Roland Park in Baltimore offers a mix of city and country

If you love being close to all of the amenities of a city, yet can't cut yourself off from the wonders of the natural world, Baltimore is the city for you. Instead of sprawling out, this metro is largely self contained, so when you want to escape the bustle of the city, it only takes a few minutes to drive down the highway. Once you get off the highway ramp (most likely Interstate 83), you will find yourself driving under a canopy of trees toward the home you purchased off the MLS listings in Baltimore.

According to MSN Real Estate, local Baltimore residents such as Doug Mao, an English professor at Johns Hopkins University who bought a half-acre on a hill in the quiet neighborhood of Roland Park, enjoy the city and its greenery.

"It's a beautiful place [in Roland Park] and yet, because Baltimore is a manageable-size city, I'm 5 to 10 minutes from work," Mao told the news source. "[I get the] wonderful views out the back windows. [Yet,] Downtown Baltimore is 10 to 12 minutes down I-83. It really is quite remarkable. It's like living in the suburbs but very close to town."

Enclaves offering residents access to trees and a commute to downtown Baltimore are not too hard to find. However, these properties do often come at an increased cost. According to ALTOS Research, the median cost for a single-family home in Baltimore on September 14, 2012 was $113,478. This property price is up from two weeks ago, when the median was approximately $110,000.

While median home prices are rising, the average cost in a community such as Roland Park is higher due to the general splendor of the area. Zip Data Maps claims that the average real estate asking price in Roland Park (ZIP code 21210) is $425,615. The average real estate sales price was even higher at $434,227.

Located to the east of Interstate 83, this community is made up of local residents with higher-than-average annual incomes. According to the source, the median household income is $74,457, yet an astounding 40.1 percent of the population make even more than that with an income above $100,000 a year.