Get Your Rock Creek Forest Mini-Poster

00-front 0-backpjl_5476 0-livpjl_5538Looking to move to Rock Creek Forest? Or you’re a neighbor whose friends are interested? Come see me at my open house at 2725 Washington Ave this Sunday, from 1-4 pm. It’s a beautifully and smartly expanded colonial from the original neighborhood stock. It has a renovated kitchen with table space, a lovely 2-story family room and master bathroom addition and a flat fenced-in backyard. Just a block to trail and stables! It’s larger than it looks from the outside, and a steal at $799,000.

Come by and receive a mini-poster showing off Marcie’s RCF map art with neighborhood resources on the back. It looks adorable. And larger versions of the poster are available for drop-off on request!

A Once Beloved Westly Worth Saving

Westly catalog house

Kit House of the Week 3/4/2016

Sears Westly Kit house in chevy chase
A Sears “Westly” with a stormy history in Chevy Chase, DC

Facts & Figures:

Manufacturer: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Model Number or Name: The Westly

Year Built: 1926

Neighborhood: Chevy Chase, DC

Authenticated:  Yes. Sears mortgage for $6,000 recorded on 1/19/1926.

To see the original Sears Catalog Page, click here. For photos of other DC area Westlys, click here. (For more photos of the house, scroll down to the gallery)

House History

This Sears “Westly” right across the street from Lafayette Elementary is not technically on the market. But since it was last year (and has been vacant for years), it’s probably still for sale. Or not. But we’ll get to that.

The house was originally bought in 1926 by Elmer and Eula Sours. Elmer was a carpenter by trade, so we can assume that he was one of the few Chevy Chase kit house owners who actually put the house together by himself.  This makes it even stranger that the mortgage was so high; the catalog price for the house was only $2,614 in 1926, and there was a second deed of trust over $3,600 for the land purchase at one of DC’s new prime suburban addresses on Broad Branch Road. The garage and plumbing or foundation cost could hardly make up the difference.

And the problems started soon: the Sours and their daughter, Margaret, only lived in the house for a year before an equity suit from a family member (more debt?! Perhaps there were gambling or other problems at play?) forced them to sell the property back to the land developer and pay off the Sears mortgage. They moved back to Virginia.

The house stayed on the books as a rental ($110 in 1930!) with Fulton Gordon.

September 1930 ad from the Washington Evening Star
September 1930 ad from the Washington Evening Star

It wasn’t until 1943 when a loving family of musical foreigners, Denise and Conrad Bernier, finally bought it and moved in with their two young sons, Claude and Jacques. The Berniers, “aliens” in the 1940 census would own the house for 66 long years. Conrad was a French Canadian organist, composer and music professor who played many concerts in DC and elsewhere. Denise was the daughter of a Spanish opera singer and a French woman. She taught both Spanish and French at Holton Arms for many years. Denise lived to be 107; she died in 2012, only a few years after selling the house to the current owner.

What happened after that, is a bit of a mystery. It seems the house was lived in from about 2009-2011, but for the past 5 years, the started renovation has come to a standstill. (I took some of the pictures here in 2012.) It is quite apparent, that the owner made great effort to preserve some of the details. According to neighbors, he did much of it by himself but must have run out of money and time. He never moved back into the house. Last year, it was on the market for a while, but at a price that didn’t reflect the current state. Local historians were concerned with the fact that the Realtor advertised the listing as a potential teardown.  We suspect that, deep in his heart, the owner doesn’t really want to let go of his “Westly.”

A savior is needed here, and as we know, it probably all comes down to the price. Doesn’t it?

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More Photos (click thumbnails to enlarge)

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Are you Interested in Kit House History? We can help!

Cati and Marcie are Realtors by day and house history enthusiasts by night. We specialize in the Washington, DC area. House History–the hidden stories behind the walls of the homes we sell or walk by every day–has long been a passion of ours (In fact, for Cati, a former journalist, it was what ultimately brought her to the world of DC real estate).

We have written about many house-stories in our individual blogs over the years, and we sometimes have surprised (and delighted!) clients with our research findings. When the time allows, we love digging in archives, city records and historic collections. What we find, is sometimes funny, sad or scary, but it’s always a part of the DC area’s story as well. And when it comes to history of any kind, there could not be a better place for that than the metropolitan area of the Nation’s Capital!

If you have followed us for even a short while, you probably know that one of our special interests are the mail-order homes of the early 20th century. In many Washington, DC, neighborhoods and in the city’s older suburbs, we can find an abundance of those historic kit houses. (More often than not, the owners have no idea that some 90 or 100 years ago, their house arrived neatly packaged on a railroad car, in thousands of numbered pieces.)

You can learn more about catalog homes here, “like” our Facebook page for updates or email or tweet us with questions or suggestions for houses to write about.

Join the Mailing List for our Annual Kit House Newsletter:

*Catalog images provided courtesy of Internet Archive.

Rock Creek Forest Market Update March 7/8, 2015

We have three (!) new listing for this weekend, making it a total of five homes for sale in Rock Creek Forest, priced between $610,000 and $734,000. One home (2714 Abilene, listed at $830,000) went under contract. No price reductions. One new closing. 2 houses are under contract, and 4 single family homes are for rent.

The homes below are currently for sale on either the Chevy Chase or the Silver Spring side of the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood. While these might not necessarily be our own listings, we have seen most of them and will insert our neighborly opinions and comments. The top of the list features the newest listings. (More about why this neighborhood is one of the DC suburbs’ best kept secrets here.) And if you have a question or want to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at anytime!

Active Listings:

2705 Ross Rd Chevy Chase MD 20815 2705 Ross Rd — $680,000. 4 bedrooms, 3 full bath rambler with a nice yard, large finished basement and a bunch of updates. Listed by Long & Foster. DOM: 0
Donnybrook house for sale 8408 Donnybrook Dr — $694,500. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. Very bright rambler with beautiful open kitchen and sun-/family room addition on lovely lot backing to a creek and strip of woods. Two blocks each from Rock Creek and Capital Crescent trails. Large walk-out basement. Listed by Keller Williams. Days on market: 0
Grubb Rd house for sale--IMG_1811 8510 Grubb Rd — $610,000. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. Beautifully renovated all over, refinished hardwood floors. Den on first level. One block from park, pool club and trail. Listed with our very own Evers & Company. DOM: 1
Rock Creek Forest colonial for sale Chevy Chase MD 2719 Colston Dr — $734,000. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. One of the original RCF colonials from 1941. Last sold 3 years ago. Great example for the amazing difference new appliances as well as fresh paint, tile and carpet can make. Much of the price increase, however, might be attributed to the improved market. Listed by Long & Foster. DOM: 15
2511 Spencer Rd — $650,000.
1956 rambler with 3 br, 2 baths. This one is a bit of a mystery as there are no pictures online and showing is restricted. Let’s us conclude it might not be in ideal shape and likely quite overpriced. Listed with Re/Max. Days on market: 157 (without price reduction)

Under Contract:

[Contingent] 2714 Abilene Dr — $830,000. 1980s colonial with 5 bedrooms, 3 full and 1 half bath. All in all a good house with a few quirky features but nice space for the money. A block from Rock Creek Park. Large walk-out basement. Listed by Peek Properties. Days on market: 51
Screenshot 2015-02-20 11.30.31 2602 SPENCER RD — Listed at $609,000. 3 br/1 bath colonial. Cute starter home with a few updates. Listed with Long & Foster. Closing March 27th. Photo courtesy of MRIS. DOM: 27

There are four single family homes for rent at the moment, ranging in price from $2,800 to $3,975.

To see all Rock Creek Forest listings on a map, please click HERE.

And, if you would prefer to break outside the confines of Rock Creek Forest, take a look at the listings below. We work throughout Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and DC.

Downtown Silver Spring Colonial Village Shepherd Park Takoma Park MD
Chevy Chase MD Chevy Chase DC Bethesda Icon Other Areas

 

Rock Creek Forest Market Update 2/11/2015

Currently, there are 2 homes for sale in Rock Creek Forest, priced at $650,000 and $830,000. Both of them have been on the market for a while. 3 houses are under contract, and 3 single family homes are for rent.

The homes below are currently for sale on either the Chevy Chase or the Silver Spring side of the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood. The top of the list features the newest listings.  (More about why this neighborhood is one of the DC suburbs’ best kept secrets here.) And if you have a question or want to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at anytime!

Active Listings:

2714 Abilene Dr — $830,000. 1980s colonial with 5 bedrooms, 3 full and 1 half bath. All in all a good house with a few quirky features but nice space for the money. A block from Rock Creek Park. Large walk-out basement. Listed by Peek Properties. Days on market: 42
2511 Spencer Rd — $650,000.
1956 rambler with 3 br, 2 baths.  This one is a bit of a mystery as there are no pictures online and showing is restricted. Let’s us conclude it might not be in ideal shape and likely quite overpriced. Listed with Re/Max. Days on market: 133 (without price reduction)

Under Contract:

 2708 Colston Dr — Listed at $759,000. Scheduled to close on February 18. DOM: 6
[Contingent] 2602 SPENCER RD — Listed at $609,000. 3 br/1 bath colonial. DOM: 27
[Contingent]  — 8400 Farrell Dr. — Listed at $750,000.  DOM: 6

There are three single family homes for rent at the moment, ranging in price from $2,900 to $3,975.

To see all Rock Creek Forest listings on a map, please click HERE.

And, if you would prefer to break outside the confines of Rock Creek Forest, take a look at the listings below. We work throughout Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and DC.

Downtown Silver Spring Colonial Village Shepherd Park Takoma Park MD
Chevy Chase MD Chevy Chase DC Bethesda Icon Other Areas

 

Bethesda Chevy Chase Real Estate Stats

As of this posting (January 13, 2015) there are 196 active listings within the Bethesda Chevy Chase marketplace (zip codes 20812, 20814, 20815, 20816, 20817 & 20818).  The median asking price for a single family or townhome is $1,595,000.  The median days on market is 109. When you average the numbers they both go up.  The average asking price for a Bethesda Chevy Chase listing is $1,749,006 and the average days on market is 134.

The least expensive house to be had currently in BCC is located at 8318 Brook Lane, listed at $550,000.

The most expensive listings share an asking price of $7,200,000 and are located at 7700 Oldchester Road and 6801 Hillmead.

Of course, we would be happy to show you any of these properties!

 

 

Rock Creek Forest MD Homes For Sale 4/23/2014

Rock Creek Forest Elementary School - New building

A very belated update as the spring market has us running!  To see the homes that have been listed and already sold since our last post here, please check out the RCF 2014 Solds page. There are currently 7 houses under contract.

All homes and condos in this post are currently for sale in the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood. The top of the list features the newest listings, while those at the bottom have been on the market for a while. Marcie and Cati will usually be updating this post every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming (and check out the date up top… if it’s not current, neither is this information!). While most of these might not be our own listings, we’ve taken the time to inject our opinions on the condition, features, quirks and pricing. Full disclosure: Cati has lived (and sold real estate) in Rock Creek Forest for 8 years (after residing in NW Washington DC for the previous 11 years). (More about why this neighborhood is one of the DC suburbs’ best kept secrets here.) And if you have a question or want to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at anytime!

Single Family Homes:

Derby Ridge Ln 2008 Derby Ridge Ln — $429,900. Townhouse with 2 bedrooms, 3 full and 1 half bath. 2 fireplaces. Backs to Rock Creek Park. A little dated perhaps, but — if you’re willing to put in the work — might be a nice deal as it’s priced quite a bit below some recent comps. Listed by Menkis Real Estate. (Photo courtesy of MRIS.) Days on market: 8
Rock Creek Forest Contemporary for sale 2621 Washington Ave — $1,795,000.
5 br, 4 full and 2 half baths. One of the largest homes in RCF, this is a unique custom-built contemporary on a half-acre lot. Sensational California flair — check out the virtual tour here. Listed with our own Evers & Co. Days on market: 12
Rock Creek Forest colonial for sale 8506 Grubb Rd — $629,000.
3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Similar to the two recent listings on Spencer. Crisp white kitchen, updated baths, a sun room and a big deck in the back. Steps to the pool. Listed with Washington Fine Properties. (Photo courtesy of MRIS.) Days on market: 26
8019 Ellingson 8019 Ellingson Dr — $1,199,500. 4 BR/3 full and 1 half bath. Terrific 20-year old home with great space and colorful vibes. Steps from Rock Creek Park, 2 blocks to Candy Cane City or stables. Listed with Long & Foster. Days on Market: 47

There are no single family homes for rent at the moment.

Condos:

Rock Creek Gardens Currently, there are 5 condos for sale in Rock Creek Forest, ranging from $195,500 for a slightly dated 678 sf 1-bedroom unit to $264,900 for a 2-bedroom, 1 bath unit (without loft).

To see all Rock Creek Forest listings on a map, please click HERE.

And, if you would prefer to break outside the confines of Rock Creek Forest, take a look at the listings below. We work throughout Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and DC.

Downtown Silver Spring Colonial Village Shepherd Park Takoma Park MD
Chevy Chase MD Chevy Chase DC Bethesda Icon Other Areas

 

Rock Creek Forest MD Homes For Sale 3/14/2014

RCF School construction siteUpdate for3/14/14:  Another 2 new listings since last week, plus 3 new condos. No reductions. The townhouse from last week went under contract, and so did the rambler at the end of Grubb.

All homes and condos in this post are currently for sale in the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood. The top of the list features the newest listings, while those at the bottom have been on the market for a while. Marcie and Cati will be updating this post every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming (and check out the date up top… if it’s not current, neither is this information!). While most of these might not be our own listings, we’ve taken the time to inject our opinions on the condition, features, quirks and pricing. Full disclosure: Cati has lived (and sold real estate) in Rock Creek Forest for 8 years (after residing in NW Washington DC for the previous 11 years). (More about why this neighborhood is one of the DC suburbs’ best kept secrets here.) And if you have a question or want to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at anytime!

Single Family Homes:

Rock Creek Forest home for sale  NEW. 2327 Blaine Drive — $925,000. 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, on an extra large, partially wooded lot of more than 13,000 sf. Nice flow and some recent updates in this 25-year old home on a one-block street. Listed by Long & Foster. (Photo courtesy of MRIS.) Days on market: 2
Rock Creek Forest MD colonial for sale  NEW. 2621 Spencer Drive — $699,900.
4 br, 2 full baths, deep, flat backyard. Obviously priced for its similarity to the one at 2613 Spencer which just closed this week.  This one has a little den on the first first floor, a nice rec room on the lower level and is overall in ready-to-go shape. Listed with Days on market: 1
8019 Ellingson 8019 Ellingson Dr — $1,199,500. 4 BR/3 full and 1 half bath. Terrific 20-year old home with great space and colorful vibes. Steps from Rock Creek Park, 2 blocks to Candy Cane City or stables. Listed with Long & Foster. Days on Market: 7

There also are two single family homes on the market for rent at the moment, for $2,550 and $2,895/month. Both are 3 bedroom ramblers.

Condos:

Rock Creek Gardens NEW. 2218 Washington Avenue- W-201 — $264,900. 2BR/1FB condo. 843 square feet. Nicely updated and seems priced to compare favorably. Fee: $385 per month. Listed with Long & Foster. Days on Market: 1
Rock Creek Gardens NEW. 2232 Washington Avenue- W-202 — $289,000. 1BR/1FB (plus upper level skylit loft) condo. At 889 square feet, this is one of the larger units on the upper floors. Fee: $458 per month. Listed with Redfin. Days on Market: 6
Rock Creek Gardens 2210 Washington Avenue- W-203 — $274,900. (Original LP $285,000.) 2BR/1FB condo. 865 square feet. Fee: $385 per month. Freshly painted, updated kitchen. Listed with Cottage Street Realty. Days on Market: 108
Rock Creek Gardens 2214 Washington Avenue- W-101 — $199,950. 1BR/1FB condo. 690 square feet. Fee: $483 per month. Fresh paint, refinished hardwood flooring and a nicely updated kitchen.Listed with Cottage Street Realty. Days on Market: 111
2213 Washington Avenue 2213 Washington Avenue- #W-203 — $255,800. 1BR/1FB. 709 square feet. Fee: $280 per month. (Orig. LP was $267,800). Beautifully remodeled with sparkling kitchen and shiny bathroom. Pretty cabinets. Lots of sunshine. Not sure why this one is still around? Listed with RE/MAX. Days on Market: 144

To see all Rock Creek Forest listings on a map, please click HERE.

And, if you would prefer to break outside the confines of Rock Creek Forest, take a look at the listings below. We work throughout Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and DC.

Downtown Silver Spring Colonial Village Shepherd Park Takoma Park MD
Chevy Chase MD Chevy Chase DC Bethesda Icon Other Areas

 

Rock Creek Forest MD Homes For Sale 3/7/2014

RCF Yard SnowUpdate for3/7/14: Finally, 2 new listings this week. The new one from last week already under contract. It’s March — this weekend, we’re setting the clocks to summer time, and there’s still snow everywhere!

All homes and condos in this post are currently for sale in the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood. The top of the list features the newest listings, while those at the bottom have been on the market for a while. Marcie and Cati will be updating this post every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming (and check out the date up top… if it’s not current, neither is this information!). While most of these might not be our own listings, we’ve taken the time to inject our opinions on the condition, features, quirks and pricing. Full disclosure: Cati has lived (and sold real estate) in Rock Creek Forest for 8 years (after residing in NW Washington DC for the previous 11 years). (More about why this neighborhood is one of the DC suburbs’ best kept secrets here.) And if you have a question or want to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at anytime!

Single Family Homes:

RCF home for sale NEW. 8019 Ellingson Dr — $1,199,500. 4 BR/3 full and 1 half bath. Terrific 20-year old home with great space and colorful vibes. Steps from Rock Creek Park, 2 blocks to Candy Cane City or stables. Listed with Long & Foster. (Photo courtesy of MRIS.) Days on Market: 0
 RCF townhouse for sale NEW. 2038 Derby Ridge Ln. $469,500. 3 BR/3 full and 1 half bath townhouse. Lovely home with renovated kitchen and other upgrades; FP; French doors to patio; backs to Rock Creek Park.  Listed with Abaris Realty. (Photo courtesy of MRIS.) Days on Market: 3
Rock Creek Forest Rambler for sale 8610 Grubb Rd —  REDUCED by $24k to $575,000. 5BR/2FB rambler right across from a park and the RCF Pool and Tennis Club. Steps to the Capital Crescent Trail. Move in condition. Renovated kitchen. Newer roof, gutters and windows. Nice deck out back. Listed with Coldwell Banker. Days on Market: 87

There also are two single family homes on the market for rent at the moment, for $2,550 and $2,895/month. Both are 3 bedroom ramblers.

Condos:

Rock Creek Gardens 2210 Washington Avenue- W-203 —  $274,900. (Original LP $285,000.) 2BR/1FB condo. 865 square feet. Fee: $385 per month. One of the larger units. Freshly painted, updated kitchen. Listed with Cottage Street Realty. Days on Market: 101
Rock Creek Gardens 2214 Washington Avenue- W-101 — $199,950. 1BR/1FB condo. 690 square feet. Fee: $483 per month. Fresh paint, refinished hardwood flooring and a nicely updated kitchen.Listed with Cottage Street Realty. Days on Market: 104
2213 Washington Avenue 2213 Washington Avenue- #W-203 — $255,800. 1BR/1FB. 709 square feet. Fee: $280 per month. (Orig. LP was $267,800). Beautifully remodeled with sparkling kitchen and shiny bathroom. Pretty cabinets. Lots of sunshine. Not sure why this one is still around? Listed with RE/MAX. Days on Market: 137

To see all Rock Creek Forest listings on a map, please click HERE.

And, if you would prefer to break outside the confines of Rock Creek Forest, take a look at the listings below. We work throughout Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and DC.

Downtown Silver Spring Colonial Village Shepherd Park Takoma Park MD
Chevy Chase MD Chevy Chase DC Bethesda Icon Other Areas

 

Rock Creek Forest MD Homes For Sale 2/28/2014

Rock Creek Forest sunset before snow stormUpdate for 2/28/14: It’s — still!!! — so cold outside. The spring market keeps us waiting, doesn’t it? One new listing. One price reduction. One new contract.

All homes and condos in this post are currently for sale in the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood. The top of the list features the newest listings, while those at the bottom have been on the market for a while. Marcie and Cati will be updating this post every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming (and check out the date up top… if it’s not current, neither is this information!). While most of these might not be our own listings, we’ve taken the time to inject our opinions on the condition, features, quirks and pricing. Full disclosure: Cati has lived (and sold real estate) in Rock Creek Forest for 8 years (after residing in NW Washington DC for the previous 11 years). (More about why this neighborhood is one of the DC suburbs’ best kept secrets here.) And if you have a question or want to chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at anytime!

Single Family Homes:

Split level on Blaine NEW. 2306 Blaine Dr — $740,000. 3 BR/2 full and 1 half bath. Despite the unassuming exterior, a very light and lofty mid-century style home in nice shape.  Listed with Redfin. Days on Market: 1
Rock Creek Forest Rambler for sale 8610 Grubb Rd —  JUST REDUCED by $24k to $575,000. 5BR/2FB rambler right across from a park and the RCF Pool and Tennis Club. Steps to the Capital Crescent Trail. Move in condition. Renovated kitchen. Newer roof, gutters and windows. Nice deck out back. Listed with Coldwell Banker. Days on Market: 80

There also are two single family homes on the market for rent at the moment, for $2,700 and $2,895/month. Both are 3 bedroom ramblers.

Condos:

Rock Creek Gardens 2210 Washington Avenue- W-203 —  $274,900. (Original LP $285,000.) 2BR/1FB condo. 865 square feet. Fee: $385 per month. One of the larger units. Freshly painted, updated kitchen. Listed with Cottage Street Realty. Days on Market: 94
Rock Creek Gardens 2214 Washington Avenue- W-101 — $199,950. 1BR/1FB condo. 690 square feet. Fee: $483 per month. Fresh paint, refinished hardwood flooring and a nicely updated kitchen.Listed with Cottage Street Realty. Days on Market: 97
2213 Washington Avenue 2213 Washington Avenue- #W-203 — $255,800. 1BR/1FB. 709 square feet. Fee: $280 per month. (Orig. LP was $267,800). Beautifully remodeled with sparkling kitchen and shiny bathroom. Pretty cabinets. Lots of sunshine. Not sure why this one is still around? Listed with RE/MAX. Days on Market: 130

To see all Rock Creek Forest listings on a map, please click HERE.

And, if you would prefer to break outside the confines of Rock Creek Forest, take a look at the listings below. We work throughout Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and DC.

Downtown Silver Spring Colonial Village Shepherd Park Takoma Park MD
Chevy Chase MD Chevy Chase DC Bethesda Icon Other Areas