Greater Bethesda Get’s A Life & Green

Yep, that’s right, GreaterBethesdaOnline and (our Greater Bethesda homes / lifestyle hub) has had gone Green.

Updated July 29th, 2015:  Special thanks to the venerable Knox Richards, one of the premier webmasters, for re-theming “GBO” :-)?  Note, I had to change this theme but I miss it!  However, we’re moving to a more infromation-centric property and neighborhood guide (it’s been 5 years!):  

New home search tools come with the new colors – see the new “Life Search” tab.  Let me know what you think? Any feedback on color?  🙂  Please feel free to weigh in on any search features or data you wish was more available.

Please get as creative as you’d like 🙂  I’ll do my best to oblige (within reason!)  I’d have to ask programming what “reasonable is so all ideas are welcome with open arms!  feature you wish you wish was available.  Or something you having seen.  had wish you could  property searches…in the mean time, enjoy some pictures!  Have great Sundays!

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Downtown Bethesda Summer Events 2011

Summer is just around the corner – let the Downtown Bethesda event planning begin!

Downtown Bethesda Summer Events
Downtown Bethesda Summer Event 2011

Bethesda will be kicking off the season with a slew of family friendly activities, starting with Imagination Bethesda on June 4th. The 17th annual arts celebration features live entertainment and hands-on activities like face painting, arts & crafts and sing-alongs with live performers. The Little Maestros, the Funny Guy, and Mutts Gone Nuts are just a few names of performers who will take the stage from 11am to 4pm.

Woodmont Avenue and Elm Street, the urban core of Downtown Bethesda, will be lined with tents all day (21 in total!) featuring local interactive businesses like Audubon Naturalist Society, Bethesda Magazine, Gymboree Play & Music… the list goes on! The event is open and free to
families all day.

Downtown Bethesda Artist Market

The following weekend is the now famed Downtown Bethesda Artist Market on June 11th (and also on July 9th) Bethesda will be the center exhibit for local art with the Bethesda Artist Market. Located on Norfolk Avenue, 25 local and regional artists will sell their paintings, jewelry, and other fine crafts throughout the day’s event, accompanied by live music. The public can enjoy the sounds of Soul, Indie, Jazz, Folk, Light Rock and Pop music from local faves.

Movie Night in Woodmont Triangle (“old” Downtown Bethesda”)!

Toward the end of July from the 26th to the 30th, still on Norfolk Avenue, the public can watch all-time favorite movies for free, right on the lawn. Stars on the Avenue will feature The Breakfast Club, Rocky, and the Social Network for the 7th annual outdoor movie series, with show times beginning at 9pm. Movie-goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs for comfort – there will be limited seats available!

Want a to stay current on the “Downtown Bethesda Grapevine”,  follow me on Facebook, Twitter…or any combination there of!

Greater Bethesda Is Real Estate Rebound town USA?

Bethesda Real Estate Rebound Town USA?

This will come to no surprise to those of us who live in or around Bethesda, but in cased you missed it, Forbes published the results from a recent “Local Market Monitor (aka LMM), (just another real estate research firm who Forbes put to the task). Some of the other notables included San Diego, Washington DC, San Jose, Austin.

Bethesda Is A County & Another Town?…

Edgemoor, Bethesda Home
A Bethesda home in The Prestigious Edgemoor Neighborhood

…According to LMM, yes we are…I’ll explain, but at its core:  “number crunchers + “talking heads” – “knowledge of area”  =  gross inaccuracies.

I’m just not a fan of news pretending to be news.  Is there value (and some accuracy) with some areas on this list?  I think so.  I know many Austin agents who are seeing uptick and the current median price seems on track.  But the Greater Bethesda area and Washington DC is more difficult to “define”.

As I started reviewing metrics used to determine Bethesda a “real estate rebound capitols” (I thought we were already doing okay by the way!), I noticed some “issues” off the bat.

Let’s review…

“500,000 residents or more”:

Ermmm, Bethesda may be inching towards 60,000, but I live here and I’d be pretty sure if we had another 400,000+ residents.

“…unemployment and job growth rates, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

…And That’s Where Bethesda Became GREATER…Way Too GREATER

I found aforementioned Bureau of Labor Statistics data and think I found where Forbes/LMM Started to fail Bethesda…Miserably

Per Bureau of Labor Statistics January 4th 2011 release…

“The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan divisions were posted in Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md. (+2.1 percent)”

And this is where it appears “Bethesda was also another City/Town (Rockville) and another County (Frederick)!” This would explain our “population influx” and a reported “Bethesda Median Home Price” of $384,775.

I’m going to save the research for market reports — but for those of you who live out of the area, approximate median home values in Bethesda is  over $700,000.

Combining two “towns” and one County to define Bethesda..Really? 🙂 — I’m truly smiling as I write this…especially at the thought of exactly how much Forbes paid “The” Local Market Monitor.

Just a kind reminder that even The Forbes’ of the world can be ohhh so far off — (I’d actually call it irresponsibly inaccurate). — so trust the Micro-Markets and local analysis. The rest is just fluff.

Bethesda Needs a W Residence and Hotel

The Rise of Hotel / Condo Bethesda Lifestyle?

Well not in reality…yet.  And yes, with so man Bethesda condos in the pipeline, do we need…can we absorb another? — that always always depends on timing and location.  A boutique hotel with a few residential condo units would be a perfect match for Downtown Bethesda.  Whatever, whenever is the W’s slogan right?  Well now we have the “wherever”…

The W Residences Not In Bethesda
The W Residences in every city But DC?

Washington DC isn’t “W Hotel free” — situated at 515 15th Street NW,  President Obama could take a few minute stroll to Washington DC’s W.  But I’m talking about W Hotel and Residences.

My argument (and I’m right!):  Every area has slightly different housing needs — and if there’s one type of property the Bethesda area is begging for, it’s the 2000 sq. ft.+ luxury condo.  In this particular case, I picture a Boutique W, with approximately 40 hotels rooms and 30 residences…all 2000-5000+ square foot units (the residences, that is).  The upscale Hotel / Residence is the opitome of the “lock and leave” convenience, with resort style living.

The only other comparable Hotel/Residence in the DC Metro area is The Georgetown, DC Residences at Ritz Carlton …and what did we learn from those 28 units?….

When you actually build products that the public is demanding (think baby boomers with money), they sell…regardless of the market.  This past March wasn’t a wonderful time for Washinton DC real estate but that didn’t stop one of the Penthouse units at the Georgetown Ritz to sell for over $7M…a record for a DC condo.

I know the prices and condo fees that would come with a Residence/Hotel would stretch most Washingtonian’s pocket book.  But if you built it in downtown Bethesda, they would most certainly come…