The DC housing market … why is it so hot

Every recent market report seems to add the caveat that DC is an anomaly. Most markets are still attempting to recover from the 2006 crash. DC took a bit of a dip, but is roaring back. How can this be happening?  The economy is certainly not much better today than it has been for several years. Federal workers haven’t seen a raise in pay for a few years. If all economic indicators remain uncertain, why are homes in DC costing more every month?

The answer is as plain as day.  DC has jobs.  Very few places across the country can make the same claim. DC is a small 10 square mile area. There are only so many homes that will fit. Engineers and builders and architects can do a lot of things …. they can not create more dirt. Space is limited in DC. Put those two factors together and you have recipe for rising home prices (regardless of the economy).

This little chart covers the phenomena.  At the top, the various places new residents come from are depicted.  People moving to DC come from Universities (college dorms or off campus shared housing), their parent’s home, homes they own in other parts of the country or homes they rent elsewhere.  They want to live in or near DC and begin a search. Almost every last one of them jumps on the internet and begins their search there.  After all, there are hundreds of thousands of websites that share available homes in DC.  The majority of the people searching do not understand that the accuracy of the data is often outdated or limited at best.  For every single home/town home/row home/condo listed there is just one property. How that property is displayed has more to do with syndication by agents and brokers than it has to do with the actual property. (A word to the wise: If you want to be more successful in your search, contact an agent in the area. Talk to someone that knows more about the area than can be revealed in wikipedia or some local towns site. Boots on the ground, an ability to listen and then share information is the best way to discover DC (or any other area for that matter).

housing flow chart

As always, DC has more people wanting to live here than there are places to live.  More buyers than available homes creates an imbalance and that old supply and demand process takes over.  Multiple bids appear, prices continue to rise and the market remains “hot”.  Regardless of promises that might be made by some, the truth is you may not find a home you are seeking for the price you are willing or able to pay.  I certainly would never guarantee that home prices will continue to rise, but I promise you that I can see nothing in the marketplace that will slow down the DC market in the near or distant future.

If you are considering a move to DC, you need factually based assistance.  You need to begin the process now, rather than later. You need to begin putting together a comprehensive home buying plan today.  Remember, a comprehensive plan begins with a discussion with a lender. Know what you can comfortably afford. Then, and only then, take the next step. Contact an agent that knows DC. Speak with someone that knows the difference between Adams Morgan and Madame’s Organ. Have a conversation with some one that understands the difference between Petworth and what is a pet worth, the difference between NOMA and no mas or the difference between the Capitol and Capitol Hill.  Subtle differences of a few blocks can add 30 minutes to an hour or more to your commute each day. A map of the subway (Metorail Line) does not include information regarding ease of use or ease of transfer.  A google map of DC will not reveal the walking score of a neighborhood.

DC is my town. I was born here. I know the neighborhoods. I know the Metro stops. I know the nightlife. This is a great place to live. Before you move here and decide on an address, don’t you think we might need to talk.  My phone number is 301-509-5111.

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Carry Lofts … DC’s upscale affordable new address

front image

Carry Lofts 257 15th St SE Washington DC 20003

Priced in low to mid $500’s

(condo fees under $350 per month)

Carry Lofts is located a few blocks east of Eastern Market at 257 15th Street SE . The project has three two-bedroom units and a one-bedroom w/den condo that range in size from 928 to 1,022 square feet (monthly condo fees run in the mid-$300s). Each unit is unique in layout and style.

Every unit in the building has up to 18-foot ceilings, unique loft details, stainless steel railings, private outdoor space, silestone counters in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, gas cooking, distinctive lighting features with dimmers, prewired for security systems, Dolby surround sound and two full bathrooms (one has a shower, the other has a tub), modern full size front-loading washer/dryer and central A/C. Every appliance (in both the kitchen and laundry) is Energy Star rated. A casual walk through each unit reveals an attention to detail not always found in new condos as well as the use of top of the line materials in every facet of construction.  And on top of all of that, every unit has multiple exposures offering plenty of natural light.

The private residential lobby has an electronic guest entry system and the building has bicycle storage. Nearby features are a upscale Safeway Food Store, 2 metro stations, the aforementioned Eastern Market and Barracks Row. The neighborhood is walkable.

The owners, builder and management company have all put their efforts in creating a delightful building that will be home to 4 very happy owners.  If you, or someone you know, is looking for that perfect home in DC, the Carry Lofts might just be the spot they are seeking.  I would be glad to arrange a private tour of the building, just give me a call at 301-509-5111.

For more DC information

10502 Hayes Avenue Silver Spring MD

This is how I first remember the home at 10502 Hayes Avenue Silver Spring Maryland.  Of course, my earliest memories of the home go all the way back to 1963. My friend Bob Merrbach lived here with his mom and dad.  Bob and I and several of our friend spent the summer at MacDonald Knolls recreation center. We played softball, ping pong and badminton. It was the last summer of our youth. Boyhood games were soon traded for cars, part-time jobs and high school.  We still gathered here.  Late night phone calls, plaintively sharing sweet nothings, to my first real girlfriend originated from the family room in the basement.  Three of us listened to Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title on the old RCA radio here. Pop taught us how to change oil in the driveway. It was really the quintessential all-American home.  We all grew up and moved away. Bob’s parents stayed until one after another they passed on.  Bob ended up moving back in a few years ago and now it is time to finally move on.

This is the house today.  The floor plan is still the same. The front door opens to a large living room that features original hardwood floors and a wood burning fireplace.  The picture window allows lots of sunlight during the day.  The hardwoods gleam!  The eat-in kitchen is behind the living room. Bob put down a new floor.  Did I mention that the upstairs has been repainted?  The two bedrooms are on this floor.  The front bedroom is the larger of the two but the rear bedroom is large enough for a queen bed.  The main floor bathroom has been spiffed up.  There is probably storage space in the attic, but Bob’s father preferred to fill the space with insulation. The insulation kept heating and cooling bills lower all the years the family has owned the home.

Downstairs is the large finished family room and a bar.  There is also a full bath with a shower.  The laundry area features a washer and dryer.  The furnace is only 15 years old.  The memories are timeless.

The home is well landscaped and the backyard is fully fenced-in.  Pop’s old shed is still out in the corner (sorry the “Pop’s Garage” sign does not convey).  There is a small patio and room for planting a garden. The yard gets plenty of sunlight during the afternoon.

Today, people are pretty concerned with location. When Pop bought the place, he just wanted a decent place to raise his son. The location remains terrific. You have your pick of three or four subway stops. You can drive through the park and take Forest Glen Road to the Forest Glen stop. Continue farther down Sligo Creek Parkway to Colesville Road and use the Silver Spring Stop. If you would rather use Wheaton, it is a short drive down University Boulevard and if you prefer Glenmont, you can go across Arcola to Georgia.  Don’t over look the fact that there is a Marc Train stop in Kensington as well as Silver Spring.

The area has grown, but you are still close to Wheaton Regional Park, Brookside Gardens, Sligo Creek Golf Course and Sligo Creek Park.  Feeling adventurous? Sugarloaf Mountain, the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River are all a short drive away.  Downtown Silver Spring has outdoor events all summer, Wheaton features the “Taste of Wheaton” and when summer turns to fall, you are but a 30 minute drive from the County Fair in Gaithersburg.

Commuting to downtown DC?  You have many ways to get there. Sure, you can use the Metro and one of the four Redline stops I mentioned or you can drive in using one of the many under utilized roads downtown or you can bike your way to work. The choice is yours. Work from home? Choose between Verizon fios or Comcast, both are available for your internet needs.

The one thing that pictures can’t convey, there was a lot of love in this home.  A little boy grew up there and became one of my life long friends. I feel privileged to have  been asked to help him sell the home.  As we went through each room, there was always a story and a memory.  We shared the anxieties that teen aged boys faced and realized that it is time.  It is time to open the door to a new owner. It is time to allow someone new create memories. It is time.

The house is on the market. Soon, someone will bring an offer and this chapter will close. It’s time.

If you would like more information about the home, feel free to contact me at 301-509-5111.

ps to the Merrbach’s … thank’s for the memories!

Silver Spring Home Search

13205 Clifton Road Silver Spring MD 20904

The home at 13205 Clifton Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904 looks a lot like the other homes in the Buckley Downs neighborhood.  You drive down Clifton Road from Randolph Road and you quickly notice a change in your surroundings. There are trees and birds and the hustle and bustle of the city that is just blocks away fades into the serenity of a suburban neighborhood.  Depending on the time of day, you may see neighbors out walking dogs or chatting with one another from one yard to another.  The occasional wave is subtle acknowledgement, folks are friendly here.  13205 is located about half way down Clifton. Not much farther down the road is the site of the Cannon Ridge Elementary School.  Mornings from September to June share the weekday parade of little ones as they head to class.

The neighborhood itself was born back in 1964 or 1965.  This section of Silver Spring was the distant suburbs.  New Hampshire Avenue carried a lot less traffic and the McDonalds on Randolph Road was the new kid on the fast food block.  It was a time of innocence in the suburbs. Ford had started selling the Mustang. The biggest news was the United States officially began sending combat troops into Viet Nam.  Musicals dominated entertainment with the “Sound of Music” opening and “My Fair Lady” capturing the best picture oscar.

Good things came into being in 1965, that have stood the test of time and remain sought after today.  The 1965 Ford Mustang is coveted by classic car collectors. “The Sound of Music” continues to be viewed and enjoyed by new audiences.  Homes in the Buckley Downs neighborhood, when they come on the market, are a target destination for new home buyers.

13205 Clifton Road is now on the market and available for purchase.

Walk Score for this home.

Real estate listings in the MLS (multiple listing service) always share the details. Cold hard facts if you will. They seldom have the ability to share the ambiance of the home. You really have to visit the house, explore the neighborhood and get a feel for the area.  Nothing written can replace or substitute the actual experience of being there. Once you visit, you will discover …

Guess what … the home is a perfect place for anyone and everyone.

This foyer will lead you into a remarkable house.  It is a raised rambler.  Walk through that front door, an eat in kitchen is to your left. Sure, it needs updating, but it is clean. No one is quite sure what happened to the 24″ double oven (rumors abound that an unscrupulous repairman made off with it).  The seller will certainly make an allowance towards one. Why not just put one in? Well, if a new double oven is being put in, shouldn’t the new owner pick one they like? Seems like a better way of doing things to me!

Off the kitchen, is a good-sized formal dining area that opens to a large living room.  Head down the hallway and you will find two large bedrooms on your right, a full bath on your left, two linen closets and a large master suite on your left. Oh, that’s right, the floors beneath your feet are wood (not some pretend laminate, these are the old school tongue in groove wood floors).  Just like that 1965 Mustang, they don’t make floors like this anymore.

The downstairs area is finished. Sure, the tile floor is old, but it is serviceable. The family room is huge!  There is a wood burning fireplace and sliding doors that open to a small patio.  Move through the family room and you discover a new, updated, double vanity, jetted soaking tub large bathroom. It is situated next to a very large bedroom and a smaller bedroom.  But wait…there’s more. The lower level also has a good-sized laundry room with a washer/dryer and deep sink. Beyond the laundry room, there is a storage area that is about 6 feet wide and 30 feet long.  Nestled in the back corner are the darn near new furnace and hot water heater.

The back yard includes the patio, a large storage shed and about 1/2 acre of open space and woods. The property goes all the way to the small creek that is at the bottom of the hill.  This is the suburbs, but you will see Bambi and her mom, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks and an occasional fox.  On clear nights, you can enjoy the moon rising over the patio.  You are far enough from the city glare that you can even watch the Perseid Meteor showers every August.

Transportation thoughts?  The metro stop in Glenmont is right down the road. New Hampshire Avenue is right up the street. The ICC exit is a short distance away. You really can get on the highway quickly and that puts Baltimore, Washington, downtown Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda and Gaithersburg within in easy driving time.

Interested? Oh, how much?  This home can be yours for less than $350,000.  Undecided?  Call me. I will be glad to meet you there and show you around.  You might just fall in love with the place.  I can be reached at 301-509-5111

Lourdes Tudela-MacArthur  John MacArthur

c21nm

Rebates for home buyers

cash bag

Most of you don’t know how in the world that real estate agent called you.  You were just searching for homes on-line and all of a sudden an agent calls.  It must be magic!  Sorry to disappoint you, there is no magic involved.  Your contact information was bought and paid for before you even signed in to a website.

When the rules changed and listings became available on the internet, the door was opened for anyone with a website to share local listings with you.  Access to the information could be purchased from the multiple listing service.  The brokers that provide the information signed an agreement that made the information available to the market.  Many companies (Zillow, Trulia, Market Leader, etc) seized this opportunity to create fancy websites that would attract consumers.  Their goal was to draw home buyers in with promises of all the data.  They created innocuous little forms to be filled out “so you could be kept up to date with any new listings that meet your criteria”.

Once you filled out the information, it was sold. You see, while these companies were creating pretty websites, they were also soliciting real estate agents.  They offer “warm leads from buyers in your area”.  They break down incoming leads by zip code and sell the rights to all the leads in that zip code to any agent that is willing to pay a monthly fee.  Some companies just charge a fee so the agent can send a resume to all that sign up in their assigned zip codes.  That’s right, they don’t need to be qualified, they only need a bank account.

Money is changing hands before you even get into the market.  Your name, email address and phone number are gold to the companies that sell leads. Major brokerages are not innocent in the practice.  You go to Remax, Weichert, Coldwell Banker, Long and Foster etc. and your name is forwarded to an agent that is either willing to share a large part of the commission earned or an agent that pays a monthly fee for the right to receive “referrals”.  Again, your information is bought and paid for (or bartered for) before you decide to look at homes.

cash

The price varies depending on the source that trades your information.  Regardless, the agent that is calling you may not be the most qualified.  The agent calling you may have one eye on the cost of your referral and another on the amount of homes you are shown.  The agent calling you is viewing the outcome as a return on investment. The agent calling you only had to be willing to pay for the opportunity. I may be crazy, but I believe the agent should be focused on what you need rather than on what will create the best return on his or her investment in a lead system.

cash in hands

Well, I say you deserve the right to cut out the middleman.  I don’t want to pay for your name. I would rather you took the time to see if I might be the right agent for you.  I think if any money changes hands, you should benefit from that,rather than be the product being sold.  I  just think there is a better way.

Firms like Zillow, Trulia, etc. make the majority of their income from charging agents (that subscribe to their service) a fee for every lead generated. Other firms charge a percentage of the commission earned. The majority of them only know about DC from what they see on CNN. Regardless, they are offering you the “expert”. The only verifiable skill set used to qualify the agent is their ability to pay the lead companies monthly statement.. You deserve better.It seems like from the moment you go online searching for a home, everybody has their hand in the pot.

Well, from where I sit, it is your damn pot. It only seems fair that you have the first dibs on “hands in”. So, here is your chance at reducing the amount of money you spend on purchasing a home.

moneyinhand

I would rather pay you a rebate, after the purchase of a home.  I would rather share money with you after a sale than pay for the chance to represent you in the beginning.  Rebates to buyers are perfectly legal in the State of Maryland.  The amount of money rebated from me will be related to what I earn on the sale.  This is not discount representation, this is an open disclosure of the value of working with you. This offer is only valid if your first contact with me is through the form below or my brokers website (c21nm.com)

Rebates for buyers, now that is a better way for both of us. If we meet and you don’t think I can do the job, well as they say “no harm, no foul”.  If you do find that I am more than qualified to represent you and your interests, it is a win-win situation.  Again, the offer is only valid for those consumers that make their first contact with me through the form below or through my brokers website (c21nm.com)

 

Dollarsignshouses

Interested, fill out the form, If not, well you can always take your chances with someone who chose to buy your name.  In either case, best of luck in your home search.

My name is John MacArthur. I am with Century 21 New Millennium and I invite you to experience the difference. For purposes of this offer, YOU MUST USE THE FORM BELOW AS YOUR INITIAL MEANS OF CONTACT WITH ME. NO EXCEPTIONS.

7601 Dew Wood Drive, Derwood, Md $515,000

Maybe you have a job with an office in downtown Washington DC. Maybe you work in Rockville or Bethesda. There’s a good chance that where ever you spend your day earning your hard earned pay, it is part of the giant urban concrete jungle that extends from Alexandria to Rockville. At the end of the day, you will face the same challenges everyone else faces in just getting home.

Wouldn’t it be nice if home made the daily grind worthwhile? There are so many things to consider when buying a home, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have a chance at that elusive nightly nirvana. Well, I am here to tell you that you do… Welcome to 7601 Dew Wood Drive, Derwood, Maryland. Reasonably priced at $515,000, this King George model in Mill Creek Towne is available for purchase today.

Let’s get traffic and commuting and how do I get there from here out of the way. If the President of the United States invited you to dinner, it might take around 30 minutes to drive to his house. The rest of the offices located downtown are reachable within the same time frame. If you have to travel to Crystal City or Rosslyn, they are just over the bridge and minutes from downtown proper. Bethesda is about the same travel time from your door. Rockille? Why Rockville is but minutes away.

The important thing to know about commuting in this area concerns not how but how many. They say all roads lead to the city, how many are available to you in Derwood? Well, you have Muncaster Road that heads north and south. You are close to Shady Grove Road which will take you over to the new ICC or 355 or 270. You have a lot of choices and that becomes very important if traffic backs up on one of your roads home.

Home, that is 7601 Dew Wood Drive in a nutshell. Yes, there is a virtual tour. If you just have to see the pictures, you can click on this LINK.  There is a lot more to this area that you can’t see in a picture.  You pull into your circular driveway and get out of the car.  Before you open the door, turn around. You are surrounded by a mature, well landscaped neighborhood.  The noise of the city is far from your doorstep.

And from that front door, you are only about 5 minutes away from Lake Needwood.  Consider that. Five minutes from a lazy afternoon picnic by the lake.  If you would prefer a round of golf, Needwood Golf Course is next to the lake and it is just one of about a dozen public courses within that same 5-10 minutes away.  Montgomery County has no shortage of strip centers and there are a few within a short drive of your home.  McDonalds, Ledo’s Pizza, CVS, 7-11 and a couple gas stations are close enough to be convenient and far enough to be out of mind until needed.

We all find that we have to work (well most of us anyway).  Often, we just can’t decide where we want to work. We end up where we can earn the most and feel the most comfortable each day.  The stress of work usually increases from Monday to Friday. You deserve a home that will release the tension and offer you a chance to unwind and enjoy your family, your friends and your life.

You are looking for a new house.  Consider 7601 Dew Wood Drive. It may become your private haven from the hustle and bustle of the work day and your opportunity to slow down and enjoy the good things a great neighborhood has to offer.

If you would like to see this home, have your agent contact Centralized Showings. We represent the seller of the home and will not tiptoe into the gray area of writing an offer for someone that is willing to reject representation in hopes of getting a better deal. In Maryland, you have a right to have an agent represent you, since we represent the sellers, we can’t represent you. We will be glad to refer you to an agent. This could be home.

12107 Red Stream Way Columbia Maryland $450,000

12107 Red Stream Way Columbia Maryland

$450,000

Oops, when property was listed owners insisted on attempting to get $550,000. They missed the window and ended up selling for $430,000 with a $13,000 subsidy.  Creig Nothrup’s fine team stepped in, cut the price and moved the property.  Maybe it was the billboard?

Sometimes not listening to good advice can cost you over $25,000.

It would be easy just to share the pictures of this home. People have been telling me that “a picture tells a thousand words”.  Maybe. But maybe pictures only tell part of the story.  You might want to experience the house one snap shot in time, but we recommend stopping by for a visit.  The house has been cleaned and the kids toys have been put away.  The owners have dusted and polished.  Everything was done to prepare for your visit.

I sold the Johnson’s this house.  It was perfect for them at the time.  As I walked through the home with them, they proudly pointed out all of the changes and upgrades.  Pictures can’t capture the feeling shared.  I remember it then and it is so much better now.  A house was made a home.  But, buyers want pictures, so we took them.

Pictures can not capture how easily one can commute from this home to Baltimore or Washington. Next year, when the ICC opens completely, it will be even easier to get to Rockville and the rest of Montgomery County.  The beauty of the location is partly found in the fact that there are several ways to get from here to there. This is not a one road home community or location.

This is a picture of the nearby Lake Elkhorn.  The community has access to other lakes as well.  The picture does show one view of the lake.  You have to dig a little deeper in your imagination to really understand the quality of life that exists in Columbia.  Close your eyes and feel the warm Summer sun, visualize the trees as they turn red, yellow and gold in the Fall, you can almost hear the geese and the good-byes they shout. Try to imagine your breath dancing through the air as you walk the shore on a December morn. Remember that every Spring, flowers will bloom, petals will dance in the wind and the grey will become green again.  Pictures can’t tell that story, but it happens every year here.

A virtual tour will depict the home in “perfect” condition.  It will not show you the joy that can be shared spending an afternoon with friends on the nearby championship golf course.  Pictures can only show a two dimensional view of all the pools, the community amenities and other attractions in and around Columbia.  Sure, we could share a picture of the crowd at one of the concerts at Merriweather Post ( located right smack dab in the middle of Columbia), but would that snapshot even begin to share the fun, joy and good times that occur all summer long?  You have to actually sit on a blanket with friends, enjoy the sights and sounds… you are minutes from your front door. What may have been a long, post concert ride home, will now be a drive of but a few minutes to your front door.

One other piece of the puzzle that makes Columbia such a wonderful place to live is the fact that Howard Community College is located here. (It is next door to the Howard Community Hospital which is also nice to have in the neighborhood)

Howard Community College has a wide range of course and schedules and events that are open to everyone.  You can finish a degree or just take a course to enrich your life.  If you have high school age children, sending them to college here offers them the chance to learn from some of the areas best educators and still do homework at the kitchen table.  Is it fair to say that when times are tight, your children deserve a comfort level. The ability to obtain a higher education in your hometown, saving on housing costs looks better every day.

I sure wish I had a magic camera that could capture the sense of community and fellowship that exists in Columbia.  The focus on neighborhoods and people actually knowing one another is the foundation of friendships that last.  12107 Red Stream Way is but one home in Columbia.  It is well taken care of by the owners.  It is one home in a community that waits to welcome a new owner.

If you would be interested in seeing the home, let me know, I will  make arrangements.  If you do not have an agent representing you, I will gladly refer you to an agent. I want to sell the house, but I also want the buyer to have full representation. (This is a nice way of saying that if you think you can get a better deal by asking me to write the offer for you, the answer is no. No deal, no lack of representation.)  My name is John MacArthur and I can be reached at 301-509-5111.

Columbia Maryland Home Search

Contact Me

Don’t throw away your Maryland Homestead Exemption

tax

Just as they do every year, the Maryland State Government has sent out their yearly tax bills to homeowners. Most residents have opened the bill, groaned at the current evaluation and filed the bill away. You see, if your lender is escrowing your real estate taxes, you don’t have to do anything else.

This year, the State of Maryland has decided to require every homeowner to reapply for the Homestead Deduction. In the envelope, there is the standard assessment notice and two additional pages.

Now these additional pages look just like the usual junk mail that the State stuffs in everything they send out. All is not as it appears. The inserted pages must be looked at and reviewed and used.

One of these pages informs the property owner that everyone must apply to “continue” receiving their Homestead Deduction. That’s right, you snooze, you lose. Don’t pay on damn dime more than you should have to pay.  But please, please, (did I say please)…PAY ATTENTION!!!!

Things have changed….again ….. see Official Notice From State of Maryland

Don’t toss your current deduction in the circular file.

Goodman Homes in Wheaton Maryland

These homes are wonderful. Working in this area, Lourdes and I are very familiar with them.  His use of glass, allowing the outside in, is masterful.  When available, we include them as key viewing homes for buyers.  We are fortunate to have so many small pockets of these homes in our area.

Rock Creek Woods

Charles M. Goodman (1906-1992) was an American architect who made a name with his mid-century modern/contemporary designs in suburban Washington, D.C. after World War II including homes in Wheaton.

Goodman designed the original National Airport outside of Washington, D.C.  After attending the Illinois Institute of Technology, Goodman came to D.C. in 1934 to work as the designing architect in the Public Buildings Administration.  He later served as head architect at the Treasury Department and the Air Transport Command.  After World War II he worked closely with Robert C. Davenport designing and site planning most of the Hollin Hills neighborhood in Alexandria, VA where his firm, Charles M. Goodman Associates designed over 14 models of houses.

Other projects included the 1964 Unitarian Church in Arlington, VA, his own residence, Goodman House, in 1954 on Quaker Lane in Alexandria.  In Reston, he designed a cluster of townhouses in the woods above Lake Anne known as Hickory Cluster.  He also did designs in Washington, D.C. at the Southwest Waterfront and just north of Fort McNair.

Goodman was famous for his contemporary designs, orienting homes at angles to the street instead of head-on, generous use of glass and limited removal of trees to maintain the wooded affect.

In Maryland, Goodman designed homes in Takoma Park and the Wheaton area of Silver Spring.

His 1951 development in Takoma Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, as the Takoma Avenue Historic District.

Goodman developed two neighborhoods in Wheaton.

Hammond Wood Historic District

His 1949-51 development off of Viers Mill Road known as Hammond Woods was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, as the Hammond Wood Historic District.

His 1958-61 development off Connecticut Avenue known as Rock Creek Woods was listed on the National Register of Historic places and is known as the Rock Creek Woods Historic District.

These homes don’t resell often, but there has been a resurgence of interest since the late 90’s that has made them rather sought after homes.  Most real estate agents that know about them will always state in their remarks about the home that it is a “Goodman Contemporary”.

Gunpowder Golf Club…Laurel Maryland

You …

stand on the first tee and 18 challenging holes lay before you. This is Gunpowder Golf Club. The club is located in Laurel, MD on Old Gunpowder Road. Bob Milligan bought the land in the early 1950’s. It had been a rock quarry. He designed the front nine and began building. He removed ton’s of stone. The stone that was removed was sold and he then designed and built the back nine. The course opened in 1956.

The course was designed to follow the natural topography of the land in the Scottish tradition. Over 50 years have passed since the opening and the course still holds that character. Fairways are tree lined and there is only one that is relatively flat.

Follow with me. The first hole is a down hill dog leg right. Tree lined down the right side and challenging golfers to not attempt cutting the corner. Trees are much taller today than 1956. The second hole parallels the first, back up the same hill. It is tree lined on both the right and left side. The teeing area is back in a shoot that challenges everyone due to the demands of hitting the ball straight. The third hole is a down hill, up hill par 5 that has the flavor of the 13th at Augusta…don’t know why, it just does. The fourth hole is the hardest on the course. It is an uphill 190 yard par 3. The fifth tee is perched on a hill top, you have to hit the tee shot over a small lake (?) to another dogleg right hole. The sixth hole offers yet another up hill blind shot, leaving you a mid iron to a green that is now below your feet. The seventh hole has another shoot placed teeing area. Off in the distance, beyond a natural bowl, is a small hill. In the middle of the hill is a directional pole. The pole was added a few years back ( I still remember standing on that tee during my first round there wondering “where do I go from here?”. The eighth is another par three, mid to short iron over the lake and to an elevated green that falls from back to front. The ninth is another dog leg (this one left) to a green that is well above your head when you stand in the fairway.

That is just the front nine.

Let the game begin…

as you move to the 10th tee. It is elevated. You can see the bunker on the left. The right side is obscured by the large tree on the right. (There was a time when folks just took it over the tree with a gentle draw). The eleventh hole is a dog leg left up hill par four. When I say up hill, the green is about 50 or 60 feet above your head from the fairway. Number 12 is a par three that can be reached with a mid to short iron. Of course, if you miss hit your shot you will discover a gulley before you, a lake to your right front and the absolute pits of hell to your left. The green is most exposed to the sun and the speed is quicker than most. The 13th hole begins “birdie run”. It is a short, slightly up hill par four. The 14th is an even shorter par four that can be reached with a solid drive. The fifteenth is a short par 5 that is not as difficult as the card reads. The sixteenth is a beautiful hole. You stand on a cliff (above the 12th green) and hit across a valley to a landing area about 180 yards away. From the landing area, you have to strike a shot over another valley to a green that is tucked into a green swale. The creek that winds from left to right and back again separated the three areas. The seventeenth hole is a short par 3. The green is severely sloped from back to front. (A ball will not come to rest in some areas of this green). Depending on the diabolical pin position…5 can be a good score! The back side closes out with a gentle up hill par four that is protected in the front by a gaping bunker. The green is not very deep and many second shots find there way to the hill side behind the green.

That’s it.

Not exactly. Gunpowder has regulars. I began playing there is the mid 80’s. I have played with many of the legends. There was the group that played weekends…ante up $7 , teams picked, score the best two net balls. I remember Alie, the fellow in charge when I first showed up. He made the rules and changed the rules as he saw fit. I remember Manny and watching him ride his cart backwards into the lake on the fifth hole. There was Ken and his helicopter sailing golf clubs after errant shots. I still play with the long time club champions…Whitehead and Hooker and Dunny.

My son learned the game at Gunpowder. Mr. Milligan gave him his first job. He learned to play. He learned to gamble. He still remembers playing in the club championship against Dunny the reigning champ. My son was two up after nine holes. He was barely sixteen. At the turn, Dunny stopped at the clubhouse for refreshments. On the tenth tee he told my son that he was really playing well. He offered him a beer. My son had his first beer and went on the blow his lead and lose the match. He has forgiven, but never forgotten.

There are many stories here. It is home. It is friends. It is in a way family. We know it is not the fanciest. We know it is not pristine. We know it is ours.

Gunpowder Golf Club

14300 Old Gunpowder Road

Laurel, MD 20707

301-725-4532