Saturday, September 8, 2007

Gentrifying Baltimore

The realtor must have been sorely tempted to describe this Baltimore dog as a "hot property". Thankfully and tastefully, that temptation was resisted. This fire damaged house is currently listed for $120,000.

Back in the good old days, many houses in Baltimore looked very similar to this one. Along comes gentrification, and houses, which were ignored for decades, become suddenly viable again. Of course, it is great to see urban renewal, but what is really behind it? Have these neighborhoods really changed? Or have greedy gullible investors been duped into thinking that a sow's ear is actually a velvet glove?

So, what are we to make of the realtor's claim that this house is a "Great opportunity to invest in up & coming area!" Look very closely at this photo. In the bottom right hand corner, you will see written "no sitting on steps". Why would an owner feel the need to write that in front of their house? Gentrification is a troubling phenomena. Is it sustainable? Or are people being tricked by realtor hype into buying overpriced crackhouses?

Many thanks to "DC sports chick", who sent in this one. The listing can be found on

1 comment:

Marcus said...

I think some of the neighborhoods of Baltimore are really changing or have changed, while others are just hype. For example, areas like Fell's Point, Canton, Charles Village and Mount Vernon have really turned around over the years. Other areas like Reservoir Hill, Union Square and Washington Village are really just hype.
In my opinion, it is going to take years for Baltimore to really make a strong turn around and what happens in Baltimore is ultimately linked to the Washington D.C. suburbs, despite the two metropolitan areas being separate trade areas.