• Sarah Lipkowitz

The Cost Of Living In Maryland

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

There are a lot of things to love about living in Maryland, but I feel it’s time to talk about one of the drawbacks of life in the Old Line State. Maryland is notoriously one of the most expensive states in the country. There certainly are neighborhoods that are far more affordable than others, but the closer you get to D.C., the more expensive things become. You will find that Maryland does not top every list when we break down the elements that go into cost of living. In fact, there are a few areas where Maryland does quite well when compared to the national average. It is also important to note that Maryland frequently ranks #1 for income. In 2017, the median income in Maryland was $80,776.00 with more than one in ten Marylanders working in the public administration sector.

Housing. According to Zillow, Maryland’s median value of homes currently listed is $319,900.00. Granted, I am writing in the midst of a pandemic and it may surprise you to find that the market is very hot right now. Sellers are seeing dozens of showings in a weekend and multiple offers above list price. In fact, one of my clients’ homes sold sight unseen before it even hit the market. As I said, there are definitely pockets where homes are more affordable. For example, Baltimore’s median home value currently sits at $154,900.00 whereas Montgomery County (just outside D.C.) has a median home value of $480,378.00 at present.

Utilities. When it comes to energy costs, Maryland could do worse. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Maryland is .45% less expensive than the national average for residential electricity, but 11.7% more expensive for natural gas. WalletHub ranks Maryland 17th most expensive for energy costs with an average monthly cost of $284.00 which includes electricity, natural gas, motor fuel, and home heating oil costs.

Groceries. Maryland really does quite well here. While our neighbors in D.C. spend an average of $4,577.00 on groceries each year, Marylanders spend somewhere between $2,801.00 and $3,200 annually. Not too bad, actually.

Internet. This is another category that sees Maryland at the top, but in a good way. BroadbandNow ranks Maryland #3 in terms of internet coverage, speed, and price access. Maryland also has the fastest internet with an average of 196 Mbps.

Taxes. Ok, so you might hear people complain about taxes in Maryland, but we actually don’t rank in the top 10 in terms of tax burden…we rank 11th, so there! WalletHub ranked states from high to low on tax burden based not only on property tax, but also income tax, sales tax, and excise tax. The total tax burden is 9.34% in Maryland compared to 12.28% in New York and 5.16% in Alaska. It’s not great, but it’s also not terrible. Maryland is ranked #31 for property taxes and #39 for sales and excise taxes. It is the state income tax that puts us at an overall ranking of #11 with a tax burden of 3.91% which is only exceeded by New York and Oregon.

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