Author Topic: I work in high cost state (MD), not so great area...need housing advice  (Read 3509 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Hi, I just signed up and would really like your insights into how to solve the problem of getting good housing for less than an arm and a leg in a very expensive state (MD). 

I work in Maryland in a not so great area (Woodlawn). Housing is very expensive  - the closer I get to work either the more expensive it gets (some one bedroom apartments in decent area/apt go for $1K + per month) or the worse the area is. I'd like to use my car less but have looked into bus routes in decent areas but they'd typically take me at least an hour and 1/2 one way to get to work to live in a decent area (Timonium, even Pikesville) and if the area isn't safe I don't want to bike. I've looked into staying with niece in her basement but she has a growing family so that's not an option plus she lives about 45 min away from work. It's frustrating to basically burn money each money (I don't want to be tied down to buying a house) for a living space that is far more than I currently need in an apt. and I'm not materialistic, not into "stuff" (I work from home several days a week and I'm currently living in PA so my commute is a problem so I want to move). Anyone experienced any similar problems in Maryland or have any suggestions (Maryland doesn't seem to be friendly to alternative housing, a lot of zoning, etc. and no inexpensive land).  I may be overlooking some things so hopefully your expertise will help. thanks


  • Magnum Stache
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Consider a roommate in a less-than-ideal location?

Cut down costs long enough to save a downpayment for something nicer?

Not sure, man! Tough situation.


  • Bristles
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Have you looked a bit east in the Johns Hopkins/Loyola area? Proximity to the universities keeps the area decent and there is a lot of "cheaper" student apartment type options.

Anywhere from 6-8 miles, though, and the public transport options (as typical of B-more) are terrible.

I hate a commute, so I'd probably start right next to your job and pick the nearest park, hospital, or shopping center that is an island of relative safety to find an apartment around.


  • Bristles
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When I lived in the Baltimore area I lived in Sparks. My 1 bedroom was slightly under 1k/month excluding utilities (but I was able to walk to work!)

I know you're trying to use your car less but Lower Cockeysville/Timonium had decent 1 bedrooms for ~$750-800/month, get a 2 bedroom for ~900-1100 and split it with a roommate?

Towson attracts a lot of college-age housing due to the University and other Universities in the area. If you don't mind being a little cozy I'm sure you could shack up with some grad students in a smaller place, hoping they put most of their late night party days behind them.

Realistically the drive from say Timonium is ~20-25 minutes if the beltway decides to be nice.

If you work from home several days a week, I don't see any reason you couldn't continue to do that even though you live within a half hour drive instead of coming all the way from PA.

It's not an ideal situation where you could bike, but you'd still come out ahead I'd bet.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Before we moved in together, my fiancÚ was renting a room in someones house in Columbia for $600/month. Have you tried looking for something along those lines?


  • Stubble
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How's SSA or CMS treating you? :)

I'd look in Catonsville...or perhaps a room in a house in Ellicott City or Columbia.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Hey fellow Mustachians, Thanks for all of the great advice I really appreciate it, hopefully I'll be able to help you guys out whenever you need it on here. thanks again

Nathan Drake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I also recommend trying to find a house share situation.  I also live in Maryland.  I did the house share thing for 2 years while getting a boost on savings until about 5 months ago when I decided to move into a luxury apt at $1775/month including utilities 10 min from work (still have to drive though).