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Relocation advice

Hello!  My husband and I are relocating to the Baltimore area next month and we are interested in the Annapolis/Arnold/Severna Park region.  We will be living in corporate housing until we get a good lay of the land and decide on a place to settle, but I am anxious to get a head start!  We are in our early thirties and plan to start our family in the near future.  We love being close to the action (shops/restaurants/theaters) but also look forward to buying a home we could grow into with a decent sized backyard.  Currently we live in Southern CA and love everything it has to offer (water sports, hiking trails, shopping, etc).  It seems Annapolis offers a lot of that lifestyle, though minus the year-round sunny weather!

Sell me on your city and neighborhood!

Re: Relocation advice

  • Hello and welcome! I live in Arnold and love it. The area has a few nice parks and walking trails and is not too far from Rte 2 which has plenty of shopping. It's about a 10-15 minute drive to downtown Annapolis, 30 minutes to Baltimore and 45 minutes to Washington DC so there is always something going on. The schools in the Arnold area are great and Broadneck HS is considered one of the top in Anne Arundel County. Severna Park schools are also great. I would stay away from living in an area where your kids would be districted for Annapolis HS. I know its hard to think about HS when you don't have kids yet but its always good to get into a decent area. Good luck with your move and feel free to PM if you have any specific questions!
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  • Exactly the kind of information I was looking for!  Thank you for the advice and for the PM offer... I may take you up on it as the move gets closer! 
  • I'm not familiar enough with the area to offer up advice, but here's an early welcome to the area!  Are you sure you want to leave warm and sunny CA for cold and snowy MD?  ;)  Good luck with your housing hunt!
  • I'd stick with Severna Park/Severn area...good schools and right near the B and A trail that goes to Annapolis.  You are close to a lot of things but also have privacy in those neighborhoods. 
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  • I live in Arnold.  There are a lot of nice neighborhoods here  but if I had to do it over, I might buy in Severna Park.

    You can't go wrong with Arnold or SP. It's a personal preference and what you can afford. There are some neighborhoods in Arnold I would stear clear-but even those aren't that bad. The weird thing where I live is there is a million dollar house across from a shack. It's not the norm, but it happens more in Arnold than Severna Park.

    I loved when I lived in Bay Hills (Arnold) and there are more neighborhoods like that in SP.

    I chose Arnold over SP when I bought this house b/c we don't have kids so schools weren't an issue.  I just fell in love with my house and it has a huge back yard. It's right on the Arnold/SP line.  There is new construction going up so I am hoping the shacks will come down soon.

  • We live in Annapolis.  Annapolis HS district.  I know several kids from our neighborhood who have gone through the Annapolis IB program and gotten into great colleges.  I will be honest I don't think that Broadneck and SP high schools are that much better to not live where you want to live- but that's me.  If you really want to live somewhere based on the quality of the high school check out Howard County.  Severna Park is an easier commute to Baltimore.

    If it's in your budget I would check out neighborhoods with water privileges (neighborhoods w/ marinas, beaches, etc.) they help tremendously with property values.   Also to avoid the million dollar home across the street from a shack look into the home owner's association and the covenants of the community.

    Here is a pretty decent (though not totally complete) guide to Annapolis neighborhoods-

    There are some parts of Annapolis (zip code 21409) including the Cape St. Clair neighborhood which are zoned for Broadneck schools.  I have a good friend who lives in CSC and it's a great community w/ a lot of amenities and has it's own shopping center w/ restaurants, a grocery store, etc.


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  • I don't have any specific advice for those areas, but I'm also originally from Southern CA, and I would definitely say that Annapolis and the surrounding areas has the most "Southern CA feel" of the places I've been to in MD (especially Annapolis with all the little shops).  Good luck with the move!!

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  • Thank you ladies, this is wonderful information! 

    What is the crime like in Annapolis and surrounding regions?  A few internet searches have led me to believe that it is significant.  I know all cities have good and bad neighborhoods but I'm curious to know what the locals think about it?  

  • I'll send you a PM with my email address.


  • For crime reports I suggest plugging in zip codes/addresses into

    I don't think you can just say that there is a lot of crime in Annapolis.  I would say that all of the neighborhoods listed in the link I posted above are very safe.   The city of Annapolis does have public housing.  But there is the City of Annapolis and then there are parts of Annapolis which aren't in the city limits.  Unfortunately it's not clear cut by zip code- I live in 21401 and we are not w/i the city limits, but it's the same zip code as downtown.

    I think a lot depends on how much you like being in the car and what your budget is.  With traffic we are 10-12 minutes from downtown Annapolis, 3 minutes to the mall, 5 minutes to the hospital, etc.  If we lived in Severna Park we would be 20 minutes to downtown (at least,) 15 minutes to the mall, etc. 

    If you want to be able to walk places, West Annapolis is great and Hillsmere is walkable to Quiet Waters Park, a library, etc.  You could walk from Hillsmere to downtown, but it's a bit of a hike.  


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  • I agree with the comments about Arnold/Severna Park. I currently live in Baltimore City and we are moving to Westminster soon, but if I had my pick of anywhere to live, it would be Severna Park. (Bias alert - I did graduate from Severna Park HS). The public schools are great, it's convenient for communiting, stores and restaurants are close, etc etc. My best friend lives there so I am in the area at least twice a month.

    Our next choice would be Howard County - we had our eye on a house in River Hill school district. However we don't have kids and got an amazing price on the house we bought (and we have many friends in Carroll County) so that's what made us decide to move out to Westminster.

    Good luck with your home search!

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