condos or otherwise.

I think there'll be interested parties. However, many are like me, on the side-line, fearful that as soon as I put 20% down to get a decent rate, the house will lose 20% in value. Who's got that kind of cash they can throw away?

"Who's got that kind of cash they can throw away?"

My guess would be the upper-class that these bad boys are being marketed to.

**still on the sideline**

I'm the interested guy from above...and of course there is a real risk of significant loss in the short term...but that risk is always there when buying. I'm not smart enough to time the market, so where ever I end up: I will treat it as a home first and an investment as a distant second.

"Home first and investment second" doesn't really make sense either. Nobody thinks a TV is an investment. But if you know that tomorrow, TV price can only go down, why buy today? Especially when you've already got a TV?

'cause TV sets are peanuts

If you really have that much disdain for your cash, I have some prime real estate in Florida for you to buy...

Sure a home is 1st a domicile, and 2nd an investment, but if you're trying to completely ignore the financial component of the transactions you are better off renting perpetually. I don't know where the market will bottom out either, but given the way economic forecasts look I have a very strong feeling that it won't bounce back aggressively, so I'd rather let it hit absolute bottom and catch it on it's mild upswing. Also, while it may seem Machiavellian, the longer anyone who is waiting to buy holds out, the better the deals are going to be. All you first time buyers are in the DRIVERS SEAT.

Very well put, Reasoning 4 Sean.

Hopefully R4R4S is not an owner now...otherwise he is not practicing what he is preaching. Clearly by his logic, he needs to sell ASAP (or preferably a year or two ago); rent for a couple years (hopefully his timing will be just right!); and buy again. It would be foolish to do anything else, right? Don't disdain that cash!

Quite the opposite on the perpetually renting: if you are strictly interested in the financial aspects then you would (typically) be better off renting for the rest of your life (assuming you are good at managing you money. Admittedly, most of us aren't). Don't listen to self serving folks like the NAR! House values tracks to inflation over the long haul. Kind of has to...no?

Complicating things: inflation is up; interest rates will naturally follow. Both will negatively impact housing affordability.

Bottom line (from my POV): The age old qualifiers make sense today: if it suits your lifestyle...if you can afford it...if you've got $$ on hand...if you find a place you like...if you plan on being there for a few years: go ahead and buy.

does anyone have any updates on anything going on @ silo? i heard the # of actually places sold is under 20. what about anything for rent? thanks

I live near there, and I can tell you that place is EMPTY-everyone I know who saw it said blah until they heard the price, then ran out the front door! Wonder if Pat wants his gift cards back now so he can shop. Baltimore condos, DC prices...I never did quite understand that angle. Evidently I'm not in the minority on that one.

But I'm guessing you'll be able to pluck one for about 150K in a year when Carlyle wants their $$ back-might not be a bad deal then.

According to SDAT tax records, 14 units have been sold at Silo Point. Hubby and I toured the place several weeks ago, it's very nice. The views from the penthouse are amazing. My favorite units were the townhouses on top of the parking garage.

But most of the units sold so far are the smaller, cheaper units; less than $400K. I'm not sure anyone has moved in yet. I believe they were finishing the units as they were sold.

I live at Harbor Court so I drive through to check out the scene every once in awhile - it looks dead. Honestly I wasn't all that impressed when I toured the building. It seems to have a very 90's feel to it... very cold/sterile atmosphere. Granted, some of the views from the corner units are spectacular - looks like they put themselves in the same boat as the Ritz and will be hemmorhaging money on empty units for quite some time.

Too bad- the silos had tons more character before they turned them into condos ... now they are just another big fat bloated symbol of developers' greed ...

I heard the developer has even started not paying the subs on the job too-not sure if it is the Turners or the construction company. I'd be real careful before working on that place.

I agree with osofresh too-it so metallic and sterile-it looks like the metal planet the Transformers came from.

What happens to these places if they get foreclosed on anyway? Like, if you already live there, what happens to you?

Ha-the Transformer city. Maybe rename it "Metroplex Point" to increase sales!!

Still empty. Wow

I heard recently that the HOA fees were like $700 a month. Any truth to that?

The condo fees are priced per unit. For a one bedroom it's 383 a month. And that includes hazard insurance, water, and heat/cooling infrastructure. The Point offers a great lifestyle to busy executives like myself, and if your in the correct career field, engineer, health, investing, etc you can afford this. It's the professional preppy, type A, play hard, work hard crowd. I'm glad the prices are high, it's attracts the people I want to live with. I hate to sound snobby, but it makes a difference and I speak from experience.

Holy moly the Silo Point developers are geniuses. They actually can sell overpriced condos to those who want to purchase snob appeal. That my friend is genius. Lets just hope it works about 200 more times.

"Posted by: P. | July 30, 2008 3:26 PM

I'll be the dissenting voice: I'm excited to check these out. Repurposed real estate like this is a lot more interesting than most other new construction out there these days--condos or otherwise." You can call these "Reprpurposed", but it's all NEW construction. The only thing Repurposed is the land.

anyone have an update as to how many have been sold as of mid may 2009?

29 or 30 Silo Point units have sold so far, that's just over 10%. All but 4 of those are the lower priced units, less than $400,000.00.

Whoever commented on the "snobs" of baltimore living here is dead wrong. There is nothing snobby about this place. It shouldn't be considered snobby when it's SPECIFICALLY directed towards a crowd with a stable, above-average, income. CantonKate said it best, It attracts a certain person. Condo fees are reasonable and the taxes are much less than that of Harbor East. Turner Development Group is spot-on with this project. They did everything right from the construction to the amenities. I have no area of concern for this project. It's the ONLY condominium development that is actually selling units in this economy. Locust Point is about to experience double-digit growth rates and I credit Silo Point and Pat Turner on a wonderful, magnificant project. Keep up the good work Pat and I look forward to moving from Silo to Westport in 10+ years. Cheers everyone!

Baller,

The funny thing is, the person who first used the word snobby was someone who lives in Silo Point.

"I'm glad the prices are high, it's attracts the people I want to live with. I hate to sound snobby, but it makes a difference and I speak from experience." -Matt

Anyone wondering why you'd build an even larger condo building in Westport when you can't sell the one in the nice part of town, or is it just me who doesn't get that? This Silo Point, its just eerie being so big yet so empty. I wonder what plan B is for that place. Hotel? Apartments? Tax losses for 100 years?

They are selling Silo Point Butters, 74 units are sold of 224 and of those 150 units, a majority are already going to be rented out. Silo Point is selling regardless of what people may assume about the ecnomy and downtown condominium prices. The value of land in Locust Point is only going to increase and the development opportunities are mostly present in a community like Locust Point. Fed. Hill / Canton / Fells Point are highly populated and it would cost devleopers much more $ to build in those developements. Locust Point will be the new "hot spot" of Baltimore and in 3 years, once all the dinning places and entertainment spots pick up, I see this community flourishing. For those that are actually considering Silo Point, buy buy buy...you'll be kicking yourself when prices go up (they will and are currently increasing...) and you're stuck holding your hat in hand

Why do I get the feeling "Baller" is actually the sales manager. He definitely sounds like a used car salesman. For the record I think the project is interesting. My only issue is that it is touting itself as an up-and-coming location, but the building will always be next to railroad tracks with its water view obscured by four giant cargo ships.

Baller, u are so see-through. LOL.
Silo Point is a disaster among many.

See-through? Troy Steel and Rich: I am not the sales manager. I am simply a future resident. Call it what you will, Silo Point has now sold more than 74 units...I've been tracking the closings on the MD SDAT Property site. I find it hillarious that you consider me a used cars salesman for touting up Locust Point. Fact is, if you knew anything about Baltimore, you'd know that Fed / Canton / Fells are right next to section 8 housing...awesome way to go Baltimore City...now if you actually care about your safety and personal well-being you'd know that Locust Point has the lowest crime rate in the city...as far as your view dillema....you should know that's the "selling point" not a neggative...SP is located right next to the industrial port of Baltimore, of course there is going to be cargo ships and traintracks...that's the beauty of it...meanwhile when the pool is completed it will be an infinity pool with views expanding into the port...and the up-and-coming neighborhood will be complete by beggining 2010 when Harris Teeter is finished....meanwhile whatever disaster you are talking about is not so, you probably didn't do any of your homework and you're just pesimistic because you can't afford it...the Ritz...that's a disaster...Silo Point...that's a masterpiece....

Baller, I definitely hope you're not in sales because your math is way off.

I just counted 37 Silo Points units sold on SDAT.

Go to:
http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/searchtype.aspx?County=03&SearchType=street

Type in 1200 for the number
and Steuart for the street, it shows 37 units sold.

Once again, you are wrong...that tracks the closings...so 37 people have officially closed and moved in / now paying mortgage. another 37+ are waiting to close...how many of those 37+ will close? I don't know...but I can tell you that sales didn't ramp up until spring home buying season and when rates were below 5%...I got below 5%...I guess I'm stupid though for buying at the bottom right? Considering rates won't go below 5%, I guess that makes me the dummy right? Ok, back to educating you, of those 37+ units, time is required in order to move, set up the new condo with floors, closets and paint etc. The place isn't even finished yet!!!! They are currently setting up the two dinning places in the lobby and the pool won't even be done until next year...yet they are selling units...HMMMMM....let me say that again....The place isn't even finished yet....and they are selling units...at those ABSURD prices like you mentioned....IN THIS ECONOMY.....ummmm ya I'm going to assume you know nothing about real estate because if you did, you'd admit even 37 units CLOSED with 37+ more waiting for closure is impressive. Furthermore, Locust Point hasn't even started on their upgrades of food, entertainment and quality of life (i.e. dog park). By the way, if you don't believe me...go by yourself and meet with the sales manager...he'll show you / tell you that of the 224 units, 74+ have been sold and 37+ are waiting for closing. They had 8-10 closings a month from the month of March and so on...

Nice attitude Baller. Have fun living in a 1/3 occupied building.

Considering the 10 or so mechanics liens filed against Silo Point, you might not want to move in just yet. All unitowners are also named as defendants in the lawsuits.

Baller: I find your enthusiasm and "zeal" for Silo Point quite refreshing. However your statements are somewhat exaggerated (or should I say not quite truthful). I do however feel your pain. I also love Silo Point and in fact fully intended to purchase a 1 bed unit there until I came to my senses.

Don’t get me wrong …. the place is lovely and was a great concept. I unfortunately have done the math: paying $280,000 for a 1 bed 1 1/2 bath condo + $380 condo fee monthly + 600 monthly property tax (2.4%) at 4.9% interest over 30 years equals a monthly payment of ~$2500/month; this does not even include PMI or condo insurance. That sir is ridiculous! Baltimore is just not that type of city. These units should be priced between 200-250K max. And guess what…… they aint sellin at the current price point! The truth is that only 37 units in Silo Point have been sold. You cannot count your chickens before they have hatched.

I ultimately bought a home in Baltimore County that I love. I love Baltimore City and I really wanted to live/invest in the city. Baltimore however has two major problems: (1) Property tax rate - 2.4% is outrageous (2). Crime – enough said

I'm a 31 year old single African American male with no children and income > $70K annually. I moved Maryland 3 years ago from GA. Shouldn’t I be the type person that the city would want to attract? I now live in the county, use city services (work downtown during the week/party on weekends) and pay $0 in property tax! This is shameful. The truth is that Baltimore city needs major demographic, social, political changes before it will ever flourish. Maybe then I'll pay 3K monthly to live in Locust Point!

You people are ridiculous. I look at this blog and come to the realization that almost everyone of you are downers, neggative nancys and otherwise just dreadful people. Pardon me for trying to shed some light on a project that is the only one selling in this economy.

Kathy, you're a fool! you obviously haven't done your homework. I'm sure you can't afford to live there and are simply trying to give your 2 cents on the subject matter. While I laugh at your effort to knock this project down, the thing isn't even finished yet 1/3 is already sold....either you can't see the positive in that or you're just jealous...probably both...

Jaded, while you may enjoy the suburbs, I my friend do not! I have lived in the burbs my whole life with my parents and let me tell you, for a young professional, there isn't ANYTHING there entertainment-wise. I much rather be downtown in the heart of this city where the action is, but hey, to each their own...

For everyone else, don't hate on someone who is trying to give fresh and worthy info to a project which unless visited, will leave you wondering...for all the haters, take a number...you'll be hating on us much more when L.P. property values skyrocket (oh wait, they already have year-over-year from 08-09...look at zillow...) Furthermore, you wanna talk crime? Ya, I'm going to the neighborhood with the lowest crime rate...where's that you ask? LOCUST POINT! Fact is, this blog is only here for people to pout and whine that they can't afford to live at a place like Silo Point...I say good! I don't want you in my building with a sub-par job / profession and a couple months later you're booted cause you can't afford the electric bill haha, keep on hating haters...

Baller, I have done my homework. My husband (an architect) and I have toured Silo Point more than once and attended a party at the Style Lounge. We like the project a lot, especially my husband.

I'm just stating the obvious-the Baltimore condo market is in the toilet and might be there for a while. I wish Pat Turner success on all his projects; I'm just sick of reading the hype which sounds like nothing more than a sales pitch.

Trust me Baller, we could afford to live at Silo Point. Instead, we'll stay in our 3,000 square foot, 110 year old Victorian with 10' ceilings, original hardwood floors and an inground pool in the backyard (which cost less than $300K). Jealous? Nope.

Kathy, I don't disagree with your assesment of the condo market. Fact is though, this is the ONLY condo development that is selling units. I assume you wear the pants in the family based on your assesment of your current house and the "amenities" provided in the burbs. Let me just say that almost all houses in Baltimore County (assuming you live in the same area as I grew up) are "Victorian" style with 10" ceilings, original hardwood floors and a pool (actually a pool is horrible in MD, might as well join a country club so you can play golf too). Meanwhile, Pat Turner has done everything right with this development and that's why they're selling. From the escrow payments, to the amenities, to the wow factor, to the space factor (compared with every other baltimore city condo) THIS IS THE BEST! Management is of the highest quality in this development and taxes are less than that of harbor east. Furthermore, your "liens" have officially been dropped...just FYI...I would like to address your 1/3 occupancy argument and ask you, isn't 1/3 sold of a development...A CONDO development, amazing when IT ISN'T EVEN FINISHED!!! You have never addressed this challenge of mine...I can't take you seriously until you admit that 1/3 sold IN THIS ECONOMY, BEFORE THE PLACE IS FINISHED, is simply amazing and speaks highly of the awards and recognitions that SP has been receiving. IT JUST WON COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR!!! IT BEAT OUT THE FLAMINGO IN MIAMI, TRUMP TOWERS, ETC. In addition, I'd just like to add that the property is going to hold its value...they CAN'T! lower the price on any unit once the property assesments are posted, they can only raise the prices...

Ya got spunk Baller, I gotta give you that.

FYI-Our home, built around 1900, is in York County, PA not Baltimore County.

While I appreciate your comment Kathy, I still see no counter...I've always been a person to grab the bull by the horns (pardon my analogy)...I've done my homework on every condo in Baltimore city and this can't be beat. I always knew I was in the market for a condo though...I agree that for this kind of money, I can buy a house in the city with more space. However, being that I'm young, single and opposed to roomates, a house was not necessary. Furthermore, I find Baltimore city, although charming and it has spice to it, consists of rowhomes with brick interiors which just reminds me of a 1950's sweat shop...I love my city, I do not love my city housing...my hopes, and my take on it, is that Baltimore will never be a condo market. With that being said, there still can be one or two condo developments that thrive just based on the fact that there aren't many housing choices for downtown residents. Pardon me if I came across as being rude however, based on my homework and my own assesment of what "fits" me, I though I'd like to share the progress with other residents of Baltimore. I am excited because this turned out to be a dream condo that I'd never thought I'd see in a place like Baltimore. I'm just glad I got in early enough before they jacked up prices (and they did)...truth be told, the people who made out like bandits are the ones who signed back in August of 08 when the project was nearing phase 1 completion. If you check the SDAT property tax records, the individuals who first bough, received the lowest price / highest floor. They drove certain units to be priced higher based on what was selling and what wasn't. After drilling down the numbers (price paid, floor adjustment $, date of closure, etc.) I found the G-units (city view) to be underpriced (since have risen) while the K-units (water view) were overpriced. I have a feeling the K-units will be decreased in price by 5K or so and they will see those units pickup...I only wanted to share my info with others as I know this project is still somewhat undiscovered by the majority of Baltimore. A lot of people don't even know where Locust Point is located (could be good or bad for the neighborhood) but they soon will...

Wow. I would rather pay a million dollars for a condo in Baltimore than spend 40+ hours a month in a car driving between York and Baltimore. Why not just move to Wyoming where you can buy a 1000 acre ranch for the price of your house?

Oh man I totally just plopped down 40K on that new condo barge with water level retail coming in 2015 - it's a guaranteed 40% return by 2044!! I also hear Washington Village has been up and coming too for the past 14 years, confirm/deny?

Hey Baller -

You are an embarrassment to the condos at Silo Point...sadly the other 67% of condos around you are not selling b/c your fellow wanna be Ashton's can't come up with the scrapes OR they paid attention in their real estate and finance classes in college and understand the concept of supply and demand. People(with real money) want to (or already) live at the Ritz (not Silo Point). We are the Jones', not you. People want to be like us (EX-TARP Bank execs - not TARP bank salesman)....keep telling people about long term investing, blah, blah. I can only imagine you tooling around at the "nightclubs" downtown telling people where you live. I bet you are fun to be around. Real rich people don't tell others how much cash they have. You owe a cool million plus to my bank for the next 30 years- good for you. Thanks!

Wow Ashton.

Don't you think your being a little harsh?

The guy is just expressing his love for his home. Yes, I think he paid way too much for it but so did everybody else who bought anything in this area in the past 5 years.

Yeah, be nice, folks. There's an art to disagreeing without suggesting that people are idiots for (a) buying a certain condo or (b) not buying said condo.

HAHA Ashton, you obviously know nothing if you think people arel iving at the Ritz. Either you 1. don't live in baltimore or 2. are blind....

Ritz is a dead property...they asked Turner to buy them out and he said no...

Furthermore, isn't any property you buy / live at a long-term investment? What college did you go to? Devry?

When did I express my monetary income with a cash amount? Um, I didn't...can you read?

Baller, I read through ALL your posts. I am curious how you know that 37+ are waiting to close? How long do they have to wait?
Who gave u that info? Patrick Turner, lol.

As the Ritz is a good example, don't count your chickens before they hatched. Silo Point is a great condo development, but the timing is awful.

Rich,

The sales manager. 37+ have purchased since April or so. It started with spring home buying season of 2009. The units started to see an uptick of walk-through traffic and buzz generated from the parties they have been hosting. As far as wait time...I can't answer that with certainty. I know some are waiting pending sales of current homes so yes, not all 37+ will close soon as current market conditions remain battered. That being said, units sold later in spring home buying season (when rates were below 5%) will close toward end of July. I am not "counting my chickens" before they hatch. Please take into account that the place isn't finished yet. The dinning places on first floor lobby are not complete, the pool won't be complete till next summer, the townhomes haven't begun construction yet, the future development hasn't been started as well...they have A LOT left to build. I am pointing out this fact becasue even at 20-25% occupancy, when the place isn't finished, speaks volumes. How you want to percieve that information is up to you. I say it's impressive because they are being sold and PRICED in current market conditions. While the timing may be awful, I strongly feel that this proerty will survive and thrive in future years. With all that said, (And to prove I'm not bias) I've noticed a few areas that were poorly constructed. Bathrooms have tubs that could support jets but were not incorporated. I understand that you can add them at free will but to pay that kind of money, I feel that the jets should've been added. Furthermore, the toilets are placed a bit too far to the right (obese people will not fit on that toilet seat). Now I know Pat Turner isn't overweight but c'mon man, we live in an economy with fast-food joints at every corner...show some love for the fatties....if you can swallow the poorly constructed bathrooms, I find the price very reasonable considering what you pay $/per sq. ft. and the modern amenities (that are usable compared to those of The Ritz).

Baller,

I am also a single African American grossing over 100K a year. (no kids, blah blah blah.)

Honestly, I like Silo Point.. I can afford it but the price is simply not quite right. If I bought a condo, it would have to be the 2br or townhouse. - But when you add all the other expenses of living in the City it quickly makes you re-evaluate other property options.

Clearly over-priced waterfront is much better than the 600K+ homes in annapolis or hanover. The value will hold better in a recession but BE CLEAR - it is not recession proof. Nothing is.

Consider 414 Water Street. They also try to sell condos in the same price range. Quite honestly they were the worst condo I have ever seen. Small, boring floor plans and simply nothing to make you say "Wow.'

I say this, because I rented a loft at the Inner harbor that were much more appealing than many of these condos. Stay for a year, or two.. save $$, party at the nightclubs and then buy a real house.

I honestly hope you enjoy your condo, but I'm one of those guys who is a great financial situation but waiting for the best deal available. ;)

Good Luck!

I agree, nothing is recession-proof, what I was saying is, that the property will hold its value. The sales system set up at Silo Point makes it impossible for the sales manager to LOWER prices on units. They can only raise the prices (as they have done because of an increase of closing of certain units) I said, I think that this property will survive and thrive later on when the economy turns around. It's already doing well now, even in this mess...

To compare 414 Water St. to Silo Point is like comparing Shoppers to Whole Foods.....one has moldy produce, while the other is organic...you can't compare those properties...414 Water St. is probably the worst constructed condo in all of Maryland. Talk about poor and cheap construction...that building would be better served as a parking garage....

Furthermore, with the first-time home buyer credit (Thanks Bush!), 20% down, 30 yr fixed rate locked in well-under 5%, the 5-yr phazing, makes this place a dream for myself...

I obviously have people who disagree with me but at what you pay per sq. ft. in this place, it's priced accordingly...

Your "best deal" is a house obviously...I don't disagree that today is a buyer's market and there are a lot of great steals out there in quality neighborhoods, believe me, I looked....

At the end of the day, I don't want roomates and a house was just a lot of unecessary space that I know I would never use...thinking about it, I'd spend time in three rooms...

1. bedroom
2. living room
3. deck

I rather have a larger bedroom, larger family room, and a patio deck, (as well as the sky lounge) in a one-bedroom condo @ 1281 sq. ft. than a house with MORE rooms, but less space in each room and a smaller deck view...this may only pertain to me though, and I understand that...I'm not saying everyone needs to live at Silo Point. What I am defending, is that there are certain people who fit a condo lifestyle and I am one of those people. Not to mention, that I believe this is the best condo and bang for your back in all of Baltimore.

It did just win community of the year 2009 in Vegas beating out all other developments around the U.S.

Also, just to clarify...I NEEDED parking, a deck, and a quality neighborhood...with that in mind searching for a house was more difficult than I thought...people who live in the city realize the value placed on a parking spot (my estimate: 10-15K) Furthermore, a deck (assuming it's of quality) further increases the houses' value. Most of you already know this..however, searching for all three of these things came to an average price of over $380K...yes I could negotiate that down but most people scowled at me when I tried to make offers (what I thought their housing was worth...) Needless to say, they weren't big fans of mine when I tried to push them around...drilling down the numbers, it was actually MUCH CHEAPER to buy a one-bedroom at Silo Point...yes I could build my own deck however, the permits are becoming even harder to obtain now and wasn't worth the trouble or effort when looking at a paradise, just across the water...

Understood.. And it sounds like you made the best choice for you. I think the point you were missing is the price criticism.

1) Consider, the property isn't complete. 2) We are in a recession.

Some people say waterfront should be a beach, not a shipyard. And luxury isn't counter-tops and finishings, its the understanding that (there isn't a question whether you were ripped off.) - That said, Silo is walking a fine line on that final question.. And if there is a doubt, - generally there is no doubt.

Sure the property manage can't lower the price... but TIME will. It has lowered condos in baltimore from $400K down to $349 in 6months. (This property is walking distance from the stadium.) So if Silo Point Management isn't going to negotiate & be flexible in a "buyers" market, they will lose out.

Personally, I would have to check the "shipyard" view at day & night. It could be appealing seeing the city lights, but a hard sell until you see it for yourself.

What you said about the bathroom seriously worries me. - Ryan Homes have a condo called a Picasso. - I advise you to go look at a demo of what they are offering for $250 -$280K. (Yea, Ryan Homes?!?! - I said the same thing, but I was impressed at how they stepped up their game.)

Good Luck!

Tye2K,

The price is right! (love that show) The condos are priced accordingly. I'd say it's one thing if you seen the place, but you owe it to yourself (along with every other Baltimore-native) to check this place out for yourself...it's very LA & NYC. My aunt who lives in Manhattan said the one-bedroom would easily be $2 Million in NYC. The shipyard is gorgeous...I originally liked the K-units overlooking the shipyard but I liked the floorplan of another unit.

Silo Point will NOT be flexible with pricing...the units are to sell at a certain price point and won't be lowered....where you make that up is in your amenities...for example, 2 parking spots...(one can be sold for 10-15K or rented for $200 a month)...2 year condo fees...@ $385 / mo. X 24 months = $9,240 in savings...

I asssure you, I w1ill give Silo a thorough look, I have very high expectations not only because of the price, but because I am a native of bmore and have seen many different apartment and condo styles.

I do appreciate the size of Silo Point condos, Most condos in the DC area are barely 800sq feet.

You never know... If they make me eat my words, I will gladly post and update. I may make the apt. this weekend.


FYI: When you say that they will not lower the price, it means that they are prepared to go brok for the sake of the current price. (And probably beg for a bailout in 5 years..)

:)

Ty2K,

I'm glad you're going to check it out...I don't doubt you'll be back here to post...I'll warn you though, try not to be swept off your feet...the sky lounge can do that to you...the size of the condos are great!!! I have a friend who mentioned that my unit was the same size as his 2-bedroom house...you can feel the extra space as well...it appears open with lots of room to walk around...

They won't be going broke...regardless of what appears on the SDAT website, there are 40 people currently living in Silo Point and another 40 waiting to settle. The system will often update later in the month. The occupancy % is almost at 35% assuming they settl every contract in the works...in this economy, that's pretty darn impressive. It's only going to get better too, I don't think, IMO, that you can compare this condo development to any other in the city...it's lower taxes and condo fee than The Vue and the $/per sq. ft. is actually very reasonable. This project is only going to pickup as the economy recovers, and FYI they've RAISED prices since completing phase 1 and they are still selling...that's a fact...talk to the sales manager when you take your tour...happy hunting!

I went to see Silo Point and Holly rushed through the demos. The building is nice but definately over-priced. I like the interior options but I also had an appointment to see the 2BR 1500 sqft condo that was right across the street from Camden Yards.

The 2BR (CondoA) lists at $350K, and all comparable SiloPoint units were starting at $400K. - CondoA has a personal garage and the parking pad, where Silo Point only offers 1 space.

Hardwood & Stainless steel in both but CondoA had 14ft ceiling with and overlook into the living room/kitchen area. (Oh, and CondoA also had 2 1/2 bath. The Master bath with a soaking tub with the jets you spoke about.)

That said, CondoA is a much better deal because the view from Silo Point is horrible. Rusted trains and a working shipyard is not my idea of a view. (to each his own.)

I think the amenities is what makes Silo Point a joy. A concierge is nice, but I imagine can get over-booked when the 200+ units are filled.

They plan to add town-homes and an apartments as well. (kinda lame.. I wouldn't feel "unique" if they expand in that way.) - here is why..

Like the previous posters have said, the TAX rate in Baltimore is horrible. You should *NEVER* buy here unless you have a million in the bank.

At 2.4% Baltimores tax rate is they highest in the state. And it *DOUBLES* the 2nd highest (1.1% Baltimore County)

Annapolis & DC is even cheaper! - CondoA is the better deal and the taxes on the condo would be about 8,500 a year. condo fees are cheaper than Silo Point $260 / $400 respectively.

If somone gave you CondoA (scott-free) with 0 monthly mortgage payment. You would still have to pay about $1,000 a month in taxes and fees. - thats almost what I currently pay in rent.

Silo Point would be close to $1,400 in fees and taxes. - So, why would I *buy* a property just to pay in taxes & fees what I currently pay in RENT? - And remember, if something breaks, *you* are responsible for it. (It sounds like a scam of renting back what you already own.)

Even with my salary, this type of system would simply cause me to be "house-poor". . If not, cause another mortgage meltdown. People should be very cautious when you buy in baltimore, it sound like trouble is coming...

I hope this hypothetical example makes the point that the previous posters were trying to make.

Good luck! And I hope the Baltimore tax rate improves in the next few years. I know the abatement lasts till 2015, but what then?

Hello everyone,

We moved to Baltimore from West Coast and after carefully researching the condo market. we quickly realized how limited our choces were. In fact, Silo Point was the only condo that we liked - everything else seemed so dated or simply boring. Yes, a condo in Silo is more expensive than a house in suburbs, but why compare apples and oranges? Of course a Victorian house could be lovely (particularly if one does not mind continuing maintenence, commute, and suburban life style). So, let's appreciate Silo for what it offers - a modern feel, very good design, great views. And it is worth mentioning that a comparable condo in Seattle or Portland (not to say SanFrancisco!) will be considerably more expensive

Both units I compared were in Baltimore. I think Silo Point and most of the condos in Baltimore are unique and of high quality. And honestly they are almost priced fairly.

The problem isn't Silo Point, but simply Baltimore's tax rate. - In this economy, it is not an incentive to buy. (I am researching how much of the property tax can be deducted.) - If it you can get it all back, it helps but there are some areas were you simply eat the cost. (sidewalk construction etc..)

I think my review was fair an accurate.

SL,

Glad to see someone knows what they're talking about...Tye2K...this is why you put 20% down and lock in fixed rate at under 5%...doesn't anyone else know of the 20% rule? It's more expensive to rent than to make mortgage payments...I thought this was common financial knowledge? Guess only a select few went to decent academic institutions.

Let me just clarify as well, either condo you're looking at (assuming you can buy both) (some condos are only for rent), either would be cheaper assuming you put 20% down. This also effectively allows you to sell later in life, I rather not pay rent and own a property than throw my money down the drain to rent and have no re-sell value. Owning the property at 20% down will make it a lot easier to transition to a surburbia house later in life. This will in effect, pay for the next 20% down payment with cash left over for decoration, upkeep, etc.

Personally, I never understood why ANYONE would rent when they can afford to own. It's one thing if it's not fesibly possible...but it's the biggest drain of money, IMO, to pay rent...just my take on the subject

One Real Estate agent with whom we spoke thought that Silo Point would succeed by selling the WASH DC crowd. From her point of view, the prices at Silo PT beat anything that DC has to offer, and its located right on 95 S.

I agree with Tye2k……. the problem is NOT Silo Point. I think that Silo point really is one of the better condos in Baltimore City. The truthe is that the condo concept will never work in Baltimore City due to the high property tax rate.

2.4% of 270K is $6480 annually or $540/month taxes + mortgage + condo fees $400/month = WAY TOO MUCH for a 1 bedroom condo in Baltimore City!

I think that the city should tax condos differently than single family homes/row homes.
If the tax rate for condos was reduced to 1.5% this would save the condo owner $2400 annually or $200 monthly for a 1 bedroom unit in Silo Point. Also reducing the tax rate for condos would help attract more young professionals/people with greater disposable income to the city, create a greater demand for the condos market and will help spur gentrification in more Baltimore neighborhoods.

Lastly SL why do people in Baltimore always compare the cost of housing in other cities to the cost of housing in Baltimore? You stated "a comparable condo in Seattle or Portland (not to say SanFrancisco!) will be considerably more expensive". My question to you is – have you ever been to any of these places before? If you have you'd know that these places are actually really nice, have much less crime, more culture, and dare I say are much less "blue collar" than Baltimore. You can't even compare Baltimore with DC. Of course DC is more expensive that Baltimore. Have you seen the DC subway? Compare that with the Baltimore subway! There is no comparison.

Baller, The more you post on this topic the deeper the hole you are digging gets.

Everyone gets it. By whatever voodoo economics and calculus you use to justify your decision... you present it as working for you. Congratulations (truly); we'll take your word on that.

But almost everyone else in the region and especially those who read this blog use a different formula and criteria when deciding on RE matters and almost all of these result in quite different outcomes than yours.

We all hope it works out for you and the others who buy at Silo and the other high priced and high fee Condo's but your repeated repeating of your points has become a shrill hucksterism that annoys.

Can you please call it a day? Thanks.

Mr.Rational,

Apparently others disagree with you as well. Your statements are contradicting. When you say EVERYONE in the region or those who use this blog assess RE differently, you lump together those who use this blog (VERY SMALL AMOUNT) with those in the region (MUCH LARGER THAN JUST BALTIMORE) There are plenty, PLENTY!!! of people with money in this city, let alone DC, Annapolis, etc. This blog is so small in comparison. Not to mention, most people with money don't surf around the web on blogs looking to post. I am younger and more tech savy than the older, adult crowd that this development sells to.

Why are you here...

Is it to be pessimistic, like most of this blog and comment...

Will this make you feel better sleeping at night knowing your comment was submitted? Sure hope not...because most of this blog is a tool to vent frustrations about prices, building construction, mortgage rates...etc.

In fact, that's what most blogs are used for...to whine and complain...

Sorry for adding some positive thoughts and comments...never seen re-purposed construction like this ever in Baltimore...next time I'll try and be a neggative nancy...just for you...

Lastly, positive thinking leads to positive results...

SDAT shows 40 units now settled and listed on the system....more to come...including mine...

CHEERS!

I rent on Decatur Street in Locust Point, and am looking for a house to rent in the immediate area. While the Units in Silo Point are awesome without a doubt, I do not understand why you would buy there with condos fees when you can buy an awesome totally rehabbed rowhouse for the same price or less with no condo fees. As far as upkeep, rowhouses don't have yards usually patios or parking pads.

has anyone heard anything about the condos at 1209 N. Charles St? I've been looking for a condo in baltimore for a while now - have been interested in Harbor East, Fells Point, and of course Silo Point...but the property taxes are just such a dream buster....the taxes at 1209 are lower as are the condo prices, and the area seems to be redeveloping..i think? thoughts? thanks!

Baller,

Can you read? Did you read my example. You responded with the notion that 20% down makes the situation better. My example assumed you could put 100% down.

READING IS FUNDAMENTAL.

Andy & Cowboy,

Honestly Condos are not the way to go in Baltimore. Buying a rehabbed house will eliminate the cost of condo fees.

If you are going to live in a high-tax rate, you have to eliminate the expense of condo fees. At $1400 a month taxes and $500 a month condo fees you are looking at almost $2,000 a month after your own the property.

Baller, maybe you are confusing you interest rate on the loan with the property tax collected by Baltimore. When you said "20% down and lock in under 5%" - That is your loan rate. That is seperate from property tax collected by Baltimore.

lol - You'll see in 2012! When it jumps back up from .8 to 2.4

FYI - There is a realestate agent selling Ryan Homes condos near Arundle Mills who owns a row home in Baltimore. She and her husband bought the home and re *desperately* trying to sell it before the 2.4% kicks back in. The point is, an agent who works professionally in the market *highly* recommended that its not a smart move to buy condos or even homes in the Baltimore area until this is fixed.

Watched "The Wire" again this past week. Reminded me of Silo Point. How's everyone's favorite downtown condo doing?

What happened to this blog? I guess BALLER realized his naivete and ignorance in facing the market that has continued to dwindle... so how many units closed? When I was looking in JULY 2009 ready to purchase (2) A units on floors with higher ceilings facing the harbor - Scott led me to believe that the PENTHOUSE had sold - obviously this was fabricated, because when I went back to visit a few months ago he forgot whatever stories he had told me before and said they were never able to close the deal on the penthouse (even though he previously had told me it sold for $5 Million). Did you fall for all the sales manager's lies too BALLER?

osofresh97, when homebuilders say "sales," they usually mean contracts. Nationwide, a lot of buyers backed out of contracts for new homes in the last several years.

OSOFRESH97- Believe it or not. High end deals do fall through, especially when they top 3-5 million!!

I checked in with MD tax records. Silo Point has recorded 98 settlements to date, since opening in Dec '08. They have 127 total sales.

When I toured last week,they are doing very well from $300k-$800k. Anything above that is still tough sales.

I also was amazed that there was NOT one resale (much less a foreclosure or short sale) out of all 98 settled buyers in the last 16 months.

I think I might take the plunge and buy there. I can't justify The Vue, Ritz is a week away from auction, and Harborcourt has to many foreclosures, law suits pending.

I will say that I hate Balt City taxes!!!

Brian - careful about posting misinformation - Harbor Court condos has NO PROBLEMS and NO LAWSUITS pending and NO FORECLOSURES. However - Harbor View Condos is in big trouble with no condo reserve funds and pending lawsuits, as well as countless foreclosures.

Also - the reason there is NO RESALE is because most people are not clueless enough to buy a "LIVED IN" unit where there are brand new units that have never been lived in yet. They ARE NOT doing well with sales, despite what the salesmen will lead you to believe.

The RITZ is almost unfinance-able unless you pay all cash. Most lenders will not go near the ritz property. Not sure about Silo. It's in the middle of nowhere - not quite sure how you can't justify the cost of living in Harbor East. Oh well - some people prefer a rundown neighborhood. To each his own.

And Jamie - undercontract is very different from "sales" I am not that ignorant. I ASK how many have closed - otherwise, they can say whatever they want - which is exactly what they do. At the time I was looking - Scott told me the Penthouse had CLOSED but had not yet posted to SDAT records. This was a lie. Period.

I see, osofresh97. I pointed out that homebuilders often say "sales" when they mean "contracts" because the Commerce Department does the same thing with its new-home data. The National Association of Realtors, meanwhile, uses "sales" to mean "closings" in its resale data.

Osofresh- Looking back I noticed you live at Harborcourt. I'm sorry, no foreclosures- just short sales for the last few years.In my opinion, Harborview had the biggest decline in prices (besides the Ritz lately) from 2007-2008. According to Tax records & MRIS, The average sales price went from $659k to $196k in 2008. You are correct about condo fee trouble. Getting close to $1000 a month for lower end units.

Did the Penthouse Buyer drop his million dollar lawsuit against the Harborcourt HOA yet? I heard he even tried to personally sue HOA president. He only complains to everyone in "Small"timore. I heard this around 6 months ago.

I still don't know if I can justify city taxes. Silo Point is in the lead. Might look at Canton next week.

Sorry, I meant Harborview on lawsuit with HOA that I heard about- not Harborcourt.

Osofresh- Sorry again. I did mean Harborview (not harbor court) in 1st email about lawsuits & foreclosures.

I agree that Harbor court has held its own in this market, and is one of the better buildings to live in.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie
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