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Old 08-24-2009, 10:27 AM
 
7 posts, read 23,490 times
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Hello everyone,
I am possibly moving to Hagerstown, MD from the Iowa City, IA are to take a new job. I'm in the very early stages of the process; however, I want to do my research. The position would be in Hagerstown. A little bit about myself, I'm 25, single, and gay. How is the area with regards for singles? Is there a lot to do for someone that is younger like myself? Are there lots of cultural opportunities available? I know it's not too far from DC/Baltimore. I currently own my own condo in Iowa and would plan on buying out there as well. What is the cost of housing out there like? I looked online and it seems to be slightly higher but not astronomically so. It will certainly be a change for me, as I won't know a soul out there but I'm pretty excited about the opportunity! Thus, any information you have regarding my above questions and anything else you think I would find helpful would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Matthew
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,304 posts, read 8,572,158 times
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Hagerstown is on the edge of the Balt-Wash metro area. The population is a growing number of commuters from the inner metro area attracted by the open spaces and cheaper real estate, and a majority of natives and long time residents. The natives are largely conservative; gun, god, and flag kind of people.

The city of Hagerstown and the planned developments to its east are where most of the transplants live. You don't need to get far off of the main drags to find the farms and small towns that are the majority of the county.

If you are looking for an active night life, diverse neighborhoods, and erudite people, Hagerstown is not a very good fit. As you head east into Frederick and Montgomery Counties the diversity and income levels increase (not to mention the congestion, suburban landscapes, aggressive driving, and commuter culture.)
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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Hey,
Thanks for the information. Do you live in Hagerstown or close by? Night life would be a good thing but it isn't an absolute necessity. You mentioned Frederick and Montgomery counties; what communities would you recommend I look into there?
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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Hagerstown, in my view, is VERY conservative.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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I've read conflicting reviews. Some people say it is very conservative and others discuss how it has become more progressive. I was also looking at Frederick. It's not too far away and looks to be a little bit more progressive and hip. It does look like it's a bit more expensive to live there. Any thoughts on Frederick?
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Hagerstown
456 posts, read 1,107,757 times
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I have gay friends in Hagerstown and they seem very happy. People are accepting of them and they don't have any real issues. They spend a lot of time in DC at some of the clubs.

westsideboy your reviews of towns are pretty spot on, you do a good job. I would disagree with the statement that most transplants live in the east end of Hagerstown....there are tons of new neighborhoods in every end of town that I would be willing to bet are full of transplants.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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htown,
Thanks for the info. DC is a couple of hours away, correct? How old are your friends? It would certainly be a new experience for me because I wouldn't know a soul! If all goes well, I hope to move out there and would want to meet new people to hang out with and get settled in. I've lived in Iowa all of my life; all of my friends and family are here but that isn't necessarily dissuading me from moving.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,304 posts, read 8,572,158 times
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Thanks for the compliment Hterp. I try my best. What I mean is that transplants are located in the city of Hagerstown and the suburbs east of town. Specifically I mean the developments on I-70 towards South Mountain and the developments around Smithsburg and Boonesboro. It seems that when you get west of town the locals predominate. I am not as familiar with the I-81 corridor.

Iowa, I live in Cumberland about 65 miles west of Hagerstown in the Allegheny Mountains. I lived in Frederick for several years. It is more expensive than Hagerstown, but I would describe it as more in step with the other parts of the Washington metro area (Frederick city at least.)

Hagerstown is about 70 miles from D.C. Not far in terms of miles, traffic makes getting all the way into the city take alot longer. The metro area really functions as a unit. People live in one town, work in another, socialize in a third, and have friends throughout. Most people seem to pick the place they rest their head at night based on commute times, housing price, and things like school system and safety. Have you looked at housing prices yet?
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:52 PM
 
7 posts, read 23,490 times
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Westside,
Thanks. You're just full of good information! :-) Yes, I have looked at housing prices and they are definitely higher than in Iowa, but not so astronomical that I thought about having a heart attack, lol. I don't need anything huge; I have a 2 bath, 2 bedroom condo right now that is a little over 1,000 square feet that I paid $96K here for. I know I probably won't snag a place out there for that great of a price. I do need to do more research on housing prices though.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:07 AM
 
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I grew up near Hagerstown in the Eastern Panhandle of WV. I would say Hagerstown is a good mix of liberal/conservative. Shepherdstown, W.Va. is nearby and very artsy (home to the Contemporary American Theater Festival in the summers). Hagerstown is also 2 hours from DC/Baltimore, so you can get into the city when you need to. The area is way more affordable than the rest of the DC area and I think a great place to live. The only downside is that there aren't a lot of young people. Jobs are limited, so most young people graduate from college and leave the area to find a decent job. It's what I did but I would move back for the right job.
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