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They’re HERE! – Paczki at the Woodmoor Bakery

Powdered PazckiTuesday before Lent is a time to indulge or Fatten up before tightening belts and giving up things for Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday.  It is the Fat Tuesday associated with Mardi Gras and it is the Shrove Tuesday associated with Pancake Suppers or Pancake Day.

This coming Tuesday March 4th, 2014 is also Paczki Day, a Polish tradition of making and
eating Paczki the day before Lent starts.

The best place to get Paczki in Silver Spring, is at the Woodmoor Bakery/Pastry Shop in the Woodmoor Shopping Center at Four Corners.  They make the BEST Paczki anywhere in the area.  They are the filled, rolled in powdered sugar type paczki and they are GOOD.

The Woodmoor Bakery started making them a week ago – so they have them NOW!   I’ve waited until  Fat Tuesday morning to get Paczki and there were only 3 left.   You’ll get the best selection if you go at least a few days before Fat Tuesday and you’ll avoid the lines.

Check out reviews of the Bakery and the Paczki at the Woodmoor Pastry Shop.

Woodmoor Bakery
10127 Colesville Road
Woodmoor Shopping Center
Silver Spring, MD 20901
(301) 593-7667

* The Woodmoor Pastry Shop also makes fantastic King Cakes for Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Celebrations

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Takoma Park MD – A HOT! Real Estate Market in 2013

Founded in 1883, by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert, Takoma Park was developed as a “summer resort” area, as a healthful alternative to Washington, DC’s malarial swamps.  With a population of approximately 18,000 it rests along the upper northeast boundary of D.C.   Takoma Park in Montgomery County has it’s own city government, police department, library and is served by Montgomery County Schools

Takoma Park is a perfect ”bedroom community” for professionals.  It is a 15 minute commute to the middle of Downtown D.C. by Metro from the
Takoma Station on the Red Line.

Takoma Park is a friendly “laid back”, independent, small town with liberal politics. The residents are politically active and have put in place a number of progressive measures such as the declaration of a nuclear-free zone
Low Sales Price 2013 - Takoma Park Rambler
Takoma Park is one the HOTTEST Pockets of Real Estate in the DC Metro Area!
In 2013 there were 159 sales of Single Family Detached homes in Takoma Park, Montgomery County, Maryland:

The Average LIST price for a single family home in Takoma Park in 2013 was $526,597
UP $68,722 from (2012) last year.

The Average SOLD price for a single family home in Takoma Park in 2013 was $531,386

UP $89,564 from 2012 and The Average Sold Price for a home is over the average asking price.

Highest Sales Price 2013 Takoma Park BungalowIn 2013 the Average Days on the Market for a single family home in Takoma Park, MD was 43

Selling 14 days faster than last year

LOWEST Sale Price -   $152,000 for a 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath, 2 Level  Brick Rambler - A “Short Sale” built in 1941.

HIGHEST Sale Price -  $1,282,000  for a 5 Bedroom, 3 & 1/2 Bath Arts and Crafts Bungalow inspired by the Pasadena Gamble House built in 2006 on a parklike double lot.

Search all
Homes for Sale Now in Takoma Park, Maryland, 20912

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Silver Spring Home Sales Prices – Annual Review 2013

Silver  Spring is a huge unincorporated area of Montgomery County, Maryland with 7 zip codes that use the name “Silver Spring” as a postal address.   Silver Spring spreads way out from the Washington, DC border at Downtown Silver Spring to the east touching Prince Georges County,  Md.,  to the north touching Howard County, Md and to the west/northwest  touching Bethesda,  Rockville,  Kensington and Rock Creek Park in DC and Maryland.

Each of the 7 zip code areas that make up Silver Spring, has it’s own unique characteristics, identity, flavor and housing types.  The zip codes in Silver Spring are:  20901 (4 Corners Area), 20902 (some times called Wheaton),  20903 ( Hillandale and Burnt Mills Areas), 20904 (sometimes called the White Oak or  Colesville  areas),  20905 (Ashton, Spencerville, Cloverly  or Greater Silver Spring areas),  20906 (Aspen Hill, Leisure World) and lastly 20910 (Inside Beltway, Downtown Silver Spring).

2013 Annual Property Sales in Silver Spring, Maryland (All 7 Zip Codes)
According to the Multiple Listing Service – MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information System):

Highest Condo Sale in Silver Spring 2013

There were 507 Condos Sold in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2013
Lowest Sales Price for a Condo –  $40,000 for a 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Condominium ( in need of total rehab) in the Bel Pre Condo Development, Silver Spring zip 20906.
Highest Sales Price for a Condo –  $820,000 for a 3 Bedroom, 3 Full Bath, 2 Level Condo in a Newly Restored Historic Arts and Crafts Style Building –  The National Park Seminary – Silver Spring zip 20910.

Search all Condos for Sale in Silver Spring, Maryland

Highest town house sold 2013 in Silver Spring MD
Town Homes

There were 440 Town Houses Sold in Silver Spring in 2013
Lowest Sales Price for a Town House –  $128,000 for a 2 Bedroom 2 Bath Town Home, a Short Sale built in 1984 in the Avonshire Townhome Development, 20904
Highest Sold Price for a Town House –  $675,000 for a 3 Bedroom 3 1/2 Bath Craftsman Style Townhouse with 2 car garage built in 2008 in Forest Glen Park – National Park Seminary Development,  Silver Spring zip 20910

Search all Town Homes for Sale in Silver Spring, Maryland

Highest Sold Single Family House Silver Spring 2013Single Family Homes

There werre 1544 Single Family Detatched Homes Sold in Silver Spring in 2013
Lowest Sales Price for a Single Family House –  $135,000 for a 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath, One Level Brick Ranch Style House built in 1951, a Short Sale House in the Weisman Subdivision, Silver Spring zip 20902
Highest Sales Price for a Single Family House –  $1,065,000 for a 4 Bedroom, 3 1/2 Bath. Turreted  Romantic Queen Anne Victorian Style New Home built in 2012, 3 Levels with 2 Car Garage in Woodside Park, Downtown Silver Spring, zip 20910

Search all Single Family Detached Homes for Sale in Silver Spring, Maryland

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Levittown in Silver Spring – Strathmore at Bel Pre Homes

Strathmore Bel Pre LogoLevitt and Sons (of Levittown Fame) built this wonderful neighborhood of single family houses starting in 1967.  In the late 60’s these new home were considered the upscale “luxury homes” of the time.  An interesting history of the Strathmore at Bel Pre neighborhood and all the other Levitt communities can be found on the Levittown and Beyond Website.

The spacious homes are set on larger than average lots.  Most of the lots in Strathmore at Bel Pre are well over 10,000 square feet and some go up to over an acre in size.  The homes have generous setbacks and rolling terrain with curved streets and many cul de sacs with a landscaped center island at the end.  Unlike older subdivsions in the Silver Spring area, Strathmore Bel Pre has underground utilties.  There are no overhead wires to spoil the landscape or cause power outages.

Srathmore Bel Pre has a very active civic association.  The neighborhood has plenty of open park, picnic and play areas.  There is a Swim and Tennis Club for the use of residents.  The Bel Pre Recreation Association (BPRA) is the governing body for the Strathmore Home Owners Association and HOA annual fee is an incredibly low $225 per year.

Rambler strathThere were 4 styles of houses originally built in 1968.  All of the homes came with 2 car garages and hardwood floors. There were options for a basement, fireplace and conversation pit.

There were 545 homes built by Levitt and Sons between 1968 and 1973.

Original 1968 Levitt House Models:

The Judson – Large Ranch or Rambler Style House

The Endicott – Classic Colonial Style 2 Story

The Trent – Modern Dutch Colonial 2 Story

The Fairfield – Farmhouse Style Cape Cod 1 1/2 story

Endicott Model in Strathmore Bel Pre - Silver Spring2 Larger Models with more amenities were added in 1970:

The Embassy – Center Hall Colonial with circular staircase, bay windows and exposed beam ceilings

The Blair – California Ranch with Atrium entrance courtyard and optional conversation pit!

There were 545 homes built by Levitt and Sons between
1968 and 1973.

Levitt and Sons sold the last 250+ lots to a local builder the early 80’s so there are newer homes that were built in the mid 1980’s and later.

Strathmore Bel Pre is located in the northern part of Silver Spring, sometimes called “Aspen Hill” in the Silver Spring Md zip code area 20906.  The neighborhood is bisected by a beautiful wooded preserve.  The Matthew Henson Park and Trail runs through it.

Trent Model House in Strathmore Bel Pre - Silver SpringThe borders of Strathmore at Bel Pre are roughly:  Bel Pre Road to the East, Layhill Road to the South, Georgia Ave on the west and Gate of Heaven Cemetery & Hewitt Ave to the North.

The closest Metro Station is the Glenmont Station on Metro’s Red Line.

Montgomery County Public Schools serving the Srathmore Bel Pre Neighborhood:

There are 3 elementary schools within the borders of the subdivision:

Bel Pre Elementary School – Pre K to 2nd Grade
Strathmore Elementary School – 3rd Grade to 5th Grade
Georgian Forest Elementary School

Colonial in Strathmore at Bel PreThe location (street and number) of the house within the neighborhood will determine which one the of the 3 schools a child living at the address will attend.  The assignment can be found at the Montgomery CountySchoolAssignment Locator Link.

Middle School – Part of the Middle School Magnet Consortium (MSMC) Argyle part of the Magnet Program

Argyle Middle School

High School – Part of the Down County High School Consortium (DCC) Kennedy Part of the DCC Choice Schools

Kennedy High School

Real Estate Home Sales in Strathmore Bel Pre – YTD 2013

California Style Atrium Ranch in Strathmore Bel Pre - Silver Spring MD38 Listings Sold

Average List Price – $430,711
Average Sold Price – $426,588

Lowest Sales Price – $312,000 ( Foreclosure Sale of a 3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1 level rambler on an 18,751 square foot lot – built in 1968)

Highest Sales Price – $559,000 (A 5 Bedroom, 3 1/2 Bath 3 Level Brick Colonial built in 1987 on a 14,000 square foot lot)

Average Days on Market for Homes in Stathmore Bel Pre in 2013 – 26

See all Homes currently for sale in Strathmore Bel Pre Silver Spring Md 20906

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Silver Spring Pumpkin Patch Opens this Weekend!

Silver Spring Boy Scout Pumpkin PatchThe Silver Spring Boy Scout Troop 209 Pumpkin Patch is Opening this weekend.  This annual pumpkin patch always has a good selection of Pumpkins.

The location is on the side lawn of  Woodside Methodist Church at the edge of Downtown Silver Spring.

Boy Scout Troop 209 is Silver Spring’s Oldest Boy Scout Troop.   The troop has been in existence since the 1930’s at this same Silver Spring Location.

Buy a pumpkin and Support Boy your Local Silver Spring Scout Troop 209.
All proceeds go to the troop’s financial aid fund, making sure that all scouts can participate in the troops many activities.   Besides, it’s much more fun to go to a Pumpkin Patch than just picking up a pumpkin at the grocery store!

Woodside United Methodist Church
8900 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Located at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Ballard Street,
1 block north of Spring Street.

*A word of advice – Don’t wait till the last minute to buy your pumpkin!  This pumpkin patch is very popular and tends sell out and close up way before the end of October.

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Naples Manor – Silver Spring Real Estate and Home Sales

Old Bonifant Farm House in Naples Manor - Circa 1860'sIn 1951, Carmon Robert Naples MD (a Doctor practicing in Silver Spring)and his wife Eleanor E Naples purchased a 237 acre farm with a circa 1860’s farm house from the Bonifant Family.

The old farm house, on a little over 3 acres was sold as a residence and still stands as a private residence on Bonifant Road today.

Some of the acreage was sold to the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission for conservation of Northwest Branch Park. Another part of the acreage became the National Trolley Museum.

The house and the rest of the surrounding acreage became the subdivision of Naples Manor.  There are 378 single family detatched homes in Naples Manor.  The first homes were built in 1982 and building continued into the mid 1990’s.  Most of the homes in Naples Manor were built in the mid 1980’s.
Brick Split Level in Naples Manor Silver Spring
The setting for Naples Manor Homes is rolling green, wooded countryside.  The subdivision is adjacent to the much larger older subdivision of Stonegate.  The community shares many of the same ammenities of Stonegate such as the Swim Club and is part of the Stonegate Citizens Association.  For the most part, the homes in Naples Manor are larger and newer than the houses in Stonegate.

Northwest Branch Park

National Capital Trolley Museum
Stonegate Park
Stonegate Swim Club

Colonial Style Home Naples Manor - Silver Spring MdPublic Schools for Naples Manor Subdivision

Elementary – Stonegate Elementary
Middle School – William H. Farquhar Middle School
High School – James Hubert Blake High School

Naples Manor Real Estate Sales – June 2012 – June 2013

10 Homes were Sold

Average List Price – $543,856
Average Sold Price – $526,656
Low Sale Price – $430,000 for a 4 Bedroom 2 1/2 Bath Colonial Built in 1985
High Sales Price – $650,000 for a 4 Bedroom 4 1/2 Bath Colonial with a 3 Car Garage Built in 1986
Average Days on Market – 76

Search Homes Currently for Sale in Naples Manor and Stonegate Silver Spring, MD

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Takoma Park MD July 4th Parade and Fireworks

This July Fourth celebration is one of the oldest in the nation.  Takoma takoma gazeboPark Maryland is an artsy enclave with tree lined avenues and Victorian Homes, the perfect setting for an annual patriotic Independence Day parade.  This celebration is one of the oldest in the nation and the Takoma Park Community has had 123 years of practice!

On Thursday July 4th 2013, enjoy what people living in Silver Spring and Takoma Park have have been enjoying for the past 123 years.   This will be the 124 th annual Takoma Park 4th of July Celebration. 

The parade lasts for 2 hours. The parade starts at 10:00 am beginning at Carroll & Ethan Allen Avenues, travels south on Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue, goes right on to Ritchie Avenue where parade disbands.
There will be food vendors at Memorial Park (corner of Maple and Philadelphia Avenue).
The Takoma Metro Station is within 1 block of the start of the parade route.

Evening Events and Fireworks - Starts at 7:00 pm
Takoma Park Middle School – 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, Md 20912     

Master of Ceremonies: Jared Garelick

The Mystic Warriors (Andean Music)
Acro-Airs – Washington Adventist University Gymnastics Team
Takoma Park Community Concert Band
Announcement of Parade Winners
Greetings from the Mayor – Bruce Williams
Drawing for Raffle Prizes
National Anthem – David Goette

Fireworks at 9:30 pm by Bay Fireworks!

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Silver Spring Pools and Swim Clubs Now Open for Summer 2013

Memorial Day Weekend has come and the various Silver Spring Neighborhood and Community Pools are now OPEN for the season! With school out and the mercury rising, a neighborhood swimming pool is the perfect place to while away those hot, humid summer days we have here in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Community spirit, the roar of the crowd and the excitement of youthful competition all combine at a neighborhood swim meet. What better way to spend a summer evening than gathering around your local pool in a group effort to be part of an event that promotes fellowship and fun.  Swim Teams in Community Pools of Silver Spring , compete as division members of the Montgomery County Swim League(MCSL).  Being a member of a swim team in Silver Spring is a great way for kids to make friends at the pool, share a teambuilding experience, and compete in a healthy, active sport over the summer.  Some of the pools also have Dive Teams that compete in the Montgomery County Diving League.

Most of the Pools in Silver Spring  offer great Family Oriented Social Events such as Pool Camp Out night, Ice cream socials, pizza night, teen night, family movie night, float night, talent shows and more.

Check out this list of links to some of the best Silver Spring Neighborhood Pools and Swim Clubs:

Northwest Branch Pool – Home of the Northwest Branch Dolphins Swim Team

Glenwood Recreation Club – Home of the Glenwood Tigers Swim Team and Twin Farms Pool Fairland Road Silver Spring MdDiveTeam

Calverton Swim Club – Home of the Calverton Chargers – Also has a Dive Team, Volleyball League, Horseshoes and Basketball Court

Forest Knolls Pool – Home of the Seahawks Swim Team

Daleview Pool – Home of the Daleview Swim Team

Franklin Knolls Pool – Home of the Gators Swim Team

Hillandale Swim and Tennis Association – Home of the Hillandale Hellcats Swim Team - Also offers 2 Lighted Tennis Courts, a practice wall and Tennis Camp

Oakview Pool – Home of the Oakview Octopi Swim Team – The Oakview Pool was the first community pool in Montgomery County and celebrated  its 50th year in 2007

West Hillandale Pool Silver Spring, MdWest Hillandale Swim Club – Home of the Dolphins Swim Team

Twin Farms Swim & Tennis Club – Home of the Twin Farms Tigers Swim Team, Dive Team, Tennis Team and Tennis Camp

Robin Hood Swim Club – Home of the Robin Hood Swim Team – Also has a Dive Team and Tennis Team

Kemp Mill Swim Club – Home of the Kemp Mill Kangaroos

Parkland Swim Club – Home of the Parkland Whales
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the commerical area just off of Arcola Avenue. this is one of the oldest Montgomery County Swimming Pools.
Beautiful Setting with mature shade  trees near Wheaton Regional Park and Sligo Creek Park.

Tanglewood Community Swim Center - Home of the Tanglewood Tigers Swim Team – This community center is located in the middle of the Tanglewood neighborhood and includes a large open field, playground and tennis courts

Connecticut Belair Swim and Tennis Club – Home of the Connecticut Belair Gators. This Swim and Tennis Club has recently been fully renovated and is spectacular.  Lots of water fun here with big slides and raft day on Saturdays.

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Franklin Knolls – Mid Century Modern Silver Spring Neighborhood

Eastern Middle School - Franklin Knolls Silver SpringFranklin Knolls is a subdivison of single family homes in Silver Spring, Md.  Homes in Franklin Knolls were built in the mid to late 1950’s throuh the mid 1960’s.  The majority of homes are the large, family sized split levels, ramblers and split foyers (bi-levels) that were very popular styles during the early 1960’s.  The lots sizes are larger than the average homes built in Silver Spring.

Franklin Knolls has it’s own Swim Club and Pool situated on 2 and 1/2 Acres nestled at the back edge border of the neighborhood in Northwest Branch Park.  Eastern Middle School is an impressive Building seen from University  Blvd at the entrance to the Franklin Knolls Subdivision.

The Franklin Knolls Community is entered off of University Blvd bordered by the Capitol Beltway (495) and Northwest Branch Park.  Located at a Beltway exit makes commuting and traveling anywhere in the DC Metro area pretty easy from this Split Level in Franklin Knolls Silver Spring MDneighborhood.

Woodsmoor Shopping Center
Shops and The Four Corners Pub at Four Corners
Four Corners Safeway
Montgomery Blair High School
Northwest Branch Park
Sligo Creek Park
Long Branch Park

Public Schools serving Franklin Knollls
Elementary - Montgomery Knolls – Pre K to 2nd Grade
Elementary - Pincrest Elementary – 3rd to 5th Grade
Middle School - Eastern Middle School – 6th to 8th Grade
High School – Montgomery Blair High School – 9th to 12 Grade
Bi-Level Style House Franklin Knolls Silver Spring Down County High School Consortium – Choice Process Schools: Blair HS, Northwood HS, Einstein HS, Kennedy HS or Wheaton HS

Home Sales Prices and Real Estate Market Report for 2012
Franklin Knolls has 470 Single Family Homes
14 Homes Sold in Franklin Knolls in 2012
Average List Price in 2012 – $349,471
Average Sold Price in 2012 – $343,434
Low Sales Price – $205,000 for a 3 Bedroom 1 and 1/2 Bath 2 Level Rambler built in 1951 and in need of total rehabilitation.
High Sales Price – $497,000 for a 3 Bedroom 3 Full Bath 4 Level Split Level built in 1963 on a Rare 1.80 Acre Lot.
Average Days on Market in 2012 for a House in Franklin Knolls was 51 Days

Search all Homes for Sale in Franklin Knolls Silver Spring MD 20901

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March Madness Invented by Silver Spring Resident – Lefty Driesell

Unless you are a big NCAA enthusiast or a University of Maryland “Terrapins ” fan, you may have never heard of Lefty Driesell.  He was the University of Maryland’s Legendary Basketball Coach from 1969 to 1986.  At Maryland, Driesell began the now nationwide tradition of Midnight Madness.

Built in 1968, this very cool, big contemporary split level was the home of Charles “Lefty” Driesell until he sold it and moved in 1988.

Lefty Driesell House in Silver Spring MD

This unique custom built home is on a short, no-thru street in the subdivision known as Valleybrook. The home is set on a densely wooded 1/2 acre within walking distance to Springbrook High School.

The bright main level of the house has vaulted ceilings and extra windows everywhere. The home has 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths on the upper level; plus an extra bedroom and full bathroom in the lower level.  The backyard is level and private, it has (of course) a half court basketball court.  The house overlooks Northwest Branch Park.

More on highlights of Lefty’s career and my all time favorite quote from him:

“The Harder you work, the Luckier you get” . . . Lefty Driesell

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