The First-Time Buyer

With the market finally on the mend, we went house-hunting to come up with a list of more than 50 of the region’s best neighborhoods, from Annapolis to Roland Park to Havre de Grace, and then tracked down some of the folks buying there.

By Ken Iglehart and Johanna Anderson Favole. Illustration by Lauren Giordano. Research assistance by Barbara Vinsanto, Realtor Trish Thibeault, and O’Conor & Mooney Realtors - April 2013

Best Places To Live 2013: The First-Time Buyer

With the market finally on the mend, we went house-hunting to come up with a list of more than 50 of the region’s best neighborhoods, from Annapolis to Roland Park to Havre de Grace, and then tracked down some of the folks buying there.

By Ken Iglehart and Johanna Anderson Favole. Illustration by Lauren Giordano. Research assistance by Barbara Vinsanto, Realtor Trish Thibeault, and O’Conor & Mooney Realtors - April 2013

-Photo by David Colwell

Upper Fells Point - When Jess Parker started working in sales at Under Armour five years ago, she did what comes naturally to 22-year-olds—she ganged up with some girlfriends to rent a place in Federal Hill. But five-plus years of communal living got the Baltimore County native and Clemson University grad thinking about buying.

“I was really kind of interested in owning a house from an investment standpoint,” says Parker, who is unmarried and now works in sports marketing for Under Armour. “I love being in the city—there’s always fun things going on, so I started looking around Federal Hill and Locust Point.”

The hipness factor, though, put most of the homes out of her financial reach. “It was my Realtor at O’Conor & Mooney who convinced me to start looking instead in Upper Fells Point, where values were a little better, and where a lot of my friends had ended up anyway.” And, sure enough, she found an affordable little townhouse there that she loved, which she closed on last fall.

It’s close enough to work that she often zips home for lunch to walk her golden retriever, Izzy. And she’s enlisted a favorite former roommate to help pay the mortgage by renting a room to her.

But it wasn’t all about investing her money wisely: “I feel like I always wanted a place I could call my own, where I could do fun stuff, and decorate, and so on,” says Parker. “I got a lot more for my money in Fells versus Federal Hill, and the parking is easier, too. We used to have to hunt down spots in Federal Hill—it was the luck of the draw. It was definitely the right move.”





You May Also Like


Home & Living

Yes, You Can Sit In It

Monica Cortright has a knack for turning chairs into masterpieces.

Home & Living

Home Away From Home

Shine Creative's Jamie Campbell and Drury Bynum's Arcadia workspace.

Home & Living

Flight of Fancy

After decades as a flight attendant, Sheryl T. McLean lands in interior design.


Home & Living

The Curtain Rises on Act II

Empty-nesters beautify their home for a new stage.

-Photo by David Colwell

Connect With Us

Most Read


What to Know About the Maryland Cycling Classic Coming September 2020: For starters, Baltimore's pro cycling event will be more than 100 miles long.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings Declares For Late Husband’s Seat: We break down the familiar faces in upcoming special Democratic primary.

Gervonta Davis Wins Another World Title Belt, Eyes ‘Big Year’ Ahead: West Baltimore’s own was bruised, but not beaten in longest fight of his pro career.

Maryland Native Maggie Rogers Receives First Grammy Nomination: The singer-songwriter was nominated for “Best New Artist” alongside big-name acts.

Meet the Ravens’ 25-Year-Old, Number-Crunching Whiz Who Has John Harbaugh’s Ear: Park School alum Daniel Stern helps call the game-changing shots for his hometown team.