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Average Cost of Living in Maryland: An In-Depth Guide

If you’re thinking about living in Maryland, it’s not just your mortgage you need to consider. Here we lay out some of the most common living expenses in the state and an estimate of each so can still budget for that trip to Vegas.
If you’re thinking about living in Maryland, it’s not just your mortgage you need to consider. Here we lay out some of the most common living expenses in the state and an estimate of each so can still budget for that trip to Vegas.

When it comes to budgeting and projecting your cost of living in Maryland, there are a ton of different factors to consider and prices can vary based on your lifestyle. You may enjoy living that bling-bling life and constantly add upgrades to your home, or you may be totally okay with the home just as you bought it. Either way, we’ll lay out some of the most typical expenses below and the costs associated with each of them.

If you’re looking at buying a home and relocating to Maryland, you’ll do yourself a huge service by seeking out the help of an experienced, local real estate agent. Agents can be invaluable in terms of setting realistic financial expectations — not only in terms of the costs of purchasing a home, but other Maryland-specific expenses to consider.

Typical Home Prices in Maryland in 2019

The ninth smallest state in terms of land area, Maryland has more than 5.9 million residents and the fifth highest population density in the country. Plus, the state borders the heavily populated D.C. area. So, it’s no surprise the housing market is a hot seller’s market.

Considering the snowy winters in the area, it’s understandable homes in Maryland sell best in June. Homes sell at their optimum price and fastest at this time. On average, homes in the state during peak listing season sell for about 14% more than at other times of the year. If you’re looking for a deal, start your hunt for a Maryland home in the fall or winter months.

According to May 2019 Zillow data, the median home value in Maryland is $290,000 and values have seen a 2.8% increase over the past year. Values are projected to stagnate a bit and increase just 0.8% over the next 12 months. The median listing price currently sits at $325,000, but homes are generally selling for under asking.

If you’re price conscious, Baltimore is a good place to look — the median home value here is a budget-friendly $114,800 and is predicted to hold steady. This means more cash for weekend trips to D.C. and spending a night out with friends.

How Much Are Maryland Property Taxes?

Like it or not, we gotta pay taxes. Property taxes are an oft-forgotten expense when determining how much house you can afford and your yearly expenses for owning one.

Property taxes in Maryland are calculated by multiplying the home’s assessed value by the local property tax rate established by your local government. Homeowners can pay the resulting tax either monthly as part of your mortgage payment, semi-annually, or annually.

Tax rates vary greatly depending on where your home is located, but most tax rates fit between 0.75% to 1.5%. This means that on a typical Maryland home valued at $290,000, you’d pay $2,175 to $4,350. Don’t forget, this isn’t just a one-time expense like that epic trip to Vegas — this hangover lasts year after year, even after you pay off your home.

Make sure you research the effective tax rate of areas you’re considering. Not to freak you out, but the government isn’t too happy when you don’t pay your bill and you could potentially lose your home because of it. So, just pay your taxes.

Average Homeowners Insurance in Maryland

Again — like that Vegas trip — are you willing to roll the dice on your good luck? We wouldn’t recommend it. In Vegas and in life, sometimes the odds just aren’t in your favor. So, you’ll want to be sure to purchase homeowners insurance on any Maryland house you buy. Not only does it cover things like a new roof, but you also have liability and personal property coverage in the event of theft. Depending on your type of mortgage, your lender may also require you to carry homeowners insurance.

In Maryland, the average annual rate for homeowners insurance is $910 (for $200,000 dwelling coverage, $100,000 liability coverage, and a deductible of $1,000). But, premiums can range from $600 to $1300 depending on the coverage, and the value and location of your home. You’ll pay this premium monthly along with your mortgage payment, although you’ll have to pay for one year upfront at closing.

Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Maryland

Home maintenance and repairs can throw a major wrench (pun intended.) in your meticulously curated budget. One leaky toilet can send your finances into a downward spiral if you’re not careful. Aside from setting aside a small emergency fund for unexpected repairs, you’ll want to make sure you include something in your monthly budget for simple repairs and maintenance.

While this amount varies greatly based on the age of your home, there are some guidelines on how much to save. Some experts suggest setting aside 1% to 3% of your home’s value each year. For example, if your home is worth $200,000, you would set aside $2,000 to $6,000 per year, or $166 to $500 per month for upkeep.

Others suggest calculating the amount based on your mortgage payment and recommend setting aside 10% of that amount each month. For example, you could expect your mortgage payment on a $200,000 house in Maryland to be around $1,000 a month, including taxes and insurance. So, you would save $100 a minimum per month for home repairs.

Keep in mind that a new furnace can cost $3,000 or more and if yours goes out in the middle of winter in Maryland, you don’t have a choice but to get it replaced. It’s best to start off with a small pool of savings for such repairs just in case.

Other Costs of Living in Maryland to Consider

Home-related costs aren’t the only ones to consider when figuring out your budget for living in Maryland. While the costs below can fluctuate quite a bit and are by no means a comprehensive list, here are just a few to prepare for. Do your homework and check with family or friends (or your agent) in the area to see what their costs are.

Utilities

You’ve probably thought of utilities already, but even these can vary from state to state and Maryland rates can be quite high. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2017, that average monthly utility bill in Maryland was around $130 — the national average is $110. If you have gas heating, expect this bill to be high in the winter, when temperatures drop below freezing. Alternately, expect your electric bill to rise in the summer when Maryland temps can be scorching.

Transportation

Depending on the location of your home, you’ll want to budget for getting to and from work and other appointments. If you’re driving, factor in money for gas, car insurance, and parking, which can add up, especially if you’re living in a major city or commuting to the D.C. area. On the other hand, a public transit pass will cost around $80 each month.

Find a Top Maryland Real Estate Agent

If you’re looking to buy a home in Maryland, work with a local, experienced buyer’s agent who can provide great value when moving to a new area. In addition to helping you get the best price possible, they can give you realistic expectations about the cost of living in that particular city.

Clever helps buyers connect with top agents in Maryland and you’re eligible for a $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate on any home you purchase for more than $150,000 in Maryland. Clever Partner Agents also offer on-demand showings — sometimes in less than an hour — so you know you won’t miss out on your dream home in Maryland.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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