All that fun and all those activities, plus the proximity to Washington, D.C., puts Germantown in the prime real estate category. In other words, moving to this suburban enclave is not going to be cheap. With a variety of different rental property sizes, shapes and neighborhood locations, however, nabbing an appropriate place to call home is certainly possible. While vacancy rates in some areas are less than 2 percent, others do stretch up to about 10. But you better act quickly, as CNN Money ranked Germantown at No. 24 on a list of 100 best places to live.
How much will it cost?
Please note the top ranking came from the CNN Money list, which should give you a clue that youre going to need at a pretty decent amount for any type of accommodations in the Germantown borders.
How should you to prepare?
Since rents are pretty high and vacancy rates often tight, you want to make a first impression that doesnt scream, "forget this one." Before you even contact a landlord or Realtor, gather up written references from colleagues, employers and previous landlords as well as a copy of your latest credit report.
What are the possible complications?
Well, yeah, if you look at winter weather in Maryland, youll see it may not be the best season to haul it on over to Germantown. While the state website notes the average snowfall is about 20 inches annually, some areas have seen more than 260 inches in a year. Germantown averages about 7 inches per month in the winter, and those storms can certainly do some nasty things to your moving materials.
Bad credit or being unprepared can also foul up your plans to move, especially since Germantown consist of many well-established homes. Landlords here are unlikely to overlook the lack of a job, steady income or a solid credit history. Can you say co-signer?
The outer communities of Germantown are the safest. This doesn't mean other areas are packed with knife-wielding thugs ready to jump you for your beer stein, however. It just means the edges of Germantown seem calmer in terms of crime.
Brownstown/Old Germantown: The Brownstown/Old Germantown neighborhood is one of those outer areas, covering the chunk of land on the southwest corner of town. If you're into big homes and educated executive types, then youll love your neighbors in this zone. Vacancy rates are low, typically around 2 percent or less, proving loads of folks are into big homes and educated executive types. $$$$$
Neelsville/Brink: The low-crime northeastern corner of Germantown is made up, in part, of the Neelsville/Brink neighborhood. It shares the same executive-type residents as the other edge of town, although property rental rates are a shade lower. $$$
Exploration Lane/Keeneland Circle: Nestled just west of Neelsville/Brink is another low-crime zone that is not necessarily made up of those wealthy, executive types. Nearly 4 percent of the employed people in this zone are active in the military, perhaps explaining the low crime rate. $$$
Reviews of Northlake Apartments show that renters love their community's outdoor tennis courts and private balconies.
Clopper Road/Hopkins Road: If you're a fan of sorority or fraternity life, then the centrally located Clopper Road/Hopkins Road area may give you a thrill. The neighborhood rates as low in crime, high in larger rental properties and pretty good on walkability if you dig hoofing it to places. $$$
Middlebrook: More college-crowd antics are yours to be had in Middlebrook, located smack dab in the middle of Germantown. Middlebrook sports a higher crime rate yet boasts a wider variety of smaller apartment rentals than its Clopper Road cousin. $$$
Blunt Road/Scenery Drive: Loads of row houses are one of the claims to fame of the Blunt Road/Scenery Drive area. The rental homes are well-established but not yet old, giving the area a solid feel while the low crime stats fortify it even further. $$$
Town Center: While crime rates are still admirable in Town Center, they are a bit higher than other Germantown neighborhoods. Living up to its name with its central location, Town Center comes replete with more of those scenic row houses for your living pleasure. $$$$
Reviews of Oak Mill Apartments indicate that residents adore their leasing staff so much, they regularly recommend the building to friends and family.
Rosecrest Drive/Frederick Road: Head to the northern tip of Germantown, and you'll be heading to the Rosecrest Drive/Frederick Road zone. A major highlight of the area is its proximity to Ridge Road Recreational Park, which is nestled near the southeastern edge of this low-crime area. $$$$
Dairymaid Drive/Chalet Drive: The street names alone can be a big draw for the Dairymaid Drive/Chalet Drive zone, although there is no mention of actual chalets or dairymaids in the area. What you do get is plenty of smaller rental options, with a host of studio apartments and two bedroom apartments for rent, high-rise apartment buildings, and apartment complexes dotting the horizon.$$$$
In their reviews of Canterbury Apartments, residents show how much they love their community. Between the super friendly staff, onsite playground, and proximity to schools, renters live very comfortable lifestyles at Canterbury Apartments.
If you're thinking life in Germantown is one big Oktoberfest, you're right--kind of. At least you're right during the day-long Oktoberfest Festival. The festival features plenty of German food and beer but also leaves room for folk music, dancing, games and those inflatable things kids like to jump on. The annual bash draws crowds from the entire D.C. area and beyond, so get ready for some heavy-duty elbow rubbing!
What to Do the Other 364 Days of the Year
BlackRock Center for the Arts is hopping year round, with performances, exhibits, art classes and other fun stuff for families, singles or any combination of age groups.
Milestone Center gives you the opportunity to shop your socks off in a one-stop spree that includes all your fave big box stores for home supplies, home-improvement materials, pet goodies, office goods, clothing and food.
Maryland SoccerPlex is another claim to fame, even more so if you dig soccer. Former home of the women's pro soccer team of the Washington Freedom, the Plex is still flexing with several soccer fields and a massive scope of indoor sports programs.
Parks are another place to get your soccer fix if the Plex just doesn't cut it. Several parks surround Germantown, offering more than 20 local or regional park and picnic areas.
Other stuff includes a movie theater, the Germantown campus of Montgomery College, a historical society, and a farmers' market and orchard. There's even public transportation--kind of. While you do get about 20 bus routes snaking throughout the area and a MARC train that takes you straight to D.C., most folks in Germantown use their own vehicles to get around.