What Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Baltimore County, MD?
Baltimore County is located in the center of the state of Maryland. It surrounds Baltimore City, and the county is the third-most highly populated in the state.
Some of the best places to live in Baltimore County are suburbs of the city and include Lutherville, Towson, and Mays Chapel. Factors where these communities excel include their median household income, low crime rates, and good schools. For example, Lutherville has a population of just 6,856 and a median home value of $360,200, which is above the national average. The median household income in Lutherville is $113,450. The total crime is 30% lower than the national average.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Baltimore County, MD
Factors used to determine the best places to live in Baltimore County include median home value and rent, median household income, crime rates compared to national averages, and other factors too like the ratio of homeowners to renters. Below are our selections for the best places to call home in Baltimore County.
1. Lutherville, Maryland
- Median Home Value: $360,200
- Median Rent: $1,218
- Median Household Income: $113,450
- Crime (compared to the national average): 30% lower
Lutherville was briefly mentioned above, and it has some of the best-rated public schools not just in Baltimore County but in Maryland. Lutherville was originally founded in the 1800s as a summer resort. Many of the homes in the community are historic, dating back to before World War I. Homes are often designed in the Victorian style, with charming features like wrap-around porches.
The streets of Lutherville are tree-lined, and it’s home to the Fire Museum of Maryland, with one of the oldest firetrucks in Maryland. There’s a sense of small-town charm in Lutherville that residents find appealing. Despite this, it’s not far from Baltimore if you have to commute. Eight-four percent of Lutherville residents own their homes, and the median home value is well above the national average.
2. Towson, Maryland
- Median Home Value: $363,800
- Median Rent: $1,438
- Median Household Income: $88,790
- Crime (compared to the national average): 3% lower
Towson is an unincorporated area in Baltimore County. Towson is home to Towson University, which is the second-largest university in Maryland. As a result of the university, there are a lot of apartments available if you’re a renter. Around 57% of residents of Towson are homeowners, and 43% are renters. There are a lot of shopping and dining options in the community also.
The economy is strong, with a median household income that’s above the national average. Public schools are well-rated in Towson, including Eastern Technical High School, Dulaney High School, and George W. Carver Center for Arts & Technology.
3. Mays Chapel, Maryland
- Median home value: $395,300
- Median rent: $1,547
- Median household income: $108,300
- Crime (compared to the national average): 41% lower
Mays Chapel is an unincorporated community in Baltimore County. It’s a suburban community with highly-rated public schools and a family-friendly atmosphere. The population is around 12,200, and 88% of residents own their homes, while just 12% are renters. The total crime is well below the national average in Mays Chapel. It’s considered safer than 46% of U.S. cities.
4. Hampton, Maryland
- Median home value: $468,000
- Median rent: $2,900
- Median household income: $141,000
- Crime (compared to the national average): 63% lower
Hampton, Maryland, is a Baltimore community with a high quality of life but also a high cost of living. For example, the cost of living index in Hampton is 131.5, which is higher than the national average of 100. With that, however, comes advantages. Hampton has a rural feel, and the majority of residents own their homes.
The population of Hampton is only around 4,600 and only 1% of people who live in the community are renters. Hampton is frequently described as one of the best places to buy a house in Maryland. Hampton is considered incredibly safe, with a total crime, violent crime, and property crime rate that are well below national averages. It’s safer than 66% of U.S. cities.
5. Timonium, Maryland
- Median home value: $380,700
- Median rent: $1,366
- Median household income: $97,000
- Crime (compared to the national average): 26% lower
Residents often describe Timonium as a great place to live. They say they feel safe, and everyone knows each other. The community tends to be well-maintained and family-friendly. The one downside of Timonium for some people might be the cost of living, which is around 32% higher than the national average. Housing is around 94% higher than the national average, but at the same time, median household incomes are also higher than average in Timonium.
Timonium’s crime rates, including violent and property crimes, are lower than the national average. Timonium is ranked as being safer than 36% of U.S. cities. Violent crime rates in Timonium are well below Maryland’s rates as a whole. Around 77% of Timonium residents own their homes, and 23% are renters.
6. Pikesville, Maryland
- Median home value: $319,900
- Median rent: $1,400
- Median household income: $86,600
- Crime (compared to the national average): 15% lower
Pikesville is a relatively large Baltimore suburb with a population of more than 30,000. It’s a suburban community, and around 71% of residents own their homes. It’s frequently described as one of Maryland’s best suburbs and a good option for young professionals. In Pikesville, the total crime is lower than the national average.
Pikesville’s cost of living is 33% higher than the national average, but that’s not uncommon in Maryland. Maryland, in general, tends to have a higher cost of living and also higher taxes than many other states in the country.
7. Catonsville, Maryland
- Median home value: $328,000
- Median rent: $1,462
- Median household income: $89,220
- Crime (compared to the national average): The same
Catonsville is a large Baltimore suburb with a population of around 42,000. Located in Baltimore County, this community is home to the majority of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a large public research university. Popular Catonsville neighborhoods include Academy Heights, which surrounds Mount de Sales Academy and College Hills. Other residential neighborhoods in Catonsville include Colonial Gardens, Ingleside, and Oak Forest Park.
Residents of Catonsville like that it’s so centrally located and allows for easy access to Baltimore, Westminster, and Towson. People who live here also feel like it’s very diverse, and there are a lot of local festivals and events to enjoy. The crime rate in Catonsville is the same as the national average, but property crime is 4% lower.
8. Cockeysville, Maryland
- Median home value: $333,000
- Median rent price: $1,220
- Median household income: $65,400
- Crime (compared to the national average: 3% higher
Cockeysville is just around 20 minutes by car from downtown Baltimore, making it a great home base for commuters. While the cost of living in Cockeysville is 120, which is higher than the national average, most people feel they have a good quality of life in the community. Cockeysville ranks as a good place to raise a family in Maryland, and there are also a lot of young professionals who call it home.
The population is around 21,000, and there are more renters than owners. Property crime in Cockeysville is below the national average, although total crime is slightly above the nation’s average.
9. White Marsh, Maryland
- Median home value: $282,000
- Median rent: $1,400
- Median household income: $92,420
- Crime (compared to the national average): 12% lower
White Marsh is north of Baltimore, and it’s located conveniently off Interstate 95. White Marsh features a lot of shopping opportunities, and there’s a year-round farm market called Richardson Farms that locals love. The Honeygo Run Regional Park has hiking trails and sports fields, while there are numerous dog parks throughout the community.
There is a combination of older homes in established neighborhoods and also newer construction in White Marsh. The population is around 9,200, and White Marsh ranks well as far as being family-friendly and having good public schools. Around 79% of White Marsh residents own their homes and 21% rent.
10. Perry Hall, Maryland
- Median home value: $265,000
- Median Rent: $1,400
- Median household income: $88,825
- Crime (compared to the national average): 10% higher
Perry Hall has a population of around 28,000. Perry Hall is just 16 miles from downtown Baltimore and Gunpowder Falls State Park is only five miles away. There are many three- and four-bedroom homes in this family-friendly community, as well as apartments and rental options. Perry Hall is home to the historic Perry Hall mansion, which is what the community is named for.
Around 76% of residents are homeowners, and 24% rent in Perry Hall. Residents say they enjoy the fact that it’s a diverse place to live, and you have the opportunity to learn more about different cultures. Along with being close to Baltimore, it’s only about an hour from Washington D.C.
Is Baltimore County a Good Place to Live?
Overall, Baltimore County is often rated as a good place to live. Baltimore County has a total population of around 828,000, with a median home value of $261,500. The median rent in Baltimore County is $1,300.
Baltimore County is ranked as one of the best counties for outdoor activities in Maryland and for both families and young professionals. The median household income in the county is higher than the national median income, at $76,870 compared to $62,843 nationally.
Many people who might work in Baltimore City move to other areas in the county to escape what is one of the higher crime rates in the country. For example, the violent crime rate in Baltimore is 390% higher than the national average, and total crime is 148% higher.
The city of Baltimore is safer than only 2% of U.S. cities, but there is a big difference compared to the safety of the above communities in Baltimore County.
Overall, many residents find that towns in Baltimore County offer them close proximity to economic opportunities in bigger cities, including not just Baltimore itself but also Washington D.C., yet there’s less crime and a more family-friendly atmosphere.
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Ashley Sutphin Watkins studied journalism at the University of North Carolina. She now works as a full-time writer with an interest in all things real estate and interior design. She lives in East Tennessee and enjoys the nearby Smoky Mountains with her family.
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