Last Friday my husband and I took a leap of faith and signed a contract to buy a new home in Howard County. I grew up in Columbia, Maryland and I loved it. I always thought it was the prefect place to raise kids, but my career has always caused us to live in or near cities and that has been fun too. But as my kids have gotten older, I have decided that I would like to move out of the city.
So we have decided to sell our house in the city and move to Howard County. We have decided to build a new house because we have never done that before and my husband has always wanted to live a new house. It sounds kind of corny (and is definitely expensive), but hey you only live once so you might as well do a few things that make you happy.
Once I decided that we wanted to build a new house I did some research on new home developments in Howard County with home prices in our price range. There was not much. Lol! But that's ok - sometimes having a limited choice makes it easier to make a decision.
But a few observations about Howard County after being away from the area for almost 20 years. Today if you want a single family house in Howard County you will need to look outside of Columbia. The only new housing being built in Columbia are townhouses or condominiums. I think townhouses are great, but at this stage of life for my family we need more space than that. If you want a single family house then you are looking at Laurel, Clarksville, Mt. Airy, Elkridge, and maybe Ellicott City. Also, get ready for some real sticker shock. It is amazing how little house you get for half a million dollars these days. And even $1 million does not buy anywhere near what you think it would buy.
So given all of that I was thrilled to find that Ryan Homes was building a small community of homes in Howard County close to shopping and 95 on decent sized lots and in our price range. My husband and I have actually been looking at new houses for a long time - it has sort of been a hobby for us. Over the last 10 or 15 years we have looked at Ryan Homes communities in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County. So we had a sense of their product. My favorite Ryan Home model has always been the Avalon so I was thrilled that they were offering that model. Now in the past I have always felt that Ryan Homes nickels and dimes its customers with a seemingly low initial price for a bare bones house that by the time you add necessary options the price is just as high as other developers. I was pleasantly surprised that this development offered lots of nice standard options like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops in the kitchen and master bathroom, oak stair and metal balusters, and hardwood floors on most of the first floor. We looked at the community one time and immediately asked to put down a deposit. They made us wait until May 1 to put in a contract. Our journey has started.