I live in Parkville, near the city line. My neighborhood is great. I left the windows down in my car, and left the doors unlocked, twice in two consecutive days, over the summer. I had my Blackberry, CD's, and other items on the car seat and console, and nothing was stolen. The neighbors are great. Stores are convenient. It has a small town feel.
Currently my 10 year old is on her way to Pine Grove Middle where my 14 year old attended. He's now at Loch Raven High and I can honestly tell you that both of those schools are wonderful. I'm trying real hard to stay close enough that I won't have to move them. Although I've heard good things about Parkville High and my son really wants to go there.
I also love living in the area that I'm in and feel pretty safe.
That said, both Parkville (21234) and and Lauraville/Hamilton (21214) are very popular areas for either first-time home buyers or buyers who own a home in Canton, Federal Hill, Hampden, to name a few, and are looking for more privacy and a bigger yard. Many of the houses in both areas have wide and deep front porches that buyers adore. Lauraville/Hamilton is also home to some very cool establishments such as the Chameleon Cafe, Clementine, Koco's Pub, the Hamilton Tavern, to name a few. The proximity to Herring Run Park is another draw. Parkville has Racer's and Dead Freddie's and is graced by Double Rock Park, a much smaller version of Herring Run Park.
Let me know if I can be of any help. I do a lot of work in 21234 and 21214 and know both very well.
What we can do is refer you to where you can find the information you desire in order to make an informed decision that is right for you.
To find out about crime in a Baltimore City neighborhood, you can visit the Baltimore City Police's website -- and you can enter an address and find out what has gone on around the area. : http://www.baltimorepolice.org/
As for schools, you can compare by going to Great Schools http://www.greatschools.org/ where you can compare school districts.
I hope this helps!
Please let me know how I can help you further.
Keller Williams Excellence Realty