The Cost of Living
Living in Chillum is not inexpensive. Housing costs here are about 40 percent above the national average and about 10 percent over Maryland’s average. In the right neighborhoods that extra doughyou get several benefits including a solid infrastructure. This city is definitely not for the struggling artist, though there are opportunities. Fact is, Chillum has its good sides and its bad sides. While it’s not quite Jekyll and Hyde, it wouldnt hurt to cruise by on a Friday night to see how your neighborhood stacks up.
Things to Consider
The infrastructure is good. There are bars and clubs and restaurants galore, but don't bring your walking shoes. Chillum is a little spread out for bipedal locomotion. If ya got wheels, bring 'em. It’s a bare necessity of life in this neighborhood. There have been talks about improving the transit system with the much vaunted Purple Line which is anticipated to increase residential density, but we are in the nation’s capital, so talk is cheap.
Before You Move
Government cities mean paperwork; there’s no way around it. Like death and taxes, bureaucracy is a guarantee. Tax laws can be a little complicated so you will want to understand the property laws for your district when you move in.
What You Need
Just like any move you will want to bring a copy of your credit report, work history, proof of income, and references. People are less likely to take chances here, so you can expect a background check and verification of your paperwork before you move in. Generally for rentals, a deposit will be required usually including the first and last month's rent. Start looking a few weeks before you plan to move. Give yourself time to search for apartments. Availability is high here, so once you’ve found just the right pad it shouldn’t take long to get your keys. After your initial lease, many rental properties will allow you to go month to month for a slightly higher fee.
The City of Chillum is divided down the center by Sligo Creek. Lewisdale and Avondale are on the west side butting against the Maryland/DC border, while Carole Highlands and Green Meadows border Hyattsville on the east side of the creek. Most of the neighborhoods here are similar: eclectic, well established, and full of history. The cost of living in Maryland is higher than the national average, and Chillum is slightly above the state average. So living here won't be inexpensive. Duh! However, the average salary goes a long way towards leveling the field. In short, not a lot people living here work at McDonalds. These are professionals.
Avondale: Exactly what you would expect from a suburban neighborhood. Green lawns, brick houses, families walking dogs in cul de sacs. Remember where you parked; the homes all look remarkably alike here. There are also a large number of high-rise and apartment buildings. This is also your best bet if youre looking for townhouses to rent.
Carole Highlands: Considered by many to be the land of equal opportunity. This neighborhood experienced a huge turnover in 2000 after the residential bubble burst. Today doctors, lawyers, plumbers, and electricians all live side by side in brick and dutch colonial style houses.
Green Meadows: Older houses with large front lawns. This small area is separated from Lewisdale on the east by Ager Rd and Avondale to the west by Sligo Creek. There is a large Spanish speaking culture here. Es muy bueno.
Lewisdale: Like a slice of Americana with a modern twist, Lewisdale consists mostly of '40s and '50s style architecture built after the Second World War. Nearly 50 percent of the population are sales and service workers, most of which own their homes. Habla Espanol? It will be useful here if you want to become a regular at some of the Mexican restaurants nearby.
In this city, owning a car is the only way to get around. Less than 15 percent of the population take the train. That may change if the lines get extended; until then it’s best to keep your transportation in your driveway. Within easy driving distance of DC and Baltimore you will likely take more than a couple road trips during your stay. It’s probably a good idea to steer away from political banter. People in the city are very well informed and opinions are plentiful. Residents are not shy of sharing theirs with the gusto of a telemundo TV host. Best just stick to the weather.
The residents of Chillum have no shortage of activities. Living in the center of American History, there are numerous memorials, reenactments and museums. There’s enough history to keep you busy until the next revolution. For those that aren’t so much into the past, there is plenty shopping and entertainment to be had. This is not much of a walker’s town, scoring only a 52 on Walkscore.com, so the majority of the citys activity centers around large shopping centers. Luckily, even outside of the shopping centers there is food-a-plenty. Any cuisine you can imagine is at your fingertips, and a lot of places will deliver.