While a loss of industrial jobs slowed progress in Baltimore, the city is back on the rise. For residents looking to buy a home in the city’s growing real estate market, finding a reliable mortgage lender to help purchase your dream home is the first step. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best mortgage lenders in Baltimore to guide your decision.
It’s an ideal time to buy a home in Baltimore—rent is steadily increasing, and there are many houses on the market. Housing prices are still lower than the national average, but they have been rising for a few years and are attracting the attention of investors worldwide.
The median home price has increased by 33 percent in the last two years. Market experts predict housing values will continue to rise by at least 10 percent in 2019, which makes purchasing a house in Baltimore an excellent investment. An increase in area healthcare, life sciences and cybersecurity businesses joining the steady economic support from the Port of Baltimore bodes well for the city’s growth.
The median home value in Baltimore is $170,119. However, in the city’s most popular neighborhoods, like Federal Hill, Guilford and Charles Village, houses are going for twice that. When it comes to return on investment, single-family homes offer the best value, but investors are keeping a keen eye on area townhomes, which have seen an 11.3 percent increase in value during the past year.
Best neighborhoods to purchase property in Baltimore
Up-and-coming neighborhoods with quality housing at affordable prices have the best potential for value growth. The most well-known of these neighborhoods is Hampden, which has a median home value of $234,500, a number that is continuing to rise.
Some of the best neighborhoods for first-time buyers are:
Affordable hot spots for single professionals and families:
For the lowest home prices in up-and-coming neighborhoods, check out Glen, Waverly and Hollins Market. The more expensive Charles Village and Brewer’s Hill neighborhoods are also on the rise. Millennials and young professionals alike love the nightlife, culture, restaurants, shopping and history in these neighborhoods.
Home prices in Patterson Park are a little higher, but residents love this safe, friendly and diverse community, which is nestled next to a 155-acre city park and within walking distance of nightlife, restaurants and cultural activities. With all the new jobs in surrounding areas, it’s only a matter of time before everyone discovers this hidden jewel.
Butcher’s Hill is also popular among young families who are choosing to trade the city’s nightlife for parks, community and architectural beauty.
With more than 200 neighborhoods in Baltimore proper and dozens of hip enclaves, it’s tempting to dive head-first into the search for your new home, but don’t start the search for your dream home just yet.
Mortgage companies in Baltimore have a variety of options for homebuyers, including:
Conventional loans: The most common type of loan, conventional loans may require higher credit scores and larger down payments than other options. Conventional loans can either be fixed-rate or variable-rate loans.
FHA loans: The Federal Housing Administration backs these loans. Homebuyers with lower credit scores may qualify for these loans, but the loan does require mortgage insurance.
FHA 203(k) loan: These loans are also backed by the Federal Housing Administration but are intended for use on homes that require renovation. They allow you to put the purchase and renovation cost of your home into one loan.
HUD loans: These loans are backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and can be a good option for people with lower incomes.
VA loans: VA loans are low-cost loans that have no down payment. They’re offered to veterans, members of the armed forces and surviving spouses by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The home you choose and your situation will determine which type of mortgage will work best for you. Your mortgage lender will work with you to find the right loan to take advantage of Baltimore’s housing market and avoid skyrocketing rent for good.
AmeriSave offers online quotes in seconds, giving you multiple loan options with no hidden fees. The company also protects your privacy by providing your quote without requiring contact information. Baltimore customers say AmeriSave’s staff is helpful and patient, and many say they saved money by working with the lender.
HomeDirect assigns each customer a mortgage banker dedicated to assisting them through every step of the mortgage process from application to loan servicing. The company is a division of BOK Financial and offers cutting-edge technology and low rates. Baltimore homebuyers rate HomeDirect highly for its easy application process.
Federal Hill Mortgage
Federal Hill Mortgage is a one-stop shop for prospective homebuyers, providing both mortgage loans and financial advice on questions like how much you can afford to spend on a home. Baltimore customers say the service at Federal Hill Mortgage is exceptional, making every aspect of the home buying process enjoyable and easy.
Coastal Lending Group
Coastal Lending Group takes a common sense approach to mortgage loans to help customers get the best mortgages possible and save time, money and hassle along the way. Customers in Baltimore appreciate the individualized care they received from Coastal Lending Group and say the employees are dedicated and helpful.