5 Questions to Ask When Looking for a New Home
Featured Article From Leticia Barr of Tech Savvy Mama
When my husband and I were looking to buy a home nearly 20 years ago, there were certain criteria we were looking for but were flexible on others. We had a budget in mind but had some wiggle room. We knew what we loved about the house we were renting but were open-minded about neighborhoods as long as it made the commute to our current, and any future jobs, easy.
Whether you’re thinking about moving or are pretty settled in your current residence, you never know when your current situation may change. The Washington, DC Metro area can feel like a pretty transient one when election cycles make administrations come and go but there are a lot of wonderful neighborhoods with homes that are perfect for first time home buyers looking to start a family, parents relocating in search of better schools, or career-changing professionals.
It can be hard to get a sense of a neighborhood when you first tour an area but the new Chapman Row community in the City of Rockville, Maryland promises to be a great neighborhood for first time home buyers, families, empty nesters, and professionals.
Regardless of where you may be looking to move now or in the future, here are 5 questions to ask when looking for a new home.
How Does It Fit Our Needs Now and in the Future?
When my husband and I were looking to purchase our first home, we wanted a suburban oasis in a walkable community where we could get to know our neighbors but provided easy access to restaurants, nightlife, and cultural offerings in and around Washington, DC.
We wanted a place with flexible spaces that would be fine for the two of us for the time being but could accommodate a future family. Being a teacher, I knew the importance of buying a home in an area with strong neighborhood schools while my husband, who frequently traveled for work, needed easy access to major roads leading to area airports.
Chapman Row’s modern home styles aren’t like the townhomes of the past. There are two brand new different designs of urban townhomes- Granger and Ellison. Each of the two new designs features four full levels and a rooftop terrace. Inside the modern exteriors, homeowners can find 3-bedroom, 2.5-3.5 bathroom units that feature over 2000 square feet of living space and a garage.
The open floor plans are flexible to your lifestyle so an exercise room or guest room could certainly be turned into a nursery. Bedrooms are spacious enough to meet the needs of a growing child.
What’s in the Area?
Driving up the Rockville Pike, it seems to be all commercial but if you veer east or west from 355 you’ll find neighborhoods like Chapman Row tucked behind the shopping areas. Chapman Row is a residential oasis that provides respite from a busy work week but easy access shopping, dining, and public transportation.
The Twinbrook stop on Metro’s Red Line is just two blocks north while Pike & Rose to the south provides restaurants, boutiques, theaters, a weekly farmer’s market, and a wide variety of family-friendly activities for all ages.
The Twinbrook area is also slated to be redeveloped as Twinbrook Quarter, a transit-oriented pedestrian-friendly setting with broad landscaped sidewalks, pedestrian pathways, and a central park that will be the heart of the community.
The 18-acre parcel will feature a mix of commercial and residential buildings, including more great shopping (including Montgomery County’s first Wegmans!), dining, cultural entertainment, and public spaces that incentivize area residents to get outside and enjoy sunlight and fresh air.
With so many things conveniently located to Chapman Row, it’s nice to be able to leave the car in the garage and escape area traffic but if you do need to drive, Chapman Row is minutes away from major roads like the Beltway (495), I-95, and 270.
How are the Schools?
As a classroom teacher, I had my eye on the neighborhood schools when we started to narrow our home search. I wanted a school that had a good reputation, wasn’t bursting at the seams capacity-wise, and a staff that enjoyed being there. These things can be hard to know if you’re new to the area but anyone moving to Montgomery County should take comfort in the strong school system.
Chapman Row is in the Walter Johnson cluster. Walter Johnson (WJ) High School is well known throughout Montgomery County and neighborhoods with schools that feed into WJ are highly sought after by young families. Farmland Elementary and Tilden Middle School feed into WJ and more information about these schools can be found through the Montgomery County Public Schools website. Visit the School Assignment Tool and view information about each school.
Is There a Sense of Community?
The 61 Chapman Row homes are centered around a bosque, a landscaped green space with a covered gazebo and seating. This central feature promotes a close-knit community vibe by providing a way to connect with neighbors in a common green space. Each unit also features a rooftop terrace that’s a perfect place to relax at the end of the day or get together with neighbors and friends.
How Much Work Needs to be Done to Make It Move-In Ready?
While we may love watching HGTV, it can be a different story when it comes to executing what we see on the screen in our own homes. Time, the ages of our kids, and our confidence in our skills can make the difference between wanting to buy a fixer-upper or move into a new home.
Since Chapman Row is brand new, homeowners can enjoy the luxury of move-in ready spaces that are perfect for creating a lifetime of memories inside and out. New construction provides ease of mind and units are outfitted with the latest HomeSmart® automation technology. For more information about smart home technology that comes with Chapman Row homes, visit my post: 5 Ways HomeSmart® Automation Features Make Chapman Row Homes Smarter.
If you’re curious about Chapman Row and want to learn more, visit Chapman Row online where you can view additional details about the features, floor plans, available units, the area, and more! You can also view more photos in my Chapman Row Flickr photo album.
Check out Leticia Barr and her Tech Savvy Mama: Parenting in the Digital Age guide here.
How to visit and enter these homes without an appointment:
- Look for the COME ON IN! sign on a participating home.
- Download and use the NterNow app on your smartphone to get a one-time access code — or simply call the phone number on the sign.
- Enter the access code on the lock and that’s it! Just walk in and enjoy your tour.
- When you’re ready to leave, simply close the door behind you.