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Old 06-22-2009, 01:56 PM
 
9 posts, read 14,713 times
Reputation: 10
Question Cost of living in Bethesda

Hey guys, Again,

I started a thread about a week ago asking about places to live in the DC area and I got very useful comments. Based on the place I'd be working, people recommended that if I can afford it or even if I can squeeze my budget I'd better find a place in Bethesda.

From that time on, I've seen lots of people in this forum and other places saying that life in Bethesda is expensive.

I want to know if this just refers to the housing costs (I mean the money you pay for rent or to buy a place there) or other costs are high as well. As I'd mentioned in my previous posts I am new to US and don't know if there is considerable difference between prices (other than housing) in different places.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:51 AM
 
5,165 posts, read 5,842,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alimoeeny View Post
Hey guys, Again,
I want to know if this just refers to the housing costs (I mean the money you pay for rent or to buy a place there) or other costs are high as well.
It is mostly just the housing, but a couple of other things are a little more expensive as well. I find that I pay more for gas (petrol) here than I do for other areas of Montgomery County or in Washington. Virginia is a little cheaper as well because the gas tax is lower there.

Speaking of taxes, Maryland state income tax and Montgomery County (Bethesda) income tax also is higher than Virginia. However, the income tax is lower than what you would pay if you lived in Washington itself.

The two main grocery chains in this area are Giant and Safeway. Their prices are slightly higher in Bethesda than they are in other areas of Montgomery County. There is a discount grocery store chain in the area called Shoppers Food Warehouse that has lower prices. I understand that both Giant and Safeway lower their prices to compete with SFW in areas where their stores are located nearby. The closest SFW that I am aware of is a few miles north of Bethesda near White Flint Mall. In fact, the area is called North Bethesda.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:30 AM
 
10 posts, read 29,055 times
Reputation: 15
Default Comparing Bethesda to other areas

I've been in the Bethesda area (living and working) for almost two years. I think the area is wonderful and offers a lot. However, I moved down to Virginia last year because of high Bethesda rents and Maryland taxes. My thoughts are based around renting, not owning a home. Here are some things to keep in mind:

First - read this article. It clearly points out that if you live in Montgomery County, MD (includes Bethesda), you'll have the highest taxes (based on $75,000 per year).

Next - go to Paycheckcity and type in your salary. Make sure that you include the Maryland "County Tax %". Montgomery County is 3.2%.

You can then compare your payout to Virginia and D.C.

- My utilities in Virginia are half of what they were in Maryland. Dominion Virginia is much cheaper than Pepco.

- My Comcast bill is $40 cheaper than Maryland (not a promotional rate either).

- I don't pay for parking in Virginia (I paid $85 in Bethesda).

I still find that even with Virginia's Property Tax on cars, it is still cheaper to live in Virginia than Maryland or D.C. If your car is valued $20,000 or below, the property tax isn't that bad. If this is a concern, here's how to calculate the tax: Current Value X .045 X .69 = Property Tax Owed (Link). You'll also need a County Sticker - depending on what County you reside in.

Look at my other posts. I've listed apartments/condos in Bethesda. From there, you can see the rents. Most studios/1 Bedrooms in Bethesda start at $1,600 per month.
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