Did you know Baltimore’s Healthy Neighborhoods provides prospective homeowners with grants and low-interest mortgage loans to purchase, rehab, or refinance properties in Baltimore City? Healthy Neighborhoods targets up-and-coming blocks and neighborhoods where real estate is currently undervalued, granting residents the capital to invest in real estate and strengthen their neighborhood while creating their dream home.
If you’d like to find out how you can take advantage of Healthy Neighborhoods Incentive programs, contact Angie Sriram, GHCC’s Real Estate Manager, to start the pre-qualification process. Here, April & McSendy Pierre share their recent home renovation experience:
What are you getting yourself into?
Was the common reaction we got from our family and friends when we walked them through our 79-year-old townhouse in Ednor Gardens. I would admit at first glance the house wasn’t much to look at, especially compared to the brand new homes being built in the County, but since I wanted a home with a charming historic exterior surrounded by mature trees and my wife wanted a home with a modern kitchen and bathroom, renovating in Ednor Gardens was the perfect compromise.
We were first introduced to the opportunities in Baltimore City when in 2002 my college friend, Benjamin, formed the Claros Construction Company and renovated several abandoned and burned out historic brownstones in Reservoir Hill. I was amazed at how the renovations were giving these once stately homes a second chance. They were being completely reborn, refreshed inside and out, just as the designer had envisioned. When you stop and think about the process, it’s quite spiritual. To now walk up to these houses brimming with old world charm and class, then seeing the interior decked out in all the new modern conveniences, it was like entering the Twilight Zone.
In the summer of 2008, we started looking for a home. LiveBaltimore was a great source of information. From there we learned about the various Baltimore City neighborhoods, the free home buying seminars, and numerous incentive programs. After going to just a few open houses in Ednor Gardens, we fell in love with the neighborhood and diverse community. When we were ready to purchase a home, Angie Sriram of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation (GHCC) was a great help in walking us through the Healthy Neighborhood Incentive (HNI) program. The HNI program helped us to purchase and rehab a property by giving us an attractive loan product, as well as providing us with an architect to help plan improvements and review our contractor’s proposal. Having heard many horror stories about renovation projects, we are glad to say our project went surprisingly smoothly. Even though, we did a lot of research, it was reassuring to know we had the knowledge and experience of our Contractor, GHCC, and HNI on our project. It was a blessing to watch this once old and dilapidated house be transformed into our beautiful contemporary home in just a few short months.
Here are some pictures from the renovation: