10 Cheapest Places To Live In Maryland For 2019


We used data and science to determine which places in Maryland go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Maryland.

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Welcome to the Old Line State: where the North, South, East, and West meet at the Mason Dixon line in Maryland (pronounced “Mer-lin”.)

Maryland wants you to call one of its many affordable cities home. This blue state screams affordability. They practically give money away, here. So much that it’s almost like they are paying YOU to live here.

Maryland’s affordable cities really ‘bring it’. Hip millennial cities like Baltimore and North Bethesda have multiple opportunities for young professionals to make the ‘dolla holla’. Cities like Ocean City North and South provide inexpensive staycations. And Chesapeake Bay cities like Rock Hall and Deale provide an opportunity to offset your grocery bill with crabbing and fishing out your back door.

And with a statewide median income close to $73,000/year, who wouldn’t want a piece of the Chesapeake Bay State-pie. Heck, it’s no wonder Maryland’s poverty rate is the lowest in the country or that its unemployment rate is down around 4 percent. If you want to live the American dream without a hefty Park Place price tag, look no further than Maryland. More importantly, take a look below at our top affordable cities in Maryland list for 2019.

We suggest you grab yourself a plate of Old Bay dusted blue crab cakes, a bag of Utz chips, a flavored snowball and read on.

Where in Maryland can you find the most affordable place to live? The most affordable place to live in Maryland is Brunswick based on cost of living adjusted for incomes.

If you ask any Marylander, they will say, hands down, that their city is the best. Heck, there’s a reason Little America is the 19th most populous in the country.

And, yes, we think it has a little something to do with the great people, strong jobs in defense and aerospace, government by proximity, and health care; not mention, just good ‘ol clean Maryland livin’. But, to the economically savvy, to truly be the best, the state must have the nicest, most affordable places to call home. #TheMostBangForYourBuck

So, if you care about home values, cost of living, and gold star quality of life, take a look at the list below to see where your Maryland dollar will let you live like a Baltimore Raven on a crabber’s salary.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Maryland and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Maryland For 2019

Brunswick, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,134
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 85.7x (2nd cheapest)
More On Brunswick: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Brunswick is a city in Frederick County, Maryland, United States at the Maryland/Virginia border. The population was 5,870 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Brunswick comes in at $79,569 and the median home value is $220,700 for 2019.

Fruitland, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,172
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.6x (14th cheapest)
More On Fruitland: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Fruitland comes in at $63,922 and the median home value is $157,500 for 2019.

Hampstead, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,331
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 86.1x (1st cheapest)
More On Hampstead: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Hampstead is a town in Carroll County in the U.S. state of Maryland. The population was 6,323 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Hampstead comes in at $78,157 and the median home value is $239,400 for 2019.

Cumberland, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 20,084
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.5x (24th cheapest)
More On Cumberland: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Cumberland Maryland, officially the City of Cumberland, is a western gateway city and seat of Allegany County, Maryland, United States and the primary city of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, and the metropolitan area had a population of 103,299. Cumberland is a regional business and commercial center for Western and the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. Cumberland is commonly referred to as “Where The South Begins,” as official United States Census Bureau records place it below the Mason-Dixon line.

The median income in Cumberland comes in at $32,825 and the median home value is $89,600 for 2019.

Thurmont, MD

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 6,496
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.0x (7th cheapest)
More On Thurmont: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Thurmont is a town in Frederick County, Maryland, United States. The population was 6,170 at the 2010 census. The town is located in the northern part of Frederick County, approximately ten miles from the Pennsylvania border, along U.S. Highway 15. It is very close to Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain Park, which contains the presidential retreat of Camp David. Thurmont is also home to Catoctin Colorfest, an arts and crafts festival that draws in about 125,000 people each autumn.

The median income in Thurmont comes in at $68,879 and the median home value is $231,400 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 6,128
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 76.0x (6th cheapest)
More On Glenarden: Homes For Sale | Data

Glenarden is a city in Prince George’s County, Maryland, United States. The population was 6,000 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Glenarden comes in at $87,829 and the median home value is $264,600 for 2019.

District Heights, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,989
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.8x (17th cheapest)
More On District Heights: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

District Heights is an incorporated city in Prince George’s County, Maryland, located near Maryland Route 4. The population was 5,837 at the 2010 United States Census. For more information, see the separate articles on Forestville, Maryland and Suitland.

The median income in District Heights comes in at $69,358 and the median home value is $222,300 for 2019.

Poolesville, MD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,163
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 83.3x (3rd cheapest)
More On Poolesville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Poolesville is a town in the western portion of Montgomery County, Maryland. The population was 4,883 at the 2010 United States Census. It is surrounded by the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve, and is considered a distant bedroom community for commuters to Washington, D.C.

The median income in Poolesville comes in at $154,107 and the median home value is $397,800 for 2019.

Taneytown, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,762
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.3x (9th cheapest)
More On Taneytown: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Taneytown is a town in Carroll County, Maryland, United States. The population was 6,728 at the 2010 census. Taneytown was founded in 1754. Of the town, George Washington once wrote, “Tan-nee town is but a small place with only the Street through wch. the road passes, built on. The buildings are principally of wood.” Taneytown has a history museum that displays the history of the town for visitors and citizens to see. The Bullfrog Road Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The median income in Taneytown comes in at $71,903 and the median home value is $247,400 for 2019.

Greenbelt, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,289
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.6x (34th cheapest)
More On Greenbelt: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Greenbelt is a city in Prince George’s County, Maryland, United States. Contained within today’s City of Greenbelt is the historic planned community now known locally as “Old Greenbelt” and designated as the Greenbelt Historic District. Greenbelt’s population was 23,068 at the 2010 U.S. Census.

The median income in Greenbelt comes in at $72,846 and the median home value is $201,000 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Old Line State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Maryland
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Maryland to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 41 places in Maryland that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Maryland according to the data is Brunswick.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Maryland Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Maryland, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in maryland for 2019.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Maryland according to the data:

  1. Mount Rainier
  2. College Park
  3. Annapolis

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Maryland?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Brunswick 6.67 6,134 2.8x 85.7x
2 Fruitland 7.33 5,172 2.5x 62.6x
3 Hampstead 9.0 6,331 3.1x 86.1x
4 Cumberland 9.33 20,084 2.7x 53.5x
5 Thurmont 12.0 6,496 3.4x 73.0x
6 Glenarden 12.33 6,128 3.0x 76.0x
7 District Heights 14.0 5,989 3.2x 58.8x
8 Poolesville 14.67 5,163 2.6x 83.3x
9 Taneytown 15.33 6,762 3.4x 71.3x
10 Greenbelt 16.0 23,289 2.8x 48.6x

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.