After years of living in the shadow of the popular communities surrounding it, the community of Jarrettsville apparently is coming of age.
Pleasantly situated in one of the more picturesque areas in Harford County, Jarrettsville spreads out for about a mile from the intersection of Route 23 and Route 165.
With residential lots of an acre or more, coupled with proximity to Baltimore, Towson and Hunt Valley, the area has become an increasingly popular choice for second-home buyers.
And, according to Lynn Creager of Coldwell Banker Grempler Real Estate Inc., the area appeals to those looking for prices lower than those of comparable properties in nearby Baltimore County.
"It used to be that Fallston was the place to be, but now it's Jarrettsville," said Creager, who has been selling homes in Jarrettsville for 15 years. "Jarrettsville has arrived big time."
The arrival of Jarrettsville is not marked by new townhouses and single-family homes dotting the landscape like the eastern part of Harford County, but rather by select developments where houses have been built in recent years.
Some of the more expensive homes have been built off Morse Road, where four- and five-bedroom ranchers or two-story homes on lots of two to three acres can fetch more than $300,000.
In the last 12 months, Jarrettsville had 20 house sales, with an average price of about $192,000.
"That's comparable, if not better, than what houses go for on average in Fallston and Jacksonville," said Creager, who lived in Jarrettsville for 28 years before moving to Fallston a few years ago.
One buyer last year was Tony Jacobson, who moved to Jarrettsville from Street in November. He lives with his wife, Teresa; son, Bradley, 8; and daughter, Jenna, 5, in a four-bedroom Colonial on a 1.25-acre site in Advocate Hill Farms.
"It really is perfect for us," said Jacobson, comptroller for Hathaway Industrial Automation, a Hunt Valley hardware and software integration firm.
His commute through the back roads of Harford and Baltimore counties takes about 30 minutes, while his wife, a district manager for Calico Corners, a home fabric company, has destinations in Towson; Timonium; Kennett Square, Pa.; and parts of New Jersey. "The location is really central for her and convenient for me," he said.
The Jacobsons fell in love with Jarrettsville more than a decade ago when they were living in Towson. With the arrival of children, their interest in the community grew.
Bradley will play lacrosse, soccer, baseball, basketball and indoor soccer in the Jarrettsville Recreation Council program, while their daughter will learn gymnastics and dance from the recreation council,
Jacobson said. "When we were looking, we wanted an area with a strong rec program and Jarrettsville has a good program with a good reputation and lots of fields," he said.
Jarrettsville takes its name from Luther Jarrett, who in 1835 bought 300 acres that had been called Upper Nodd Forest since the early 1700s. Jarrett, a successful merchant and farmer, built a beautiful, 14-room mansion on the northeast corner of what some residents call Four Corners, the intersection of Route 165 (Baldwin Mill Road) and Route 23 (Jarrettsville Road). The mansion is long gone, but the intersection endures and has long been a community focal point.
A car dealership and a shopping center are on opposite sides of the corners, while the old Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company headquarters (replaced in the early 1990s with a new firehouse farther north on Route 165) still stands, a testament to an earlier, quieter era.
The quiet, pastoral surroundings are what drew Chris Windsor to Jarrettsville from Perry Hall in 1984. He, his wife, Debbie, and daughter, Kristy, 10, live in a split-level rancher in Jarrettswood. He said he doesn't know his neighbors because the one-acre homesites don't seem conducive to get-togethers. He does know that his four-bedroom, three-bathroom house has appreciated considerably since he moved in.
"It's a real quiet area with plenty of land, and that land keeps going up in value," Windsor said.
A frequently discussed fear among residents of Jarrettsville is that the growth that has grabbed hold of much of Baltimore County and Harford County will find its way to Jarrettsville.
"It's so nice now; It has a fairly quaint character, the kind of place where there's a small grocery store, a gas station and a pharmacy," Jacobson said.
"I just hope it stays that way because that's what makes it Jarrettsville."
Zip code: 21084
Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 40 minutes
Public schools: Jarrettsville Elementary, North Bend Elementary, North Harford Middle and North Harford High
Shopping: Jarrettsville Shopping Center, Paper Mill Village Shopping Center, Manor Shopping Center
Number of homes currently on market: 17
Average listing price: $199,236*
Average sales price: $191, 955*
Sales price as a percentage of listing price: 96%
Average days on market: 92
*Based on 20 sales in the last 12 months as recorded by the Metropolitan Regional Information System.
Pub Date: 2/14/99