Maryland is an expensive state mostly because of its high income tax, cost of living, and cost of housing. However, you can easily find cheap houses in Baltimore for $150,000. Maryland has a cheap property tax and is the wealthiest state in the United States, with an average median income of $86,000 per year.
Overall, Maryland is not a cheap state. But people can easily live on a budget in Maryland. Indeed, since Maryland is the number one state when it comes to income, and since there are cheap housing deals in Baltimore, people can easily live a cheap life in Maryland. At what cost tho? This is what we are going to find out in this article.
Why is Maryland so expensive?
Maryland is very expensive because of its high income tax ranging from 2.5% to 5.75% depending on the income. Since Maryland is the country with the highest average income, the income tax will almost always be expensive. Furthermore, every county has a local additional income tax, that can go up to 3.5%.
For example in Howard County, you have an additional 3.2% local income tax in addition to the state income tax. Overall, the local county income tax will vary from anything between 2% and 3.5%.
As mentioned previously, Maryland is where people get paid the most, with a median average income of $86,000 per year. Now if you take into account the income tax, you quickly realize how expensive this specific tax is in Maryland.
And what about the other taxes in Maryland?
Are taxes high in Maryland?
Maryland has the 3rd highest income tax, an increased gas tax, an inheritance tax, and a 6% sales tax. However, Maryland has the 31st highest property tax, which is a good point. Overall, Maryland ranks number 11 in terms of taxes in the United States.
Basically, apart from the very expensive income tax, Maryland is not the state with the highest taxes in the United States.
A point to mention is the existence of a 9% tax on all alcohol. And alcohol cannot be bought in supermarkets. It can only be bought in liquor stores.
When it comes to the road system, it is also interesting to mention the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, which are the two bridges to transit from the Western to the Eastern side of the bay. Sadly those bridges are not free.
For 2-axle vehicles, it will cost $6.00 to cross the bay bridge. For 3-axle vehicles, it will cost $12.00.
Here is a video to break down the cost of living in Maryland. In this video, you will get through an example of buying a house in Maryland.
Are houses cheap in Maryland?
The price of houses in Maryland varies enormously, ranging from $150,000 in Baltimore to $600,000 in Mongomery County. Overall, the cost of housing in Maryland is 44% higher than the national average with a median house value of $320,000. This is mostly due to the very expensive counties with huge houses.
With a large variety of house types across the state, people can easily find the house of their dreams in Maryland. If you want to find cheap deals, you can head to the Northwest of Maryland, where it is mostly fields and villages. You can also choose to live in Baltimore, where some districts are very affordable because of the insecurity.
On the other hand, if you want to buy a great house in Maryland, you can choose the counties of Montgomery or Howard. In this part of the state, you can find houses for around $480,000.
In Maryland, the average price per square foot is $180.
When it comes to renting, it is the same thing. However, the costs will be generally quite high to rent apartments in Maryland. Here is what you can expect.
Maryland is a place with good education and safety if you avoid Baltimore’s bad neighborhoods. Living in Maryland is affordable considering it is the wealthiest state in the United States, making it a good place to live. There are still some drawbacks, such as the very bad traffic across the state.
Here are more details about the cost of living in Maryland. The overall cost of living in Maryland is 18% higher than the national average, with around $3,000 spent each year on groceries. This is equal to $250 per month, or what you can expect in states like Alaska.
In a typical house in Maryland, you can expect to pay $129 per month for the electricity bill, $40 per month for the water bill, and $50 per month for the internet bill.
Maryland has great internet and is ranked number 3 in the United States for coverage, speed, and price accessibility.
The cost of healthcare in Maryland is quite low. It is 11% below the national average.
How cheap is Montgomery County, Maryland?
Montgomery County, MD is very expensive mostly because of the high cost of housing. Here you can find houses for around $480,000. In Rockville, the biggest city in Montgomery County, the cost of living is much higher than in similar cities in the state like Hagerstown, MD for example.
Let’s compare Rockville, MD, in Montgomery County, with Hagerstown, MD, in Washington County. Those two cities are both in Maryland and have a similar size. There are around 60,000 people living in Rockville, and 40,000 people living in Hagerstown.
However, when you start comparing the prices, it is not the same story. Here are the results of the comparison:
Consumer Prices in Rockville, MD are 1.53% lower than in Hagerstown, MD (without rent)
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Rockville, MD are 28.14% higher than in Hagerstown, MD
Rent Prices in Rockville, MD are 131.73% higher than in Hagerstown, MD
Restaurant Prices in Rockville, MD are 11.39% higher than in Hagerstown, MD
Groceries Prices in Rockville, MD are 7.95% lower than in Hagerstown, MD
Local Purchasing Power in Rockville, MD is 33.56% higher than in Hagerstown, MD
This data confirms what we said previously in this section. Montgomery County is mainly more expensive because of housing. As you can see, the rent prices are 131.73% higher here!
However, groceries don’t cost more here. In fact, they cost less, probably because Rockville is less remote than Hagerstown.
Finally, we can see that the local purchasing power in Rockville is higher than in Hagerstown, but this could be due to the high salaries of the people living in Montgomery County.
Is Baltimore, Maryland a good place to live?
People definitely need to avoid some neighborhoods in Baltimore because they are very unsafe. Apart from that, Baltimore is a good place to live with lots of activities to do. This city is quite affordable thanks to the bad reputation it carries.
Is Baltimore, Maryland cheap?
A single person estimated monthly costs are 960.01$ without rent, making Baltimore a cheap city. Baltimore is the biggest city in Maryland and is where people will find the cheapest houses in the state, which is not very common. People can find cheap houses in Baltimore for around $175,000.
Why is Baltimore, Maryland so cheap?
Baltimore is very cheap because of its bad reputation. Some neighborhoods in Baltimore are extremely dangerous, dropping the price of real estate in the area. With a crime index of 2 out of 100, Baltimore is usually not the place people want to found a family in.
Is Maryland safe?
If you avoid Baltimore, Maryland is a very safe state. In comparison, there are 4.54 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in Maryland, and 18,76 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in Baltimore. The chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 220 in Maryland, against 1 in 53 in Baltimore.
However, there are still some places that are not the safest ones in Maryland. Here is a list of places you should avoid if you plan on moving to Maryland:
Those cities either have a high unemployment rate, high crime rates, or low incomes. Some of those places are also home to drug trafficking. If you want to move to one of those cities (or Baltimore), I recommend that you do your own research before making your decision.