“You can just walk out your front door and walk around these really untouched woods and really see nobody,” Burwell said. “And then you can drive five minutes and be on Rockville Pike and have all the humanity you want.”
Potomac Woods is a suburban community of 405 single-family homes just southwest of downtown Rockville. Robert Wilson, president of the neighborhood’s citizens’ association, said it was mostly populated by young families.
But there are also people who are “hungover,” Wilson said — people who, like him, have stayed in the neighborhood even though the children they raised there are long gone. Wilson doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.
“They’re going to take me out of here in a box,” he said. “I really like it here.”
The Mount Vernon Triangle provides pedestrian accessibility to many attractions
Like Burwell, Wilson was enamored with the many green spaces of Potomac Woods when he first visited the neighborhood more than two decades ago. He had a young daughter then and he wanted her to have enough space to run around.
Potomac Woods Park, a 42-acre space owned by the City of Rockville that features basketball and tennis courts, grillhouses, a playground, and a gazebo, is on the east end of the community. On the west side is the 20-acre Falls Road Local Park, operated by Montgomery County.
Residents gather for an annual Labor Day picnic at Potomac Woods Park and enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs and a selection of side dishes and desserts. There’s also pumpkin decorating and a Halloween parade in October, a holiday light-up contest in December, and pizza and bingo night in April.
The events give Potomac Woods a welcoming atmosphere, said Laura Bach, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1997 and is the treasurer of its citizens’ association.
When Bach and her husband were looking for their first home, they wanted an affordable option with easy access to their jobs in downtown Rockville and Washington.
“Potomac Woods ended up ticking all the boxes,” she said. The neighborhood offers commuters easy access to the Capital Beltway and the Intercounty Connector.
It was in December that Bach finalized the purchase of her house, she recalls, so she didn’t see the neighborhood in the spring until months later.
“We couldn’t believe how beautiful it was,” recalls Bach, who also sells homes in the neighborhood as the Carmen Fontecilla Group real estate agent at Compass. “All the streets were lined with cherry blossoms, and it was so alive.”
Many working families are starting to consider the neighborhood for the same reason Bach did, she said: location. But they’re often drawn to its tree-lined streets or the solid reputation of nearby public schools.
Despite the community’s proximity to the freeway, the layout of its streets makes it a low-traffic location, Wilson said. In fact, visitors sometimes have trouble finding their way around the neighborhood, he added.
“If half a dozen cars a day from outside the neighborhood drive by my house, it’s probably a busy day,” Wilson said.
There are two swimming clubs within walking distance and several shopping centers within a short drive.
“It’s just a very friendly, warm and incredibly convenient neighborhood,” Bach said.
Live there: Potomac Woods is bounded by Wootton Parkway to the northeast and Falls Road and Stratton Drive to the west. Lancashire Drive, Stratton Drive and Dunster Lane border the area to the east, and Derbyshire and Kimblewick Roads border it to the south.
Landover Hills is “a welcoming community”
Thirty-five homes sold in Potomac Woods in 2021 for an average price of $820,467, Bach said. The most expensive was a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home that went for $875,000 but sold for just under $1.1 million. The lowest-priced house was a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home that sold for $690,000.
So far, seven homes have sold in the neighborhood in 2022, ranging from a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home that sold for $830,000 to a five-bedroom, four-bathroom home that s sold for $1 million.
A six-bedroom, three-bathroom home is on the market for $830,000, down from $865,000, Bach said. A four-bedroom, four-bathroom home is under contract for $880,000.
Schools: Ritchie Park Elementary, Julius West Middle and Richard Montgomery High.
Transit: The T2 metro bus stops along Falls Road. The Montgomery County Ride On bus stops along Wootton Parkway. The Rockville subway station (red line) is a seven-minute drive away.