BCCDC Real Estate by Marcie Sandalow

Archive for the 'Relocating to the DC area' Category

Coming Soon… Kindergarten Orientation (MoCo, MD)

said on April 1st, 2012 filed under: Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Relocating to the DC area

MCPS Kindergarten OrientationKindergarten 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.

2012 Kindergarten orientation schedule

Kindergarten information

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Live Near the Red Line

said on November 10th, 2011 filed under: Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Information for Buyers, Relocating to the DC area

bigstock_Metro_Station_2305Traffic 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 the rest of this entry »

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Another Cool Real Estate App

said on November 2nd, 2011 filed under: Information for Buyers, Just For Fun, Relocating to the DC area

house hunterFinding 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 the rest of this entry »

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Big House/Long Commute?

said on May 28th, 2011 filed under: Just For Fun, Relocating to the DC area

bigstock_commuting_851453Or, 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.

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What’s with Measurements? Buyer Beware

said on May 10th, 2011 filed under: Information for Buyers, Relocating to the DC area

yardstick

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.

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Walk to Tenleytown/AU Park Metro

said on March 31st, 2011 filed under: District of Columbia, Information for Buyers, Relocating to the DC area

 

Sadly, this metro is pretty unsightly.  Historic Marker much nicer!

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 the rest of this entry »

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Keeping it Under $700,000 in Bethesda

said on March 28th, 2011 filed under: Bethesda, Relocating to the DC area

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:

110325185955121111 Valley Road – $599,900
Subdivision: Brookmont
3BR/3FB
Built: 1928
Acres: 0.09
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.

6206 Massachusetts Ave6206 Massachusetts Avenue- $630,000
Subdivision: Glen Echo Heights
4BR/3FB
Built: 1954
Acres: 0.13
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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Walk to Friedship Heights Metro

said on March 21st, 2011 filed under: Bethesda, Chevy Chase, District of Columbia, Relocating to the DC area

Friendship Heights Metro Entrance AND DC Cornerstone Marker

Walk to Friendship Heights Metro

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 the rest of this entry »

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Walt Whitman School Cluster

said on March 12th, 2011 filed under: Bethesda, Relocating to the DC area

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:

Bannockburn Elementary School

Bannockburn Elementary School

Bannockburn Elementary School

6520 Dalroy Lane

Bethesda, MD

Principal: Dan Walder

Telephone: 301/320-6555

Grades: K-5

Bannockburn ES Website

Bethesda Elementary School

Bethesda Elementary School

Bethesda Elementary School

7600 Arlington Road

Bethesda, MD

Principal: Lisa Seymour

Telephone: 301/657-4979

Grades: K-5th* (also feeds to BCC Cluster)

Bethesda ES PTA Website

Read the rest of this entry »

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Walk to NIH/Medical Center Metro

said on March 7th, 2011 filed under: Bethesda, Relocating to the DC area

Walk to NIH/Medical Center Metro

Walk to NIH/Medical Center Metro

A lot of my real estate clients want to live near the NIH Metro, either because they work there (or at the new Walter Reed), or because of the easy commute into the District. Traffic these days is a bear.  Folks want to live near Metro so they can stay out of their cars.  And it’s only going to get worse.  2,500 new employees are expected to join the National Naval Medical Center when Walter Reed closes, adding to an already congested rush hour. So, if you’re looking to avoid some traffic & buy a house in a neighborhood that’s convenient to Metro, search no more. I’ve got the skinny on the best spots within walking distance of the NIH.

Since they closed public access to NIH right after 911, your only access to the NIH metro stop is on the east side of the campus just off of Wisconsin Avenue. The best “walk to” neighborhoods include Read the rest of this entry »

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