The 166 units at TOP of the Park, constructed in the early 1940's, were originally 214 dwelling units known as Piney Branch Apartments. The Piney Branch Apartment complex consisted of 118 townhouse apartments and 96 one-bedroom apartments. In the early 1980's, when the apartment complex was converted to a condominium, the developer combined the one-bedroom apartments into the forty-eight 3-bedroom townhouses that now exist on the property.
Silver Spring – bordered by Manchester, Piney Branch and Sligo Creek Parkway roads. Approximately one mile to Silver Spring town center.
166 units in 29 buildings. There are 6 different townhome sizes:
89 - 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom
8 - 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with a basement
28 - 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms with a den
20 - 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms with a basement
19 - 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom
2 - 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with a basement
> Two-story townhouse style; exterior brick construction
> 49 of the 166 units have aluminum siding on the front facade. Of the remaining units, about half are painted a light beige color; the remainder is unpainted brick.
> Interior walls are either plasterboard or lath and plaster. Hardwood floors throughout (except kitchens and bath).
> Units with unfinished basements have concrete block walls and concrete floors. Units without basements have crawl spaces (which are a “common element” owned by the Association).
> All units have front and rear doors; units without first floor dens also have front kitchen doors. Approximately 10 units have exterior basement entrances and stairways.
Three units have screened rear porches, constructed and maintained by the homeowner.
> Approximately one-third of the units have rear decks or patios, constructed and maintained by the homeowner.
> Units are all-electric, with heat pumps for heating and air conditioning
> Electricity and cable are paid for individually by the unit owners. Water and sewer is paid through monthly condominium fees.
Age of complex:
Built 1942 as an apartment complex, modernized and converted to condominiums in 1979/80.
Approximately 15 acres; heavily wooded with mature trees.
210 off-street parking spaces. On-street parking spaces available as on Manchester Road
50 foot pool with bath-house facilities. On-site office. On-site staff includes a full-time maintenance and a part-time administrative employee. The pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A lifeguard is on duty. There is no tot pool.
Owner occupied vs. renter percentage:
Approximately 85% owner-occupied, 15% rented.
> TOP is very proud of its high owner occupied to renter ratio. While many older condominium communities have a high renter ratio, the fact that TOP has attracted so many buyers who actually want to live here is a testament to the association, and its appeal. A high owner occupied percentage is also good when selling a condominium, as lenders look more favorably on those communities with a low renter occupied rate.
Varies based on unit square footage (which also determines the ownership interest in the condominium association). For 2007, the monthly fee ranges from $209 to $318, depending upon the unit size. Condominium fees were raised, on average, $5.00 per unit for the year 2001. Prior to that, the last increase was in 1997. In the past 5 years, there have been no special assessments. The association, however, can not guarantee in the future that rate increases and special assessments will be similar in size and frequency than in the past.
Limited Common Property
At TOP, it is generally accepted that each unit owner can have some control over the exterior grounds closest to their unit. That area is 4 feet in front of the unit and 12 feet in the back. Beyond those boundaries is common property, which is managed exclusively by the association. Limited common property gives unit owners some freedom in designing and maintaining their own front and backyards. While there are restrictions with regard to building of structures and the like, limited common property allows each unit owner a degree of self-expression and gives each property some individuality.
Zalco Realty, Inc., 8701 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD