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The Washington Post

Neighborhood profile: Wildwood Estates – The Washington Put up


For Sheryl and Michael Wilbon, the choice to maneuver to construct a house within the North Bethesda neighborhood of Wildwood Estates was a marital compromise. Michael, a former Washington Put up sportswriter who now co-hosts ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” wished to remain in Virginia, the place they’d lived in Fairfax; Sheryl, an legal professional, wished to maneuver again residence to D.C.

However after seeing an indication in 1998 saying the development of the Wildwood Estates growth, they determined to take an opportunity on Maryland, transferring in 1999 to their custom-built dream residence: 5 bedrooms and 5½ bogs over 4 ranges, a contemporary ground plan and plenty of mild.

Because it seems, Sheryl mentioned, the compromise was good.

“It’s an ideal location, since you’re near downtown Bethesda,” she mentioned. “You’re on the Beltway, so you possibly can leap on and get on over to Tysons [Corner] rapidly, if you wish to try this. We’ve acquired a Metro cease shut by. … It’s very handy.”

Satisfaction runs deep in Wildwood, the place a lot of the neighborhood’s 44 houses nonetheless belong to the unique homeowners. Regardless of its location inside three main arteries — Interstate 270 to the north, Outdated Georgetown Highway to the west, I-495 to the south — the neighborhood has a tucked-away really feel, its loop of roads tree-lined and quiet.

The houses of Wildwood Estates, spacious contemporaries and Colonials with a number of brick and stonework, are conspicuously taller and newer than the capes and bungalows simply outdoors the event. However though the homes are stately, they stand shut sufficient collectively to create a real neighborhood feeling.

Sandy MacCracken, one other founding resident who moved from Chevy Chase together with her husband, Michael, mentioned she and her neighbors forgo yard fences in favor of an open, communal inexperienced house that they’d co-designed by the identical landscaper.

“It appears like our personal little park,” she mentioned, “and we simply stroll forwards and backwards in between backyards on a regular basis.”

Because the householders have aged in place, the neighborhood has modified, too. When a lot of MacCracken’s neighbors had younger kids, they used to fulfill up within the yard for wine and cheese within the afternoon and watch the youngsters play. Now, these children have began households of their very own, however the neighbors nonetheless discover alternatives to assemble. MacCracken mentioned that she loves giving out selfmade cookies on Halloween and that she has heat recollections of snowstorms that turned advert hoc road events.

“It’s the perfect time, as a result of all people’s out shoveling, so all of us chat and have sizzling chocolate, and I bake cookies,” she mentioned.

One in style neighborhood occasion is the picnic thrown by the Wildwood Estates Householders Affiliation. The occasion was featured one yr in an NBC4 Washington native TV information phase that continues to be some extent of satisfaction for the neighborhood.

Michael Villa, president of the affiliation, mentioned annual charges are $1,200. Tree administration tends to be the largest problem, he mentioned; final yr, a storm blew down a number of, and the HOA needed to exchange them. MacCracken additionally talked about a hailstorm that hit the neighborhood about three years in the past, leading to substantial roof harm. The HOA helped residents to coordinate a palette of colours for substitute roofs as insurance coverage firms performed repairs.

“You’re doing it since you need to assist the neighborhood, and so it’s been a pleasure,” Villa mentioned. “I don’t know if I do know extra folks right here than anyone else, however I’d.”

One other favourite side of the neighborhood for Villa is its proximity to 2 purchasing facilities that even have eating choices. The Retailers at Wildwood incorporates a Balducci’s grocery retailer, a gourmand ice cream store and a high-intensity exercise fitness center; throughout Outdated Georgetown Highway is the Georgetown Sq. purchasing middle with a DSW shoe retailer and Not Your Common Joe’s restaurant.

“It’s actually, actually excessive on comfort,” he mentioned.

Linda Lizzio, an actual property agent with Lengthy & Foster who has additionally lived in Wildwood Estates for the reason that growth started, mentioned the neighborhood sees little or no turnover.

“They are saying the typical time you reside in a house is about seven years,” she mentioned. “That’s not the case right here. Individuals don’t need to hand over that walkability, I believe.”

Two houses within the neighborhood have bought for the reason that begin of 2021, she mentioned: A five-bedroom, five-bathroom Colonial with three ranges went for $1.6 million, and a four-bedroom, 3½-bathroom Georgetown mannequin bought for $1.325 million. Each acquired a number of affords and bought inside 5 days, she mentioned. There are not any houses in the marketplace.

Lizzio mentioned a favourite characteristic of hers is the younger blooming bushes that develop in abundance.

“You see quite a lot of neighborhoods centered on cherry-blossom time. However our neighborhood is lined with Kwanzan cherry bushes, a very lovely present of pink blossoms,” she mentioned. “And so we don’t even need to drive over to Kenwood or downtown to see it, as a result of we’ve got it right here.”

For Sheryl Wilbon, what started as a marital compromise has was a perpetually residence.

“So long as we’re in a position to go up and down stairs,” she mentioned, she plans to remain at Wildwood Estates. “I believe we’re a very nice neighborhood.”

Boundaries: Wildwood Estates’ 44 houses are enclosed by Aubinoe Farm Drive to the north, Farnham Drive to the east, Yorkshire Terrace to the south and Berkshire Drive to the west.

Faculties: Ashburton Elementary College, North Bethesda Center College and Walter Johnson Excessive College.

Transit: The 6, 26 and 96 Experience On buses cease simply outdoors the neighborhood, at Rock Spring Drive and Outdated Georgetown Highway; the Pink Line’s Grosvenor-Strathmore cease is about two miles east of neighborhood boundaries.

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