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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Frederick, MD

Written by Aislyn Hobbs

Are you sick of the hustle and bustle of city life, but you just can’t give it up? We’re all aware that striking a middle ground between the two is challenging, yet there is a sweet spot where the two can coexist: Frederick, Maryland.

This city, if it has anything to offer, is a sense of stability. You would enjoy the ambiance of a tiny (but still walkable!) city adjacent to nature and urban amenities like restaurants, art galleries, and excellent public schools; the best of both worlds!

Let’s check out ten things to know before moving to Frederick, MD.

1. A strong agricultural sector

In addition to all of the urban amenities described above, Frederick has strong ties to its agricultural past.  Several farmer’s markets and the agriculturally-focused Great Frederick Fair can be found in the area. Compared to other counties in the state, Frederick County has the most farms.

Parks like Catoctin Mountain National Park and Cunningham Falls State Park allow residents to enjoy the outdoors while also contributing to the local economy through agriculture. 

2. A convenient location 

Some big cities offer multiple options for daily commuters from Frederick. Trains run three times daily mornings for individuals who commute to DC or Northern Virginia, and buses serve neighboring metros. In addition, three major airports (Reagan, Dulles, and BWI) are within an hour’s drive, and you can take the Amtrak train to New York City from Baltimore. 

The shuttle from Frederick to Baltimore and then the train to New York City will only take you four hours. Some people who work in larger cities around Frederick do so because the commute is so convenient. 

3. Attend The Great Frederick Fair, the Frederick Wine Festival, or the In The Street festival

Frederick is a thriving city that hosts numerous exciting events and activities all year long. The In The Street festival, held every year in September, is a huge hit since it has something for people of all ages to do and has a wide variety of musical acts and culinary options. The Frederick Festival of the Arts is another annual event held in the city that highlights the talents of regional artists and craftspeople. 

The Great Frederick Fair, the Frederick Wine Festival, and the Frederick Running Festival are just a few of the other annual events that bring visitors and residents alike to the city. There is always something to do and see in Frederick, thanks to the city’s numerous community events.

4. Enjoy the outdoors at Cunningham Falls State Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, or Baker Park

There are many parks and other outdoor activities in the Frederick area. Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain Park are only two of the many state parks and forests that surround the city and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. Because of its significance during the Civil War, the Monocacy National Battlefield is visited by many people today. 

Baker Park and Carroll Creek Linear Park are just two of the many parks and trails in the city that are perfect for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and picnicking. Water sports, including kayaking, fishing, and swimming, are all possible in the neighboring Potomac River. 

5. Traffic is a problem

Congestion on major thoroughfares like Route 15 and Interstate 70 is common in Frederick during rush hours. Recent years have seen a dramatic expansion in the city’s population, which has led to greater traffic and longer commuting times for certain people. 

Traffic congestion is another issue that might arise in the downtown area. Public transportation has been expanded, and intelligent traffic management systems have been introduced as part of the city’s efforts to alleviate traffic congestion. 

6. There’s a shortage of employment opportunities in Frederick

Those looking to make Frederick their permanent home may find the shortage of employment options a deal breaker. Although the city has a pleasant vibe and a wealth of history to explore, residents may find it difficult to secure long-term, well-paying work that is a good fit for their abilities and ambitions due to the small labor pool. 

Due to this limitation, locals may be compelled to look for employment in nearby cities or the greater Washington, DC, area, which could lead to increased transportation costs and longer commutes. The diminished purchasing power of locals can have knock-on effects on the expansion and development of small enterprises and community services if the job market remains stagnant.

7. Public transportation options are limited

Residents in Frederick who are unable to afford a car, such as the elderly, the disabled, and those living on fixed incomes, may be at a disadvantage due to the scarcity of public transit options. 

The TransIT system is Frederick’s major mode of public transportation, providing both local bus routes inside the city and connections to surrounding regions. The TransIT system does cover some ground, although it may not be as comprehensive, regular, or accessible as the public transit networks available in larger cities. 

8. There’s the risk of extreme weather

Summers can be scorching, and winters can be bone-chilling, depending on the year.  Rainfall totals average 42 inches per year, with 20 inches of snowfall. 

Because of its proximity to the Appalachians, the city is sometimes hit by tornadoes and other forms of extreme weather.

9. The cost of living is 13% higher than the national average

Frederick has a cost of living index of 113, 13% higher than the national average. The city also has a median home price of $435,707.

The yearly cost of living for a single person in Frederick is $48,362, which is more than the state average of $43,414 and the national average of $38,433. This is due to higher prices for housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, and taxes.

10. The crime rate is higher than the national average

The crime rate in Frederick is somewhat higher than the U.S. average. In Frederick, the rate of violent crime is 30.9. This is 8.2 percent more than the national average of 22.7. The city’s property crime rate of 33 is lower than the US average of 35.4. 

Since these numbers are higher than the national average, residents of this town need to be on the lookout for potential threats.

Final Thoughts

Frederick, Maryland, offers a mix of urban amenities and a robust agricultural sector, convenient transportation options to nearby cities, and a lively event calendar. However, be prepared for traffic congestion, limited job opportunities, and a somewhat higher cost of living. 

Public transportation within the city is limited, extreme weather can occur, and the crime rate is slightly above the national average. Overall, Frederick provides a unique blend of city life and natural beauty, but it has its challenges.

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