Rachel's Guide to Hampden Real Estate
I’ve walked the streets of Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood since I was a teenager. Back then my afternoons were spent in search of counter culture and vintage clothing. It was the early 1990’s and Hampden was just entering its urban renaissance. Twenty years later Hampden is a ubiquitous Hipster destination.
Hampden is one of Baltimore's most authentic neighborhoods apart from the whole "Hon" issue. What Hon issue? Hampden is the only neighborhood in Baltimore that has its own bonafide mascot. A patron saint of sorts. They even have fesitvals in her honor. These woman grace the windows of M&T Bank on The Avenue.
Even better than the marketing push to promote the Hon is the Hampden you'll find all on your own. The Hampden of the long time residents who have a great affinity for ornamentation.
This is John Waters Hampden. I'm happy to report it is alive and kicking. While I'm eager to see Hampden grow as a top urban entertainment destination, I know that its charm is highly reliant on its heart and soul that is the long-time residents.
The Hampden Village Merchants Association deserves a great deal of credit for the media darling status that Hampden has achieved. The independent owned and operated boutiques and restaurants that are located along The Avenue have earned their due. I've witnessed the owners devote years of sweat equity into making the main street a success. One of my favorite shops is Ma Petit Shoe, a boutique that specializes in shoes and chocolate.
When selling Baltimore real estate to people who are relocating to Charm City it has become de rigeur to take clients on a walk down The Avenue past vintage clothing stores, trendy restaurants, dive bars, coffee shops, yoga studios, and antique stores.
Even if you don't live in Hampden, you'll probably meet you friends there for dinner or drinks. Grano Pasta Bar is an excellent choice. Everything is homemade. The dishes and glasses are exactly what my Italian great grandmother used in her humble kitchen. Eating here makes you happy.
In terms of real estate geography, acquiring real estate walking distance from The Avenue is a no-brainer. How do you know if this neighborhood is right for you? Would you find The Nightmare Before Christmas yard decorations charming in March? These rowhouses are a stones throw from The Avenue.
Many of Hampden's rowhouses constructed during the beginning of the 20th century were designed as Millworkers houses. They have a smaller stature. This type of living hearkens back to a time before the suburbs existed. In fact if you grew up in the suburbs this type of living can be an adjustment.
Most of these properties feature 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms over approximately 1200-1500 square feet. The price range for these homes ranges from $180,000 to $299,000 depending on the types of improvements you'll encounter on the inside.
Hampden residents love their front porches. These rowhomes were designed before central air conditioning, so porch spaces were a significant commodity on a hot summer night.
Matching your car to your formstone facade is bonus points.
Favor something a bit more contemporary?
Just look at that charcoal gray paint job.
The cars parked by this house were BMW's. Old Hampden meet new Hampden.
Some of the largest properties have Victorian ornamentation and wrap porches.
And some of the oldest properties are made out of stone. This home is located in Stone Hill which is a hidden neighborhood within Hampden. This is a national register historic district featuring 7 blocks of millworkers houses that were constructed between 1845-1847. These properties are special and they don't come on the market very often.
Luxury in Hampden begins at $300,000, so while that budget may seem small-time in many American cities, in Baltimore you can really get something to shout about. Lets say your keen on Hampden but you're in search of contemporary architecture? We'd take a short drive over to Overlook at Clipper Mill to see these sophisticated residences. Prices for these homes begin at approximately $550,000. They border wooded acreage of Druid Hill Park.
It can take a lifetime to see all the wonders Hampden has to offer. Just last week my colleagues and I found ourselves on Morling Ave and encountered goats! It's not the only example of Urban farming I've seen. I sold some raw land in Hampden along Ash St earlier this year. Some of the land was being leased to the Baltimore Free Farm. The land was snapped up by an investor who plans to build loft apartments. Click here to read all about it.
What else is there to know about Hampden real estate? Parking is a challenge. There is not enough and while the city is working on solutions, if you find the option to acquire a property that includes a parking pad or parking space you should strongly take that into consideration.
There is also a rat problem. I know, that sounds horrible. The term "rat eradication" is one you'll hear if you attend Hampden Community Council Meetings. I'm the type of real estate agent that calls it like I see it. It's better that I tell you now then you discover it all on your own.
What Hampden could really use is a street car system. This old Baltimore street car is rusting in plain site on Falls Rd in Hampden. While this seems like a great solution, I'm afraid its probably many years in the future. A longtime Baltimore resident and friend of mine once accurately said "what would be developed in 5 years in most cities will take 20 years in Baltimore". The upside to this argument is that our real estate stays affordable because we are not operating in a bubble.
Would you prefer to lease? There are two exciting apartment projects that will be launched in Hampden in the next year. This picture shows the renovation of Mill Center apartments on Falls Rd in a quiet part of the community along the Jones Falls. The second project is known as The Courtyard at 3400 Roland and it'll be located walking distance from The Avenue. In full disclosure I'm an owner / investor in the second project.
This mural on Hampden's Ave is part of Baltimore's Love Project by Michael Owen.
Rachel's guide to Hampden Real Estate is written for my clients who are considering moving to Baltimore. It's my professional opinion that Hampden is a neighborhood that is worth the long term investment. Hampden is a great place to find your most authentic self. Want to know about other neighborhoods with affordable real estate walking distance from Hampden? Check out my write up on Remington and Medfield.
Looking to sell your Hampden real estate? I've got a knack for it. Here's an example of my most recent Hampden listing.