These days, we're all feeling the pinch. Increased unemployment, lower wages, skyrocketing property prices, inflated food costs... all in all, most of us aren't having a great time in the finance department. Which makes it even more vital to choose a place to live that isn't going to stretch our overdraft limits to breaking point. If you live in Maryland (or are maybe just thinking about it), then you're already in a great place. As well as ranking as one of the country's best places to live (being within striking distance of Washington D.C. will do that to a state), Maryland also features highly among the most affordable states in the US. If you want to experience the good life without breaking the bank in the process, you'll find few better places to make your home. But which of its towns, cities, suburbs, and villages rank as the cheapest? Where will you get the most bang for your buck? If you want to live the American dream and have plenty left in the bank at the end of the day, check out our round-up of the ten cheapest places to live in Maryland in 2020.
Drive around 30 miles north of Baltimore and you'll stumble on Hampstead, a tiny town of just over 6000 people and a veritable paradise for renters. Thanks to a high median income of $75,286, renters enjoy the second-best rent-to-income ratio in the state. If that wasn't enough, they're also privileged to some of the lowest prices on goods and services in Maryland.
Located just across the Potomac River from Virginia, Brunswick is a town with a gorgeous historic district, a plethora of boutiques, world-class restaurants, and ritzy bars, a high-class atmosphere, and the kind of property prices that will leave you dumbstruck... in a good way. Best of all, the median income of $76,708 will leave you with more disposable income in your pocket than you'll know what to do with. No wonder Home Snacks considers it one of the cheapest places to live in Maryland.
If you want to live within striking distance of Baltimore without breaking the bank in the process, you might want to consider the suburb of Perryman. With a population of just under 3000, it's by no means the liveliest place in the state. But with a friendly community, a small-town charm, and an easy commute into Baltimore, it's still an extremely attractive proposition. Thanks to the very reasonable property prices and above-average median income, it's also an extremely affordable one.
Frostburg residents enjoy a cost of living that's 22% lower than the state average. If that wasn't enough, housing is 13% lower than the national average, while the cost of everyday goods and services is 5% lower than the national average. All in all, some very attractive stats, we think you'd agree.
Last year, List with Clever ranked the Wahington D.C. suburb of Greenbelt as one of the five cheapest places to live in Maryland. A year may have passed, but not a lot's changed. Located just 15 miles from the capital, Greenbelt is a popular place for commuters, not to mention budget-conscious fun-seekers who want to enjoy the thrills and spills of D.C. without the corresponding price tag.
Fancy a change of scene but worried about the cost of moving? Don't be, not if Hagerstown is on the horizon, in any case. Not only is the cost of property here a full 18% lower than it is in most other comparatively sized cities, the overall cost of living is a small but attractive 6% lower. If you want your money to go further, it's certainly worth making that move.
According to Livability, Frederick is THE place to go if you want to balance a great life with a healthy bank balance. One part hip and happening, one part charmingly historic, it's got a little bit of everything. For the culturally minded, there's no shortage of museums, theatres, art galleries, and historical sites. For people who prefer their R&R to come with a gin and tonic on the side, there's an abundance of bars, restaurants, and clubs. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Or at the least, deserving of a mighty big price tag. Fortunately, it isn't and it doesn't. Property prices are a smidgen above some of our other entries, but the low cost of consumer goods, health care, and transportation make it a worthy contender for the title of Maryland's cheapest (and hottest) destination.
The cost of goods and services may be a fraction above the national average in Cresaptown (2% to be exact), but the low, low property prices bring it back into the game. Buy a decently sized family home in this neck of the woods, and you can expect to pay a full $50,000 less than you would in most other cities in the US.
2. Potomac Heights
According to Niche, you'll struggle to find many places in Maryland that match up to Potomac Heights when it comes to affordability. So cheap is it, they've even gone so far as to name it the cheapest suburb in the entire state. Why? For a start, the cost of public transportation, goods and services, and health care are low enough to suit even the strictest of budgets. And then there are the property prices. While most single-family homes in the US will set you back $184,700, the equivalent here will cost you a comparatively meager $78,800. Not bad when you consider most people are pulling in a respectable $55,313 household income.
Want cheap? Then you want Cumberland. Area Vibe's number one cheapest place to live in Maryland is the kind of place that practically pays you to live there (although considering the less than reputable state of its crime records, public school system, and general 'livability', it may soon have to). Housing prices are a full 45% lower than the national average, while the cost of living is 15% lower. Income tax, meanwhile, is 19% lower than the national average. Whichever way you look at it, the message is clear. If you want to live on a shoestring budget, Cumberland's your town.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn