Best Places To Live 2013

With the market finally on the mend, we went house-hunting to come up with a list of more than 50 of the region’s best neighborhoods, from Annapolis to Roland Park to Havre de Grace, and then tracked down some of the folks buying there.

Finally, it’s coming back with a gaggle of indicators on the rise, from applications for building permits and new construction to a dwindling number of homes languishing on the market and double-digit annual increases in homes sold in the Baltimore area. And thanks in part to a still-nervous Federal Reserve and a queasy Eurozone that’s keeping bond yields down, mortgage interest rates remain historically low. At the same time—though new-home prices are about 9 percent higher than in 2008—prices for existing homes are still a bargain, averaging 25 percent under the statewide average of $350,000 five years ago. But in some places, like Carroll and Baltimore counties, they’re climbing back at a rate that could match 2008 numbers very quickly.

Which means that this party won’t last forever: If you’ve been thinking about buying a home or moving up to something bigger, this could be a pretty good time, before prices—and interest rates—go higher.

Where to buy? We’ve done the homework for you, identifying the best neighborhoods in the greater metro area, whether it’s because of location, good schools, or great home values.

You probably can’t go wrong with any of these communities—but one of them is bound to be the perfect match.

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