Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Broadview is kinda nice!

Buz has taken a couple of clients relocating to Baltimore around, who were interested in North Baltimore, and had occasion to look at apartments in the Broadview, one of several high-rise buildings near the Hopkins Homewood campus on the border of Roland Park and Tuscany-Canterbury. And though I had been by the place many times, I'd never actually been in it before.
I was really surprised how nice and neat and well-laid out the apartments were, and how quiet the hallways were, even on a Saturday afternoon--two Saturdays in a row. But the two apartments we were shown, both under a $1000 a month, really had good views, one with a 3rd floor right angle window so you have a view on your side out a window as well as straight ahead.
And they had a nice little fitness room, and a really nice resident lounge, along with a easy connection to a restaurant/bar. In the lounge an Asian gal was playing the piano, a guy was watching a football game, and another guy was shooting some pool. There were books for free borrowing, board games, and lots of nice easy chairs and reading lamps. Truly, one would never get to be lonely in the Broadview. And they have someone on the door 24/7 also--a rarity in these days of cutting costs. We stopped an older guy, and, as I am often in the habit on my rental finding tours, asked him an open-ended question: how do you like living here? He said: "I love it! I've lived here for 20 years, left town for 3 years, came back, and have been here the last couple years. Love it!" Well, sir, nuff said.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

relocation tidbits

Buz has had a pretty busy August and September with relocation jobs, and has found a lot of interesting places along with his clients who are moving to Baltimore---
  • We've been really impressed by the newly renovated Falls Road Apartments, in a little court just off the 4200 block of Falls Road in the neighborhood of Medfield, just north of 41st street border with Hampden. (A lot of people think this is Hampden). Wow! What a deal. Now, nothing special, but you can get a nice, clean, never-lived-in-since-renovated apartment, all new appliances and systems, bright, freshly-painted, and airy; in a relatively low crime area of the city, centrally located; for one bedroom at $795/month. People moving to Baltimore are voting with their feet: you see cars from many states in the parking lot. No amenities: no gym, no pool, no biz center/concierge BS. But you get free parking on their lot, and access to their small laundry room ( 3 sets of washer/driers). You want all the exercise stuff you can pay for it yourself: Meadowbrook is up the street a bit, along with Whole Foods. And a city police officer lives here too. To top it all off, the leasing agent is moving here next week.
  • I am really depressed, on the other hand, at how poorly privately-owned properties show, when compared to professionally-managed. Like, can't you, if you're a landlord make the place look nice and presentable and livable before you put an ad on Craigslist? Most can't. The places in Charles Village show especially poorly; but I guess the landlords there are so used to sucking from the Johns Hopkins trough, and charging high rents for their deferred maintenance, they have little incentive to worry about making the place they're renting look nice.
  • The smart Hopkins kids moving off campus look for a decent place in Hampden.
  • A recent Goucher grad just moved into a whole house, shared with several girl friends in Hampden; she told me that she doesn't worry about the Charles Village crime anymore.
  • Many apartments are now adding fees on to the rent, so watch your bottom line, if it's important to you: they're charging for water, sewer, trash removal, amenities, public areas, and making you share the gas and electric bill with others. Makes me uneasy.