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Howard County Maryland- Is it all it is cracked up to be?

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  • Hank Hank 
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    If I were to live in Maryland, I think I’d pick Montgomery County or Annapolis. Then again, I lived in Old Town Alexandria, so what do I know about Baltimore?

    #213772 Reply
    Avatar burritos 
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    We are not venturing far away from Maryland for a long long time.

     

    The places outside of Maryland my wife is willing to relocate to:

    1. Northern Virginia

    2. Oahu, Hawaii

    3. Los Angelos, CA

    4. San Francisco, CA

     

    …. I like the Baltimore area just fine…

     

    I do not practice in the city, so not going to live in the city.

    Click to expand…

    I’m in Ventura county. The county north of LA County. Not nearly as dense as LA. Lots of open space. There’s a well known Chinese school where kids from Los Angeles County will drive here to learn. I hated Chinese school when I was a kid so I didn’t force it upon my kids. There seems to be a shortage of all medical specialties here except for orthos, ENTs and neurosurgeons. You can make a decent living, but certainly not as good as the south and midwest. Those housing prices you cited will get you a good house with good public schools. Ventura prices aren’t shooting up like LA, SF, Seattle and have room to grow. You aren’t competing against tech money. There is one major company out here Amgen, but they are downsizing their footprint here and moving to SF and Boston(where the top universities are).

    #213806 Reply
    Avatar burritos 
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    I’d be all over Federal Hill/Fells Point or Annapolis, but don’t know about the schools, commute to work/in-laws.

     

    Click to expand…

    Is tide flooding in Annapolis a thing or just climate change hype?

    #213808 Reply
    Avatar fasteddie911 
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    medical school scholarship sponsor

    Have a family friend living in Ellicott City.  They work for the gov’t as it seems many in the area do, and they really like the schools and diversity (they’re asian).  That seems like its main selling point. As for your other options, I’d put Hawaii at the bottom of the list unless there’s a good specific reason for wanting to live there.

    #213832 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    “The places outside of Maryland my wife is willing to relocate to:”
    Curious list. Not sure the basis of her choices or if she has spent time anywhere else or it’s based on perceptions that may or may not be valid. They all seem to have some things in common: cost of living and tax challenges. Just joking, why was NYC eliminated?
    Good luck with your choices.

    #213839 Reply
    Avatar ChristopherMD20 
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    why was NYC eliminated?

    Click to expand…

    NYC not eliminated. I just forgot it!

     

    In all seriousness though, we are never leaving Maryland. At least not until our parents are gone which I pray doesn’t happen for a long long long time. We are rooted in MD and the farthest we would realistically venture would be to Northern VA. I seriously flirted with the idea of working in Central PA and sucking up the long commute from the Northern Baltimore area given the substantial salary bumps, but my wife shut that down. I like my current position (which is not in the city) and I hope to stay there for a long time. As a result I think anchoring in the Central Maryland area is the only realistic option. The choice of where within this limited geographic area is the bigger issue.

    #213843 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Then I suggest you start house hunting.
    Trulia showed $99k-$10mm with over 900 for sale in Howard County. If you both are from there, I think the house and the neighborhood will drive your decision.
    Yes, price and commute are factors. Good luck with the former, your lovely wife seems to prefer the top end.
    Hint, sort in ascending price. She will get tired before she flips past all the dumps. Then being the diligent doctor show her one that might work. I guarantee she will say ok if you start at the $10mm one.
    Good luck house hunting. Zillow works too.

    #213850 Reply
    Avatar bullsdoc 
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    I’m still relative new to both this community and investing, but I’ve learned quickly that you will catch a lot of financial flack on here for basically every large to mid-range size city in the US that is not in the South, Midwest, or plains states (And Midwest has some exceptions too like Chicago).  Not unreasonable opinions for sure, but this is not like saying you want to move to the Bay area or NYC exclusively.  If the opportunities and family dynamic make up for it, the COL challenges will be minimal in comparison there, especially if wanting to work in academic medicine (Which is where the big pay cut will come from anyway).

    #213853 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    Annapolis is pretty but not too sure about the schools. Commute would be brutal. Really depends on where you are working specifically. If somewhere close to Baltimore I’d look into Ellicott City. If closer to DC I’d look to Montgomery County and pick the best public school there among the 4-5 really good ones that’s closest to my work. Traffic in that area is just terrible.

    #213857 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    @bullsdoc,
    I would suggest a different approach:

    Pay tends to be lower in urban and “hip” locations.
    Cost of living (primarily housing and taxes) tend to be higher in urban and “hip” locations.
    Choose wisely, the amount available for savings and consumption will be significantly different.
    Both factors are independent but end up in the same location. There is a potential negative correlation based on your choice and it can be significant.
    That has zero to do with a bias. It’s just math. Compensation, location, practice combine to make a choice. Some in Chicago or San Diego or NYC love it.
    But there is a price to pay. So be it.

    #213868 Reply
    Avatar bullsdoc 
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    Thanks for the message, completely agree.

    I suppose what I am saying is, in a relative sense, I see nothing wrong with Maryland at all.  The poster is asking about a 600K house in an area with high though not egregious taxes. What is not to like?  I can’t speak to what his partner is contributing, but I suspect this falls well within WCI’s 3x housing rule.

    Yes the pay scale for the Atlantic region is usually lower, but I suspect this is biased in many estimations by the number of military docs in the region, where pay is quite a bit lower, as well as the local academic institutions (Which is potentially a plus if interested in academia.  Big-time academic medical centers in low COL areas are a rarity, in a relative sense I bet commuting from Howard County is less expensive than doing so in NYC, Chicago, Boston, etc.).

    But certainly, don’t disagree with the economics of your point at all.  Thank you for the post.

     

    #213872 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    2x rule

    #213878 Reply
    Liked by childay
    Avatar Dilaudidopenia 
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    We are not venturing far away from Maryland for a long long time.

     

    The places outside of Maryland my wife is willing to relocate to:

    1. Northern Virginia

    2. Oahu, Hawaii

    3. Los Angelos, CA

    4. San Francisco, CA

     

    …. I like the Baltimore area just fine…

     

    I do not practice in the city, so not going to live in the city.

    Click to expand…

    new wife?

    #213879 Reply
    Liked by Panscan
    Avatar bullsdoc 
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    Thanks for clarification, yes

    #213880 Reply
    Avatar Renaldoc 
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    I live in HOCO, specifically Clarksville. It is overhyped as a lot of people are moving in and schools are getting more crowded. That being said, if you are looking for decent schools, multiple strip malls, convenience and diversity it’s the place to be. I would choose it again because there aren’t many alternatives in Maryland I would consider that is commutable to work.

    #213897 Reply
    Liked by StateOfMyHead

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