All about Rockville, Maryland

ROCKVILLE HOME SEARCH

So, you want to know all about Rockville, Maryland?  There are plenty of sites on the internet that discuss the history of the town and make up of city hall, etc.  What about Rockville today?  People from all over the country are familiar with Rockville (at least they know it is reasonably close to Washington DC and lots of folks tell them it is the place to move if coming to Montgomery County, Maryland.).

Rockville is much larger than the little postage stamp area located at the intersection of Viers Mill Road and Rockville Pike.  Rockville stretches from Georgia Avenue to the east, the Beltway to the south, Potomac to the west and Gaithersburg to the north.  There are over 13 square miles that cover the area called Rockville.

Information to help Rockville, Maryland real estate buyers should include information about the neighborhoods that make us this area.

  • The Aspen Hill area, Wheaton Woods –  This tiny area of Rockville is really closer to Silver Spring/Glenmont than it is part of the Rockville community.  The homes in Aspen Hill Park and Aspen Knolls are older and priced considerably less than homes closer to Rockville or Olney ($250,000 and up).  The neighborhoods tend to include more working class residents.  Parking is a problem on many of the streets.  It is just north of the neighborhood Connecticut Avenue Estates.  There is shopping at the Aspen Hill Shopping Center which includes a Giant Food Store and other small retail shops.
  • Bel Pre WoodsBrooke Haven, English Manor– This area is just north of the Aspen Hill area.  The homes are priced a bit higher which is a result of location more than any other factor.  It is a bit farther north and has good access to Georgia Avenue which in turn can lead to the Glenmont Metro or the ICC. Shopping can be done in Aspen Hill or Leisure World.
  • Brooke Manor – OK, this is a development in and around what used to be Brook Johns old country club. The homes are much newer and more expensive.  It is located north of Norbeck Road and is a home owner association guided neighborhood.  It is located with good access to the ICC, Georgia Avenue and Norbeck Road.
  • Ellenwood, Flower Valley, Manor Lake, Manor Park, Manor Woods, Norbeck Estates, Norbeck Manor – this area is located north and south of Emory Road and the ICC.  The homes are a bit older but are priced in the $500,000 and up range.  The quality of the neighborhood experience and the general location are excellent.  The neighborhoods have access to walking trails and parks.
  • Burgundy Estates, Burgundy Hills, Burgundy Knolls, English Manor, Lincoln Park, Maryvale – These neighborhoods are closer to Rockville City and are priced between $250,000 and $350,000.  The homes are mostly older, built in the 50’s.  The neighborhoods are laid out in the old suburban grid pattern.  This area has access to the red line station in Rockville.
  • King Farm, Fallsgrove –  These two communities are like sister cities. They are both located north of Rockville Town Center.  They were both planned, developed and built by the same builders.  King Farm is older and a bit more developed, Fallsgrove is a bit newer and a bit farther out.  Both are planned communities that are built around a common shopping area.  Homes are more expensive, but the amenities of the planned developments are sought after by many buyers.
  • Luxmanor – This community is on the south side of Rockville ( actually reasonably close to Bethesda).  The location and size of the homes is reflected in their higher price tags. Homes here run from $700,000 to almost $2,000,000.  This is an established community that offers a sense of style and access to Bethesda and DC.
  • Montrose, Montrose Woods, Rockville Estates, Roxboro, Woodley Gardens – These communities are located in the area between Rockville Pike and Montrose Road.  The homes are favorably priced in the $500,000- $600,000 range.  The area is well established and features good access to major commuter thoroughfares.
  • Randolph Hills, Rockcrest, Parkwood – This is another older section of Rockville located off Randolph Road. The homes are older and priced lower than homes farther north or west. Homes in these neighborhoods are about $350,000.  The streets are a bit narrower and off street parking is a premium.
  • Twinbrook, Twinbrook Forest, Silver Rock, Stoneybrook Estates  – Many of these communities feature homes that were built following WWII and the Korean War.  They are mostly small bungalows and cape cods. Prices reflect the age and style.  Parking is a premium in these neighborhoods.

That covers most of the neighborhoods. I know them all well.  Anybody can tell you about the roads. I make it my business to know where the speed bumps are and where potential pot holes in your home search might exist.

Rockville  is split by one the most famous roads in retail shopping (no offense for Rodeo Drive).  It is said in retail and restaurant circles that “if you can’t make it on Rockville Pike, you can’t make it anywhere”.  The reason behind the saying drives local residents crazy.  You can’t drive on Rockville Pike and hope to get from here to there in a timely fashion. It is clogged from sun up to well after sun set with commuters, shoppers, tourist, the lost, the wandering and the rest. The road is bumper to bumper in both directions most of the day.  Area residents are convinced that if 9% of the people are unemployed, they are spending their time driving up and down Rockville Pike.

Local Attractions ;

  • Strathmore – High quality arts programming, designed for audiences of many tastes, served with the hospitality and warmth of a family enterprise, are the hallmarks of Strathmore. Seasonal outdoor events seek to be inclusive in their programming appeal, reaching out to people of all ages, interests and cultural heritage.
  • Beall-Dawson House – Which houses The Montgomery County Historical Society (MCHS) strives to highlight the role of history as a vital part of the cultural and social fabric of Montgomery County.
  • F.Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Burial Place – Famed author and member of the “Lost Generation” and wife, one-time residents of Maryland, are interred here. The burial sites are located in Saint Mary’s Cemetery.
  • Rockville Town Center – Rockville Town Center is a welcoming and vibrant amenity in the heart of Rockville. The pedestrian-friendly streets and plaza, many restaurants and stores, Rockville Library and VisArts Center with its rooftop deck make Town Square a lively attraction.

Rockville is large and diverse.  If you are moving to the area, I will certainly offer all the information you need to make an informed decision.  Don’t rely on travel guides or real estate books, talk to someone that lives here. My name is John MacArthur and I can be reached at 301-509-5111. Experience the difference Experience makes!

Used and abused … will I ever find love again ?

Used and abused … will I ever find love again?  Oh, I don’t want to sound like a whiner. I have enjoyed the best of times. I had wonderful years when I was loved and cared for.  I have more than enough memories of laughter and hosting tender moments.  I have seen the joy in young children’s eyes and the never ending miracle of parent’s doing what they do best – parent.  I have also been witness to tears and sorrow (another important component of a well rounded life).

My strongest two memories are they day they came and the day they left.  Upon their arrival, my life began.  As I watched then take one last look at me, before driving off, I had no idea that moment would mark my spiral into misuse, disrepair and neglect.

Others around me had whispered that long distance relationships rarely turn out well.  Good intentions are often hard to fulfill from afar.  Life does get in the way.  Sometimes refusing to let go results in calamities that are difficult to resolve. It is safe to say my existence and condition today are a far cry from what any could have dreamed a few short years ago.

I can still remember the day ( December 2004 ) when Joe and Cindy pulled into the driveway. It was love at first sight.  They came through the front door and Cindy rushed from room to room, excitedly telling Joe about new colors and little changes she wanted to make.  Joe, quite the patient fellow, followed her in her journey, making notes and beaming.  When Cindy declared, “And we can put our Christmas tree right there in the corner by the fireplace”, I realized, they did not just own me … I was going to be their HOME!

I wasn’t a baby mind you, when Joe and Cindy showed up, I was almost 50 years old.  I lived in a quiet neighborhood and there were only 4 other houses just like me.  That’s right, I was the biggest model, featuring 5 floors.  I was the proud product of a local builder and architect.  When I was born,  the Yankees and Dodgers were battling for the supremacy of baseball.  There was a brand new fast food chain opening it’s doors ( I have heard that they actually have golden arches).

Americans were coming home from wars and neighborhoods were springing up surrounding cities across the country.  My design was grand.  I had 3 bedrooms and a full bath on my top floor.  One level down, I had this great open kitchen and dining area adjacent to a family room that was complete with a fireplace. Just off that level, I had this great screened porch ( with skylights no less ).  The next level down was the owners haven.  There was this great den/library/sitting room and a master suite area complete with a full bath.  Below  this level there was a full basement and one level down there was another full basement.  I was big and roomy and ready for lots of people.

Now my first 50 years had been blessed with wonderful owners. Family moments were etched in my memory ( and scrawled on closet walls and door jams ). Who knew that portions of my existence would be used to mark the growth of children, each new inch gained noted and dated with a #2 pencil.

Cindy and Joe were such a delightful couple. She was a spunk and energy and ideas and Joe was the handyman.  They went over me from top to bottom and took an empty house, filled it with love and made a home.  Holiday parties, birthdays and get togethers were shared again and again.  Glasses were raised and toasts made, penny ante poker and VHS movie nights took place.  I was a happy place.  Anytime something stopped working, Joe replaced it.  Anytime something got tired looking, Cindy told Joe and they changed it.  Sharing in caring was a family affair.

Then one day Joe sat Cindy down and told her that the country needed him to move to another base.  Their time in Maryland was drawing to a close.  They talked about what to do.  They could not part with me.  “It has been such a great house, we can’t just sell it.  What if we want to come back to Maryland when we retire?  Let’s just find someone that will rent the house while we are gone.”

With that decision,  I started down the road of misuse and abuse.  Oh Joe and Cindy thought they had found the perfect solution.  They had no idea that the people moving in would treat me so badly.  They did not know that my fine porch would become a kennel for pit bulls.  They could not have dreamed that I would be battered and beaten and knicked up and scuffed.  In their wildest dreams, they never could have seen the hell and horror I would go through.

Oh, when they discovered how I was being treated, they took action.  It took time and money, but finally I was empty again.  I was empty and shell of the house I used to be.  Still have great bones, but the aftermath of the terror-tenants has left me a bit battered.  Cindy and Joe came back and hired workman and had me re-painted.  They scrubbed and scoured and did their best to clean me up.  They brought the same love and compassion back.  It may be hard to see now.  I’m a little bit older and it may take a good imagination to see the joy that can still be found inside. It’s here. I have not moved. I am still in the same location on the same quiet street in the midst of the same wonderful neighborhood.  Come to think of it, that fast food place is still up the street beneath those now famous golden arches.

There is a for sale sign in the front yard and a sentri lockbox on the door.  Cindy and Joe are patiently waiting for the next folks to move in and experience the miracle of making a home.  In this market, prices are difficult to set and always negotiable.  If you read this and are looking for more than a house,  drive by,  take a look…I may be used and abuse, but I sure can be a home.

217 Coronet, Linthicum Heights, MD

         If you would like to see the home,  you have two choices depending on your situation.  If you have an agent, give them a call and they will take you there.  If you do not have an agent, give us a call (John MacArthur/Lourdes Tudela 301-509-5111 ) and we will make sure you have a chance to see the house.  Either way, you hold the answer to the question posed…will I ever find love again?

Washington’s Fine Properties

Washington DC has some of the finest properties in the area for sale.  The thing that amazes me is that those that own these properties and are attempting to sell them seem to have forgotten the basics of selling your home.  Maybe over the years, these folks have missed the changes that have taken place in real estate sales.  The only difference between these homes and homes in the suburbs is the number of zeros in the asking price and the location of the dirt they occupy.

They are still homes.  If marketed properly, they will sell.

I have had the opportunity to represent buyers seeking one of these fine Washington properties.  They did not use one of those out of date, flashy publications to do their search.  They did not flip through the Washington Post looking for a home.  They did not receive a post card in the mail that brought the home to their attention.

They found the information they were seeking right here on the world wide web.  

When representing these buyers, I have been perplexed by the limited opportunity to view homes.  Everyone can understand the desire to limit viewings to people that actually are in the market to buy.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a two bedroom condo in Germantown, Maryland or 6 bedroom home in Georgetown, Washington DC.  No one wants people that have neither the inclination nor wherewithal to purchase wandering through their home.  That being said, it is safe to share that bringing a buyer to one of the million dollar plus properties is often next to impossible.

During the listing appointment, I have no doubt the agents showed the glossy magazines and shared that they had a bevy of interested parties, etc.  I am sure they poo pooed negotiating commission.  Everything was shared in a manner that implied the agent was on the same social level as those wanting to sell.  Somebody forget to share that this is not a social endeavor, it is an attempt to sell your home for market value as quickly as possible. End of story.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling a home for $250,000 or $2,500,000.  The home has to be available.  Far be it from me to suggest a nefarious purpose behind making homes difficult to view.  There are some that might suggest that the listing agent is more available if they can get both sides of the deal.  Perish the thought.  It did strike me as odd that several weeks of attempting to view some homes have been met with excuses like the listing agent had to work at a charity event and could not make arrangements for the home to be shown.  Do the sellers really believe that the home will be sold quickly when it is not available to be seen?

Let me share.  If you list with me, your home will be available to anyone that is qualified to buy it.  Your home will be marketed where buyers are actually looking for homes.  I will be available to show your home as necessary. Oh, and I will do all of that for 4.5%.  My commission rate does not change.  Keep that in mind as your property just sits there waiting for a buyer.

If you are interested, just click on this CONTACT ME link.

How Do I Price My Home for Sale?

How do I price my home for sale? The answer to that question takes a little more thought and creativity than it used to take in days gone by.  In the Montgomery County and Washington, DC markets, we watched prices explode and almost double over a period of a few years ending in the late to mid-2000’s.  Then, we watched in horror as home prices peaked and exploded, falling in a rush to levels equal to or below the pre-rise numbers.  It has been like reliving the explosion of the space shuttle… lofty dreams of uncharted areas being reached turning to fractured hopes and yesterdays ashes coating a new reality.

Practices used in the past have no relevance today.  The rise and subsequent crash and burn have occurred while other new paradigms were taking place.  The manner in which homes are sold has been completely revamped.  It used to be a simple matter of meeting with the most well known real estate broker in the area, evaluating the neighborhood sales, pricing your home, putting a sign out front, an ad in the Washington Post and waiting for offers.

Those days are gone.  The internet has changed everything.  Buyers begin looking for homes long before they know what they can afford.  Buyers begin looking for homes long before they choose a real estate agent.  Buyers sign in and begin searching for homes without any regard for the name of the broker.  Information is free, available and overwhelming.

How do I price my home for sale? Initially, the answer will include some of the old methods.  The clearest indication of market value is taking a look at market results.  Understanding market results and making sure that the actual market results are the ones you are using is the challenge.  The days of all homes being pretty much the same are long gone. While it is true that you need to narrow your market to somewhere in neighborhood of a two mile radius of your home, you need to cull the chafe from the grain within those parameters. Before the listing agreement is signed, you have to have an understanding of what the appraiser working for the lender being used by your potential buyer will be looking at when he appraises your home. This is a prime factor to be used in pricing your home for sale.  The amount of money you want to sell the home for has little relevance if no one can get a mortgage to pay you. The hidden secret is that the lending institution being used by your potential buyer will have the last say in the sale of the home.

How do I price my home for sale?  Bring in a real estate agent. Focus on one who knows your market.  Focus on one who has a good understanding of the internet who might buy your home.  Pricing the home for sale and the subsequent marketing of the home will be heavily influenced by information available on-line and the agent’s ability to use the internet to your advantage.

How do I price my home for sale? A broad overview indicates that you evaluate the actual market, come up with a reasonable range, visit homes for sale within your reasonable range and price the home accordingly.  It may appear biased for me to advise you to use a real estate agent. It really isn’t biased, it is an opinion based on years of experience and seeing the results of those that chose to go it alone.

If you have any other suggestions, share them with me. If you would like to talk about this or any other article, call me at 301-509-5111.

For more information, just send me your information

Montgomery County Living … this is it

Picture yourself in a boat on a river

With tangerine trees and marshmallow skies

This is Montgomery County Living

. This is it

Make no mistake where you are

Montgomery County Living

This is it !

Cherry Blossoms in Potomac in Spring

Visit the County Fair at Summers end

Harvest your own at Butler’s Orchard in the Fall

Marvel at the lights at the Mormon Tabernacle at Christmas

Montgomery County Living

This is it !

Montgomery County Maryland is located along the Potomac River just Northwest of Washington DC. There are several commuter routes to facilitate residents that live in the county and work in the District of Columbia. Montgomery County living offers all sorts neighborhoods and lifestyles. There are “cookie cutter” neighborhoods that were built following World War ll and there are small clusters of individually designed custom-built homes. The county offers high-rise condo’s and developer designed town home neighborhoods.

Montgomery County is defined by three major commuter routes, Wisconsin Avenue (which changes names several times on it’ s journey from the Potomac River to Frederick Maryland), Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road. These major roads are linked by East West Highway to the south, the Capital Beltway, Randolph Road and Route 28/198 to the north (another of the roads that changes name as it goes from west to east).

Metro Map

The area is also supported in a fashion by the Metro rail system. The red line begins at Shady Grove Road and travels south through Rockville and Bethesda before entering the District of Columbia, sweeping through Metro Center and then heading back out into Montgomery County with stops at Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Forest Glen and Wheaton before ending at Glenmont. Trains do travel in both directions, but it is best to know that going from Bethesda to Silver Spring might take longer on the train than in a car.

Marc Train Station Gaithersburg

Montgomery County also has Marc Train service with stops in Germantown, Gaithersburg, Kensington and Silver Spring before continuing downtown to Union Station. Those commuters that use the Marc Train will discover that there are Metro connections available once you reach downtown Washington DC.

Key Neighborhoods

(Key meaning stops along major routes out of DC)

Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike corridor

Saks in Chevy Chase

The neighborhood bordering the District of Columbia along Wisconsin Avenue is Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase has some of the oldest homes that sit as grand matrons as you first enter Montgomery County. Chevy Chase Country Club sits amid neighborhoods that date back to the turn of the 20th century. Chevy Chase also is home to Montgomery County’s version of Rodeo Drive. The main shopping area features upscale shopping that is not found anywhere else in the area. A nearby neighborhood is Friendship Heights which is a delightful little town that reminds visitors of villages in years gone by. Farther to the west are the neighborhoods along Massachusetts Avenue that are home to dignitaries and political figures.

Home in Potomac Maryland

Potomac Maryland is located northwest of Chevy Chase. It is an area replete with country clubs and large acre home sites. Potomac is often noted for the celebrities that live there now or have lived there in the past. Yet, even this enclave of well to do neighborhoods has a small town center that features shops and eateries.

Downtown Bethesda Maryland

The next key stop on the journey out Wisconsin Avenue is Bethesda, Maryland. Bethesda is located at the junction of East West Highway and Wisconsin Avenue. On weekdays the intersection is teeming with pedestrian traffic as those that work in the high-rise office buildings make their way from here to there. On the weekends, the area is filled with patrons of the dozens of restaurants that dot the landscape. There are stores along most of the side streets and the Montgomery Farm Women’s Co-op has been operating a market there for years.

Bargains abound at the Montgomery Farm Womens Co-op

Continuing out Wisconsin Avenue, you will notice it becomes Rockville Pike about the time you cross over 495. You will soon arrive in the southern section of Rockville which features White Flint Mall. From White Flint Mall to just beyond the beltway intersection, both sides of the road offer shopping. At the mid-point in your trip, about the time you cross over Randolph Road, there are some large condominiums, but by and large Rockville Pike is the golden mile. In retail and food service circles, it is often stated “if you can’t make on Rockville Pike, you can’t make it anywhere.” This section of the pike is packed with traffic day and night, seven days of the week. It is best considered a destination and not a route to use to get from north to south or vice versa.

Rockville Town Square

Rockville is the county seat of Montgomery County. It has the major courts and it is home to the Montgomery County Executive and County Council offices. Rockville is also an All American City. F. Scott Fitzgerald of The Great Gatsby fame is buried in Rockville. There are neighborhoods with homes in all price ranges. You can find cape cods, bungalows, split levels, colonials and in the downtown area, you will find some beautiful Victorians. We have had the pleasure of working with many buyers that found the perfect home in Rockville, Maryland. If you would like to see homes here, or anywhere in Montgomery County, give us (The MacArthur Group) a call at 301-509-5111.

King Farm

Located at the northern tip of Rockville is a planned community named King Farm. King Farm has housing of every type. The neighborhoods are divided to the north and south by King Farm Boulevard. Each side has a community center, club house and pool. Residents enjoy easy access to a grocery store a few restaurants and small shops. Many of the residents live and work right within the community.

Gaithersburg Pavilion

The next town on the trip north is Gaithersburg. 50 years ago, this was a farming community that surrounded a main street area. Farms have given way to development but the main street still survives. The marc train station is located downtown as is the concert pavilion. The downtown area has shops and restaurants. The Montgomery County Fair is held at the fairgrounds which are still located in Gaithersburg. Lake Forest Mall is located in Gaithersburg at the entrance to Montgomery Village.

Montgomery Village is a large planned community that features shopping, parks and lakes. Montgomery Village Country Club is located in the center of the area. This large development has dozens of neighborhoods that each feature community activities and a swimming pool.

The Kentlands

Just a bit west of Gaithersburg is the award winning community of the Kentlands. The Kentlands have served as a model for planned development across the country. The concept was to create a town center and surround the town center with neighborhoods. The hope was pedestrian traffic would increase and auto emissions would decrease. The Kentlands have been an unqualified success. The layout of the community has re-engendered the old concept of actually knowing your neighbors. The town is criss crossed with walking and bike paths and neighborhoods are dotted with small parks. It is a community that is unparalleled in the county.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Northwest of Kentlands are the communities of Darnestown, Comus and Poolesville. These towns are located around the base of the foothills that rise to become Sugarloaf Mountain. This area is more farmland than residential and most of the homes are on large tracts of land. The are many different orchards in this area and “pick and pay” opportunities are found along many of the roads.

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard

In addition to apples, pears and peaches, this is the area of the county that has some vineyards. Summers feature wine tastings and tours of the vineyards. Montgomery County Living includes the opportunity to take a drive through the country, stop for a wine tasting and continue on to one of the country restaurants for dinner.

White’s Ferry

If your day trip includes an excursion into nearby Leesburg, Virginia, you don’t have to travel all the way back down 270 and across the bridge and back out route 7. You can drive through Poolesville and use the services of White’s Ferry to cross the river. The ferry has been in operation since 1817. The trip across the river on the Jubal Early will cost you $4 one way and $6 if you purchase a round trip ticket. This is the only way to cross the Potomac River between the Cabin John Bridge (route 495…the Capital Beltway) and Point of Rocks, a small town further up the river in Frederick County.

Clarksburg Maryland

Back on Rockville Pike, you will notice it changed to Frederick Road but remains route 355. Leaving Gaithersburg, you pass through the area known as Germantown. Communities planned and developed are on both sides of the highway. The main areas of Germantown are located at the intersection of 355 and 27. There is another town center area located west of route 270 on route 118. These are the outlying suburbs and many residents here drive to the metro station, leave their car and take the subway to work.

Our last stop on this journey up Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike/Frederick Road is Clarksburg. Clarksburg was once a small farming community and now it is home to the largest planned development in Montgomery County. There are neighborhoods linking with one another over several miles. New homes feature large living areas and minimal yards. It is a growing community that is fast becoming a beacon for new arrivals to the area. Clarksburg also features Little Bennett Regional Park and is home to F. Wilson Wims, a local legend. Wims Meadow is located in Little Bennett and was used by early sandlot African American ball players. Wims owned the Maryland Wildcats, one of the original African American teams in the area. Mr. Wims was instrumental in the early development of the Clarksburg community.

Wilson Wims at re-dedication of Wims Meadows

Mural in Takoma Park

The middle route through Montgomery County is Georgia Avenue. Georgia Avenue actually begins in the District of Columbia and continues north to beyond the Montgomery County line. The first little community ( it is actually in the District of Columbia and Prince Georges County as well as Montgomery County) is Takoma Park. Takoma Park is the original home of Montgomery Junior College, which has been redefined and labeled Montgomery College. It is a quaint town that is known for it’s politically active citizenry. Takoma Park banned Nuclear weapons before most American’s knew they were dangerous. Due to the fact that it is actually within three jurisdictions, it is a loosely bound town. It features beautifully restored older homes and some of the most unusual shops in Montgomery County.

Downtown Silver Spring

Silver Spring is located adjacent to Washington DC on Georgia Avenue. The southern most tip of the town is filled with office buildings, retail stores, theaters and restaurants. There is a red line station in the heart of downtown and metro buses and ride-on buses also have terminals there. It is where the suburbs meet the city and it is bustling all of the time. The area has gone through a revitalization that included creating a pedestrian friendly section surrounded by retail and eateries.

Once you move beyond the commercial area, Silver Spring is a vast area of old neighborhoods, stretching from the downtown area outward for several miles towards the west, north and east. Silver Spring has more zip codes than any other area in the county and the sheer size of the area leads to confusion for those moving here. It is hard to imagine that you could have a 30 to 40 minute commute each way and never leave Silver Spring.

The Discovery Building in Silver Spring

Heading north on Georgia Avenue, you will leave Silver Spring proper and begin a journey into the suburbs. It is just a few miles until you find yourself driving through Montgomery Hills. This area features a wonderful neighborhood called Woodside. This is another one of those places that harkens back to days gone by. There is a unique community spirit that is alive and well in Woodside.

Opening Day Wheaton Plaza

After passing the Georgia Avenue intersection with the Capital Beltway, you will arrive in Wheaton Maryland. Wheaton is the location of the first Mall on the East Coast – Wheaton Plaza. It is now covered and has changed names to Westfield Shopping at Wheaton. The road that shoots off to the left at Wheaton Plaza is Veirs Mill Road and it will take you to Rockville and beyond. Wheaton neighborhoods are older and going through the process of gentrification. Montgomery County planners have high hopes for a continued revitalization of the area in the coming years.

Wheaton Regional Park

Wheaton also is home to a regional park. There are acres of paths, camp sites and a very large lake. The park also has an ice skating arena which is used by local youth hockey clubs. The eastern edge of the park has stable areas where you can take lessons or go for a ride. Nestled between the stables and the lake is one of the treasures of Montgomery County.

Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is a botanical delight. Flowering plants of all types are nurtured and cared for by an informative staff. There are year round events which culminate with a festival of lights in December. The butterfly gardens are one of the biggest draws during the summer. Brookside also offers many educational opportunities for residents. It is a place you will visit again and again.

Georgia Avenue continues northward passing through an area known as Aspen Hill. If it becomes confusing to you as you drive through this section of the county, it is understandable. The area includes several communities that are part of Silver Spring or Rockville. These neighborhoods were built more recently than those to the south and the home styles are a bit different. You will see more split levels and raised ramblers in this area.

A Charles Goodman Home

Another one of Montgomery County Living’s gems is located just west of Aspen Hill. Rock Creek Woods is a small development that features homes designed by Charles Goodman. Goodman was heralded for his use of natural surroundings and “letting the outside in” . There are not many homes designed by Goodman and when they change hands the new owner is considered very lucky indeed.

Welcome to Olney

By the time you have reached Olney, you will have crossed the intersection with route 28 and passed over the infamous inter-county connector. You will notice the homes have a little more yard and the aura of hustle and bustle has slowed down just a bit. Olney is a very unique town. It features several restaurants that have the ambiance of “Cheers” and the quality to match any eatery in the county. Olney is a snap shot of Montgomery County Living. The town center, loosely defined by the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Olney Sandy Spring Road is surrounded by single family home neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has plenty of green space for outdoor enjoyment. It is far enough north that the city is “down there” and close enough to a metro stop that you can reach downtown in minutes. West of Olney is the farm land that still exists in Montgomery County and to the East is the area known as Ashton. Ashton borders theTri-delphia Lake preserve. An afternoon at the lake is one of the best ways to enjoy a Saturday.

A buck in Sligo Creek Park

If you leave Silver Spring and head out Colesville Road, you will quickly leave the high rises and office buildings behind and find yourself travelling through Sligo Creek Park. Sligo Creek Park runs from Prince Georges County to the East, all the way to University Boulevard ( Sligo Creek Parkway ends just a few miles from Wheaton Regional Park). The park is a long stretch of land that runs on both sides of Sligo Creek. There are bike paths, tot lots, picnic areas and basketball courts spaced throughout the park. It is a favorite for family picnics as well as leisurely lunches shared by office workers escaping for a noontime respite.

Four Corners

Riding along Colesville Road past Sligo Creek Park and just past the Capital Beltway, you will arrive at a town named after is unique intersection. Four Corners it located in one of the earliest round-a-bout road configurations. University Boulevard east and west split on either side of Colesville Road. The effect has you passing University Boulevard on your left and then a block later passing University Boulevard on your right. Despite the traffic oddity, the area features some of the nicest homes in Montgomery County. New roads over the last 3o years have created a few dead ends in the neighborhoods but to the delight of homeowners, it also put an end to pass through traffic.

Federal Drug Administration White Oak

The federal government moved the FDA to White Oak when the Naval Surface Weapons Center was merged with the facility at the David Taylor Model Basin over near Carderock. The change has created a lot of excitement in the White Oak area because the facility will bring more jobs to the county. It is located in a suburban area that features homes, town homes, high rises, garden apartments and condos. The nearby White Oak Shopping center is conveniently located to homes in this area.

Seibel’s Restaurant

The last stop on our journey out Colesville Road is the town of Burtonsville. Burtonsville is almost pure suburbia. There neighborhoods of single family homes attached to neighborhoods of town homes attached to neighborhoods of single family homes attached to … well you get the picture. Burtonsville is about midway between Baltimore and Washington. The community is bisected by Colesville Road but local neighborhoods are not impacted greatly by the traffic. This section of Colesville Road has undergone massive restructuring to ease commuting and facilitate the neighborhood nature of the side streets. Burtonsville is also home to Seibel’s Restaurant which is an old style family affair offering up sumptuous dinners and home made ice cream.

What To Do ?

Montgomery County Living is chock full of choices !

AFI Theater

The nationally recognized American Film Institute Theater is located in down town Silver Spring. The history of film is heralded with weekly events and showings of classic films. Of course, Montgomery County has other movie theaters, but the AFI is special. Montgomery County also has many venues for live theater. Live performances are held on a regular basis at the Strathmore Theater in Kensington. The Olney Theater has a long history of summer stock and year round performances. There are several other smaller venues scattered throughout Montgomery County.

Northwest Park Golf Course

If you enjoy a round of golf, Montgomery County is the place for you. The area has dozens of public courses that range in difficulty from beginners ease of Sligo Creek Golf Course to the crown jewel of the area, Northwest Park. There are courses run by the Montgomery County and others managed privately. Montgomery County also has quite a few private courses that offer membership to interested parties.

Olney Boys and Girls Club

Athletic participation for the young and old alike are found throughout Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Department of Recreation offers children of all skill levels and ages the opportunity to participate in team sports. Saturday mornings throughout the year feature swimming or basketball or football or baseball or t-ball or soccer. It is a terrific place to raise a family.

Indoor Soccer Facilities are located in Montgomery County

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Montgomery County Living is a hot spot for outdoor enthusiast. Whether you like hiking, photography or canoeing, there is a place for you in Montgomery County. The easy access to the Potomac River is a real treat for those that want to spend time paddling a canoe or casting a line. The rough water of Great Falls is used by local kayakers throughout the year. The changing seasons present colors that are breath taking on Sugarloaf Mountain. Montgomery County Living is an outdoor paradise.

Montgomery County Living … Fine Dining

Top Chef and Restaurateur Michael Landrum

When we say, Montgomery County Living is Fine Dining, we are not talking about the chain restaurants that litter the landscape from one end of the country to another. We are referring to the best steak house in the metro area, Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring. One visit to Ray’s and Ruth Chris will feel like a stop at McDonalds. The Black family also own and operate several very nice restaurants in Montgomery County. If you happen to have a desire to eat the best sub in the whole wide world, you have to stop at Continental Pizza on University Boulevard in Kensington, Md. If you are seeking the best in chinese where you can talk out or eat in, pay a visit to Lee’s Kitchen in Silver Spring. The biggest secret regarding good food is located all the way out Georgia Avenue. Stop in the Sunshine General Store and take a seat at the counter in the back. The cheese burgers are incredible and if you stop for breakfast, they prepare a bacon and egg sandwich that elevates breakfast to an entirely different level.

Sunshine General Store

Montgomery County Living is designed around creating a quality of life. Yes, traffic can be a problem and when it snows it is best just to take a day. Every community has nuances that might be irritating. Montgomery County Living reduces those nuances to mere aberrations. There are places to live to fit anyones chosen life style.

Shopping

Montgomery County Living features four major shopping center/shopping malls. White Flint Mall is located in Rockville and is anchored by Bloomingdales. Montgomery Mall, located in Bethesda and is a much larger mall that has Nordstrom, Sears, Macy’s and several other major chain stores, Lake Forest Mall is located in Gaithersburg and features most of the major retail stores. Lastly, the revitalized ‘Westfield Shopping Center in Wheaton that features JC Penneys and Target. Shopping does not end there. Specialty shops are found throughout the county. And if you want to expand you shopping experience, Montgomery County has several red line stations for the metro rail. The metro rail opens up more possibilities than one could imagine. The metro to the mall map is terrific.

You can always park the car and hop aboard Metro and shop all over the region

If you can’t tell, we love Montgomery County and would like to have the chance to share that love with you if you are thinking of moving here. We are the MacArthur Group. In person, we are John MacArthur and Lourdes Tudela. We have lived in Montgomery County all of our adult lives. We have raised children here. We shop here. We know the highways and the bi-ways. Let us share Montgomery County with you. We can be reached at 301-509-5111.

John MacArthur and Lourdes Tudela

Enjoying a gathering

Montgomery County Living

We have it all

Just like Bogey and Bacall

Montgomery County Living … This is it !

Find a home here

copyright @tudela macarthur 2010