Bethesda, Chevy Chase Real Estate News

Mending a River(Road) - Reflections After The Bethesda Water Main Break

Still Mending River Road 4 Days Later

Since the 911 calls made their way onto CNN, there are probably not too many people who don’t know about the 66 inch water main that broke in suburban Maryland two days before Christmas, turning a main road into a river and trapping 9 motorists.

Those of us who live near the rupture were glued to television sets as the scene played out in front of our eyes, with helicopters and boats rescuing the victims and clearly saving lives. Many of those trapped reported not only rushing water (on a cold morning where temperatures were only in the teens), but also debris including rocks and branches. The fact that there were no serious injuries or fatalities is a real tribute to firefighters and Maryland State Police. And, it seems as though the community also owes a great deal of thanks to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) and the road repair crews. In my house (located a couple of miles from the break), our only indication that something of this magnitude had happened with the water service was low water pressure. Although some homes were without water completely for a short period of time, WSSC was quickly able to redirect water so as to minimize any service interruptions.

In total, it took only 6 hours to get everything back to normal – which seems incredible given the amount of water involved, the vast service area, and the severe damage to a 66 inch water main. During those 6 hours, anyone selling water did a great business. I personally saw people pushing cartloads of bottled water out of a CVS, and a friend of ours bought almost $200 worth of water from the Drink More Water store in Bethesda. I also heard of one person who filled her bathtub…just in case her water was cut off later in the day....

Baby Boomers 2.0, Real Estate, and Trends, Oh My!

A recent survey prepared for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which was released within the past few weeks, concludes that one in four baby boomer households expects to move from their current home in the future. This really shouldn’t be big news to people, but the question of where these people move and into what should definitely be something that our society is considering.

In the past, baby boomer families who could afford to move would likely head to  warmer climates…thus the growth of retirement communities in our more southern states. Today, most boomers say that they would like to stay in their current homes, but will probably make a move to a more convenient living style – which translates in 59% of the cases to one level living.

Today’s baby boomers are not so quick to take off for say Ft. Lauderdale retirement homes, or the Gulf shore condos. Instead, some are staying in their current communities (just moving to apartments or one-level homes), while others are making new homes in areas of the country that have not been previously identified as popular retirement areas. These include places as varied as Vermont, Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Washington State. Besides one level living, baby boomers also indicate that they’d like to live in a newer home and/or a smaller home. And, of special importance to today’s boomers is proximity to family (usually meaning children and grandchildren).

Preferences and expectations of baby boomers do vary according to both age and gender. The report says that older boomers are significantly more likely than younger boomers to think that they will move into a single level home; men are more likely than women to believe they will move into a newer home or move into a home in a warmer or better climate; and women are more likely to think they will downsize.


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