On The Line - Can I Get An Answer?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291

What's it like to have a home in two different counties like Baltimore City and Baltimore County. There are properties that part is in the city and the other in the county. Over the years, I have sold more than a handful of these listings. And it is always interesting. The topic, brought up on this past week's radio show, created a discussion from the listening audience. Questions came up

What about schools?

Where do you pay taxes?

When is trash day?

Which library?

How about a neighborhood pool?

A senior center?

For the school situation, my experience has been that there is a choice. Since you are paying two tax bills and have two tax IDs, you have a choice, just like voting. I have always taken these "on the line" properties as a positive. Maybe your job requires you to live in the city, but the special needs school you want is in the county. 


baltimore city map

The map above shows Baltimore County surrounding Baltimore City



But more than a couple of my radio callers gave a different explanation.

Here is one:

And that it is where you sleep in the house. Where your bed is located.

Where you lay your head at night determines the schools? 


Sorry but  I find that hard to believe.

What if the property line has two bedrooms in the city and the other in the county?

What if you move your bed?

What if you hang a hammock outside?

Who checks? Who makes the decision?

If you own property in the city and the county, do you use the services of both?

Who can give us the RIGHT answer?


Thinking about buying a home

Call Margaret Rome


Margaret Rome



Comments (29)

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Wendy Rulnick And we have some areas that you can choose to receive mail in two different locations. 

Sep 27, 2021 07:58 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jim Patton, What a fun comment...wish I had these words for  Sunday's show.

'What if you fall asleep in your recliner watching TV. Do you then have to move your kids to a different school?'

Sep 27, 2021 08:00 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Oct 02, 2021 05:49 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Thank you so much, Kathy Streib! I so look forward to your weekly featured posts. I am honored.

Oct 02, 2021 07:13 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Margaret - this is an interesting question.  Does where you spend 51% of your time have anything to do with it?

Oct 03, 2021 04:12 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Margaret - I have said it numerous(likely far more) times before - local real estate expertise matters.  And it matters a lot.   

Oct 03, 2021 05:26 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Grant Schneider I don't think so but...it's as good an answer as to where you lay your head.

Oct 03, 2021 08:06 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Michael Jacobs Yes, you have said it many times and will say it many more times! Expertise matters!

Oct 03, 2021 08:08 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi, Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 - How interesting! I have never encountered this.  Sedona is in two different counties though, so I have to be up on all the aspects of each county and how it affects the area.  There are some neighborhoods that are split between the two counties.  But I am sure that the individual properties are all in one county or the other. 

I also don't buy the "where you sleep" idea.  

Oct 03, 2021 10:24 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Margaret:

What an interesting situation. I don't think I buy the idea of where you lay your head for sleep determining city or county. What do the city or county say?


Oct 03, 2021 10:33 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

OMG, how interesting, Margaret! We have 'unincorporated' (County) and the City but, school assignments are previously created by lines drawn, not where you happen to sleep at night! This is just crazy! 

*Love Jim Patton's answer too - Uh OH! Time to move the kids!

Oct 03, 2021 01:45 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Interesting that the homeowner would have to pay to two different counties (or cities). It's bizarre! On a side note, I grew up near the Mississippi-Alabama State Line. As I child, I mused about standing in two states at a time and would ask my dad where the "line" was located. :)

Oct 03, 2021 04:14 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 ,

So glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. Loved Jim Patton 's comment. I've had a couple of house listed where the house was built over a lot that was divided between 2 school districts. You had the choice to pick..but NEVER heard anything about where your bed was placed! Hard to believe that one..I can tell you our taxing entities have no time to be checking on bed placement! LOL!

Oct 03, 2021 04:14 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Hi Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 What an intersting question and a good question.  I haven't run into this situation but am curious to know the answer.

Oct 03, 2021 04:25 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Interesting questions that have never come up here Margaret! We live in a town and are county driven, not city.

Oct 04, 2021 06:56 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I will see some listings where the sellers are located and pay taxes to 2 towns, but I don't see them note that the house is split into 2 tax bases.  That could make it interesting especially if one of the areas has a better school system than the other

Oct 04, 2021 08:51 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  Reading the responses from callers is even more interesting.  Paying 2 different taxes doesn't sound very appealing, but having a choice in schools might make this a worthwhile option for some buyers. Anyone interested in homes in Baltimore City or County should call Margarate Rome! 

Oct 04, 2021 12:49 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

I don't think I've ever run into this situation Margaret.  I highly doubt where you lay your head at night determines the rules.  What?  There must be bedroom police!!!  LOL

Oct 04, 2021 03:56 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

What a strange situation for those out of town buyers who may not know about this situation!

Oct 13, 2021 09:05 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Thank you all for the comments. I just heard another story from another owner who lives in a home originally in the County and now is in the City. It happened when a shopping center purchased the land and changed her boundary line.

Another strange situation.

Oct 13, 2021 09:17 AM