- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2002

A spacious Colonial with a package of interesting selling points is on the market high on a hill in Rockville. Priced at $1.075 million, it is on a wooded lot of 2 acres with scenic views that change with the season.

When the leaves are on the trees, it is a private retreat, with wooded views all around. When the leaves have fallen, the view from the front porch extends all the way to Northern Virginia. The towers of Tysons Corner are visible during the day. At night, the lights of Tysons add drama to the view, particularly because the lights of the Washington Dulles International Airport and Reston also are visible far in the distance.

"In the summer you have the privacy, in the winter you have the view," owner Tom Gowling says. "It's one of the highest points in Montgomery County."

The house has spacious traditional rooms, comfortable and beautifully appointed. These include an entry foyer, formal living and dining rooms, a first-floor sunken family room, a lower-level rec room, five bedrooms and 4½ baths.

Mr. Gowling, however, devotes most enthusiasm to outdoor living on what he calls the veranda a large enclosed side porch with a vaulted ceiling, two ceiling fans and a high arched opening looking outward. This veranda is entered from the first floor but because the land slopes, it is a story off the ground, with a railing around it. Below it are French doors from the walkout lower level. The veranda has a short flight of steps down to a smaller covered side porch that also has an entry to the first floor.

Mr. Gowling also waxes eloquent over the three-car attached garage that, he notes, has heat, central air conditioning, and hot and cold running water. "You can wash your car in the garage," he says.

Next to the garage, with a private entry, is a small office from which Mr. Gowling once ran his carpet-cleaning business. The office, now used as an exercise room, has a door into the house through the garage.

The house was built in 1979, with a large addition dating to 1995.

The addition houses the family room and luxurious master bedroom suite upstairs.

Mr. Gowling, who is the original owner, named the property Rocky Top because the builders discovered that the land was almost solid rock when they began excavating for the house. Consequently, landscape boulders now accent the gardens.

The house has a front door with a window and sidelights of leaded etched glass. There are French doors on either side of the entry foyer, leading to the living room on one side and the dining room on the other.

These rooms and most of the first floor have oak flooring, as does part of the second floor. The kitchen and bathrooms have ceramic tile floors.

The living room contains one of the house's three fireplaces. The other two are in the family room and rec room. The living room also has French doors leading out to a small deck.

The dining room contains two built-in corner china cabinets. A third built-in cabinet is in the rear of the hall between the kitchen and separate breakfast room.

There is a breakfast bar in the kitchen, incorporated into a center island. The kitchen has a pass-through to the breakfast room, which overlooks the sunken family room.

The kitchen has dark pine cabinets, almond appliances and tile backsplashes accented by floral tiles. It has a double wall oven, trash compactor and double ceramic sink.

The family room has a wall of windows with French doors to the back yard. It has a wide stone fireplace with a space for storing firewood.

This fireplace has built-in bookcases of white wood on either side, and a white wood mantel.

The fireplace in the rec room is also flanked by bookcases.

The ceilings of the breakfast room, family room and rec room are beamed. The rec room has paneled walls.

There is a full-size bar in the rec room with three green-shaded light fixtures hanging in a row above it. There are two cabinets for glasses on the wall behind the bar with leaded glass doors. The bar has a sink, refrigerator and ice maker.

One of the house's four full baths is on the lower level. Mr. Gowling calls it "the men's room" because it has a urinal in addition to a toilet.

The powder room is on the first floor, and the other three full baths are on the second floor. All five bedrooms are on the second floor.

The master bedroom has a large Palladian window and two walk-in closets.

The master bath is two rooms, one with a whirlpool tub, vanity and linen closet, the other with a steam shower, a second vanity and a toilet. Each of these rooms has a window seat. There is a telephone jack in the second room.

The other four bedrooms each has a ceiling fan.

Two of these rooms have a bath between them, and there is also a hall bath.

The house has lots of storage space in the garage, attic and lower level.

"It's a great house," Mr. Gowling says. "I'll miss a lot of things about it."


Address: 12933 Circle Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

Community: Glen Hills

Age: Built 1979, addition 1995

Price: $1.075 million

Size: About 5,000 square feet on lot of 2 acres

Taxes: $5,872 in 2001

Exterior features: Brick-and-wood siding Colonial with attached three-car garage with heat, air conditioning and water; covered front and side porches; playhouse and playground equipment; deck; circular driveway

Interior features: Entry foyer, formal living and dining rooms, first-floor family room, kitchen with breakfast-bar island, separate breakfast room, five bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, first-floor laundry, recreation room on walkout lower level, office with private entry attached to garage, attic, zoned electric heat and central air conditioning

Amenities: Three fireplaces; oak and ceramic tile flooring; French doors; Palladian window; leaded glass windows; beamed ceilings; full bar with sink, refrigerator and ice maker; built-in china cabinets and bookcases; ceiling fans; crown moldings; whirlpool tub; central vacuum; security system

Schools: Lakewood Elementary, Robert Frost Middle, Wootton High

Close by: About 2 miles to shopping at Rockshire, about 4 miles to the big box stores on Shady Grove Road, about 5 miles to Potomac Village, about 4 miles to Interstate 270 interchange with Route 28/Darnestown Road, one mile to Lakewood Country Club

Open house: April 21, 1-4 p.m.

Contact: Michael Matese, Weichert Realtors, at 301/718-4080 or 301/806-6829.

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