Top 10 Safe/Affordable Baltimore suburbs

Top 10 Safe/Affordable Baltimore suburbs

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Baltimore aka Charm City is often marked as having a reputation for high crime and a historical urban decay in some of it?s neighborhoods on the West and Eastern halves.

But this doesn?t mean all is gloomy in Charm City. Baltimore (especially downtown) is making the comeback of the decade with new buildings and residents flooding the city each brining it?s own unique taste to an already special city.

One of the best parts of this comeback is that the city hasn?t lost it?s blue collar roots which makes a thriving arts and culture scene the perfect place for expressing individuality unlike it?s neighbor to the south (D.C.).

The Inner Harbor along with other attractions all make Baltimore a unique city with a bright future.

But one can?t ignore the underperforming school system and the crime (while on the decline) which persist in the City?s mainly Western and Eastern neighborhoods.

That?s why we?ve come up with 10 affordable suburbs in the Baltimore area to consider if you?d still like to be around the amenities and culture of Maryland?s largest city.

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1. Catonsville, MD

Catonsville in Baltimore County is an up and coming mid-size town perfect for families. The town was also listed as the 49th best place to live according to Money Magazine. It?s also home to a community college (CCBC Catonsville) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This makes the town a perfect resting place for students and professors alike. Catonsville is also home to many yearly events such as the annual Fourth of July extravaganza, The Frederick Road Friday Concerts, the annual Arts & Crafts Festival, and the Santa House, among others.

Population: 41,567 (2016)

Average Home Price: $300,000

Safety index: 26 (100 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Catonsville is serviced by both I-695 and 40 US state highway which leads you into Baltimore within 17 minutes due to it bordering West Baltimore. However during rush hour, you might have to add 10?15 minutes to your commute.

If you?re heading to DC, it?ll take you an hour during rush hour as well as during off peak hours.

As for public transit, there aren?t really that many good options going into and out of Baltimore except for the local 78 MTA bus which transitions into CityLink Blue. If heading into DC, Catonsville isn?t serviced by MARC unless you want to drive to Halethorpe which should take you 10?15 good minutes. MARC from there should get you to Union Station (DC) in 25?30 minutes.

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Photo: Courtesy of WM Schlosser

2. Halethorpe, MD

Halethorpe is a much smaller town compared to all of the other options on this list. However, it is bordered by three interstate highways and is home to a MARC station making this destination the perfect place for commuters. Halethorpe borders Arbutus, Baltimore City and Landsdowne which means that groceries, entertainment, education and civic stuff are a drive or even a walk away.

Population: N/A, could not find population. Could be estimated at 5,000

Average Home Price: $210,000

Safety index: 9 (100 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Halethorpe is bordered by I-695, I-895 and I-95 which should take you 10?13 minutes to get into any direction within Baltimore. If heading our or into Baltimore during rush hour, expect to add at least 10 minutes to your commute.

If heading into DC, getting downtown via I-95 should take you 53 minutes. But if heading into or out of DC during rush hour, expect to add 30 minutes to an hour to your commute.

The MARC Penn Line services this town to Baltimore and DC. If going into Baltimore, expect 5?10 minutes. If going into DC, expect to get into Union Station in about 25 minutes.

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Photo: Courtesy of Evergreens Columbia

3. Columbia, MD

Columbia is a city located in desirable Howard County. As the third largest city in Maryland, it has a plethora of entertainment options and job opportunities meaning that you don?t have to leave the area to get what you desire or need. The city being located in Howard County is known as safe and has award winning schools. It?s also a planned community that was formed in the 1960s by James W. Rouse that sought to eliminate racial, economic and social discrimination by promoting a greater sense of community. This is no wonder the town is consistently located in the Top 10 most livable communities according to CNN Money.

Population: 103,467 (2016)

Average Home Price: $320,000

Safety index: 25 (1 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Columbia serves as a good hybrid commuter suburb between DC and Baltimore thanks to DC/MoCo/PG transplants settling in the area.

If heading into Baltimore, Columbia is serviced by Columbia Pike and I-95 which means getting into Baltimore should take you at least 25 minutes. If rush hour occurs then expect to add 20 minutes to your commute. There is also a commuter bus (MTA Route 310) which will take you into the John Hopkins Baltimore campus near downtown.

If heading into DC, I-95 and Columbia Pike should get you there in at least 50 minutes. But if you?re heading there during rush hour, expect to add an hour to your commute to be on the safe side. There is also a commuter bus (MTA Route 325) which will get you there in over an hour via Silver Spring.

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Photo: Courtesy of Apartments.com

4. Odenton, MD

Odenton in Anne Arundel County is an older town located 20 minutes away from Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland. It started out as a critical rail stop between Baltimore and Washington during the 1860?s when the Baltimore Potomac Railroad was being built. Over the years, this town grew from being a rural outpost to becoming a proper town cementing it?s place as a business, residential and commercial center for Western Anne Arundel County. It?s also located close to Fort Meade, the NSA, DC and Baltimore making it the perfect place for commuters.

Population: 37,132 (2010)

Average Home Price: $365,000

Safety index: 25 (1 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Odenton is serviced by I-97 and is close to the BW Parkway.

Getting to DC gets you there in 30 minutes during off-peak hours. But rush hour is a different story and you should expect to add an extra hour to your commute.

Getting to Baltimore will also take you the same amount of time of 30 minutes off-peak but expect to add 30 more minutes to your commute during rush hour.

Getting to DC via MARC should take you about 40 minutes.

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Photo: Courtesy of Long and Foster Real Estate

5. Taneytown, MD

Taneytown is located in rural Carroll County. The town was a settling point for many German and Pennsylvanian natives in the mid 1700?s. Because of it?s rich history displayed by it?s local museum, much of the town is designated in the National Register of Historic Places as of 1986. Taneytown was also the first town in Maryland to make the official language.

Population: 6,760 (2016)

Average Home Price: $249,000

Safety index: 57 (100 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Despite being located in Carroll County, it is both serviced by DC and Baltimore as transplants from Howard, Montgomery, Prince George?s Counties and DC have settled there in recent years.

With the town being serviced by no major highways, getting in and out of the area to Baltimore/DC areas is a bit of a challenge. However, it is 30 minutes away from I-270 which should get you straight into downtown DC in about an hour and a half. However if you?re getting there during rush hour, expect to add another 30 minutes to your commute.

If getting into Baltimore, expect to get there in about 50 minutes.

There are no public transit options in Taneytown to get to both cities.

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Photo: Courtesy of ?Only in your state?

6. Hampstead, MD

Hampstead is also located in Carroll County just like Taneytown. It?s location is perfect for Carroll County as it?s located closely to Manchester, Westminster and 9 miles north of Reisterstown in Baltimore County. The town originally started as a farming community which served many of it?s goods to Baltimore and Philadelphian residents. Because of it?s great history, the Hampstead School was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2002. Besides being a hub for history, Hampstead is also home to Jos. A Bank clothiers and is also home to FUCHS.

Despite all of this, the town was named as the 4th most affordable place to live in Maryland in 2016 according to Smart Asset.

Population: 6,355 (2016)

Average Home Price: $409,000

Safety index: 52 (100 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Like many other towns in Carroll County, Hampstead is serviced by no major highways.

If getting into Baltimore, expect the journey to take at least 40 minutes via I-83. Due to vast majority of I-83 commuters coming in from Northern Baltimore County, expect to add 30 minutes to your commute towards Baltimore.

If going into DC, expect it to take an hour and a half to get downtown during rush hour and via off peak hours too.

There are no public transit options to get to either city.

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Photo: Courtesy of Maryland Management

7. Severn, MD

Severn in Anne Arundel County is well located in the area. It?s close to Baltimore, Annapolis, Prince George?s County and DC.

Population: 44,231 (2016)

Average Home Price: $562,000

Safety index: 37 (100 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Severn is right near both I-97 and the BW Parkway. Getting into Baltimore via I-97 or the Parkway should take at least 25?30 minutes. But if getting in or out of the city during rush hour, expect to add 10?15 minutes to your commute.

Severn being serviced by the BW Parkway serves as a good beginning point to getting into DC. It should take you at least 50 minutes to get you there during off peak hours. However, rush hour is a different story as one might have to add an hour during their commute time.

There is light rail near the town and the 201 local bus which will get you there but it will take considerably longer to get to Baltimore.

If heading into DC, driving to BWI MARC station is an option and should take you about 10?15 minutes with the MARC train getting you there in about 40 minutes.

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Photo: Courtesy of City.Expert

8. Towson, MD

Towson, located in Baltimore County might as well be considered a city by now just like Columbia with it?s various amenities for residents to take advantage of. It?s also the county seat of Baltimore County which might give the town some bragging rights. It?s also the perfect town for students as Towson University is located there. The town has been growing at a fast pace which has prompted residents to call for more parks for recreation. Nonetheless, it?s conveniently located north of Baltimore City and is served by 6 MTA bus routes around the area.

Population: 55,197 (2016)

Average Home Price: $334,000

Safety index: 20 (100 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Like Columbia, Towson might be considered a hybrid suburb to DC and Baltimore. But it services primarily Baltimore via I-83 which will get you there in at least 15 minutes.

However, heed caution during rush hour as I-83 gets jammed packed in and out of the city. Expect to add 20 minutes to your commute downtown.

If you?re heading to DC, it should take 50 minutes to get there. However, when getting in and out of the city during rush hour, expect to add 20 minutes to your commute.

Public transit options to get into Baltimore include the CityLink Green which should get you there in about 40 minutes.

There are no public transit options to get to DC via Towson.

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Photo: Courtesy of Bayside electric company

9. Crofton, MD

Crofton is located in Anne Arundel County and started off as a planned community in the 1960s. It?s location makes it the perfect spot as it?s conveniently located near DC, the PG County towns, BWI airport and Baltimore. These are the reasons why the community was named on the ?Best Places to Live? list in 2011 by Money Magazine. It?s also home to multiple country clubs and the Waugh Chapel Towne Centre, which includes a movie theater, a grocery store, and dozens of other dining and shopping options. The town also has it?s own share of history which pre-dates it?s existence as a planned community during the mid 1960s.

Population: 27,348 (2010)

Average Home Price: $305,000

Safety index: 40 (1 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore/DC: Crofton is serviced by US-50 and I-97, however it?s closer to DC geographically thanks to it?s proximity to Prince George?s County.

Getting to DC gets you there in 30 minutes during off-peak hours. But rush hour is a different story and you should expect to add an extra hour to your commute.

Getting to Baltimore will also take you the same amount of time of 30 minutes off-peak but expect to add 30 more minutes to your commute during rush hour.

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Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

10. North Hopewell Township, PA

This township in York County, Pennsylvania may sound like an odd inclusion to the list but not so. Recently, a lot of Maryland transplants have moved over to the area and has turned the town into somewhat of an exurb of Baltimore. The town is incorporated which may mean higher taxes then many other areas listed here but all public services are covered by the township and not the county which means you?ll get a faster response time.

The townships semi rural nature makes it a great place to settle and escape the bustle of the Baltimore area whilst being an hour away from it.

Population: 2,801 (2016)

Average Home Price: $211,900

Safety index: 88 (1 is the safest)

Proximity to Baltimore: The township borders I-83 which will get you into Baltimore in about 50 minutes during off-peak hours. However, during rush hour, expect to add 40 minutes to your commute in and out of the city.

Disclaimer:

Despite MTA rolling out an overhaul of their bus system during July of 2017, there are still improvements that still need to be made in the system. Delays are far too frequent in many of the areas.

Therefore, driving would be best and will save much more time.

Even then, here are some community resources below:

Public transit:

MTA Commuter Bus (Route 325)- https://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/325CommuterLineForWeb.pdf

MTA Commuter Bus (Route 310)- https://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/310effApril1-2017.pdf

MTA BaltimoreLink bus information- https://mta.maryland.gov/content/baltimorelink-schedules#bus

MARC Penn line information- https://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/Penn_Nov18_Full.pdf

Feel free to contact us at info@homeaucs.com to comment or if you disagree.

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