- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Condominiums — new buildings, resale homes and apartment conversion projects — appeal to a variety of buyers. Young professionals — single and married — prefer this style of housing for its low maintenance and because condominiums are often located in areas with night life, restaurants, shops and public transportation.

Empty nesters find condominiums appealing for some of the same reasons, focusing on leaving behind home-maintenance chores in order to enjoy newfound leisure time.

Another group of buyers traditionally purchasing condominiums are first-time buyers, who often find condominiums to be an affordable first home.

Condominiums in Montgomery County are not necessarily affordable, however. While some are priced in the upper $200,000s and low $300,000s for a studio or one-bedroom home, most of the two-bedroom homes are priced in the $400,000s and above. A handful of luxury condominiums are priced in the $900,000s and higher.

As the home-buying market has slowed in recent months, so has the condominium market in Montgomery County, where the total number of condominiums listed for sale has increased 260 percent from May 2005 to May 2006, according to the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. (MRIS). In May 2005, there were 268 condominiums on the market; in May 2006, there were 966 condominiums for sale in Montgomery County.

This is good news for condominium buyers, who now have a greater level of choice and an ability to negotiate, which was absent last year.

Condominium prices have continued to climb slightly, however, with the average price rising to $311,444 in May 2006, compared with $306,544 in May 2005.

Among the new condominiums in Montgomery County, KSI Services Inc. is developing Midtown Bethesda North at 5750 Bou Avenue in North Bethesda, a high-rise building with concierge services, garage parking, a guest suite, a library and conference room, a billiards room, a sports center, a cafe with wireless Internet service, a private theater and 20th-floor “skybox” with a swimming pool with a waterfall and a hot tub, a landscaped sun deck, a summer kitchen with a grill and a party room with a catering kitchen.

The homes include kitchens with Italian cabinets and granite counters, hardwood flooring in the living areas and kitchen, prewiring for a plasma TV and surround sound, walk-in closets, Berber carpeting in the bedrooms, and full-size washers and dryers.

The one-bedroom-and-den homes are base-priced from $439,000 to $476,000, and the two-bedroom and two-bedroom-and-library homes are base-priced from $567,000 to $692,000; penthouse homes are priced from $707,000 to $930,000.

Monthly condominium fees range from $300 to $600.

Call 301/770-8604 or visit www.condosofmidtown.com

Duball Woodmont LLC is developing Lionsgate at the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, at 7710 Woodmont Ave. Lionsgate is one block from the Bethesda Metro and a supermarket, and within walking distance of upscale shops and restaurants.

The building has a doorman, valet parking, a 24-hour front desk, a fitness center and a clubroom. Each home has hardwood flooring, stone flooring in the baths, Viking stainless steel appliances and granite counters in the kitchen, and many include bay windows and balconies.

Sales started in April for buyers on the preview list for the 131 homes; 99 homes are still available. Base prices for the homes range from the low $600,000s for one-bedroom-and-den homes, the mid-$900,000s for two-bedroom homes, $1,200,000 for two-bedroom-and-den homes, and from $2,000,000 for three-bedroom homes.

Monthly condominium fees range from $470 to $1,390. Call 301/986-0066 or visit www.lionsgatebethesda.com.

Toll Bros. Inc. is building one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums at White Flint Station in North Bethesda, at 11800 Old Georgetown Road.

The condominium is next to the White Flint Metro station and across the street from the North Bethesda Town Center, and it is minutes from White Flint Mall. The complex will include secure parking, concierge services, four courtyards, a fitness center, an outdoor, resort-style swimming pool and a two-level clubroom.

Each home will include 9-foot-high ceilings, a patio or balcony, hardwood flooring and a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counters.

Some of the homes include a fireplace. The one-bedroom, one-bath homes are base-priced from $285,815 to $363,115; the two-bedroom, one-bath homes from $427,280; and the two-bedroom, two-bath homes from $471,410 to $576,090.

The two-bedroom, two-bath-and-den home is priced from $614,320, and the three-bedroom home with two baths is priced from $664,000.

Monthly condominium fees range from $215 to $375.

Call 301/468-0300 or visit www.whiteflintstation.com.

Foulger-Pratt Contracting LLC is building condominiums at Park Potomac Place, a high-rise complex with upscale amenities at Interstate 270 and Montrose Road.

The community includes retail stores, brownstones, restaurants and mature trees in addition to the two high-rise towers. The condominiums offer an elegant lobby with a 24-hour desk, a fitness center, a circular pool, a landscaped courtyard with a grill island, a clubroom with a wet bar, fireplace and catering kitchen, controlled-access parking, direct transit service to Metro and overnight guest suites.

Each of the homes includes upgraded appliances, granite counters, an island or peninsula workstation in the kitchen, marble flooring in the master bath, high ceilings, full-size washer and dryer, prewiring for Internet service, and hardwood flooring in the foyer, living room, dining room and kitchen.

The corner homes include a large balcony, and most residences have a fireplace option. The homes are priced from the upper $700,000s to $2,000,000, with monthly condominium fees ranging from $600 to $1,500.

Call 301/251-7726 or visit www.ParkPotomacPlace.com.

Centex Homes will be building new condominiums in Silver Spring, with preview sales estimated to begin in August or September. Located at the corner of Blair Mill Road and East West Highway, the complex will be known as Cityhomes at 1200 East West.

The Silver Spring Metro station is within two blocks. The building will include retail shops on the first level, a clubroom, a business center and a fitness center. Prices and condominium fees have yet to be determined. To be placed on a preview list and receive updated information, visit www.centexcityhomes.com.

At Rockville Town Square, located adjacent to the Rockville Metro station, a 121/2-acre mixed-used community includes a wide range of condominiums from studios up to three-bedroom homes being built by Ross/Danac..

The community includes a gourmet grocery, a cultural arts center, restaurants, shops, a library, a sports club, swimming pools, fitness centers and club rooms.

Each home has 9-foot ceilings and features such as hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, hardwood kitchen cabinets and gas heat and cooking.

Garage parking is included in the price of the home.

The homes have about 550 to 1,680 finished square feet, with base prices for studios from $307,900 to $311,900; for one-bedroom homes from $358,900 to $399,900; one-bedroom-and-den homes from $453,900 to $514,900; two-bedroom, one-bath homes from $480,900 to $492,900; two-bedroom, two-bath homes from $544,900 to $839,900; two-bedroom, two-bath-and-den homes from $647,900 to $899,900 and three-bedroom, two-bath homes from $749,900 to $964,900.

Monthly condominium fees range from $300 to $750.

Call 301/610-6035 or visit www.rockvilletownsquare.com.

Elad Group Florida is building the Fitz at Rockville Town Center, at 501 Hungerford Drive, a high-rise building with elevator service and garage parking close to shops, restaurants, night life and two Metro stations.

The Fitz offers a theater lounge, a resort-style swimming pool, a cyber cafe with high-speed Internet service, a courtyard with a fountain and a fitness center.

The homes include gas fireplaces, center-island kitchens with breakfast bars, ceramic tile flooring, walk-in closets, a full-size washer and dryer, marble vanities and tubs.

Some of the one-, two- and three-bedroom homes include a loft.

The homes are priced from the $280,000s to $349,000 for a one-bedroom home, from $410,000 to $472,000 for a two-bedroom home and from $459,000 to $496,000 for a three-bedroom home.

Monthly condominium fees range from $215 to $430.

Call 301/315-8860 or visit www.thefitzatrockville.com.

Elad Group Florida is also building the Colonnade at Kentlands, in the heart of the planned community of Kentlands at 23 Arch Place in Gaithersburg.

Shops and restaurants are within walking distance, and the development includes a resort-style swimming pool with fountains, a sauna, a fitness center, a theater lounge, a pub, a wine room and a courtyard.

Each of the homes includes a center island in the kitchen, walk-in closets, garage parking and cable and Internet wiring.

One-, two- and three-bedroom homes are available, some with lofts and computer niches. The homes are base-priced from the low $300,000s for one-bedroom homes, from the mid-$400,000s for the two-bedroom homes and from the upper $400,000s for the three-bedroom homes.

Condominium fees range from $262 to $535 per month.

Call 301/840-2060 or visit www.ColonnadeAtKentlands.com.

At King Farm in Rockville, Centex Homes is building condominiums within walking distance of the Shady Grove Metro station and the Village Center shops.

The King Farm development includes an array of recreational amenities such as a community center with a swimming pool, an exercise room, a party room, walking trails, parks, ponds, ball fields and tennis courts.

The condominiums are priced from the low $400,000s to the mid-$500,000s, with condominium fees from $350 to $430 per month.

Call 877/682-3700 or visit www.centexhomes-dcmetro.com.

Bozzuto Homes Inc. is building town-home-style condominiums at the Carriage Homes at Summit Crossing in Gaithersburg, near shops, restaurants and the MARC train station.

Most of the homes have two levels; some have four. The homes have a brick and vinyl exterior and a one- or two-car garage, with some also including a deck or a two-story porch.

These two- or three-bedroom homes have two full baths, a powder room, high ceilings and large windows.

Standard features include crown moldings, hardwood flooring in the foyer, powder room and kitchen; 42-inch oak cabinets and granite counter in the center-island kitchen and a master bath with ceramic tile flooring, a tub and separate shower.

The homes have 1,631 to 2,227 finished square feet, with base prices from $389,990 to $494,990.

Condominium fees are about $250 per month.

Call 301/740-3645 or visit www.bozzuto.com.

Centex Homes is building town-home-style, two-level condominiums at Buckingham Station in Germantown, near Metro stations and a MARC train station.

The community includes a swimming pool and a clubhouse and is located close to multiple shopping areas. Each two-story home has two or three bedrooms, two full baths, a powder room and a one-car garage. The homes range from 1,246 to 1,783 finished square feet.

The homes are priced from the $300,000s, with monthly condominium fees of about $300.

Call 888/206-8242 or visit www.centexhomes-dcmetro.com.

Fairfield Residential LLC is building condominiums at 13500 Carlow Point Circle in Germantown known as Ashmore at Germantown.

This resort-style community will include a swimming pool with a Jacuzzi, a party room, a business center, a fitness center and outdoor parking.

Garage parking is also available, and the community is located near the MARC train station.

The condominiums have one, two or three bedrooms and one or two baths and are base-priced from $199,900 to $374,900.

Condominium fees range from $215 to $300 per month.

Call 866/375-8351 or visit www.ashmorecondos.com.

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