Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

Fairway to Heaven: Avenel

Avenel is one of Washington’s prestige addresses, a Potomac development from the 1980s that has been named one of the nation’s 100 best golf communities.

By Kerry White

Who Lives Here: Avenel draws heavy hitters—business execs, developers, diplomats, doctors, lawyers, and car dealers among them. Residents say it’s a family-friendly place: “We were welcomed by our neighbors with cookies and phone numbers of potential babysitters,” says Scott Becker, whose young family moved here in 2003.

Homefront: The brick, stone, and stucco homes include light-filled townhouses, Cape Cods and Colonials, and even some traditional-leaning contemporaries. Interiors often feature grand master suites and lavish media rooms. Two-acre-plus lots sit on the perimeter of the neighborhood.

For sale: Single-family homes range from about $1.5 million to $10 million, says real-estate agent and resident Nancy Shahin Itteilag. Townhouses start at about $1 million. Fifty small Cape Cods sell in the mid-$500,000s. A seven-bedroom Colonial with indoor and outdoor pools recently listed for $4 million.

Meet you at the club: TPC Avenel, a golf club that weaves through the neighborhood, invites new residents to join as golf ($45,000 initiation) or social ($1,500) members and come to happy hours and family dinners. Some residents gather for sports and socials at nearby Congressional Country Club.

Big events: Backyard barbecues during the Booz Allen Classic PGA golf tournament. With the golf club starting renovations that will close the course, no tournaments are planned until 2009.

Draws: The bucolic setting and the schools. Neighborhood kids attend highly touted Whitman and Churchill high schools and nearby private schools such as Norwood, Holy Child, and Bullis.

Drawbacks: Lack of parking on some of the denser streets. Homeowners association home-improvement guidelines have sparked disputes. But many residents say the rules maintain a unified and tidy look; satellite dishes are tucked away.

Why it beats Dominion Valley: Convenience. Without traffic, downtown DC is 25 minutes away, the Tysons area less.

On the Web: Avenel Community Association (; TPC Avenel (

Most Popular on Washingtonian

9 Businesses You Remember If You Grew Up in Washington

How David Gregory Lost His Job

Photos: What Life Was Like in DC During the Great Depression

Local TV Commercials You Remember If You Grew Up in Washington

Can't-Miss Food Events This Week: Taste of DC, Cap City Oktoberfest

This Insanely Cool Georgetown House Is on Sale for $10 Million

Metro's Ridership Is Still Falling, and Fare Hikes Might Be the Only Way to Keep Its Revenue Up

Metro Can Blame Bikeshare for Lost Passengers, but Bikeshare Is Just Going to Get Bigger.

Where to Find the Best Pizzas Around DC