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!

The third step in home buying

The third step in home buying is a thorough review of possible homes. Although, I list this as the third step, in reality, people usually begin the process by searching homes on the internet.  That early search is more for general information purposes and the third step search is based on your actual situation.

Something that most people are not aware of is the fact that what appears in general on line searches is often far from reality.  Every on-line search uses information generated by listing agents and entered into the multiple listing service.  This information is sold to brokers and others that then regurgitate portions of it on their branded sites.

The public is not always privy to the facts. The information deemed for public knowledge is usually limited to price, beds, baths and general information.  The photos are taken by the listing agent.  The listing agent chooses what you see and what you don’t see.

Another problem with secondary sites is that they are not always updated on a regular basis. Homes may appear as active and available that are in fact under contract and no longer available.  Homes that are under contract but available for a back up contract are often missing from the secondary sites.  The secondary sites also are careful not to mention the “short sale” status of the home.

An agent can go through listings and give you an accurate picture of homes available.  Following the on line search, you will visit homes that seem to meet your criteria. The eyes and ears and knowledge of  an experienced agent are your best resource in this phase.

One final point, if you happen to go out looking at open houses, DO NOT…Let me repeat…DO NOT fall prey to a listing agent. The listing agent CAN NOT represent you and their only goal is to sell the home for their client (They can only represent the seller). You may have heard that you can get a better deal if you let the listing agent write an offer for you, it just isn’t true.  What ever savings you may think you have garnered is far surpassed by the lost opportunity of representation.  Every piece of information you share with the listing agent must be shared with the seller.  If you do not understand this advice, please contact me so I can explain the reality of unrepresented purchasing.

The thorough review of possible homes usually begins with an on line search of possible homes. You may have already discovered that the internet is a well stocked resource of homes. Here is another step that is aided by a good real estate agent.  The wide range of homes that show up on line are not always what they appear to be. An agent can go through listings and give you an accurate picture of homes available.  Following the on line search, you will visit homes that seem to meet your criteria. The eyes and ears and knowledge of  an experienced agent are your best resource in this phase. DO NOT…Let me repeat…DO NOT fall prey to a listing agent. The listing agent CAN NOT represent you and their only goal is to sell the home for their client (They only can represent the seller).