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Old 12-27-2009, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
3,258 posts, read 8,473,981 times
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I've noticed cost of living seems to be lower in MD versus Northern VA and I'm not sure if it's simply because VA has better schools and is more sought after because of easy access to the Pentagon and Arlington for military and government workers?

My kids are pretty young, 3 and 19 months so won't be in school for a couple years from now. I don't need to commute to DC for work, but need to be within close proximity to the area because their dad will be working there and will be having visitation. So, I'm wondering if I could get some comparison as to why people chose one or the other, especially in regards to things for the kids, ie; parks, preschools, etc. As far as my cost of living, I'd need to keep it under $1100 if possible, and would prefer not to be in an apartment. That being my main reason for asking.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
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Personal/income taxes are much higher in MD than VA. If you are a renter, and you move from MD to VA, expect around an extra 150 bucks a year in your paycheck.
You cannot find clean safe and family friendly housing (quiet-no partying neighbors, not living in a "basement apt" or a group home, etc) for less than 1100 a month in VA (2 bed). Think 1850/mo.

You should do a craigslist search for Falls Church VA and Silver Spring MD and compare rental prices, then ask in the Northern Virginia/Maryland forums about the areas
Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
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I will probably have to post this in the state forums, but the tax issue is probably why more people don't live in MD.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:38 PM
 
187 posts, read 331,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridadreamer View Post
I will probably have to post this in the state forums, but the tax issue is probably why more people don't live in MD.
More people don't live in Virginia because their roads are inadequate. Worst traffic jams on the East Coast.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
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Originally Posted by DCSailor View Post
More people don't live in Virginia because their roads are inadequate. Worst traffic jams on the East Coast.
I have seen plenty of places on Craigslist in MD for my price range, but what I need is input on what the areas are like there for children. Are they higher crime than the VA suburbs? Are there parks, are the schools better or worse?
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:27 PM
 
187 posts, read 331,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridadreamer View Post
I have seen plenty of places on Craigslist in MD for my price range, but what I need is input on what the areas are like there for children. Are they higher crime than the VA suburbs? Are there parks, are the schools better or worse?
As a general rule Montgomery Co has lower crime than Price Georges Co. Those are gross generalizations with many exceptions. As to parks, try using google for the neighborhood you're looking for. Montgomery Co, Fairfax and Arlington all have good public schools.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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If you are finding a HOUSE for under $1100/month in suburban Maryland, it is most likely NOT in a low-crime, family-friendly area. Most people will pay that much for a 1 BR apartment in a relatively safe neighborhood convenient to DC and the Pentagon.
If you absolutely, positively cannot increase your housing budget, and do not want to live in an apartment, you will need to live much further outside the Beltway, in either Maryland or Virginia.
In general, areas that are safe for children are not going to be cheap. If you find something on craigslist that seems too good to be true, it is. There is always a reason for low rental prices, and it is usually some combination of unsafe/inconvenient/unattractive....
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
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Once I know more, I will put a thread on each of those forums. I lived in Northern Virginia a few years ago, and I know there's some rough areas. The people I know there can be pretty helpful with that information. I was just wondering why Maryland in general seems less expensive. Even Frederick, MD which isn't really in a convenient area for people working in DC, but for people living someplace like Reston, I don't think it would be bad.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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The only area in Maryland that seem less expensive to me is PG county. We all know why: schools and crime.

MoCo is just as expensive as NoVa. Chevy Chase/Bethesda/Potomac is similar in price as McLean, City of Falls Church, Great Falls, North Arlington and Vienna. Kensington/Rockville/Gaithersburg is similar to Fairfax, Burke, and Reston. Silver Spring, Takoma Park, etc. is similar to Alexandria, So. Arlington, and Springfield.

Plus, Howard County in MD (i.e. Columbia, Ellicutt City), a county with excellent schools, is very comparable distance wise and price wise with western Fairfax County (i.e. Centreville, Sterling, etc.) and Loudoun County.

Frederick is just way too far. If you happen to work for a defense contractor in upper MoCo, it is a reasonable option. But if you work in DC or NoVa, it's too much of a brutal commute. It's like comparing Fredricksburg or Dumfries as a reasonable option if you work in Quantico or Woodbridge. My guess the housing prices in Fredricksburg are probably comparable to Frederick, MD.

Anyways, there are some really nice neighborhoods in PG County like Bowie, Cheverly, and Upper Marlboro where housing prices and commutes are reasonable. The public schools in those areas aren't terrible, but aren't the best either.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Land of the Free
5,108 posts, read 4,913,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCSailor View Post
More people don't live in Virginia because their roads are inadequate. Worst traffic jams on the East Coast.
Yes, the Beltway through Montgomery County is much better during rush hour.
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