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Old 11-10-2013, 04:53 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,640 times
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My husband is getting a transfer to Baltimore from New York. His office is in the Inner Harbor. We like Hunt Valley but want more house for our money. We both grew up and live on Long Island where everything is super expensive while I'm sad to leave, we are definitely looking forward to a cheaper cost of living and lower property taxes. We've gotten suggestions of Harford County (like Bel Air) or even up over the Pennsylvania border in places like New Freedom and Shrewsbury. We're primarily interested in large newer construction. No capes/splits. I mapped out the commute and time wise they came out pretty similar. Can anyone give me the pros and cons of these two places? Ive been to the Bel Air area and thought it was pretty nice, but I don't know much about Pennsylvania. It's important to me to not be completely in the middle of nowhere, I don't want to drive a half hour to a grocery store. Our budget is around 450K. I appreciate any input!
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:58 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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PA:
More house for the money.
Lower taxes overall, especially State Income Tax, but there are caveats to that. PA has some weird local taxes.
Arguably better school systems.
Better state system of colleges.
Larger and better system of State Parks and Forests.

MD:
Progressive politics if that's your cup of tea.
Highly educated work force.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:04 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,926 posts, read 73,456,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gia712 View Post
My husband is getting a transfer to Baltimore from New York.
His office is in the Inner Harbor.
Which all roads lead to and some very easily.
But distance... is still distance.

Quote:
I don't want to drive a half hour to a grocery store.
Our budget is around 450K. I appreciate any input!
Don't go any more north (on I-83) than Shawan Rd.
Bel Air is nice too.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
12,321 posts, read 23,105,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gia712 View Post
Ive been to the Bel Air area and thought it was pretty nice, but I don't know much about Pennsylvania. It's important to me to not be completely in the middle of nowhere, I don't want to drive a half hour to a grocery store. Our budget is around 450K.
I'd suggest sticking with Bel Air. Your husband would eventually hate the commute from Pennsylvania. PA is not the middle of nowhere, but New Freedom et al have fewer nearby amenities. For example, New Freedom has a WalMart and Giant about 3 miles away and local farm markets, but no Whole Foods.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:56 PM
 
18 posts, read 45,455 times
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I moved from NJ to MD and I live around Bel Air. I could list the things you are going to miss. Good delis, pizza, bagels, etc. Something about the bread here just isn't quite right, no crust. Like Subway rolls are the archetype for what bread should be down here. Although I've noticed anywhere in PA seems to do it a little better. Downtown York PA is pretty neat. I really like a lot of the towns throughout York and Lancaster counties, but as was mentioned before, anywhere near the PA/MD line isn't going to be that developed. New Freedom is a cool, little downtown, but I mainly know it from it as a stop of the NCR rail-trail.

Bel Air isn't a bad town, but it is a bit vanilla. I do find that I got more here that I did in NJ for my money, but you can spend a decent amount if Forest Hills, Bel Air or the surrounding area. And a lot of the houses are on septic. The further west you go in Bel Air, the further you get from 95 and that means dealing with Rt 24 traffic to get to 95. 95 will have traffic into Baltimore during the week, but it is manageable. If you are out towards Hunt Valley, so will 83, but 83 dumps you right into Baltimore without having to pay a toll. If you like Bel Air, look at places west of Singer Rd. Some of that area is considered Abingdon, but it still feeds to Bel Air schools. The prices will be in the 450K or less range for sure. The MARC train runs from Edgewood to Baltimore and DC. It is pretty reasonable to get into the city that way and it is nice to have that as an option in Bel Air. I guess out in hunt valley there is the light rail as well.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:29 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Y'all might be used to this being from up north, but if he is commuting from Harford County to downtown Baltimore most likely he will be taking the Fort McHenry Tunnel which has a $8 toll round trip thanks to the liberal Democrat Martin O'Malley. Interstate 95 also has the Express Toll Lanes which are tolled. Bypassing the tunnel would probably involving sitting in traffic on 695 and Interstate 83. Well he will have to come down 83 anyway from Pennsylvania. There are no tolls coming from PA though.

You might also want to consider Carroll County, Maryland which is mostly suburban and rural. Maryland taxes and regulations are ridiculous. The thing is Maryland has crazy "smart growth" laws forcing density into existing areas while Pennsylvania does not so you can find more affordable low density living up there which I personally prefer. I used to live in Baltimore County and live in West Virginia now. The low density of WV is a major plus I am glad there are no laws and building restrictions down here.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:07 PM
 
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Is that why Maryland is spread out so oddly? I always felt development was heavily clustered and dense when it didn't need to be. No fan of Maryland for sure myself, the layout it too odd, and by cluster development it appears to cut out anything unique. Is 83 bad in the morning going into Baltimore coming from the north?

I do like PA myself, considered moving there a number of times, but I don't work in Baltimore and there aren't really great roads to get you from PA to MD near HdG. Plus the border towns in PA are quaint, but don't offer a ton to do.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:22 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
9,458 posts, read 14,068,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreetingsFromAP View Post
Is that why Maryland is spread out so oddly? I always felt development was heavily clustered and dense when it didn't need to be. No fan of Maryland for sure myself, the layout it too odd, and by cluster development it appears to cut out anything unique. Is 83 bad in the morning going into Baltimore coming from the north?

I do like PA myself, considered moving there a number of times, but I don't work in Baltimore and there aren't really great roads to get you from PA to MD near HdG. Plus the border towns in PA are quaint, but don't offer a ton to do.
Look up PlanMaryland it started with Glendenning and O'Malley has really embraced it and is enforcing it draconianly. There are VERY strict limits on building new homes with septic tanks and the state refuses to provide services if people want to build on undeveloped land in outlying areas. Baltimore COunty itself has a "growth boundary" north of Hunt Valley and Cockeysville which by the way is why the boom is happening in Shrewsbury instead of in Parkton and Fallston. Now there is a rain tax where everyone including businesses are taxed based on the amount of pavement on your property, which also discourages the building of shopping centers and promotes "mixed use developments" like the stuff that dominates Rockville and Gaithersburg and Columbia now. I personally hate living in mixed use housing, hate having "affordable housing" nearby, hate taking mass transit, hate having to pay for parking, hate high gas prices, and hate living in a high density area. West Virginia really is "almost heaven" in this regard.

I used to live in eastern Baltimore County which is blue collar but quite pleasant and easygoing except it too is being too built up down. They are constructing new homes around North Point, Edgemere, all the way to White Marsh, new developments in Essex too. I'd prefer these things be built in Carroll County or Harford County instead where they actually need the growth.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Look into the new home communities in Bel Air. Most are right around your price point. Bulle Rock is a bit more north but very nice.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Delta, PA
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Shrewsbury/ New Freedom is not that bad. Its about the same commute as if you were living in Bel Air. There's not just a Walmart there, there is a ton of stuff there, and York, which is like 10 minutes away, is extremely built up, much more than Bel Air. You will get way more for your money in PA, not just with houses, with everything.
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