Tag: apartment

Hot House: Inside The Legendary Wyndhurst Co-Op, One Apartment Quietly Asks $875K

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Hot House: 2 Wyndhurst Avenue, Apt. #1W, Roland Park, Baltimore, MD 21210

Grand apartment on first floor of historic Italianate building, circa 1924. Two bedrooms, three baths, 2,500 sq. ft., with separate entrance to 1.7-acre private walled gardens. Original architectural detail: hardwood floors, moldings, cabinetry, two fireplaces. Large living and dining rooms, eat-in kitchen, den.  Central air, security system. Two one-car garages included: $875,000 (HOA fee of $1,812/mo includes taxes, maintenance, water)

“House of Cards” Apartment for Rent in Baltimore — for Cheap!

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In season one of House of Cards,  Zoe Barnes lived in a scuzzy apartment in a bad part of town. Now that apartment could be yours!

Looking for an Apartment? Need A Roommate? Live Baltimore’s Got A Happy Hour For That!

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Mingle, Match, & Move!

Looking for your perfect roommate match? Come mingle with young professionals and check out a newly completed apartment property. This happy hour event will feature drinks, tours, and activities.  101 Ellwood Modern Lofts and Apartments. – March 27, Happy Hour from 6-8 pm – Register Here

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House of Cards Apartment for Rent

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IS-1w1gz6qgs009pIn the Netflix series House of Cards, we’re meant to believe that Zoe lives in a run-down apartment in a bad part of town. Now that very apartment can be yours! Of course, the building in question is actually in a perfectly lovely part of Mt. Vernon (6 E. Preston St., to be precise), and the actual filming didn’t take place inside the apartment’s interior. Still, if you feel like paying $650 a month for a one-bedroom that’s been (and presumably will continue to be) on television, now’s your chance.

Maryland Ready to Change Medieval Eviction Law

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eviction

If you’ve ever been the victim of a self-help eviction — in which your landlord locks you out of your apartment with little or no notice — it might have felt downright medieval. And in fact, it is. Last year Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled that a 600-year-old English law affirming a landlord’s ability to make a tenant homeless in the blink of an eye still holds. But now there’s pending legislation to catapult our state’s eviction laws from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

Recreational Residential Real Estalking

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Federal Hill Townhouse

225 East Montgomery Street

$ 729,000

4 br/3.5 ba

From the outside there is a lot to like about this pretty Federal Hill townhouse. The tony Montgomery Street location is primo and the charming front and back outdoor spaces seem like they would require just the right amount of work (which to me means only one sunny Saturday per season).  Inside, things are less clear. While far from new (1992?), the majority of the finishes appear to be very well done (the polished wood built-ins almost give a yachting vibe) and are a testament to the ability of quality materials to stand the test of time. Conversely, there is about a quarter of the decor that, while newer, is, um, well…a hot mess. (Sorry kitchen, bathrooms and doors, I’m am referring to you.) I love the idea of the new buyer bringing all the components up to the highest level. Visualize: Enjoying the expansive views from the roof deck as REM’s “Automatic for the People” (yep, it was 1992) plays in the background. 

 

 

 

 

Roland Park Apartment 

4300 Roland Avenue, #301

$279,000

2br/1 ba

I’ll start by admitting that I am a sucker for these 1920’s Roland Park apartments. Something about them reeks of intellect and culture. It is no surprise then that I am smitten with this Roland Avenue residence. Housed in an architecturally exquisite building, it is a virtually untouched gem of an apartment. Check out the fireplace mantle, high ceilings,  sun room, moldings and original windows for reasons to fall in love with the place. Don’t check out, however, the incongruously renovated kitchen. Hopefully, they left the bathrooms alone. Visualize: Sipping tea as you work on your thesis for your Hopkins Anthropology doctorate.

Lease Agreement, the Movie

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Well, despite how expensive housing has been getting in Baltimore, and despite the difficulty of navigating craigslist, my wife and I have found an apartment that fits our budget, and it’s right in Charles Village.

Now for the lease agreement. Time was, I was so disempowered and desperate for an apartment I would sign whatever I needed to in the name of securing shelter. But experience has taught me that when it comes to renting it pays to be a choosy beggar. So when my wife and I saw some odd clauses in our agreement, we spoke up about it.

If my reading of the lease agreement were adapted into a major motion picture, every weird clause would cue a flashback illustrating a relevant horrible experience with past landlords.

Possession—Owners shall endeavor to deliver possession to Tenants by the commencement date of this Agreement. Should Owners be unable to do so, they shall not be held liable for any damages Tenants suffer as a consequence, nor shall this Agreement be considered void unless Owners are unable to deliver possession within ten (10) days following the commencement date. Flashback to 2005. Bob moves into his efficiency apartment and finds no stove in the kitchen. He turns on the shower and leaky pipes flood the bathroom. Boring montage of Bob leaving the same message with his landlord’s secretary everyday for two weeks. Bob stops payment on his rent check. The landlord comes to the apartment and threatens Bob with legal action, eventually installs a stove and fixes the bathroom.

No. Owners shall be held liable.

Appliances—There are major appliances in the dwelling, such as a refrigerator and stove, the use of these appliances is included in the rent. Flashback to 2007. Landlord talks up the free washer and dryer. A week into the lease the washer and dryer stop working. (Close up of washer and dryer running fine while “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” plays in the background. Switch to super slow motion as appliances stop functioning. Song also  slows down and stops.) Bob calls the landlord about the needed repair. Landlord informs Bob that the washer and dryer were not mentioned in the lease agreement, and he has no plans to replace them. (Cue heartbreaking violins.)

Umm how ’bout we actually write each one down?

Okay, so this is a crummy idea for a movie. But it has a happy ending. We emailed the landlords with seven proposed amendments to the lease agreement and every one was accepted.

If you’re apartment hunting in Maryland, I recommend reading the lease thoroughly and comparing it to Maryland standards. If something seems bizarre or unreasonable in the lease, it’s probably against the law.

In some cases, if a clause contradicts Maryland’s landlord/tenant laws, it’s void anyway. But it will be a lot easier down the road if it’s clarified in the beginning. For example, did you know that you are entitled to interest on your security deposit? It’s the law, but you absolutely will not get it if you don’t pipe up about it.

The Perils of Craigslist

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My family and I find ourselves suddenly in the market for a new dwelling. As mentioned previously, finding a cheap apartment in Baltimore isn’t as easy as it once was. But when you’re combing craigslist for a potential home, it isn’t just the scarcity of reasonably priced apartments that makes it difficult. There are at least three types of suspicious apartment listings that we’ve come across. And like a good American, I saw something, and I’m saying something.

Type 1

These postings never include a picture and usually go something like this: “2 bedroom, 1 bath, quiet neighborhood, no pets, call Tony (410) 555-5555”

Ah, Tony, a man of few words. But when he speaks people listen!

I cannot wrap my head around this style of craigslist ad. Does he think he is going to be charged by the word? Is this the same Tony you call when you need a fake inspection sticker? (“Oh yeah, you need an apartment? I know a guy; he’s cool. It’s totally legit.”)

If the guy can’t be bothered to write more than one sentence or include a picture to advertise the apartment what’s it going to be like when the furnace needs a new thermal coupler? Always pass on these.

Type 2

These listings are suspicious because they are just too good to be true. It’ll ask $750 for a three-bedroom apartment with central air, washer/dryer, and two parking spots in Roland Park. Often this type of post will go on and on about the location. I don’t even call to follow up on Type 2. I just assume the apartment has no roof and three inches of standing water on all floors.

Type 3

This is the listing that seems perfectly reasonable, but you can see that it’s been reposted ten times in the past three months. It’s better not to follow up on these apartments either. They are definitely haunted, and any interaction with the home or the landlord brings with it the risk of catching the unwanted attention of the wayward spirits.

So far we’ve found two apartment listings that fit our budget (and don’t fall into any of the aforementioned categories). We called on one of them, and our would-be landlady kept my wife on the phone for 20 minutes talking about how much she loves her son but doesn’t approve of his life choices. Uh oh!

Maybe we just caught her at a bad time. We’ll see how she acts when we view the apartment today.

Is It Just Me, or Is It Getting Expensive in Here?

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When I moved to Baltimore in 2008, the city’s legendary cheap rent was a major draw. Live in an artistically thriving community within a mid-size city for 200 bucks a month (in an apartment with four of my friends)? Sign me up.

Three years later, faced with the prospect of moving out of my foreclosed Waverly apartment with my wife and infant child, Baltimore no longer seems quite so cheap. There are no affordable options in Mt. Vernon, Charles Village or Hampden. Even Waverly is giving us guff; the only reasonable apartments are deeper into the neighborhood, further away from Hopkins’ Homewood campus.

The problem is compounded when you’re a full-fledged family. When we were preparing for our child, my wife and I were considering many new expenses, but we never thought that having a kid would drive up our rent. Effectively it has. Communal living is less tenable with a baby, and we’ve found many landlords will refuse to even show us their one-bedroom apartments because we’re three people.

What gives? Is the JHU expansion putting pressure on the housing market? Are landlords with dollar signs in their eyes jumping the gun on the projected revitalization of their neighborhoods, and tenants, a notoriously disempowered population, are just taking it? Sure, there are still good deals to be found if you’re willing to live with six or seven other people in a dangerous part of town. But is that for everyone?

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