Top Areas for First Time Buyers in Columbia

Created by the Rouse Company in the 1960s and founded on the idea that a city should enhance the residents’ quality of life, Columbia is a planned community of nine self-contained villages fanned out around a bustling town center. The Columbia Association offers residents a wide range of cultural, recreational and community service programs. Housing options include apartment rentals, townhouses and single-family homes in a wide price range.

Rouse’s plan of building each neighborhood around a village center gives Columbia a small-town feel. But the city also has amenities other small towns can’t match, such as downtown offices, a major shopping mall, extensive recreation facilities and a large concert pavilion.

Each of Columbia’s nine villages and Town Center has a community association; an independent, incorporated, nonprofit civic association that elects its own board of directors and a Columbia Council representative. Columbia’s downtown is set to be redeveloped over the next 30 years by Howard Hughes Corp., bringing thousands of new residences and businesses to the region.

People thinking about moving to Columbia should be prepared to include HOA payments in their budget. There are several neighborhoods in Columbia that offer ideal opportunities for a first time homebuyer to begin building home equity.

Dorsey’s Search

The 9th village of Columbia to be developed, Dorsey’s Search’s first residents arrived in 1980. Since then the Dorsey’s Search population has grown to approximately 7,500 people. The village is comprised of two neighborhoods, Dorsey Hall and Fairway Hills. Dorsey’s Search Village Center opened in 1989, and has a grocery store, restaurants, and other retail establishments, as well as a community center that hosts bingo, craft shows, story times and more. Fairway Hills Golf Club is an 18-hole par 70 golf course with Bermuda grass fairways, located in the neighborhood of Fairway Hills.

Harper’s Choice

Lying in the northwest part of Columbia Harper’s Choice, Harper’s Choice provides a variety of affordable condo, townhome and single family home options. Kahler Hall, located just off of Harper’s Farm Road in Harper’s Choice Village, is open to use for community gatherings, birthday parties and other social events. The Athletic Club, one of Columbia’s three athletic facilities, is located in Swansfield. An 18-hole par 72 golf course is located in Hobbit’s Glen, which also includes tennis courts and a pool. The Columbia Sports Park, an 18-hole miniature golf course, batting cages, and skatepark, is located in the Harper’s Choice village center. An extensive walking/biking trail connects the neighborhoods.

Oakland Mills

Oakland Mills is conveniently located immediately east of Columbia’s bustling Town Center. The neighborhood’s village center boasts a charming barn for resident use that seats up to 220 people and features a large hardwood dance floor in the Loft. The Little Free library and convenient access to local businesses and restaurants draw family-minded first-time homebuyers to this popular village.