What $185,000 can buy you in Baltimore
What sort of home can $185,000 or so buy you in our region? Here's one example.
Amy LaPerle, who purchased this home in Northeast Baltimore over the summer, very kindly offered it up when I suggested that it would be pretty neat to do virtual tours of recently purchased local digs to show how prices (and home types) vary around the area. Call it What You Get for the Money, Baltimore edition.
If you bought a home within the last year in the city or in the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford or Howard, you can play too. More on that in a bit. Back to LaPerle's home:
It's a four-bedroom foursquare in Waltherson, part of the Greater Lauraville area. She paid $184,900, though the effective price was a bit lower because the seller contributed 4 percent toward the closing costs and paid about $4,000 for repairs and inspections.
"After seeing a lot of homes that were okay but not quite right, I liked this one the instant I peeked through the front window," she said in an email interview.Here's what the back yard looks like -- a reminder that yeah, you can get a tree-filled view in Baltimore:
All photographs taken by Amy LaPerle
The home itself needs some work, she says -- the floors could use refinishing, for instance, and she can see that the front porch and back deck will need to be replaced down the road. But the seller took care of the place and didn't leave behind problems in need of a gut rehab.
In fact, LaPerle considers it a plus that the place wasn't Renovated with a capital R.
"I liked that it was spacious, open, and though it had some updates it did not have all of its original character rehabbed out of it," she says. "If I wanted to live in a house that looked like new I would have bought a new house! The big front porch, back yard and mature trees were also appealing."
Here's the foyer:
The living room:
LaPerle, 35 -- who works in sales and customer service and is also one of the co-owners of the cafe Charmington's -- says she still has warm feelings about her place after several months of living there, "though tempered by reality."
"The trees need trimming, the yard needs a lot of love, we'll want to update the kitchen and bathrooms eventually, and there are some definite 'What in the hell were they thinking?' as a result of 100 years of different owners," she explained. "On the other hand, the wood floors and finished attic are my current favorite things."
LaPerle wasn't specifically looking for a foursquare. She was thinking of getting a bungalow.
"I actually looked at a very nice bungalow in the same neighborhood the same day I found my house, but once I walked into the one I bought I knew it was the one," she said. "Friends had told me that would happen, and I didn't believe them. There were a lot of 'almost right' houses, but I'm glad I waited."
"After looking at how much house my money could get me, I decided to look at the Hamilton/Lauraville area," she said. "Quite a few of our friends love living in the area, and that was a draw too. After being in Hampden it feels a bit like the suburbs, but on the other hand I like that it's quieter and greener."
She's happy with her purchase. It was worth the money, in her opinion.
"I feel like I got a nice sized house in decent condition in a stable neighborhood," she said. "I saw a lot of less appealing houses in the same price range in the same neighborhood."
Like to share your experience and give readers a virtual tour? Email me at jamie.smith.hopkins(at)baltsun.com, with @ replacing the (at), of course. Any location in the metro area at any price -- and in any condition -- is welcome, as long as you bought in the last year or so.
Thanks very much to Amy LaPerle for stepping up!