Jul 29 2008

Could the Real Estate Crisis be Good for Baltimore?

Published by at 11:34 pm under Houses,Real Estate

This is a story about a house.? This is the house next to mine in Canton.? When I bought my home two years ago, the house next to mine was also on the market.? It was listed for about the same price as mine and it sold shortly after I put the offer in on mine.? I moved in and anxiously awaited my new neighbors.? However, the house just sat…and sat…and sat.? No one moved in.? It became obvious that the house had been bought by a speculator.?

It’s estimated that thousands of houses in Baltimore are owned by real estate speculators.? Speculators are often criticized for perpetuating urban blight and lack of community development, especially in severely depressed neighborhoods.? Often times speculators are waiting for others to make an investment or the first move in order to sell their property for a profit.

Then something strange happend to the empty house next to mine.? Late notices started overflowing in the mailbox and foreclosure notices were posted on the door.? Pretty soon, the house was back on the market…this time advertised as a “bank owned” property.?

Long story short, the house was sold, and a young woman moved in.? She just graduated from medical school and is starting her residency at Hopkins Hospital in Urology (the best program in the country).

The point of this story is that while many unfortunate people are losing their homes to foreclosure, there are many more speculators and investors who got in over their head expecting to make a quick buck.? Instead of these properties remaining vacant, many people are finding great deals on their first home by picking up a foreclosed property which is being sold by the bank or at auction.? A lot of these people are young doctors, artists, engineers, lawyers, writers, etc. that will help Baltimore continue to grow and become great.?

So while some people have had to sacrifice due to the housing collapse, the silver lining is that Baltimore will continue to remain an afforable place to live.? Cities like San Francisco and Washington D.C have gotten so pricey that most of the young people are relegated to the suburbs.? This ultimately? will create? a vacuum in the city, devoid of activity generated by fresh blood.?

The more empty houses in Baltimore that can be put back to productive use, the better for our city as a whole.




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