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Old 11-30-2014, 08:57 PM
 
56 posts, read 82,823 times
Reputation: 13

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(Posted in the DC forum by mistake. I am still learning the areas geography!)

Hi! My husband has been looking for a job out of state since last spring. He has been looking mostly in the Cary/Realigh area in NC, but an interesting job opportunity has presented itself in Columbia, MD. It is a hour away from family so it is worth looking at. My husband asked me to research the area and to let him know my thoughts.

Who we are: We moved to the Twin Cities area 7 years ago from the Sacramento area in CA. I grew up outside San Francisco. My husband was a military brat and grew up all over the place. We have 5 kids aged 13, 10, 7, 4, and 2. Our two oldest have special needs (mental health, learning challanges, gifted). I stay home with the kids and am very tired of the bitterly cold and harsh winters. Hot and humid doesn't bother us.

What I am looking for here: I would like the names of several cities/towns that are an easy commute to a job in Columbia (sorry, don't know where in Columbia). Ideally, we would like to live within 20 minutes of my husbands job. Here is information to help...

1. We are interested in buying. Renting with 5 kids and moving several times with the challanges my older kids have would be super tough. I know it is often best to rent first, but we need to just make a choice and stick to it for the sake of our eldest (he suffers from extreme depresson and transitions are hard. There is more to it, but I am leaving it at that.). We would like to stick in the $400-$600k range, but could go up to 700k if absolutely needed. I suppose we could stretch a little higher, but that is our starting point. We need 5 bedrooms, but would love a 6 bedroom home with bonus space (basement rec. room for example). Right now we have 5 bedrooms, a basement rec. room, and a bonus 4 season porch which is just fine. We would like a yard. It doesn't need t be huge, but room for a play set and a garden would be nice.

2. Solid schools are a must!

3. I love to walk, but I don't need city walkable. I would like a place with walking trails, side walks, and places to walk. I want to be a mile or less to a super market, park, drug store, that kind of thing. Right now we can walk to a lake, park, community center, small shopping center, and the high school. Of course, you can only walk 4 months out of the year...

4. We would like somewhere safe and friendly. It is hard starting over somewhere new!

5. We enjoy visiting the city but we prefer to live somewhere more quiet.

I think those are my questions for now. Please let me know the best cities to start researching!

Thanks so much!
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,368,897 times
Reputation: 1851
You want to live in ... Columbia.

It meets all of your criteria. I'd suggest you read the Wikipedia entry on it as a start, as it explains some of the "villages" and the walkability. It isn't quite as walkable as the Twin Cities (I've lived there), but there is a very solid trail system.

You can also look at Ellicott City or Clarksville or Laurel, all also in Howard County, but the trail system is not as strong in any of those.

Schools are county-wide here, and all Howard County schools are solid.

I'll also mention as a Raleigh native that the major difference between here and Raleigh is the real estate prices (and of course traffic). The schools are better. It also is more expensive than the Twin Cities, though not as dramatically. With your price point and the size you want, you'll be looking at older construction.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:28 PM
 
56 posts, read 82,823 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you so much! I am just starting the research process. My husband needs to get much further in the job hunt process before I can invest tons of time in researching, but it is good to have a basic understanding of the area.

Did you like the Twin Cities? I like many things here, but the harsh winters have done me in. Being closer to family would be a huge bonus as well. I very much liked Apex, NC, but we can't go if my husband doesn't find a job. MD doesn't look to bad so far. The though of traffic isn't fun. There is a lot of traffic in CA.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,368,897 times
Reputation: 1851
Yes, I liked the Twin Cities, and there is a lot I still miss about them. I lived in the Grand Avenue area of St. Paul and I miss that wonderful walkability. I was there almost 10 years. But I always struggled with the length of the winter, especially around April when it just seemed to drag on forever.

IMO, the traffic is not as bad in the Baltimore suburbs as it is in the DC suburbs. As I drive south I can always tell when I'm getting closer to DC. Of course Raleigh isn't as traffic-free as it used to be and the roads there aren't built for the growth they've had. It all seems like a lot of traffic compared to MN; we were back visiting this summer and were reminded of that.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:57 PM
 
56 posts, read 82,823 times
Reputation: 13
I live in the west suburbs. I do like where I we live, but the winters are to harsh. Two years ago it snowed through May and I couldn't walk pushing a stroller until mid June because the sidewalks were full of snow. Last year we had 50 plus days that were below 0 and had school canceled 7 days because it was -40 with the wind chill. I can walk where I am kind of, but I am not in a super walkable area. Even if I were, you just can't walk in the weather we have been having. The negative degree weather started a month ago. The schools are great, housing is aforable, and I have finally made friends. All that is great, but I feel trapped and that is not a good feeling. My husband is interviewing for a fabulous job and I can't hold him back. Even if everything here was perfect, we would probably need to move for that job. I stay home with the kids and we relay on his job. Life is full of trade offs.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:55 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,441 times
Reputation: 10
hi did you end up moving? how did it go? do you like it there?
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:59 AM
 
664 posts, read 499,426 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah42 View Post
(Posted in the DC forum by mistake. I am still learning the areas geography!)

Hi! My husband has been looking for a job out of state since last spring. He has been looking mostly in the Cary/Realigh area in NC, but an interesting job opportunity has presented itself in Columbia, MD. It is a hour away from family so it is worth looking at. My husband asked me to research the area and to let him know my thoughts.

Who we are: We moved to the Twin Cities area 7 years ago from the Sacramento area in CA. I grew up outside San Francisco. My husband was a military brat and grew up all over the place. We have 5 kids aged 13, 10, 7, 4, and 2. Our two oldest have special needs (mental health, learning challanges, gifted). I stay home with the kids and am very tired of the bitterly cold and harsh winters. Hot and humid doesn't bother us.

What I am looking for here: I would like the names of several cities/towns that are an easy commute to a job in Columbia (sorry, don't know where in Columbia). Ideally, we would like to live within 20 minutes of my husbands job. Here is information to help...

1. We are interested in buying. Renting with 5 kids and moving several times with the challanges my older kids have would be super tough. I know it is often best to rent first, but we need to just make a choice and stick to it for the sake of our eldest (he suffers from extreme depresson and transitions are hard. There is more to it, but I am leaving it at that.). We would like to stick in the $400-$600k range, but could go up to 700k if absolutely needed. I suppose we could stretch a little higher, but that is our starting point. We need 5 bedrooms, but would love a 6 bedroom home with bonus space (basement rec. room for example). Right now we have 5 bedrooms, a basement rec. room, and a bonus 4 season porch which is just fine. We would like a yard. It doesn't need t be huge, but room for a play set and a garden would be nice.

2. Solid schools are a must!

3. I love to walk, but I don't need city walkable. I would like a place with walking trails, side walks, and places to walk. I want to be a mile or less to a super market, park, drug store, that kind of thing. Right now we can walk to a lake, park, community center, small shopping center, and the high school. Of course, you can only walk 4 months out of the year...

4. We would like somewhere safe and friendly. It is hard starting over somewhere new!

5. We enjoy visiting the city but we prefer to live somewhere more quiet.

I think those are my questions for now. Please let me know the best cities to start researching!

Thanks so much!
Columbia is a very nice city but it is getting crowed. Crime is not a problem there. Chose an area on the side of the lake as the other side has a lot of traffic. Also check out the builder of the home if you are buying. Harkins and the Artery Organization were the best builders. Rylan only so so.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:06 AM
 
664 posts, read 499,426 times
Reputation: 481
Default Columbia

I re read your request about information on Columbia. Columbia has good schools. I wouldn't call the people who live there "friendly" as many are new there as well and some are transient. Many work in DC.I wouldn't consider them unfriendly either, just reserve. Not like your older neighborhoods.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:31 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,488 times
Reputation: 17
Default Columbia is great

You will love Columbia, MD.

We moved for the following reasons:

Great public schools
Great community
Great diversity
Tons of bike paths and walking trails
The lakes were fishable and had paddle boats and kayak rentals
Lots of free family events at the village centers and the lakefronts

At your price range you should be able to get a pretty good deal in places like Clarksville (River Hill) ([url=http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5129-Watchwood-Path-Columbia-MD-21044/37002946_zpid/]5129 Watchwood Path, Columbia, MD 21044 | Zillow[/url] or [url=http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/11445-High-Hay-Dr-Columbia-MD-21044/36996083_zpid/]11445 High Hay Dr, Columbia, MD 21044 | Zillow[/url] for example).

A realtor should steer you to great properties.
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