Most Expensive Places To Live In Maryland For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Maryland that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Maryland.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Maryland does this very well. Families love the Old Line State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Maryland that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Maryland for 2020.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Maryland? That would be Mount Rainier.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 41 places in Maryland with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Maryland? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Mount Rainier is the most expensive place to live in Maryland.

So hopefully Brunswick (the cheapest place to live in Maryland) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

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

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Maryland For 2020

Mount Rainier, MD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,110
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.9x (5th most expensive)
More on Mount Rainier: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Mount Rainier comes in at $53,869 and the median home value is $336,200 for 2020.

College Park, MD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 32,183
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.4x (4th most expensive)
More on College Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of College Park is in Prince George's County, Maryland. The population was 30,413 at the 2010 United States Census. It is best known as the home of the University of Maryland, College Park, and since 1994 the city has also been home to the "Archives II" facility of the U.S. National Archives, as well as to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Weather and Climate Prediction.

The median income in College Park comes in at $67,081 and the median home value is $309,300 for 2020.

Gaithersburg, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 67,529
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.9x (14th most expensive)
More on Gaithersburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gaithersburg ), officially the City of Gaithersburg, is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland. At the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, Gaithersburg had a population of 59,933, making it the fourth largest incorporated city in the state, behind Baltimore, Frederick, and Rockville. Gaithersburg is located to the northwest of Washington, D.C., and is considered a suburb and a primary city within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Gaithersburg was incorporated as a town in 1878 and as a city in 1968.

The median income in Gaithersburg comes in at $86,427 and the median home value is $389,700 for 2020.

Rockville, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 67,062
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.2x (23rd most expensive)
More on Rockville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rockville is a U.S. city located in the central region of Montgomery County, Maryland. It is the county seat and is a major incorporated city of Montgomery County and forms part of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. The 2010 census tabulated Rockville's population at 61,209, making it the third largest incorporated city in Maryland, behind Baltimore and Frederick. Rockville is the largest incorporated city in Montgomery County, Maryland, although the nearby census-designated place of Germantown is more populous.

The median income in Rockville comes in at $105,376 and the median home value is $521,700 for 2020.

Annapolis, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 39,147
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.6x (22nd most expensive)
More on Annapolis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles south of Baltimore and about 30 miles east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census.

The median income in Annapolis comes in at $83,948 and the median home value is $413,300 for 2020.

Bladensburg, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,397
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 32.9x (1st most expensive)
More on Bladensburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bladensburg is a town in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 9,148 at the 2010 census. Areas in Bladensburg have the ZIP code 20710. Bladensburg is 8.6 miles from central Washington, D.C.

The median income in Bladensburg comes in at $43,257 and the median home value is $229,600 for 2020.

Ocean City, MD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,990
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.3x (18th most expensive)
More on Ocean City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ocean City Maryland, officially the Town of Ocean City, is an Atlantic resort town in Worcester County, Maryland. Ocean City is widely known in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and is a frequent destination for vacationers in that area. The population was 7,102 at the 2010 U.S. Census, although during summer weekends the city hosts between 320,000 and 345,000 vacationers, and up to 8 million visitors annually. During the summer, Ocean City becomes the second most populated municipality in Maryland, after Baltimore. It is part of the Salisbury metropolitan area.

The median income in Ocean City comes in at $54,667 and the median home value is $290,900 for 2020.

Takoma Park, MD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,622
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.4x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.8x (35th most expensive)
More on Takoma Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Takoma Park is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland. It is a suburb of Washington, D.C., and part of the Washington metropolitan area. Founded in 1883 and incorporated in 1890, Takoma Park, informally called "Azalea City", is a Tree City USA and a nuclear-free zone. A planned commuter suburb, it is situated along the Metropolitan Branch of the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, just northeast of Washington, D.C., and it borders the neighborhood of Takoma, Washington, D.C. It is governed by an elected mayor and six elected councilmembers, who form the city council, and an appointed city manager, under a council-manager style of government. The city's population was 16,715 at the 2010 national census.

The median income in Takoma Park comes in at $86,439 and the median home value is $555,000 for 2020.

Easton, MD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,551
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.8x (13th most expensive)
More on Easton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Easton, Maryland is an incorporated town and the county seat of Talbot County, Maryland, United States. The population was 15,945 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population in 2015 of 16,617. The primary ZIPCode is 21601, and the secondary is 21606. The primary phone exchange is 822, the auxiliary exchanges are 820, 763, and 770, and the area code is 410.

The median income in Easton comes in at $55,619 and the median home value is $275,400 for 2020.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,113
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.0x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.7x (10th most expensive)
More on Cheste: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Cheste comes in at $39,679 and the median home value is $236,100 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Old Line State For 2020

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 2014-2018 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 most 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 highest cost of living in Maryland according to the data is Mount Rainier. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Maryland For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Maryland that have the highest cost of living, with Mount Rainier ranking as the most expensive city in the Old Line State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Maryland according to the data:

  1. Brunswick
  2. Cumberland
  3. Hampstead

For more Maryland reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Maryland

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Mount Rainier 4.67 8,110 6.2x 44.9x
2 College Park 8.67 32,183 4.6x 43.4x
3 Gaithersburg 9.67 67,529 4.5x 50.9x
4 Rockville 10.67 67,062 5.0x 55.2x
5 Annapolis 11.33 39,147 4.9x 54.6x
6 Bladensburg 12.0 9,397 5.3x 32.9x
7 Ocean City 12.33 6,990 5.3x 52.3x
8 Takoma Park 12.33 17,622 6.4x 74.8x
9 Easton 12.33 16,551 5.0x 50.8x
10 Cheste 14.0 5,113 6.0x 47.7x
11 Hyattsville 16.0 18,209 4.1x 55.5x
12 New Carrollton 16.33 12,932 3.9x 47.5x
13 Riverdale Park 18.0 7,219 4.2x 62.2x
14 Cambridge 18.33 12,401 4.1x 45.5x
15 Salisbury 18.33 32,536 4.0x 37.2x
16 Laurel 19.0 25,834 3.5x 50.3x
17 La Plata 19.0 9,252 4.0x 67.2x
18 Westminster 19.67 18,553 4.0x 52.2x
19 Frederick 20.67 70,166 3.7x 53.4x
20 Chesapeake Beach 22.33 5,922 3.2x 57.1x
21 Havre De Grace 22.67 13,555 3.9x 71.5x
22 Frostburg 23.0 8,626 4.0x 52.3x
23 Elkton 24.0 15,675 3.5x 51.4x
24 Hagerstown 24.0 40,186 3.8x 50.2x
25 Cheverly 24.0 6,452 3.4x 75.0x
26 Mount Airy 24.67 9,395 3.1x 73.2x
27 Aberdeen 24.67 15,701 3.8x 54.1x
28 Greenbelt 25.0 23,203 2.9x 45.5x
29 Bowie 25.0 58,368 2.9x 59.7x
30 Walkersville 25.67 6,095 3.4x 62.6x
31 Fruitland 25.67 5,204 2.9x 42.5x
32 Bel Air 26.33 10,068 3.4x 59.9x
33 Baltimore 26.33 614,700 3.2x 46.5x
34 Taneytown 27.0 6,774 3.4x 71.3x
35 District Heights 27.67 5,975 3.4x 59.6x
36 Poolesville 28.33 5,170 2.6x 95.2x
37 Thurmont 29.67 6,563 3.4x 76.8x
38 Glenarden 31.33 6,170 2.9x 75.5x
39 Hampstead 32.0 6,340 3.3x 88.4x
40 Cumberland 33.33 19,845 2.7x 52.7x
41 Brunswick 35.0 6,193 3.0x 84.0x

How Is The Area In ?

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.