Moving in Columbia>Question Details

Snowflake, Home Buyer in Columbia, MD

My husband and I recently moved to Columbia from Massachusetts. We love it here, but in comparison it is very

Asked by Snowflake, Columbia, MD Thu Apr 16, 2009

costly. Looking to buy outside Columbia in a low crime area for a bit less and without Columbia Association Housing fees. Where do you recommend?

0 votes Share Flag Moving in Columbia

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Columbia is great. Almost everything you need is within a five mile radius and BWI is conveniently close by as well. Honestly, there is a reason it is costly and that is because it is a great place to live, work and play. Once you leave for something cheaper such as Laurel, you will miss the convenience of living in Columbia.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 6, 2014
laurel,md is a good choice. i just purchased a town house for 160.000.if you like you can contact my realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 14, 2014
Hello Snowflake, I hope by now you have been able to check out other parts of the county. If not, my suggestion is to get in the car and drive around the different areas. Google Map is a good place to start. You can put in a starting point and continue to add addresses until you get an entire route then print. Also if you have children and are looking for good schools, you can use to see which school belongs to which address. The URL for Howard County crime statisics is: There are other easy to use clicks on my website if you want to check it out. I live in Ellicott City and there are some great bargains to be found around the area. Good luck with your home search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 28, 2009
I grew up in Columbia, moved away for about 15 years, and when we wanted to relocate back to the Howard County area, we found the same issues with Columbia. Crime, fees, small lots. After looking at many homes in the Ellicott City area (which we love), my husband came upon a listing in Dayton. I had never heard of Dayton, after living in Columbia all my life, I was sure it was in another county. But, its actually
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
You have many choices. To find less expensive areas around Columbia, but yet still in Howard County, there are great options in Laurel (Howard County), Elkridge, Jessup and Savage. Elkridge and Laurel will give you the most options. Depending on what your commute needs are, many will consider Sykesville and Eldersburg.

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.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 17, 2009
Hi Snowflake- Your question comes up frequently, and is one that I love to entertain. I was a Howard County Police officer for 20 years before retiring to pursue real estate full time. In my last assignment I supervised the crime analysis section, so I certainly understand your concerns about crime.

If you visit my website, 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!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 17, 2009
Hi Snowflake,

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

Best of luck to your family,

Lisa Devnew
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 16, 2009
Dear Snowflake,
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

I look forward to hearing from you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 16, 2009
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