Median home price (2006): $419,085
Average property taxes (2006): $2,730
Situated 30 miles west of Baltimore, Eldersburg has grown at an impressive clip in recent years, adding a Home Depot, a Wal-Mart and a Kohl's department store. A new "green" shopping center called Main Street Eldersburg - the first of its kind in Maryland - is to be finished in 2008. Yet it's still a small, quiet town, its lush hills dotted with old churches and houses, and the sprawling Liberty reservoir east of town offers hiking trails and gorgeous scenery. On the downside, though, high home prices make it a little exclusive, and the long commute to Baltimore means more jobs are far away. -A.F.
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