Please tell me about Clarksburg Village (Germantown, Frederick: sales, real estate, to rent)
Washington, DC suburbs in MarylandCalvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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My husband and I are thinking about buying a home there. We have a son who is in elementary school and are searching for a community that is family friendly.
We've been reading a lot about Clarksburg Village and it seems like it would be a good fit for us... good schools, lot's of sidewalks for walking & bike riding, and other great amenities. It also looks like there are quite a few shopping centers close by too.
But I understand there has been a tremendous amount of growth there over the last few years with plans for lot's of additional construction projects in the future. I would love to hear your opinions of this community.
I'm surprised no one has responded...I know very little about Clarksburg, but have been there, and my BIL taught at the high school for 3-4 years.
Was very rural until all this building...major problems with that, too. The developers didn't follow the laws and there was a huge problem, but I think that's all been rectified by now. I think the county intends to keep building it up, too, since the closer in suburbs are already overcrowded. Traffic on 270 is horrific and your other choice, which I think would be 355, isn't much better, so if commuting south, you will be in the midst of it. I think your main shopping area will be in Germantown.
I'll tell you what I know/think. I don't get on this forum every day b/c if I did, I'd get so worked up about some of the stuff on here that I'd be typing for hours and eventually my family would up and leave and I'd melt into the chair. . . :0)
ANyway, I taught in Germantown while living in Frederick for several years. Traveled Rt.355 almost daily (tried to stay off of Rt. 270). Clarksburg is a planned community on about 700+ acres and is years from being completely built out, especially in this economy. We looked at possibly moving there about 2 years ago, before the complete mortgage meltdown - collapse. In all honesty, the price points for the developers and not that much lower than they were at that time. . . and you know what has happened since then! Maybe they move inventory very well, I don't know. Anyway, it is very approximate to 270 but you there are some proposals on the way to redirect 355 (which will be a MAJOR project) and also there is going to be another complete interchange built onto 270 around Rt. 124 where the Watkins Mill development is going in. I cannot even being to comprehend the traffic nightmare that will occur when THAT gets underway. . .oh, and there is also the west dumping point for the ICC a little ways below that interchange, down by Shady Grove road. If you are considering buying ANYWHERE in MoCo, you need to go look at the master plan for the county at the county offices in Rockville.
I'm telling you this because if you and/or your hubby, partner, signif other need to commute south your only main roads really re 270 with 355 running as your next choice (but it's really not a highway).
Also, Clarksburg has or will pass in the future an additional assessment on top of your mortgage/condo fees/ hoa fees, property taxes etc to help pay for the infrastructurethat was brought in when they developed the land for this community. It varies with what type of property you are buying bt I know for SFH it could be as much as 1K a year or higher for the next 30 + YEARS! The Villages of Urbana up in Frederick Co also have this on the books as a possibilty. You need to know this b/c taxes in MoCo are alot higher than they are in harford County.
We looked at a lot that was right across from where the new proposed ES is to go in in Clarksburg and the sales agent was telling me that even though we wouuld live across the street that is no guarantee that our kids would go there. I called MCPS to confirm this and they said they can redistrict the boundaries at any time and as I teacher with the county, i already knew this but just wanted to hear it from the horses mouth.
p.s. sorry about the typos I get sloppy when tired and don't go back to do corrections!
I appreciate the response. I guess what I would need to consider is the traffic and continuing growth & development of the area.
This issue with redistricting is inevitable regardless of where you live in MD. We currently live in Howard County, there is a school about a mile away from us but because of redistricting my son now goes to a school that is 3+ miles away. Fortunately for us both are good schools.
Overall Clarksburg Village seems to be very family oriented with lot's of amenities so that's a plus. I think we'll keep it on our short list.
I just bought a townhouse in Clarksburg (Gateway Commons) and I can answer a few of these questions.
The special development tax for sewer lines mentioned by "trying2moveup" is about 450$ every January for 30 years. That's for my TH. I think it was 600$ every January for a SFH.
The area does appear very family-oriented. Home prices appear to have stayed relatively flat throughout the housing crisis of the past few years, which is one of the factors I took under consideration when buying.
I've worked inside the DC beltway for the past 4 years and I've become convinced that even if a town like Clarksburg is a distant commute from the district, it is still in demand. Real estate is such a premium, that's why I've had coworkers commute from north of Frederick and even beyond. Plus Mont Co. is trying to grow more jobs along the 270 corridor, which lends me further trust that the future of Clarksburg will be a good one.
I trust this enough to justify moving there with a commute to Falls Church, VA every day. Realistically, a person can skip most traffic if they leave their house by 8:00 in the AM, which really isn't bad. Without traffic, I'm under 40 mins away from work. I currently rent in Rosslyn and my commute is 20 mins... what's another 20 mins to own a nice home in a less congested area? My mortgage is literally less than what it costs to rent a 1br apt above the metro in Arlington, and after you factor in my PMI and HOA fee, it's just slightly more.
The last thing to mention-- I've seen a few newspaper articles which say the Town Village construction should finally be cleared to resume, which would bring in the grocery store and other shops that are expected to finally be built. And even without, Germantown is literally 3 miles away... lets be honest, having to travel 3 miles to get to the grocery store is nothing to complain about.
I don't know if I would recommend Clarksburg Village. I moved in when my townhouse cluster was one of the first homes to be built there and was not very happy. I think it all depends on where your home would be within the development. I would definitely stay away from Craftstar/Craftmark homes. They do not do high quality work and would not recommend buying new. At least if you buy an older home the previous owners may have taken the time to fix everything that the original builders had messed up (that's what I had to do). I heard the schools are very good but at the time did not have children so do not know first hand. Some of the sections of neighborhood are a bit sketchy in my opinion (lots of racing on the streets in front of playground areas, older kids using the playgrounds to hang out late at night, some other questionnable behavior). But i do have some friends that live in other sections of the development and like it. I would just be extremely cautious/careful of where you buy and what builder you buy from. They have also promised the world to me when I first bought there and since then there have been so many changes in retail property plans and other issues so there is yet to be a true retail section in there.
My husband and I bought a TH in Clarksburg Village, so hopefully I can shed some new light on the area. I actually like the development a lot. It is actually Clarksburg Town Center, the development next to Clarksburg Village, that has been having problems with pushing forward a retail space. Because of that, Clarksburg Village also had not been able to go forward with their retail.
Fortunately, it was recently approved and CV is clear to build that retail space (Thank goodness!) so hopefully it will be even more convenient soon. I won't lie... traffic is infamously horrific. I had an interviewer turn me down for a job because of where I live. But in the long run, I believe it should improve. They are also building a new exit on 270 that will provide another easy access. 355 will be that regular 1-lane hope-you're-not-following-a-slow-car traffic, but generally not too bad. As long as you try to avoid peak traffic hours, you'll be okay. Going against traffic? even better! School will be great, from what I heard. And yes, pool and clubhouse make happy kids
As for MLT1's comment, I'm actually surprised there is a negative review about Craftstar/Craftmark! Both my neighbor and I agree that Ryan Homes have been a little sloppy with their construction, but Craftstar/Craftmark deliver solid results! My husband and I own a Craftmark home and his family a Craftstar home. We like the workmanship, the representatives, and love their utilization of space. We had also considered Ryan Homes when buying, and almost went with one, but ultimately chose Craftmark over them. But, Ryan Homes do deliver some pretty amazing upgrade deals, so they still have plenty of customers and constructions =)
There will be areas within the entire community that is sketchy, but like MLT1 said, choose your lot carefully when buying. I for one would not be trying to buy in a cluster of homes with on-street parking, it is bound for lots of neighbors and no space for kids to run around except onto the streets/parking lots. Where I am located in the community is very nice, with a tot lot within walking distance and peaceful streets. All the neighbors are family-friendly and very nice people.
The cherry on top? Home prices might start looking up once there's "convenient access to retail space," right? In any case, shop around and find the house that is best for you. Happy house hunting!
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