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Old Line Properties, LLC

361 Main Street,
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Phone: (301) 926-0999

(301) 602-3904

meredith@meredithfogle.com

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Bethesda, MD


Bethesda, MD

Bethesda is a census-designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House (1820, rebuilt 1849), which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda. (In Aramaic, beth hesda means "House of Mercy" and in Hebrew, "bait" "chesed" means "House of Kindness".) The National Institutes of Health main campus and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center are in Bethesda, as are a number of corporate and government headquarters.

Bethesda is one of the most affluent and highly educated communities in the country, placing first in Forbes list of America's most educated small towns and first on CNNMoney.com's list of top-earning American towns. In April 2009, Forbes ranked Bethesda second on its list of "America's Most Livable Cities." In October 2009, based on education, income, health, and fitness, Total Beauty ranked Bethesda first on its list of the U.S.'s "Top 10 Hottest-Guy Cities."

As an unincorporated area, Bethesda has no official boundaries. The United States Census Bureau defines a Census-Designated Place named Bethesda whose center is located at 38°59' North, 77°7' West. The United States Geological Survey has defined Bethesda as an area whose center is at 38°58′50″N 77°6′2″W, slightly different from the Census Bureau's definition. Other definitions are used by the Bethesda Urban Planning District, the United States Postal Service (which defines Bethesda to comprise the zip codes 20810, 20811, 20813, 20814, 20815, 20816, and 20817), and other organizations. According to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, the community had a total population of 60,858. Most of Bethesda's residents are in Maryland Legislative District 16.

Bethesda is situated along a major thoroughfare that was originally the route of an ancient Native American trail. Between 1805 and 1821, it was developed into a toll road called the Washington and Rockville Turnpike, which carried tobacco and other products between Georgetown and Rockville, and north to Frederick. A small settlement grew around a store and tollhouse along the turnpike. By 1862, the community was known as "Darcy's Store" after the owner of a local establishment, William E. Darcy. The settlement was renamed in 1871 by the new postmaster, Robert Franck, after the Bethesda Meeting House, a Presbyterian church built in 1820 on the present site of the Cemetery of the Bethesda Meeting House. The church burnt in 1849 and was rebuilt the same year about 100 yards south at its present site.

Throughout most of the 19th century, Bethesda was a small crossroads village, consisting of a post office, a blacksmith shop, a church and school, and a few houses and stores. It was not until the installation of a streetcar line in 1890 and the beginnings of suburbanization in the early 1900s that Bethesda began to grow in population. Subdivisions began to appear on old farmland, becoming the neighborhoods of Drummond, Woodmont, Edgemoor, and Battery Park. Further north, several wealthy men made Rockville Pike famous for its mansions. These included Brainard W. Parker ("Cedarcroft", 1892), James Oyster ("Strathmore", 1899), George E. Hamilton ("Hamilton House", 1904; now the Stone Ridge School), Luke I. Wilson ("Tree Tops", 1926), Gilbert Grosvenor ("Wild Acres", 1928–29), and George Freeland Peter ("Stone House", 1930). In 1930, Dr Armistead Peter's pioneering manor house "Winona" (1873) became the clubhouse of the original Woodmont Country Club (on land that is now part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus). Merle Thorpe's mansion, "Pook's Hill" (1927, razed 1948) — on the site of the current neighborhood of the same name — became the home-in-exile of the Norwegian Royal Family during World War II.

That war, and the expansion of government that it created, further fed the rapid expansion of Bethesda. Both the National Naval Medical Center (1940–42) and the NIH complex (1948) were built just to the north of the developing downtown. This, in turn, drew further government contractors, medical professionals, and other businesses to the area. In recent years, Bethesda has consolidated as the major urban core and employment center of southwestern Montgomery County. This recent growth has been significantly vigorous following the expansion of Metrorail with a station in Bethesda in 1984. Alan Kay built the Bethesda Metro Center over the Red line metro rail which opened up further commercial and residential development around the surrounding vicinity.
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Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 55,277 people, 23,659 households, and 14,455 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,205.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,624.2/km²). There were 24,368 housing units at an average density of 1,854.1 per square mile (716.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.86% White, 2.67% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 7.92% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 2.11% from two or more races. 5.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,659 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.

Bethesda is a very wealthy and well-educated area. According to the 2000 Census, Bethesda was the best-educated city in the United States of America with a population of 50,000 or more. 79% of residents 25 or older have bachelor's degrees and 49% have graduate or professional degrees. According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the CDP was $117,723, and the median income for a family was $168,385. Males had a median income of $84,797 versus $57,569 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $58,479. About 1.7% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over. Many commute to Washington D.C. for work. The average price of a four bedroom, two bath home in Bethesda in 2010 was $806,817 (which ranks it as the twentieth most expensive community in America).

Bethesda is often associated with its neighboring communities, Potomac, Maryland, Chevy Chase, Maryland, Great Falls, Virginia, and McLean, Virginia for their similar demographics. In 2009, Self magazine ranked Bethesda as the second healthiest place for women in the country, a year after being ranked number one. As of 2009, 8 Pulitzer Prize winners live in Bethesda, as do several well-known political commentators (including George Will, David Brooks, and Tom Friedman).
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Bethesda real estate is home to a number of major employers, from the corporate headquarters of Marriott International and Lockheed Martin to the National Institutes of Health and Bethesda Naval Hospital. And because the city is so easy to get to, via the Bethesda and Medical Center stations on Metro's red line, many commuters prefer Bethesda real estate.

Bethesda's youths, meanwhile, are served by an excellent public school system, which includes Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Walt Whitman High School, and Walter Johnson High School. As a result, Bethesda real estate is eminently popular among families with school-age children. With its ample amenities, wide variety of housing options, proximity to Washington, D.C., and accessibility via Metro, Bethesda real estate is arguably the area's most desirable.

Bethesda is home to a few small, specialized schools, but it is located approximately 14 miles away from Washington, D.C., affording Bethesda residents many post-secondary educational opportunities. In fact, there are seven large universities within a 10-mile radius of Bethesda, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of disciplines.

Bethesda itself is a wonderful hub for restaurants and shopping. In fact, it receives thousands of visitors every weekend. Residents who want to visit D.C. can simply get on the commuter train and zip on over. Washington, D.C. is a national tourist destination and can keep visitors on the go for weeks. Other attractions in Bethesda include the Dennis & Phillip Ratner Museum, McCrillis Gardens and Gallery and the National Library of Medicine. Bethesda also has a reservoir and several parks for enjoyment.