Post # 1
This one goes out to the DC metro bees… This year hubby and I are moving to MD, we’ve both lived in the DC metro area before, but when we buy a house we want to make sure we’re in a good school district so we can settle in and start a family there. Since I never really paid attention to the public school systems down there- can anyone send me some info on the best public school districts/schools? Right now our number 1 choice is Bethesda/Chevy Chase followed by Gaithersburg. Thanks!
Post # 3
montogomery county is supposed to be really good, but you pay for it with high property taxes. a lot of people i know moved to upper dc (shepard park area) and sent their kids to private school, because tuition was cheaper than montgomery county property taxes.
please share what you find out!
Post # 4
Interesting.. thanks, Kitzy! Im so new to this home buying/school district thing- Ill have to check out the taxes too. I come from NY where prop/school taxes are outrageous, so I was expecting something similar. Ill look into it a little more and post what I find out. Thanks!
Post # 5
My husband grew up in Potomac, MD. I agree with kitzy – Montgomery County schools are well ranked, and you have to pay for that in the property. Most 4 bed houses go for 900k to 1mil+.
If we were to move to DC metro area, I don’t know if I would choose to raise kids in that district (Churchill/Whitman/Wootton are the best ranked). I would worry a bit about my kids being too conscious of $$, or under too much pressure academically. We often talk about where we would raise kids in the DC area, but have not come to any conclusions.
The Montgomery County schools are very competitive academically. I must admit that I was unduly influenced after reading Alexandra Robbins’ book, The Overachievers. http://www.amazon.com/Overachievers-Secret-Lives-Driven-Kids/dp/1401302017
Post # 6
yes, montgomery county is the best place school-wise; however, bethesda is probably the priciest place to live. we just bought a house in Silver Spring – half a mile outside the beltway, 2 miles to the DC line. it far more reasonable in this area and the schools are still cool. we did look in chevy chase/bethesda during our search and we couldn’t find anything other the 2 bedroom condos for under 600K. meanwhile we got out 4 bed/4bath HOUSE in silver spring for under 600K.
and the taxes in DC are insane!! i definitely would not choose to live there simply to avoid montgomery county taxes. VA is lowest (maybe 5.75%) then MD (6.5% i think) and then DC (like 9%). don’t quote me on any of those numbers, but DC is definitely highest. And personally working in charter schools in DC, i would not want to send my kids there.
Post # 7
I grew up in Maryland. I suggest you consider Anne Arundel County. Severna Park and Arnold (Broadneck) have wonderful schools. You could probably find a home a bit cheaper there than in the immediate DC/Metro area (i.e. Montgomery County, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, etc.).
Post # 8
I went to school in Montgomery County and they are some of the best in the state (and country) but Howard County also has a really good school system. Columbia might be cheaper and its still not too bad of a commute to DC. I grew up in Olney, MD which is about 10-15 minutes from Silver Spring. You should look in Rockville – there are cheaper houses there and still good schools. Silver spring is also a good area with more reasonable house prices. Gaithersburg isnt too bad either. Chevy Chase and Bethesda are VERY expensive! Good luck on the house hunt 🙂
Post # 9
Howard County schools are also up there with MoCo. I grew up in Ellicott City, and went to school there. I would say that I was better prepared for college than most of the people I went to college with (who went to school in other counties/states). I think that Howard county is a good option if you are looking for reasonably priced homes as well as good schools. Good luck with the house hunt!!
Post # 10
I wanted to just chime in and say that Howard County schools are also good. Anne Arundel County can be touch and go. My brother is currently thinking of moving from AA County to Howard for a better high school for my niece (she’s in 6th grade). He was pleased with the elementary school options but the area has grown so much that the schools cannot keep up with the influx of families.
I live in DC and I don’t find the property taxes to be insane. But, as a disclaimer, I am from NJ which is the state with the highest property taxes so I may be a little off in my interpretation of “insane.” Just for an idea, I pay about $1600 a year for my condo in DC vs. the $5000 my sister pays for hers in NJ.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We live in Howard County and I could not be happier with DS’s school. Look at http://www.greatschools.com for school reviews and rankings. It is a great website. As a reference (since we are currently house hunting and this is super fresh in my brain), we are currently considering a 4 bedroom, 3000 sq foot house on a .25 acre lot in Columbia for $415,000. Property takes for this house are $5200 a year and HOA fees are $933 a year. We think that is a darn good deal, and DS would be able to stay in the middle school that he likes (and honestly, how many middle schoolers actually like their school???). If you want to look into south county (e.g. Fulton) you can expect to pay about $675k for a similar hoiuse, and if you go north to Ellicott City, the price is about $525k for a similar house. All of Howard county has commuter bus lines. Mr. LK takes the bus from Columbia to Foggy Bottom every day. His typical commute is about 1:45 each way. That part sucks, but we will not consider changing when DS is so happy where we are at.
Post # 12
I would never commute 1.45 hours to work – my goodness. We live in DC and are considering Chevy Chase – the area near East West Highway. We like Silver Spring, but the schools are not that great. Montgomery County is HUGE so I would check the specific schools, not just the district.
Virgnia might have lower property taxes (I think it depends on your county) but they also have a state-wide excise tax. That is something to consider.