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City tries to lure residents from D.C.

Washingtonians like charms of Bolton Hill

Prices here more reasonable

September 15, 2002|By Molly Knight | Molly Knight,SUN STAFF

"There's absolutely no inventory in Bolton Hill," said David Martz, an agent with Long & Foster who has had four sales in the neighborhood in the past two years, all to Washingtonians. "If there's a decent house on the market, it's usually gone in less than a week."

Even if a Bolton Hill house is a "fixer-upper" that needs some work, its time on the market is typically short-lived.

Davidson's house, built in 1830, needed extensive renovations. But like most Bolton Hill residents who buy "handyman specials," he relishes the work in progress.

"It's an incredible experience," he said. "It's filled with challenges, but also with a sense of true accomplishment."

So what makes Bolton Hill so appealing?

In addition to prices, the neighborhood is an easy sell for Washingtonians who make the trip up to explore it.

Besides the proximity to the MARC trains, Bolton Hill, with its blocks lined with well-tended Victorian houses, boasts all the characteristics of classic city living. It's racially diverse, politically active and within walking distance of the Lyric Theatre, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Charles Theatre. It's steeped with history and sprinkled with parks. And, although it's rough around its outer edges, it's considered a safe place to live.

When asked how they feel about the influx of new neighbors from the south, Realtors and residents of Bolton Hill are almost unanimous in their response. Bring 'em on, they say.

"It's like a shot of adrenaline," said Roszel. "It means great things for the neighborhood."

And for its new residents.

With his house almost fully renovated, Davidson said Bolton Hill was one of the best moves he and his partner could have made.

"Every few weeks we discover another amazing aspect of Baltimore," he said. "We have a great house in a beautiful and charming neighborhood."

As if that's not enough, they've also got the sand in their toes at Rehoboth.

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