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Old 06-13-2012, 03:47 PM
 
65 posts, read 67,438 times
Reputation: 37
Default Families in Baltimore

I like living in Baltimore. I have a centrally located apartment where I can walk to everything. It's perfect for my partner and me.

But, eventually we'll want kids. I've been looking into it, and it seems like our options are: (1) become rich so we can stay in Baltimore and send our kids to private schools, or (2) move to the suburbs.

We're both city people and really don't want to move to the suburbs. What do other families who choose to stay in Baltimore do? (Where do they live, where do their kids go to school, how do they afford all of this?)
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:07 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,200 posts, read 21,907,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katydoes View Post
I like living in Baltimore. I have a centrally located apartment where I can walk to everything. It's perfect for my partner and me.

But, eventually we'll want kids...
What do other families who choose to stay in Baltimore do?
shhh! No one likes to actually talk about this.

Did you see the article this week about the city demolishing a bunch of houses? (Jamie did another great job)
There are some that think this effort may actually yield the construction of new middle class
walkable neighborhoods with decent schools and parks and shopping all within walk or bicycle distance.
Maybe it'll actually happen.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:07 PM
 
206 posts, read 217,817 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by katydoes View Post
What do other families who choose to stay in Baltimore do? (Where do they live, where do their kids go to school, how do they afford all of this?)
Start here: Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance - Home

They are a bit downtown-centric but not all their member families are in downtown neighborhoods. You can gauge some parents' impressions of public schools and see how they've worked in them. Even if you're going private school then DBFA provides an awful lot of activities to make city life easier. And if you're willing to do the networking, maybe you can find enough parents to turn around a public school in a different neighborhood that needs it.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:01 AM
 
201 posts, read 331,206 times
Reputation: 58
We have two kids and moved to Canton to send them to Hampstead Hill Academy. There are lots of great public city school options, you just have to look a little harder than the burbs. The Dbfa is a great starting point. Visit one of the concerts in Patterson Park and you'll be amazed how many people are raising kids in the city. Do a search in the Baltimore Urbanite, there are lots of articles on the issue.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:52 PM
 
65 posts, read 67,438 times
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Cool thanks everyone! Glad to hear staying in the city is an option.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:58 PM
 
537 posts, read 959,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katydoes View Post
Cool thanks everyone! Glad to hear staying in the city is an option.
It's always an option to make a place you want to live work, but what it comes down to is the price you're willing to pay to make it work for you.

I suspect the people who do so really like city life, end of story. The extra costs are worth it to them.

To me, that's just a poor financial decision given the delta between city living (for a family) and county living.

Let's assume private schooling in the city will cost you 7k per child per year starting with kindergarten, and you have 2 kids in private schools, and let's assume you buy a rowhome in Canton for $350,000 with a $325,000 taxable assessment. Let's assume your household income is $100,000.

Big ticket costs you'll absorb:

14k per year private schooling
3k per year in additional property taxes
1k per year higher car insurance costs

Those 3 out of pocket expenses alone are $1,500 per month! And you could rent to avoid property taxes, but with kids you start to get a huge tax break each year if you have a mortgage and your rent is not a fixed cost, not to mention most people want to settle down and not move kids around once they are school aged.

With long term mortgage rates so low right now, if you have a downpayment, good prospects for your career and an inkling of where you want to settle down, buying just makes more sense, especially with kids.

Those 3 out of pocket costs alone, even assuming only 10% down would buy you a $300,000.00 house in the county.

If there is a legit reason to send your kids to private school - eg, a certain talent which needs nurturing, behavioral issues which need special attention, other disabilities, a strong desire to have a certain education type (catholic school or montessori as 2 examples) then the decision becomes less clear.

If the private schooling and additional taxes/costs of city life aren't a big chunk of income for you, then it's also an easier decision.

But for most of us normal folks...to each their own but it's a poor financial decision IMO.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:46 PM
 
Location: reservoir hill
206 posts, read 156,020 times
Reputation: 129
just because you want to live in the city does not mean you have to send your kids to private school there are plenty of decent schools in good neighborhoods like roland park, federal hill, canton, hampden, bolton hill...not to mention many of the schools are judged on the average of student test scores, which means that your child can still get an excellent education at an average rated school. many of the up and coming or transitional neighborhoods have decent public schools and good charter schools....i would look around very slowly before i made my decision, try looking in neighborhoods with strong homewoners asscoiations or strong parent teacher associations
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:01 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,847 times
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Definitely a tough decision, the demolition of properties by the city looks to be happening and quick. I have seen a few in Federal Hill.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:34 PM
 
88 posts, read 52,354 times
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There are some decent public schools in the city. Mount Washington has a great elementary school.

I went to Roland Park for middle school and Baltimore Polytechnic for high school. My classmates are pretty successful, so there are some good schools in the city. Baltimore needs more parents that are involved in their kids' education.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:09 PM
 
3,051 posts, read 1,882,595 times
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Go to this website:

GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

Do a search for public schools in Baltimore, take note of the ones that score pretty high (at least a 7). Note if they are neighborhood schools vs charters. Also, ask around, especially to parents or school age children you may know, or if you have access to any, people who work in the Baltimore public school system or in admissions for private schools. Between the two things, you should come up with a list of good public schools. Then you'll know where you have to live to send your kid to a good public school.

There are also some lower cost parochial type schools that may be affordable. Again, check the list and ask around.
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