No one moves to North Bethesda for itsinexpensive housing, although the cost of living here is preferable to its spendier neighbors, Bethesda and Chevy Chase. In fact, the median home value in this town is a whopping 49% more than Maryland’s average, and 153%--yes, 153%--greater than the average for the rest of the country. Rental rates are sky high too--31% higher than elsewhere in Maryland, and nearly 100% greater than elsewhere in the United States. From elegant and expansive single family homes to luxury sky-rises to studio walk-ins, there are plenty of options for apartment rentals, as well as houses for rent and sale, and they all have one thing in common: big bucks are in order. Looking into rent to own options is another way to get a foot into Bethesdas uber-expensive door. Unless, of course, you have money just waiting to be spent.
Not roomy, but roomies
Because of the extremely high cost of living in Bethesda, many people seek out roommates, or take a room in one of the city’s group houses. North Bethesda is full of young singles and academic-types who don’t spend much time sitting around at home. People work hard and play hard, and most would rather be in the lab or out on the town than in their apartment anyway. If space is not a commodity for you, but access is, then taking advantage of one of these situations can get you into North Bethesda, and may even enlarge your social circle in the process.
What you’ll need
If you’re looking to buy a home in North Bethesda, one thing you’ll need is certain: a big bank account. Aside from that, for both apartment rentals and home rentals, as well as new home purchases, you might as well start preparing the usual documents now, such as references, proof of income, and residential history. And be sure to check your credit before heading out the door. This area is Olympics-status competitive, so you’ll need everything working in your favor to make the best of your home search.
When to look and what to look for
This busy town is full of students, interns and others who come and go throughout the year, although before the start of the academic calendar can be particularly busy. By starting your search at another time, you can avoid the student rush...and the jacked up prices that go with it.
Modern doorman building with an elevator? Historic walk-up on a tree-lined street? There’s really no point in looking until you figure out what you want, and how much you can afford to spend. The options are many, although you will likely be priced out of quite a few of them. And remember, persistence pays in this market.
While Washington DC can feel socially impenetrable thanks to the competitive nature and dog-eat-dog attitudes that come with such intense proximity to power, North Bethesda is a place with tight-knit communities and warm neighbors. From block parties to parades to community swimming pools, North Bethesda is an upscale neighborhood that appeals to a range of demographics. North Bethesda neighborhoods include the following:
Old Georgetown Village:Just steps away from the White Flint Metro station, this community comprises mostly condos and townhomes. Residents enjoy access to green spaces, restaurants, and eclectic shops.
Luxmanor: Home to "Uncle Toms Cabin," this stylish community lives up to it name, containing its fair share of luxury homes...along with a surprising amount of tear-downs. Still, Luxmanor was recently voted one of the best neighborhoods in Bethesda by Bethesda Magazine.
Windermere: You cant beat Windermere’s location, and residents are willing to pay for it. This neighborhood has Prime Beltway access.
Wildwood: Parks, a bike path and a popular neighborhood pool combine with ridiculously easy access to the Beltway and I-270 to make this an extremely sought-after community. A mix of older homes and new construction are within walking distance of a charming shopping center. Residents love living here and are willing to fork over big bucks to do so.
Tilden Woods: This picturesque neighborhood is known for its abundance of wildlife, walking trails and pretty Old Farm Creek, all set against a backdrop of contemporary amenities.
Old Farm: Joining Luxmanor on Bethesda Magazine's list of best local neighborhoods, empty nesters and young families alike flock to Old Farm for its old-fashioned neighborhood feel and big city proximity.
Timberlawn: This quiet community of apartments and townhomes for rent is great for active singles, who enjoy the areas jogging trails. While the setting feels secluded, the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro is within manageable walking distance.
Grosvenor Park: Washingtonians consider this neighborhood of townhouses for rent or to buy one of their best kept secrets. With a green setting, public transportation access, and chic shopping.
Smarts, street and otherwise
Bethesda may be too smart for its own good. It has the unique distinction of being the country’s best-educated city. A whopping 80% of its residents have undergraduate degrees, while nearly 50% have graduate degrees. These folks are all drawn to North Bethesda to go to work at one of its local businesses, premiere research institutions or to join the crowd of commuters headed to points south.
Hop on the bus, Gus
Speaking of the commuting crowd, the average commute for the resident of North Bethesda is 29 minutes. While many who live here have cars, North Bethesda offers convenient access to a number of public transportation options, including the Metro and bus routes. If you're thinking of going outside the Beltway, options abound for hopping on a train or jumping on a plane for parts unknown. Not one, not two, but three local airports can get you wherever you need to go. Really, what more do you need here?
Living in North Bethesda isn't inexpensive, but it sure is appealing to 100,000 plus people who eat, sleep, work, play and innovate in this educated, upscale town of movers and shakers.