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Old 03-24-2015, 07:29 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,348 times
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Hi there. My husband got a new job in Fulton/Columbia area and I have no idea at all what the areas are like up there.

Columbia seems to be really polarizing, comments range from "best place I've ever lived" to "crime infested and corrupt" ...so I'm really confused. Where are the high crime & high traffic spots? I'd prefer to avoid those. But the closer we can be to his job, the better. Right now he commutes about an hour each way and that sucks.

I'm a stay at home mom & have two preschool age kids. We like to be outside- what areas are good for walking/biking & parks? How's the savage park/Laurel park area? Looks like there's some places there that are more reasonably priced than in Columbia itself, and it's still close to his job.

Really, any advice or insight is appreciated.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,448 posts, read 20,438,902 times
Reputation: 5221
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreJ11 View Post
I'm a stay at home mom & have two preschool age kids. We like to be outside- what areas are good for walking/biking & parks?
Try looking for rentals in Fulton, Burtonsville or Laurel. The whole area is very expensive especially for a one-income family. It would help knowing your budget: if it is really low, you might have to look further away in Carroll or Frederick County.

The negative comments on Columbia are very exaggerated. There are some low-income rental complexes-- but you would not be looking there anyway. If you find an appropriate rental in Columbia, you could live there without fear.

If you found something in Savage Park or Laurel Park, you both should look at the immediate neighborhood. Most of the area is OK, but there are some commercial businesses along Route 1 that I would not want to be near, and some lower income areas. Savage is improving on the whole.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:20 AM
 
123 posts, read 99,034 times
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We lived in an apartment complex on Little Patuxent, right across from Columbia Mall from 2011 to 2013. We loved it there and always felt very safe. We often walked to Howard County Central Library and Lake Kittamaqundi. The lake has tons of stuff to do for kids: outdoor movies, art festivals, etc... There are also tons of parks and playgrounds around - look up "Columbia Area Mothers of Multiples" for playground locations and reviews in Howard County. If you can afford it, I think the apartment complexes around the Columbia Mall are a great place to live.

The cons about living there were that our apartment was more expensive than other places in Columbia and that the schools were not that great (not bad, just not as good as elsewhere in HC).

We also considered apartment complexes on Columbia Rd, just south of highway 108. They are close to two great parks: Centennial Park and Wilde Lake. But I don't have firsthand experience with them.
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,704 posts, read 64,651,019 times
Reputation: 34594
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreJ11 View Post
My husband got a new job in Fulton/Columbia area
and I have no idea at all what the areas are like up there.

Really, any advice or insight is appreciated.
You're moving to one of the wealthiest counties in the country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States
Five more of them are in close proximity.

This will show up mostly in real estate related expenses; both your own rent costs
but also the rent costs of everyone else you engage with from Dentist down to daycare.
They have to pay more so they have to charge more.

Plan to RENT for the first year or two.
If you're still there when the kids are ready for school... THEN look into buying.

Pay what you have to (not a lot of choice anyway) while you sort out the day to day.
Choose a location that is convenient to the husbands office.
Walk/bike convenient and you might trade off the second car expenses.

Last edited by MrRational; 03-24-2015 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Catonsville, Md
212 posts, read 355,604 times
Reputation: 126
Columbia and Howard County as a whole is very expensive. Also, Columbia has a separate tax you have to pay along with your sate and federal. Stay clear of some areas, Owen Brown, Steven's Forest. The apartments by the mall are really expensive. My dentist had lived there for sometime. Not much to do in downtown Columbia, the library is there but you have to deal with lack of parking sometimes, or mall but not really any entertainment areas. There aren't any really good restaurants downtown Columbia. But a new Whole Foods opened!
Centennial Park is nice and some bike paths aren't safe.

Good luck to you.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
3,767 posts, read 1,902,972 times
Reputation: 4047
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreJ11 View Post
Hi there. My husband got a new job in Fulton/Columbia area and I have no idea at all what the areas are like up there.

Columbia seems to be really polarizing, comments range from "best place I've ever lived" to "crime infested and corrupt" ...so I'm really confused. Where are the high crime & high traffic spots? I'd prefer to avoid those. But the closer we can be to his job, the better. Right now he commutes about an hour each way and that sucks.

I'm a stay at home mom & have two preschool age kids. We like to be outside- what areas are good for walking/biking & parks? How's the savage park/Laurel park area? Looks like there's some places there that are more reasonably priced than in Columbia itself, and it's still close to his job.

Really, any advice or insight is appreciated.

I grew up in Columbia. It is one of the more affluent suburbs in the country (a long with other close by suburbs- Ellicott City, etc.). Part of the knock it gets is that it is very stereotypically "suburban." Every single chain store is there, large mega mall (with high-end stores), etc. With that comes a lot of the traffic. *When I was growing up as a kid, it wasn't nearly as developed; around 2000 is when it really became a major development site.

As far as crime. There is some low-income housing apartments near the older "village centers" (Long Reach, Oakland Mills, Wlide Lake, Harper's Choice, Owen Brown). There are some crime around those areas, but nothing like what you would see in a major city (it's still the suburbs), but if you lived there you'd still want to be smart walking around late at night. If you live anywhere else, away from the apartments near the village centers; you will be living in typical suburbia with single family homes and townhouses, so crime won't be an issue at all.

There are plenty of parks, bike paths, and greenery all around Columbia, and Centennial Park (Ellicott City) is a really beautiful park not far away. There is also the Waterfront across from the Columbia Mall where there are bike paths around the lake.

If your husband got a job in the Fulton/Columbia area, Maple Lawn is a brand new community, all brand new SFH's/town homes, and stores shops around. I'm sure the prices are higher though. As far as Savage or Laurel, they are patchy in terms of crime and definitely have a more blue collar feel overall than Columbia. Each area has nice parts though, and overall would be more affordable than Columbia. I don't know those areas as well.

Last edited by personone; 03-24-2015 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
1,539 posts, read 1,789,349 times
Reputation: 2440
What is your budget? Telling us that will help us help you. Walking/biking trails? Columbia has an awesome trail system and a great Columbia Parks and Recreation department that I love for my kids. I personally live in Ellicott City yet I still find I need to go to Columbia a few times a week for shopping needs, or my kids' sports. Check spotcrime.com and compare Columbia to where you currently live.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:14 PM
 
580 posts, read 625,433 times
Reputation: 740
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2paisley View Post
There aren't any really good restaurants downtown Columbia.
Petit Louis, Sushi Sono are both pretty good restaurants.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
3,767 posts, read 1,902,972 times
Reputation: 4047
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeable View Post
Petit Louis, Sushi Sono are both pretty good restaurants.
I agree. I discovered Sushi Sono a couple of years ago when I was back in Columbia visiting my parents. They've got some great sushi! I saw Petit Louis when I was in town this summer and it was packed, so it must be a good restaurant too. Great location for those restaurants on the water front, and there are some other good restaurants around there too.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:11 PM
 
23,837 posts, read 20,242,228 times
Reputation: 9386
Without a budget, this question is very difficult to answer.
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