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What's Up Magazine

Great Neighborhoods

Aug 31, 2011 05:42PM ● By Anonymous

Are prices going up or down? That’s the question everyone wants the answer to when they start thinking about buying or selling a house. As one of the most desirable places to live in the United States, Anne Arundel County has not been as susceptible to the national economic downturn that began in 2008. But yes, prices did settle down. And now, prices appear to be trending up, with certain neighborhoods recovering more rapidly than others.

We talked to several Realtors and the general consensus is that it is still a buyer’s market and that they are shrewdly scrutinizing those communities that best suit their needs and aggressively putting in offers. At press time, houses were selling at approximately ten to fifteen percent below their original listing price.

What does that mean to you the reader? We’ve assembled recent sales statistics, organized by zip code, including median home prices, high and low sales figures, volume of properties sold by year, and average number of days on the market.

According to a June report issued by Coldwell Banker, Annapolis’ 21401 zip code has been identified as Maryland’s most expensive market. According to their data, “the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home has a listing price of $688,232.” Nationally, the average listing price for a home that size is $293,252, and in Maryland overall, the average price was $381,314. How do other markets (zip codes) stack up?

We’ve selected neighborhoods in several zip codes togive you a brief peek at what they have to offer in amenities and lifestyle. If you are in the market to buy, spend some time with your real estate agent to become familiar with the variety of choices Anne Arundel County has to offer.

Winchester-on-the-Severn, a community of about 100 homes established in the 1950s, features amenities such as a neighborhood beach and various locations for boat storage. Even the stunning views of Winchester-on-the-Severn are just one of the outstanding options for real estate in the 21409 zip code.

With family-friendly neighborhoods and ample coastline, it is clear why the 21409 zip code of Annapolis is experiencing a rise in both the total amount of real estate sales and the median home price. Over 48 percent of local households have children who attend Broadneck High and its feeder schools in the public school system. All of this zip code’s neighborhoods rank above the 90th percentile for safety on Neighborhood Scout’s Crime Index. Within 10 miles of downtown Annapolis, 30 miles of Baltimore, and 40 miles of Washington, D.C., the commute is reasonable for many residents. Surrounded by the waters of the Severn River, the Magothy River, and the Chesapeake Bay, many communities offer beautiful scenery and water privileges.

Other Prominent 21409 Communities: Providence, Whitehall, Amberley

Sherwood Forest is an Annapolis neighborhood so unique it has its own 21405 zip code. While the gated community has fewer active listings each month than most other areas, its above average amenities have helped median home prices remain high. Sherwood Forest boasts a long stretch of Severn River shoreline with community piers and marinas as well as a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, bowling alley, clubhouse, general store, summer camp, and more. About one third of households in Sherwood Forest have children. Sherwood features many activities perfect for kids, ranks in the 80th percentile for safety in Neighborhood Scout’s Crime Index, and feeds into Annapolis High School with its prestigious International Baccalaureate program, making it a tight-knit neighborhood well suited for families. It is no wonder Sherwood Forest has flourished since its founding in the early 1900s.

Other Prominent Nearby Communities: Epping Forest, Carriage Hills, The Downs

Chartwell is one local neighborhood that allows for activity and involvement. Founded in the early 1960s, Chartwell consists mainly of single family homes, some featuring views of the golf course at Chartwell Golf and Country Club. The club also offers tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a dining room, adding another amiable level to the community dynamic. Chartwell exemplifies the sense of family and community that can be found in many Severna Park neighborhoods, including Round Bay, a waterfront gem on the Severn long known as a summer haven.

Located in the 21146 zip code, Severna Park is an area that continues to attract residents due to its family appeal. Severna Park enjoys a low crime rate of only 0.91 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, compared to the state average of 7.43. Over 45 percent of Severna Park households have children who are able to attend both State and National Blue Ribbon Schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. With access to the Severn and Magothy Rivers, the B&A Trail, and the Severna Park Community Center, the many communities of Severna Park offer plenty of options for family entertainment.

Other Prominent 21146 Communities: Berrywood South, Olde Severna Park, Steele, Ben Oaks, Whitehurst

The 21108 zip code of Millersville is home to what many residents call “the best-kept secret in Anne Arundel County”Indian Landing Boat Club. Located near the head of the Severn River, the boat club has greatly enriched the area since 1906, featuring a swimming pool, river access, tennis courts, and sailing camp. Some club amenities are available to nonmembers at an additional cost, allowing Indian Landing to become part of the greater community. Indian Landing is just one of the valuable aspects of Millersville, which also features a crime rate far below the state average and a proportion of households with children above 50 percent. Depending on location within the zip code, children would attend public schools like Old Mill High or Severna Park High and their feeder schools. Roughly 20 miles from Baltimore, 30 miles from Washington, and 15 miles from Annapolis, Millersville is a central location for both commuters and their families to call home.

Other Prominent 21108 Communities: Shipley’s Choice, Shipley’s Landing

Ulmstead Estates is one local neighborhood that demonstrates many of the Arnold area’s assets. A community of over 300 homes, Ulmstead offers river access through a community beach, pier, and marina, in addition to a swimming pool, tennis courts, and an equestrian center. Whether one enjoys river views or simply a quicker commute, Ulmstead, like all of Arnold, has much to offer.

Between the Severn and Magothy Rivers, and between Annapolis and Severna Park lies Arnold. The 21012 zip code is about five miles from Annapolis, 25 miles from Baltimore, and 35 miles from Washington, D.C. Arnold is not only centrally located but also great for families, as over 49 percent of households have children and there are only 1.11 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, compared to the state average of 7.43. The majority of students in Arnold attend Broadneck High and its feeder schools in the public school system.

Other Prominent 21012 Communities: Magothy Estates, Belvedere, Windsor Forest, Jefferson Estates

With wide-open spaces, Davidsonville is an ideal community for those seeking a more rural setting while retaining the benefits of living in Anne Arundel County. Median home prices have remained high above the county average as Davidsonville lots tend to be large in size. As many properties in the 21035 zip code have plenty of room for kids to roam, over 43 percent of households have children. There are also several communities that abut the South River, including esteemed Harbor Hills, with its own yacht club, and Eagles Passages.

Davidsonville families also have excellent public schools available, such as Blue Ribbonaward winners Southern High and South River High. The more rural location does lead to slightly longer commutes—about 13 miles to Annapolis, 35 miles to Baltimore, and 30 miles to Washington, D.C.— but gives the benefit of an extremely low crime rate and excellent recreational activities, especially cycling. Davidsonville has only 0.47 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, compared to the state average of 7.43. Davidsonville is an excellent choice for those seeking the pleasures of pastoral living in Anne Arundel County.

Other Prominent 21035 Communities: Lake of the Pines, Lavall, Cheval, Ashland, Foxhall, Spring Lakes

Bay Ridge
is one of a variety of neighborhoods in the 21403 zip code of Annapolis filled with amenities, spacious homes, and tight-knit families who have the ability to let their children play around the neighborhood safely. Being right on the water, Bay Ridge Civic Association members (currently 400 families strong) enjoy private beaches, a marina, clubhouse, numerous parks/playgrounds, and a large community pool. This neighborhood is the perfect place for boat owners with young sailors in tow.

Equally appealing to boaters, Eastport is walking distance from Annapolis’ downtown City Dock area. Dotted with a mixture of historic houses and some new construction, Eastport is also highly oriented towards the maritime industry. Residents consider Eastport to be its own Maritime Republic and each November, they challenge the City of Annapolis proper to a tug-of-war staged across Spa Creek. As a member of the Annapolis feeder school district, families in both 21403 and 21401 have the opportunity to put their children in the International Baccalaureate Program offered by Annapolis High School.

Other Prominent 21403 Neighborhoods: Fishing Creek Farm, Hillsmere, Arundel on the Bay, Anchorage

One of the most desired neighborhoods in the Annapolis 21401 zip code, Murray Hill, allows one to closely enjoy city lights, shopping, dining, and the waters of Spa Creek, while living in a historic home with ample space. Between Bates Middle School Arts Program and the neighborhood’s proximity to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, there are plenty of artistic opportunities—including dance, pottery, and photography lessons—for people of all ages. With a cultural historic district coupled with modern amenities, this neighborhood encapsulates a little bit of everything Annapolis has to offer.

Other Prominent Nearby Communities: Historic Annapolis, Admiral Heights, Acton’s Landing, Presidents’ Hill, Homewood

One of the most lavish communities in the 21037 zip code that defines the development boom in Edgewater is South River Colony. This neighborhood is located just six miles from historic Annapolis and 35 miles from Washington, D.C. The community layout includes plus-55, condos, townhomes, and single family homes, and amenities such as a golf course, pools, tennis courts, and a playground. It is ideally situated within one mile of several new shopping centers/districts, including The Village at Lee Airport and Main Street at South River Colony.

Overall, Edgewater has a number of water-access and, even, rural communities tucked throughout the forested property that snakes along South River. The area has a lower crime rate than the average for the county, at 0.51 violent crimes per 1,000 residents; a big reason why this zip code is very family-oriented. Children who attend public school are fed to South River High, a Blue Ribbon-award winner.

Other Prominent 21037 Communities: Poplar Point, Withernsea

In July 2007, the 21114 zip code of Crofton was named as one of the “100 Best Places to Live” in the United States by Money magazine. Crofton is a family-oriented mix of single family homes and townhouses that revolve around the Crofton Parkway, a large picturesque loop on which bikers, joggers, and walkers enjoy the Village Green, the Crofton Country Club, and Town Hall. Year-round, the parkway provides a place for Crofton families to gather for parades, camps, and other activities.

Located 15 miles from Annapolis and 20 miles from Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, Crofton is a commuters’ dream suburb with easy access to Routes 3, 97, and 50. With the median age of the area hovering at 33-years-old, Crofton offers much for young families, especially with a recent surge in commercial development aimed to draw shoppers and diners out during evenings and weekends. Children may attend numerous elementary, and Middle schools before feeding into Arundel High.

Other Prominent 21114 Communities: Walden Estates

Near the Fort Meade military base is the old railroad town of Odenton, zip code 21113. A convenient drive to nearby Washington, D.C. and Baltimore (21 miles each respectively), Odenton residents enjoy easy access to shopping, dining, and even, travel. Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is only four miles north. Within this mix of commercial development are pockets of tranquility.

Neighborhoods such as Seven Oaks and Piney Orchard offer a mix of high-end condo living in the midst of jogging trails and parks. Seven Oaks’ amenities include a pool, sauna, racquetball and volleyball courts, and clubroom. Similarly, Piney Orchard offers a private community with similar amenities, modern shopping center with a large grocer and many services, and, even, Piney Orchard Ice Arena, which is open yearround.

In the 21113 zip code, you are minutes from the MARC commuter rail to Baltimore, plus easy access to Seven Oaks Elementary school right in the community (feeds to Arundel High). With a population growth of 28.11 percent since 2000, Odenton continues to be an upcoming town, ideal for growing families looking to enjoy themselves without having to venture far.

Other Prominent Nearby Communities: Preakness

Several miles west of Annapolis-proper is Crownsville, occupying the 21032 zip code. Here, Anne Arundel County is marked by moderate valleys forged by streams that run into the Severn River; where deep forest meets shoreline and where several communities began as collections of summer vacation cottages. Herald Harbor and Arden on the Severn are two such communities that, today, feature a mix of 1940s style cottages, contemporary waterfront mansions, and family ranchers.

With a mix of public parks, marinas, countryside, and historic properties, Crownsville is considered an active but safe area, reporting only 1.17 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Children begin elementary school at South Shore and Millersville, before transitioning to Old Mill Middle North or South, and later Old Mill High School. The communities within 21032 enjoy easy access Crofton or Annapolis and to Routes 97, 32, and 3 for commutes.

Other Prominent 21032 Communities: Valentine Creek, Belvoir Farms, Cranberry Woods, Palisades, Bayberry, Maynadier