Maryland vs Virginia [EXPLAINED!] | Find Out Which One is BETTER!


Maryland vs Virginia | Find Out Which One is Better!

Ask any local which is better – Maryland or Virginia, and you’re likely to find yourself in the middle of a good old fashioned catfight. (Seinfeld, anyone?)

Each state has a variety of towns and cities to offer, but is Virginia’s reputation for being “Down Where the South Begins” or Maryland’s reputation for being Marylinistan warranted?

1:31 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐬

Maryland’s motto is “The Free State,” which, yeah, if you count abolishing slavery in 1864 to mean free. It’s not like you were my home state of Connecticut who never believed in slavery. Moving along, Maryland leans left, and when I say lean, it’s like this kind of lean. Maryland is progressive, democratic and liberal leaning. It’s a one-party state and you will get everything that comes with that. The county governments control growth by calling it “smart growth.” They preserve greenspace. There are housing programs, school programs and significant gun control – until recently. More on that in a moment.

4:01 𝐄𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧

This is subjective, but Maryland schools are a tale of two cities. Montgomery County schools uniformly seem to rank well with many ranked on the notable lists. Prince George’s County Schools do not rank as well overall, so if this is what you’re looking for you have to carefully consider the specific neighborhoods. These two counties are mostly the extent of the Maryland discussion when it comes to metro counties.

On US News & World Report’s 2022 list, the #1 High School is Thomas Jefferson in Alexandria, VA.

The next school in Maryland or Virginia is #104 Walt Whitman in Bethesda.
Langley High School in McLean Virginia is at #136, and McLean High at #157.
Wootton High School in Rockville is at #167

6:33 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐄𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞

There are teardowns amok in both Maryland and Virginia. But it’s less amok in Maryland. Maryland has lots of rules. This is why I laughed at “Marylinistan.” And when it comes to real estate, there’s no exception.

Virginia though? They love building things right up to the lot line. Rules? What rules? Smart growth? Drive out west and watch how the houses just come at you as you crest a hill or two. It’s more builder-friendly. And they don’t care if you overbuild the crap out of a house so that it’s towering on the lot. Have at it!

One interesting note – Arlington may eliminate all SFH zoning this fall which would be a pretty progressive housing reform.

8:32 𝐁𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 & 𝐄𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐲

Companies do not relocate to Maryland. Period. You always hear of big companies relocating from somewhere else to Northern Virginia — how often will you hear that about MD? Never.
Amazon, Raytheon, Boeing, Nestle – more corporate headquarters are choosing in Northern Virginia. Tysons is becoming a city, and Pentagon City is hitting the map for something besides the airport, thanks to Amazon. The entire Pentagon City/National landing roadways are being re-done to create pedestrian centers. There’s no comparison on the Maryland side of the Potomac.

9:51 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 & 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞

Maryland zoning seems to dictate specific areas for retail and then everything else is residential. You see this in suburbs further out where there are “village centers” where everyone goes to get what they need. Virginia has retail all over. Shopping centers here and there, not just in special areas.

Virginia has wine country and the Shenandoah Valley which many would probably argue would beat the vacation areas of Maryland. But Maryland has the eastern shore and St Michael’s which is about as Martha’s Vineyard as you can get here. And there’s also Assateague, with wild horses that mill around the beach. People find this really charming. I am not one of those people. Please don’t come for me.

11:13 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜

Northern Virginia could arguably be more proactive about the traffic. They are constantly trying to expand the highways and adjust to the growing population. They instituted toll lanes on 66 and the beltway.

11:59 𝐓𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐬

Income taxes are highest in DC, then Maryland, then Virginia. In Virginia, once you hit $17,000 anything in excess is at the max rate of 5.75%. In Maryland, you have to make $250,000 to get to the max tax rate of 5.75%. But, Maryland has flat fees at each so it gets confusing.
You make $100,000, you’ll pay $7800 in Maryland State Taxes and in Virginia $5500.
Virginia has the personal property tax on vehicles, trailers, RV’s and boats which may equalize if you have a lot of vehicles. This is $4.13 per $100 of assessed value.

Melissa Terzis
📲 (202) 253-9105
TTR | Sotheby’s International Realty
1515 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
Office: (202) 234.3344

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Thank you for watching! =)

– Melissa Terzis | DC Real Estate Mama


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