homes along a street in maryland

Most Affordable Places to Live in Maryland

Moving to Maryland? The Old Line State is a great place to live on the East Coast, but it’s also one of the most expensive states to live in, so you’ll need to choose your new home wisely. The state’s median home price is around $311,221. with median monthly rent prices around $1,700—and the closer you get to Baltimore and Washington, DC, the more expensive the housing will get. That said, there are still plenty of cities that provide close proximity to these big cities, job opportunities, budget-friendly housing, and safe neighborhoods. Check out these six affordable places to live in Maryland!

  • Arbutus
  • Bel Air
  • Brunswick
  • Easton
  • Glenarden
  • White Marsh

Arbutus

photo of patapsco valley state park trail in arbutus maryland during the fall photo by Instagram user @kbowman0217
Photo via @kbowman0217
  • Population: 21,455
  • Home Price: $225,900 median purchase price; $1,105 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of cities in the U.S.
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%

Want to live near Baltimore? Consider Arbutus! Located 15 minutes outside of the city, this Baltimore suburb is the perfect getaway for anyone wanting to live in a quiet area while still having access to big city amenities. Home to the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Arbutus is particularly popular among students and young professionals, but families also love this Maryland city for its affordable housing and outdoor recreation spots like Patapsco Valley State Park.

Things to Do in Arbutus

Venture over to the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus to catch the UMBC Retrievers playing at the UMBC Event Center. Visit The Arbutus Oak, a 300-year-old oak tree that’s been standing since before the American Revolution. Take a tour of the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, which is the only Guinness brewery in the U.S. and the primary brewer of Guinness Blonde. Enjoy a slice of The Meal Buster or Chicken Fajita Pizza at Pizza Boli’s. Head to the Fish Head Cantina for a Crab Cake Sandwich or Blackened Shrimp. Enjoy a waffle cone filled with Mint Chip or Cookies ‘N Cream flavors from The Ice Cream Cottage. Or try a Rip Currant Ale or Peg Leg Stout at Heavy Seas Brewery.

Bel Air

bel air armory in bel air maryland photo by Instagram user @visitmaryland
Photo via @visitmaryland
  • Population: 10,211
  • Home Price: $241,700 median purchase price; $1,110 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 38% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%

Not only is Bel Air one of the most affordable places to live in Maryland, but it’s also one of the best Baltimore suburbs for families! The city is home to top-rated schools like Southampton Middle School, Bel Air High School, and The John Carroll School and offers a wide range of family-friendly community events like the Belle Aire Market and Bel Air Christmas Parade. In addition, Bel Air has several public parks available for residents, including Plumtree Park, Rockfield Park, and Shamrock Park!

Things to Do in Bel Air

Catch concerts, attend local festivals, and shop at the marketplace at Bel Air Armory. Go for a run or take your dog for a walk along the MA & PA Heritage Trail. Shop at stores like Macy’s, Zales, and American Eagle at Harford Mall. Buy local produce at the Bel Air Farmers Market, which is open every year from April to December. Sample everything from Cabernets to Zinfandels at the Harford County Wine Festival. Order Maryland Crab Cakes or Seafood Risotto at Steelefish Grille. Get to know your neighbors while trying some of Maryland’s best barbecue at the annual MD State BBQ Bash. Spend the summer cooling off with coconut or custard-flavored shaved ice from Waldo’s Snowballs. Or try local craft beers like the Get Off My Lawn Pale Ale or Carpe Diem Double IPA from Independent Brewing.

Brunswick

mural on the side of a building in Bruswick, MD photo by Instagram user @jtbjester
Photo via @jtbjester
  • Population: 6,101
  • Home Price: $199,500 median purchase price; $954 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 33% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

Brunswick is one of Maryland’s best small towns. Nestled along the Potomac River on the Maryland-Virginia border, this city is beloved for its suburban feel and tight-knit community. Residents can find plenty of work throughout Frederick County, including opportunities with Fort Detrick and Hood College in the city of Frederick, which is about 25 minutes away. But the biggest draw for newcomers to Brunswick is its low cost of living—the median home price here is $100,000 less than the state average!

Things to Do in Brunswick

Learn about Brunswick’s beginnings through three floors of interactive learning at the Brunswick Heritage Museum. Let your furry friends run free and play with their pals over at Brunswick Dog Park. Stop in for a coffee, a chilled glass of wine, or a hot meal at Beans in the Belfry, which is housed inside a restored church. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a Towpath Sundae or a hand-spun milkshake from Towpath Creamery. Get fresh-made breads, danishes, and homemade fudge from Hive Bake Shop. Head inside Smoketown Brewing—once a former fire station—for pint of Berlin Brown Ale or Potomac IPA. Or get a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine with shawarma and kabobs from Potomac Street Grill.

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Easton

Photo of the Talbot County Courthouse in Easton, MD photo by Instagram user @abitslippy
Photo via @abitslippy
  • Population: 16,637
  • Home Price: $268,600 median purchase price; $1,012 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 40% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.9%

About 45 minutes outside of Annapolis on the other side of Chesapeake Bay is the city of Easton. Recognized as one of the best places for people to retire in Maryland, Easton is perfect for families and retirees looking for a place to enjoy their golden years. With great community events, housing options ranging from small single-family homes to more luxurious waterfront estates, and commutes to Baltimore and Washington, DC under 90 minutes, it’s easy to see why people love living in Easton!

Things to Do in Easton

Take part in the city’s annual Waterfowl Festival, where you can purchase arts and crafts that support local wildlife conservation efforts. Take a Haunted Walking Tour of Easton to learn more about the city’s history and the ghosts who supposedly still inhabit the area. Explore rotating exhibitions or take a pottery class at Academy Art Museum. Go for a relaxing stroll through the gardens at Talbot Historical Society, which are free to enter every day during daylight. Head over to the Amish Country Farmers Market for fresh produce and handmade furniture. Kick off your morning with a stack of hotcakes or eggs and bacon at Easton Diner. Or enjoy a Hunters’ Crab Cake or Green Curried Vegetable Ragout from Hunter’s Tavern at the Tidewater Inn.

Glenarden

townhomes for sale in Glenarden, MD photo by Instagram user @nicholas.bogardus
Photo via @nicholas.bogardus
  • Population: 6,110
  • Home Price: $242,800 median purchase price; $1,115 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 59% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

If affordability is one of your top priorities when searching for places to live in Maryland, then Glenarden might be for you! This small Maryland town is ideal for anyone who works in the Nation’s Capital and wants to avoid DC housing costs. In fact, Glenarden’s median home price is around $300,000 cheaper than that of Washington, DC. On top of its affordability, Glenarden is just under an hour away from the Maryland coastline and Chesapeake Bay, so trips to the water are quick and easy!

Things to Do in Glenarden

Cheer on the Washington Redskins (NFL) during the fall at FedEx Field. Peruse stores like Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, and JCPenney at Woodmore Towne Centre. Sign your kids up for summer activities or shoot a few baskets at Theresa Banks Community Complex. Check out an old favorite or pick up new books from Glenarden Branch Library. Head over to Enterprise Golf Course to play a round of 18 holes or hit the driving range. Build your own crab boil—a Maryland specialty—over at Hook & Reel. Wrap, bowl, or toss your meal over at Dat Jerk Caribbean Chargrill. Enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine with appetizers like Fiesta Eggrolls at Copper Canyon Grill. Or fill your cup with delicious frozen yogurt that’s topped with sprinkles, peanuts, or even peanut butter cups from sweetFrog!

White Marsh

roundabout structure that was constructed at The Avenue at White Marsh mall in White Marsh, MD photo by Instagram user @theavenueatwhitemarsh
Photo via @theavenueatwhitemarsh
  • Population: 9,722
  • Home Price: $274,500 median purchase price; $1,341 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 26% of U.S. cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.3%

Looking for a safe, affordable city in Maryland with plenty of things to do nearby? Check out White Marsh! One of the best places to live in the Baltimore metro, this suburb is a hot destination for young professionals and families who want to buy affordable houses within 25 minutes of the city. White Marsh is also an ideal town for those who want quick access to Maryland’s top outdoor recreation spot—the area is about 15 minutes from Gunpowder Falls State Park and Gunpowder River.

Things to Do in White Marsh

Get outside for a run, ride your bike, or go for a stroll at Honeygo Run Regional Park. Help your pup meet new furry friends and get some energy out at Perry Paw Dog Park. Go shopping, attend movie nights and concerts, or enjoy ice skating and hot cocoa in the winter at THE AVENUE at White Marsh. Try your hand at indoor skydiving at iFLY Baltimore. Bring the family to see blockbuster films and animated favorites at AMC White Marsh. Settle in for breakfast served with a smile at the ’50s-style Double T Diner. Order a Rainbow Roll, Baltimore Roll, or Dragon Roll from Asian restaurant Chopstix Cafe. Or pop into Red Brick Station Restaurant & Brew Pub for craft brews, pub fare, and good times.

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City statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest Graphic: Maryland: Most Affordable Places to Live

Thinking about moving to Maryland? These six cities are the most affordable in the Old Line State and are close to major metros like Baltimore and Washington, DC! via @extraspace