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The state of Maryland has adopted many nicknames, including the “Old Line State,” the “Free State,” the “Chesapeake Bay State,” and “Little America” to name a few.
But to those that live in Maryland, the state is simply one thing: A great place to call home.
Although Maryland is one of the smallest states in the Union by area, it is one of the most densely populated. This is simply because everyone is trying to get a piece of the delicious real estate pie known as “Maryland.”
Recent census data has credited Maryland with having the highest median household income of any state. Many attribute Maryland’s high income levels to the Free State’s close proximity to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., but the state is also a train ride away from other bustling economic centers like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. You can also point to Maryland’s highly diversified economy, which features strong growth in sectors like manufacturing, services, and biotechnology.
It is evident that Maryland’s economic promise has made it an extremely desirable place to live, but the Chesapeake Bay State also attracts residents through its impressive education system. Maryland’s education system has been ranked number one in the country by sites like Education Week and The College Board. The state is also home to reputable higher education institutions like the University of Maryland, Towson University, the United States Naval Academy, and Loyola University – Maryland.
Economics and education are just two reasons why Maryland is a tremendous place to call home. The truth is that we could sit here for hours talking about the countless other reasons regarding why the Old Line State is a great place for homebuyers.
In the interest of saving your sanity and time, LendEDU will skip going through that list of reasons and just tell you the 100 Maryland communities that have become the very best for homebuyers. Using licensed data and a proprietary ranking method, we considered factors like projected population and income growth, value of property, and crime rate.
Continue reading to find out the 100 Maryland communities that have been recognized by LendEDU as the very best for those looking to purchase a home.
Interactive Table & Map Featuring Maryland’s Best Communities for Homebuyers
The data that was used in this report has been licensed by LendEDU from the city-level database provided by Onboard Informatics. That database provided ZIP codes, city names, county names, and each of the relevant metrics that were used in this report, including population and income projections. In total, over 1,000 Maryland towns and cities were analyzed. A population cutoff was set at 3,000, meaning any community with a population below that number was eliminated from further analysis. In the end, 100 towns and cities in the state of Maryland made the final list.
The list of relevant metrics included median household income and five-year projected household income, median household sale price, current population levels and five-year projected population levels, and crime risk as an index score.
Those metrics listed above were used to determine the category scores for four unique categories. Each of the four category scores were summed together to get the final score, which was representative of a community’s conduciveness to homebuyers.
Population Score (40-point weight, listed in table as “Pop.”)
A population score on the high side indicated that residents were moving to the area thus making it more desirable and valuable, so higher population growth was viewed as a positive ranking factor. In order to determine each city’s population score, the percent difference between the five-year population projection and the current population was calculated. Each percent difference was ranked on a percent scale against the entire field of cities and towns in Maryland. Each percent rank was multiplied by a weight of 40 points to find the population score for a respective city or town.
Income Score (20-point weight, listed in table as “Inc.”)
A high income score meant that the median household income of an area was growing substantially. Higher income growth was seen as a positive factor when determining the rankings. The income score for a city was determined in the same manner as the population score; however, current household income and the five-year income projection were used during calculations.
Value Score (20-point weight, listed in table as “Value”)
A high value score indicated that residents were making comparable incomes to the median value of a home in a respective area. A ratio closer to or above one was seen as a positive. Determining the value score was simple: divide the median household income by the median household sale price, setting up a value ratio. Each ratio was ranked on a percent scale against the field, and each percent rank was multiplied by a weight of 20 points to find each respective value score.
Crime Score (20-point weight, listed in table as “Crime”)
A low crime index was considered a positive ranking factor, so communities with lower crime indexes were more likely to rank higher. For reference, the crime index is an integer value. A lower crime index means lower risk of overall crime. The national average crime index is 100. If an area has an index greater than 100, then the area has an above average risk of crime. If it is lower, then there is a lower risk of crime when compared to the national average. In order to find the crime score, the percent difference between a town or city’s given crime index and the national average was found. Each percent difference from the national average crime index was ranked on a percent scale against the field. Each percent rank was multiplied by its weight of 20 points for the crime score.
After each and every community in Maryland was given four category scores, the scores were summed together to determine the final score. A higher final score meant a better place for homebuyers and resulted in a higher ranking on the list and vice versa.
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Author: Mike Brown