South Baltimore Now! Podcast: Discussing the Local Real Estate Market with Jeff Washo

| October 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

In this episode of the South Baltimore Now! podcast, Nate interviews Jeff Washo, a veteran real estate agent and long-time resident of the neighborhood. Washo shares his insights on the changes and developments that have taken place in South Baltimore over the past two decades, as well as his personal journey from civil engineering to real estate. He also gives some tips and advice for anyone looking to buy or sell a property in the area.

Podcast transcript at the bottom of the article

Jeff Washo photo courtesy of The Jeff Washo Team of Compass

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Podcast Transcript 

Nate: Hello, South Baltimore. It’s Nate Carper here, and I’m super excited to share with you this interview with one of the most successful and generous people in our community. You’ve probably seen his name on the signs of many beautiful homes around the neighborhood or the banners of the local events and activities that he supports.

Nate: He’s also a great guy who loves this area and gives back in so many ways, such as coaching soccer and baseball for our kids. He actually coached my son’s soccer team last year and it was awesome. He’s also a fellow supporter of South be more. com and we thank him for that. He’s none other than real estate mastermind and fellow South Baltimore resident, Jeff Washoe.

Nate: Jeff has been working in real estate for over two decades and he has some amazing insights and stories to share with us. So sit back, relax, And enjoy this conversation with Jeff Washoe. fresh off his recent cover on Baltimore real producers magazine Jeff, welcome to the show.

Jeff: Hi, Nate. My pleasure. I appreciate you having me. I look forward to this conversation. 

Nate: We appreciate you jumping on here again. I appreciate you being a South be more. com supporter. Am I correct? You have lived in this neighborhood for about 20 years, 

Jeff: Uh, It’s gonna be, I hate to say it 2021. Yeah, That’s over 22 years.

Nate: That’s awesome. So you’ve seen a lot of changes around the neighborhood. You’ve seen a lot of development and you’ve been doing real estate this entire time, right?

Jeff: That’s correct. October this year is 20 years to be exact entrenched in real estate. So I eat, breathe and drink real estate. Unfortunately, 

Nate: So tell us Jeff, I’m just curious, what got you into real estate and just, what are your day to day operations

Nate: look like? 

Jeff: You know, I’m not going to sugarcoat the hall. I fell into real estate, you know, having a civil engineering background and do consulting, you know, I did a lot of big site assessment work for some big firms across the country, all the way down to Texas, all the way to Louisiana. And I was. Going to buy my first house.

Jeff: My dad always said, Jeff, you know, you should probably buy a house. It’d be a good thing to do. So of course I put it off for

Jeff: seven years and, then I get transferred from Indianapolis, Indiana to Baltimore and, I’m like, you know what? Let me just take these real estate courses. It’s 60 hours for like 10 straight weeks.

Jeff: It was like Monday night, six to nine, Wednesday, six to nine. This is before kids, before

Jeff: like, all right, let’s just learn about real

Jeff: estate, To help fulfill what my dad wants me to do. I’m like I’ll learn that. And this way,

Jeff: when I’m going out in the market, I’ll

Jeff: be better understanding what I’m looking at. So I also always wanted to dive into investment opportunities and more so, probably the commercial side. So long story short is I took the training, took the 60 hours, sat on it. When you do that, you’ve got one year to actually. Take the test and get your license. So I interviewed with a few commercial firms.

Jeff: And I go in there and they’re like, I’m definitely going to hire, you know, love to hire you. You’ve got good personality. You’ve got no kids right now. You look ambitious. You’ve got an engineering. Environmental background can use some of that consulting that you’ve done, you know, to help build something, and then this is where the microphone kind of drops or like, what school did you go to?

Jeff: I’m like University of Buffalo. They’re like no, no, what high school? I’m like, uh, Penfield and Rochester, New York. So it was a funny conversation because from there, very awakening about, Hey, a lot of old school connections in commercial real estate, all the way through DC into the Maryland area.

Jeff: Generations of people networking and building something. He goes, you know, you can definitely fit into that. We’re just, we just ask that question sometimes to get a better background feel right? So I came Even though they did offer me the job, it was on a draw schedule, which I had no idea what that was, because I was making decent money in my field, I don’t know, of course I’ve got a mom and dad, I’ve got three brothers, we’re all best friends, and we like to bounce ideas off each other.

Jeff: The draw schedule seemed a little hard to… Bad them because you know, you make a sale. You gotta end up paying that back. So again, I sat on this for probably three months, through the whole entire summer And then my brother went to penn state university and a friend of the family was a broker with remax down in howard county And he’s like, hey jeff.

Jeff: I heard you took all these tests, The first thing I said is like, Oh man, I don’t want to put people in my car. I’m

Jeff: It was 2000 and oh two, you know, it was the market was healthy. I was playing hockey, let’s say softball so I’d soccer. I think every sport known and then broom hockey. So I had to leave constantly out there networking. And that was back when I was like 27, like you just had all these crazy friends, South Baltimore running around every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, right?

Jeff: And just was able to network that way. Got my license. I said, I’m going to go for it, quit my job, save six months worth of salary because that was the right thing to do. And uh, hung my first sign, got a call off of it at the buyers, sold them a house, sold that house, got a new listing.

Jeff: It was just one of these trickle down effects. you know, I’ve never looked back ever since there’s been very scary moments, ups and downs, you know, and as a matter of fact, not to get off subject of why I started right now we’re in a different market, a market I haven’t felt before. So So yeah, it’s been a great career.

Jeff: I put my heart and passion in everything I do. And that’s one thing about me. And that goes into coaching and everything, even the little kids, like I really love what I do and I want to be the best 

Jeff: that I can. I want to also give back. And that’s the hardest part about this business for me is that I really do care and I really do give I’m from a very. strong family. Like my mom and dad were high school sweethearts. You know, one of four brothers were all tight. We never had an argument that separated any of us.

Nate: Jeff, what do you do that makes you successful?

Nate: And what do you think you do a little bit 

Nate: differently than others? 

Jeff: What I’m doing differently that probably makes me stand out and it’s something that I do with everything is that I have goals and I have structure. every Monday morning, I I make a road map. What that means is that I have my entire day to the hour scheduled.

Jeff: And I then have in there little wins. So for instance, if I am able to successfully put a house on the market on Friday and ratify a deal on Monday, I check that off as a win. So I’m constantly giving myself wins because with the wins, there’s also a lot of losses too, but you cannot let them bother you.

Jeff: This is like a rollercoaster. So I treat this job every day. Number one is as a new day, because It’s like a box of Cracker Jacks, you know, we’re never going to know what the prize is going to be. So that’s how that is. But I also really have a sharp mindset.

Jeff: I come in and I do affirmations. I actually would share them with you. I’ve got a whole journal full of affirmations where I sit down for 20 minutes. I just write them over and over again. That’s been the right mindset. I try to clear my mind and I try to treat this as this is a real business. We’re handling the people’s biggest assets of 

Jeff: their life.

Jeff: So That’s something with my mindset. But I also need structure and, you know, not to get on the family theme when you throw kids in there and sicknesses and this and that, you know, that kind of derails it . So I, again, going back to what I do differently, my morning routine is huge, having little wins to the day so I can check them off and making sure that I’m sharp, on my game.

Jeff: That’s the biggest difference. And I show up every day.

Nate: That’s great advice for all of us that are either in business for ourselves or, work 

Nate: for large corporations, everybody could take that away. So I want to dive in Jeff, a little bit more into South

Nate: Baltimore

Nate: specifically. how is the overall market doing right now in Fed Hill 

Nate: and 

Nate: South 

Nate: Baltimore? 

Jeff: Well, the overall market, we’ve had a very positive run for the last several years. the economic and overall factors of low interest rates have certainly helped. But year to year from 2022 to 2022 are down about 19%. On sales. Number one. Number two is , ironically, we’re up in sales price by about 17, 000.

Jeff: This is real trend data that I pulled earlier this week. I share this with my clients as well. But the overall market in the city, it’s very It goes in these like weird ebbs and flows. Unfortunately, we’re seeing me. Certain parts of the neighborhoods turn faster than other parts right now, but now, six months later, flip flop.

Jeff: So we are, okay. We’re, We’re still in a seller’s market houses that are newly renovated and look clean and are professionally staged or look like a model. are still selling under 10 business days, stuff that is older. Um, We’ll sit. I just had a conversation on my way to the office this morning with one of my listings that’s not moving.

Jeff: And I made a joke of it. You know, I’m close to 50 years old and I’m like, I don’t know if these younger people don’t know what it is to have brown cabinets and like a dark black Ubatuba granite. So, I’m studying the listings and I’m seeing like these fresh listings with white quartz or white granite, beautiful kitchens with the showers with the two inch thick glass with all white and gray backsplash.

Jeff: Like I’m really seeing this trend. So I’m kind of thinking to myself, I got a couple of listings that. I think are amazing. They probably would have sold and by sellers behalves, you know, in April, May, because the market five and a half percentage, just rate to hate to say it almost 8 percent is a big factor.

Jeff: And it’s not only affecting South Baltimore is affecting the worldwide, real estate economy. Cause I do a mentoring with six people across the country on a Wednesday mornings From Chicago to Manhattan North Carolina to Philadelphia to Charlotte, North Carolina. So we all talk about our markets.

Jeff: We’re all feeling the same thing. But South Baltimore is, 

Jeff: you know, neighborhood by neighborhood. I feel like the Riverside area is becoming stronger by the, by the day.

Jeff: Locust Point is pretty healthy. Some of the Federal Hill closer to the cross street market 

Jeff: for some reason seems a little bit slower on the market, don’t forget that I deal with buyers every day. So I get to hear what they’re telling me. It’s not just me. So I get to take all this in.

Jeff: And besides being a dad in coaching sports, I’m literally entrenched in real estate. I can’t walk to the grocery store or the gym without somebody asking me a question 

Nate: And are there any trends you’re hearing from some of these folks, whether it be about the area or real estate specific or schools or shopping or bars, restaurants, anything like that.

Nate: Thank you. 

Jeff: one thing about me is that again, I live and I love to tell stories by example. I helped my friend rent a house yesterday. And as I sat on top of the deck doing the final walkthrough. I just start pointing stuff. He’s from Florida, so he is new into town.

Jeff: Up on top of the roof and I’m pointing out different stuff that’s happening, different cool things, different reasons

Jeff: to love this city. So to answer your question, you know, until these

Jeff: rates really calm down a little

Jeff: bit, they’re still hot markets and we’re still have moving activity. It’s just that it’s really hard and that’s the problem we’re having here. Is that a lot of people buying are first time homebuyers. So if you’re, say, below… 000 to 400, 000, you know, that 200, 000, 300, 000 swing in interest rate a month, it really hurts us, you know, like it does, 

Jeff: your total income, having these careers and you save some money, maybe you’ve got some 

Jeff: equity in your house to move up, to that 700, 000 

Jeff: or 800, 000 or even 600, 000, you know, two car garage townhome. two to $300 

Jeff: is not gonna hurt you as much. I mean, when I my first house in 

Jeff: 2002, I was like, what’s the pg e bill? what’s the water bill? Like? I have that money to spend on beer and wine. I know going out money like that $200 is a big deal. So that’s the biggest factor I’m seeing for this market.

Jeff: these interest rates are really hurting the first time buyer market. 

Nate: One of the things that Kevin talks a lot about on SouthBeamart. com, doing articles on the commercial development, as well as the rental market development that’s out there. I’m curious, what are you seeing in that area?

Nate: What are you seeing in like the rental market? And maybe even to piggyback on that, new construction as 

Nate: well. 

Jeff: people that are moving up will buy new construction townhomes. they want to stay in the city, raise their families. And we got beautiful parks. We’ve got beautiful soccer league. We’ve got an amazing baseball league. People want to now stay in the city.

Jeff: So these new construction townhomes are doing better like the one on banner road down the street here. They’re killing it. They don’t even need realtors. That’s how well they’re doing The rental market is a little concerning. I kind of Scratching my head because I have a personal rental on Fort Avenue. I’ve got another one on Riverside that I own and I

Jeff: usually have lines outside the door and I put them on the market the last two weeks and it’s like crickets. So that’s concerning.

Jeff: I don’t know if it’s because again, they don’t have the white courts. They don’t have like these Beautiful amenities, I still believe. A renter would love a row home because you wanna be able to have a backyard or a rooftop deck and stuff like that.

Jeff: Right now. Because of interest rates. So I thought the rental market would be stronger for the row homes, but I’m personally not seeing that, which is a little concerning for myself 

Jeff: I’m not in that apartment rental game. So I couldn’t tell you, but I just know I was showing a house in Canton last week and this guy’s hilarious. 27 year old great guy. His girlfriend’s buying a first house. he’s the first guy to sign a lease over in, um, in the whole building of Port Covington, he goes, it’s, it’s kind of cool. Cause I have the whole building to myself. There’s like really nobody there. When I drive through that, I drive through there on my way back from soccer on purpose on Thursday nights, because it reminds me of like Clarendon or Arlington.

Jeff: really has that cool feel to it. You know, what is it going to do for the residential market? You know, it’s all Baltimore, the 

Jeff: peninsula. We’re a peninsula. We’re surrounded by water on three sides. Residential will continue to go up. It’s okay for things to. us, 

Nate: during the pandemic, there was a lot of people were moving all over the country, moving to more affordable cities, more affordable areas, because you could 

Nate: basically work from anywhere. are you noticing a trend with virtual workers Or people moving out of D.

Nate: C. and trying to come to 

Nate: Baltimore because it is a lower cost of living, you know, are you seeing any of those 

Nate: trends? 

Jeff: I am, I would say, um, probably 25%, which is a lot. Our D. C. Northern Virginia buyers, um, just put together a big deal on, Fort Avenue, a huge house over 800, 000. um, they’re D. C. They, they they want a bigger house, the house down in D. C. that they fell in love with here at an open house. It would have been 2.

Jeff: 5 million. So we’re definitely seeing that I’m seeing people from Raleigh. Thank you. come up here to even though Raleigh has skyrocket,

Jeff: but they’re banking 

Jeff: out there and moving back up here. what I’m also seeing is some of the baby boomers.

Jeff: It’s kind of cool to see because they have kids that are, you know, now they’re in their sixties and their kids are going to Hopkins are finishing up and they’re working here and they want to be here too. So we’re seeing that. I mean, you’re seeing a lot of that in Lucas Point. We’re going to see these Empty nesters that are now retired or have a couple more years of work left and they’re just consulting.

Jeff: I’ve seen buyers from Boston, from Philadelphia, from New York City more so than I ever have in my 19 years. So to answer your question. 100%. Yes. I mean, Baltimore City’s relatively inexpensive and so beautiful 

Nate: Yeah, this place is a lot more beautiful than people give it credit for. I can’t tell you how many conversations 

Nate: I’ve had with people that, have a perception 

Nate: of Baltimore. Then they come here to visit and they’re like, wow, this place is beautiful.

Nate: It’s amazing. 

Nate: The water, all the historic architecture, all the buildings, and then the people, right? The people are just 

Nate: awesome here. And, you know, there really is such a nice sense of community that you 

Nate: feel, whether it’s on your front stoop or, you know, going around to different events so Jeff, personally, you know, you’ve lived here for for 20 plus years

Nate: now. As a real estate agent, but as more importantly, as a family man we have a lot of changes, I’m just curious what you think this neighborhood could use, whether that’s like certain activities or like different restaurants or business ideas, just, you know, you’re out there talking to so many people. 

Jeff: Without name dropping people. Of course, I have private conversations with a lot of local people that run businesses every day. being near and dear to me, having kids And wanting them to just always have fun and do things right. What we really need here is, and I’m going to say this, hopefully someone can listen to this and. Call me. We need like a

Jeff: trampoline park or like a jump zone.

Jeff: We’re going to have birthday parties. It would kill it because we got to drive all the way up to Harvard County, all with the White Marsh, all the way down to Columbia, you know, on a Saturday morning at

Jeff: nine on the birthday party starts at 10. They would do so well here. or a

Jeff: toddler gym. and the mom and dad’s have a coffee bar set up and the kids can run around and roll on their mats.

Jeff: You know, I really think they need something like that for a minute there. They had one on the corner of battery in Fort Avenue. That big building and we would go there. It was really cool. You know, that was a glimpse. I think that was like probably 2018.

Nate: Yeah, I remember that we did the same. We used to go there too. That’s yeah, that was a great

Nate: idea. 

Jeff: something I think 

Jeff: I think it would thrive here, you know, but where do you buy that

Jeff: space?

Jeff: How much does that 

Jeff: cost? I really truly believe something more family, kid friendly, even though I love the restaurants here. I always found it 

Jeff: funny when I was younger. And my buddy, some of her friends were older and they bring their life 

Jeff: three and four years out to I didn’t, I didn’t grow up 

Jeff: like that.

Jeff: I never went to a bar, but you know, There’s so many kid friendly restaurants, but it’s nice to have. Something like that. 

Nate: So you heard it out there folks. you’re a developer and an investor, call up Jeff and he’s ready to build a bounce house with 

Jeff: and an adult bounce house

Nate: and adult bounce house as well. Of course. Of course. Awesome. Well, Jeff, This has been a great conversation.

Nate: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know your business more. You more. just kind of dive in a little deeper on your thoughts and insights here. concerning the real estate market. I want to thank you so much for joining us today. But before we jump off here, is there anything else you’d like to share with the folks out there? 

Jeff: love this community, be kind and, you know, also watch out for one another. So anything that we can do to protect, our loved ones are people are neighbors, just be more aware and let’s all work together to make this a better community Try and give back a little bit to the community and you’ll see it come back to you, On a personal note, I really do love all these kids here. I mean, I think they’re all wonderful and I think the parents are doing a great job.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.