​​There’s a lot more to Maryland than crab cakes and football. Often referred to as “America in Miniature,” Maryland packs a ton of topographic variety into its 10,460 square miles of land and water. If you’re relocating to Maryland for work, you’ll soon find there’s a space for you here, no matter what kind of life you’re looking for. 

Geographically speaking, Maryland has a full range. The Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains are in the West, the farmlands of the Piedmont Plateau slope down in the East, the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Chesapeake Bay shine in the South and the bustling cities of Baltimore, Annapolis and College Park are nestled in the central part of the state.

More of a city-dweller? Maryland is only a stone’s throw from other major mid-Atlantic cities, including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. With all that nature and the plethora of urban and suburban environments to choose from, it’s no wonder that Maryland is the 19th most populous state, despite its relatively small size.  

5 things to know before moving to Maryland

While Maryland has something for everyone, there are a few things that are worth knowing before relocating for work passes the point of no return. Whether it’s preferences on weather, local sports or cost of living, take a look at the five things you should know before moving to Maryland. 

1. The weather varies. 

Between its longitudinal location and its mixed topography, Maryland’s weather can vary significantly throughout the year and across the state. Humidity is the name of the game during the summer months, and on average, temperatures hover around 90 degrees. Meanwhile during the dead of winter, most of Maryland sees temperatures well below freezing for extended periods. “You really get to experience the full variety of seasons,” says Southern Management’s Senior Communication Specialist Melissa Lucas. “Sometimes all within the same week! It does keep you on your toes.”

But the transitional seasons of spring and fall mean different things in different regions. The mountain areas in the west remain fairly dry and cool during these periods, while the flatlands towards the shore tend to retain their humidity most months of the year. And the areas between the two? They can vary from day to day. If you love to experience all four seasons, relocating to Maryland is a great idea!

2. The cost of living is affordable(-ish). 

It probably comes as no surprise that parts of Maryland can be expensive. On the high end, are Bethesda, Bowie, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Rockville, Silver Spring and Waldorf, Maryland, where residents spend almost 60% more for energy, food, healthcare, housing and transportation than the national average, according to NerdWallet. Residents in Baltimore, Columbia, Ellicott City, Glen Burnie and Dundalk spend slightly less than that – but still more than the national average. 

However, there are good apartment deals in Maryland that can cut down on your cost of living, especially compared to nearby Washington, DC. In addition, Maryland’s economy is one of the best in the nation. Median household income in Maryland was $86,223 in 2018, compared to the national average of $63,179. The state’s unemployment rate in July 2020 was 7.6%, the lowest in the region and lower than the national rate of 10.2%.

3. The culture is diverse. 

Before moving to Maryland, you probably want to know a little bit about your future neighbors. Maryland has a tradition of tolerance and political freedom. In fact, one of the state’s nicknames is the “Free State.” It was also the first state in the country to enact workman’s compensation laws in 1902 and is home to King Williams School (now named St. Johns College), which was the first “free” school in the country.

4. There are plenty of game days. 

From football to baseball, lacrosse to horse racing, Maryland has a sporting event for every season. The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl titles in 2001 and 2013 and game day at M&T Stadium is always a good time. Meanwhile, Baltimore’s beloved Orioles baseball team has won the World Series three times. Finally, lacrosse is the official Maryland team sport. The U.S. Lacrosse National Headquarters and The Lacrosse Museum and the National Hall of Fame are located in Sparks, Maryland.

5. It’s a transportation hub. 

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the busiest airport in the region. It offers more than 650 domestic and international flights daily and in 2018 served an average of 74,372 people per day. Maryland has a variety of transportation options for moving throughout the region, including the MetroSubway Link serving the greater Baltimore area, the MARC commuter rail system serving the Baltimore–Washington area, as well as a fleet of commuter buses. Baltimore’s Penn Station is the ground transportation hub for the region and services nine of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor routes, MARC’s Penn Line, the LightRail Link that connects BWI airport to the Baltimore suburbs and the Charm City Circulator. This is one reason Maryland is one of the best places to relocate for work — no matter where you are, you’ll have plenty of commuting options. 

Top places to live in Maryland

From historic cities and miles of shoreline in Anne Arundel County, to award-winning culinary experiences and vibrant communities in Montgomery County, to the quaint suburban feel of Howard County and the pulsing urban center of Baltimore City, there are plenty of communities to choose from in Maryland. It’s easy to see why Maryland is one of the best places to relocate for work

  • Annapolis – Annapolis is Maryland’s capital city and is known for its charming historic buildings and waterfront location. 
  • Baltimore – Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland and is perfect for anyone who wants a vibrant, fast-paced lifestyle. With great food, museums, sports and more, it’s hard to get bored here. 
  • Bethesda – Located just outside of Washington, D.C., Bethesda offers a mix of urban and suburban living. You’ll find walkable neighborhoods, excellent schools and a vibrant local community. 
  • Gaithersburg – This quiet Washington, D.C. suburb offers plenty of scenic beauty as well as proximity to some of the area’s largest employers. 
  • Hyattsville – An  artsy suburb located just outside of Washington, D.C., Hyattsville offers amazing shopping, public transportation access and proximity to the University of Maryland. 
  • Lanham – A convenient D.C. suburb with a cozy, quiet atmosphere. 
  • Laurel – Located halfway between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Laurel balances suburban conveniences with the beauty of nature. 
  • New Carrollton – This suburban oasis is full of lush parks and offers a family-friendly atmosphere with great schools. 
  • Silver Spring – Known for its lively downtown, Silver Spring is one of D.C.’s largest suburbs and is full of beautiful neighborhoods. 

The Best Schools in Maryland

Maryland is home to some of the best schools in the country, including Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which consistently ranks on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. There are too many other wonderful colleges and universities in Maryland to list them all here. Among the largest are:

  • College of Southern Maryland – La Plata
  • Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore
  • Salisbury University – Salisbury
  • The United States Naval Academy – Annapolis
  • The University of Maryland Baltimore County – Catonsville
  • The University of Maryland College Park – College Park
  • Towson University – Towson

General tips for relocating for work

Getting a new job is always exciting, but moving to a new city for work can be stressful. Here are some general tips for relocating for work. 

  • Take advantage of relocation benefits. Many organizations offer benefits and support for employees who need to relocate. Talk to your new company to see what kind of relocation benefits are available, and don’t be afraid to take advantage of them. 
  • Visit before moving. If possible, take a trip to your new city before the move. This gives you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with your new home and determine which neighborhood you’d like to live in. It can be difficult to get a feel for your new city just by researching online, which is why an in-person visit is so important. 
  • Make new connections. Building a support system in your new city will make it easier to navigate the challenges that come your way. Reach out to anyone you already know in your new city, and don’t be afraid to use social media to expand your network as well. 
  • Plan your transition. Once you’ve decided where and when you’re moving, it’s time to start planning. Plans should include everything from hiring movers to changing addresses on your utility and bank accounts. Attending to these small details ahead of time will make your entire move easier and less stressful. 

Relocating to Maryland? Southern Management can help

With its boundless natural assets, culturally diverse communities, top-ranked schools and high-paying job opportunities, Maryland will certainly live up to anyone’s expectations, especially those of DC workers deciding whether they should live in DC or more-affordable Maryland. 

If you’re moving to Maryland and looking for a place to live, start by browsing our Maryland apartment communities. You can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands with Southern Management.

Before moving to Maryland, reach out to our team. We’d love to answer all of your questions about relocating to Maryland — communities, pricing, our Student Housing Program if you’re still in school, where to find the best crab cakes and so much more. Contact our team online!