The Charm City seriously wants to give you thousands of dollars to buy a house there.
You already know Baltimore for the plucky drug dealers, puritanical police, functional City Hall, and definitely-not-failing public schools that made The Wire such a barrel of laughs. But you also should know it as a rising arts and tech hub that is attracting droves of college grads -- that population went up 32% in B’more from 2000 to 2012. Like other Rust Belt cities, the overall population of Baltimore has steadily eroded in recent decades (down more than a third since 1950, in fact). But where others have left, houses remain. Sweet, sweet houses, at fractions of the prices you’d pay elsewhere in the region.
“We often hear from people now who are very young,” says Annie Milli, the executive director of Live Baltimore, a group that aims to get people to buy homes in Baltimore. “They’re interesting customers that are really pursuing their passions, finding these incentives, getting a roommate, living for little, and accessing the great amenities we have to offer.”
The median-priced home in Baltimore is $238,000, a bit more than half of what you’d pay in DC, Boston, or the New York metro. But you can get much cheaper, and on the lower end you can qualify for a bushel of discounts. (Baltimore really wants to help you find a place you can legally splatter paint.) Pen ready? Here come numbers:
The Buying Into Baltimore Program offers first-time homebuyers $5,000 toward buying anywhere in the city. The Live Near Your Work Program, also for first-time homebuyers, a $2,000-$5,000 grant or conditional grant (half from City of Baltimore, and half from employer) to be used toward down payment and closing assistance; to that end, city employees can receive up to $5,000 toward buying a home. And if you want to move into one of Baltimore’s abandoned homes, the city’s Vacants to Value Program will give you $10,000. Half of which you’ll probably spend at Home Depot in the first six months, but still.