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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:12 AM
3 posts, read 38,265 times
Reputation: 12


My family (wife, one toddler, one infant) and I are planning to move to the DC area (I will have a job in central DC) and we have found very attractive houses and townhomes in the area just South of Wheaton Plaza, West of Georgia Ave.

While the houses themselves appear to be very nice and have a short commute to DC, all for a decent price, we have concerns about the safety in the area. While online resources indicate that the area is relatively safe (e.g. neighborhoodscout.com "crime index" = 64, with 100 being the best), directly adjacent areas seem to have much lower indices. In addition, there are anecdotal reports by friends who grew up in DC that the area might not be safe (but this assessment might not be up-to-date).

What I am interested in is to learn about the street safety in this and neighboring areas (e.g., for my wife when walking with kids in a stroller) and property crime in the area - does anyone have first-hand experience or recommendations? How does this area compare for example to Rockville, Bethesda or Kensington?

Thank you very much for your help!
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:00 AM
20 posts, read 74,661 times
Reputation: 13
My future wife used to live on Arcola Ave. north of where you are thinking of moving too. I would frequently pick her up and wander the area.
This area is very hispanic/first generation immigrant in character. Since my future wife was hispanic she didn't like this area at all because of the number of immigrant workers that would whistle at her or make comments. There has been an increase in MS13 in this area as well. There was a stabbing in the Target parking lot in Wheaton mall when my wife used to live there. (gang related)
Overall the area is 'safe', but it's also not a well-off area either.
As for other parts you mentioned:
Rockville and Bethesda are very urban and very large. There are some really ritzy townhomes, etc in both of these areas as well as some bad parts as well. You have to do your research.
Kensington has more homes in the area. It's also a bit more expensive (i would imagine).
What happens in this area of Montgomery county, is that most of the nice/safe areas are in the suburban parts outside of the city areas. Germantown, Gaithersburg, Damascus, Poolsville, etc. are the cleanest nicest areas. However, they're also some of the most expensive. Therefore, alot of people migrate out to Urbana, Frederick, Clarksburg (even as far has Hagerstown) to find a nice place at a (semi)affordable price. This will impose a long commute on you however.
If you plan to work in D.C. think 'public transportation'. Plan accordingly.
Take a look at maps of the washington d.c. metro. The ride-on bus, the MARC train, etc.
The subway goes as far out as Rockville, but you can take the bus as far out as Clarksburg. MARC train will run out to Martinsburg, West Virginia.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:16 AM
789 posts, read 2,425,691 times
Reputation: 129
My bro-in-law and his family have lived in Wheaton since 1991. They've never had a break-in to either their home or the cars and safety has never been a big concern. Needless to say the area has changed a lot since then and they'r are looking to move in a couple years. What's keeping them there is the fantastic and easy commute to DC via metro, and the easy accessibilty to the beltway, and the last daughter who is still in HS. One of there biggest complaints is the parking situation, where some homes seem to have like 7+ plus cars now. There kids (except 1) are all out of college so a walkable area is not a concern. I know for a fact that if they had young kids, they wouldn't move in there today. There're some very nice parts around Plyers Mill Rd etc. It changes from to block...
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