What is a Row House?

As you read in our previous blog post, we’ve started investing in the beautiful city of Baltimore. We’ve already sold our first supply of Baltimore turnkey rentals, but we have several more that are currently being renovated. They’ll be available to our investors shortly. Like the previous two Baltimore turnkey rentals that we sold, the upcoming rentals are also row houses. Depending on where you live, you may not have row houses in your city. But in Baltimore, row houses have a distinguished history of charm and elegance. Here’s more information about what row houses are and why they’re so desirable.

What is a Row House?

A row house is defined as a residential dwelling that shares at least one wall with an adjacent dwelling, shares a roof line, and is similar or identical in exterior appearance and interior layout to its neighbors. A row house is sometimes called a brownstone, in which case a brownstone façade has been added to the front exterior of the row house. You may also have heard the term “terraced” houses, which is another way to describe a row house. Townhomes are very similar to row houses, but may only consist of two dwellings, whereas a row house is generally part of a row of multiple residences.


If you’re trying to picture a row house, there are some great cinematic examples. In “You’ve Got Mail,” Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly lives in a row house. In “Something Borrowed,” Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson’s foil, resides in a row house. Opening scenes of older TV shows like “All in the Family” and “Full House” featured images of quintessential row houses. You can also review the two Baltimore turnkey rentals we just sold to see what row houses look like in real life. Once you visualize what row houses look like, you’ll start noticing them everywhere, particularly in large cities on the Eastern seaboard, like Baltimore.

 Why Are Row Houses Considered Desirable?

Everyone appreciates the value of row houses. Investors love them because they are historical, highly rentable and can offer excellent ROI. The layout of row houses lends them to larger square footage, since the living areas will be two, three or even five stories high. In fact, if you look at the square footage of the Baltimore turnkey rental on 32nd Street that we just sold, you’ll see that the square feet is 1,428, and it comes with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The lucky investor who scooped this up can get $1,500 in rent, and a 15% ROI.


Renters love row houses because they are historical and typically have very charming features like wide front porches, nooks and crannies, arched doorways and things that make a house feel more like a home. Row houses also promote a sense of community, since front porches and common areas are in close proximity, and they provide a greater amount of living space for families than an apartment or a detached single-family home.

History of Row Houses in Baltimore

The first row houses in Baltimore were constructed in the late 1700s. Baltimore’s architects drew inspiration from England, where rowhouses often surrounded neighborhood parks and provided housing for the middle class. As the population of Baltimore grew, more row houses were erected that families of every income level could afford. The 1850s saw a boom in the rail industry in Baltimore, and thousands of Italian immigrants needed housing, so the three-story “Italianate” row houses were built. These featured ornamental elements that were easily mass- produced, in keeping with row house “identical” stylings.


When motor cars became a frequent sight, more row houses began cropping up along street car lines, farther from the city center. The economy was flourishing and the new row houses reflected a more unique and colorful look than their utilitarian predecessors. As timed moved on, row houses became the default residential construction method and they can be found throughout Baltimore, marking each era of growth.


Like most cities, Baltimore is comprised of neighborhoods, each one with unique architecture that is indicative of a particular time in history. For our purposes, we have identified areas of Baltimore that offer the most value for our investors, both now and in the future. We look forward to offering you more chances to invest in Baltimore! Please be on the lookout as we bring you more Baltimore turnkey rental investment opportunities!

Why Now is a Great Time to Buy Real Estate

They say that smart investors can make money in any kind of market conditions, but these times are proving to be challenging on a whole new level. Generations in the past have had to deal with the Great Depression, the Spanish Flu and two World Wars. And yet, here we are; alive, if not altogether well. Just as previous generations did before us, we will eventually pull through this global crisis. In the meantime, this is not the time to give up on your investment goals. It is, however, time to take a fresh look at how and where you invest.


The Stock Market is Riskier Than Ever

The stock market continues to crash at alarming rates. The Coronavirus has proven to be a relentless global enemy and stocks are down about 35% since last month alone. As the New York Times says, “The implosion…is shaping up to be one of the most destructive periods in American financial history.”


Those investors who are thinking of a foray into the stock market need to be extra careful. Although many of the most lucrative stocks can be had right now at bargain prices, we are still in the early stages of this pandemic, according to experts. The Director General of the World Health Organization said on March 23rd that “The pandemic is accelerating.” As such, no one can predict with any certainty how much further stocks will slide. Echoing the warnings of many other financial pundits, Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist with Charles Schwab, says, “Markets will get worse before they get better.”


Since the stock market has the ominous distinction of being able to drag your investment all the way down to zero, it’s always been riskier than real estate. But in a time when many families have lost one or both household incomes, who wants to risk their investment savings on stocks that could become worthless literally overnight?


Interest Rates Are at Their Lowest

The Federal government is doing its best to give investors a break. Interest rates are historically low; the lowest they’ve been in over 50 years. Investors who lock in these low rates can enjoy higher rates of return for as long as they own their properties. There’s never been a better time to buy real estate investment property, whether you buy a turnkey rental, duplex or something else.


At Martel Turnkey, we work with a variety of lenders who are adept at working with turnkey property investors. Just give us a call and let us know which turnkey rental you’re interested in. Then we can put you in touch with a quality lender so you can start the buying process. If there are no available properties at the moment, we would be happy to put you on our growing waiting list for the next available turnkey rental.


Now is a Great Time to Buy Real Estate

In this time of great uncertainty, it’s a comfort knowing that you can invest in something stable and reliable. Real estate will always be an asset that you and your family can rely on. Now is a great time to buy real estate. The value of your real estate investment will never go to zero; it will never be worthless. Historically, real estate has always appreciated in value over time, even though there are always ebbs and flows in the market.


Remember too, that no matter what happens in the world, everyone needs a place to live. Your turnkey rental property will provide a refuge for tenants who need a safe place to “shelter in place.” While investors can’t see themselves as a charity, it is worth noting that there is a certain nobility to being a landlord and providing a roof over someone’s head.


Savings Accounts Aren’t Worth Your Consideration

The biggest mistake that you can make right now with your investment dollars is to leave them in a savings account. Your savings account is a great place to save money to invest, but it’s not a good way to invest. In other words, your savings account is a holding account, not the method you should use to make money. If you have money to invest, this is a great time to buy real estate. And when you’re ready to buy real estate, MartelTurnkey is a great place to buy it.


Please contact us for more information about investing in turnkey rentals, or to get your real estate investment questions answered. We love hearing from you, and we are here for you, as always.