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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:55 PM
29 posts, read 66,157 times
Reputation: 11


I moved in the Northern VA/MD area last december. Thinking about buying a home (1st time) but confused on whether I should buy in MD or VA.
Right now, we are just 2 people, no kids. But ofcourse schools does matter for making a decision. Need a good/safe area with good school district. My budget is something <= 400K, looking for a townhome.
I am in IT Field as well as my wife. Currently I live in Gaithersburg, MD. I work around River Rd (Exit 39), my wife's job is on Exit 1 (Democracy blvd) on I270. The commute right now works ok since we use HOV lane on I270 and I could drop my wife and continue south and pick her up on my way in the evening too. It takes me about 45-50 mins one way to reach my work.

I have a permanent job which I am leaning towards staying for future 5-6 years. Although my wife is working on a contract position, we have been looking for a perm position but no luck yet. Not knowing exactly where her next job could be, makes little difficult for me to make a decision whether to stay on VA side or MD.
Any help/suggestion on the areas would be greatly appreciated. It's hard to predict on a job since even in a full time position, you can be laid off, but I am just looking for a suggestion on which area would be better long term since home buying is a long term decision and commute is so much a concern in this area..

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Old 11-01-2011, 12:21 AM
429 posts, read 1,104,971 times
Reputation: 513
If I were you, I'd continue renting and delay any decision between Virginia and Maryland. Virginia and Maryland both have their advantages and disadvantages and they both have good places to live. To me, one of the biggest issues is commute time, and you don't know where you or your wife will be working. You mention that you will probably be in your current job for 5 - 6 years, but 5 years is generally the minimum time that people recommend you be in a house before buying rather than renting. If you are planning on having kids, you'll want to be in a good school district, but why pay the premium for that school district before you have to?

If I were you, I'd stay in my current apartment and pile up cash until you have some clarity on where you and your wife will be working. Then I'd focus on the neighborhoods that meet your needs, including a reasonable commute.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:08 AM
29 posts, read 66,157 times
Reputation: 11
My job is stable and I could even spend longer time then 5 years in this job..I live around Rio area in gaithersburg and pay around 1350$ for 1 bd room apartment, the lease renewal letter is already asking for 6% increase. If I go with 2 bd room which I will evetually need, the rent is about 1700$ and more. The area is great and they are porbably charging for that, I don't want to move around too much too lookking for cheaper apartments, because it was great pain to find a decent balance between rent/safety of the area etc. So I thought may be if I buy the place it would be similar morgage in $ range but larger space to live.

I think that rent in general are on the rice in NOVA/MD area and the property prices might see uptick as well.

SO far what I have felt is that jobs are there in this area but once you buy a home either MD or VA, you might have to limit your job search to a specific area since commute is such a big factor of the life.
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