The houses, which were built between 1977 and 1979 by Pulte Group, are accentuated by a coordinated three-color paint scheme. Most homes have basements, and many of those are walkouts. Backyards are small but fenced for privacy.
Some of the townhouses in the tree-lined neighborhood back up to Seneca Creek State Park. The community has a swimming pool with an active swim team, two playgrounds, and basketball courts nearby. It’s far enough from downtown Germantown for peace and quiet, though shopping centers with dining, grocery stores, gyms, gas stations, pharmacies and coffeehouses are a quick trip by car or Ride On bus.
“When I was a young person starting a family in 1979,” said longtime resident John Bradfield, “the community was fairly new and the price was right for a starter . . . townhome, which was a big consideration for me at that time, and it was semi-surrounded by a state park.”
Beyond the nearby state park, the enclave also has lots of common areas, green space and two playgrounds. Adjacent to the state park is the Strider Wildlife Management Area, dedicated in 1949 to wildlife conservation.
“Nothing is going to be built up against us around that part,” he said.
Bradfield often took his children to Seneca Creek State Park when they were younger.
“And the kids took themselves to the park, exploring the forest and building forts. It was a regular attraction for them,” he said.
Resident Phil Dombeck lives in a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, approximately 1,300-square-foot house with his wife and son. Dombeck says the best thing about living in the neighborhood is in the spring, when Mateny Road is lined with flowering cherry and Bradford pear trees.
The neighborhood’s name Williamsburg Square/Ashton Place is a mouthful. When Pulte builders erected the community, they called the first section Williamsburg Square. Not long after Williamsburg Square was begun, they built the second section across Mateny Road and called it Ashton Place. Williamsburg Square/Ashton Place is one community under the homeowners association, Williamsburg Square Community Council Corp.
ReMax real estate agent Mac McCord bought his first home in the neighborhood in 1988 and lived in the three-bedroom, two-bathroom residence until 2004. He says these days the neighborhood’s townhouse owners are mostly families and young professionals.
“It is a nice place for families at a starter price in a cozy neighborhood,” he said.
Germantown is one of the more accessible areas in the Washington suburbs and offers desirable amenities within a 10-minute bus ride. Shopping centers are near both ends of the neighborhood, Cloppers Mill Village on Mateny Road to the south and Kingsview Village Center to the northwest, off Clopper Road at Great Seneca Highway. Since Clopper is no longer the quiet country road Denver sang about, most shoppers get to the stores by Ride On bus or automobile.
Recent improvements by the homeowners association include upgrading the streetlights for better lighting and energy efficiency and paving the streets. The $92 monthly HOA fee includes a pool membership, landscaping of common areas, trash and recycling services, and snow removal.
A final interesting tidbit about the area is that the 1999 movie “Blair Witch Project” was mostly filmed in the woods of Seneca Creek State Park.
Living there: In the past year, the average price of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse was $279,364. The highest-priced home, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse, sold for $309,900. The lowest-priced, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse, sold for $218,400. McCord says, for the most part, young families are buying starter homes in this neighborhood considering the price. There is one home on the market, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse for $285,000.
Schools: Great Seneca Creek Elementary, Roberto Clemente Middle and Northwest High.
Transit: Although the community is not easily walkable for some amenities — many residents are car dependent — a Ride On bus runs Monday through Friday through the neighborhood with several stops on Mateny Road between Kingsview Park & Ride to the Shady Grove Metro Station. Buses also stop at Route 117/Clopper Road and Mateny Road, just a short walk from the neighborhood. The Germantown MARC station is about two miles away and the Metropolitan Grove MARC station is about three miles from the neighborhood. The District is about a 50-minute drive during off-peak hours.
Eddy Palanzo contributed to this report.