Columbia-MD : Maryland

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What it's Like to Retire in Columbia-MD

Columbia continues to climb up the list of top places to live according to Money Magazine. Going from #4 of 100 in 2006 to #2 of 100 in 2010, surely there must be something great in this community. With just over 97,000 in population, Columbia, located nearly in the center of Maryland, is set between the nation’s capital and Baltimore. The nine village centers in Columbia create shopping areas for residents. Outdoor activities thrive in Columbia. Swimming pools (outdoor and indoor), roller skating rinks, batting cages, a skateboard park, playgrounds and sports clubs run the city's events. Three lakes, (Lake Kittamaqundi, Lake Elkhorn, and Wilde Lake) provide residents with fishing, boating, sailing and other water activities. Area parks also allow for biking, jogging and walking. One major festival, the Columbia Festival of the Arts provides entertainment for the summer. Local bars also provide fun nights out for people as they tend to bring in bands to play. Photo of Mall of Columbia courtesy of Wikipedia and DavidLevinson.


Where to Retire in Columbia-MD and Home Prices

Neighborhoods around the village centers are a good place to start. According to city data there are 1280 houses/condos per square mile. Residents 55+ tend to live in homes valued at $300,000 and up. reports the median sale price to be $340,550 in late 2014.


What is special about Columbia-MD

The Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue, attracts many performers. Other art theaters attract attention as well. Toby's Dinner Theatre has produced Aida, Titanic, and Ragtime performances. The Columbia Festival of the Arts represents all genres of art and is held during the summer months.

What is not special about Columbia-MD

While the village centers are famous, they lay out is not constructed very well. The individual stores are not visible from the road; this arrangement is highly criticized because visitors have a hard time knowing what shopping is available.


Who will like retirement in Columbia-MD

People who enjoy a 'small town' feel.  A lot of recreation activities and outdoor enjoyment is a plus too.

Local economy is driven by

The U.S. Federal Government is the source of many jobs for Columbians, since its’ located in Columbia, Maryland. Maryland also has achieved AAA bond rating, meaning the worth of credit in a corporation. It is only one of eight states to achieve this status.  Many U.S. Department of Defense facilities surround Columbia.


Climate and Physical Environment

The climate tends to be hot and humid summers while winters are cold but wet.Weather varies, as July is the warmest month with an average max temperature around 87 degrees Fahrenheit. January rolls in with about 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Columbia usually receives 45 inches of rainfall per year.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Mall in Columbia is the focal point of interest for food and culture. Over 200 stores and restaurants and a 14-screen AMC movie theater, an LL Bean retail store, and a Bank of America, in an outside extension area, are found within the mall. Howard County Library is a top-rated public library. Merriweather Post Pavilion attracts top performers, as does the Columbia Festival of the Arts. There are other performing arts organizations as well. A few areas to shop are, Snowden Square, Columbia Crossing I and II, Dobbin Center, Gateway Overlook, and Hanover's Arundel Mills.



The crime rate is average.

Medical facilities

Medical care is available in the Howard County General Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Hospital is nearby. Howard County General Hospital has been operating for more than 30 years. A 238-bed, child care services, cardiology, orthopedics, psychiatry, emergency services and much more is available at this hospital. The hospital is a non-profit, private health care provider.



Columbia has six Howard Transit bus routes and connect it with its neighboring areas (such as Ellicott City and BWI Airport). The MTA weekday commuter bus service connects Columbia to the Washington Metro system.

Valuable Links

Reviving downtown

Get involved in Columbia

Best places to retire, more info

What people are saying about Columbia-MD

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Facts about COLUMBIA-MD
  • State: MD
  • Environment: College Town,Lake,New Urban/Master Planned,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 80,000+
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $300,001-$500,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide:

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