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Moving to Maryland

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Housing, Neighborhoods, & Moving > Moving to Maryland


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2008 - 2013 Recommendations


Moving to Maryland - Gaithersburg area

Sept 2012

Our family is relocating to Maryland summer 2013 and are looking for recommendations of neighborhoods between Gaithersburg (where husband will be working) and DC (where I'll be working). Greatest priority is someplace with great public schools (kids will both be in elementary school) and where home prices are reasonable. Any updated recommendations of places to consider are greatly appreciated.


While it's not exactly between DC and Gaithersburg, my sister and her family live in Columbia and love it. Great schools, great community and great for families. Many of her neighbors work in DC so I imagine the commute is manageable. L

Moving to Baltimore from Berkeley

Sept 2008

Is there anything like the Berkeley Parents Network in Baltimore? Beyond that specific question, we'd love to hear from any of you who've been there/done that, have neighborhood, recreational, restaurant, cafe, bagel shop and other Charm City favorites to share. Oh, and what about a great bookstore or two - anything even close to Pendragon and Pegasus? Baltimore-bound


For fun shops & restaurants I recommend the Mt. Washington neighborhood just off Falls Rd. west of Roland Park. There's a Whole Foods there, and you can check out the Meadowbrook swim club where Michael Phelps trained. Also, my boys, ages 8 & 11, had a great time at the Inner Harbor aquarium last month. Jennifer N.

Tell me about Montgomery County, MD

March 2008

Yo. My spouse got a job at UMD and we're moving! I've looked in the archives and most of the advice is about where to live in proximity to DC. I am looking for real specific advice about neighborhoods in Silver Spring or Takoma Park. We'd like to live somewhere close to one of the metro lines, a neighborhood that has a good school, good parks, progressive people and... of course, affordable housing. Are there other cities near College Park that we should look at?

Also, info on bikeability of the cities, are there any resources like the BPN I can tap into, which CSA to subscribe to! Any other good information you think I should have. I'd like to recreate my life here as much as possible. Thanks for any advice! moving in July


Congratulations to your spouse! I grew up in Montgomery Co. MD-Silver Spring, to be exact. I have many relatives still in the area. Only know public schools in Bethesda and magnet schools and the terrific Eleanor Roosevelt H. S. in Beltsville, but the locals will know how to check. Judith
from my SIL, a teacher in Mont cty: Affordable and kid-friendly near college park?...I would definitely suggest Greenbelt, specifically the coop. It's reportedly the best kept secret in the Washington metro area (and I'm slightly biased because I live there and love it!). There's a link to homes on the market in GHI as well (200s for townhouses in the coop). Single family homes outside of the coop are more like 400s+ http:// ghi.coop University Park is nice and even closer to the college, but much more expensive.($400s+) Hyattsville is getting a facelift and a lot of younger families are moving there and improving the houses $300s+. I wouldn't necessarily suggest anything else in PG County. visitor
Hi. I grew up in Rockville MD and think it was a great place to live as a kid. Granted, it is more developed now(no more farm in our backyard) but the schools are great. My mom taught middle and high school, and I went to Richard Montgomery, an International Baccalaureat school which consistently makes the top 10 in US news and world report's top 100 schools in the country. The county pays their teachers very well so I think that helps. I also went to College Gardens Elementary school, which also has a very good reputation, (with people falsifying their residences to send their kids there, etc.) Rockville Metro is in the center of town. The town also recently redid the town center and has a very nice, new library. The public swim center is the best I have ever been to, with two Olympic size pools, a heated indoor therapy pool, a baby pool, and a huge outdoor recreation pool with twisty slides, high dives, etc., weight room, hot tubs, sauna, snack bar, volleyball fiel! ds, and playground.I used to bike to high school, and there is a bike path that goes all the way into DC at the C& O canal, but I can't remember the name of the park. The canal is a neat historical place to take kids, and it is right next to Great Falls on the Potomac. Of course you have all the amazing free Smithsonian museums(several art, history, natural history, botanical gardens, & the best zoo I have ever been to.) There is plenty of culture in DC to sustain the adults, but not much in Rockville, and it has grown too built up for my taste, with not a ton of green space, in a typical suburban way. But it does have lots of other benefits. We have even considered moving back there for the schools and to be closer to my parents. Good luck. nelson
my impression (from growing up in Annapolis) is that it is very mainstream (big box stores and mcMansions) but I believe the schools are supposed to be good anon
For information about the DC area (including Montgomery County), check out DC Urban Moms and Dads. They have a mailing list with 8,100 members (and archives available to members): http://www.dcurbanmom.com/mailing-lists

They also have online forums (no membership necessary): http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/forums/list.page Lots of people on http://www.city-data.com/forum/ have opinions on life in Montgomery County, too.

For schools, I find the brief rankings and reviews on http://www.greatschools.net/ to be helpful in gauging relative school strengths, with much more detailed information available at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org.

You might want to check out the Parkwood neighborhood (with houses in both Kensington and Bethesda) and other Kensington neighborhoods in the Kensington Parkwood Elementary School zone. The area ranks high in terms of affordability and good neighborhood feel. The houses are much more typically suburban than Takoma Park, for example, but it has excellent schools, is adjacent to Rock Creek Park, and is a decent commute to UMD (30 minutes or less, I hear). DC dweller


2004 - 2007 Recommendations


Moving to Maryland for job in College Park

May 2007

We are considering a move to Maryland due to a job opportunity. Although we love it here, it's very hard financially. Any recommendations on places to live close to (or with easy commutes to) College Park? We have small kids so I'm particularly interested in places with good public schools. Anyone who has lived there or has friends or relatives that can let me know what life is like for adults, kids, how are the communities, house price-ranges (we don't own a house here but we are hoping to be able to afford one there), etc? Any resources like the BPN or Bananas? Thanks! move, maybe?


Congratulations on moving to the best state!! My family is actually leaving in 2 weeks for Maryland as well. I am from there and we are moving back. College Park is very close to DC which will make the cost of living almost as high as Concord/ Martinez etc. Better than Oakland/Berekeley. College Park is in Prince Georges County which isn't one of the best counties for schools. You are very close to Montgomery County which has incredible schools but also the most expensive housing. Coming in at a close second is Howard County with excellent schools but again pretty high prices for homes. We will be moving to Frederick County which is about an hour from DC. Good schools and lots to do with little ones! We bought a 4000 square foot house in a lake community that is 9 years old for less than our 1200 square foot house in Concord. We are so so excited! Let me know if you have any more questions, I work in education and know a lot about the Maryland school systems. Best of luck! elisa
There is a similar online community in the DC-VA-MD area called DC Urban Moms - try googling it. My 3 sibs live in MD and my brother and sister-in-law, who have 2 small children, are always talking about this resource. Good luck in your decision. We have also considered moving to MD to be close to family. They are in Bethesda and Potomac and MD seems a wonderful place to live overall. Nina
We spent a year in Silver Spring, MD - a short drive from College Park - and really enjoyed it. Just rented but understand that housing prices, especially with taxes, are not as high as here but are climbing quickly. Found the area around the Takoma Park metro stop and downtown Silver Spring to be very family friendly. Lots of parks, very walkable, Takoma Park touts itself as the Berkeley of the east (not really, but close enough) with a co-op and small restaurants and small town feel. Check out Takoma Park Parents and Kids listserve - comparable in some ways to BPN. Through it, I was able to hook up with some mom's groups, learn about childcare options and access a marketplace type listserve. Value Village thrift store in College Park rocks. Good luck one-time MD'er
check out Takoma (Tacoma?) Park, MD. it's like a little bit of Berkeley in the DC metro area. been there
my SILs (lesbian couple, one is K teacher, FWIW) live in Greenbelt and say this -

Affordable and kid-friendly near college park?...I would definitely suggest Greenbelt, specifically the coop. It's reportedly the best kept secret in the Washington metro area (and I'm slightly biased because I live there and love it!). There's a link to homes on the market in GHI as well (200s for townhouses in the coop). Single family homes outside of the coop are more like 400s+ http://ghi.coop

University Park is nice and even closer to the college, but much more expensive.($400s+) Hyattsville is getting a facelift and a lot of younger families are moving there and improving the houses $300s+. I wouldn't necessarily suggest anything else in PG (prince georges) County. like visiting md but home is ca


Moving to Baltimore with kids

Aug 2006

My husband is seriously considering a job in Baltimore. The job is great but the city seems a lot like Oakland (where we live now). If you've lived in Baltimore, especially with elementary age children, I'd love to know the positives and negatives. Is it any less expensive to live there than in Oakland given the heating and cooling costs? I'm not sure housing is all that much less than Oakland. And crime and schools also seem to be problems. It's not that I don't want to move. But I wish I had a better understanding of whether or not our quality of life and standard of living would be similar to or better than living in Oakland Weighing the opportunity


I love Baltimore and lived there for 10 years. It is an extremely friendly, fun, energetic urban environment with a great deal to offer. The adjacency to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia offer additional advantages for school age kids and the Eastern Shore of Maryland is a lovely place to share traditional, by-the-sea family vacations. Is it cheaper than Oakland? Probably a little. Housing is slightly less. Schools similar. Colder winters yes but most homes are insulated much more efficiently than in Northern California so not as bad cost-wise as you might imagine. Crime is the big question. It very, very much depends on where you live. Neighborhoods and safety vary from block-to-block. There is a huge indigent poor population which creates many problems. That said, the sense of where to go, when to go is learned quickly. My best advice is, once you make a decision to move there (if you do) get to know as many folks as you can before you make a permanent housing decision. Ask questions, take their recommendations. You may prefer living a bit more suburban: Towson or Catonsville---still very close to Baltimore proper but with suburban advantages. I lived in the downtown area my entire stay and loved it there but not sure I would have felt as comfortable with children.
My husband and I lived in B'more for 2 years. We just moved to N. Oakland last Sept. Too much to type for this venue, but please contact us and we can fill you in on our experiences. Jill and James

2003 & Earlier


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