Homes for Sale in Takoma Park

Takoma Park, Maryland is an incorporated City that is at the southern tip of Montgomery County, Maryland and shares a border with the District of Columbia on the south-west side and Prince George’s County on the eastern side.  It was founded in 1883, by Benjamin Gilbert, and incorporated in 1890.  It was originally a weekend retreat on the railway line from downtown Washington and later a commuter town with easy access by rail. The name Takoma was derived from an Indian word that at that time was believe to mean “high up” or “near heaven”, and it is considerably higher than most of Washington DC, which was an advantage in pre-air conditioning days. The population in 2010 was 16,715.  Originally homes were built around the train station which was on the DC side of the border and slowly the streets on the Maryland side grew.  The City has a sizeable Historic District, which is closest to the Metro Station area (serving the Red Line) and out towards Route 410 and down Carroll Avenue and Piney Branch Road.   The City extends north to University Boulevard (route 193) where there is the large “Takoma-Langley Shopping Center” and where the planned “Purple Line” will have a station.  The city is bisected by Sligo Creek Park, which is popular for walking, jogging and biking and has a section closed to traffic on Sunday for this enjoyment.

The City has a large number of multi-family and apartment buildings and has rent stabilization law that was largely based on the Washington DC Rent Control law and has been in effect since the early 1990’s.  This law, popular with tenants, is not so well liked by Landlords and has recently been extended to include all owners of condominiums in the City, though single-family rental homes are excluded. Multi-family buildings of 2 units or more are included in the law.  It restricts rental increases to the amount of the increase in the Consumer Price Index of the DC metropolitan area for the previous year.  In recent years, many multi-family houses that had originally been a single family, between the Great Depression and 2nd World War, have been converted back to single family homes again.

The City is well known for its liberal policies that include allowing voters as young as 16 to vote in City elections; declaring it City to be a Nuclear Free zone; and being a safe haven for illegal immigrants.  It also had the first openly gay council member, elected in 1993, who later served three terms as Mayor, Bruce Williams, since retired.

In recent years the City, once known a Hippie Haven, full of artists and inexpensive housing, has become filled with young professionals who view it as an alternative to the more expensive Bethesda area.  It has also developed in recent years more restaurants to choose from on both sides of the border with Washington DC in the historic area.  Property values in 2017 range from a million plus for the largest renovated Historic District homes, to the $500’s in the middle of the city to low $400’s or less in the northern part of the city.  Condo’s run around $200-$300K for a 2BR and less for a 1BR. There are few recent condo conversions in the City, but there are more on the DC side of the border.

Takoma DC is an area around the Metro Station area and has its own commercial area along 4th and Cedar Streets.  The DC side has its own Historic District.  Housing stock runs from 1880’s to 1930’s in the Historic areas, to the 1950’s  at the north end of town.  There are occasional new build homes in the City but land is scarce.   Takoma Park has popular schools and good name recognition in the DC Metro area, and it is not uncommon to multiple offers be made when a house becomes available in the Historic District or even other areas.