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August 16, 2011

Three Md. communities make 'Best Places to Live' list

Crofton, Eldersburg and Montgomery Village made it onto Money magazine's list of best small towns this year.

The "Best Places to Live" ranking looked at communities of 50,000 or less, considering such factors as school test scores, local purchasing power and crime.

Thirteen states -- including Virginia and Pennsylvania -- have five towns on the list. But about half have zero, so three ain't bad.

In case you're wondering, this is separate from Money's best-of list that ranks small cities, the one that last year had Columbia/Ellicott City together as No. 2.

Crofton is in Anne Arundel County, Eldersburg is in Carroll County and Montgomery Village is in Montgomery County.

What would you call the best small town in Maryland?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:15 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: We're No. 1! (Or thereabouts)


Montgomery Village is a second rate Columbia-a 24/7 traffic jam.

Montgomery Village is a freaking war zone. I wouldn't ask my worst enemy to move there.

Crofton? Are you kidding me? Lived there for 28 years. It was once a great place to it's an overcrowded, cluster _ _ _ _. Nothing but Fastfood/auto..shops/gas stations up and down Rt 3. Traffic like Waldorf or Ritchie Highway.... Try looking at places like St.Michaels, Berlin, Havre de grace, Ellicott City....

Ocean City should be on the list. Plenty of fun things to do, and compared to other beach communities, still fairly inexpensive.

Affordability for middle income federal workers and contract employees is the best thing you can say about these places. Carroll county schools are underrated; Montgomery highly overrated and increasingly ghettoized; Anne Arundel won't fund its schools period. The traffic in Crofton and Mtgy Village is unacceptable unless you work within five miles or less of home-and some do. As for Eldersberg, except for some defense facilities nearby that are cutting back, nothing is close for commuting. The commute to Columbia, Baltimore or DCarea from Eldersberg is hellish and unsafe at night due to antiquated roads, massive traffic filled with aggressive unhappy drivers.

dopey ratings. Several Carroll communities are fine near Eldersberg but that would have taken work by the no doubt under 30 Money Mag researchers(like going there instead of using the internet).

Germantown? Isnt this the location of the latest "flash mob", ie gang, robbery of a convience store.

While I'm happy to see that three places in Maryland are on this list, I'm once again baffled that the D.C. area is considered such a great place.
It’s congested, expensive and dangerous. The people who live there are usually from somewhere else and plan on leaving when they either retire, or there is an administration change. I just don’t understand why people swoon over the D.C. area!!! I left, moved to Baltimore and was much happier there. For the sake of my children I got away from I-95 altogether, it’s not safe, clean or friendly along that highway ANYWHERE.
On the plus side I’ve always liked Eldersburg and I think it deserves to be on that list.

@BH : Couldn't agree with you more. Although, DC is not dangerous. I have lived in Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, and DC. I didn't live around them or just in the downtown area of these cities but I think DC gets the attention that it does because it is DC. The infrastructure wasn't built to support the "transients" in the area. Nobody really wants to be a gov't worker but what choice do they have at the moment. Lastly, outside of a few neighborhoods in S.E. and in PG county all of DC is for upper-class people. Even the SE neighborhoods are only considered "bad" in a few blocks. Really what is considered "popular" social misalignment is in Chicago's southside, Baltimore East and West side, and Detroit almost everywhere, depending on what you consider normal. I have no love for DC, its a place for people who crave pity. I returned back to Detroit and among the real issues we have here, I choose either of the cities listed above than "Diluted and Confused" a.k.a. DC .. Much love 2 Baltimore! Stay Strong!

This makes me laugh - I lived in Crofton for 7 years and HATED every minute of it! The traffic SUCKS 24/7, constant accidents, congestion, etc and the schools in the area are not the greatest. Not to mention the growing crime. Constant break-ins in various communities. I couldn't wait to move. The overall concept of Crofton was a great one and I'm sure it was nice back in the day but it's gotten progressively worse. However Eldersburg is a nice area, I have friends that live there and I've worked in the area, but again, the commute out of Eldersburg as someone said, is hellish. Can't say anything about Montgomery Village, since I've never been there.

Money magazine's "Best Cities to Live In" should be renamed: "Cities that DC liberals like to live in." Every year, the list includes....drumroll please....Columbia!! Really? Who wants to live in a community in which every aspect of your life is overseen by a totalitarian HOA (answer: liberals). And now we have Crofton! Are you kidding me. The crime in Crofton is getting out of hand. Gangs trying to firebomb homes; gangs infesting the schools. You would have better luck throwing a dart at a map of the USA to find the "best place to live" than listening to Money magazine.

As it happens, Sam, it's getting harder and harder to avoid living in a neighborhood without a homeowners' association -- they're not all like the Columbia Association, but they do tend to put limits on what you can and can't do beyond what the local zoning and codes specify.

It's sad that we glamorize certain county eg. Montgomery and Crofton (Anne Arundel) when these are couple of the worst city/towns we live in. I lived in Crofton for almost 18 years and I have seen it worst than DC. There is a bias and stereotypes for these areas.

we are glad all you people moved out of crofton and took your wonderful attitudes with you....don't beleive everything you read in the newspapers...been in Crofton for over 10 years and wouldn't leave there for anyplace.

croftonlover, remember that it's the reader comments, not the newspaper, that you're disagreeing with. :-D

@didactic1 - yes, it is, but what has that got to do with this?

Geoff, are you referring to the comment about Germantown? That was written by Bh. (The name is under the comment, but that's not always obvious thanks to the line ABOVE the name.)

to Croftonlover. You just didn't know how it was before all you newbies moved in 10 years ago. no congestion and definitely no crime. Now it's full of a bunch of thugs (ask Christopher's mother about that or all the folks who have had their car windows bashed out recently), the school system has definitely gone down the tubes, traffic is horrendous, too many stores (yeah we definitely need 4 grocery stores (including future Wegman's) within a 2 mile radius and 20 different fast food places, car repairs and gas stations... If I could move I'd do it in a second... sadly the economy being what it is going to have to stay put for awhile. glad you like it but it is definitely not one of the best towns to be in...agreed, better than some

Montgomery Village is a dump populated by transplanted Pringe George's County natives looking for Section 8 housing. I dont even need to discuss the traffic congestion and gang problems.

I have lived in Crofton for 17 years and it has slowly but surely turned into a traffic jam where people don't give a damn about one another. The schools have gone right down the toilet. Crime is way up - graffiti, gangs, murders, stabbings, robberies, vandalism... Like others, if the economy was better I would get the hell out of there.

It's funny, when we wanted a new home after living in PG County for 12 years, we looked at Crofton and Eldersburg and I used to commute to Montgomery village. All are overcrowded, the drivers are rude, the lines are long and there are no open spaces. We moved to Mt Airy 13 years ago and we love it. Three miles from I-70, the commute is not bad and we have quiet streets, polite drivers, a historic downtown and a great community spirit.

I like Cabin John, but I assume it's still very expensive. Takoma Park is another.

One thing you have to remember is that we live in a metro area, EVERYWHERE WITHIN BREATHING DISTANCE OF DC IS CROWDED. I commute to Alexandria, you think we have it bad, those poor bastards can't go across the street without having to wait 20min.

I remember Crofton way back and if you want that then move to the country, seriously, NC is beautiful state with no traffic, minimal crime, but Jobs or Civilization.

What I like about Crofton is that yes, there are a lot, maybe too many dinning options, but they are within walking distance. I like the parks and the commitment to preserving open space. I really don't see the crime, and when I do there is like 5 police cars and a fire truck, your not going to find utopia unless you move the Hamptons and inherit a mass fortune.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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