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  • Writer's pictureEddie Brady

Moving to Columbia Maryland | TOP Places to Live Near Baltimore

Updated: Jan 31

Living in Columbia, Maryland, often regarded as one of the best cities in the United States for families, offers a unique blend of urban convenience and an outdoor feel. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into what makes Columbia stand out as an ideal place to call home. If you prefer to watch, check out my video below to follow along.

Originating back to James Rouse's visionary concept in the early '60s, Columbia was designed to encapsulate the essence of an ideal American town. Rouse aimed to create a complete city that was economically diverse, culturally rich, and integrated with nature. Fast forward 60 years, and Columbia, with its 105,000 residents, embodies Rouse's vision remarkably well, making it the second-largest city in Maryland.

Columbia Maryland

Location-wise, Columbia is strategically situated in Howard County, between Baltimore and Washington DC. Its proximity to major commuter routes like I95, Route 29, and Route 32 makes commuting convenient for residents. Despite its accessibility, Columbia maintains a unique charm, where homes, stores, and shopping centers blend seamlessly into the surrounding natural landscape.

Lake Kittamaqundi Pier

What stands out about Columbia is its integration with nature. Neighborhoods are nestled amidst greenery, with lakes like Lake Elkhorn, Wilde Lake, and Lake Kittamaqundi offering picturesque views and ample outdoor recreational opportunities. The city boasts 19 named parks and numerous trails, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

The heart of Columbia is the Town Center, a vibrant mixed-use development that includes the Columbia Mall, Lakefront, and the renowned Merriweather Post Pavilion. The Mall houses over 200 shops and entertainment options, while the Lakefront offers scenic views and recreational activities. Merriweather Post Pavilion stands as a prominent venue for concerts and events, adding to the city's cultural appeal.

Merriweather District

While Columbia offers abundant outdoor experiences, it doesn't fall short on shopping and dining. Snowden River Parkway is a hub for numerous stores, businesses, and dining options, providing residents with all essentials in close proximity.

Howard County Public Schools

Education is a significant highlight, with Howard County boasting the third-best public school system in the nation. However, it's crucial to note that different high schools in Columbia have varying strengths, so prospective residents should consider school districting maps to find the best fit for their needs.

Understanding the real estate market is pivotal for anyone considering a move to Columbia. The Columbia Association oversees the neighborhoods or villages within the city, with each village having its own homeowners association (HOA). The Columbia Association fee (CPR fee) can catch newcomers by surprise, but it covers an array of amenities and community services, making it a worthwhile investment for residents.

Housing options in Columbia range from condos to townhouses and single-family detached homes. Condo prices typically range from mid $100,000s to $500,000, townhouses from mid $200,000s to high $700,000s, and single-family homes from low $400,000s to over a million. It's important to note that many homes in Columbia reflect a contemporary style with earthy tones, a reflection of the city's integration with nature.

Ultimately, Columbia, Maryland, offers a blend of urban convenience, natural beauty, excellent schools, and diverse housing options. If considering a move to this vibrant city or the surrounding areas, thorough research and understanding of the unique community setup are essential.

Whether you're captivated by its scenic landscapes or intrigued by its bustling town center, Columbia offers a lifestyle that appeals to many. For personalized guidance or more information about moving to Columbia or the surrounding regions, feel free to reach out for a one-on-one consultation.

Eddie Brady, REALTOR

Cell: 301-395-0815

Office: 301-648-6000

Eddie Brady with Showcase Real Estate, LLC

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