Betsy — as you posted this to the Corner yesterday, I was getting ready for a home inspection. In Virginia, not Maryland.
For someone moving to the D.C. area, the difference is actually quite striking. At first glance, it may seem that affordable homes are easier to find in Maryland — but once the higher taxes are factored in, the savings are gone. And that’s before you even get to schools and crime.
I highly recommend this piece from Nicole Gelinas, which details the effects of taxes on property values, and which is consistent with my personal experience. When you shop for a home, the biggest number in your mind is your total monthly payment, including insurance and property taxes — and if you’re thorough, you factor in differences in income taxes as well. Therefore, when taxes go up, property values have to come down to compensate, or people will just live elsewhere.