West side, east side.  The two sides of 21212.

Traveling north on York Road from Baltimore City there is little to alert you that you’ve left the city and entered the county.  Northern Parkway feels and looks like the obvious line of demarcation, but it’s not.  You have to travel farther north before you reach Baltimore County and its highly sought-after neighborhoods for homebuyers.

Rodgers Forge

Rodgers Forge

There are more than 14 advertised subdivisions[i] in the county portion of the 21212 zip code (let’s call them neighborhoods), all with distinct characteristics and price points.  The homes range from the spectacular million-dollar mansions of Woodbrook and Oak Hill in the northwestern portion of 21212, to the smart cape cods and ranchers of Idlewylde and Lake Walker on the eastern side.  But this article is not about either of these neighborhoods, specifically.  Instead, I’ll focus on Rodgers Forge on the west side of York Road and Anneslie on the east side.

Rodgers Forge

Rodgers Forge is a tree-lined community of tony rowhomes with residents heavily invested in its community and schools.  Architecturally, this neighborhood is the very definition of homogeneous.  The community, where slate roofs are the norm, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2009.  Rodgers Forge Elementary and Dumbarton Middle School are rated 10 out of 10 and 9 out of 10, respectively, by greatschools.org.

I started writing this article because the February 2015 and February 2016 statistics from various market research reports reveal a major increase in sold home prices in Rodgers Forge and a precipitous drop in Anneslie.  But once I drilled down I realized these month-to-month snapshots are somewhat misleading.  Realtors, homebuyers, and home sellers are inundated with data and it’s easy to draw inaccurate conclusions.

DSC_1515

Anneslie Cape Cod

While Rodgers Forge is an enclave of rowhouses built mostly in the early 1940s to the mid-1950s, Anneslie is a community of detached colonials, cape cods, cottages, bungalows and Tudors.   Anneslie was developed in the 1920s on what was mostly pastures and farmland. (The Baltimore Sun, Jan 13, 1924)  Even back then, it was advertised as giving its residents a tax advantage over city residents.  In order to prevent overcrowding, a covenant forbade the construction of homes on any lot less than 50 feet wide.  Anneslie is also on the National Register

Anneslie

Anneslie

of Historic Places.  This extra breathing room and diverse architectural landscape offer a different feel.  Aside from the esthetics and situated on opposite sides of York Road, Annelise is a mirror image of Rodgers Forge when it comes to attributes and amenities.  They, for the most part, are all in the same school district, at least at the middle and high school level.  Anneslie is in the Stoneleigh Elementary School district which is also rated 10 out of 10 by greatschools.org.  The residents of both neighborhoods are close to same grocery store, cleaners, Old-timey hardware store, yoga studio and share the same ease of access to both Baltimore City and Towson.

Ayd Hardware on York Road

Ayd Hardware on York Road

At first blush, there appears to have been a significant drop in home prices in Anneslie over the year.  But I believe this purported drop is the result of the broad range of home sizes and considerably fewer listings.  Last year there were 105 home sales in Rodgers Forge compared to 24 in Anneslie. Currently, there are 19 active listing in Rodgers Forge with only one active listing in Anneslie.  With a much smaller inventory than Rodgers Forge, a few homes sold in Anneslie tend to skew the actual sales climate when comparing one neighborhood against the other.  So don’t get hung up on specific data when looking at prices and days on market.  Each data point needs to be thoroughly investigated before you draw any conclusion.

Rodgers Forge in a nutshell:

  • All colonial rowhomes, many with garages (easy to blend in).
  • Appears to have a robust community association.
  • Children don’t have to cross York Road to get to elementary or middle schools.

 Anneslie in a nutshell:

  • Diverse architectural styles, all of which are detached (easy to make a statement).
  • On average, more square footage per home.
  • Children don’t have to cross York Road until they reach middle school.

By Greg Bridges, Esq., GRI, CNE

Associate Broker with Long & Foster Real Estate

g.bridges@lnf.com

410-215-0565

[i] MRIS definition:  Advertised name of a subdivision or neighborhood; name by which the subdivision or neighborhood is commonly known. May be different from the legal or recorded name.

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    email: g.bridges@lnf.com
    tele: 410 . 215 . 0565

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