Located just outside Washington D.C., Montgomery County is an expansive and extremely diverse area. With a population of over 1 million, according to the 2016 census, it is also the largest county in the state of Maryland. Whether you’re looking for a big city vibe or a more rural atmosphere to kick back in, this county has something for everyone. Communities in the county such as North Bethesda and Garrett Park consistently rank at the top of niche.com’s “Best Places to Live In Maryland” list.
If you’re moving your family to Maryland and schools are important to you, here’s the scoop. The best high school districts run north and south on the far west side of Montgomery County, parallel to the Potomac River. The highest-rated of these is Winston Churchill High School in Potomac at a 10 out of 10. Rockville, Poolesville, and Bethesda also have high schools that hold top-ranked spots with ratings 9 or higher. On the other end of the spectrum, Silver Springs has the lowest-rated high schools in Montgomery County, with the lowest being John F. Kennedy High School with a rating of 3.
You cannot visit Montgomery County without stopping by Brookside Gardens. The 50-acre public garden sits within Wheaton Regional Park. Featuring several distinct sections, including a butterfly garden, Brookside Gardens is definitely worth a visit. For shopping and dining check out Bethesda Row. Once a large commercial space, Bethesda Row is now a walkable mixed-use development that boasts 300,000 square feet of retail space and 180 private residences.
We’re all concerned with the safety of our families, so you’ll want to know the crime stats when choosing your next home in Montgomery County.
With a population that comprises almost one-third of the county, Potomac is one of the safest areas to live. Though homes for sale in this area are among the most expensive in the county, averaging $868,000. Your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Potomac are only 1 in 3163 compared to the Maryland average of 1 in 200.
Maryland’s average is just slightly above the United States national average. On the other hand, the most dangerous area in Montgomery County is Takoma Park. Chances of becoming a violent crime victim increase dramatically to 1 in 325 in this area.
If you want to get specific, the safest neighborhood inside Potomac is Great Falls and the most dangerous in Tacoma Park is Kilmarnock.
Montgomery County has seen a steady increase in resident employment and payroll over the past 10 years. Real estate prices of both new construction and existing homes have also steadily increased.
Uncertainty surrounding rising interest rates and increased inventory may cause a slight slowdown in home prices and sales going into 2020. The best bang for your buck in Montgomery County is Olney. Housing prices are below other areas in the county at an average median home price of $477,000 for 2018. Properties in this area are forecasted to increase by 3.4 percent within the next year. The schools in Olney have higher-than-average ratings and the crime rates are just slightly higher than Potomac.
As of 2017, the population of Montgomery County was 1.05 million. Nearly 57 percent of the population is working age and employed. The unemployment rate in Montgomery County was 3.2 percent as of 2018, which is just slightly below the national average of 4 percent. Close to 70 percent of employed residents are private wage and salary workers, and government workers make up 21 percent of the remaining workforce.
The majority of jobs in the county are in the fields of management, business, and science, with the top five largest employers being Marriott International, Lockheed Martin, U.S. Social Security Administration, MedStar Health, and HMSHost. The median income in Montgomery County is also higher than the national average of $59,000/year at $99,000/year. This is also slightly higher than the median income of the D.C. metro area at large.
Overall, Montgomery County has much to offer prospective residents. From farms and nature trails to shopping and family-friendly neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone. For added peace-of-mind, the county and state governments have organized their websites to make financial and crime data readily and easily available to the public. It’s no wonder this county is a highly sought-after location for young professionals and families alike.