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Old 01-11-2010, 08:07 AM
 
80 posts, read 205,051 times
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My wife is considering a job offer in College Park, Md. We've lived in Triangle (Raleigh) for a good while. I was hoping there might be some Md. transplants who could answer a few questions:

1. How do you find taxes, both income and property, compare between Raleigh and S. Md. cities like Olney, Silver Spring, University Park?

2. How do you compare quality of life? I know that D.C. is truly a large urban area with lots of traffic. But do things like traffic, cost of living drown out any advantages?

3. For those who might be Catholic, any recommendations on Catholic parishes?

TIA
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,238 posts, read 6,201,444 times
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We just moved from laurel MD to NC this last summer.

Our auto insurance is half now of what it was in MD, same vehicles, same insurance company.

Mileage wise my commute is 3x further now than when I lived in laurel(very close to silver spring). Time wise it is the same amount of time for the drive, traffic here is nothing compared to metro DC traffic.

We rented an 1800sqft townhouse in MD for 1750.00, we bought a 3100sqft brand new house here and pay much less now.

We priced taxes up there when we thought about buying the same townhouse, my taxes for the new house here are 2200, which is less than half of what MD wanted for much less home(4500).

Other than the house/tax/insurance, the expenses are about the same. Cable, water, gas, electric etc are about the same as we had in MD.

We like it here in NC much better.

If you are seriously considering this, go stay in a hotel and get in the traffic in the morning, and afternoon. If you have a stick shift be prepared to work that leg out lol
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:51 AM
 
1,598 posts, read 2,696,285 times
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I never owned property so can't comment on property tax. I moved because I would never be able to afford a house unless it was many miles away from work.

Income tax is state and county, depending on how good your employer is at withholding, you might end up with a huge MD tax bill at the end of the year. State tax is like 2.x percent and county varies, but in Montgomery Co it's 2.5%.

I rarely visited Olney, Silver Spring, University park, I lived in Rockville/Gaithersburg. It's a nice area, but it's just insanely crowded and very expensive to live. Prices might be a bit better since the downturn in real estate.

If you can afford it and it's possible I recommend you live near the metro and try to use it to commute to work. If that is not an option I recommend you live as close to work as you possibly can. It will make your life a lot better. The best years I had there is when I worked 15 minutes from work, the worst times where when I spent 2-3 hours a day in the car in traffic. Stay the heck away from I95, it's a traffic nightmare, it's terrible, Sat morning, traffic, Sun afternoon traffic, Mon - Fri traffic.

There is SO much stuff to do. Downtown is fun and easy to get to via metro.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Overland Park, KS
444 posts, read 1,038,389 times
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I 2nd everything from SVT. We moved from B-more to Rock Hill, SC (close to Charlotte) and traffic, taxes, real estate, etc...is MUCH better down here.

There are more things to do in the UMD/DC area, but with more people, more traffic, and colder weather.....

Good Luck with your decision. The one advantage I can think of is the high number of technology/Govt based work. It is certainly a hotbed.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:35 AM
 
80 posts, read 205,051 times
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Thanks for your replies. It is an incredibly tough decision, given that I feel like we have really put down roots in Raleigh.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,238 posts, read 6,201,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbear View Post
Thanks for your replies. It is an incredibly tough decision, given that I feel like we have really put down roots in Raleigh.

Then take a few days during the week and go see for yourself. Some people thrive on the hustle bustle lifestyle up there. If you only go on a weekend you won't see what it is like day to day with the traffic and what you deal with.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:15 AM
 
Location: chapel hill, n.c.
29 posts, read 55,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbear View Post
My wife is considering a job offer in College Park, Md. We've lived in Triangle (Raleigh) for a good while. I was hoping there might be some Md. transplants who could answer a few questions:

1. How do you find taxes, both income and property, compare between Raleigh and S. Md. cities like Olney, Silver Spring, University Park?

2. How do you compare quality of life? I know that D.C. is truly a large urban area with lots of traffic. But do things like traffic, cost of living drown out any advantages?

3. For those who might be Catholic, any recommendations on Catholic parishes?

TIA
My wife and I moved from Maryland to Chapel Hill recently so I can offer some information. We have lived in D.C., Silver Spring and most recently Hagerstown. College Park has less expensive housing than D.C. or Silver Spring but Prince Georges County has had problems in recent years (none of which I know from personal experience). We find the only thing cheaper in the Triangle compared with MD is housing. Everything else - food, taxes, services - is much higher - I would say about 25 percent so unless you live in D.C. or the most expensive MD suburbs you should find the cost of living lower. Traffic is very congested compared with N.C. even in the outer suburbs but of course there is bus and train public transport. Hope this is useful. Richard Grassby.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:41 AM
 
3,612 posts, read 4,043,658 times
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Thumbs down What’s S. Maryland really like?

Southern Maryland is generally considered the area south of Central Ave which for the most part is Prince Georges County. That County is notorious for high crime and underachieving schools with the University of Maryland College Park being a notable exception.

Olney, which is actually in Montgomery County, is a nice place but you’ll find the commute from there to College Park challenging. Also house prices in Olney are quite high as I doubt you can even get a townhouse for less than 200,000. Silver Spring is closer to College Park but its more city-like than downtown Raleigh and house prices are again high. Most people in Silver Spring live in high-rise apartments which allows them to be within walking distance to the Metro Rail but that wouldn’t help with the commute to College Park as you’d still end up having to ride the bus. God help you there.

Quality of life? Well… everyone that I grew up with has either left the area or is desperate to do so. Those that remain find themselves taking mood altering chemicals like Paxil, Wellbutrin or Cymbalta just to cope. Of course others turn to self medicating which is why you find so many liquor stores in Maryland. Consider that the biggest billboard that you see when you enter Southern Maryland from Virginia on route 301 is for Jimmy’s Liquor; a place which proudly promotes large amounts of booze at a low cost. Yeah I guess that gives you a pretty good picture of the quality of life in S. MD.

Last but not least, yes there are plenty of Catholic Parishes in Maryland but many are so indifferent that ultimately I found myself worshipping at a non-denominational church.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:13 AM
 
396 posts, read 930,746 times
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My husband and I just moved to MD last year, because he lost his job in NC and was offered a fairly good position here. We live close to Olney, and are renting in Silver Spring.

1. How do you find taxes, both income and property, compare between Raleigh and S. Md. cities like Olney, Silver Spring, University Park?

Folks in MD consider the area you are referencing to the be DC burbs of Maryland.

We sold our house in Cary (in the 200s) and do not plan to buy here right now; in the less desirable areas prices are still in a death spiral here. (like many of the areas in Montgomery County between College Park and Olney.) In the more desirable areas, they are holding their own. It would still cost us *at least* $350,000+ to find a nice (more modern 1990s or 2000s) townhome in a safer area (like Olney.) A house like the one we owned in Cary would cost *at least* $450,000, and the surrounding area would not be as nice. Taxes on property are high. Areas *appear* to be nicer and more safe than they are, due to lots of HOA and city/county regulations that are actually enforced. I find that you don't have the "trash factor" warning indicator of many southern areas (and yes, I am from the south and am lost without this warning! LOL)

We are renting a three bedroom townhome built in the 90s for 2000 a month; they were trying to sell it for 400,000 a year and half ago (before we started renting) and now townhomes around it are selling for about 250,000-350,000. But, I personally would not buy in this neighborhood.

Your auto insurance will increase, and electricity here is incredibly expensive. If you rent or buy, be sure to get figures for the previous year's electric bills before going forward....the bills for our rental townhouse are twice what they were for a 2400 square foot home in Raleigh. Aside from real estate, most other prices are about the same, but I find the quality of a lot of things lower here. (restaurant meals are about the same, but I find the food quality is lower, for example. )


2. How do you compare quality of life? I know that D.C. is truly a large urban area with lots of traffic. But do things like traffic, cost of living drown out any advantages?

Yes.
I have found that traffic, the cost of housing, and the pace of life drown out a lot of the advantages here. But, I am not an "urban" person, apparently. We did not have much choice, so are trying to make the best of it.

It has been fun to go into DC and see all the museums, etc... and my husband does make a lot more money, but he has to. The parks are nice and public libraries have good collections (the buildings are generally outdated and overcrowded however.) Closer to the older areas (like downtown Silver Spring and DC) water mains constantly burst during the winter.

We are considering living further out--like in Olney or in Howard County, if just to avoid the crumbling infrastructure.

A former coworker told me that folks from urban areas in the northeast tend to like MD, folks from the suburbs in the south and midwest tend to like NoVA. So, it may depend on how "urban" you want to be or could tolerate.

What Grissmeister says explains a lot--I can't drink right now, and don't want to go on psychological medication, and that may be why I don't like it as much!!!

Am trying to keep a good attitude by finding interesting things to do in the area...

Good luck with your decision. The big plus for the area is DC and available jobs.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:16 AM
 
396 posts, read 930,746 times
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The commute routes here tend to go from east to west (cheaper housing in the east to job centers and more expensive housing in the west i.e. Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg.) So, a west to east commute (like Olney to College Park), while still long, would probably not be as bad.
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