What do you need to know about living in Baltimore?

If you're looking to become a recent transplant to Baltimore, there are many different things about the Chesapeake Bay you may not know. Check out the MLS listings in Baltimore as you search through the real estate market for the ideal home, and remember that you're going to have to spend time exploring the streets of the Charm City to really become a local.

The people
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Baltimore was estimated to have a population of 619,493 in 2011. That population estimate is slightly below the figure predicted for 2010, which was 620,961. Women dominate the city, making up 52.9 percent of the population.

The jobs
Employment opportunities play a large role in the success of a local economy, and can also determine the vibrancy of community cultures. Because, without money, who's going to go out and spend time at a hip new café or wander the streets looking in local retailers' windows? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the civilian labor force in Baltimore was 1,464,500 in July 2012 – up from the previous month, when the same figure rested at 1,453,100.

The unemployment rate in Baltimore was 7.7 percent in July 2012 - slightly down from the previous month, when it was 7.8 percent. The industry category to employ the greatest amount of people in the Baltimore-Townson area was education and health services in July 2012, which provided 245,700 jobs.

The houses
A recent report from MSN found that a potential homebuyer in Baltimore needed approximately $37,563 in yearly income to support a property with an average mortgage rate of 3.97 percent. Charm City has featured a strong economy recovery - not only have home prices increased more than $17,000 in the past year, but the average mortgage rate has also declined by 0.58 percent.

According to ALTOS Research, the median single-family home price in Baltimore on August 31, 2012 was $113,478. Broken down, that figure means that a homebuyer paid a median price of $101 per square foot. Completing a quick calculation to determine the price of a home per square foot will help determine if a property is a strong financial purchase.