North Bethesda (or Rockville 20852) has become a hot spot for new development — oﬃce, retail, townhomes, and more.
From the highly successful Pike & Rose development by Federal Realty to the upgrades to some of the strip malls along the 20852 Rockville Pike corridor — a lot has happened over the past several years. And lots more is coming down the pike.
In this video and blog post, I want to focus on helping you choose the best townhouse in North Bethesda for you.
So let’s move past the debate about whether a location is North Bethesda or Rockville, and get right to it.
Like any home or any purchase of significance, the first thing you have to determine is: What is your maximum budget?
Until that’s determined, everything else goes out the window.
For a North Bethesda townhome, if your maximum budget is $550,000 — then you’re really not in the game. And really $600,000 is almost bare minimum for a 3-bedroom with 2.5-bathroom townhome.
The closest option you’ll have under $600,000 are The Crest of Wickford townhomes right oﬀ Rockville Pike by Georgetown Prep. And these are older townhomes with no garage. So keep that in mind.
So let’s get to it…
Five Critical Factors In Choosing A Townhome
Before we dig deeper into pricing, let’s dig into four factors that often come up with townhome buyers in anywhere.
1. How wide is the townhome?
This might be the biggest factor that people forget about, and it’s a HUGE one.
Unless you’re coming from what I like to call a skinny townhouse already, you won’t believe how dramatic stepping into an 18-foot wide townhome feels compared to a 20-foot or 21-foot wide townhome.
Don’t believe me? Go into a room you’re in now, and stand 2-feet in from the wall. Want to really make it impactful? Move everything in 2-feet oﬀ the wall and live that way for a day.
Now you’ll understand why the width of a townhouse is important. Yes you want the townhouse to have some depth, but too skinny presents more problems for people than a little less depth.
2. In which school district is the townhome located?
There really are two sides of a train track, and one side just happens to be more expensive. What’s new? This is the way it’s always been, and likely always will be.
And when it comes to the North Bethesda townhomes, the more expensive side is West of the train tracks running along Rockville Pike (before moving further away from the Pike around Randolph Road).
And you can guess which side of the train tracks goes to the higher rated public schools…This may change in time, but for right now, the properties West of the train tracks have a higher rated school district.
If schools are not a factor for you, and as long as you understand the aﬀect of school districts on property values, you’ll be able to get a lot more home for the money. For example, a new townhome in the North Quarter development (on the East side) will give you a generally similar new townhome for $350,000 – $400,000 less than new townhomes at The Townes at Grosvenor Place (on the West side).
3. Does the townhome have a garage?
Everybody has their own musts. For many people, having a garage is a must. For some, they need a 2-car garage.
So the search for a North Bethesda townhome filters out a whole bunch of developments with this requirement. So it’s best to be honest with yourself up front.
If you’re not concerned about a garage, then we want to look at your car situation though. Really it could be important to you — even with a garage.
For example, some garage townhomes have enough driveway to fit another car. Or in the case to 2-car garage townhome, some driveways can fit two cars. So this gives you four spaces in all.
But some townhome developments in North Bethesda have limited parking lot spaces. This is especially challenging without the garage.
So in assessing your needs, we want to match up the best overall development for a multitude of factors.
And this is where the search tools can’t really help you the way I can. So feel free to start searching for North Bethesda townhomes, but message me and we can make the search even easier.
4. Is there a backyard?
A backyard, as small as townhome backyards are, might be a must have for you. Ironically, it’s the larger, more expensive, newer townhomes that tend not to have backyards.
That’s just the way it is. The newer townhome developments in North Bethesda, and many around the area, have rear loading garages. So this eliminates the option of a backyard.
So depending on your tastes, and what’s walkable nearby with green space, some people become more flexible here. The garage remains a
must have, but the backyard suddenly becomes a little less important. And fortunately, the newer townhomes all have garages.
But if having a little fenced in area for your townhouse is a must, you’re going to have to stick with a slightly older townhome.
Plenty of older townhomes do have both garages and fenced backyards. And you can always make the inside look new with some renovations and updates.
5. Are you fine with renovating and updating?
For some people, the answer to this question depends on how much renovating, how much money it will take (for their tastes), and whether or not it can even be renovated to their liking.
You may have a clear answer on this — or you may have some renovation limits.
The limit of what you can handle renovation wise might be with the amount of cash you have available to spend on a renovation, or it might be related to the disruption involved.
If it’s about not having contractors in your house while you’re living there, there are ways around this. But this is really depends on whether you can close on this townhouse, before closing on your current home (if you’re selling).
Let’s walk through an example. I had clients who were able to close on a new townhome 5-weeks before we closed on their current house. We lined up contractors to start coming in the same day they closed on the townhouse.
All the remodeling was completed in a little over 4-weeks. The home was cleaned up, the movers delivered their belonging, and they didn’t have any contractors come after move in. It’s possible.
So there you go.
Are these the only factors?
Of course not. But they are the factors that seem to come up most often with clients.
There’s an interesting trend that has worked it’s way into some of the new townhome layouts. That is only two bedrooms and two bathrooms on the 3rd floor. But then the option (at a price of course) to make a 3rd bedroom and a third bathroom on the 4th level.
This 4th level in new townhomes is the rooftop deck level. And again, this situation may not work for you.
It’s always going to be more diﬃcult selling any home with 3-bedrooms with 1-bathroom on the sleeping level. It doesn’t matter if it’s a single family home, a townhome, or a condo. Easy to understand why. If all three bedrooms are being used, the demand on that one bathroom will inevitably cause some problems.
Two Things You Can’t Change About ANY Townhome
And these are two important factors for your enjoying your townhome.
Does your townhome get enough natural light for your tastes? That’s big question, and it’s an important question.
And this all subjective. It’s what you like.
Some places get too much sunlight. Some don’t get enough. The rare property gets perfect light. So the goal is to find a home that’s as close to perfect.
Great lighting is so much more prevalent now, but nothing beats starting with the foundation of great natural light.
And end unit townhomes are not always the solution. There are developments where the end unit townhomes border woods. And then there are big trees behind the house too.
Just keep this in mind.
For the modern, urban townhomes — road noise has to become an accepted part of the equation…but not for you. Unless you want the location so much you’re willing to overlook the noise.
For example, The Townes at Grosvenor Place sits right on top of I-270 and 495 basically. So if you’re sound sensitive, forget about these townhomes. They have an elevator option. Beautiful inside and out. Virtually soundproof when inside. But you will certainly have “white noise” from the highway when you’re on the the rooftop deck.
And there are other townhomes in North Bethesda — both older and newer — that have massively varying degrees of road noise. But the loudest are the townhomes literally right oﬀ the highway (like one side of Grosvenor Heights and virtually all of the Townes at Grosvenor Place).
So lot’s of factors.
When we go through the Buyer’s Edge Process, we go through all of these factors. It starts with the Homebuyer’s Matrix.
This makes us laser focused on the ideal developments to begin looking for the ideal North Bethesda townhome for you…Or any type of home or condo anywhere. The process always works.
As always, let me know of any questions. Let’s set up a time for a Free Consultation so you can get the Buyer’s Edge.
It will save you time, money, and frustration.
As always, you contact me fastest and easiest via text or call to: 240-687-2650.