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Baltimore
  • $650   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $935   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1479   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

87% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
exploring the wrong neighborhood after dark, gun violence
commutable to more expensive cities, museums, waterfront 6
hipsters who ride bicycles, buppie families, queer artist community, little el salvador, murders here, industrial wasteland, gluten free cupcakes, hipsters with lesbian moms, dog lovers, you will get robbed, expensive hotels & apartments, toothless, and the port are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Baltimore roommate rundown:

Many not from the northeast fail to notice before visiting that Baltimore is only 40 miles NE of Washington D.C.?

Lending Baltimore a "big city with a small town vibe" atmosphere . . . because a substantial percentage leaves most days for work, to benefit from Baltimore's lower rents while commuting to D.C.?

Also because commuter trains also run to Philly and NYC, so same deal with them as well?

So Baltimore has its own distinct metro vibe . . . but it's also a cozy suburb for three larger ones?

And this cozy suburb is also a major port?

The local sense of humor would say yes. To all of that, even how it's contradictory, 'cause why not? It's Charm City.

The gang violence for which Baltimore is famous is real - but 75% of the gun violence is concentrated in the 25% of neighborhoods with the most poverty. Gang-related crimes mostly affect people involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics.

Otherwise, "Bawl Mer" features many gorgeous historic districts and neighborhoods, and a restored waterfront. Based on how many urban amenities and attractions you can experience with friendly residents near world renowned art and stunning views for about how much rent?

Baltimore might be the best bargain on the East Coast.

The rest of the Baltimore roommate lowdown:

  • most populous city in Maryland, with about 550,000 in the city and almost 3 million including the larger metro
  • population is extremely diverse
  • Climate is very changeable, with warm humid (some say steamy) summers and cold rainy winters with some snow. Summers feature quite a few hot days plus thunderstorms.
  • home to 19 universities, including Sojourner-Douglas College, the United States Naval Academy, College of Notre Dame - Maryland, Coppin State College, Goucher College, St. John's College, Towson State University, Western Maryland College, Loyola, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore
  • Baltimore is called "Charm City" because it's a big city with a small-town vibe and friendly people.
  • As it's only 40 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. and one of the most affordable urban areas along the East Coast, commuting between happens a lot. Many who work in D.C. benefit from Baltimore's lower rents. Regular commuter trains are also running to Philadelphia and NYC.
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University employ many, along with a number of government agencies such as the NAACP, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and the Social Security Administration.
  • Baltimore surrounds a major inland port. Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry or immigrants to the United States and the Port of Baltimore is the closest East Coast port to the Midwest.
  • Some neighborhoods are walkable, others not so much. The Charm City Circulator can take you around the center of the city. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) includes buses, light rail, and commuter rail, which provide access to several suburbs along with the airport, downtown, Timonium, and Hunt Valley. However, unless you live near your work/school, you and your roommates will probably still want cars.
  • Most affordable neighborhoods for roommates include Locust Point, Mount Holly, Penn North, and West Arlington. More expensive neighborhoods include Federal Hill, Fells-Point, Mount Vernon, Homeland, and Little Italy.
  • Many say the urban dynamics depicted in David Simon and Edward Burns' television shows The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood and The Wire are still ongoing. Baltimore has remained notorious for its high homicide rate for the last several decades, peaking in 1993 and again in 2015 following major protests following the death of Freddie Gray. However, about 75% of the gun violence is concentrated in about 25% of the neighborhoods, those being same as those with the most poverty. Gang-related crimes mostly affect people involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics.
  • Baltimore features many beautiful and historic districts, many playing a key role in the American Revolution. Nearly a third of the city's buildings are designated historic and there are more public monuments than any other US city. Also, a recently restored waterfront!
  • Locals pronounce it: Bawl DaMore or Bawl Mer. Locals mostly drop the T.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Baltimore's:

  • Lexington Market: Founded in 1782, is one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the United States. You could shop there with your roommates.
  • Edgar Allan Poe at the Westminster Presbyterian Church: He died in Baltimore under mysterious circumstances in 1875. Many pay respects to his monument at the Church's cemetery. Some leave roses and bottles of cognac. And yes, the Baltimore Ravens are named after his poem.
  • Maryland blue crabs: Most everyone eats them, and crab cakes are the local signature seafood dish . . . although most everyone also eats them more simply steamed and cracked open with a mallet over newspaper.
  • HONfest: Yearly celebration of the historic working women of Baltimore and their charming hairdos. "Hon" is a local term of endearment symbolizing warmth and hospitality. "HONdreds of Hons" gather in the Hampden neighborhood every year. Their "judges give extra points for a real wash & set updo because it’s full of hope and hairspray."
  • Baltimore Art Museum: World renowned, with the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse. There's also a John Waters Collection, and an exhibition on the culture of hip hop is upcoming.
  • Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum: "Specializes in original thematic exhibitions that seamlessly combine art, science, philosophy, humor and especially social justice and betterment." They pride themselves on featuring art in all mediums from self-taught innovators from outside the "art world."
  • Ministry of Brewing: Previously a church, now renovated into a brewery. There's a 20-barrel brewing system where their altar once was, and the original stained glass windows, original organ, and vaulted ceilings remain near a wide variety of brews on tap.
  • The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum: Dedicated to preserving Black history through life-sized wax models. It features dioramas of the Underground Railroad, and more recently a model of President Barack Obama.


Here's the Baltimore City Online Payment Directory, which could hopefully help you pay for any new permits you might need after relocating.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.