"Generally, these are low-maintenance homes because of the all-brick exteriors. The majority of them have been updated and most now have central air. The only maintenance that might be needed would be to have the furnace or central air [system] checked."
He said the village is unique in that the zoning keeps commercial districts contained. "You don't have gas stations and businesses right on top of you. They are there, but they are on the borders. I don't think there is another development in Baltimore County in which there is such a large block residential area in one spot," he said.
The homes of Loch Raven Village are governed by covenants to perpetuate the community's attractiveness. According to Mr. Stromyer, while the association often works with homeowners regarding covenant issues, it has successfully taken violators to court.
While Loch Raven Village has been an area with relatively low turnover, it is now undergoing a generational transition as a number of houses belonging to elderly people are coming to market.
According to Ms. Dressel, over the past two years, only 61 houses have come to market and sold quickly -- an average of 82 days. Now there are 21 houses for sale in the village -- a higher-than-average number since many longtime residents, in need of smaller, more manageable spaces, are leaving after 30 or so years.
"For the most part, people have bought in the village and have stayed. Now the elderly are selling their homes to move into retirement communities, and younger families have the opportunity to move in," Ms. Dressel said. "There for a while, you couldn't get anything in Loch Raven Village, and if you did get something, it was expensive."
Bob Botti, 34, recently returned to the village, buying the same home in which he grew up. "When I lived in Hunt Valley and Timonium, I didn't even know my neighbors. Here, everyone is friendly. I spent most of my life in the village, and the same people are living in the houses that were there when I was a kid," said Mr. Botti, who purchased the house from his mother.
"I feel lucky that it was still in the family and I was able to move back," Mr. Botti said.
He is revamping it to reflect his style. "We had wall-to-wall carpeting when I was a kid. I just pulled it up and had the hardwood floors redone," Mr. Botti said. He is single and keeping his color schemes "neutral" so that changes will be easier in the future.
Kim McCabe, a three-year resident, also cites warmth and friendliness as one of the community's best features. But she also quickly points out that the sturdy construction of the homes has kept her family there.
"My husband and I thought we would move into a larger house and actually started looking for one," said Ms. McCabe, a graphic artist who works at home. "But, after seeing houses that were twice as expensive and not built as well, we decided to refinance and stayed in the community."
"We just couldn't find the same amount of house for our money," she said. "And we couldn't bring our neighbors with us."
Loch Raven Village
Population: 3,800 (Baltimore County Planning and Zoning Office)
Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 25 minutes
Public Schools: Pleasant Plains Elementary, Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional School of Technology, Loch Raven Technological Academy for Environmental Sciences, Performing Arts and Visual Arts (formerly Loch Raven Middle School), Loch Raven Senior High School
Shopping: Hillendale Shopping Center, Towson Marketplace, Loch Raven Plaza, Raven Wood Shopping Center, Pleasant Plains Shopping Center
Nearest Mall: Towson Town Center, Towson Commons
Points of Interest: Cromwell Valley regional park
ZIP codes: 21234, 21286
Average price of single-family home**
* Based on 52 sales during the past 12 months through Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Information Technologies Inc.