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Any advice about DC suburbs?

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Regular Guy

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Even pre-kids, we let stats about schools be our guide. We used related info again in our move more recently. VA probably has something similar.

Like where you live, and find a good elementary school. If you can also find a good HS district, all the better. Important...don''t forget Middle School...but it''s hard to plan for everything.

BTW, yeah, I''m not sure where Del Ray is, either. A transplant from Chicago...I''ll learn this area one of these days.

Welcome!
 

tiger007g

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style="WIDTH: 99%; HEIGHT: 192px">Date: 1/9/2007 11:29:34 AM
Author: lovelylulu
Thanks for the input so far.

Basically, I''ll be starting a new job this summer, so we won''t be seriously ready to place an offer until at least 6-8 months from now. However, I want to use this time to start researching and learning about the various options.

We both love CP, but when our 750 sq. ft apartment goes for $360K, we just don''t think we can afford to buy here. I''m aware that Logan is transitional, but I was definately wondering how transitional. I haven''t really spent that much time over there, but I have a friend that lives right near the wholefoods there and likes it quite a lot.

our first trip was to takoma park, but honestly, i think my expectations were too high. we just did not love it. maybe another trip is in order...
It''s been awhile since I''ve had time to hang out on P''scope!

I rent in the U St / Logan Circle area right off 14th St and it is not really that affordable anymore - it''s just plain ol'' expensive! My friend sold his 800 sq. ft. 2 br/ 1.5 bath condo at 14th and Q for $399K . He bought 6 or 7 years ago for about $280K! You could probably still find a fixer-upper townhouse in my neighborhood in the mid-$400s... If you''re looking for a townhouse, I''d suggest looking in Shaw, Columbia Heights, or Mt. Pleasant - those seem to be the new "up-and-coming" neighborhoods...
 

lovelylulu

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Date: 1/9/2007 6:25:17 PM
Author: AGBF




Date: 1/9/2007 1:40:59 PM
Author: lovelylulu
and your characterization of del ray as ''brooklyn'' is spot on and maybe why i fell so hard for it. i never thought i''d yearn to live in the suburbs, but i do
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trees and green space.


I live in northern Virginia and work in Montgomery County, Maryland, but from my familiarity with the places mentioned in this thread I might as well be living on the moon! I never even heard of Del Ray! I would have guessed it was in California! I live in a parallel northern Virginia and Montgomery County. I think mine must be for older people (with older children) who drive everywhere. I don''t think we have as much fun, somehow. I love the descriptions of your communities. There seem to be a lot of food places where you live. There are a lot of dry cleaners where I live. ;-)


Deb
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deb, your post made me laugh out load
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. Do you have any suggestions for neighborhoods in Montgomery Co.?
 

lovelylulu

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Date: 1/9/2007 7:13:32 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Even pre-kids, we let stats about schools be our guide. We used related info again in our move more recently. VA probably has something similar.

Like where you live, and find a good elementary school. If you can also find a good HS district, all the better. Important...don''t forget Middle School...but it''s hard to plan for everything.

BTW, yeah, I''m not sure where Del Ray is, either. A transplant from Chicago...I''ll learn this area one of these days.

Welcome!

regular guy -- thanks for the statistics link. DH and I are not set on VA and are still trying to learn a lot about possibilities in MD. Do you have any recommendations for particular neighborhoods?

Thanks again
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 1/9/2007 7:45:17 PM
Author: lovelylulu

Date: 1/9/2007 7:13:32 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Even pre-kids, we let stats about schools be our guide. We used related info again in our move more recently. VA probably has something similar.

Like where you live, and find a good elementary school. If you can also find a good HS district, all the better. Important...don''t forget Middle School...but it''s hard to plan for everything.

BTW, yeah, I''m not sure where Del Ray is, either. A transplant from Chicago...I''ll learn this area one of these days.

Welcome!

regular guy -- thanks for the statistics link. DH and I are not set on VA and are still trying to learn a lot about possibilities in MD. Do you have any recommendations for particular neighborhoods?

Thanks again
Yeah...think I''d recommend Kensington. Should have moved there first time & stayed...or possibly Garret Park Estates. Instead, we chose first Silver Spring (near 4 corners) and now Bethesda...both as functions of compromise...with both spouse, budget, and house styles.
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/9/2007 2:10:25 PM
Author: lovelylulu

hmmm. somthing to investigate. i briefly considered trying to arrange the same sort of situation out in annapolis (i
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water as well as trees) but decided that we wanted to be closer to DC. plus, i''m really not yet in the position to be demanding a more convenient placement. not at all.
my husband is currently in B-school at U of Md & lives in Silver Spring walking distant to the metro. nice area, but his car was stolen like 3 weeks after moving in, and was broken into right before Christmas. He rents a 1 bedroom there, rent isn''t bad and it''s a pet-friendly apt. complex that is right on E/W highway and 16th street? I like that it''s a walkable town.
He just got a job offer in Annapolis so we will be moving and I will be leaving NYC (yes, we have a long distance marriage right now- we thought he would be coming back up, so I didn''t leave my job.) And I have started looking for homes in Annapolis and it''s not much cheaper there if you want to be IN Annapolis.

I am a Baltimoron by birth and my mom is a teacher and I know that Mont. and Howard counties both have excellent school systems. I used to live in Otterbein which is a GREAT little neighborhood between the Inner Harbor and Camden Yards- VERY close to the MARC train, also walking distance to Federal Hill which is a great neighborhood in Baltimore.

I can''t speak to VA- I have friends who used to live in Arlington and I loved visiting them though!
Good luck!
 

Clarygrace

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Hello Lovelylulu:
I live in the DC area, commute to Dupont every morning from Great Falls, VA (25 miles and have a 1hr 15min drive on a good day!). The sacrifice is made for the school system here, one of the top in the country.

For tax purposes, I would probably steer towards VA and not MD or DC. While home prices are a tad higher in VA, I think they are worth it. Arlington has some great neighborhoods for young home buyers, Ballston, Rossyln etc., as well as outlying areas of Alexandria are nice.

I lived in Falls Church, closer to Tysons when first moving here 12 yrs ago and it has two or three metro stations, so that might be an area to check out as well.

Good luck in your search and glad to see so many PS''ers from the DC area lending their ideas and support in your quest!

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onedrop

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I agree with Regular Guy about Kensington should you choose to live in MD. As I said in an earlier post I spent the last half of my school years in Kensington and my parents still live there. Great school district, close-in, close to Rock Creek Park and sort of that small town feel still.
 

AGBF

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Date: 1/9/2007 9:09:11 PM
Author: Clarygrace
I ... commute ... from Great Falls, VA....

Great Falls is pretty big and spread out. One can live in close to McLean or near Loudoun County or Reston. Where are you?

Deb
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AGBF

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Date: 1/9/2007 7:43:41 PM
Author: lovelylulu
Do you have any suggestions for neighborhoods in Montgomery Co.?

I went house hunting with a realtor when I was thinking of working in Maryland, but the idea of having to sell a house and move was too daunting, so we didn''t do it. The places where I was looking in Maryland were not in Montgomery County, though.

Recently I visited at the home of someone with whom I work. I believe she lives in Silver Spring, but she has a huge home in a kind of country setting. I didn''t know such places existed in Silver Spring! I guess I''m the wrong person to ask, but I will say that there are a lot of neighborhoods out there where one might not expect to find them.

Deb
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Regular Guy

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Date: 1/10/2007 10:40:51 PM
Author: AGBF



Date: 1/9/2007 7:43:41 PM
Author: lovelylulu
Do you have any suggestions for neighborhoods in Montgomery Co.?

I went house hunting with a realtor when I was thinking of working in Maryland, but the idea of having to sell a house and move was too daunting, so we didn''t do it. The places where I was looking in Maryland were not in Montgomery County, though.

Recently I visited at the home of someone with whom I work. I believe she lives in Silver Spring, but she has a huge home in a kind of country setting. I didn''t know such places existed in Silver Spring! I guess I''m the wrong person to ask, but I will say that there are a lot of neighborhoods out there where one might not expect to find them.

Deb
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Though there''s some nice places in Silver Spring for sure...your mention did make me think of Garret Park. A bit like a lost community there. Very little turn over, sky high prices...and maybe oodles for maintenance on wood structures?
 

lovelylulu

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your mention did make me think of Garret Park. A bit like a lost community there. Very little turn over, sky high prices...and maybe oodles for maintenance on wood structures?

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for all the imput. It's really helpful hearing about all the places you have found and that there are likely all sorts of neighborhoods that we still have yet to discover.

RG: we have friends that bought a house last year in garrett park. both DH and I absolutely loved the idea of a place where the entire neighborhood was an arboretum. the setting is spectacular. plus, the black market bistro is a tasty, tasty restaurant! but, this couple was about five years ahead of us on the earning curve and even they had to buy what is likely the most modest house in the entire zip code. and it did not come cheaply. so, i think that garrett park is quite a bit out of our range
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winternight

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Anyone know how much the homes in Garret Park run for? Are they more or less than Chevy Chase homes?

We''re probably going to buy in Dupont or Kalorama. Probably a condo for now just to save on the commute & expense of a home. We talked about it and even if you have kids they won''t be in school for awhile so I figure that gives us a couple of years.

My opinion is still that prices will fall throughout this year - I think the WSJ ran an article that predicted DC would drop in prices 10% in 2007. Regardless of what the Fed does there are too many people with adjustible rate mortgages out there whose payments are going to go way up this year.
 

lovelylulu

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Date: 1/11/2007 10:31:02 AM
Author: winternight
Anyone know how much the homes in Garret Park run for? Are they more or less than Chevy Chase homes?

I just did a quick search on the homedata base and there were only two listings.

$2.3 million: huge house
$500K: shed
 

onedrop

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Lovelylulu: Oh yeah....I completely forgot about Garrett Park....so quaint there! But at the same time verrrrrry costly to buy a nice size home. Maybe Del Ray is the right choice, especially for the location, the type of house that you want and the price.

Winternight: Chevy Chase is much more high-priced than Garrett Park I think. Especially the further down Connecticut Avenue that you get. But again, lovely homes there!
 

winternight

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How are the schools in Garrett Park? (Sry to threadjack!)
 

lovelylulu

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Date: 1/11/2007 1:56:33 PM
Author: winternight
How are the schools in Garrett Park? (Sry to threadjack!)

no worries. as DH & I determined that garrett park is out of our price range for now, we''ve not investigated it in any detail. perhaps, someone else can chime in...
 

onedrop

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Winternight: Garrett Park is in the Walter Johnson High School school district. From what I know, it''s a great school. I had friends that lived in my neighborhood (Kensington) which is in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase school district that actually transferred to go to Walter Johnson. The best place to check test scores and that type of stuff is the Montgomery County Public Schools web site.
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 1/11/2007 4:19:48 PM
Author: onedrop
Winternight: Garrett Park is in the Walter Johnson High School school district. From what I know, it''s a great school.
This is currect. Well...the school district part, anyway. I''ve heard it''s quite a good school. Long time DCers will stratify a few others higher, but some are further out. One is closer in, and rates on top (oh yeah...that''s Whitman).

When you get to it...along with the MC data, you''ll want to go by the education office, and also pick up their map books that shows, at the street level, which home goes with which school.

For example, as we''ve come to further appreciate...though your HS is a marker for quality down the line, there''s also differentials you''ll want to note further for both elementary & middle schools. For example, though I''ve no experience of the Garret Park Middle School, friends did choose a private school for the middle school years, thinking that between elementary & high school, that would be best. Alternately, we''re at North Bethesda Middle school now, and are happy. But also, we were seeking a special program only available there, based on our son''s needs, so we really had no cause to compare. Just saying...though high school is a quick and handy marker...unfortunately...depending on what you''re actually looking for, it may not be the complete picture.


Date: 1/11/2007 4:19:48 PM
Author: onedrop
I had friends that lived in my neighborhood (Kensington) which is in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase school district that actually transferred to go to Walter Johnson.
Kensington is actually a neighborhood that references two high schools...both BCC as onedrop notes, and also, Walter Johnson. Both are good, though we too have heard we might prefer WJ.
 

lovelylulu

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regular guy or others familiar with silver spring - woodlin elementary? thoughts? It seems to have decent statistics.

Thanks
 

Regular Guy

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Near Georgia Avenue, right?

Two primary thoughts:

a) look at the elementary school, and then the neighborhood, on their own terms, and in relationship with both 1) your time frame for permanence, and 2) your wishes for both the middle and high schools to follow.

b) if it's where I think it is, you can possibly walk to a yummy deli not far from there on Georgia.

I don't know this specific area all so well. Check it out, mindful of (a), and you'll have no surprises.
 
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