Where to move? Two-city couple tries to decide
Beth Green and fiancé Pete Jenior have a housing dilemma -- one that many folks in this region have faced.
She works in Washington. He works in Baltimore. Where should they live?
D.C. is off their list -- not only for price reasons, but because Jenior works longer hours than Green.
"He can't have a really long commute because he'd never be around," said Green, 29, an attorney. "So the two options are, I have a long commute or we live in the middle."
They'd really like to hear from people who have been there, done that. What upsides and downsides do you see for a D.C./Baltimore couple living in Baltimore or its southern suburbs?
For Green and Jenior, 27, it's not just about commute. They like city life -- he lives in Federal Hill and she's in Ridgely's Delight. But they're thinking of starting a family during the five years or so they plan to live in the home they buy, and they wonder if they'd be better off in the suburbs.
It's another oft-tread subject in the "where should we live" discussions that people around the region have every day, so I figured some of you would have thoughts to share.
Green and Jenior, who hope to settle next summer, are looking for a home that's $300,000 or less.
One way they considered the two options -- Baltimore or 'burbs -- was cost. For instance, Jenior walks to work, so a move out of the city would add $150 a month in parking to their bills. But the city's property tax rate is so much higher than, for instance, Anne Arundel's, that it's "kind of a wash," she says.
They're looking seriously at Locust Point in the city, which strikes them as a good neighborhood for a young couple on the verge of having kids. They're also looking at Savage in Howard County, which has a MARC train stop.
"It's just like a nice little community, and Savage Mill is so cute and historic," she said. Also: "It's got the Howard County schools."
The other consideration: Green's commute. Right now, she drives from Baltimore to Greenbelt and takes the Metro in. That's an hour and 15 minutes to D.C. and an half and a half back home. "It's grueling," she said.
"There's a part of us, because we're both in our 20s, that wants to stay in the city," she said. But, she added, "My long commute is kind of impeding my quality of life. So it's like, do you want to be young in the city and have me tired all the time, or [in] the suburbs, and kind of out of the younger crowd and move already into the young-family mode? So we're sort of conflicted. It's a tough call."
The Baltimore vs. 'burbs debate can get ugly, so just for the record, this isn't meant to be a debate about what's "best." Merely what worked (or didn't work) for you, and why. Most decisions about where to live involve trade-offs.