Friday, August 31, 2012


Welcome to the second installment of My First Bethesda Apartment:  a weekly urban guide to the intimidating task of apartment hunting in Bethesda, and scoring and tricking out your dream pad once you find it.

Have questions about Bethesda - restaurants, stores, where to find "this or that?"  Just post them in the comments, or send me an email.


1 BR/1 BA   THE CHRISTOPHER - $1550 a month

This is a 520 square foot, 5th floor condo at the two-decade old The Christopher, at 4808 Moorland Road.  The Christopher is a luxury building located in the center of downtown Bethesda.

You would be about a 1-minute walk from the Bethesda Metro station, in Apartment #501.  Besides being one of the most convenient buildings for a Metro commuter, there are 2 other prime benefits to this building.

First is the fact that a parking space is included in your rent.  Just ask tenants of some other Bethesda buildings what a cost savings that is.  In some buildings, the monthly parking payment can seem like a small rent.

Second, is that The Christopher has a pool, fitness center, party room and front desk security.  In a word:  amenities.

What's a short walk from The Christopher?

A Safeway grocery store, Chipotle, FreshBikes bike shop, Caribou Coffee, Original Pancake House, and two of Bethesda's top 5-star restaurants:  Black's Bar and Kitchen, and Woodmont Grill.  You're also only a few blocks from the most popular nightspots, and Bethesda Row.  You can ride the free Bethesda Circulator to and from Bethesda Row, also.

The most important part of making your decision, is to see the unit for yourself.  Good news:  the unit is being shown mid-morning this Sunday, September 2.  Just call Scott Phillips at 410-707-1133 to arrange a visit.



Spend lavishly, or just make everyone think you did!

Well, let's say you had bought that Crate and Barrel end table for your living room last week.  Now you have to put a lamp on it.  I'm not an interior designer, but just a guy who knows what he likes when he sees it.

I like architecture and other designs from the 50s-70s.  And many of the best came to us from California.  Recently, I heard about a new furnishings store at 510 H Street in DC called Hunted House.  On their home page, they have a living room set-up that is somewhere between a 1960s California home, and a classic motel.  In other words, it's great.  They have a cool 1960s lamp in the picture, but it's not available for sale.

So I found the closest California-inspired 1960s lamp they had for you:


Volcanic Eruption Table Lamp from Hunted House - $98


Hollywood Table Lamp from - $71.99

This week, faking it will only save you $26 or so.  So take your pick based on what you can afford.  The target lamp does have a 3-way touch sensor switch.  Either one brings a bit of vintage, golden-age California to your room.


What is the real Bethesda?  Are you moving here on short notice from outside of the area?  And you want the hip, downtown lifestyle and convenience other college grads and young professionals move here for?  Beware of ads touting "Bethesda" apartments, when you see descriptives like Pooks Hill, North Bethesda, Grosvenor, White Flint, Montrose, etc.

Those aren't in downtown Bethesda, and don't have the nightlife or restaurants the real downtown has.  When in doubt, Google Map the address, and make sure its really Bethesda.

Have a great weekend, and let me know if you find the apartment of your dreams, in the Richest Town in America!


Anonymous said...

There are plenty of great places to rent in Bethesda. $3,000, $4,000, even $8,000 a month. No problem, most young proffesionals in their 20's and 30's make $200,000 or more an can afford such great places.(1,500 for Bethesda)? maybe for a studio the size of a box. In order to find affordable housing in the DC area you either have to be willing to live in Frederick or South East DC..tough choice( gang violence or a 2 hour commute each way)

Robert Dyer said...

That's one of the goals of the My First Bethesda Apartment series, to highlight apartments that are relatively affordable, but in great buildings. The housing crisis in Montgomery County is complicated, because high taxes are a driving force behind the high rents. Then the same council that raises those taxes turns around and says we need to urbanize the suburbs and rural areas to create affordable housing. But in practice, they have destroyed about 100 affordable units for every 15-20 they create. And have approved tiny apartment buildings at all of the prime properties in urban, downtown Bethesda (thereby keeping downtown rents high), while drawing up plans to build 12-story buildings in suburban neighborhoods, and out in the country. It just makes no sense, other than profiting developers who fund their campaigns.