- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2002

When Colleen and Dwight Muhlbradt came back to the United States after three years in Scotland, they bought a beautiful brick Colonial in the Kentlands planned community in Gaithersburg.

They had never heard of the Kentlands, Mrs. Muhlbradt recalls, but it was the community as much as the house that grabbed their attention.

Within the so-called neotraditional neighborhood, she notes, all within walking or bicycling distance from her house, are schools, shopping, restaurants, movies, swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness center and three lakes with hiking trails. Her three children are too old for them now, but the community also has tot lots and playgrounds for little ones.

"This is what we liked," she says. "We'd lived in the U.K. and had gotten used to a walking and cycling lifestyle."

The spacious house provides for comfortable living inside and out.

It has four finished levels, all nicely appointed, with a deck wrapping around three sides. There are four sets of triple French doors leading out from the house to the deck or back yard.

A little more than 10 years old, the house has five bedrooms and 4½ baths. It has been lovingly maintained.

Now Mr. Muhlbradt has a job relocation to Omaha, his wife reports, and they must sell the house and move to Nebraska. It is on the market for $639,000.

The house is classic in its architecture with a detached two-car brick garage just a few steps from the deck on the side.

The front door is flanked by sidelights and has a sunburst window above it.

Inside is an inviting entry foyer with oak flooring. The same oak flooring is carried through all the rooms on the first floor, including the kitchen. The exception to this is the first-floor powder room, which has a floor of white ceramic tile, as do the other four bathrooms.

The formal living and dining rooms each have crown moldings, and the living room has a wood-burning fireplace.

A table and chairs fit easily in the kitchen in front of a three-window box bay. Over the table is a ceiling fan light fixture. Just outside is another table and chairs on the deck, where Mrs. Muhlbradt says she and her husband have coffee sometimes on spring mornings.

The kitchen has a center island and a built-in desk with white Corian counters all around. The cabinets also are white.

An oak staircase rises from the first floor, curving to the second and third floors. The staircase is carpeted in soft blue, as are the rooms on the second and third floors and the finished rooms on the walkout lower level.

There are two bedrooms and two baths on the second floor, including the master bedroom suite. The laundry room is also on the second floor.

Two bedrooms share one bath on the third floor. Also on this level is a large comfortable room for use as a TV room or sitting room.

The fifth bedroom is on the lower level in a suite with its own bath. The Muhlbradts have this room furnished as an office. It has a private entrance, with one of the sets of triple French doors to the back yard. Also on the lower level is a family room and a game room. The game room has another of the sets of triple French doors to the yard.

The other two sets of French doors are in the kitchen and dining room leading from the main level to the deck.

Several storage closets are in the house, including two in the master bedroom. One of these is a walk-in closet.

The master bath has an oversized soaking tub and separate shower, a double vanity, a private water closet and a linen closet.

As is typical of neotraditional communities, the lots in the Kentlands are small for low maintenance and the houses are close to the streets. Sidewalks lining the streets lead to large open common spaces, including the lakes and recreational facilities.

Although it is small, the Muhlbradts' lot is not typical in that it is surrounded by trees and is very private. Birds visit the deck where Mrs. Muhlbradt has a bird feeder, sharing the bounty with chipmunks that scamper around.

"Why would people drive several hours to go on vacation?" asks Mrs. Muhlbradt, describing the neighborhood swimming pools and tennis courts. "There are several teaching tennis pros on staff," she notes, and a trainer at the fitness center.

All this comes at a price, however. Homeowner association dues are $79.85 a month.

There are many community activities, and Kentlands residents receive a calendar each month.


Address: 223 Massbury St., Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Community: Kentlands

Age: Built 1991

Price: $639,000

Size: About 4,000 square feet on lot of 6,019 square feet. (about 1/7-acre)

Taxes: $5,878

Exterior features: Brick Colonial with two-car garage, brick walks, wrap-around deck with built-in planters surrounded by trees

Interior features: Entry foyer, formal living and dining rooms, country kitchen, walkout lower-level family room, five bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, second-floor laundry room, third-floor TV room, two-zone gas heat, electric central air conditioning

Amenities: Fireplace, oak and ceramic tile flooring, four sets of triple French doors, three-window box bay, sunburst window, center island and built-in desk in kitchen, Corian counters, ceiling fan light fixture, crown moldings

Schools: Rachel Carson Elementary, Ridgeview Middle, Quince Orchard High

Close by: Within a mile of shopping, restaurants and movies in the Kentlands, within half a mile of community tennis courts, swimming pools, fitness center, three lakes and hiking trails; about 3 miles to Interstate 270 at Sam Eig Highway interchange

Open house: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, June 23

Contact: Mary Charters, Keller Williams Maryland Realtors, at 301/590-5500 or 877/901-1090

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