Peter Cook said he is thankful that the Woodmoor community in Silver Spring, Md., has steadily improved in the nearly 25 years that he’s lived there.

Home values have grown at a healthy rate and the public schools zoned for the neighborhood regularly rank among the best in the area, he said. Woodmoor’s neighborly charm — the myriad socials, parades and specialty clubs for everything from coffee enthusiasts to brewers — has only increased with time, he added.

But one change, he said, is particularly important to him.

“When we first moved here the neighborhood was pretty white,” said Cook, who identifies as white and is president of the Woodmoor Pinecrest Citizens Association.

Cook, the father to a 16-year-old son whom he and his wife adopted from Vietnam, said that residents of Woodmoor embrace the neighborhood’s diversity and count it as a core asset.

“It’s great to live in a place where it doesn’t really seem to bother people that there are people of other races and faiths and sexual orientations,” said Cook, who lives in a 1,563-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom Colonial.

Judy Hanrahan, a well-known resident who grew up in Woodmoor, moved away for college and purchased her current home in 1966, said the community includes a high number of residents who’ve similarly come full circle back to the neighborhood of their birth.


“I often joke with people that you don’t have to be related to someone in order to live here,” said Hanrahan, a real estate agent with Realty Executives Premier, adding that she has sold hundreds of properties in Woodmoor. “I’ve had clients who needed more space and decided to move from one house in Woodmoor to another a few blocks away in order to remain in the neighborhood,” said Hanrahan, who lives in a three-bedroom, three-bathroom Cape Cod.

Welcoming to newcomers: Woodmoor also is attractive to newcomers, such as Shirley Politzer, who moved there last November.

Politzer said she was living in Takoma Park when she decided to begin her home search. She liked the sense of community in a neighborhood where “residents say hello to one another on the streets.”

But she quickly discovered that homes in Takoma Park were too expensive for her.

“The houses that were barely affordable needed to be gutted,” said Politzer, who envisioned a single-family house with a “nice yard where I could hear the crickets at night.”

After coming to terms with the fact that real estate in Takoma Park was beyond her budget, she decided to branch out and explore other neighborhoods. A drive through Woodmoor piqued her interest, she said.

“I saw beautiful houses and kids out playing everywhere,” said Politzer, deciding on what she described as “one of the smallest homes in the neighborhood.”

Nicholas Clements, who’s lived in Woodmoor for 33 years, said that other than the occasional traffic congestion that spills onto neighborhood streets from nearby main roads, his 900-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape Cod that backs up to woods offers a daily respite.

“I get the best of both worlds,” he said. “I’m close to the city but get the benefits of living in the suburbs. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”


Michele Perito, left, and her son Coren greet Kelly Stone and her dog Copper in the Woodmoor neighborhood of Silver Spring, Md. (Justin T. Gellerson/For The Washington Post)

Living there: A tree-lined neighborhood north of the Beltway, Woodmoor is roughly bordered to the north by the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River, to the south by University Boulevard, to the east by the Capital Beltway and to the west by Colesville Road.

In the past 12 months, 51 properties have sold in Woodmoor, ranging from a 1,298-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom Colonial for $368,500 to a 2,538-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Cape Cod for $950,000, said Hanrahan, the agent with Realty Executives Premier.

There are 12 houses for sale in Woodmoor, ranging from a 1,326-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape Cod for $399,000 to a 3,066-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial for $689,000, Hanrahan said.

Schools: Pine Crest Elementary, Montgomery Knolls Elementary, Eastern Middle and Montgomery Blair High.

Transit: The neighborhood is served by a number of bus routes along University Boulevard and Colesville Road. Woodmoor is about three miles from the Silver Spring and Forest Glen stations on Metro’s Red Line.

Crime: In the past six months, there were two burglaries, one assault and one vehicle theft reported in the area that includes Woodmoor, according to Montgomery police.