25 of the Cheapest Places to Live in Maryland

Featured

Written by:

With its quaint small towns, proximity to big cities like Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, and miles of beautiful coastline along the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Maryland has a lot to offer. There’s something for almost everyone in this small state.

Maryland has been dubbed “America in Miniature” because it encompasses so much diversity in just 10,460 square miles. While the eastern part of the state draws those who want to live near the water and also provides access to jobs in Washington and Baltimore, the western side has mountains, forests, historic sites, and charming villages.

While families, young adults, and retirees will find plenty to like about Maryland, the state is an expensive place to live. The cost of living in Maryland is more than 11% higher than the U.S. average, and housing prices, especially in areas near the District of Columbia, can be steep.

Fortunately, there are bargains to be found in the state if you know where to look. This guide will help you uncover some of the best affordable places to live in Maryland.

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/istockphoto.

Best Places to Live in Maryland

Choosing the best places to live in Maryland depends on what you’re looking for. If you need proximity to a big city, you’ll likely want to concentrate your search on towns and suburban areas within commuting distance of D.C. or Baltimore. For more of a rural feel and a slower pace, the western part of the state or the Eastern Shore region may be more attractive to you.

Because living in Maryland can be expensive, if you’re deciding between the Old Line State and other locations in the mid-Atlantic region, you may want to check out the cost of living by state to see what makes the most sense for you.

Image Credit: Sofi.

Best Affordable Places to Live in Maryland

While the home values in Maryland are high overall, there are towns and cities throughout the state that are more budget-friendly. Here are the five best affordable places to live in Maryland.

1. Hagerstown

Located in the western part of the state, Hagerstown has become a popular place to live, thanks to its affordability, scenic location near the Appalachian Trail, and numerous outdoor and indoor things to do. The city’s downtown boasts a vibrant arts and entertainment district that includes the historic Maryland Theatre, art galleries, museums, and restaurants. For nature lovers, in addition to the Appalachians, there are more than a dozen parks in the area. Hagerstown sits near major highways, making it easy to get to Washington, D.C. or Baltimore in less than 90 minutes.

  • Population: 43,701
  • Median Household Income: $42,965
  • Cost of Living: 91% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,250
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 6.1
  • Average Property Tax: 1.05%

Housing Affordability: The average home value in Hagerstown is $262,241, well below the national average and significantly less than the average home value in Maryland, which is $405,031. The housing market is heating up here, though, with prices increasing 5.6% over the past year. Homes in certain neighborhoods of the city are more affordable, so those who are hunting for a home, including first-time homebuyers, may want to explore a variety of areas in Hagerstown.

Another option is to rent. The median rent in Hagerstown is $1,250, which is 41% less than the national median, and the rental market is cool, meaning it could be a good time to look.

Image Credit: Darren Welch/istockphoto.

2. Salisbury

The largest city on the Eastern Shore, Salisbury has an urban vibe in the middle of the rural area where it’s located, giving it a best of both worlds appeal. The home of Salisbury University, the city has a dynamic culture and arts scene with galleries, theaters, and performance spaces, along with a symphony orchestra. Perched on the Wicomico River, Salisbury has a scenic Riverwalk and several parks, as well as boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. Many beautiful beaches are just minutes away, including those of Ocean City and Assateague Island.

  • Population: 33,209
  • Median Household Income: $48,310
  • Cost of Living: 93% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,600
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 5.6
  • Average Property Tax: 1.02%

Housing Affordability: The housing costs here are affordable compared to many other cities in Maryland. Rents are up year-over year, but they’re still 20% lower than the national median, and there are available rentals to choose from. The average home value is $241,124, far lower than the state’s average and less than the U.S. average. Home prices are on the rise, however, and properties tend to move quickly.

Image Credit: Elisarose/istockphoto.

3. Havre de Grace

This charming city sits along the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Susquehanna River, about 40 miles north of Baltimore. The downtown area is filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and there’s a boardwalk and promenade that runs from the Concord Point Lighthouse to the city’s yacht basin. Boating and water sports are popular here, and there are numerous marinas as well as museums dedicated to the area’s rich maritime history. The city has a busy schedule of fairs and festivals, and residents say there’s always something to do.

  • Population: 14,996
  • Median Household Income: $86,576
  • Cost of Living: 96% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,300
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.37
  • Average Property Tax: 1.02%

Housing Affordability: The average home value in Havre de Grace is $378,713, which is well below the average home price in Maryland, but it’s on the rise. The rental market is hot and there aren’t many rental properties available, so buying may be a better option for those who are looking. Because the area is in demand, it could be helpful to study up on some of the tips to qualify for a mortgage so you can move quickly once you find a home that fits your budget.

Image Credit: John Ward/istockphoto.

4. Easton

This lovely colonial town on the Eastern Shore is filled with historic buildings, antique shops, art galleries, museums, and farm-to-table restaurants. There’s a lively performing arts scene here, and a strong feeling of community. Residents enjoy the annual Waterfowl Festival that supports wildlife conservation and the wintertime Fire and Ice Festival with its many events and programs. Easton is about 40 miles east of Annapolis and an hour and a half from Washington, D.C .— close enough for day trips.

  • Population: 17,342
  • Median Household Income: $72,771
  • Cost of Living: 98% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,225
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 5.65
  • Average Property Tax: 0.99%

Housing Affordability: At $411,437, the average home value in Easton is slightly above the state’s average. Prices are up 3.5% over the previous year, which seems to indicate the town’s desirability. There are some affordable options to be found in different neighborhoods here, so buyers will want to explore all their options.

Image Credit: Grandbrothers/istockphoto.

5. Aberdeen

Just 30 minutes northeast of Baltimore, Aberdeen, with its local shops and restaurants, offers a small town feel with easy access to the city via car or the commuter railroad. Many state parks are nearby for hiking and biking, and you can visit Kilgore Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Maryland. Sports lovers will enjoy minor league baseball games at Ripken Stadium (famous Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr. grew up here) and visits to the Ripken Museum to learn about the baseball heritage of the Ripken family.

  • Population: 16,859
  • Median Household Income: $70,885
  • Cost of Living: 99% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,507
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.45
  • Average Property Tax: 1.02%

Housing Affordability: The average home value in Aberdeen is up almost 5%, but still, at $315,592, it’s well below the average home price in Maryland. For buyers who are actively searching, there are some even more affordable options to be found. The rental market is hot here, and prices are on the rise, so those considering renting in a tight market may want to get in sooner rather than later.

Image Credit: felixmizioznikov/istockphoto.

Best Places to Live in Maryland for Families

There are many family-oriented communities to choose from in Maryland. This list zeroes in on towns and cities that offer affordability along with entertainment activities, shops, and restaurants; recreation areas for outdoor family fun; and easy access to the city for work and pleasure.

Here are some of the best places to live in Maryland for families.

1. White Marsh

This suburb of Baltimore has plenty of amenities to make the entire family happy. There are shopping centers and a big mall, as well as restaurants serving up everything from burgers and pizza to Mexican and Chinese. Recreational activities include hiking and biking in one of the local parks, tossing tennis balls to Fido at the dog park, and sports like soccer and baseball. Indoor fun for kids includes crafting events and story time at the local library. Parents may be drawn by the area’s above average public schools and the public transportation options, including trains and buses for the commute to Baltimore.

  • Population: 9,663
  • Median Household Income: $98,003
  • Cost of Living: 104.5% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $3,200
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 5.34
  • Average Property Tax: 1.26%

Housing Affordability: Most families in White Marsh own their own homes. The average home value is $524,218, up 2.6% from the year before. There are more budget-friendly neighborhoods in the area, so prospective buyers may want to expand their search.

Those hoping to rent will likely find it challenging here. White Marsh rents are 58% higher than the national median, the rental market is warm, the inventory of available rentals is low. Other towns in the Baltimore metro area may be a better option.

Image Credit: Wirestock/istockphoto.

2. Clarksburg

Families will feel right at home in Clarksburg. This vibrant town is full of families with children, so there are plenty of opportunities for playdates, and parents appreciate the area’s excellent public schools. Clarksburg has numerous restaurants and shopping centers to keep your clan entertained, as well as outdoor adventures, such as fishing in nearby Seneca Lake. And when you want to make a visit to the nation’s capital, it’s just a 45-minute drive away.

  • Population: 27,354
  • Median Household Income: $152,917
  • Cost of Living: 105% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,995
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.03
  • Average Property Tax: 0.99%

Housing Affordability: The rental market in Clarksburg is cool, and the median renters prices are high. Most families own rather than rent here. But buyers will need to be prepared to spend: The average home value in the town is $617,126, and that’s up slightly from the previous year. If you’re looking to buy a house in Clarksburg, you may want to explore financing options such as jumbo mortgage loans.

Image Credit: Grandbrothers/istockphoto.

3. Owings Mills

Families have recently been gravitating to this growing town with its proximity to Baltimore. It’s easy to see why: There are numerous restaurants and movie theaters, a big shopping mall, and The Foundry Row outdoor shopping complex. Outdoor adventures include hiking, biking, and fishing in the area’s many parks. Parents may be drawn to the solid public and private schools, as well as the potential job opportunities. There are numerous employers in the area, including the Baltimore Ravens, the Social Security Administration, and T. Rowe Price. And for those who work elsewhere, there are commuter trains to Baltimore and even Washington, D.C.

  • Population: 35,170
  • Median Household Income: $87,376
  • Cost of Living: 105% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,185
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.28
  • Average Property Tax: 1.26%

Housing Affordability: Owings Mills’ average home value of $374,825 may be one of its attractions. While home prices are up just over 2% from the year before, they’re still well below the median home value in Maryland. Plus, there are a number of townhouses in the area, which tend to be less expensive than single family homes. Prospective renters will find the rental market to be warm, with rent prices that have been on the rise since last year.

Image Credit: Amy Sparwasser/istockphoto.

4. Bel Air

Bel Air is known for its friendly, small-town vibe. The town’s quaint Main Street is filled with boutique shops and restaurants, and there are plenty of parks, playgrounds, ballfields, and trails for hiking and biking. Family-focused events and activities include the local Kite Festival and the community’s 4th of July Pancake Breakfast. Plus, parents appreciate the area’s highly rated schools.

  • Population: 10,596
  • Median Household Income: $64,036
  • Cost of Living: 106% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,700
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 6.77
  • Average Property Tax: 1.02%

Housing Affordability: The average home value in Bel Air is $433,796, up 4.8% from the previous year. But there are some bargains here, depending on what neighborhood you’re looking in. One thing that may make you more nimble when you’re ready to buy: going through the mortgage preapproval process.

If you’d rather rent in Bel Air, the timing could be good. The price of Bel Air rentals has dropped over the past year, the market is cool, and there are available rental properties to choose from.

Image Credit: wikipedia.

5. Glen Burnie

Another suburb of Baltimore, Glen Burnie is a bustling community filled with shopping centers, restaurants, entertainment venues, and parks, including Patapsco State Park along the Patapsco River, which offers hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and biking. Parents are drawn to the area’s highly regarded school system, and families can enjoy the many local events and festivals. Glen Burnie’s central location and regional transit system makes it easy to commute to Baltimore, Washington, D.C.

  • Population: 69,739
  • Median Household Income: $80,458
  • Cost of Living: 107% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,750
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.49
  • Average Property Tax: 0.97%

Housing Affordability: The average home price in Glen Burnie is $361,980, which is up 3.5% from the prior year, and the housing market is competitive. Homes move briskly here.

For those interested in renting, the timing may be right. The rental price has remained the same in Glen Burnie and the market is cool with rentals available.

Image Credit: Ayodeji Afolabi/istockphoto.

Best Places to Live in Maryland for Young Adults

Maryland is a popular place for young professionals, especially those who work — or are hoping to work — in Baltimore or Washington, D.C. and are looking for an affordable place to live that offers entertainment, recreation, and plenty of people their own age. These are some best places in Maryland for young adults.

1. Towson

Located in Baltimore County, Towson is an appealing mix of urban and suburban. It has a vibrant downtown with shops, restaurants, and bars for entertainment and nightlife. The city is home to Towson University, and the biggest percentage of the city’s population (35%) is between the ages of 18 and 34. That means young adults have plenty of opportunities to meet and socialize with their peers.

  • Population: 59,014
  • Median Household Income: $93,435
  • Cost of Living: 106% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: 1,935
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.7
  • Average Property Tax: 1.26%

Housing Affordability: The median rental price in Towson has dropped and the market is cool. There are rentals available, including townhouses and apartments, so there’s opportunity for renters here. For those interested in buying, Towson’s median home value is pricey at $439,437, but the town’s high household income helps keep the home price-to-income ratio reasonable.

Image Credit: Jon Bilous/istockphoto.

2. Lutherville

This charming town nestled in rolling hills north of Baltimore is a haven for nature lovers. Residents tend to be active, taking advantage of the many nearby parks for hiking, running, walking, and kayaking. The town’s recreation council offers sports and activities for all ages, which can be a great way for young adults to meet people. Lutherville has many good restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries to enjoy, and its proximity to Baltimore makes it a nice option for those who work in the city but want the feel of a smaller town.

  • Population: 6,755
  • Median Household Income: $129,567
  • Cost of Living: 106% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,400
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 3.64
  • Average Property Tax: 1.26%

Housing Affordability: Lutherville is not inexpensive, but those who can afford to buy or rent here may be able to find some bargains. While the rental market is warm, the median rent price is down from last year. Lutherville’s median home value is $471,922, which is up 2.5% from a year ago, but there are properties available for less. Prospective buyers may want to consider the different types of mortgage loans to see what’s the best option for them.

Image Credit: ReDunnLev/istockphoto.

3. Cockeysville

This suburb of Baltimore is home to many young professionals. It has a vibrant downtown filled with restaurants and bars for meeting friends after work, and numerous shops to explore. Another draw: Hunt Valley Towne Center, a large outdoor mall with more than 50 stores and restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate nearby Oregon Ridge Park and Loch Haven Reservoir for hiking and exploring. Public transportation makes it easy to commute from Cockeysville to the city, which is just 20 miles away.

  • Population: 23,803
  • Median Household Income: $74,112
  • Cost of Living: 109% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: 1,750
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 6.28
  • Average Property Tax: 1.26%

Housing Affordability: You’ll find a mix of single family homes and rentals in Cockeysville. The median home price is $465,671, which is up 2.3% from the prior year. Rental prices are lower than in some other nearby areas, however, which may explain why the rental market here is warm.

Image Credit: AppalachianViews/istockphoto.

4. Derwood

Young professionals working in D.C. may find a lot to like in Derwood, one of the city’s more affordable suburbs. The area has a friendly, suburban feel, and there are a number of parks, including Lake Needwood for hiking and kayaking. The area’s restaurants and bars provide ample opportunities for enjoying a bite or a night out with friends. Public transportation via the metro makes it quick and convenient to commute to D.C.

  • Population: 1,700
  • Median Household Income: $71,471
  • Cost of Living: 111% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,650
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 8.2
  • Average Property Tax: 0.99%

Housing Affordability: Because of its proximity to D.C. the housing market is competitive in Derwood. The median home value is $589,258, up from last year. Renting may be a better option for some young adults: Rental prices are down somewhat, and the market is cool.

Image Credit: rpernell/istockphoto.

5. Gaithersburg

This city is fairly close to the nation’s capital (the daily commute is about 45 minutes), but it provides a more relaxed lifestyle. There’s plenty to keep young adults entertained in their off hours, including numerous restaurants, breweries, and pubs. For fun outdoor activities, they can head to Bohrer Park where there’s a miniature golf course and a water park, or Seneca Lake Park for boating, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.

  • Population: 68,952
  • Median Household Income: $98,089
  • Cost of Living: 113% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,380
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 5.07
  • Average Property Tax: 0.99%

Housing Affordability: With a median home value of $497,643, Gaithersburg is more affordable than many other D.C. suburbs. And while the median rental price is up slightly from the year before, the market is cool and rentals are available.

Image Credit: AppalachianViews/istockphoto.

Best Places to Live in Maryland for Retirees

For retirees who can afford Maryland’s higher prices and cost of living, the state offers perks. Maryland is a scenic state with easy access to the beach and the mountains, as well as to cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C. for culture, arts, and entertainment. Also, social security benefits are not taxed in Maryland. However, other retirement income is taxed by the state, so individuals will need to consider their specific financial situation.

1. Easton

This charming town, which is also one of our best affordable places to live in Maryland overall, is popular with retirees. The strong sense of community, walkable town center with its abundance of shops and restaurants, and a thriving arts and cultural scene, are a major draw. All that plus Easton’s relatively close proximity to Annapolis and Washington D.C. may help explain why approximately 37% of the town’s residents are over age 55.

  • Population: 17,342
  • Median Household Income: $72,771
  • Cost of Living: 98% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,225
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 5.65
  • Average Property Tax: 0.99%

Housing Affordability: Home values in Easton are on the rise, and most residents own their own home. Searching some of the area’s different sections and neighborhoods may help retirees find lower price living options. In addition, there are several retirement communities to choose from.

Image Credit: Grandbrothers/istockphoto.

2. Pikesville

This northwestern suburb of Baltimore has a large population of retirees. It has a welcoming, small town feel, and it’s close to Baltimore for healthcare needs (Johns Hopkins is there), cultural activities, and entertainment. Pikesville also has public transportation: Residents can take advantage of the Metro to zip into the city. The town itself is filled with shops and restaurants, and there are lots of parks and walking trails.

  • Population: 33,549
  • Median Household Income: $90,748
  • Cost of Living: 100% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,831
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 3.48
  • Average Property Tax: 1.26%

Housing Affordability: Pikesville has a mix of single family homes, condominiums, apartments, and 55-plus communities. Rental prices are fairly affordable, and the market is cool. The average home value is $316,294, which is lower than the average home price in Maryland.

Image Credit: Mindaugas Dulinskas/istockphoto.

3. Ocean City

This vibrant beachside city, with its gorgeous ocean views and lively boardwalk, makes for an active yet relaxing retirement. Residents can walk for miles along the beach, enjoy water sports like fishing and boating, or bike along the boardwalk. The city has a mix of eclectic restaurants and shops, performing arts, and festivals. And while it’s busy during the summer months, the vibe is relaxed and laid-back the rest of the year. The word seems to be out among the senior set: 43% of Ocean City’s population is over age 55.

  • Population: 6,915
  • Median Household Income: $58,563
  • Cost of Living: 101% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,500
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 7.67
  • Average Property Tax: 0.81%

Housing Affordability: With a median home price of $449,563, buying a home is a little costlier here than the state’s average home value, and prices have risen 3.8% from the year before. However, rentals are affordable, especially for a shore community, and the median rent price is down from last year. For those looking for 55-plus communities, there are a number to choose from.

Image Credit: Eliyahu Parypa/istockphoto.

4. Frederick

Located in western Maryland, about 40 miles from Washington, D.C., Frederick is a picturesque city with a walkable, well-preserved historic district, boutique shops, and farm-to-table restaurants. The city has a busy senior community with clubs and events that offer plenty of opportunities for socializing. For those who like to stay active, there are a number of state parks and forests nearby, and trails for hiking and biking. History buffs will enjoy exploring the area’s Civil War history.

  • Population: 82,175
  • Median Household Income: $82,563
  • Cost of Living: 105 % of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,250
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 5.27
  • Average Property Tax: 1.18%

Housing Affordability: The median home value in Frederick is $435,451, which is up 3.9%, but still, the city is more affordable than many other areas near D.C. The rental price here is dropping and the market is cool. There are also dozens of senior living communities near Frederick.

Image Credit: Grandbrothers/istockphoto.

5. Brunswick

This small town situated along the Potomac River in western Maryland is known for its friendliness, sense of community, and affordability. It has a bustling downtown area with shops, restaurants, and art galleries, and many nearby parks for hiking, biking, and fishing. Perhaps those attributes help explain why it’s popular with retirees — there are more than 20 senior living communities in the area.

  • Population: 8,211
  • Median Household Income: $96,695
  • Cost of Living: 113.7 % of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,600
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 3.71
  • Average Property Tax: 1.18%

Housing Affordability: The median home value in Brunswick is $359,335 — significantly less than the average home price in Maryland. While rental prices are down, the market is warm, so buying may be a better option for seniors who have the budget for it. Visiting a home loan help center may help them learn more about their mortgage options.

Image Credit: Jon Bilous/istockphoto.

Best Places to Live in Maryland Near the Water

With 3,100 miles of shoreline, Maryland is full of coastal communities. In addition to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, there are almost 50 rivers in the state, including the Potomac and the Susquehanna. Those interested in living by the water have many options to choose from.

1. Cambridge

This charming and affordable Eastern Shore town is on the Choptank River near the Chesapeake. Cambridge has a number of marinas and town docks, making it a great home base for those who enjoy boating and fishing. Nature lovers will appreciate the area’s parks and walking trails, as well as the nearby Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The bustling and historic downtown is filled with art galleries, museums, and boutique shops, plus restaurants, bars, and breweries for a night out.

  • Population: 13,129
  • Median Household Income: $40,094
  • Cost of Living: 88% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,500
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 6.0
  • Average Property Tax: 1.07%

Housing Affordability: The median home value in Cambridge is $241,681, significantly below the average home price in Maryland. The housing market is heating up, however, so this may be a good time to get in. Renting is also affordable: Rental prices are down, and the market is cool.

Image Credit: Melissa Kopka/istockphoto.

Havre de Grace

This lovely city, making its second appearance on this list, revolves around the water. Its prime spot along the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Susquehanna River gives residents glorious bayside and riverside views. The town is a draw for boaters, and there are numerous marinas throughout the area. When residents aren’t sailing, paddling, or motorboating on the waterways, they can stroll along the city’s boardwalk and promenade, stopping for lunch or dinner at one of the plentiful restaurants or shopping in the boutiques.

  • Population: 14,996
  • Median Household Income: $86,576
  • Cost of Living: 196% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,300
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 4.37
  • Average Property Tax: 1.02%

Housing Affordability: The average home value in Havre de Grace is $378,713, which is well below the average home price in Maryland, but it’s up 4.5% from the prior year. The rental market here is hot, and there aren’t many rental properties available.

Image Credit: Jon Bilous/istockphoto.

3. Chestertown

Located on the Chester River, which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, this quaint historic town is beloved by locals for its friendliness and peaceful atmosphere. The downtown has brick sidewalks lined with shops, art galleries, and restaurants, and a promenade runs along the river for relaxing strolls. The town holds many events, including parades and community breakfasts, and there a number of festivals throughout the year. Boating, fishing, and swimming are popular pastimes here.

  • Population: 5,563
  • Median Household Income: $44,655
  • Cost of Living: 97% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $4,500
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 7.7
  • Average Property Tax: 1.1%

Housing Affordability: There are numerous properties along the river in Chestertown, including waterfront condos, cottages, and bungalows. The median home value is $345,598, making the town relatively affordable for buyers. Renting can be more difficult: Rental prices are very high, and available rentals are tough to come by.

Image Credit: NORRIE3699/istockphoto.

4. Ocean City

This coastal city boasts 10 miles of beautiful public beaches from which you can swim, surf, fish, or kayak. The boardwalk pulses with life in the summer, and then quiets considerably the rest of the year, when locals can enjoy the shops and restaurants without the crowds. There are also parks for hiking, biking, and bird watching.

  • Population: 6,915
  • Median Household Income: $58,563
  • Cost of Living: 101% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $1,500
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 7.67
  • Average Property Tax: 0.81%

Housing Affordability: Ocean City offers a mix of seaside condos, Victorian houses near the downtown area, and single family homes. Buying a home is a little costlier here than the state’s average home value, and prices have risen 3.8% from the year before. However, the median rent price has dropped, and rentals are available.

Image Credit: Eliyahu Parypa/istockphoto.

5. Annapolis

The state capital, Annapolis is a dynamic and scenic city on the Severn River at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay that’s very popular for boating and water sports. This vibrant community is a mix of old and new: It’s filled with boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, and restaurants. The quaint downtown area has cobblestone streets and buildings dating back to the 1700s. The city also has a rich maritime history, and it’s home to the U.S. Naval Academy.

  • Population: 40,648
  • Median Household Income: $92,026
  • Cost of Living: 122% of U.S. average
  • Median Rent Price: $2,400
  • Home Price-to-Income Ratio: 6.19
  • Average Property Tax: 0.97%

Housing Affordability: In Annapolis, buyers and renters can choose from single family homes, townhouses, and condos. The housing market is hot here, but it’s still relatively affordable for a waterfront city. The median home price in Annapolis is $570,077, which is up 3.2% over the previous years, and rental prices are also up slightly.

Image Credit: Wirestock/istockphoto.

The Takeaway

Living in Maryland can be expensive, but there are some affordable options for both buyers and renters in cities and towns across the state. Families, young adults, and retirees will find everything from vibrant cities and suburbs to charming coastal hamlets to suit their budgets and lifestyle.

This article originally appeared on SoFi.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891  Opens A New Window.(Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice. Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Image Credit: Wirestock/istockphoto.

More from MediaFeed

25 Cheapest Places to Live in Arizona

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/istockphoto.

AlertMe