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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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I commute to DC (via Metro) and my fiance drives to Alexandria, VA. We're in the beginning stages of finding a townhouse somewhere in Maryland...We were thinking Montgomery County, PG or Anne Arundel. I've looked in Silver Spring and Bowie in particular. Which of these counties do you think will give you the most bang for your buck?

I've lived in Montgomery County my whole life so I have a certain (not so great) perception of PG County, but I feel like much of that could be just ignorance. After all, there are some really nice-looking areas in PG, I'm just unfamiliar. Let me say that I'm fine with diversity, but I want to live in a neighborhood with educated, upstanding, law-abiding citizens, not some run-down hood.

I'm familiar enough with the area to know that I want to stay well outside of the beltway, but I'm curious to know if anyone has any tips on where we should look, or not look?

Last edited by melundie; 08-03-2010 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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Default Bowie

Quote:
Originally Posted by melundie View Post
I commute to DC (via Metro) and my fiance drives to Alexandria, VA. We're in the beginning stages of finding a townhouse somewhere in Maryland...We were thinking Montgomery County, PG or Anne Arundel. I've looked in Silver Spring and Bowie in particular. Which of these counties do you think will give you the most bang for your buck?

I've lived in Montgomery County my whole life so I have a certain (not so great) perception of PG County, but I feel like much of that could be just ignorance. After all, there are some really nice-looking areas in PG, I'm just unfamiliar. Let me say that I'm fine with diversity, but I want to live in a neighborhood with educated, upstanding, law-abiding citizens, not some run-down hood.

I'm familiar enough with the area to know that I want to stay well outside of the beltway, but I'm curious to know if anyone has any tips on where we should look, or not look?
Not certain of your price range but there are a few active forums on this topic. For what you are looking for, Bowie seems to be the best bang for your buck. I would look at Bowie's page on city-data.com. Bowie (as well as Mitchellville/Woodmore) seem to fulfill all your requriements for a highly-educated, high-income, safe area. You work in DC and your fiance works in Alexandria; have you considered living in DC or Alexandria? You have an advantage in that both of you work close-in to the central city.

If quality of schools is a future consideration then I would choose Silver Spring hands down as Montgomery County is one of the best school districts in the country. However you will pay dearly in housing costs for this quality. Bowie in Prince George's County has mediocre schools in comparison to most places in Montgomery County but are actually quite decent for Maryland. Even if you don't have children of your own (or don't plan to), good school districts dramatically increase the value of your property.

The area around the Bowie Town Center/Mitchellville Road corridor are fairly new suburban retail/dining developments that compare favorably to what you would find in suburbs further out but are still accessible via mass transit in which you could commute to DC and Alexandria. I would say that the infrastructure of Montgomery County is much better maintained than that of PG County but you can certainly get more square footage in a home for much less (and newer if that is your thing) in Bowie than you could and MoCo. Anne Arundel County takes you off of the mass transit grid and that would be a pretty daunting commute driving to DC much less Alexandria.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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We're looking for a place under $250k with a private (one-car) garage.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melundie View Post
We're looking for a place under $250k with a private (one-car) garage.
That price pretty much forces you to live in PG, but even there it can be expensive. Let's see. Requirements are:

1. drive to Alexandria
2. Metro / Bus to DC
3. 250K
4. Schools
5. Lived in MoCo many years
6. Well outside Beltway

Based on this I would look in Virginia.

If must be Maryland then I would look south of DC area but still in PG.

If nothing there, then stick with MoCo and try Shady Grove Village (i think that's the name) near Sam Eig Hwy (370 West). One stop bus service to Shady Grove Metro. Long drive to Alexandria though.

If absolutely must PG, then I would go with places like Beltsville, Laurel, or Bowie. I lived in Beltsville for a few years. Nice area. Schools okay, but not great. However, it's close to the Beltway and 95. All three are long drives to Alexandria.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: DMV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melundie View Post
We're looking for a place under $250k with a private (one-car) garage.
Yes, like dkf747 said, that price range would basically put you in PG County. If you want to find a nice one garage town home for that price and still live in a decent place, then I would recommend Upper Marlboro, MD. Upper Marlboro is a very quiet place, much like Bowie but it doesn't have the retail/shopping that Bowie has. Upper Marlboro (the 20772 zip code) is right off of Rt-4 (Pennsylvania Ave.), so it is easy to get to the Beltway for your fiance to go to Alexandria, and make it easy for you to get to DC (via the Suitland Parkway, Penn. Ave., or just take the Metro which is near). Some neighborhoods that have townhomes with garages in that range are Marlton, Marlborough (off of Brown Station Road), and Melwood Park. Great place to start off and very affordable
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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Default Certainly possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by melundie View Post
We're looking for a place under $250k with a private (one-car) garage.
If you are just looking for a townhouse (not single-family) with a garage then you shouldn't have much of a problem finding one in either PG or Montgomery County. I would register on a real estate search site (http://www.ziprealty.com/log_in/logout.jsp?cKey=074276rt&clientId=10074886 - broken link)to kind of check out what various communities look like. Your decision would likely come down to a newer, more spacious townhome in PG (Bowie, Laurel, Upper Marlboro are decent cities) or a somewhat older property in Montgomery County (Gaithersburg, Montgomery Village, Germantown, Silver Spring, Burtonsville) with better schools, shopping, dining, infrastructure, etc.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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I agree with Steelers10.. you are most likely going to have better luck finding what you are looking for in the bowie, crofton, severn, area if you want something newer.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Bowie is niiiiiiiiiice
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:13 AM
 
Location: DMV
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As nice as Bowie might be, most of Bowie is included in the municipality of Bowie, which includes city taxes. And that means more money to spend on taxes rather than the townhome. So even though Bowie might have some townhome in your price range, you also have to consider how high the taxes maybe on those places. PG County in general has high property taxes, but Bowie is probably one of the worst. Bowie is definitely more built up than other parts of the county, but it is still difficult to get much in that price range with the taxes involved. Talk to a realtor and they will give you better insight on what I'm talking about.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:15 AM
 
13 posts, read 27,651 times
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I visited Bowie over the weekend and it looks like a serious contender for our future home. Now my only question is regarding commute.

It looks like I would get on the MARC train at Bowie State (anyone know about parking here??) and transfer to Metro at Union Station.

What kind of commute is my fiance looking at going from Bowie (near rt. 50) to Alexandria (just off rt. 1)? FYI--he needs to be at work by 11am so he probably won't be on the road during the height of rush-hour...
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