September 26, 2018 - Event Recap
With the hope of homeownership in their hearts, hundreds of guests joined Live Baltimore for the Trolley Tour event this week to explore neighborhoods, meet real estate professionals, attend workshops and enter the $5,000 incentive lottery.
More than 330 people joined the Live Baltimore team on Saturday, Sept. 22 to learn about buying a home in Baltimore City, meet with exhibitors in the City Living Fair and tour city neighborhoods. While some guests joined the event at the beginning of their homebuying journey, others came on a mission, ready to apply for one of 30 $5,000 Buying Into Baltimore incentives that are given away upon completion of the Trolley Tour.
Tiffany Ekwugha, of Edmondson Village, attended the event with her 6-year-old daughter Adaora. Though originally from Maryland, Ekwusha said she grew up in Baltimore and Howard counties and hasn't had the chance to explore all of Baltimore City's 278 neighborhoods.
The September tour gave her and other guests a peek at neighborhood jewels in the northwest part of the City, including the neighborhoods of Ashburton, Glen and Dorchester.
"This is a great event and I'm so impressed by how organized everything is," she said while getting ready to get on her tour bus. "I'm ready to explore the city life."
Others took the tour as a chance to get to know their City just a little better, but were already set on the location of their next homes.
Brian Waters, of East Baltimore, said he enjoyed the tour and workshops but would most enjoy being one of the Buying Into Baltimore incentive winners. After completing three activities at the Trolley Tour event: a workshop, the tour and talking to vendors, guests are able to apply for the incentive and winners are announced on Facebook Live in the weeks following the event.
"Wish me luck," he said.
MEET AND GREET
Live Baltimore's partners come to the event to meet with potential homebuyers at varying stages of their homebuying journey, but some enjoy helping those who are getting started the most.
Real estate partners Jerry Edwards and Jordan Jones, of Fulton Mortgage, have been working with Live Baltimore for more than a year. The September event was their fourth Trolley Tour and a chance to fulfill the company's mission of bringing small community banking to the public.
"We're all about the community and we want to serve them," Jones said. "As a smaller bank you may not hear about us so this a good way to get our names out to the community."
"We share what we do, what we offer and the resources available to them like credit rebuilding," Edwards added. "The whole goal is to get people in homes. Where they may have no hope, we can give them that."
Tracey Clark, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway, said she comes to the event to meet clients but she most enjoys working with first-time homebuyers.
"I find it to be the most rewarding part of my job," she said. "There's something special about selling someone their first home. This is such a good place to connect with people that are just starting that journey as well as people that are ready to buy."
SUPPORTING THE CAUSE
Much of the work that Live Baltimore is able to do is due to the strength of our nine-person staff and a core group of hardworking volunteers.
Lateaka Johnson became a Live Baltimore volunteer at the request of a friend but has continued to come to events to meet a diverse crowd.
"You meet a wide range of people in the homebuying process and that's so interesting," she said, adding that she was also considering buying her first home in Baltimore City. "It's nice to gain knowledge for myself too."
Lina Mejia-Lewis, a realtor and Live Baltimore volunteer, said she decided to volunteer after taking Live Baltimore's Selling Baltimore City class through the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.
"I loved the idea of what Live Baltimore does and immediately asked to be a volunteer," she said.