Buying Into Baltimore
Live Baltimore's big home-buying fair and tour, Buying Into Baltimore, offers $3,000 as a first-come, first-served incentive to buy a city home. More than 650 have been bought with those sweeteners since the first event in 1998, and they're everywhere -- from Woodberry to Middle East, from Walbrook to Fells Point.
Live Baltimore, a nonprofit that wants folks to take a hint from its name and live in Baltimore, compiled this statistic as it prepares its latest Buying Into Baltimore event, scheduled Sept. 12. (Pre-registration information here.)
The $3,000 -- which can be used toward closing costs or down payment -- is a city loan that turns into a grant after five years. Fifty are up for grabs. Detailed details are here, but in general, buyers qualify by getting homeownership counseling, participating in the event's home tours and buying a place within 90 days afterward. (You don't have to choose one of the 16 homes on the tour, but you do have to buy in the eastern half of Baltimore. The spring fair focuses on the west and the fall fair on the east.)
"Our Buying Into Baltimore program is mostly designed for first-time home buyers," said Anna Custer, executive director of Live Baltimore. "All of those homes we feature ... are under $250."
Many of the participants aren't planning big moves. Nearly three-quarters of the 500 people who showed up for the spring Buying Into Baltimore event were already Baltimore residents.
Some of the out-of-towners were from the Baltimore 'burbs, some from Washington and some from New Jersey. (New Jersey is the home of Fort Monmouth, due to send thousands of jobs to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County as part of base realignment and closure.)
Live Baltimore bused in BRAC relocatees for the spring event. This time, it's got an overnight trip planned with a BRAC-only tour the following day.