Retiring on Eastern Shore of MD or VA

Old Sep 21st, 2019, 05:57 AM
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Retiring on Eastern Shore of MD or VA

We are thinking of retiring to the eastern shore of MD or VA and would like to find a home on the water with access to the Bay. We'd like to be in or close (no more than 10 miles or so) to a real town with restaurants, shopping, health care. We'd need a dock with 4-5' depth for our boat if not already in place. You might be saying to yourself, "So talk to a real estate agent," and we will, but would like suggestions from folks who actually live in this part of the country so we have an idea of where we want to search, or start to search. We think we'd like to be between Onancock, VA and Cambridge, MD, but that could change depending on comments we receive from y'all. If you live or have lived between these two towns, what are your recommendations of best places to live and why? Really looking forward to your opinions. Thanks!
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Old Sep 21st, 2019, 06:35 AM
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Northwest of Cambridge, but the Chestertown area is very nice if your definition of real town includes places with a colonial American atmosphere. The Chester River leads to the Bay and has the draw you need. A resto right on the Chester River has experienced floods in its parking lot--something to consider when looking at the houses near the water.

Also a bit from Cambridge, Eason. Easton's hospital has more services than Chestertown's at this time. Tred Avon and Choptank Rivers occur before the Bay. Oxford would be more convenient to the bay but not to activities (10 miles to Easton).

Both Chestertown and Easton are county seats and have a college either in the town or nearby. The weekend traffic on Route 50 could be an annoying factor for Easton but not if you would be boating rather than driving!

PS--as you probably know, swimming is much better in the northern part of the Bay. No nettles! Too far north based on your post, but Georgetown MD has a nice marina.
No help here about VA. Just find out about flooding in the waterfront towns.
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Old Sep 21st, 2019, 07:40 AM
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Just find out about flooding in the waterfront towns.
My first thought when I read the topic.

See: https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/ne...ts/3066244002/
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Old Sep 21st, 2019, 09:57 AM
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katherinebw, I wish you'd said the Western Shore! Annapolis is a great boating town. Scads to do--opera, ballet, symphony, theatre and theaters, restos by the gallon. The city dock area has been flooding regularly during the 30+ years I've lived nearby.
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Old Sep 21st, 2019, 10:52 AM
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Seems the city of Annapolis is under no illusions that it isn't going to get worse. At least they have a plan: https://www.annapolis.gov/885/Weather-It-Together

The Republicans in NC decided the best way to deal with sea level rise was to pretend it wasn't going to happen: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...86217I20120703
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Old Sep 21st, 2019, 05:00 PM
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I have friends that live in Royal Oak, close to St Michaels in Talbot County. Very nice there.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 04:08 AM
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A good start. Thanks so much! Actually we were in Annapolis last year, unfortunately for a funeral, so didn't get to see much, but what we saw was very nice. Had a great lunch at a place not on the water. Maybe we'll take another look. And I didn't know about the swimming being better in the northern part of the Bay. When I say town, what I mean is something a little bit bigger than, say, Cape Charles and Onancock. What do you think of the Bay area near Princess Anne?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:56 AM
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Princess Anne is another county seat and a charming town with a college that is part of the university system. And, I'd say less to do. I have no first-hand help with boating or swimming. Just looking at a map, you've got Manokin (say manOkin) and Wicomico (say whyCOMicko) Rivers to navigate before reaching the Bay.

You might want to check out Snow Hill. Another county seat and charming.

Nearby Chrisfield was a fishing village back in the 60s but has a fair amount of development. Again, check about flooding and night life there. Friends of mine wintered there in their trawler and enjoyed conversations with the fishermen. Both are scientists and she's a photographer also.

Salisbury is the largest city around there. Again, a county seat, regional hospital and a university.

On the Western Shore, we took a Skipjack ride out of Havre de Grace (they say havver dee grace). Again, more north in the Bay.

Annapolis would be more expensive than the Shore.

Although I wasn't born in Md., I grew up on the Eastern shore and was eager to move away! 50 years later, it is waaay less isolated and is becoming more popular for getaway and retirement living.
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Old Oct 1st, 2019, 05:24 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for this information. It is very helpful. We are planning to meander around the area in mid-October.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2019, 07:05 AM
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Know you mention only Maryland and VA, but have you looked at Delaware?

I didn't think about Chesapeake City upthread but Delaware reminded me: https://chesapeakecity.com/
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Old Oct 4th, 2019, 12:07 PM
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Chesapeake City looks very interesting! We were originally thinking farther south so the weather would be warmer later in the year, but we're still open to a lot of areas. Would like to see the sunset, too.
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 06:40 PM
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My and my husband's questions now 8 years later are the same as yours. Where did you end up retiring and are you happy there?
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Old Mar 20th, 2021, 06:59 PM
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welcome to Fodors taniapio: the OP (katherinebw) has not posted on the forums since this thread almost 2 years ago. She may still be around but isn't active. It would be better if you start a new thread with your own specific questions.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2021, 12:03 PM
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Correct, I have not been on for a while. Unfortunately, DH had some serious health issues in late 2019 and has been undergoing treatment which will need to continue indefinitely, so we've had to put off those plans a bit. Then, of course, there was COVID. We are now both vaccinated and may start our search again. We've really only gotten as far as discovering that MD real estate taxes seem to be higher than VA. Ideally we'd like to be on the water in a town or very close to one with restaurants, library, cultural events, etc. and now a good hospital. We've been to Onancock but haven't talked to any agents. I'd love to look in MD when/if we can start up again. Please post your adventures, and good luck finding your dream retirement location!
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Old Jul 17th, 2021, 07:14 PM
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Obviously, I haven't checked Maryland posts recently. katherinebw, I'm so sorry about your husband's medical problems.

Yes, taxes are higher in Maryland but are services better? Only you can decide.

I'll suggest Annapolis more strongly this time. State capital, colonial history, easy Bay access, opera, ballet, symphony, theatre, art vibe, higher education, and a good hospital. Nearby Baltimore and D.C. with hospitals of international repute.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes.
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Old Jul 30th, 2021, 01:10 PM
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So sorry also. Please check out Delaware. Taxes are the best there. I had three aunts that lived full time in Rehoboth, now only one left. Lewes is wonderful and even Milton is not bad. Close enough to the shore. The climate is not that bad even in winter. My parents did not pay school taxes after 65. I know schools are important but for people on fixed incomes, it is wonderful. In Fl it is the highest tax on our property bill.
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Old Jul 31st, 2021, 02:19 PM
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I live in Maryland but would personally have no desire whatsoever to live in such a rural area. I would think that would get to be more of a problem as you age, also. I guess if you want a boat, that's what you have to do, though. Also, of course you don't have quick access to the best hospitals.

Maryland does have extremely high taxes of all kinds. The income tax rate is very high, and property tax rates are fairly high also, but probably not as outlandish versus property value. They are definitely higher than Virginia. And it is a lot worse now that they aren't even deductible on your Federal Taxes beyond $10K a year. That really socked it to anyone with even a moderate income, I think. That was the legislation during Trump era, wish that would change, but Congress would have to do it. I lost several thousand dollars a year due to that myself. And of course sales tax is fairly high, also. Sales tax is 6 pct. marginal income tax rate is about 5 pct above even a rather minimal income level. It's 4.75 pct at $3K and 5 pct at 100K income or more. Top rate is only 5.75 pct if income is more than $250K. Every county also levies its own income tax on top of the state one, it varies a little but is about another 3 pct.

Marytand is similar to high tax states like CT or CA (or NJ, I think).

It isn't that they have better services, it's because they are more generous with some welfare benefits, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and things like that. Also, Maryland is not as "friendly" to businesses so doesn't have as much tax support from business as some states. I like that as some "business friendly" states mainly mean workers have little rights, that's why they are friendly for businesses. LIke Virginia, no mystery why Amazon headquartered there. Virginia has some kind of car tax which Maryland doesn't, but that's not enough to change the picture much, it's nothing compared to Maryland's tax picture.

As far as hospitals, of course you have world class in Baltimore, but otherwise down there, Anne Arundel in Annapolis and Tidal Health Peninsula in Salisbury are the best. Depends what you need, I don't think the others are that good. At least Cambridge is only about 30 miles from Salisbury, if that's quick for you.
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Old Aug 1st, 2021, 09:44 AM
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Pushing back a bit about the hospitals... there is a relationship with Johns Hopkins research. I don't know details but the Annapolis hospital is very good.

Christina's point about the rural character of the Shore is a reasonable one.

I'm not certain if housing prices would compensate for higher taxes either.

At any rate, please let us know what you decide, katherinebw.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2021, 03:17 AM
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I bet Beebe hospital in Lewes has been improved with the President living so close now. I was always amazed when any president came to Daytona how the hospitals had so many on call. Cheney had heart surgeons when he visited. No sales tax in Delaware. I loved that when buying a car or big purchase.
I like the somewhat rural character of the eastern shore but they are not backwoods by any means. Not that bad of a drive to BWI for flights. The ocean or bay with the sound of geese flying overhead is wonderful. We stopped in Harper's ferry yesterday and heard geese. I miss that so much.
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Old Aug 15th, 2021, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for all this great info and your good thoughts. Travel for DH is still dicey, particularly with Covid on the rise again, although we are both vaccinated. Will have to wait a bit longer to even start to investigate again.
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