More expensive areas than Columbia will generally be Ellicott City, Clarksville, Fulton and western Howard County (large lot sizes increase home price).
I was born and raised in Howard County. My family has been selling Real Estate here since 1972. If I can help you further, please contact me.
If you visit my website, http://www.headforhome.net there is a link to crime stats for the county (by address). However, crime stats can be misleading, so you need to talk to someone who knows the area well. Crime varies, literally street by street, and changes over time.
Many people resist the CA fees, and that is understandable, but there are some benefits to it..... I live in Ellicott City in a neighborhood with no pool, no tennis courts, no tot lots... I suggest carefully weigh the benefits of having some of the amenities before you make your decision.
I can help you work through all those considerations. Feel free to give me a call- my contact info is on the website referenced here. Have a great day!
Howard County is a very popular county and there are some really beautiful areas around Columbia, such as Ellicott City, Woodbine, Mt. Airy, etc. None of which charge the association fees you have in Columbia. Unfortunately, agents are prohibited from commenting on crime stats or "steering" buyers to or away from certain areas. My suggestion would be to contact the Howard County police department for whatever crime statistics you need.
I have done business in Howard County in the areas in and around Columbia and would be more than happy to assist you in your home search. Please feel free to email me with any further questions at LDevnew@cbmove.com
Best of luck to your family,
I understand your concern about the Columbia Association fees. There are so many nice places in Howard County that do not charge the Columbia fee. In order to answer your question, I would need to know a little bit more about what you're looking to buy. For instance, are you looking for single family, townhouse or condo? What type of commute do you want to have to work? What is important to you other than not having the fee and low crime?
I would be happy to speak with you personally. I've lived in Howard County all my life and have raised a family here as well. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you!