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Old 11-14-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I am considering moving to Hagerstown or Funkstown......

Here are somethings I like and/or need that are important.

I am self employed so traffic is NOT and issue!
Would like to be downtown in a small town, so I could walk to a coffee shop, dinner, etc.
I would like to be able to ride a bike to grocery store and simple errands
Be an hour or so Baltimore and DC, might go in every couple weeks or so...
Like older houses with character, not suburban track houses.
Want something inexpensive, say under 200K, have ability to fix-it-up for the right house, need a good size house, maybe 4 bdrms.
Would like a backyard with shade trees and a small low maintenance yard... don't want/need a big lawn.
I like antiques and history
Want a safe area, nice people, low crime.

A little about me, I grew up in DC, left over 20 years ago, traveled all over the world, now live in a midwestern city in a very nice area in a very nice house but miss the East coast. Would like to slow down and be near family. Can not afford the more upscale areas in DC and don't want the rat race. Want to live quietly just outside it. I also understand MD has decent state heath insurance.

So what are your thoughts, both pro and con about this area. Thank You
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Hagerstown would be a decent fit based on your criteria, but if you are self-employed, I would recommend looking about another hour west in Cumberland. The city is located in a much more mountainous and scenic area than Hagerstown. The houses are much cheaper too. 200K would get you a mansion on the nicest street in town. The city is also very walkable. You would be about 2.5 hours from the big cities, but day trips are still doable
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I was thinking 1 to 1/2 hours from the big cities so I hadn't thought that far west.... is MARC rail going to get to Cumberland anytime soon?

Thanks
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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No MARC plans are even in discuss. But the distance to the metro areas is what keeps housing cheap and the area scenic (no sprawl!)
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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I second Westsideboy's idea: Cumberland, except for the extra hour, seems like it might be ideal.

It's gorgeous, friendly and certainly bikeable/walkable. Not much sprawl. Extremely cheap housing. If I were self-employed it's where I would choose. 2.5 hours from three major cities (don't forget Pittsburgh) and a very nice town. I think Amtrak can connect you to DC but probably too far for a day trip.

If you're talking about public state health insurance like plans, I'm not sure that Maryland has any for people who aren't low income.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Not to hijack the post...but I have been to Hagerstown, and really like the feel of that town. I read it was predominately built by Germans, and has a strong European look and feel to it compared to typical American towns. I was really impressed when I visited there myself. I am surprised more people aren't aware of it, as the housing stock is really interesting and dense. Seems like it could be a major tourist attraction someday.

That being said, I have never been to Funkstown. Is it anything like Hagerstown/Frederick/Cumberland?

Is there anything else quite like that Hagerstown/Frederick/Cumberland look/feel of dense housing and walkability in Maryland...outside of Baltimore that is? Would Funkstown qualify?
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Downtown Annapolis is dense and walkable. Some of the bigger towns like Westminster, Thurmont, and Hancock are walkable. In fact, even the smallest old Maryland towns in the central region were built densely. Check out places like Libertytown, Emmittsburg, Taneytown, and Clear Spring. The best way I can describe them is a row of house on both sides of the street for about 1/2 mile or so, then just farms. Where exactly you would walk to is a different question.

I know nothing of Funkstown. I imagine that it is a little suburb of Hagerstown based on its location.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Thanks so far... the more I hear the better choices I can make.

Funkstown is right next to Hagerstown... it is sort of between H-town and the big store/car dealers out on route 40 on the way into town from the eastern I-70 exit.

One reason I like the H-town area is it is close to I-81, I go to NYC, Phila and New England too.....

As Tiger beer said "I am surprised more people aren't aware of it, as the housing stock is really interesting and dense. Seems like it could be a major tourist attraction someday.".... I agree with this, what do you think? It seems to me that when the economy picks up and things start to grow again H-town will boom........ it is just over the hill (a PITA in the winter for commuters) from Fredrick which is now considered part of the DC metro area... it makes sense to me H-town is next?
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeMDorME? View Post
Thanks so far... the more I hear the better choices I can make.

Funkstown is right next to Hagerstown... it is sort of between H-town and the big store/car dealers out on route 40 on the way into town from the eastern I-70 exit.

One reason I like the H-town area is it is close to I-81, I go to NYC, Phila and New England too.....

As Tiger beer said "I am surprised more people aren't aware of it, as the housing stock is really interesting and dense. Seems like it could be a major tourist attraction someday.".... I agree with this, what do you think? It seems to me that when the economy picks up and things start to grow again H-town will boom........ it is just over the hill (a PITA in the winter for commuters) from Fredrick which is now considered part of the DC metro area... it makes sense to me H-town is next?
I do think Hagerstown could be poised for something - if people even knew what it was like. I've often thought it would be ideal for artists...as it is so cheap, and there is a beauty to the colorful housing.

But, for DC...it seems that Frederick is still 2 hours with limited hours of rail....and Hagerstown is even further out there.

As a person who has lived outside of the States for years...the US is just so incredibly behind the rest of the advanced countries of the world in public transporation. Over here in Asia, there are high speed trains all over the place...and Europe has quite a few as well. Especially here in Asia.

If the US had any inclination towards that stuff at all, and as far as I gather, most Americans only want highway infrastructure like highways, bridges for highways, repairs on highways, commuter lanes, expanding highways to more lanes, etc. I never see anything for trains, let alone high speed trains.

BUT, if the US wasn't so far behind the rest of the developed world in this regard...if DC/Hagerstown were in Japan, China, or France or something....you'd probably have a quick bullet train going from DC to Frederick to Hagerstown and probably be 15 minutes to Frederick and 25 to Hagerstown from downtown DC. Actually DC could use a lot of that stuff in general.

Anyways...I don't see anything like that happening anywhere like that. As is, I think the traffic would be around 3 hours from DC...and without any better system for moving them....the traffic would only get worse in the coming decades...probably significantly worse.

But nontheless, I could see Hagerstown with that beautiful housing stock, high density, walkability, PLUS low-priced housing....seems ideal for artists...and everything that comes with that - which unfortunately would rise prices...if it were to actually occur.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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I am basically an artist so that is why I'm thinking about this..... I might even open a gallery sort of thing. I do not need to get to the city daily or even weekly but just the occasional time for interesting things.... this could also be at times driving during off peak hours, last time I was there I made it from Greenbelt, Md to H-town in less than 1 hour, it was late on a holiday weekend and there was no traffic.... and I have a family sofa to crash on in town should I not want to return late some evening.

I agree with you completely about Americans and our lack of good train service..... I have been to Japan many times and there you can catch a train about anywhere, anytime and it is fast and clean. This is of course if you can figure out the schedule, there are something like 30,000+ trains per day. I was once on my way to Kanazawa and a storm ( actually a typhoon) had knocked down some power lines over the tracks..... I think the conductor game back to me to personally apologies 6 times because he knew I could not read the message flashing at the front of the car. Still it was only an hour or so late which as you know is a really big deal over there..... here would they even care?
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