One nice place next to two colleges


Radnor-Winston: It's kid-friendly with almost a small-town feel

April 20, 2003|By Faith Hayden | Faith Hayden,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It's 6:30 p.m. on a 61-degree spring day and parents are just getting home from work at Radnor-Winston, a middle-class neighborhood off York Road in north central Baltimore.

With almost a small-town feel, there is evidence of children at play everywhere: Overturned tricycles on driveways and sidewalks, stray basketballs on front lawns, toys in the back yards.

This city neighborhood has about 250 homes and sits in the shadow of Loyola College and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

The colleges' sprawling campuses provide the neighborhood with plenty of open green space.

"[Radnor-Winston] is unlike any place I've ever lived," said Karen DeCamp, a resident of five years and president of the Radnor-Winston Home Improvement Association. "This is a very kid-friendly neighborhood. We have a lot of young families living here because it's so affordable."

The neighborhood contains an eclectic array of homes. From three-story single-family homes built during the 1930s to a number of semidetached houses built during the 1940s and 1950s, the neighborhood also includes one-story, large-framed bungalows and cottages.

Housing values have increased in recent years. Area real estate agents said there's not a lot of turnover.

Just six properties changed hands in 2002, according to a study of sales by Live Baltimore Home Center

The average sales price? $97,500.

"Recently, prices have jumped up a bit," said Louis Perkins, a real estate agent and neighborhood resident. "But they still run from as low as $90,000 up to $140,000 or so."

Perkins sells homes in Radnor-Winston and nearby neighborhoods.

"Our strong neighborhood association proves to be a great selling point," Perkins said. "The association has played an active role in relations with Loyola and [neighborhood and business groups along] York Road. We also have a strong social calendar that really keeps the neighborhood together."

The Radnor-Winston Improvement Association is made up of volunteers from the area. Board members include residents who just moved in as well as those who have lived in the neighborhood for years.

The group has a neighborhood Web page at

Neighborhood directory

"The block captains and board members oversee activities and watchdog issues," DeCamp said.

"Last year we put out a big neighborhood directory which included everyone in it. We also get out a newsletter every month."

The board works to fashion neighborhood events based on the themes of several holidays. For example, a neighborhood Easter egg hunt was scheduled this weekend for the kids. And porch parties are held throughout the year.

Board members also work closely with college officials since Loyola has purchased some apartments in the neighborhood during the past few years.

`A strong neighbor'

As the college has grown, its officials have looked for more housing for students. College dorms are sprinkled at two ends of the neighborhood. When complaints surface about students speeding or weekend parties, the college responds promptly, neighbors said.

"The board plays a very active role in relations with Loyola," Perkins says. "Largely because of this, Loyola has developed into a strong neighbor over the years."

And Radnor-Winston residents get to use some college amenities, including the library, which sits at the corner of the neighborhood.

Several homeowners employ students as baby sitters. And campus police patrol the neighborhood's Notre Dame Lane, checking on the nearby dormitories and ticketing cars illegally parked outside homes.

The neighborhood's location is a key selling point, several residents say. The area is about a 10- to 15-minute drive from Towson and downtown Baltimore. With three colleges nearby - Towson University is farther north on York Road - the neighborhood is ideal for professors and college staff, residents said.

"We have lots of professors, teachers, nurses and social workers," DeCamp said.

Neighborhood leaders said crime in the area is minimal and has been mostly limited to property vandalism or cars that have been broken into.

"Burglaries are pretty rare," DeCamp said. "I've always been struck by the low crime rate. I feel pretty comfortable here."

Besides the people who live there, the neighborhood's housing is considered one of its strongest assets, real estate experts said.

Radnor-Winston "has great housing stock," Perkins said. "Affordable prices, strong sense of community, real range of folks of all ages, and it's teeming with kids."


ZIP code:21212

Commuting time to downtown Baltimore:15 minutes

Public schools:Roland Park Elementary, Roland Park Middle, Northwestern High.

Shopping:Belvedere Square, downtown, Towson Town Center, York Road Plaza.

Homes on market:None

Average listing price:$115,466*

Average sale price:$116,333*

Average days on market:9*

Sale price as percentage of listing price:100.75 percent*

* Based on three sales during the past 12 months, compiled by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc.

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