Thomas Lott recalls feeling overwhelmed by the friendliness of his neighbors soon after moving to Millwood Lane in the Northwest Washington neighborhood of Kent 25 years ago.
Lott said he was searching for a “welcoming neighborhood” but wondered whether he’d found too much of a good thing in Kent all those years ago.
“I thought to myself, ‘I like them, but I don’t know if I like them that much,’ ” Lott said about his new neighbors. “Three months later I was fly-fishing with” some of them in Montana, said Lott, who lives in a 5,800-square-foot Colonial with six bedrooms and five bathrooms.
“What’s unique about my street is that we’re about as close as friends as neighbors can be. We’ve all been inside each other’s houses and we know one another well,” said Lott, who enjoys a seven-minute commute to work at Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser.
Maureen Bell Asterbadi, who’s lived on Chain Bridge Road for 31 years, said that she enjoys incredible access to major attractions such as the White House, which is an eight-minute car ride away, she said.
Living in Kent “feels like you’re tucked away on the softer side of D.C.,” said Asterbadi, who lives in a 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom wooden Victorian.
Potluck dinners: Kent is a “wonderful neighborhood of Colonials interspersed with stunning contemporary homes in a variety of architectural styles” on large lots that were built mostly in the 1930s and 1940s, said Margot Wilson, a real estate agent with Washington Fine Properties.
Kent’s abundance of nearby attractions, including Battery Kemble Park, the Capital Crescent Trail and the Palisades Spray Park, as well as restaurants along MacArthur Boulevard, “make it a much-sought-after neighborhood,” Wilson said.
“When people find the home they like in Kent, they seldom relocate,” said Wilson, who’s sold real estate in Kent for more than 30 years. “If they do, they want to find something within the neighborhood.”
If Lott and Asterbadi represent typical long-term residents, Anne Peterson, who over the years has hopscotched to several houses within Kent to Georgetown and back again, said that she has always been drawn to the community, but found herself especially missing the neighborhood during her most recent move away.
About four years ago, Peterson and her husband, Gordon, packed up and left Georgetown for a five-bedroom, four-bathroom stone-and-brick Colonial on Macomb Street near the Potomac River — the couple’s third move within Kent since the late 1990s, she said.
“I didn’t realize how much I loved living in Kent until I came back,” Peterson said. “When I go out in the morning and take a walk along the river, I just gasp. You almost don’t want to tell people about Kent because you don’t want it to get too crowded.”
Donald F. McHenry, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Jimmy Carter administration, credits annual potluck dinners hosted among neighbors on Partridge Lane, where he bought a Georgian-style house in 2000, with helping to foster a sense of community among residents with fast-paced schedules.
“The dinners are enormously helpful for keeping people together,” McHenry said. “People don’t miss them unless they’re out of town.”
Living there: Kent is bordered by Loughboro Road to the north, Battery Kemble Park and Chain Bridge Road to the southeast, and MacArthur Boulevard to the southwest.
In the past 12 months, 42 properties have sold in Kent, ranging from a two-bedroom semi-detached house for $600,000 to a custom-built, six-bedroom, 5,200-square-foot home for $3,450,000, said Wilson, the agent with Washington Fine Properties.
There are 11 listings in Kent, ranging from a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape Cod for $1,049,000 to a seven-bedroom, eight-bath home for $7,895,000, according to Wilson.
There are seven houses under contract, ranging from a five-bedroom, three-bath house for $1,095,000 to a six-bedroom, seven-bath house for $3,595,000.
Schools: Key Elementary, Hardy Middle and Wilson High.
Transit: Metrobus’s D5, D6 and M4 routes serve the neighborhood. The nearest Metrorail station is the Red Line’s Tenleytown stop, more than a mile away.
Crime: Since January, there have been five burglaries, two robberies, two reports of stolen automobiles and one assault in the police area covering Kent, according to D.C. police.