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The Pursuit: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

by Shilpi Paul

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Miesmer’s new home in Kensington.

When Maureen Miesmer and her husband Josh learned they were having a child, the then-DC residents decided to do what a lot of young families do: move out to the suburbs into what they hoped would be their family home. They found a little house in Del Ray that seemed to fit the bill.

However, while the neighborhood seemed perfect for families, after their son Matthew arrived, the house wasn’t quite what they expected.

“We had hoped that it would grow with us a little more than it did,” Miesmer told UrbanTurf. “Plastic things that we didn’t even know existed quickly took over the house.” The 900 square feet soon felt too small, and Miesmer realized that the layout of a suburban home mattered for a little one as much as the surrounding environment. The row house was only 12 feet wide, making every space feel tight. Matthew was growing at a fast pace. Add their dog, Stanley, and they were running out of room.

“We needed a house with open spaces, where I could be in the kitchen and see Matthew playing in the family room, or we could be hanging out and working on the computer and he would be visible in a different area,” realized Miesmer.

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The open family room.

After only two and a half years, Miesmer and her husband decided to put their house on the market and try again for a suitable suburban option. This time, they knew they needed ample square footage and an open floor plan.

They went on an intense search, walking through at least 60 homes. When their Del Ray home went under contract (they managed to break even on the sale) they visited 30 homes in one weekend. “We were hoping that the next place we found would be a ten to fifteen-year home,” Meismer said. They were willing to search as far as Gaithersburg to get the space they needed.

One night, Miesmer was sifting through listings for a house with her dream amenity (a pool), and a home in Kensington, Md. popped up. It was out of their price range so it hadn’t come up on their searches, but it had been on the market for 120 days and they suspected that they would have some negotiating room.

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Matthew and Stanley in the new house.

They didn’t know much about Kensington, a small town between Bethesda, Wheaton and Silver Spring, but the house checked every box on their list: four bedrooms, plenty of closets and nice outdoor space. Their daily work commutes to the District would take about 40 minutes.

Miesmer convinced Josh to take a look, and it was love at first sight. “It ended up being perfect,” she said. They put in a lower offer and managed to buy the house at a price that was comfortable for them.

Now, said Miesmer, the layout works for everyone. “The back of the house is open, the kitchen opens to the family room,” said Miesmer. “From a day-to-day living point of view, it’s perfect.”

See other articles related to: the pursuit, kensington

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_pursuit_what_to_expect_when_youre_expecting/5556

5 Comments

  1. jag said at 12:43 pm on Friday May 18, 2012:

    Congrats! Kensington’s antique row (lot of small antique shops) is nice.

  1. anon said at 1:53 pm on Friday May 18, 2012:

    That reflexive move to the burbs with the 1st kid is the real mistake.  Raising small kids in the city is actually very convenient.  Little ones don’t need much more space until they’re moving around, and even then it’s doable.  Small space is hard with subsequent kids.

    That said, I’d still take Del Ray over Kensington in a second. That’s just me.

  1. jag said at 2:11 pm on Friday May 18, 2012:

    I think they did too, hence why they tried 900 sqft (yikes!) in Del Ray first. Obviously, Kensington gets you more bang for your buck.

  1. Mary said at 12:22 pm on Saturday May 19, 2012:

    “I’d still take Del Ray over Kensington in a second”

    Oh, I don’t know - Kensington has a lot of charm, between antiques row and that neat little pocket in Garrett Park with the Blacks group restaurant in the MARC station. And, while schools aren’t perfect in that part of MoCO, they’re a lot better than Alexandria.

  1. Danielle said at 2:03 pm on Sunday May 20, 2012:

    I agree that moving to the suburbs is not always the right choice,, as many figure out rather quickly.  City living is great for kids, and condo layouts are actually often easier than houses.  Although every situation has its drawbacks, I am so thankful that we didn’t run for the hills at the first sign of pregnancy.  We would have missed out on so much convenience and opportunity.

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