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Old 06-07-2013, 09:59 PM
 
28 posts, read 33,360 times
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As someone that has lived in Old Town for years and continues to wonder why one would choose the burbs of Maryland over Virginia, I'd like to pose this question to Marylanders...

Ease of Access: Maryland has the clear advantage here when you view DC as a whole, but when you're looking at the desirable parts, the only portion Maryland has the advantage here is upper NW and Georgetown, which are both easily accessible via the GW Parkway and Key Bridge in VA

Liberal Politics: As a bleeding heart myself, I often find Maryland intriguing for their politics on a Macro Level. However, what I have found is that Northern Virginia is just as liberal, if not more liberal than most parts of suburban maryland, but that advantage fades at the state level

Cost of living: Right off the bat, Maryland appears to win this category. My question is, at what cost? The taxes are typically higher, and the crime rates soar in many places while the schools can't compare. Is this a win?

Commuting Options: Maryland has been more proactive over the years. The ICC is a great example of this. However, the 495 portion on the NW side of MD is a huge fail. I don't blame them, they had to build around cities/towns that already existed, whereas Virginia was basically farmland that they dug through to build a nice, flat portion of the beltway. Maryland also has two spurs of the Red Line going to very nice areas (it is probably the only line that starts and ends in nice areas on the entire system), and then some not-so-nice portions of the orange and green lines in worse areas. NoVa traffic is horrible unless you're in Arlington or Alexandria, and then it's not so bad to get to the District. Both get bonus points for the MARC and VRE, but the MARC wins out on coverage

Annual income: no contest, Virginia

Public Schools: no contest, Virginia

Universities: no contest, Virginia

Job Opportunities: no contest, Virginia

Crime rates: no contest, Virginia

Commercial Amenities : no contest, Virginia

Urban, walkable communities: Maryland has great places like Bethesda, Upper NW/Chevy Chase and Silver Spring. Unfortunately, none of them can compare to Arlington, Crystal City, Alexandria City, Falls Church City, Reston Town Center, etc.


So here is your chance to shoot me down. I'm going to post this same question on the Maryland forum for more feedback as well.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:51 PM
 
109 posts, read 163,509 times
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I hate Maryland, this is why I am moving out soon....very soon
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaLightHouse View Post
Cost of living: Right off the bat, Maryland appears to win this category. My question is, at what cost? The taxes are typically higher, and the crime rates soar in many places while the schools can't compare. Is this a win?
Why do you say Maryland has a lower cost of living? You already mentioned higher taxes. What makes it cheaper?
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:39 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,156,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Why do you say Maryland has a lower cost of living? You already mentioned higher taxes. What makes it cheaper?

In many places, the housing is substantially cheaper. Not in Montgomery County, for sure, but if you do a comparison of say Prince George's County and the Woodbridge area of Prince William County, the PG County area can get you a lot more house. My personal experience with that; however, is that the closing costs are (or were) MUCH higher in Maryland due to whatever state/county fees were added to the process so I'm not sure if it's really cheaper. Than there's the schools.

But I do know many people who choose to go to Charles County (distance to DC equivalent to eastern Prince William) and housing is a lot more affordable. People never tend to do a cost comparison, though, of settlement costs and payroll taxes.

I lived in Maryland all of my life (until the mid-90s) and I moved to Virginia. It's nothing that I can articulate but I just feel like I fit in better here, I just like it better. I just can't explain why.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:47 AM
 
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Basically only Potomac, Bethesda and portions of Maryland that directly boarder nw DC are similarly priced to their Virginia equivalents. Living anywhere else results in huge savings (on the front end ). Lots of people who live in Virginia have no idea about the savings because when they purchased they only considered Virginia to begin with. As someone who purchased in the last several years and considered all localities,I did a bunch of research and housing was clearly less expensive.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:17 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,986,759 times
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We have many friends in Montgomery County and would fit in there quite well politically/socially. However, we prefer VA for several reasons, in order of importance:

1. Much greater proximity to the part of DC worth getting to--the part with all the jobs. Even if you live just over the line in MD, that's a long commute to any of the federal agencies or related employers--other than NIH/HHS. We can drive to my wife's building in 10 minutes.
2. Less crime
3. Lower property taxes
4. Reasonable gun laws (I am a gun-loving Democrat, and we are not unusual.)
5. A wider spread of good schools: Montgomery Blair is the only really good HS up there, but TJ is better. The other HS in MC are still not as good as the ones in N. Arlington/McLean/Fairfax County.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 06-08-2013 at 06:30 AM..
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:36 AM
 
7,970 posts, read 9,735,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaLightHouse View Post
Basically only Potomac, Bethesda and portions of Maryland that directly boarder nw DC are similarly priced to their Virginia equivalents. Living anywhere else results in huge savings (on the front end ). Lots of people who live in Virginia have no idea about the savings because when they purchased they only considered Virginia to begin with. As someone who purchased in the last several years and considered all localities,I did a bunch of research and housing was clearly less expensive.
I just did a ... search of single family homes with at least 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, with a max budget of $500K. There were 100 of them in Howard County and 103 of them in Loudoun County. Seems pretty equal to me.

Last edited by FindingZen; 06-08-2013 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: please use generic MLS sites as a reference
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:40 AM
 
815 posts, read 1,111,452 times
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Simple answer: Virginia has a competitive two-party political system that with a few exceptions (see: Cuccinelli, Ken; Moran, Jim) tends to produce pragmatic politicians who generally fall in the golden middle ranging from slightly left of center to slightly right of center (see: Warner, Mark; Warner, John; Wolfe, Frank; Kaine, Tim).

Contrast that to what is essentially a one-party state north of the Potomac that has no political checks and balances to speak of.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,117 posts, read 19,974,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
The other HS in MC are still not as good as the ones in N. Arlington/McLean/Fairfax County.
I don't think I agree with that. There are plenty of great schools in MC that are on par with schools in NOVA.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:54 AM
 
28 posts, read 33,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
I don't think I agree with that. There are plenty of great schools in MC that are on par with schools in NOVA.
national rankings and statistics would tend to disagree
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