City Life Builders opens model home in East Baltimore

To show potential home buyers that they have the chops to complete a top-flight rowhouse renovation, City Life Builders last week opened a rehab model home in East Baltimore.

The two-story, red-brick home is on North Collington Avenue between Ashland Avenue and East Madison Street. You can't miss the lime green front door at the top of the white marble steps.

"We've got this process down," said Anne Riggle, City Life's president. The firm has rehabbed scores of homes throughout Baltimore since the early 1980s and has also built several new home communities. 

This model home, blocks from Johns Hopkins Hospital, is intended to take their rehab business to the next level.

Potential home buyers will be able to come to the model, which is open for walk-ins on weekends and by appointment on weekdays, and customize their future home with City Life staff, Riggle said. 

Do you want a yoga room? They can put one into the plans. Same goes for a media room or other specialized space. 

Like choosing a vacant lot, a City Life buyer is able to choose from about 50 boarded-up properties the company owns, both two- and three-stories, in communities near the Hopkins medical complex. They’ll then plan the home to their needs and tastes.

The final price of a home, Riggle said, ranges from about $150,000 to around $300,000. City Life will work within a buyer's budget and is knowledgeable about homebuying incentives, such as the city's "live near your work" program. 

"We really want our home buyers to feel like they're a part of the process," Riggle said. Down to the finishes in the kitchen and bathrooms, the home buyer can have as much or little voice as they like, she said.

There's a lot more to see than what's in the photo gallery above: A roof deck, a balcony off the back bedroom and a wet bar. It's also worth a visit to see the art throughout the home, all created by local artists.

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