Ask Taylorsville residents about their neighborhood, and you'll probably hear that the southwest Carroll County town is nothing more than the few businesses at the intersection of Routes 26 and 27.
"It's got two restaurants, three gas stations, two convenience stores, a liquor store and a church," said Doug Henley, who owns one of the two restaurants in town.
"You can go through it and never know you've been through Taylorsville," said Thelma Scott, a 17-year resident.
"It's a crossroads town at the intersection of Routes 26 and 27," said Bob Hilton, a real estate agent with Macintosh Realty in Mount Airy. "Other than that. . . ."
Other than that, Taylorsville is a small, quiet community of single-family homes. The boundaries of the neighborhood are vague, but the consensus among residents is that Taylorsville extends north of the intersection to Sam's Creek Road, south to Gillis Road, east to Salem Bottom Road and west to Franklinville Road.
Most of the residential building in Taylorsville occurred over the past 25 years. Home styles range from modest split-levels to custom-built houses priced between $300,000 and $500,000.
"Everything is there -- farmers, mixed right in with a mobile-home park, mixed right in with very expensive homes in the area," Mr. Hilton said.
Doris Younkers remembers that when she moved to Taylorsville 18 years ago, the woman across the street "had a fit."
Now, Mrs. Younkers says, she understands how her neighbor felt. "We were the only house out here; now they're all around us," she said.
The growth also brought more traffic to Route 27. Mrs. Younkers said it is difficult to get out of her driveway during morning and evening rush hours.
"Other than that, it's fine," she said of Taylorsville. "It's a nice town and a good place to raise children. I'd definitely endorse it for that."
Kim and Doug Gorsuch, who have two children, ages 8 and 10, agree. They live in the Sun Valley Farms development, off Route 27 on Sam's Creek Road. The development is a mixture of homes built about 25 years ago and custom-designed homes built in the mid-1980s.
"It's still pretty quiet, and you feel safe here," Mrs. Gorsuch said. "When you go to Little George's or High's, you know just about everybody."
Mrs. Gorsuch said she enjoys having the choice of shopping in Mount Airy, Eldersburg or Westminster.
The community is also served by a cluster of shops at the intersection of Routes 26 and 27. There's a Little George's convenience store, a lawyer's office, a doctor's office, a veterinarian and a gas station.
Two popular restaurants, Rewster's and Wagner's Corner, cater to customers from Taylorsville and beyond.
Most of the residential subdivisions in the area were zoned before 1978, and some are still under construction, including Aurora Hills and Belmar Estates.
Aurora Hills is a community of about 30 single-family homes on 1-acre lots. Prices range from $168,000 to $230,000, said Pat McDermott, the listing agent for the subdivision.
"It's a peaceful country atmosphere, but it's not far from any thing," Ms. McDermott said. "If you stand on some of the lots, you can see some of the mountains in Frederick."
The Aurora Hills development has been popular with buyers from Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties and Baltimore City.
The development is off Route 27, which provides direct access to Interstate 70.
The remaining developable land east of Route 27 is zoned for 2- and 3-acre-lot subdivisions, and land to the west will be preserved for agricultural use, said county planner Greg Horner.
"There are some very stable agricultural areas, and the intent is ,, to try and keep the density low and promote agriculture," Mr. Horner said.
"You'll see some additional low-density residential development, but the character will remain the same."
Joel Kaufman, who developed Sun Valley Farms, said any additional homes built in Taylorsville on the remaining 3-acre lot zoning will start at $260,000.
"Any new development will be on the high side because it costs so much to develop a lot," Mr. Kaufman said. "The bare minimum for a lot in Carroll County is $80,000. In Howard County, it's $120,000, and we'll approach that shortly."
Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 40 minutes
Public Schools: Mount Airy Elementary School and Mount Airy Middle School in Mount Airy, 8 miles southwest; Winfield Elementary School in Winfield, 2 miles east; New Windsor Middle School in New Windsor, 6 miles north; South Carroll High School in Winfield, 2 miles east.
Shopping: Small shops at intersection of Routes 26 and 27; major shopping areas in Mount Airy or Westminster, both about 10 miles away.
Nearest mall: Carrolltowne Mall in Eldersburg, 8 miles east; Cranberry Mall in Westminster, 10 miles northeast.
Points of interest: "It's a well-traveled crossroads - it has nothing else. Not much happens around here," one real estate agent says.
Average price of single family home*: $155,592.
ZIP codes: 21157, 21771, 21776.
* Average price for homes sold through the Central Maryland Multiple Listing Service over the last 12 months.