Those relocating to Baltimore will find a wide range of accommodation options on offer, giving them some room to manoeuvre when it comes to finding the right home at the right price. That said, more and more people working in Washington DC choose to base themselves in Baltimore and commute rather than fork out the extortionate rental rates in the capital, which has had an effect on Baltimore’s property market at times.
Types of accommodation in Baltimore
The type of accommodation new arrivals choose depends on where they intend to live in Baltimore, among other personal preferences. Apartments and condos tend to be most suitable for young professionals and small families who wish to live close to the centre of town. The further one moves into the suburbs, the more spacious the properties become.
Rowhouses can be found in almost all suburbs of Baltimore, but their appearance and set-up can vary quite dramatically depending on location. Generally, these are two or three-storey houses that are attached to one another. Older rowhouses tend to have little to no outdoor space, while modern rowhouses – most often found in suburbs further afield – tend to come with small gardens and a front veranda.
Apartment living is commonplace in Baltimore, and apartment sizes vary greatly. Some apartments are located within older historic buildings with no modern features, while modern complexes often come equipped with additional facilities such as security services and communal spaces.
Condos are similar to apartments, but the communal facilities on offer tend to be more extensive. Generally, complexes come equipped with shared facilities such as gardens, swimming pools, fitness centres and laundry facilities. A major advantage of condo living as opposed to living in an apartment or an individual family home is that there is a noticeable sense of community in these complexes. This makes them a sensible option for those who've just arrived in Baltimore and are looking to establish a social network.
Finding accommodation in Baltimore
While accommodation tends to be more readily available in Baltimore in comparison to nearby Washington DC, it is still wise to start the property search as soon as possible. Online property portals are an excellent starting point as they allow prospective tenants to get an idea of the types of properties available in different parts of the city, and how much to budget
Factors such as access to public transport, proximity to schools, places of work, amenities and shopping hubs, as well as space requirements and lifestyle considerations will all come into play when looking for a suitable home in Baltimore.
Local real-estate agents are a great source of information and can assist those unfamiliar with the different areas and suburbs of Baltimore find a suitable home that matches their requirements.
Renting accommodation in Baltimore
Owing to the fact that Baltimore is not as populated as nearby Philadelphia and Washington DC, demand for property tends to be lower, which means that finding a suitable rental in the city shouldn’t be too difficult for newcomers.
The rental process
Potential tenants looking to rent a property in Baltimore will need to file an application either via an agent or by dealing directly with the landlord. Once the relevant checks have been done and references are verified, the landlord and tenant will sign a lease agreement. Having a US bank account and social security number set up will speed up the process.
As is the case throughout much of the US, a rental contract in Baltimore is usually valid for a year with the option to renew once the term is over. In some cases, tenants are able to negotiate a shorter lease, especially in quieter months when demand for rental properties is lower.
When signing a lease agreement, tenants are required to put down a security deposit usually equal to a month’s rent. This is refundable once the lease has come to an end. It's important to make sure a detailed inventory is carried out at the beginning and end of a rental period, as any damages will be deducted from the deposit.
Potential renters should check the terms and conditions of the lease carefully to determine which utilities are included. In some cases, landlords cover the costs of standard utilities such as gas, electricity, and water. Tenants are usually expected to pay for extras such as internet, cable TV, and telephone services.
►For some insights into popular Charm City neighbourhoods check out the Areas and Suburbs of Baltimore page
Are you an expat living in Baltimore?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Baltimore. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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