For Theresa and Eric Eisenman, finding a house to call home in the Washington area took a long time — until their friends told them about a house for sale in the Copenhaver neighborhood in Potomac, Md.
"It was the right house in the right neighborhood," said Theresa Eisenman, 45, who works in public affairs with the federal government.
The couple and their 9-year-old daughter moved in late July and weren't even completely unpacked when two neighbors knocked at the door, bringing cookies and cakes. "It feels like home right away," Theresa Eisenman said.
The couple had commuted from Charles Town, W.Va., for a time, then rented in Rockville before making the move to Copenhaver. "It's a bit of a lifestyle change for us," she said. They were used to walking to a food market and CVS.
Situated off Falls Road on former farmland that was developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Copenhaver is a car-oriented neighborhood with a nine-acre park at the center of it, a big draw for those who live there. "We drive to the pharmacy and for groceries and can walk to the park, which is a big plus," Theresa Eisenman said.
Though they had visited their friends Jeremy Rusnock and Marie Mancini, whom they knew when both couples lived in Rockville, Theresa wasn't aware of exactly what it would be like to live in Copenhaver.
"I was quite surprised how quiet it is," she said.
Gazebo, footbridge: The private park, owned by the homeowners, has tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball and football fields, walking trails, a pond and a springhouse dating to the late 1800s, before widespread refrigeration. The schools also attract people to live in Copenhaver. A gazebo, fountain and footbridge accent the park, which also has good sledding hills.
When Rusnock and Mancini were looking to move from a townhouse in Rockville to a single-family house more than four years ago, the schools for their daughter, 9, were a chief concern. "Because I'm going to move any way, let's get to one of the best school clusters," said Rusnock, 46, who owns a photography studio. They asked the real estate agent who was selling their townhouse to help them.
In addition to the schools, Rusnock, who is president of the Copenhaver Homeowners Association, likes the access to the Beltway and Interstate 270 and the "rural feel" of the neighborhood that has streets without sidewalks. "We're still giddy and we've been here four years," he said.
Copenhaver has approximately 211 homes.
Kettler Brothers and the Patterson & Worland architecture firm created seven styles — the Allegany, the Kent, the Baltimore, the Frederick W.O., the Frederick, the Talbot and the Queen Anne, named for counties in Maryland.
Houses typically have four or more bedrooms, and the association has some rules concerning changes to the homes.
Those who have grown up in the neighborhood sometimes seek to move back as adults.
Both Bill and Kerrianne Rejevich grew up in Copenhaver.
After they married and had four sons, the couple, then living in a nearby community, began thinking about a larger house. They decided to write to the owners of several houses in Copenhaver in hopes of purchasing one of them. "We only wanted to live on the park," said Bill Rejevich, 54.
In 2006, they got a reply to one of the letters, sold their house and bought the one in Copenhaver. "If you know exactly what you want and where you want to be," it works, he said. "After we had four kids, Copenhaver started looking better and better."
At the time, both sets of grandparents were living in the neighborhood, and the Rejevichs wanted their children to get to know them, he said.
Living there: Bounded roughly by Falls Road to the east, Copenhaver Drive to the south, Falls Chapel Way and Exchange Court to the west and Wooden Bridge Road and Cold Spring Road to the north, Copenhaver was developed beginning in the late 1960s through the early 1970s.
According to Eric Stewart, a real estate agent with Long & Foster, 11 homes have sold in Copenhaver in the past year, ranging from a four-bedroom, three-bath home for $740,000 to a six-bedroom, five-bath house for $1.125 million.
One house is on the market: a six-bedroom, four-bath residence for $949,000.
Shopping: Three shopping centers are within a few minutes' drive of Copenhaver. They include the Cabin John Shopping Center and Potomac Woods Plaza. Other shops and restaurants at Park Potomac are near the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Cadbury Avenue. Potomac Village, with shopping and restaurants, is at the intersection of Falls and River roads.
Transit: Largely a car-oriented suburb, Copenhaver can be reached via the T2 Metro bus that runs along Falls Road.
Schools: Cold Spring Elementary, Cabin John Middle and Wootton High.
Crime: In the past 12 months, according to the LexisNexis Community Crime Map, no crime was reported in Copenhaver.