Bethesda – before it was called Bethesda – was a small crossroads village through most of the nineteenth century. It was a sleepy stopover with a school, blacksmith shop, post office, a few homes and a Presbyterian church — the Bethesda Meeting House. In 1871 the local post office was named ‘Bethesda’ after the historic church.
Here’s a few pictures of the church. The original church was built in 1820, burned down, and rebuilt in 1850. Learn more about interesting churches in Montgomery County.
Here’s a couple more pictures Read the rest of this entry »
Can you tell how this interpretation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night was constructed?
Think you’ve figured it out? Read the rest of this entry »
Glen Echo Park is a fun and quirky trip back to the turn of the century (that would be the 1900s, not 2000). It was an amusement park and entertainment mecca serving the Washington DC area. It even had its own trolley stop. Now, it’s so much more than a collection of historical buildings. This is home to an array of interesting arts classes for ceramics, photography, drawing and more. The park’s Social Dances may be its most unique attraction. Here you’ll find local swing, waltzes, the blues dances and more. If you like that kind of thing, then you’ll love this place. Here’s a current schedule of classes and events.
The crown jewel of the park is the Dentzel Carousel. Built in 1921 and recently renovated, this original carousel features 40 horses, rabbits, ostriches and more. The Wurlitzer organ is original as well.
Sales of upper bracket homes have suffered over the last couple of years, yet 2010′s numbers show signs of a turnaround. Is this the beginning of a recovery for this segment of the market, or are we seeing a dead cat bounce (apologies to cat lovers)? Let’s take a look.
Most Expensive Sales in 2009 and 2010
Before we dig into the numbers, let’s look at the five most expensive sales in 2009 and 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
Even in today’s market, you’ll see sprawling new estates sprout up along River Road in Potomac. A few of our clients heard that the upper end of the market was really strong, and others heard it was really soft. So who’s right? Let’s take a look at the stats.
Sales History Since 2005
Our market peaked in 2005/2006, so I went back to 2005 to summarize all sales for homes listed $2M or higher:
The sales stats show the demand for $2M+ homes has steadily declined since 2006. I noted the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy since it heralded the beginning of the current Great Recession. Still, credit for high-end properties tightened-up many months before that. My own personal benchmark was a very tough $1M closing in March of 2008. The buyer got what could have been the last jumbo loan with 5% down offered by Bank of America.
Taking a look at annual sales better shows this trend:
Location of 2M+ Sales
It’s no surprise that most of these home sales were located in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac. What may be a little surprising is that practically all sales in Montgomery County occurred here – 98%.
Days to Sell
Let’s look at one more metric: time required to sell. Compared to other price ranges, the most expensive homes have always taken longer to sell. Since 2006, the average number of days to sell has gone up every year.
As home prices have come down, home buyers in this price segment can get a lot more house for the money. Still, these trends tell us that downward pricing pressure is still very strong. Contact us and we can help guide your home search in this market segment of Montgomery County.
June 14th, 2010 Categories: Bethesda
The overall contract activity in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Kensington is 15% higher than 2009. Compared to other areas, this increase may seem tepid. Don’t be fooled – the market here is very healthy and has weathered the recent boom-and-bust years better than any other area in Montgomery County. Foreclosures and short sales continue to be rare keeping home prices stable.
December 2nd, 2009 Categories: Bethesda
What can you get for $1 million dollars in Bethesda? How much would one pay for a nice, new construction in Bethesda? OK, how about something cheap. What will $700,000 buy?
These are common questions that we get from home buyers interested in a great Bethesda location. With this in mind, I toured three homes that answer these basic questions. Read the rest of this entry »
August 9th, 2009 Categories: Bethesda
Bethesda continues to prove it’s a rock solid real estate market in Montgomery County. Compared to the previous six months in 2008, home prices have been pretty consistent in all price segments. Transaction volume for only the priciest homes have been lower this year. Overall, the number of contracts are up 11%. Here’s a breakdown of the contracts by price range: Read the rest of this entry »
July 29th, 2009 Categories: Bethesda
Home buyers love Bethesda. Homes here are minutes to D.C., the Beltway, employment centers and a restaurant mecca. The challenge is finding an affordable home on a spacious lot. This home has it all. Priced well under $700,000, a buyer can make updates needed to really make it sparkle.
June 28th, 2009 Categories: Bethesda
The overall real estate market for homes in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Kensington is healthy in most price ranges. Read the rest of this entry »
Amidst declining home values in Montgomery County, we still have a healthy market for homes in the upper brackets. In 2008, 770 homes priced $950,000 or more sold for a total of $1.1 billion (with a ‘B’). For all price ranges, about 8,500 homes sold for a total of $4.27 billion. So even though 770 homes represents only about 9% of the number of homes sold, this was over 25% of the total sales volume for the year.
In Bethesda’s earliest days in the 1800s, the swiftest Bethesdians would leave their homes before dawn on Thanksgiving day, enter the ancient and remote forests of Rockville and search for the largest and fiercest turkeys of the woodlands. Once found, the runners would surround and chase the birds through down-town Bethesda. Much like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, the entire town would come out to run with the noble birds on a 6 mile loop through town. After the turkeys escaped back into the forest, residents would hitch-up their German-engineered wagons and drive to Read the rest of this entry »