Median home price (2006): $311,154
Average property taxes (2006):$2,334
Once a quiet bedroom community outside Baltimore, Catonsville is undergoing a renaissance, thanks in large part to the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, which has transformed itself from a commuter school into a dynamic research center. (In 2006, the school received $85 million in research funds, up from $10 million in 1990). In the process, the city has attracted a number of high-tech firms - and the jobs they come with. But even as Catonsville grows, it still remains one of the more affordable areas in the state, and its schools are among the best in the metro area. -B.N.
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