- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 8, 2010

Once a summer refuge for District residents looking for a getaway, the town of Kensington, Md., has a rich history and is filled with antiques shops, quaint bistros and clothing boutiques. This Montgomery County town is situated around the Rock Creek basin and was mostly agricultural until the B&O Railroad completed a rail line that crossed the county in 1873.

A walking tour of Kensington showcases more than three dozen homes, according to the Kensington Historical Society. Known as the town “where the train still stops and the people still walk,” it has for many the charm of a bygone era.

Sitting on a small hill across the street from Kensington Heights Park is an attractive Colonial that was built in 1945 and underwent a major transformation in 2004. The home at 3404 McComas Ave. is on the market for $785,000.

Colorful shrubs and bushes line the flagstone steps that lead to a small covered porch at the front entrance. There’s also a side brick-paver driveway for parking cars as well as a side entry leading directly into the family room.

The home’s window-filled exterior means plenty of natural light streams into just about every room in the house, creating a sunny retreat. All of the windows have been replaced; some include Hunter Douglas shades, while others have wood blinds.

Guests are welcomed into the formal living room, which has crown molding and recessed lights. The centerpiece of the room is a fireplace with a white brick surround. The owners added a gas insert to the wood-burning fireplace for easy operation.

Hardwood floors gleam throughout the main level, with the exception of the kitchen, which has white ceramic tile flooring. An arched entryway leads from the living room into the new state-of-the-art kitchen with modern features and amenities.

Designer cabinetry with stainless steel knobs surrounds the stainless steel appliances. In addition to the gas stove, built-in microwave and refrigerator with a bottom freezer, the owners added two dishwashers, a separate built-in ice maker, wine refrigerator and two sinks.

One sink is near the stove, while the other sits on an island that doubles as a breakfast bar and has room for four stools. The walls in the kitchen are painted a deep reddish color and go strikingly well with the granite counters.

The back of the home is one large open space shared by the dining room and family room. Furniture placement is the only thing that separates the 14-by-14-foot dining room from the 17-by-16-foot family-room area. Trendy light fixtures highlight both rooms.

Whether dining or entertaining, family members and guests benefit from lovely views of the backyard through multiple windows and several doors. Two skylights in the family room add to the open, sunny feel.

While one door in the family room opens onto the side yard, a set of French doors in the room open onto an expansive wood-and-brick-paver patio. Ideal for summertime celebrations, the uniquely designed patio stretches across the width of the house and is surrounded by lush landscaping.

The curved patio has electric lighting and includes a fire pit and brick retaining walls with plenty of space for seating. This private, fenced-in backyard also has two storage sheds.

Back inside, the main level is home to twin 11-by-11-foot bedrooms. One is currently being used as a home office. There also is a full main-level bathroom nearby.

A staircase in the living room leads to three cozy bedrooms on the second floor. The master bedroom has two closets and comes with its own spacious bathroom and double sinks. All three bedrooms benefit from nice wooded views of the yard.

The remaining two bedrooms share a hall bath; the smaller of the two rooms features a skylight. There is also a laundry room on this level with cabinets and shelving.

Visitors will be surprised to learn that there is another level to this home, as stairs lead to a huge multifunctional fourth-floor bonus room with two dormer windows. The owners have used this space as a bedroom. It comfortably fits two twin beds on one side, which has a skylight, and still has plenty of space left over to turn the other side of the room into a playroom.

Even more living space can be found in the finished basement. On this lower level, guests will find a 20-by-22-foot recreation room with recessed lights, a full bathroom with a stand-up shower, and an expansive storage room.

One of the great things about this home is the neighborhood park directly across the street, which is perfect for playing with the children or enjoying summer strolls. The park also ensures a lasting open view.

DETAILS:

Address: 3404 McComas Ave., Kensington, MD 20895

Community: Kensington Heights

Homeowners association fee: None

Age: Built in 1945

Price: $785,000

Size: More than 3,400 square feet on a lot of .18 acres

Taxes: $7,110

Exterior features: Colonial home with brick-paver driveway, flagstone steps and entrance, large wood-and-brick patio, fire pit, fenced yard, landscape lighting, two storage sheds, professional landscaping

Interior features: Renovated four-level Colonial with six bedrooms and four full baths, hardwood floors, ceramic tile floors, study, lower-level recreation and storage room, crown molding, updated kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, arched entryway, French doors

Amenities: Fireplace with gas insert in living room, wine refrigerator, separate ice maker, six skylights, five ceiling fans, lower level wired for surround sound

Schools: Oakland Terrace Elementary, Newport Mill Middle, Einstein High

Close by: Kensington Heights Neighborhood Park, Westfield Wheaton Mall, Kensington Historic District, shopping, dining

Open house: 1 to 4 p.m. July 11

Contact: Ray Owen or Lynn Dernar of Re/Max Realty Services at 301/613-6162

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