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Old 05-17-2016, 07:13 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,293 times
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Hubby and I moved to MD late year and are planning to buy end of this year. Husband works at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and I work in DC but telecommute and only go in max once a week. Child in private school so schools not of major concern but since it's a good indicator of neighborhood we’d want to stay above a GS ratings 6.
We are looking at our ‘forever’ home and have a maximum budget of $400k. Would prefer a SFH but might consider a Townhouse.
We are thinking Germantown, Gaithersburg, Olney, Rockville. We live in King Farm now but are priced out of that. Our wants are simply…
1) Walking trails
2) Very quiet suburban neighborhood
3) Kid friendly - which is kinda weird after asking for a quiet neighborhood

Seems like there is a lot of stuff in Germantown… How far is the commute to Walter Reed from there? Would it be a nightmare?


Are there any nice quiet neighborhoods in PG county with GS6 ratings in our budget?


Thanks
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
10,792 posts, read 15,812,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divamamaof2 View Post
We are looking at our ‘forever’ home and have a maximum budget of $400k. Would prefer a SFH but might consider a Townhouse.
[font=&quot]We are thinking Germantown, Gaithersburg, Olney, Rockville. We live in King Farm now but are priced out of that.
I think you should focus on neighborhoods that will give you a closer commute. I used Redfin.com to focus on some Rockville neighborhood that fit your criteria. Finding a SFH under $400K with a 6 or better rated school is difficult. However, there are some around the Lucy Barnsley Elementary School, the Rock Creek Valley ES, the Maryvale ES, and possibly others. (Note: the Lucy Barnsley ones are just over $400K, so maybe negotiable.) Redfin is a great tool for spoting potential neighborhoods. These are mostly older ranch houses and split-levels. There are also some around the Viers Mill ES, but I think that is a less desirable area because of the street congestion.

If you want a newer house, then Germantown, Gaithersburg and Olney are good choices. I am just less familiar with neighborhoods there. We lived in the Kemp Mill area of Silver Spring for over 20 years. It is kid-friendly and has great walking trails, but the schools are a bit lower-rated.

In Prince George's County, you could check the Vansville ES area in Beltsville or the Greenbelt ES arae.

I hope you don't mind another suggestion. I think you should save a bit longer and raise your budget to $450K. That will increase your chances of finding a SFH that you will want to live in for 7-10 years. I don't think most people can consider a townhome as their forever home.

Last edited by goldenage1; 05-17-2016 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:14 AM
 
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I also recommend saving a bit more and increasing your budget as $400k will really limit your choices and availability of homes on the market.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
10,792 posts, read 15,812,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divamamaof2 View Post
Hubby and I moved to MD late year and are planning to buy end of this year.
If you start looking in December, the inventory is really low. I believe the peak selling season is May-July, so kids can start the regular school year on time.

If you want to buy immediately, I also suggest dropping your requirement for schools with a Greatschools rating of 6 or better. There are some perfectly fine neighborhoods with schools in the 4 and 5 range. They may have a higher percentage of ESL kids accounting for lower scores. In Kemp Mill, a high percentage of kids attend private, religious schools, skewing the public school numbers a bit lower.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
10,792 posts, read 15,812,947 times
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I have PM'd the name of a real estate agent we liked. We would have used her to sell our Kemp Mill house, but we rented it first with an option to buy. Kemp Mill houses are great investments that hold their value well if they are with walking distance of the synagogues.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Bowie but New Orleans born and bred
564 posts, read 523,785 times
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I'll throw in north Bowie in Prince George's County. We have many great walking/biking/horseriding/water trails, parks, and quiet neighborhoods. The older, more established neighborhoods are in the Levitt sections in that part of Bowie and this is where you'll find the better rated elementary schools according to Greatschools scores, with a couple being Blue Star schools. But if you're not sending your kids to public schools, it definitely opens you up to more of the neighborhoods in Bowie which are still quiet and accessible to the parks and trails.

Your husband's commute would be about 40 mins though if he's driving. Not sure how much time he's willing to spend on the road.

Also look into Laurel though I'm not sure if there are trails in Laurel or not. I would think there are.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:51 PM
 
38 posts, read 14,282 times
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Hello DivaMamaof2!

Before you change or settle on your budget, PLEASE, talk to your lender first! Saving an extra 50k will not help and can possibly hurt, if by the time you are able to do so, the interest rates have gone up. As low as they are currently, you might actually be able to afford "more house" for less money. Small interest rate changes can raise your monthly payment significantly. Experiment with an interest rate calculator AND talk to your lender!

AFTER you have spoken with/decided on your lender, THEN contact a Realtor about best next steps in finding your perfect home and location. Yes, you can find a TH or SFH for 400k - your options will expand a little further out - a TH may afford you more living space depending upon your other preferences.

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to send me a DM if you want.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:42 PM
 
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OP here. Thanks everyone. My max budget is 400k and i've driven around and really like Rockville and Olney but I really do not want to 'settle' for a townhouse. I will compromise on the GS rating since clearly something has to give. I like the burbs and even Silver Spring appears too built up.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:43 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,293 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by FabulousMaryland View Post
Hello DivaMamaof2!

Before you change or settle on your budget, PLEASE, talk to your lender first! Saving an extra 50k will not help and can possibly hurt, if by the time you are able to do so, the interest rates have gone up. As low as they are currently, you might actually be able to afford "more house" for less money. Small interest rate changes can raise your monthly payment significantly. Experiment with an interest rate calculator AND talk to your lender!

AFTER you have spoken with/decided on your lender, THEN contact a Realtor about best next steps in finding your perfect home and location. Yes, you can find a TH or SFH for 400k - your options will expand a little further out - a TH may afford you more living space depending upon your other preferences.

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to send me a DM if you want.
Thanks very helpful. I have already spoken to a lender, re realtor I need to narrow down my areas first.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:07 AM
 
38 posts, read 14,282 times
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Don't give up on Silver Spring. The area considered "Silver Spring" is massive and covers many miles and school districts. It starts as you leave DC and, for example, if you were traveling on New Hampshire Ave/650, you could literally have a "Silver Spring" address until you hit Ashton - which is almost when you hit Route 108. Check it out on the map.

If want slightly larger than what Rockville will offer consider Clarksburg/Damascus/Mount Airy areas. Also re: Silver Spring again - I was thinking of the neighborhood of Cliftonbrook - basically Ashton, but you are a few feet into "Silver Spring". Also Layhill, Layhill Village, 20904 (closer to Rockville). Washington Grove, just north of Rockville (super cute on 5th Ave, right now). Too many to list.

People forget Montgomery County outside of the beltway is more than just the neighborhoods that line 270 and Olney.

You have options, it is just a matter of ferreting them out. I found about 10 while I was reading/responding to your message; let me know if you want more specifics. I sent you a DM, but now that I am re-reading it doesn't say anything I haven't already said here.
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