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Old 03-23-2008, 06:53 PM
 
429 posts, read 421,605 times
Reputation: 337

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Hello everyone,

I currently reside in Downtown Silver Spring [Mod cut: You really don't want people to know your location! in between Colesvilles Rd and Spring St] and commute to Washington, DC. I'm seriously considering moving to Downtown Baltimore: possibly Redwood Apts. or Camden Court apts. [Downtown Baltimore-Westside Lombard & Howard].

I apologize for all the detail but for those of you familiar with both areas how do they compare to each other (in terms of things to do, crime, safety, etc.)? I am familiar with the difference in commute time and an 1hr 10min MARC commute isn't a deal breaker for me (compared to the 31 min WMATA commute from SS to my job in DC).

Silver Spring for me, although likeable, is becoming way to expensive for my (non rich, public sector) yuppie salary. Most of the Downtown S.S. high rises command $1,700+/month for simple 2BR apts (in the older buildings and $1,950/month for newer ones). Whereas newer/renovated buildings in downtown Baltimore start at $1,350 for 2BR.

Any advice or thoughts about the area?

Thank You

Last edited by 7th generation; 03-24-2008 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:37 AM
 
Location: 21231
315 posts, read 906,415 times
Reputation: 59
Ask yourself, why Baltimore is so much cheaper? What are you willing to put up with and what are you willing to give up to save on rent?
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Portland, Maine
4,178 posts, read 9,269,753 times
Reputation: 1481
Quote:
Originally Posted by picardlx View Post
Hello everyone,

I currently reside in Downtown Silver Spring [Mod cut: You really don't want people to know your location! in between Colesvilles Rd and Spring St] and commute to Washington, DC. I'm seriously considering moving to Downtown Baltimore: possibly Redwood Apts. or Camden Court apts. [Downtown Baltimore-Westside Lombard & Howard].

I apologize for all the detail but for those of you familiar with both areas how do they compare to each other (in terms of things to do, crime, safety, etc.)? I am familiar with the difference in commute time and an 1hr 10min MARC commute isn't a deal breaker for me (compared to the 31 min WMATA commute from SS to my job in DC).

Silver Spring for me, although likeable, is becoming way to expensive for my (non rich, public sector) yuppie salary. Most of the Downtown S.S. high rises command $1,700+/month for simple 2BR apts (in the older buildings and $1,950/month for newer ones). Whereas newer/renovated buildings in downtown Baltimore start at $1,350 for 2BR.

Any advice or thoughts about the area?

Thank You
Well, you're doubling your commute time but a lot of folks do it. I can't really say to much about Silver Spring but I can tell you that Redwood and Camden are both very nice facilities and I know of two different people in Camden who commute to DC from there and are happy with the decision they made. There are a ton of things to do in Baltimore within walking distance of both those buildings. Safety is not an issue at all except at night which is no different than living in DC at night. If you're out late and drinking, take a cab home. I am familiar with Bethesda and have a neighbor who I helped move to Baltimore from there and she is also happy with the decision. She actually could afford to buy a home here and it actually has some space!!
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
2,799 posts, read 5,438,777 times
Reputation: 1582
Will the money you save on rent in Baltimore be offset by the extra transportation costs of a longer trip? Also, where exactly in DC do you work? I just moved to downtown Silver Spring and that 31 minute commute sounds suspiciously familiar (i.e. that's the length of time quoted for my commute on the Metro, with one line switch). If you don't work near Union Station or at least near a Green or Red Line station (with transfers to the Green Line available at Greenbelt and College Park and the Red Line at Union Station), you'll be adding additional, unaccounted for time to your commute.

I'm semi-familiar with the area in downtown Baltimore you are talking about, primarily from riding the light rail through there to Orioles games when I was based in the Harrisburg area. That area isn't bad and appears to be redeveloping. The area north of there (Lexington Market area) is a little rough (as are the areas to the west and east to a lesser degree), and the area not too far north of Lexington Market unfortunately has a number of empty store fronts. (Whether those empty stores are related to the light rail running on Howard Street and making it more inconvenient to drive and park on Howard Street, I don't know.)

One other thing I'd suggest is to also consider the northern part of Mount Vernon, not far south of I-83 and Penn Station (i.e. within walking distance of Penn Station). I actually considered looking at Mount Vernon as a fallback option myself, but my salary is sufficient for downtown Silver Spring. The MARC Penn Line is considerably faster and runs much more frequently than the MARC Camden Line (and Amtrak could also function as a fallback option), which would give you much greater commuting flexibility. On the other hand, as you probably already know, you'd be within walking distance of Camden Station if you lived near Howard and Lombard, so that is a mitigating factor.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:26 AM
 
429 posts, read 421,605 times
Reputation: 337
Thanks for your insights they are useful in helping me make up my mind[you too jonjj and bawlmer] .

Far as my current commute, I should have been more precise. The 31min commute is my average door-to-door commute since I work within 2.5 blocks of Union Station, I just used the quoted time from MARC although I guess I should add 5 mins to it for the walk from Union to work.

The transit cost would be $60/month (Marc Monthly - $115 Transit subsidy) -- right now I pay $0/month out of pocket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIP72 View Post
Will the money you save on rent in Baltimore be offset by the extra transportation costs of a longer trip? Also, where exactly in DC do you work? I just moved to downtown Silver Spring and that 31 minute commute sounds suspiciously familiar (i.e. that's the length of time quoted for my commute on the Metro, with one line switch). If you don't work near Union Station or at least near a Green or Red Line station (with transfers to the Green Line available at Greenbelt and College Park and the Red Line at Union Station), you'll be adding additional, unaccounted for time to your commute.

I'm semi-familiar with the area in downtown Baltimore you are talking about, primarily from riding the light rail through there to Orioles games when I was based in the Harrisburg area. That area isn't bad and appears to be redeveloping. The area north of there (Lexington Market area) is a little rough (as are the areas to the west and east to a lesser degree), and the area not too far north of Lexington Market unfortunately has a number of empty store fronts. (Whether those empty stores are related to the light rail running on Howard Street and making it more inconvenient to drive and park on Howard Street, I don't know.)

One other thing I'd suggest is to also consider the northern part of Mount Vernon, not far south of I-83 and Penn Station (i.e. within walking distance of Penn Station). I actually considered looking at Mount Vernon as a fallback option myself, but my salary is sufficient for downtown Silver Spring. The MARC Penn Line is considerably faster and runs much more frequently than the MARC Camden Line (and Amtrak could also function as a fallback option), which would give you much greater commuting flexibility. On the other hand, as you probably already know, you'd be within walking distance of Camden Station if you lived near Howard and Lombard, so that is a mitigating factor.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Pigtown!! Washington Village Does NOT Exist.
689 posts, read 2,249,281 times
Reputation: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by picardlx View Post
Thanks for your insights they are useful in helping me make up my mind[you too jonjj and bawlmer] .

Far as my current commute, I should have been more precise. The 31min commute is my average door-to-door commute since I work within 2.5 blocks of Union Station, I just used the quoted time from MARC although I guess I should add 5 mins to it for the walk from Union to work.

The transit cost would be $60/month (Marc Monthly - $115 Transit subsidy) -- right now I pay $0/month out of pocket.
HA HA HA HA the MARC has the nerve to quote a 31-minute commute time from Baltimore to Union Station???? That's insane. More like an hour. IF the train is on time.

The commute is one of the reasons why I stopped working in DC. I was spending way too much time in the train station and on the train when I wanted to be at home.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
2,799 posts, read 5,438,777 times
Reputation: 1582
Carlott - the 31 minutes is actually picardix' current commute on the Metro Red Line + walking.

Picardix - jonjj definitely is much more knowledgeable about Baltimore than I am (he actually lives there!), so he might be able to give you some more information.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Pigtown!! Washington Village Does NOT Exist.
689 posts, read 2,249,281 times
Reputation: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIP72 View Post
Carlott - the 31 minutes is actually picardix' current commute on the Metro Red Line + walking.

Picardix - jonjj definitely is much more knowledgeable about Baltimore than I am (he actually lives there!), so he might be able to give you some more information.
LOL -- sorry. I thought it was the MARC. Honestly it wouldn't surprise me if they quoted such a statistic. Even taking the Amtrak Acela, it was still an hour or so.
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