Walk through virtually any Baltimore neighborhood and you can count on seeing our iconic row homes. You can spot an out-of-towner by what words they use for our row homes: a New Yorker will call them brownstones, a northern Virginian or D.C. resident may say “townhouse;” and folks from rural areas, accustomed to large detached homes, tend to call them apartments.
At the end of a row of row homes there is the “end-of-group” house, which, from a real estate standpoint, has several advantages over the interior row homes.
First off, if natural light is a must, an end-of-group is what you are looking for. The typical row home is limited to windows in the front and back of the house, with a skylight above the staircase. Updated houses may have a skylight in the master bedroom. The end-of-group has an open side not connected to another home; this allows for windows along the side of the house in addition to the front and back. This means more natural light throughout the house, typically in the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms.
Another perk to the end-of-group home is the potential for adding off-street parking. Even if you are on a block with a narrow back alley, too narrow for cars, there still may be an option to create parking access from the street. With street access, it’s also easier to turn a vehicle into a narrower space, which is why many of these end homes also feature a garage.
Interior row homes tend to be 11 or 12 feet wide. The end-of-group homes tend to be a bit wider, for more overall square footage, and more flexibility to place furniture in a living room and dining room. If the kitchen has cabinets and countertops on both sides (as in a galley-style kitchen) the extra width helps alleviate the cramped feeling in the kitchen.
Lastly, for those concerned about noisy neighbors, the end of group provides one less directly connected neighbor with whom to share a wall.
All of these factors do play into the price of the house. If you are directly comparing two houses, one interior unit and an end-of-group, you’ll probably notice that the end of group is priced higher. The reason is simple: buyers will pay more for an end-of-group home for all the advantages it gives the owner.
By Mario Valone
Mario Valone is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty, 1500 Thames St., Unit C. He can be reached at email@example.com or 410-732-3030, and is happy to answer questions.