Meet Our Neighbors
Lots of Dundalk stories to tell, from residents who are new to those who have been here a lifetime. Meet some of them here and know they are just a few of the many who have made Dundalk their community. Hover over the images below to click to their profile stories.
In Dundalk, neighbors say hello when they see you. When you move in, they’ll genuinely welcome you to the block. That just doesn’t happen every day, everywhere. Need to know about schedules for recycling and garbage pickup? Just ask. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors become a source of plants they’ve divided, or a source of information for someone who cuts grass or shovels snow. That said, your neighbors won’t live in your pockets. You may be as private as you want. When your neighbor says “let me know if you need help with anything” – he or she means it. In this day and age, that’s sort of unexpected, we know. But this is Dundalk, with a long history of neighbors helping neighbors. Welcome to the neighborhood.
New Resident Spotlight
Katie moved to Old Dundalk in 2016, along with Bailey and Sasha, her best (4-legged) friends. She went from being a renter in Greektown with a roommate to becoming a home owner in Dundalk, thanks to the DRC Market Boost program and the $10K Historic Dundalk Home Buyer Grant. “I wanted to be a home buyer, but didn’t quite have the resources. I was familiar with the quality renovation work by Charm City Builders in the City, but the taxes were too high.”
“I just love my house.”
Because our Market Boost program gives funding to the developer for projects in Dundalk and includes a buyer’s incentive to assist with closing costs, Katie got her quality renovation from Charm City and help with her down payment with the Historic Dundalk Home Buyer Grant. Now in Dundalk, although she works at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, her commute is only 18 minutes!
“The City is so close.”
Katie notes that she appreciates the quiet neighborhood and the quaint, historic charm of Old Dundalk. It’s still so easy to visit her favorite spots and her friends – “It takes me only 6 minutes to get to Canton, which is so fast and easy! I salsa dance and ballroom dance all over the place, so being close to 95 and the tunnel makes it easy to get everywhere quickly.”
Hey, Katie – tell your friends to consider home ownership in Dundalk! We love your energy!
Frank Wagner is living his home ownership dream, thanks to an affordable Dundalk home and the DRC $5K Golden Key grant. He moved on June 2015 into Eastwood, not far from the neighborhood where he grew up!
Purchasing that first home can be a little daunting, but Frank described the process for receiving the grant as ‘pretty simple’, though he said he wished he had done the steps described on the UnexpectedDundalk.com website. “I was trying to find the house I wanted first, because I was so eager to get into a home, but if I had to do it again I would have been working on the preliminary steps.” Frank’s referring to getting his housing certificate, which is mandated for many state and county-funded home purchase grants, including our own. “If you get your housing counseling done first, you’ve opened the doors to many opportunities, instead of picking out a house first that could disappear by the time you get your certification.”
Frank was an attendee at Dundalk Housing Fair and Neighborhood Tours; his favorite part of the event was the bus tour rides to beautiful properties on the market in the heart of Dundalk. Our next Dundalk Housing Fair and Neighborhood Tours is April 22, 2017 – mark your calendar and watch facebook.com/dundalkusa for updates!
Frank is a plumber and a mechanical contractor, and he was especially happy that the home he purchased was move-in ready. The walls had been painted and the floors carpeted. There were some minor changes and improvements, such as caulking, that he easily handled himself – things every home owner learns!
“The best part about residing here is that it’s so close to everything. I can go bowling with my father in the bowling league (which he’s done for the last 3 years) at Pinland on Dundalk Ave. Also, I can hop on to 95 for work; go to White Marsh, the City, or Canton without spending lots of time traveling. I tell others it’s a nice place to live because the location is so convenient.”
When Frank’s not out and about, he and his girlfriend like to just kick back on their comfy couch with their dog Charlie and watch a movie. “When other people visit, I like to take them by the water to enjoy some lunch at Hard Yacht Café and admire the view. People are always surprised by that.”
Pauline Tiako, a former resident of New Carrolton (a few minutes from DC) was in search of a place she could call home. Wanting to get away from the busy streets and cold neighbors, she explored areas that were safe and convenient for her family.
During her search, she received a flier for Dundalk Renaissance Corporation’s September 2014 Dundalk Housing Fair and Neighborhood Tours. Pauline attended the housing fair and gathered information she felt was useful but had reservations about qualifying for a mortgage. Tyler Banks, a vendor at the fair and CEO of Charm City Builders, had some encouraging words, “You’d be surprised. You never know till you try.”
“You never know till you try.”
Motivated by the tour, she was able to secure DRC’s $5,000 Golden Key Grant, $10,000 Historic Dundalk Grant, and the $5,000 Market Boost, as well as other grants her lender identified. “One flier led me to this great place and a lot of grant opportunities I never would’ve discovered.” (Learn more about events held this Fall.)
Pauline and her family sit comfortably at her home in Old Dundalk, a renovation by Charm City Builders! “This house has quality product that you would see downtown, yet I’m paying a fraction of the cost here. Where I came from, housing was smaller and expensive. The main reasons why I chose to live in Dundalk was its family-friendly nature and proximity to my work. (Pauline works for the State MDTA as administrative assistant and is currently getting her Master’s in Business Administration.)
When asked what she was most surprised about Dundalk she said, “Everything is nearby. I can take my kids to Kids First Swim School and American Kenpo Karate, where they are taught karate lessons, self-discipline and self-esteem,” (which Pauline feels is a phenomenal skill for children today). “No cars, calm streets, shopping around the corner, and I can go bike riding at all the nearby parks. I can’t wait to try Poplar Inn!”
Pauline has become a socialite and has already met many neighbors whom she describes as friendly and diverse. “Neighbors always greet me here with a ‘good morning’ while getting their newspapers. There are people from Ghana, Egypt, North Carolina, and now Kenya!” Her daughter shared, “I love everything about this house, I have a nice big room and a community where I have a lot of places to go to with friends inside and outside of school.”
In Pauline’s closing thoughts she wanted to leave readers with this:
“I was able to secure a mortgage, where just last September I said I could never afford to do, but here I am! DRC opened my eyes and shared Dundalk with me. For that I am forever grateful.”
While searching for a home, Ronnie knew exactly what she was looking for. “I was tired of the noise from living in the city and I needed a yard to do my gardening.” That’s when she found Dundalk, but not without some concern. “I pushed for the move here. My family was a little reluctant. My sister asked if she had to pay a toll to visit me, and my brother said this was a ‘question mark’ area. But once he saw it, he was like oh wow!”
“Now I sleep like I’m in a hotel.” Ronnie grew up in Glen Burnie and later resided in Baltimore City, until she realized what she had been missing, but found in Dundalk. “Here I have a big yard where I can actually put my garden in the ground, whereas before I had a tiny garden on the patio. I was even able to get $120 worth of trees/supplies from the DRC’s greening program just for living here!”
“Dundalk has a charm that a lot of other areas have lost.”
Ronnie has a list of all the positives that Dundalk has to offer her and her wife. Regarding the cost of living, “here we get more house for less money”, Dundalk’s location, “we’re in the middle of everything and away enough from everything”, and Dundalk’s attractions for her, “Dundalk has a charm that a lot of other areas have lost. I appreciate the museums, art, and the little restaurants that are within. Ollie’s is great for shopping and I’ve frequented Planet Fitness here long before I moved to Dundalk. I know Texas Roadhouse is coming, and I am super excited about that! It seems to me that Dundalk is on the way up, since there is a lot of investment in the area and that’s a good sign. I still like supporting the small businesses, though, because they are the best for customer service, and without them the charm would be lost. I’m really excited to see the community growing again.”
She describes her neighbors as fantastic and informative. “They have already offered to help me with any projects on my house. They are all very friendly and supportive with us being a gay couple, even the elderly, which we are not used to but are very thankful.”
Ronnie is a Comcast employee who works in sales and retention, while wife Katie works at Mercy Hospital. “My job makes me super happy, because I get to talk to locals and customers who enjoy the same things that I do like baseball; this makes my day much more enjoyable.” Their cat, Ming-Ming, seems to be happy about the move; she enjoys looking out the front door at her new yard for hours.
Ronnie remembers wise words her teacher once said that perfectly fits her excitement for her new-found home. “When I was in grade school, my teacher told me you have to take pride where you live or you’re never going to be happy. I didn’t think this was in the playing cards but I’m a homeowner now!”
Amanda Mummert, Wellness Integration Manager at Humanim in Columbia, has settled into her detached single dwelling home in Inverness and couldn’t be more content with her choice. When she first moved from Pennsylvania, it was the waterfront and the affordable house prices that caught her attention. What else?
“A small, manageable yard, a tax rate half of what it is in the City, and more house for the money convinced me to buy into Dundalk. Easy access to highways was a big plus. And – a driveway for parking! I so appreciate that when it’s raining and I’m bringing in the groceries.”
Amanda’s realtor showed her the Hampton and Remington neighborhoods in Baltimore City, as well as a couple of communities in the eastern part of Baltimore County. But – all things considered – with her careful budgeting, Dundalk was the obvious choice.
Any unexpected pluses, now that she’s acquainted with the area? With no hesitation – “People are friendly. It’s easy to jog or bike along the water. The green spaces are great – my friends have kids, and there are free places to hang out. I like the idea of small, local businesses – Poplar Hardware and Filetti’s Pizza are two of my favorites.”
And, to her friends who are in search mode – “Now, I wouldn’t live without the water.”