loading...

Chevy Chase: Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes

by Amanda Abrams

image
Home for sale in Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase, Maryland has long been considered one of the Washington region’s quintessential high-end suburbs: an area with green lawns, high-priced homes and virtually no commercial districts, it offers an escape from the noisy city, but is still within close driving distance of downtown DC and its amenities.


These days, the region that borders Chevy Chase to the north and west has grown tremendously, but the neighborhood itself remains a quiet enclave with very few commercial options within its boundaries. Given the neighborhood’s high housing prices, that insularity feels like exclusivity, but residents say it’s a welcoming, friendly place that is very family-centric.

Two Chevy Chases

There are two Chevy Chases that DC-area residents refer to these days: Chevy Chase DC and Chevy Chase, Maryland. The latter is a large area that, among other regions to the north and east, includes Chevy Chase Village and the town of Chevy Chase, as well as Section Three, Section Five, and the village of Martin’s Additions.

The five areas are bounded by Western Avenue to the southeast, Wisconsin Avenue to the west, East-West Highway to the north, and approximately Brookville Road to the east.

Home Price and Size Depends on Location

Chevy Chase is characterized by quiet residential streets lined with colonials, bungalows, and Tudors, homes that would fit into just about any upscale suburb in the country. But there are some differences across the various sections of the neighborhoods.

For example, Chevy Chase Village, located just north and west of the District line near Connecticut Avenue, is the most upscale part of the neighborhood, featuring grand homes on large plots of land. The town of Chevy Chase, bounded by Bradley Road, Wisconsin Avenue, East-West Highway, and Connecticut Avenue, is characterized by wide streets and big lawns, while Sections Three and Five have narrower streets and slightly smaller houses, and Martin’s Additions is known for its newer, more expensive homes.

image
Typical Chevy Chase home

Regardless of exact location, it is hard to find a home on the market these days for much less than $1 million. According to Dominique Rychlik, a realtor with W.C. & A.N. Miller, Chevy Chase Village homes run in the $2 to $5 million range, and average prices across the neighborhood range from $900,000 to $1.3 million.

There aren’t many rentals or condos in Chevy Chase, though a few high-rise condo and co-op buildings can be found along Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues. Rychlik said that one-bedroom condos sell for around $300,000 and two-bedrooms for roughly $550,000, but can run as high as $2 million, depending on the building.

High Home Prices Attract High Incomes

Given the prices, Chevy Chase residents tend to be successful professionals, many of whom work in downtown DC, Bethesda, or Virginia. (The median household income is just south of $100,000.)

But Michael Coles, a small business owner who’s lived in the area since 2002, said that what really characterizes the neighborhood is its friendly vibe. “The main thing is that people are just so nice to each other,” he said. “Once people get here, they don’t want to leave.”

Another resident mentioned the strong family orientation of the area and neighborhood-sponsored events like summer barbecues, an Easter egg hunt, and a Halloween parade.

Part of Montgomery County, the area’s public schools are also some of the best in the area, particularly Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, located just north of the community.

image
Chevy Chase’s bustling commercial strip

Why They Call it The ‘Burbs

Chevy Chase residents don’t seem to mind that the neighborhood commercial options are limited to a small strip offering 1950s-era amenities. A small section of Brookville Road serves as the center of the village of Martin’s Additions and includes a market, a drug store, a barbershop, and the Olympia Coffeeshop.

When Joyce Nolan, who lives in the town of Chevy Chase, told UrbanTurf that she could “walk to all the shops” she was talking about Bethesda, an area to the west of the neighborhood that provides the large commercial corridor that Chevy Chase lacks. And though it’s not within walking distance for most Chevy Chase residents, Friendship Heights—with its restaurants, upscale shops, movie theater, and new Whole Foods—lies near the neighborhood’s southern edge.

Also to the south, just over the District border along Connecticut Avenue, is Chevy Chase, DC, which has a walkable pedestrian district that includes a few restaurants, a market, and the Avalon movie theater.

Cars Required

Central DC is located about a 20-minute drive to the south of Chevy Chase. Most residents tend to commute to DC by car, often via the central spine of Connecticut Avenue. Chevy Chase is close, but not really within walking distance, of the Bethesda Metro on the Red Line. Buses also run up and down Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues. Chevy Chase is also close to the Beltway and is only a few miles west of Rock Creek Parkway; it’s also near Route 180 (River Road), which heads northwest.

A Secure Enclave

In 2009, The Washington Post described the safety level in Chevy Chase this way: “You can keep a house key at the police department in case you get locked out. Officers will drive by your home to make sure everything’s okay when you’re out of town.”

Not much has changed, according to Michael Coles. “It’s very safe. Kids can walk around without worrying about someone bothering them.”

The Bottom Line

Chevy Chase is one of those rare neighborhoods that can be summed up in a few words: Quiet streets. Expensive homes. Family-oriented. No bustle. To an outsider, it might sound boring or snobby, but Chevy Chase residents seem content with their suburban community exactly as it is.

Amanda Abrams is a Washington, DC-based journalist who has written feature stories for The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington City Paper.


More Stuff about Chevy Chase

  • Zip code: 20815
  • Schools: Rosemary Hills Elementary School and Chevy Chase Elementary School; Westland Middle School; Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
  • Chevy Chase real estate date from Redfin
  • Chevy Chase rental listings from Craigslist

 

See other articles related to: hoods, chevy chase

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/chevy_chase_affluence_green_lawns_and_pricey_homes/3081

5 Comments

  1. jag said at 2:11 pm on Thursday March 3, 2011:

    Another spot-on summary from Ms. Abrams. Not sure how she does it.

  1. SG said at 3:48 pm on Thursday March 3, 2011:

    My “hometown”!  A lot of us identified as much or more with the Conn. Ave commercial strip near the Avalon Theatre (Pumpernickel’s, Child’s Play, Magruder’s, American City Diner, etc) even more than Bethesda, though.  And Chevy Chase is really about two-thirds in MD and one third in DC.  I suppose people do usually clarify and say “Chevy Chase DC” though.  But jag was right, another great writeup that gets to the heart of the place!

  1. SG said at 3:53 pm on Thursday March 3, 2011:

    I would suggest though that you expand the map a bit.  The area between Brookville and Western Ave (and Beach Dr) is most definitely Chevy Chase.

  1. Mark Wellborn said at 5:08 pm on Thursday March 3, 2011:

    SG,

    We have expanded the map to the east some. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Mark Wellborn
    Editor

  1. IP said at 10:53 pm on Saturday March 19, 2011:

    Great write-up, but the map needs further expansion. I live west of Wisconsin, yet within CC. There’s Kenmore and the streets between Wisconsin and Little Falls Pkwy that are part of CC. Even the Chevy Chase Whole Foods, Panera, Meiwah are west of Wisconsin.

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.



DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾