8 Great ‘Affordable’ Neighborhoods
We’ve rounded up Bethesda-area neighborhoods with nice houses, a strong sense of community, a convenient location—and the relatively low average price of less than $700,000.
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Photo by Michael Ventura
Randolph Hills, Rockville
48 Homes sold in 2017
$427,201 Average sale price in 2017
192 Homes sold from 2013-2017
$386,530 Average sale price from 2013-2017
For Ken and Rebecca Kopczyk, Randolph Hills had the right mix of location (near shopping, the Metro and running trails) and houses in their price range. They moved to the neighborhood, just south of Randolph Road and east of Rock Creek Park, in 2015, and have a 1-year-old son, Sam.
“The affordability of the neighborhood was definitely a big draw,” says Ken, 36, whose rambler, like many in the area, offers about 1,000 square feet on the main level and has a finished basement.
Residents gather for the neighborhood’s annual Brazilian barbecue and 5K at the Randolph Hills Local Park in the fall, and for a music festival with performances by locals at nearby 7 Locks Brewing in the spring.
“It’s a little hipster-y, which almost doesn’t exist in Montgomery County,” says Matt Covell, who lives in the neighborhood and whose company, Structure, has renovated homes in the area. “There’s more of an organic feeling about the place, more so than a polished feeling of other neighborhoods.”
While some owners are renovating, they are generally sticking to the footprints of the original structures in the 967-home neighborhood located in the Wheaton High School cluster. “We are seeing a lot of younger folks moving into this neighborhood and popping houses up on the top or out the back, but on a smaller scale with style and cool features,” Covell says.
Omar Shawqi gutted and refurbished the home he bought in 2015. His 10,000-square-foot lot backs up to the woods in Rock Creek Park, where he regularly jogs with his dog, Bandit. “Everybody knows each other by what their dog’s name is,” says the 32-year-old, who has a 15-minute commute to work in Bethesda. There are plans to update Dewey Local Park, which is adjacent to Randolph Hills, with a new dog park and other amenities.
Shawqi says he likes the low-key feel of the area, where neighbors go caroling during the holidays and invite each other to potluck dinners. “It feels like a touch of the Midwest in Washington, D.C.,” he says. “They are a little more laid back. They are very welcoming. You can stop on the sidewalk and have a conversation with someone that lasts more than seconds. That’s what surprised me.”