When Steve and Chris Dumler get hooked on a neighborhood, they stay that way.
Seven years ago, the couple moved to Dunloggin in Ellicott City. For Steve it was a homecoming of sorts, since he had grown up a few streets away from the family's new home.
And when the couple move again in June, where did they go? Dunloggin, of course.
"It's an established neighborhood. You know what you're getting," said Chris Dumler. "I like the lot sizes and the mature trees. I think it's very pretty."
Most of the homes in Dunloggin date to the 1960s, with a few being built before that. While the styles vary - ranchers, Cape Cods, two-stories - and most were custom-built, they seem to blend well. Many have brick facades and lushly landscaped lawns that roll from one lot to another.
The lots are generally one-half to one acre and many are dominated by tall, full shade trees.
Some streets are arranged in a typical grid pattern, while others fan out into winding roads with attached cul-de-sacs.
"We liked the looks of the neighborhood," said Lynn Giotis, a 10-year resident. "This is a quiet neighborhood. We didn't want anything on a busy road."
Giotis, who runs a family day-care business in her home, added that it's a great place for kids. She likes to take the children for walks along the street and watches them play in the yard. Her own children, Andy, 13, and Kelsey, 8, have many friends nearby. The family demographics in the neighborhood cover the spectrum from newborn to college age.
Like Giotis, Kelly Andrew was attracted to Dunloggin because of the look of the neighborhood. Now that the family has been there for seven years, Andrew says, "We love it. We love the community feeling. It's not all young people. It's a mix of young and old."
Shortly after moving in, Andrew became involved in the neighborhood's Junior Women's Club, which was formed when many of the homes began changing and young families moved in. "It's a one-of-a-kind social organization, a mothers' network," she explained.
The club also has activities for couples and children, and its membership has branched out beyond Dunloggin. So, where does the name Dunloggin come from?
Frank Krantz and his wife, Virginia, were among the original residents in the area, moving into their newly built home in 1952. He recounts that, prior to development, the area had been the site of a dairy farm.
"Dunloggin Dairy supplied milk to the Baltimore area. It had some prize milk cows which produced huge amounts of butter fat," Krantz said, adding that, unbeknownst to current residents, some of those prize cows are buried in several of the lots.
"The people who owned the dairy had been lumbering people," Krantz continued. "And they were finished with the rigorous work of snaking logs out of the woods." In short, they were done logging - Dunloggin.
Located near the intersection of U.S. 40 and U.S. 29, Dunloggin now comprises about 900 homes in what used to be about eight subdivisions that went by different names.
It is purely residential, with commercial establishments lying just outside the neighborhood. The Miller Branch of the Howard County Library is within walking distance for many residents.
Nellie Arrington, a real estate agent for Long and Foster Real Estate Inc., said there is a variety of housing in terms of price, style and age, but, once on the market, "the houses move quickly."
An older - but hard to find - three-bedroom rancher might go for $180,000, but most of the homes are larger and in the mid-$200,000 to mid-$300,000 range.
Active with Dunloggin real estate since 1986, Arrington said listings tend to go in cycles.
"It's been very quiet there this year," she said, adding that people will often add on to their homes rather than move.
That's what's happening at the Andrew home. With five children, the family needs more space, but has no desire to move.
"We're doing an addition, expanding the kitchen and adding a fifth bedroom," said Kelly Andrew.
Homeowners are represented by the St. John's Community Association, with which Chris Dumler has been involved for six years. "When an issue comes up, the community association tries to let people know about it through the newsletter," Dumler said, adding that meetings are called on an as-needed basis.
The association has dealt with several zoning issues and is currently working on ways to reduce the speed of traffic through the neighborhood. Keeping traffic speed down is especially important since most of the children walk or ride bicycles to the elementary and middle schools at the southern edge of the neighborhood.
But the increased traffic isn't enough to spoil Dunloggin's tranquillity.
"It's the best place in the world," said Frank Krantz.
"It's quiet and pleasant, but it's near everything."
ZIP code: 21042
Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 30 minutes
Public schools: Northfield Elementary, Dunloggin Middle, Centennial High
Shopping: Chatham Station on U.S. 40, Dorsey's Search Village Center, Frederick Crossing, The Mall in Columbia
Homes on market: 8
Average listing price: $268,764*
Average sales price: $261,753*
Days on market: 66*
Sales price as percentage of listing price: 97/4%*
* Based on 39 sales in the past 12 months compiled by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc.