Chevy Chase Real Estate – What you need to know before buying a home in Chevy Chase, MD
Thinking about moving into Chevy Chase, Maryland but want to know more before taking the leap? Understandable—buying property is no small thing! We’re here to help you scout the waters of Chevy Chase Real Estate before plunging in.
First off, let’s talk about Maryland with a quick history lesson. As America’s seventh state, Maryland was founded by George Calvert in the early 17th century and is considered the birthplace of religious freedom in America, as Mr. Calvert was trying to find a home for himself and other fellow persecuted Catholics fleeing England. How does that impact you? Not at all, but it’s neat to know.
What would impact you are these more relevant facts:
-Is one of the smallest states in America
-Is one of the most densely populated states in America
-Has the highest median household income of any state
-Has the most millionaires per capita
-Has the lowest poverty rate in America
-Contains some of the wealthiest counties in the country
Sounds like a wonderful place to live, doesn’t it? We completely agree and, in this jewel of a state, we’ve fallen in love with Chevy Chase.
Just north of the District of Columbia, Chevy Chase isn’t just one town, but several (more on those later). For your brief history lesson, Chevy Chase was originally farmland at the border of the District of Columbia, but then turned into a planned community in order to take advantage of the fancy new streetcar system. You could live in the relaxing suburbs, a decent distance away from the big city, yet commute in easily every morning—which is what many residents of Chevy Chase do to this day!
Fun facts about Chevy Chase:
-Over 80% of Chevy Chase residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making the area one of the best educated in the country.
-Your neighbors would include venture capitalists, authors, high-level politicians, journalists, athletes, and lobbyists.
-Chevy Chase contains some of the highest-ranking schools in the country, though many residents send their children to boarding school.
-Stores like Jimmy Choo, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Bulgari, causing the shopping area of Friendship Heights to be referred to as Washington’s version of Rodeo Drive.
-Chevy Chase has incredibly low crime rates and a high ratio of policemen per thousand citizens—nearly double the national average.
As you can see, safety, education, shopping, and interesting neighbors make Chevy Chase an amazing place to live. But first you have to decide what property type is the right one for you!
Types of Property Ownership in Chevy Chase
There are three types of property ownership in Chevy Chase: townhomes, condos, and houses—although there are a few parcels of land for sale for those of you who want to expend the effort needed to build your dream home. For the less energetic of us, a townhome, condo, or house will be just the right fit.
Are you a first-time homebuyer looking for a smaller investment than a house and don’t mind having close (often very close neighbors? Try a townhome! Townhomes generally have lower HOA fees and require less maintenance, allowing you to test the waters before diving headfirst into larger property ownership.
Ready for an upgrade, but still intimidated by the thought of buying a house? Check out a condo! Often a bit more upscale (can you say “fancy amenities?”), a condo is often a better investment than a townhome, though it can be a bit of a struggle to obtain a decent mortgage with a good interest rate.
Sold on the idea of owning a house? Say no more! A house is a practical investment as property values continue to increase year after year. With your own house, you have complete control over your property. Don’t like those bushes? Dig them up! Want to change the exterior paint on your house every year? Go for it! Just remember: houses can be expensive to maintain, so make sure you have some savings tucked away so you can keep your house in top shape.
The Communities of Chevy Chase
As we mentioned, Chevy Chase is divided into several communities. Instead of going into the details of every single one of these tiny, but adorable, municipalities, we’re going to talk about our favorites. If you’re curious about the other municipalities, you can read more here.
Chevy Chase Village — From the Chevy Chase Village official website: “Chevy Chase Village is an historic community of 721 homes on just under half a square mile in the southern section of Montgomery County, Maryland. The Village’s tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks, open parks, and centrally located Village Hall combine with walking-distance access to public transportation, shopping, restaurants, and theaters to offer the best of urban and suburban living.”
Martin’s Additions — On the east side of Chevy Chase, Martin’s Additions was legally separated by its citizens from Chevy Chase proper in order to control its own development. With approximately 325 homes, Martin’s Additions is governed by an elected five member Council and holds monthly meetings so its residents can engage and direct the future of the Additions.
Town of Chevy Chase — One of the largest areas in the Chevy Chase community, the Town of Chevy Chase dominates the northernmost part of the area with over one thousand homes. While there are beautiful historic homes in this municipality, many areas have been redeveloped—especially those close to the border of Bethesda.
Chevy Chase View — According to the Chevy Chase View official website, “The Town of Chevy Chase View is a municipality nestled in the heart of Montgomery County. This small, friendly town is defined by its rich culture and strong relationships.” With a tiny, conservative population of just 920, you can be sure you’re going to have a tight community of friends and neighbors.
Somerset — Often confused with Somerset County, Somerset is an incorporated town in, of course, Chevy Chase. Somerset is known for its park-like feeling while still remaining an urban area, and has conveniently located access to public transport. As of 2010, Somerset’s population was just over 1,200—all living within 407 homes. It is a small historic community, perfect to raise a family in.
The Village of Friendship Heights — A tiny district located between Willard and Wisconsin Avenue, Friendship Heights contains far more apartment and office buildings than houses—which would explain the high population (4,700 people) for such a small area. Friendship Heights offers great public transportation, gorgeous buildings, and an active community.
As we’ve said, there are more than just the handful of municipalities we’ve listed above. Do yourself a favor and hop into your car or onto a plane and check out the beautiful streets of Chevy Chase yourself!