Submitted by BalancingAct247 t3_ystpeu in ColumbiaMD

Hello! My husband and I are considering moving to Columbia with our toddler. What are the best neighborhoods if our priorities are a quiet/peaceful vibe, being near parks, good schools, lower traffic, and house prices in the $600-700k range? We are in the very preliminary stages of planning, so any recommendations are welcome.



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DavidHobby t1_iw1fuas wrote

Yeah, it’s all pretty quiet. But bigger thought: scope out some neighborhoods which have lots of toddlers — AKA your kid’s future friends! That’s literally the best thing about Columbia IMO.


trojan-813 t1_iw4befa wrote

This is the best answer. If you want your kid to have fun you need to find a place with kids and great parents. We got lucky and found a place like that. 2 kids within a week of my kiddo and all the parents, mostly, are awesome. Although we overpaid when we bought this house it was worth it.


BalancingAct247 OP t1_iwoido0 wrote

Can I ask what neighborhood you live in?


trojan-813 t1_iwpp67g wrote

I actually don’t live in Columbia. I live in Hanover, but still in Howard County. So it’s only a few minutes away and when we we’re looking to buy our house last year we looked all over Columbia.


baltikorean t1_iw0z0s1 wrote

Any neighborhood of SFH's in Columbia is going to be pretty quiet. The bigger concern is being in the flight path of BWI departures and arrivals, but it hasn't affected our toddler's sleep. Bonus points for neighborhoods tucked a little beyond major roads.


Dependent-Run-677 t1_iw10cvy wrote

Pretty much anywhere in Columbia is quite/peaceful but i would recommend harpers choice and river hill area! Good luck!


SnooHedgehogs6553 t1_iw27gon wrote

I’m not sure if that budget will get them into River Hill.

More expensive house comes with better perceived schools.


bwelsh822 t1_iw1bmbz wrote

Sewells Orchard


Sesquipedalomania t1_iw4cp86 wrote

I remember when it was still an actual orchard. My parents still have one or two Sewell's Orchard baskets somewhere.


kaki024 t1_iw2nt36 wrote

I grew up there and would move back in a heart beat if I could afford it. There’s a playground on the main drag of the neighborhood. And it’s an “out parcel” so you don’t have to pay CA dues.


LJ_Wanderer t1_iw15ulp wrote

I'm a fan of Kings Contrivance and Atholton (an out parcel near KC). The downside is one of BWIs arrival lanes flys right over that area.


AKnitWit777 t1_iw0xe4o wrote

All of the neighborhoods are relatively quiet. Even though Columbia is technically a city, aside from Merriweather, it’s fairly quiet at night. You’ll hear a little more noise around the village centers or in shopping areas, but not a lot.

With your budget, you should be able to find a SFH in a quiet neighborhood pretty much anywhere in Columbia.


FranciscoSolanoLopez t1_iw2h8h1 wrote

As someone who lives less than a mile from Merriweather, even that's not so bad. We have young children and the concerts never pose a problem for their sleep. Traffic is sometimes an issue before and after the show. And sometimes you get to hear a band you like play while you take the trash out!


AKnitWit777 t1_iw2jsvi wrote

Hi neighbor! Yeah, the free concerts are a bonus. :D You're right that it's not too loud outside of the Merriweather district, but it's probably the only part of Columbia where noise (aside from BWI takeoffs/landings) that there's even a noticeable amount of noise at night.


Skulbalski t1_iw2q91v wrote

Allview Estates. Built before Columbia proper. It is a forgotten sub-division built in the 1950 mostly. Allview is in a unique position where it is not subject to the Covenants of the Colubia Association and the associated taxes. The side effects of not being in CA is that you will have to pay extra for CA pools/gyms.

Beware, the schools in Howard County are subject to change based on test scores and your child may be bussed to another school further away in the county.


cornonthekopp t1_iw3kh4c wrote

Stevens forest is really nice, one of the most walkable areas in columbia and the best grocery store out of all the village centers


BalancingAct247 OP t1_iwoiiv0 wrote

Oooh which grocery store?


cornonthekopp t1_iwpsot2 wrote

LA mart, its a local chain that focuses on international foods (mostly asian and latin american) so not only are there a lot of good brands and options, but the prices are much cheaper compared to many other grocery stores in the area. Especially for produce and raw ingredients.


Oobitsa t1_iw4e2kd wrote

We're in the Clemens Crossing neighborhood of Hickory Ridge and love it.


kmiller801 t1_iwgpst2 wrote

Me too. We love Clemens. Great schools, walkable paths. We almost moved but could not bear the thought of leaving the neighborhood.


freecain t1_iwhia34 wrote

Most houses in that range are going to be on the quieter side of things. Traffic in Columbia tends to flow to major roads, so aside from the downtown or merryweather district, the traffic inside neighborhoods isn't too bad.

"Good" schools is going to be really subjective. Some of the highest ranked ones have minimal diversity. And, while there will be lots of opportunities for your kids, there will also be a lot competition for them and within them. Some parents prefer smaller schools for that reason. Either way, a good gauge is to look at the percentage of parents in the PTA.

As far as neighborhoods being good for kids - again this is going to be your preference and how you raise your kids. Columbia Assessed (part of the Columbia Association) properties tend to be on a network of wonderful biking/walking trails with tot-lots for kids. The houses will be older (60s-70s) and the lots smaller, plus you get an extra tax. I think it's all worth it, since this can build a sense of community within in your neighborhood. Conversely - some people prefer to move into the new-builds. Houses and yards are bigger, no CA fee, and if you can find one of the newer neighborhoods there will be more kids.

And, after doing all the research, know that school zoning does and will change.


BalancingAct247 OP t1_iwoiyat wrote

Really appreciate your thoughtful answer about schools. We want diversity and a rich experience, not just test scores.


tacitus59 t1_iw2ivvz wrote

BTW, the schools in Howard are good. Have a friends who kids went to one of the "problem schools"; his major complaint is the schools were on a list for the entire 10+ years for the school(s) to be rebuilt and they never did while his kids were there.


kaki024 t1_iw2nvw0 wrote

They finally agreed to renovate Oakland Mills High this year!


directorofnewgames t1_iw3zxj1 wrote

I live in Cherrytree farm. It’s near 29 and 216. We are a short walk to Scotts Cove. Our schools are very good. We have a lovely neighborhood. Unlike many we have a Neighborhood Organization. There are no monthly fees. We have covenants, but they are not enforceable. You can paint your mailbox, front door, fence any way you want. There are no fines doled out by a design committee. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.


OriginInfinity t1_iw2ysy4 wrote

I own several properties in Oakland Mills and have lived there for three years and plan to return and buy in Columbia within the next year.

I love the area of Columbia as a whole. Every village had low income housing in it which causes problems (crime, drugs, theft, and violence). On your budget you can purchase away from these low income properties but you will still be subject to the problems. A little perspective….. I own a home in Oakland Mills and lived there for three years and never had any issues. I loved on a quiet closed in area from through traffic it was quiet. I was about half a mile from the low income area. I then bought a condo and lived in it which was next to a low income area and frequently experienced vagrant hispanics drinking alcohol in groups almost every day almost all day. This led to experiencing those vagrants urinating all over the properties. Then there was the black youth who would frequent the area of the Oakland Mills town center (shopping district). They were selling drugs daily and yes I witnessed this personally, even called the county police and reported this to which the police told me they were not going to do anything about this and the Mayor of the county pretty much created laws that would not allow the police to control the issue hence why it continues. Additionally, I have witnessed two separate gun fights on my condo property amongst the black drug dealers. One incident was only two people shooting at each other, the second was about 10 all shooting. Thankfully I wasn’t standing in the parking lot in time, I just got to watch this all from my window.

Don’t let that scare you from Columbia. These problem people are few and far between and I would think a majority of residents in the low income properties are honest, decent, hardworking people who also don’t enjoy the problematic people. Just don’t buy a property within proximity to these properties and you most like won’t experience any of this.


Nicticattack t1_iw3nd1f wrote

I'm not sure why you feel the need to bring race into your comment so heavily. Would appreciate it if you'd reconsider revising your comment to focus on the neighborhood facts.


OriginInfinity t1_iw3otio wrote

Did I say anything racist? I was simply stating the facts in my community.

This is the definition of racism: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

I can assure you I’m no racist and this post was not targeting any race, simply stating facts.

If you can tell me why


Nicticattack t1_iw3pnnf wrote

> "vagrant hispanics drinking alcohol"

> "black youth"

> "black drug dealers"

There are many ways to state your concerns with an area but it's very clear that you are not focusing only on the issue, but the race of the individuals. Consider this your warning.


OriginInfinity t1_iw3t88i wrote

Can you give me an example? You state there are many ways to do that and complain when I state facts but give no solution.

CNN can state racial demographics for polls, wikipedia can state racial demographics for population of Columbia, Maryland, is this incorrect as well?


Dennovin t1_iw56gm4 wrote

We're not going to engage with your bad faith attempts to "debate" whether your clearly racist bullshit is racist or not.


DavidHobby t1_iw4oy8w wrote

I’m calling 100% bullshit on a “10-person shootout” in Columbia — at least during any period since 1986. That’s when I moved up here to start my career as a journalist. Post a link to the news story, please.

Also, it’s important to understand that racism needs those ridiculous levels of exaggeration to sustain itself.


OriginInfinity t1_iw4r2d1 wrote

Well, It happened in Oakland Mills in 2020 behind the shopping center where Dunkin’ donuts is and between my condo on whiteacre road. I was home and heard heard one gunshot and then went to the window and looked out and saw two groups of multiple males pull out fire arms and start shooting at each other. Was at least 10 people. They fired about 20-30 shots and then started running separate directions. Pretty sure one person was shot. I’m probably one of several people who called the police. HOCO police came and blocked off the parking lot as a crime scene for half the day collecting shell casings. I even witnessed one of the gunmen run and jump into his window of a condo across from my building. I told 911 dispatch I saw where one of the shooters went and I would be more than willing to be a witness for police, but they never came to my door or called.

This was the second shooting I witnessed within a six month span while living there.


DavidHobby t1_iw5g86j wrote

Again, a “ten-person shootout” would be HUGE news. Please post the URL(s) of news about this event.

Something perhaps with a little more credibility than Fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd HUGE SHOOTOUT IN OAKLAND MILLS!!!!!!


DavidHobby t1_iw5gdnz wrote

Oh, wait. I see the shootout is now “at least” 10 people.

Uh huh.