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Old 01-01-2008, 08:27 PM
 
96 posts, read 400,317 times
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Hi-
My husband started ajob at department of justice in DC. While he has an apartment in Alexandria, VA...He comes HOME ON WEEKENDS TO CHELTENHAM,PA (a suburb of Philly).

We are looking to relocate to MD by start of school next yr. Our son will be starting 1st grade. I originally heard that Montgomery County is where I want to be being that we are Jewish and want to continue sending our son to Hebrew School. BUT, after reading some threads and fearing that I will be extremely poor. I am kind of thinking Howard County...Columbia is where I should focus my search...seems more affordable and schools are great...is this true?? Our income will be 125,000...initially until I find a job. Which elementary schools/school district in particular are the better ones. Could we actually relocate here and my husband could still take public trans to work? How far is the metro?

I know I have TONS OF QUESTIONS but I am stressed about finding an affordable house or apartment to rent (since it would be stupid to try to buy when we are clueless about the area), AND try to find an excellent elementary school for my son..

ALL FEEDBACK IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Maryland
143 posts, read 781,086 times
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Columbia...doable. Park and ride is close by...and the actual train station is abot 12 minutes away. Many prefer this method...and the schools and neighborhoods are nice.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:19 AM
 
350 posts, read 1,489,898 times
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Yup, the MARC train station is probably his best bet, goes right into Union Station.
The sloset metro station is probably Greenbelt which is about a 25-30 minute drive, but there are several train stations that are closer and have a pretty easy ride of about 45 minutes- my hubby does it himself.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:44 AM
 
297 posts, read 1,131,735 times
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Definitely doable. I used to commute from Ellicott City to DC via the MARC train. It's really nice, since you get to relax or read on the train and don't have to worry about the beltway traffic. Depending on where your husband works in DC (a lot of the courts and the Washington Field Office of the FBI are at the Judiciary Square Metro stop which is only one stop from Union Station where the MARC train ends) the commute within the District shouldn't be too bad either.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:59 AM
 
413 posts, read 820,317 times
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I came really close to accepting a nomination to transfer to the Pentagon, and that's actually way down in VA on the other side of DC. Commuting from Columbia, depending on my work start and finish times, would've been at least an hour each way. To DC itself, if you can take the Metro or MARC, it's certainly very doable. I commute to College Park, as does my wife, and it's very easy to take the MARC into CP or even go into DC. From Columbia you would probably be driving the ten minutes down to the Savage MARC station park and ride, riding the MARC to Union Station in DC, then changing to the Metro wherever you need to go. It's not as bad as it sounds. Also, I have a number of Jewish friends here in Columbia, and they really seem to love the Jewish community and Hebrew school in the area.

Oh, it's also possible to just drive to the Greenbelt or College Park metro stations and hop the metro into DC, but you'll be fighting I-95 traffic to get to the stations and paying for parking on top of your metro tickets.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:06 PM
 
350 posts, read 973,534 times
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Quote:
Which elementary schools/school district in particular are the better ones.
Howard County schools in general have a reputation of being among the best in the state. As for saying which of the 38 elementary schools are better, there are so many factors involved. If you want to use test scores as the criteria, then the schools furthest north and west will probably have the highest scores, just from demographics. It doesn't mean the schools are necessarily better, but they will have a more homogenous upper-middle class population that will keep the scores high. The lower performing schools tend to be in the older Columbia neighborhoods of Oakland Mills, Long Reach, Owen Brown and Wilde Lake where there are more apartments and subsidized housing, and parts of Laurel. The school system website (Howard County Public School System) has really good information on the schools, including test scores and the demographic breakdown for each school. In this 2007 report on assessment tests you can find a list of 11 elementary schools receiving assistance because of past poor performance.

Good Luck!

Last edited by newhart; 01-02-2008 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:28 PM
 
96 posts, read 400,317 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks everyone..It seems unanimous that it is DOABLE!! That is what I was hoping!! Other than Columbia, itself, what are the nicer cities in this area? THANKS
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:27 AM
 
350 posts, read 1,489,898 times
Reputation: 89
There are some really great neighborhoods in Elkridge- the ones that are not directly off rt 1, and Ellicott City has a lot of really nice neighborhoods. I'm not sure what your range is, but there are some great townhomes in those areas.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:19 PM
 
96 posts, read 400,317 times
Reputation: 18
thanks.. I will keep that in mind when I get a chance to actually travel thru these neighborhoods
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:13 PM
 
413 posts, read 820,317 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAFAMILIY View Post
Thanks everyone..It seems unanimous that it is DOABLE!! That is what I was hoping!! Other than Columbia, itself, what are the nicer cities in this area? THANKS
Ellicott City, if you're willing to live just a little further north. It's basically the northern border of Columbia. Actually, Centennial High School, which I hear is one of the best public schools in the state, is kind of right on the border between Columbia and Ellicott City. Just an FYI...

Also, Clarksville and Glenelg are nice.
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