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Baltimore MD cost of living
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 7:10 pm
What would you estimate? Figure average somewhat yeshivish lifestyle (yeshivish tuitions), average family size (+/- 5 kids), no government programs. Housed within majority frum community.
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amother




Pink
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 8:07 pm
Housing has gone up a LOT.
We make around $150,000 combined and it's tight. We get tuition assistance from all the schools and live in an older house in a not as desirable neighborhood.
I heard in the name of a Rav here that a family really has to earn $200,000 to be able to reasonably pay all their bills.
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Kiwi13




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 8:14 pm
Wow! That really surprises me! I always thought Baltimore was more affordable, lower taxes, lower housing costs (comparatively) than a lot of other places.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 8:57 pm
Oh man. Barely worth leaving NY. Why so much, after tuition discount?
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amother




Mint
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 9:34 pm
I agree between 200-250k to pay bills/tuition
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 11:28 pm
Oh no. 200K here too? And please tell me that’s gross and not net income... I was really hoping while reading the Lakewood thread that those numbers wouldn’t apply here too. Bh we’re fine now but our family is just starting out so we don’t have tuition and iyh hoping to grow our family. Don’t know how we’ll make 200. I make approximately 80K gross and once my dh finishes school he’ll probably start in the mid 50’s is my guess....iyh our salaries will continue to increase with each year we work but still don’t know how we’ll make 200K.
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amother




Magenta
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 11:32 pm
amother [ Pink ] wrote:
Housing has gone up a LOT.
We make around $150,000 combined and it's tight. We get tuition assistance from all the schools and live in an older house in a not as desirable neighborhood.
I heard in the name of a Rav here that a family really has to earn $200,000 to be able to reasonably pay all their bills.


I live in Baltimore too. My husband is ok with his 50k salary and it’s a cause of much stress. Which rabbi said this? I think my husband was raised that $100k is a fortune because it was in the 70s...
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amother




Wine
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:02 am
A lot really depends on where you live in Baltimore and your lifestyle. I do feel that there is still more flexibility in Baltimore than New York, even though much has changed. I have 5 kids and I BH bought my house 20 years ago, when prices were much much lower (we ended up paying $120,000 for the location we wanted, but looked at houses that were closer to $100,000-$110,000 at the time). Obviously not a "fancy" house, but meets our needs. You can still get semis on Boxford or Nerak, which are in the middle of the frum community, for around $200,000, or a larger but older house in upper Park Heights for a reasonable amount. Of course, if you are looking for a Beazer house it'll cost $500,000+ and then you are no different than being in NY. At the risk of stereotyping, those that are buying the higher-end houses in Baltimore usually have a higher-end lifestyle in other areas as well, like leasing new cars, very expensive sheitels, going on vacations, etc., and of course need the income to support that. There still is a group in Baltimore that are happy with a simpler lifestyle and make do with much less.
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amother




Lemon
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:08 am
amother [ Pink ] wrote:
Housing has gone up a LOT.
We make around $150,000 combined and it's tight. We get tuition assistance from all the schools and live in an older house in a not as desirable neighborhood.
I heard in the name of a Rav here that a family really has to earn $200,000 to be able to reasonably pay all their bills.

It REALLY depends on where you live and where you buy (if you buy).

I have 3 kids and we receive tuition assistance for them. 2 in TA, 1 in Bnos. We live in the Fallstaff area (not a desired part of it, ie not Labyrinth) in a semi-detatched. We paid just under 200k for it 4 years ago. There are "only" 6 frum families on my block. We make just under 100k/year and are not on any programs other than the tuition assistance. We both work full time and have zero help from family and zero help in terms of cleaning. Our kids go to camp only because my husband works at camp so they go for free. There are no vacations, ever.
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amother




Lemon
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:11 am
amother [ Wine ] wrote:
A lot really depends on where you live in Baltimore and your lifestyle. I do feel that there is still more flexibility in Baltimore than New York, even though much has changed. I have 5 kids and I BH bought my house 20 years ago, when prices were much much lower (we ended up paying $120,000 for the location we wanted, but looked at houses that were closer to $100,000-$110,000 at the time). Obviously not a "fancy" house, but meets our needs. You can still get semis on Boxford or Nerak, which are in the middle of the frum community, for around $200,000, or a larger but older house in upper Park Heights for a reasonable amount. Of course, if you are looking for a Beazer house it'll cost $500,000+ and then you are no different than being in NY. At the risk of stereotyping, those that are buying the higher-end houses in Baltimore usually have a higher-end lifestyle in other areas as well, like leasing new cars, very expensive sheitels, going on vacations, etc., and of course need the income to support that. There still is a group in Baltimore that are happy with a simpler lifestyle and make do with much less.

SO MUCH THIS! I agree with every word of this post.

The lifestyle in the Boxford area is simple and amazing. The Fallstaff area is also simple but a bit more diverse (not all frum neighbors). Fancy Fallstaff is all frum and NYish. Beazer is not all frum but mostly Jewish and yes, a very high standard of living. Indian Village area is great also but $$$.
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amother




Azure
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:16 am
We live in Baltimore with 3 kids.

We bought an older house that used to be in an undesirable neighborhood. It has since changed and my neighborhood is now much more expensive. My 300,000 dollar house now would cost 475,000. (We put in a little work though)

To buy in a good area will cost about 500,000 and you get an average size house. If you go smaller or older, maybe less.

Tuition is a lot. With no tuition help it's about 10 to 12 k per kid per year and high school is about 15k.

Life is not cheaper than New York.

We earn about 170k gross. It works but we get tuition breaks. We have to be pretty careful.
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:18 am
I don’t have kids old enough to go to school yet but I’m so worried about what their income criteria is for giving tuition assistance. Does anyone have any idea? Also I’m worried avi the expense of buying girls uniforms and regular clothes.
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amother




Mustard
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:23 am
amother [ Lemon ] wrote:
SO MUCH THIS! I agree with every word of this post.

The lifestyle in the Boxford area is simple and amazing. The Fallstaff area is also simple but a bit more diverse (not all frum neighbors). Fancy Fallstaff is all frum and NYish. Beazer is not all frum but mostly Jewish and yes, a very high standard of living. Indian Village area is great also but $$$.


So interesting to hear this. My aunt and uncle live on Boxford and they're simple, ehrlich, warm people.
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:26 am
amother [ Azure ] wrote:
We live in Baltimore with 3 kids.

We bought an older house that used to be in an undesirable neighborhood. It has since changed and my neighborhood is now much more expensive. My 300,000 dollar house now would cost 475,000. (We put in a little work though)

To buy in a good area will cost about 500,000 and you get an average size house. If you go smaller or older, maybe less.

Tuition is a lot. With no tuition help it's about 10 to 12 k per kid per year and high school is about 15k.

Life is not cheaper than New York.

We earn about 170k gross. It works but we get tuition breaks. We have to be pretty careful.


Curious if you’re willing to share what area used to be undesirable and is now more popular?
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amother




Lemon
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:29 am
amother [ Mustard ] wrote:
So interesting to hear this. My aunt and uncle live on Boxford and they're simple, ehrlich, warm people.

Yes! The Boxford area is great.

Truth is, if I had all the money in the world, I would be happy in any area at all in town, but we would avoid the Beazer area. My husband needs to be within walking distance of the mikvah and also a neitz minyan so those are our only real criteria. I would have loved to more to the Scotts Hill area to be honest but it is more than what we can afford and no mens mikvah or neitz.

Baltimore is great in general. It is very into "to each their own" for the most part. I love it here and I really do not want to see it getting so crowded that we have the same school issues other cities have.
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amother




Lemon
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:30 am
amother [ Honeydew ] wrote:
I don’t have kids old enough to go to school yet but I’m so worried about what their income criteria is for giving tuition assistance. Does anyone have any idea? Also I’m worried avi the expense of buying girls uniforms and regular clothes.

Don't worry about the cost of uniforms. Both schools have very active gmachs for uniforms.
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:36 am
amother [ Lemon ] wrote:
Don't worry about the cost of uniforms. Both schools have very active gmachs for uniforms.


Ok that’s good to hear. Are the clothes there in good condition? (Like not super worn or stained looking)
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amother




Wine
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:37 am
amother [ Honeydew ] wrote:
I don’t have kids old enough to go to school yet but I’m so worried about what their income criteria is for giving tuition assistance. Does anyone have any idea? Also I’m worried avi the expense of buying girls uniforms and regular clothes.


The tuition boards are extremely reasonable and readily give discounts without batting an eyelash. Our combined gross salary is about $135,000 and we get an approximate 40%-50% discount per kid, depending on the school. All you have to do is fill out the application and send with your tax return - no need to talk to anyone about it. It is a very smooth process and if there are extenuating circumstances (change in salary, medical bills, etc.) they will even change the tuition arrangement mid year.

Regarding uniforms, there is a Gemach where you can get uniforms in good shape and people often hand down to their younger friends/neighbors when their kids outgrow them, so you don't necessarily have to buy new. However, I really wouldn't worry about it. They only need 2-3 skirts/jumpers per year and the shirts are not crazy expensive. I don't think I would spend much less if I had to buy a full school wardrobe. I don't know what you are used to in terms of clothing for kids, but in my peer group here in Baltimore it is totally normally to outfit them in whatever deals you can find at Target, Walmart, Children's Place, Burlington, Marshalls, etc. If you are a good shopper, it is not a huge expense.
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:40 am
amother [ Wine ] wrote:
The tuition boards are extremely reasonable and readily give discounts without batting an eyelash. Our combined gross salary is about $135,000 and we get an approximate 40%-50% discount per kid, depending on the school. All you have to do is fill out the application and send with your tax return - no need to talk to anyone about it. It is a very smooth process and if there are extenuating circumstances (change in salary, medical bills, etc.) they will even change the tuition arrangement mid year.

Regarding uniforms, there is a Gemach where you can get uniforms in good shape and people often hand down to their younger friends/neighbors when their kids outgrow them, so you don't necessarily have to buy new. However, I really wouldn't worry about it. They only need 2-3 skirts/jumpers per year and the shirts are not crazy expensive. I don't think I would spend much less if I had to buy a full school wardrobe. I don't know what you are used to in terms of clothing for kids, but in my peer group here in Baltimore it is totally normally to outfit them in whatever deals you can find at Target, Walmart, Children's Place, Burlington, Marshalls, etc. If you are a good shopper, it is not a huge expense.


Thanks that makes me feel better about the tuition!

And yeah I definitely shop at target, Burlington etc for kids clothes 😉
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amother




Ginger
 

Post  Fri, Nov 20 2020, 10:51 am
Clothing will cost you a lot more when your kids are teens, especially girls. Just a heads-up! I did the Burlington/Target/Walmart thing as long as I could but those days are over!
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