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Clarendon Blogger Moves to Bethesda

by ARLnow.com April 2, 2012 at 9:15 am 6,880 80 Comments

Amy Moore, the writer behind Clarendon Culture, is retiring the blog after deciding to move to Bethesda.

In her last blog post, Amy says she would have liked to buy a home in Lyon Village, but it turned out to be beyond her and her husband’s price range. Instead, the couple and their baby girl moved to Bethesda, where they bought a house about six miles away from D.C. proper.

Amy is now launching a new Bethesda blog at www.Bethesdan.com.

  • Corey

    The Rent is Too Damn High

  • BC

    Cool – you’ll be six miles from upper northwest DC and 45 minutes to the business district. As I always say, if you can’t afford your $1.5M dream home in Lyon Village, you may as well move away.

    By the way, any part of the Bethesda that could reasonably be compared to 22201 (the part within walking distance of downtown Bethesda) is just as expensive as Arlington.

    • Bonissa Meldi

      The taxes in Maryland, too, are much higher than in Virginia–even here in Arlington.

      • Me

        I thought MD didn’t have property tax..

        • Arlington, Northside

          Vehicle registration is rated to car value, so while it is a fee instead of a tax, the net affect is the same.

      • BallstonDweller

        Have you lived in both places? I did.

        Didn’t find the actual tax rate to be that much different.

        DC is a different story, but I actually feel more nickel-and-dimed in VA (car-tax, anyone?) than I did in MD. Just didn’t find the net taxes to be much different so was wondering what percentages you were comparing.

        • Bonissa Meldi

          Check the income (including local) tax rates. Maryland is higher.


    yeah, cause if you can’t live in Lyon Village then you should abandon the place…

  • TuesdaysChild

    I don’t get her point. She cannot live in Lyon Village, so is moving to Bethesda? There are many places in Arlington other that Lyon Village that are preferrable to Bethesda.

    • I wasn’t trying to make a “point.” If you actually read my blog post, you’d know that I am a neighborhood blogger who bought a house in a different neighborhood (in part to be closer to family), and I am now retiring my blog. What is so hard to understand about that?

      • AllenB

        For the vast majority of us, it isn’t tough to understand at all. But you’ll find there are a handful of complainers/whiners/negative types who just want to bash someone regardless of what is written.

        Good luck in your new neighborhood. Your blog updates will be missed.

        • Thanks Allen. We absolutely feel like we made the best decision for this point in our lives. It’s a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood, and such a great place to raise a family. I really can’t believe how much snark these commenters feel the need to display.

          • Sam

            It’s not snark, it’s just stupidity.

          • Michael H.

            Some (but not all) of the regulars like to complain. Doesn’t matter what the topic is. They will find a way to twist it into worst thing that ever happened to humankind. Fortunately not everyone in “real life” is like this. If they were, reality would be pretty miserable for everyone.

          • R. Griffon

            As others said, this board seems to attract a lot of warrantless negativity for some unknown reason.

            Good luck!

          • anonymouse

            If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black.

            Put your big girl pants on and don’t get so offended by comments. Thought you’d have figured that out by now after running a blog.

      • TuesdaysChild

        I did read your blog post before I commented. You clearly state that one of the reasons you are leaving is you could not get you LV dream house. Maybe you meant this as a joke, that I mis-interpreted. Sorry. Have a good monday.

        • Maria

          But how would that translate to “making a point” anyway? She was explaining the circumstances. Not everything has to be about a point. Sheesh.

  • We’re facing the same dilemma as well. When it comes time to buy a house/condo, we’ll be priced out of Arlington. We love the area, but $700,000 for a small POS house is ridiculous for where we’re from.

    • drax

      You don’t need $700k to buy a nice small house in a decent location in Arlington.

    • CW

      Keep in mind that your $700k POS here in arlington will be 3-5 miles from the heart of DC (west end through the Hill), while the same POS in Bethesda will cost just as much and will be 8-10 miles away.

      6 miles from D.C. proper? Must be “North Bethesda”, aka Rockville. Have fun with that. I’d rather live under the Key Bridge and enjoy the location.

      • JamesE

        You could live in a van down by the river.

      • Not Rockville at all. We’re at River Road and Seven Locks, just north of Cabin John. Our house is 2,700 square feet with huge windows and high ceilings on a 1/3 of an acre, in a tight community with a neighborhood swim and tennis club. So if that information will help you correct your wrong assumption, there you go.

        • CW

          Sorry, I guessed in the wrong direction!

          From a quick look at zillow, that’s an interesting little enclave of reasonably-priced houses right there. Still not an easy trip to D.C. in my mind (yes, spoiled by Clarendon myself), but certainly looks like you can get some good house for the money there. I thought everything in that spot was $2M+.

          • Thanks – we feel really lucky to have stumbled upon this neighborhood. It’s a hidden little gem of a neighborhood with mid-century modern architecture and affordable homes. We’re surrounded by million $ + homes and great schools, but we are fortunate enough to be paying a low mortgage.

          • CW

            You also have the benefit of being able to tell people that you live either in Bethesda OR Potomac, depending on the snootiness of the crowd…:)

          • hah – so true.

        • SoMuchForSubtlety

          I always did feel like Bethesda was Arlingon’s R-B corridor embassy in MD. Good luck and enjoy the great restaurants!

          • We feel the same way. Bethesda is Clarendon + 10-20 years. We were joking about the fact that we’ll only get older as Clarendon always stays the same age.

        • drax

          You are definitely not in Clarendon any more.

        • Arlington, Northside

          That neighborhood is to downtown Bethesda as east Falls Church is to Clarendon. You will be hitting the Giant and Safeway in Potomac Village far more often than you will head into Bethesda. And you will be spoiled when comparing that Safeway to ANY Safeway in Arlington or Fairfax Counties.

          • JohnE

            I would say it’s more like Chesterbrook or McLean to Clarendon. At least EFC is on the actual subway line.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Very good observation/comparison.

      • drax

        What matters is how close you are to a Metro stop as much as how close you are to downtown.

        • nunya

          roger that. no where near either of those two things.

          and, just at or outside of the beltway. miles from downtown bethedsa and not within walking distance to much of anything.

          good luck to amy and her new blog. flip your house in a few years for some $$$ and come back to arlington.

    • R. Griffon

      Sadly, the prices where you’re from are irrelevant. As the saying goes… “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” Literally.

      But take heart. If walk-ability and proximity to Metro are your goal, you can snag the occasional gem in the northern areas of VA Square or Ballston, or even Lyon Park once in a blue moon. And don’t forget East Falls Church as it doesn’t carry quite the same “close to shopping and dining” premium.

      But if you’d rather drive, there are also some decent deals south of Rt. 50 and along Columbia Pike as well as Rt. 29 and points north (but expect to spend more N of 50).

      The key is to take your time. You may have to watch the market for a year or more to find just the right match. And when it comes, you’ve got to have all of your ducks in a row and be ready to lay down an aggressive offer w/ a moment’s notice, and be prepared to fight for it. Well priced homes don’t last long in this area. But for $700-800K, you can find something that will serve a family of 4 quite well.

  • John Fontain

    We have only ourselves to blame for crazy high house prices.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Yes, we are all part of the market, so we are to blame. You make it sound like a negative that our housing prices stood up while the rest of the country crashed.

  • Tre


  • novasteve

    Moco isn’t that different from arlington. Completely dominated by liberals, they have their own stupid street car idea (called the purple line), and in addition they have a bag tax.

    Can you let us know how much higher your income taxes are? moco also has a KILLER local tax too.

    • People need to stop throwing these sorts of statements around without some numbers to back it up. This is a genuine question. How do sales and income taxes in Bathesda compare to Arlington? I moved from a city with 9.5% sales tax, so “killer” is all relative to me.

      • Arlington, Northside

        No food tax in Bethesda, other than that, every other tax will be higher.

        • AllenB

          No car tax in MD either.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Seen the car registration fees?

          • AllenB

            Yes, but they are one time fees.

          • Arlington, Northside

            $128-180 annual registration fees, on top of the initial one time fee in the begining. My car is now 12 years old, my tax in Arlington is the $25 sticker fee and the $50 registration.

          • AllenB

            For you, VA may be better. For someone with a new, moderate to expensive car, MD may be better on car taxes.

            Simply, you said every other tax is higher. That’s not true.

    • drax

      So MoCo and Arlington aren’t that different, except for the huge gap in tax rates and the bag tax. Okay, steve.

      • coco

        and if your children don’t get into Harvard and you want to pay in-state tuition- VA has much, MUCH better public universities, e.g., UVA, William&Mary, VaTech, JMU, GMU..even VCU, etc.

        • Arlington, Northside

          And Maryland only has University of Maryland, St Mary’s College, the Naval Academy….if you only want to may in-state or nothing to a good school. 😉

          • Cherie

            Like she said—MD doesn’t have anything in comparison to what VA offers. Putting Naval Academy in there is ridiculous, btw.

          • drax

            Naval Academy? You don’t pay tuition there, in-state or out-of-state. Costs the same for a Virginian as a Marylander – zero.

  • MariamR

    We will miss your Clarendon blog but will look forward to checking out your Bethesdan blog. We are always looking for new places to go to for brunch 😉

    Congrats on the new house & best of luck in Bethesda.

  • PUP

    so much hate on these boards, even for a chick no one probably knows who decided to move out of arlington to pursue other things. ridiculous. hilarious.

    • Bluemontsince1961


    • Maria

      There clearly haven’t been enough controversial abortion/smoking/dog park stories on here lately.

  • Clarencourt Neighbor

    I’ll miss reading your blog! I always appreciated your insight into neighborhood goings-on and new businesses/developments. Hope you find as many treasures in your new neighborhood as you did in Clarendon!

  • sue

    Hmmm..sorry I didn’t know about your blog while you were here. It looks cute. Great photos, too.

    My husband lived in Bethesda when we were first dating. The dowtown area is almost an exact replica of Clarendon. I am a VA girl so never could live in MD–(also because of the difference in State Universities for the kids). But-you never know.

    Best of luck!

    • Arlington, Northside

      Really Clarendon is an exact replica of Bethesda, as it had a 15-20 year head start on redevelopment.

  • j

    Just the mere number of comments to this innocuous “change of address” post speaks volumes to this crowd. C’mon people

    • nunya

      yeah, i’d like to complain about the people who constantly complain about complaining people.


      • PUP

        how meta of you

  • nunya
  • R. Griffon

    Sad for us, as I wasn’t really a regular but always enjoyed her more gastro-centric ARL blog every time I stopped by. But families gotta do what families gotta do.

    Good luck Amy, and thanks for the great reviews!

  • Clarendon

    I will miss the sensual pictures of food. Food that I have a shot at eating I mean. I almost never make it up there in Maryland.

  • Arlington, Northside

    It boggles my mind trying to figure out how the numbers would make Bethesda more affordable than Clarendon. She should just admit that she likes the even more liberal than Arlington aspects of Bethesda/Montgomery County.

    • Carto

      The homes that would be around Bethesda in a situation similar to Lyon Village would be comparable. The place the blogger describes, however is no where near Bethesda. At least not walking wise. I have a friend in that general area and they tend to shop and dine in Tysons Corner. It’s a different lifestyle than the neighborhoods surrounding Clarendon or Bethesda. You don’t put you kid in the stroller and head out, you strap them in the car seat and head out.

    • Danielle

      River Road/Seven Locks is not the area you’re thinking of when you think of Bethesda. I drive down Seven Locks all the time and always thought it was Rockville.

      • Arlington, Northside

        River Road/Seven Locks is more east Potomac than south Rockville. Seven Locks and Bradley could be west Bethesda. But, it is a WAYS off from ever being called Rockville, although the old quarries are still there, so may be it is more rock-ville, than Rockville is.

    • Maria

      Or you could not deeply analyze her personal decision to move her family to a place they thought would better suit their financial and familial needs.

      • Arlington, Northside

        It would appear that financials only have a little to do with this move. Family seems to come first, as it should be.

      • Thank you

      • CW

        I realize that this is an old thread, but just wanted to point out the irony of you condemning people expressing their opinions on the internet about a story regarding someone who is solely known for expressing her opinions on the internet.

        • Rebecca

          *Golf Clap* for CW

        • Maria

          Actually, I didn’t condemn anything. I gave Arlington, Northside a suggestion to ease his/her boggled mind. Stress is bad for the heart, you know.

          Also, for the record, expressing an opinion would have been saying something like, “I think it’s ridiculous that she moved away from Arlington because Bethesda sucks.” That is not what Arl, Nor. did. (S)He said, “She should just admit that she likes the even more liberal than Arlington aspects of Bethesda/Montgomery County.” That was an analysis of someone’s thought process, not an opinion on the situation.

  • LuLu

    Let’s see… since I didn’t win the lottery last week, I guess I’ll move to Belize… that’s WAY better than Bethesda! Hahaha!

  • Wait A Second

    Isn’t Arlington the land of “Affordable Housing?” Shouldn’t a local Blogger be able to afford to live here?


    • Abe Froman

      Thats only if you are considered PO.

      Thats interesting, I don’t see anything under $740k on Zillow for 20817 which was the zip that came up for the intersection of Seven Lochs and River.

      • Clarendon

        You probably won’t find many home there for much less than that (maybe in the 600’s occasionally). The difference is more the size of house and lot and the fact that there are more houses on the market there than around Clarendon.

        I Zillow’d a friends neighborhood around Boca Raton, FL and wow… there are so many homes on the market there, the little symbols for houses for sale blanketed and completely hid the map.


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