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Old 01-11-2012, 07:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,042 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello!

I am a recent college graduate thinking about moving to Hagerstown. I have read some good things about it. I am a teacher looking for a good school district, an area with a lot to do and see, low cost of living, and low crime. I would love to find an area that has adult rec soccer leagues, or other community sports. If I had to compare, I would like a town similar to Alexandria, VA. I love "Old Town" where you can walk everywhere and has everything you need (shops, coffee, theaters, restaurants/bars, pharmacies, etc.) I would move there but it is VERY expensive. So just a couple questions:

1) Why (or why not) Hagerstown?
2) Does Hagerstown have a lot of young people?
3) Small-town feel?
4) Good school districts?
5) Suitable for a young, single teacher? Cost of living?

Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:30 AM
 
148 posts, read 310,712 times
Reputation: 82
I grew up in Hagerstown and most of my family still lives there, including my mom who spent her entire career as a teacher and mentor at Washington County schools. I think the school system is pretty good overall. I'm not sure about rec leagues. The cost of housing is much lower in Washington County than it is closer to DC and Baltimore.

That said, there is nothing in Washington County at all similar to Old Town Alexandria. Hagerstown's downtown is pretty bleak to put it nicely, and most of the shopping and restaurant chains areas are in newer developments on the outskirts of town.

If you can afford it, I'd recommend looking at Frederick instead. Frederick's downtown is full of quaint shops, busy local restaurants, a pharmacy, some theatres and art galleries, and a few bars. It's more expensive than Hagerstown, but there seems to be more of a younger, trendier crowd. I know 20-somethings that love living downtown, and they have mentioned participating in adult rec leagues such as kickball.

Before you make any decisions, try to visit and check out both places to see what you like better. There are many people who do prefer Washington County, but I'm not sure it fits your requirements.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Hagerstown
455 posts, read 1,098,686 times
Reputation: 150
I think LBD was pretty spot on with those comments. Schools in Washington County are good, I think they spend the least amount per pupil in the state and get a pretty good return for the most part. Lots of resources for teachers (professional development, WCPS pays for most if not all of your masters degree, etc). It's a safe area overall, but a few pockets of town seem to have more crime than others, and the crime, I would guess, revolves around drugs or alcohol. There are rec leagues, some offered through the county (volleyball), some through the YMCA (soccer), and other softball, basketball, flag football, etc leagues through different organizations.

If you are looking for an "old town Alexandria", Frederick is as close as you would get around here. There are more single people, bars, restaurants, etc. Not to say there are none in Hagerstown, there are just more in Frederick and many are a little more upscale. Downtown Hagerstown has taken a beating from the recession and lacks the charm of Frederick.

I enjoy the lower cost of living out here and still being able to grab lunch in Frederick or Leesburg, dinner in DC/Baltimore when I want something different. I would recommend visiting both areas to make a decision.
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