Buying a home in Baltimore City or Baltimore County First Time Home Buyers

Some Homes are in Both Baltimore County and Baltimore City!

The State Department of Assessments and Taxation estimates that there are more than 400 properties that straddle the city line

In the Towson area, that means homes along Pinehurst Road, Thicket Road and others in Towson’s Pinehurst neighborhood, real estate on Walker Avenue on the south side of the Anneslie neighborhood, and other streets bounce back and forth between City real estate and Baltimore County real estate.

That begs the question, “what about my property tax bill?”

I’ve actually sold several homes where homeowners owed property taxes to both the City and Baltimore County! State property tax assessors from Baltimore City and Baltimore County real estate offices each evaluate the part of the property that lies inside their territory, and the property tax bill is formulated by a percentage basis, which can be found in the home’s deeds.

The good news for home owners who straddle the line is that they can often purchase a home “in the City” for less than the next block over, yet can send their children to Baltimore County schools. I worked with a home with under $200/year in County taxes, for the very back corner of their yard.

Baltimore County schools allow anyone who pays County property taxes to attend Baltimore County schools. If there is a down side, it may be that there is some confusion as to where services such as emergency and trash pickup start and end.

So how did this mess happen?

In 1918 the state authorized annexation of more than 50 square miles to Baltimore City, to add to it’s population and tax base, but they didn’t pay much attention to how drawing a straight line across a map would impact residential real estate or even commercial spaces – think of the shopping centers along York Road, Lake Avenue and Walker, for example.

Remember to consider homes listed as “Baltimore City” when you’re searching for real estate for sale on Towson area streets that dance around the city line – you just might find a unique deal.

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