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Old 12-15-2009, 10:43 AM
4 posts, read 9,529 times
Reputation: 10


I wanted to get a few opinions on the area of Seven Valleys PA and the commute to Fort Meade, MD
My husband and I found a house that we love in Seven Valleys but we are a little concerned about the one way 63 mile commute to Fort Meade.
Do you think this is a little too far? The house that we are looking at we would never be able to find someone comparable to this in MD. I also notice that the school tax is extremely high, but my children would be in the Dallastown school district.
Is the trade off really worth it to live in such a beautiful area?

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Old 12-15-2009, 01:14 PM
Location: Jefferson County
26 posts, read 103,008 times
Reputation: 25
Having been there and done that I would say no. I did a 60 mile each way commute for 7 years and I will never get my wasted time, wasted money or wear and tear on my car back. And don’t forget about the following,

1. You could be spending that commute time with your family - it adds up over time and kids grow fast!
2. Gas prices likely to rise back up to $5 a gallon eventually
3. Winter weather will add time to the already long commute
4. Since moving here I have noticed a high head on collision rate in this state - drunk drivers, elderly people and lots of undivided two lane road

Having been spoiled for the last two years I am really enjoying the extra two hours a day I have regained by not commuting. It’s funny but I now think the 15 mile trip to Wal-Mart is too far.

Keep looking, you'll find a nice house close to work and you wont regret it
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:04 PM
200 posts, read 619,955 times
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If the mileage isn't bad enough, consider the heavy traffic on I-83 between the state line all the way to the Balto beltway. Then the REALLY heavy traffic on the beltway between I-70 and I-95. You are probably talking a two hour commute, on average, each way. If you did it on a weekend, it might take an hour and 15 minutes.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:53 AM
4 posts, read 9,529 times
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My husband has a very flexible schedule at work, so he could leave at 5:30 in the morning and leave work at around 3:30 coming home, the traffic wouldn't be near as bad leaving this early would it?
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:25 PM
200 posts, read 619,955 times
Reputation: 192
Leaving at 5:30 am, he would be fine in the morning. Should be full speed all the way, or nearly so (though traffic still heavy). In the afternoon, traffic on the beltway from I-95 to around I-70 or I-795 probably would still have some slowdowns on a typical day. Maybe adding an extra 15 minutes. Fridays are always bad traffic on the balto beltway for some reason in the pm. Rain also makes trouble, of course.

Personally, I wouldn't do that commute. I can't blame somebody for not wanting to live in central Maryland though, either.

My advice would be that if you are really serious, spend the time and effort (and money) to give the commute a few test runs after the holidays. Late January should be representative of a typical commute during the school season.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:51 AM
Location: Glen Rock, PA.
8 posts, read 46,123 times
Reputation: 20
The commute is not that bad. I live near Seven Valleys and commute to the Ft. Meade Area. Like you, moving to PA allowed me to buy a place that is much larger than I could have ever bought in Maryland.

A few things to consider…. I too have super flex time. I can come / go when I want and I end up working three 12+ hr days a week. So, it saves on my time, and the wear and tear on my vehicles.
I consolidate my trips so that I get everything that I need on the way home from work. My friends in MD who in some cases live very close to work are amazed that they put more miles on their vehicles than I do. Then again, I don’t have kids so we tend not to do any unnecessary driving around.

Yes, in the rain / snow its bad. So, I just stay home those days and work when its nice. Get a Satellite radio and a GPS that has traffic. It passes the time and keeps me moving. In the summer the commute is fine.

TAXES !! A biggie in PA. But, if you are smart you can manage it. First make sure you purchase a property that you can put into clean and green. 10+ acres.. This will provide great savings. Also, if you can afford it buy a small farm (around 20 acres) and make sure you have some hilly property. Then put the farm into the CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) This is what we did with our property. They will PAY YOU to plant trees. In our case close to 2,000 trees and then they PAY YOU to maintain it. We pay 3,500 a YEAR in school taxes but yet for 15 years we get almost 3,000 a YEAR in CREP money.

Also, since you property is PAYING YOU then you can create a tax situation that is very good as you are MAKING MONEY. So, I have bought tractors / supplies and such with my farm income and I can write it off. So if I want a new lawn mower… The LLC buys it.

So, the biggest issue with living in PA is the school tax and I made that go away. Sweet for a couple that both have plus 100K incomes. Also, with the tax structure the way it is state tax wise we save a great deal of tax over MD.

Also, owing a “farm” I am tax exempt on most “farm” supplies… Need a tractor no tax.. Fence stuff… No sales tax… Most places don’t care.. I am tax free at Home Depot.. Life is good.

Another nice thing is that Delaware is not far. If I need to buy something of a higher amount (flat screen TV’s or a ATV) I hop in the car and get what I need and can be home by lunch !

Like I said before… If you are smart the school tax situation that so many complain about can be made to go away.

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