Good schools, proximity to the District and a sense of community draw people to the Greater Farmland Civic Association area, and they tend to stay.
Whether they bought their house 50, 20 or two years ago, the residents tend to find the same things appealing.
“They move to the neighborhood for the schools,” said Edward Rich, president of the Greater Farmland Civic Association, situated in an unincorporated section of Montgomery County known as North Bethesda.
Greater Farmland is actually four distinct areas that combined into one civic association in 2013. The area includes 980 single-family homes in four neighborhoods: Old Farm, Tilden Woods, Walnut Woods and Hickory Woods, also known as Montrose Woods.
The houses in Tilden Woods are mostly ramblers, split-levels, bi-levels and some Colonial styles, built between 1962 and 1966 by Community Builders. Kettler Brothers built the houses in Old Farm — mostly Colonials with one-car garages — between 1963 and 1966.
Gruver Cooley, a builder based in Virginia, developed and constructed most of Walnut Woods in 1968, also mostly Colonials with one-car garages. Some of the newer houses have two-car garages. Capitol Homes built others. Columbia Homes built Hickory Woods in the 1980s.
Dorigen Hofmann and her husband, Jon, bought a house in Tilden Woods two years ago. Farmland Elementary School was part of the attraction to the neighborhood.
“We were looking for something that had a great elementary school, a strong neighborhood feel to it and was convenient to his job” at NIH, said Dorigen Hofmann, who works as a portfolio manager from a home office. Another attraction: The houses were priced right for them.
“We’ve loved the elementary school and the neighborhood and community feel,” she said. They had lived in Cleveland Park in the District when they returned to the Washington area eight years ago from Seattle. “We were here after college,” she said, so they knew the area. Once back in the area, they then rented in another nearby neighborhood for three years before buying their house in Tilden Woods. Their daughters — ages 7 and 4 — attend Farmland Elementary.
Trade-offs: Though Dorigen Hofmann likes walkable neighborhoods, the Greater Farmland area is not as walkable as she would like. The trade-off was the schools and the ability to bike.
Residents are able to bike to the White Flint Metro station on the Red Line.
The area is home to longtime Montgomery County residents, younger people who have purchased their parents’ homes, two-income families who work for government agencies and young professionals who work in the biotech corridor.
Rich, who has been president of the combined civic association since its founding, and his wife raised a daughter, now 22, and a son, now 25, in Walnut Woods. They moved into the neighborhood in 1994. “There are no real issues in the neighborhood per se,” he said, but congestion and walkability are concerns in the nearby White Flint area.
According to the White Flint Sector Plan from April 2010, "the success of White Flint as an urban center requires attention to the pedestrian experience. Existing conditions, high volumes of traffic, lack of streetscape, narrow sidewalks, and multiple turning lanes at wide intersections inhibit pedestrian movement."
Rich, a native Washingtonian and member of the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee, said of the sector plan: “It’s a vision for a 30-year process” in its “infancy.”
Recreation and shopping: For Marta Vogel and her husband, Eliot Applestein, living in Tilden Woods means riding their bikes as well as maintaining one car. "You're close to the city but you have all these woods," Vogel said. She likes living near the Kennedy Shriver Aquatics Center at 5900 Executive Blvd., and near Tilden Woods Park, biking to Trader Joe's on Rockville Pike as well as to Pike & Rose, a mixed-use development at 11580 Old Georgetown Rd. It's home to Amp, a music venue as well as retail shopping and residential development, and is still being developed.
A number of supermarkets are nearby on Rockville Pike. Some people shop at Park Potomac, which includes a Harris Teeter at 12525 Park Potomac Ave. “For most people, it’s car-oriented,” Vogel said. She and Applestein own and operate Best Four Years, a college counseling company.
Tilden Woods Park, acquired by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1961, is seven acres at 6800 Tilden Lane, with two lighted tennis courts, a softball field, a basketball court and a picnic area.
The Greater Farmland Civic Association sponsors the Fourth of July parade as well as Great Farmland Day and the annual Winter-on-the-Farmland Holiday Party on Saturday. There also are two private swim clubs in the area: Old Farm Swim and Paddle Tennis Club and Tilden Woods Pool.
Living there: The Greater Farmland Civic Association community is bounded by Interstate 270 on the west, Montrose Road on the north, Old Farm Creek on the east and Tuckerman Lane on the south.
According to Steve Schuck, an agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, in the past year, in the Greater Farmland Civic Association area, 33 properties were sold, ranging from a four-bedroom, three-bath house built in 1964 for $650,000 to a six-bedroom, six-bath home rebuilt in 2006 for $1.03 million.
There is one house on the market, a four-bedroom, three-bath split-level built in 1962 for $729,900.
Schools: Farmland Elementary, Tilden Middle, Walter Johnson High.
Transit: Greater Farmland tends to be car-oriented. The White Flint Metro stop on the Red Line is accessible by the Montgomery County 42 Ride-on bus and, during the morning and afternoon rush hours, by the 81 Ride-on bus.
Crime: According to the LexisNexis Community Crime Map, in the past year, one burglary was reported in the area by Montgomery County Police.