Moving to Maryland | 2021 Cost of Living and Relocation Tips
The state of Maryland is located in the mid-atlantic region of the United States and is dubbed as ‘America In Miniature’. This title applies to the fact that although the state is small in size, nearly all kinds of terrain can be found here. You have the Appalachian mountain range, 4,000 miles of shoreline, a vast variety of farmlands, islands, grand lakes, cliffs, caves and powerful rivers. It is even home to the Chesapeake Bay which is appreciated for its scenic beauty and is the sole reason why Maryland and seafood just gel together.
Maryland is also often referred to as a microcosm of the nation, since it manages to absorb a little bit of various features, making it fit for all kinds of lifestyles. The state has its share of sprawling metropolis, wealthy areas, charming small towns, rich historic districts, vibrant communities, nationally recognized restaurants and high-tech industries. Residents also get to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that come along with having Washington D.C. as its neighbor. Access to world-class healthcare, a great workforce and a rich variety of recreational activities are few of the other perks of moving to Maryland.
However, before you decide to call Maryland your sweet home, let’s go over other aspects that you should know about before you make the move.
Weather In Maryland
Like we said earlier, the state enjoys all kinds of terrain because of which Maryland registers a wide variety of climatic conditions. The eastern shore in particular receives contrasting conditions, usually falling under the humid subtropical spectrum of things. This is mainly because of its close proximity to the sea. The central and western regions are parts where the weather is dominated by humidity. In a nutshell, summers do tend to get very humid and your winters will have snowfall. Below is a snippet of the temperatures you can possibly expect during each season:
Winters (November to March) – Winters in Maryland usually fall in the range of 30F-70F. However, occasionally the low temperatures also drop to freezing conditions of 21°F (-6.1°C) to 33°F (0.6°C) zone. The months of November and December witness light snowfall (approximately 7 inches). However, western Maryland particularly registers the most amount of snow (upto 10 inches). January and February are peak winter months. It’s when temperatures drop to freezing numb conditions with plenty of snowfall everywhere. Snowstorms are also a common occurrence during winter.
Spring (End March to May) – Spring is the most awaited time of the year as residents get a break from the winter months. During the transition from winter to spring, you can expect temperatures to still fall in range of 25F-38F during nights. However, normal day temperatures can be pleasant, allowing it to roughly come under the 41°F (5°C) to 68°F (20°C) zone. In the month of May, temperatures can go upto 77°F (25°C). Do note that spring also happens to be an unpredictable time where temperatures keep shifting from cold to warm. Therefore it’s highly recommended to keep a light winter jacket handy.
Summers (June to August) – Summers in Maryland are extremely humid with patches of extreme heat. July and August is considered to be the hottest where temperatures may cross the mark of 90F (32.2°C). The average temperature usually falls between 66°F (18.9°C) to 87°F (30.6°C).
Spring (September to October) – Fall is considered to be the most pleasant time of the year. The temperature falls in the lovely range of 60°F (15.6°C) to 70°F (21.1°C). Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge, Chester River and Tuckahoe State Park are few of the best places to catch fall foliage in Maryland.
Transportation In Maryland
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), along with other agencies, is responsible for operating all the modes of commute in the state. The MTA system helps residents reach points of interest by non-car modes of transportation. Overall, it is made up of 80 extensive bus systems, a Light Rail, Metro Subway, and the MARC Train. However, the coverage of these modes of transport are limited to getting around Baltimore and the surrounding counties.
Apart from these modes, the state also has a massive network of highways to help residents connect to neighboring cities. The five major interstates are 95, 70, 68, 83, and 81. However, the most heavily commuted interstate road is the Interstate 270. On the entire stretch of this roadway, you will find over 370 bioscience companies. Many scientific firsts have found their home in this area, because of which the road is also called the ‘Bio Corridor’.
See also: Maryland DMV Change of Address
The state of Maryland has two international airports. Most of the regional airports are located in Annapolis, Cambridge, Frederick, Oakland, Ocean City and Salisbury. The most-travelled and most extensive airports of the state are:
- Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
- Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport
- Hagerstown Regional Airport
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Dulles International Airport
You can count on the services of Amtrak to connect you to other parts of the country or the state itself. The passenger railroad service has 9 train lines passing through the state of Maryland. Although, the state just has 5 Amtrak train stations and 7 of the Amtrak train lines stop at Baltimore. This limits the potential of the Amtrak train line to reach other regions of the state.
The six railway stations in Maryland are located at:
- Baltimore (Penn Station)
- Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
- New Carrollton
Job Market In Maryland
The state of Maryland is home to a wide variety of industries across several sectors. To an extent, the state’s economy largely benefits from the fact that it sits in close proximity to the Washington D.C. metro area. The efficiency of the powerful port of Baltimore is another factor that attracts more and more businesses to set up their headquarters in Maryland.
Maryland’s strategic location is not just a boost for the economy but it helps provide job stability for millions of residents. Presently, few of the key industries dominating the economy are:
- Aerospace and Defense
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Biohealth and Life Sciences
- Financial services
- Cybersecurity and I.T
In addition to these, a number of educational institutions are also playing a huge role in providing lucrative opportunities for residents. Several large military bases have a huge presence in the state, providing high paying government jobs. Giant Food Inc., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, MedStar Health, Black & Decker Corp, Verizon Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and University of Maryland Medical System are few of the top employers of the state.
Overall, upon looking at Maryland’s economy at a glance, it is safe to say that the state has been experimenting with clusters of different industries. The state also manages to have a diversified economy because it has positioned itself to have a business-friendly environment.
Renting In Maryland
According to reports by HomeSnacks, the average median rent of houses in Maryland is $1,700, while the national average is roughly $1,650 (that’s a 0.3% difference in cost). This proves that renting here is practically just wandering its way above the national average. However, don’t be completely taken aback with the rent costs.
The fact is the average median household income in Maryland is also relatively high, so you would probably just be able to afford renting in this price range. On the other hand, the further you move away from the D.C. the lower the rent can get. It’s also very much possible to find homes below the $1,700 mark.
Having said that, some of the areas where the average median rent is expected to be exorbitant are:
- Bowie (average rent $2,001)
- Poolesville (average rent $1,980)
- Rockville (average rent $1,976)
- Gaithersburg (average rent $1,748)
- Mount Airy (average rent $1,699)
- College Park (average rent $1,695)
- Annapolis (average rent $1,627)
Do run over this list so you can form your perspective on the rent with a price point.
Cost Of Living In Maryland
It is true that Maryland is an expensive state to live in. Home values as well as rental prices like we just discussed are way over the national average. In other words, living here can be pricey. But you don’t have to let this deter you from considering your move to Maryland. The fact is that the median household income is also way higher than the national average. This makes it possible to withstand the high cost of living.
Most employers take into consideration the high cost of living, so depending on the job role you take on, you can expect to get a higher pay cheque. So even though a huge chunk of your income would go into living expenses, there’s a high chance of it still being a great trade-off. However, let’s take a closer look at how expensive it really gets by looking at things from a price standpoint.
So when it comes to housing, Zillow suggests that the average median value of homes is $330,332. This means you would be paying roughly $294,100 for a house in Maryland, while in different parts of the nation that same house would cost approximately $231,200. This shows how big a margin there is. But on the plus side, the average median household income is roughly $81,868 (according to Niche). That’s certainly relatively higher than the national average which stands at $55,322.
When it comes to matters of utilities, a single person is suggested to budget between $750-$900 per month. You can expect your electricity bill to range from $90-$160 per month depending on the appliances you use for heating during the winter months. However, do keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate because your monthly expenses are subjective to individual habits and lifestyle patterns.
See also: Cheapest States to Live in the USA
Top Cities To Move To In Maryland
The city of Columbia is recognised for its planned community system with 10-self contained villages. Columbia was formed with the concept that a city can strive to improve its residents’ quality of life. Well, the city did a pretty good job at executing this idea and is ranked as one of the top cities in America to raise a family. It is considered to be a city that cares about the well-being of its people. It boasts of friendly neighborhoods, clean parks, great outlets like Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s and Costco and much more.
Median price of homes sold: $372,000
Median rent: $1,687
The city of Frederick is just an hour drive away from the city center of Washington and 3 major airports. Residents here enjoy the convenience of location, relatively affordable housing and the plenty of options available for shopping and food. The city also has a variety of fun art districts, historic buildings and cultural centers. Overall, it is a very lively and diverse small city organizing a number of family-friendly events year round. Urbana, Spring Ridge, Ballenger Creek are some of the best suburbs of this city.
Median price of homes sold: $265,500
Median rent: $1,351
The city of Rockville is situated at the heart of Interstate 270, which is a Technology Corridor filled with several software, biotechnology companies and federal government institutions. This makes Rockville an ideal choice for young professionals drawn to such a workfield. Residents here also enjoy the access to excellent educational institutions, transportation options and close proximity to D.C.
Median price of homes sold: $521,700
Median rent: $1,909
The city of Annapolis is the capital of the state of Maryland. It is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, giving residents the opportunity to stay in close proximity to the waterfront. The city has some of the oldest historic homes and is also recognised as the sailing capital of the nation. Although, there’s thousands of reasons to fall in love with the city, the cost of housing and amenities here is among the highest in the state.
Median price of homes sold: $413,300
Median rent: $1,537
The city of Gaithersburg is ranked to be one of the most diverse cities in the US. The state of Maryland in general is home to a handful of diverse cities. However, Gairhersburg actually tops the list. Other than exposure to different cultures, the residents here also enjoy easy access to public bus services, the metro station and is just 40 minutes away from an international airport.
Median price of homes sold: $389,700
Median rent: $1,697
See also: Fastest Growing Cities in America
Our Take On Maryland
Living in the state of Maryland is like walking into a souvenir shop that represents different parts of the United States. And then you have the advantage of reaching out to different aspects you love about America, in one way or another, all from the state of Maryland. Residents here can easily get access to the metropolitan spirit of New York, North Virginia and Washington D.C. as well. Perhaps, this is why the state is rightly called a miniature of America. The state is also filled with bite size versions of different cultures and boast of a strong economy. Ethnic neighborhoods, traditional small towns and metropolitan hubs come together to offer diverse and merry ways to live well in the little state of Maryland.