A child of mine, who shall not be named, doesn’t think that it’s important to vote in this election. So, I have to make up for it by sharing this public announcement. VOTE!
Voting is easy in Montgomery County with three ways to cast your ballot. For more information, visit the Board of Elections at www.777vote.org.
New! If you missed the October 18 registration deadline and are qualified, you can register and vote the same day at any of the early voting sites. Just bring a Maryland driver’s license, identification card, learners permit or other proof of residency.
Early voting is available October 27-November 3, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at any of these ten early voting sites:
The Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg
Damascus Community Recreation Center, 25520 Oak Drive, Damascus
Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville
Germantown Community Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown
Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase
Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring
Potomac Community Recreation Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac
Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring
Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad, 2401 Arcola Avenue, Silver Spring
Vote by Mail
Any voter can vote by mail. Download the absentee ballot request form and send it to the Board of Elections by November 1 if you want your ballot mailed to you or by November 4 if you want it delivered electronically.
Kindergarten Orientation Sessions for Fall 2012 Kick Off
The 2012 Kindergarten orientation is beginning, giving parents an opportunity to enroll their child in school, meet the teachers and principal, and introduce their future MCPS student to the school environment. The sessions – scheduled at every elementary school between April 10 and May 29 – are for children who will be five years old before September 1, 2012 and their parents. Parents should call their home school to make an appointment to register for that school’s specific orientation date(s).
Parents who are not certain which elementary school serves their area should contact the Boundaries Office at 240-314-4710. Parents can also access the School Assignment Locator on the MCPS website.
An Early Entrance to Kindergarten application is available for parents with children who will turn 5 years old between September 2, 2012 and October 15, 2012. Parents who seek early entrance consideration for their children should inquire at their home school.
For more information, call the Division of Early Childhood Programs and Services at 301-230-0691.
Traffic these days is a miserable thing. People want to live near Metro so they can stay away from their cars. So, if you’re looking to buy a house in a neighborhood that’s convenient to the Red Line, search no further. I’ve got the skinny on the best neighborhoods within walking distance of Metro AND within the beltway:
NIH/Medical Center Metro: Since they closed access to NIH right after 911, your best and only access to the metro stop here is on the east side of the campus just off of Wisconsin Avenue. The closest neighborhoods include the north side of East Bethesda (aka Glenbrook Village), Locust Hill Estates, Alta Vista/Maplewood and Parkview Estates.
Glenbrook Village/East Bethesda is a great neighborhood with about 300 homes. Most of the houses started off as modest colonials and capes, but many have added sizable additions and/or been replaced over the years with new construction. Houses in this neighborhood start at roughly $600,000 and top off around $1,500,000. The average walk to metro can range from 5-15 minutes depending on the lights.
Locust Hill is a lovely enclave of older, more distinguished homes and larger Read more
Finding the perfect house just got a little easier. Or maybe I should say “remembering stuff about your perfect house just got a little easier.” As a real estate agent I see a lot of houses. Sometimes my recall is spot on (when I’m in my idiot savant mode), but often I get that deer in the headlights look when asked to recall specifics of a property. It’s a trait I’m sure I share with a lot of people looking for a house. So… someone got smart and finally designed an app specifically to help you remember your most recent house tour (or even the one that took place 2 months ago).
House Hunter is a pretty nifty little app. It offers up the ability to go into detail about property features and rate them. You can take photos of your specific house and add them to the address file. You can share all the info you’ve gathered with your Read more
Or, little house/short commute? In the DC market, the closer you live to town, the smaller the house (comparatively speaking). For the same amount of money, your Darnestown mansion is a modest 3-bedroom colonial in Chevy Chase, DC. And while the big house might be a big draw, the commute might kill ya, not to mention the commuting costs. It’s hard to know what’s best. Now there’s a cool new tool that helps you calculate your commuting costs based on the year, make & model of your car and the start and stop location. Check out www.CostToDrive.com
As a real estate agent, I’m driving all over the place. Figuring out my commuting costs is a bit nutty. But my husband has a very regular commute. He drives a hybrid car- so I plugged in all the particulars and it turns out he pays approximately $0.86 for the privilege of driving into work every day. If he were to use my clunker of a minivan, the cost would rise to $1.42 per one-way trip. Big difference.
As a buyer, if you’re weighing the pros and cons of a long vs. short commute, this gadget will help you identify the monetary costs of your potential commute. Can’t measure the time, though. That stuff is golden.
Unless you are buying a condominium or a new house, it’s really hard to know the square footage on any given property around the District of Columbia. Out-of-town buyers are baffled by this. My theory as to why square footage isn’t required by the MLS is because someone probably got sued one too many times for providing inaccurate information. And there are a lot of lawyers in DC. Generally, agents do not go out of their way to intentionally misrepresent room sizes, but public records are unreliable, old listing information gets regurgitated without checking, and mistakes happen.
If it’s important to you to get an accurate read on square footage, plan to bring along your tape measure. Sometimes I can guesstimate the size of a house by checking on the public record for the size of the basement. But like I said before, this information is often faulty, and I don’t like to rely too heavily on it. When the MLS does provide square footage it’s always with a warning: “Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.” Buyer beware.
Tenleytown-AU Metro is located just inside the district line in what was once a trolley town at the turn of the century. It’s the closest metro stop to American University which is home to roughly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Within walking distance of Tenleytown-AU Metro are BestBuy, the Container Store, a hardware store, a branch of the DC library (recently renovated), Whole Foods and numerous other shops and restaurants. Neighborhoods served by Tenleytown-AU metro include Tenleytown, AU Park, Wakefield/Chevy Chase and North Cleveland Park.
American University Park (orange/pink) covers a wide swath of land and is bordered by Mass Ave, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Western (roughly). One bedroom condos start in the high $300’s and single family homes stretch up to $2,000,000. Typical to the area, you’ll find a lot of brick colonials interspersed with some ramblers, the occasional split, and capes. Walk time to metro varies widely, and can range from 5 to 35 minutes. Some bus options exist, particularly along Massachusetts Avenue.
Chevy Chase/Tenleytown (purple) is made up primarily of townhouses, condos and single family homes. Back when I lived there, it was known simply as Tenleytown… not sure when the CC snuck in? Read more
Real Estate in Bethesda is expensive. Your average 3-bedroom brick colonial home can run around $700,000, and that’s without a lot of frills and family rooms.
So, what does $700,000 OR LESS get you in Bethesda? I thought I’d high-lite a number of listings that are currently on the market. I’m focusing in on single family detached homes. Remember, these are only asking (not getting) prices:
111 Valley Road – $599,900
Live with the groovy hikers, bikers and kayakers. Fabulous location. Walk to the C&O canal. Dead end street. Teeny, tiny rooms. 2008 renovation. Nice patio.[space]
6206 Massachusetts Avenue- $630,000
Subdivision: Glen Echo Heights
Expanded rambler with chef’s kitchen addition. Mass. Ave is a little busy, but you get more house for your money for the trade off. Walt Whitman School District.[space] Read more
Face it. Living near a metro in and @ DC can save you loads of time. And a lot of people approach their home searches based on proximity to metro. Friendship Heights offers up a bunch of varied neighborhoods within walking distance… and is unique because it serves both DC and Maryland residents.
Friendship Heights Metro is located at Wisconsin and Western Avenues, right along the District line. Friendship Heights has gone through a little commercial explosion over the past several years and has emerged with some vibrant and upscale eateries, shops, and even a Whole Foods. Neighborhoods included in this “walk-to Friendship Heights Metro” group are Somerset, Friendship Village, Brookdale, Chevy Chase Village, Friendship Heights & Crestview/Greenacres.
Somerset (pink) was founded in the early 1900s with 33 frame Victorians which were built on spec. It now is home to over 400 households. The balance Read more
Walt Whitman High School is located in Bethesda, MD. A lot of people want to live within the Whitman cluster boundary because of the high academic ratings. There are 7 schools that feed into the Whitman cluster: