Choosing a new place to call home can be difficult, especially with everything there is to consider. From cost to safety and schools, it’s not a decision to make lightly. Especially if you plan to move to the Washington, DC metropolitan area, one of the most expensive areas in the nation, there’s a lot to think about. That’s why we’ve located five affordable suburbs in Washington, DC, listing out everything you might need to know to begin researching your new home.

Why listen to us? We’re movers in Washington, DC, and we’ve been all over the city.


Bowie began as a railroad stop, but it’s exploded in growth since its establishment in 1853. With an affordable cost of living compared to local median incomes, it’s a great option for living in close proximity to Washington, DC. Back in 2014, CNN Money ranked it one of their best places to live.

Bowie Demographics

Just over 57,000 people call Bowie home. It’s got a diverse population and a median household income of $127,029. The poverty rate of this town is 3.3%, well below the U.S. average of 11.6%.

Average Home Cost in Bowie

In Bowie, the average home value is $502,406. While high, this is still significantly more affordable than the Washington, DC average of $624,924. The area is a little less affordable for renters, though, with the average rental going for $2,782, compared to the Washington, DC norm of $2,648.

Bellhop - "Best Movers Ever'

Distance From Washington, DC

Bowie is about 18 miles away from Washington, DC, close enough to drive for a daily commute. It takes about 30 minutes to drive into the city, and plenty of public transportation options are available.

Schools in Bowie

Bowie schools perform in line with national averages. Residents have access to one public high school, two middle schools, and five elementary schools. Private school options are also available, including the highly-rated Grace Christian School and Belair Baptist Christian Academy.

Crime and Safety in Bowie

Bowie is quite safe compared to national averages. On a scale of 1 to 100, the U.S. average violent crime rate is 22.1, while Bowie’s is 11.3. Likewise, Bowie’s property crime rate of 22.5 is significantly lower than the national average of 35.4.


What would become Hyattsville began in 1807 when the eventual founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt, purchased a parcel of land at the age of 8. In 1845, the city was officially founded and by 1890, it boasted a population of over 1,000 residents, one of only two in the county. In 1892, the city made international history as it became the first city in the nation to tax land as well as property.

Hyattsville Demographics

Hyattsville is small, with a population of just under 21,000 people. The population has been decreasing somewhat in recent years with a -2.4% population change rate. The median household income is $84,763, with per capita income estimated at $40,990.

Average Home Cost in Hyattsville

The cost of a home has decreased recently, averaging $399,884. The area median rent is $2,500, around 19% higher than the national median, but still 6% lower than the Washington, DC average of $2,648. While there are several single-family houses available, there are plenty of apartment complexes across the city.

Distance from Washington, DC

Hyattsville is 6.5 miles away from Washington, DC, roughly a 10-minute drive with no traffic. However, its central location within the major metro area affords residents access to multiple public transportation options, including a bus and subway. Likewise, there are plenty of bike routes available.

Schools in Hyattsville

Residents of Hyattsville have access to numerous public schools through the Prince George’s County Public Schools District. Elementary schools tend to exceed state test scores.

Crime and Safety in Hyattsville

While violent crime in Hyattsville is around the national norm, property crime rates are over double the national average. On a scale of 1 to 100, Hyattsville ranks 80, with the national average at 35.4. For violent crime, Hyattsville ranks 24.5 compared to the U.S. average of 22.7.


The city of Laurel was officially incorporated into a town in 1870. Originally called Laurel Factory, it began as a small town that served as a source of cotton. It eventually expanded to become a commuter for Washington and Baltimore workers as the railroad system grew. Today, it serves as a residential city filled with local attractions.

Laurel Demographics

Laurel’s population is around 29,300 people, decreasing slightly from 2020 to 2022. The median household income is $85,615, with the per capita income estimated at $41,825.

Average Home Cost in Laurel

In Laurel, homes cost an average of $442,818. Rental units average around $2,145 monthly. That’s slightly more than the national median, but around $500 less than the DC average.

Distance from Washington, DC

Laurel is around 20 miles northeast of Washington, DC, with an average commute time of 32 minutes without traffic. Several public transit options are available to travel to the nation’s capital.

Schools in Laurel

Many schools in Laurel perform at or above state standards. Notably, the area is home to Chesapeake Math and IT Academy, a K-12 charter school.

The Better Way to Move

Crime and Safety in Laurel

Crime is a bit higher than the national average in Laurel. On a scale of 1 to 100, it ranks 34.4, compared to the U.S. average of 22.7. Likewise, property crime rates are high, scoring 49.8, with the country’s average at 35.4.


First founded in 1749, Frederick served as a stop on the German migration route into the Shenandoah Valley during the French and Indian War. This city is ripe with history, as well as modern urban amenities. Despite humble beginnings, Frederick is now the second-largest city in Maryland.

Frederick Demographics

Frederick is home to over 82,000 people, with a median household income of $82,563 and a rate of growth of about 5.1%. Per capita, people make an average of $41,649.

Average Home Cost in Frederick

In Frederick, renters can expect a median rent of around $1,995, slightly down from 2022 about 5% below the national average.

While rental costs are low, the cost of home ownership is a bit higher, with the average house selling for $435,085.

Distance from Washington, DC

Frederick is about an hour’s drive from Washington, DC, making it a bit of a commute, but some people find the distance worth it to have easy access to the urban amenities in the nation’s capital.

It takes nearly twice as long to get there by public transit, though it’s possible thanks to the Frederick MARC Train Station.

Schools in Frederick

Frederick is home to numerous high-performing public schools, including Linganore High School and Frederick Classical Charter School. Residents also have access to several private schools, including St. John Regional Catholic School and Frederick Adventist Academy.

Crime and Safety in Frederick

Violent crime rates in Frederick are slightly higher than national norms. Frederick ranks 30.9 for violent crime on a scale of 1 to 100, with the national average at 22.7. Property crime, however, is a bit less frequent, averaging 33.0 compared to the U.S. norm of 35.4.


Initially planned as a community after the Great Depression, Greenbelt has grown considerably since the 1950s. Despite this, its cost of living has remained relatively low compared to surrounding areas.

Greenbelt Demographics

Home to around 24,000 people, Greenbelt is quite diverse, with a high minority population. The median household income is $75,832 with a per capita income of $42,520.

Average Home Cost in Greenbelt

The median rent in Greenbelt is $1,937, 8% lower than the national average of $2,100 and significantly lower than the Washington, DC average of $2,650. Prices have decreased somewhat since 2022. For those interested in purchasing, the average home value in Greenbelt is $272,477.

While most homes are single-family and many are built in historic styles including cinder block and brick construction, there are some apartment complexes throughout the suburb.

Distance from Washington, DC

Greenbelt is about 13 miles from Washington, DC, with an average commute time of around 24 minutes without traffic. There are convenient transport options, including local public transit for those wishing to beat the traffic.

The suburb is a bit too far to comfortably bike, taking around 1.5 hours to arrive, but quiet residential streets and bike lanes on busier roads are plentiful.

Schools in Greenbelt

Greenbelt is home to several public schools with a few private options. Eleanor Roosevelt High School offers AP courses and scores about on par with state norms.

Crime and Safety in Greenbelt

The crime rate in Greenbelt is slightly higher than the U.S. average. On a scale of 1 to 100, Greenbelt ranks 26, with the U.S. average at 22.7. Property crime is ranked at 45.8 compared to the national norm of 45.8.

There You Have It: Five of the Most Affordable Suburbs in Washington, DC

Not everywhere in the Washington, DC metro area is as costly as the nation’s capital city, and if you’re looking to move to the area, we can help! At Bellhop, we can help coordinate long-distance moves to the Washington, DC area, as well as local Washington DC moves. All you have to do is reach out to let us know what you need, and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen.

Other Washington, DC Guides

Hungry for more information about the 202? We’ve got you. Check out our other guides.

Jean Ilera