The Forum condos in Rockville – review

The ForumThe Forum condos in Rockville

Prime North Bethesda condo location across from Pike & Rose

—  The Forum condos for sale and rent

The Forum condos: Lifestyle & Amenities

The Forum Condominium at 11801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852 has a prime location in the newly rebranded North Bethesda (or Southern Rockville). So rather than just show you a picture of the building, the above gives you some perspective about the prime location. The building in the left of the picture is The Sterling at the METRO condo building. The construction work on the other side of Rockville Pike is the north end of the new Pike & Rose development.

Built during 1968-1969, The Forum Condos started out as an apartment building before quickly moving to a condo building. It gives residents everything you could ask for in a location, just not the modern amenities and feel of the condos that surround it (The Gallery at White Flint, The Sterling Condos, and 930 Rose being the closest). It’s an all inclusive building — meaning a higher condo fee covers all amenities along with all utilities. A huge negative for some people is no washer and dryer in the condo units. Just a common laundry room on each floor. There are also no balconies.

The biggest concern for me though is the extremely high Rental rate to Owner occupied rate. It’s currently a little north of 50% renters, and that’s not good as an owner. And they also allow 3-month rentals. I sure hope that changes. This kind of rental friendly arrangement is fine when controlled, but there were never any by-laws set up with the association. And that has hurt the building some. You need to be aware of this in considering The Forum.

If you approach it right now as sort of buying an apartment in a red hot area, then that’s the right mindset. And hopefully something can change in time. The amount of land The Forum takes up is extremely valuable. Developers would certainly have massively higher usage values in redeveloping the land, but that’s not likely to happen.

The Forum offers everything from 1 bedroom units to 3 bedroom units. It’s difficult to get a 3 bedroom unit though. The predominant unit sizes for sale are the 1 bedroom a 2 bedroom units. As is typical with the older condo buildings with common laundry rooms and higher condo fees, the price of a the condos are considerably lower relative to the newer condos. For example, 1 bedroom condos have sold for $150,000 to $200,000 compared to more like $300,000 minimum for most of the new high rise condos in North Bethesda.

So, if you want to be able to walk to an abundance of grocery stores including My Organic Market, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, and more — and be just 3 blocks to the White Flint METRO, and you don’t mind an older building — then The Forum might be an option for you.

The Forum condos – Amenities recap

  • Covered drive up main lobby entrance
  • Secured underground parking garage
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Secured building access (FOB or front desk entry only)
  • Party Room
  • Outdoor pool
  • Tennis Court
  • Fitness room
  • 3-blocks from White Flint METRO, gourmet grocery stores, restaurants, and more


Condo stats

  • The Forum was built in 1968-1969
  • Features 227 condo units from 1-bedroom/1-bath, 2-bedroom/2-bath, to a limited number of 3-bedroom/2.5-bath condos
  • Condo sizes range from 587 square feet to 1,695 square feet
  • Common Laundry room on each floor


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Condo Fees?
The Forum has what on paper appears to be great amenities (pool, fitness room, sauna, and tennis court), but the quality of some of these amenities will certainly not be up to the standards of many people.

Condo fees range from roughly $502 a month for smallest 1-bedroom condo to nearly $1,000 a month for the largest penthouse, 3-bedroom condo. There are more 2-bedroom/2-bathroom condos than any other size.  So an average condo fee would be about $850 a month.

Now, the condo fees include ALL of the utilities and amenities (fitness room, pool, party room, sauna, grills, etc.), plus the overall maintenance of the condo building and the Master Insurance Policy. And unlike a single family home, you don’t have the repair or replacement costs of roofs, siding, landscaping, and so on. So your “homeowner’s insurance” policy will also cost you less.

The Forum Maintenance Program provides a number of services that would cost much more in calling outside companies. Replacement of sinks, tubs, and bidets (yes, they have those) is done for free. If you want upgraded items, then you have to provide them, but the condo maintenance person will install them at no charge. Also, clearing of clogged kitchen or bathroom sinks is done free of charge. Other items like having someone replace a light bulb or adjustment of closet doors are done for a very nominal charge (under $10).

Are utilities included in the Condo Fee?

YES — All utilities and use of facilities are includes with the condo fee. Only cable and internet would be separate for owners or renters.

How much do the condo fees go up annually?

The average condo increase has been only about 3% annually since 1998. As with financial market disclaimers, past average increases do not mean future increases will be the same. This 20 year time frame should help you with budgeting for the future.

What are the assigned Schools?

The Forum Condominium feeds into one of the most popular Montgomery County School districts:
– Luxmanor Elementary School
– Tilden Middle School
Walter Johnson High School

While it’s rare that the assigned schools change, if you’re making an investment in a condo (or home) based all or in large part because of the assigned schools, I’d always recommend confirming with Montgomery County Public Schools. This kind of change could significantly change your living situation, and your investment.

Are Pets Allowed?

YES — One pet is allowed per condo unit with dogs being a 25lb maximum weight limit. There are some breed restrictions (not uncommon), but the weight limit essentially takes care of typically restricted breeds. We would check for you with the latest rules from the condo association.

There is also adequate grassy areas around the building complex. NOTE: There’s are two veterinarians and a pet hospital within a quarter of a mile walk around the corner on Nebel Street.

Is there Garage Parking?

YES — There are garage spaces for owners as well as 300 assigned outdoor parking spaces.

Unlike other condos in the area, there are plenty of outdoor spaces in the parking lot. If you’re a guest, please check in with the front desk so they can get your car info. Metered spaces are also available along Old Georgetown Road and Chapman Avenue (free after 7pm and free on weekends). And your short term guests can get 2 hour free parking across the street at Pike & Rose. Right now, they don’t require validation from any stores. That could change in time.

Washer and Dryers in the units?

NO — There are no in condo unit Washers and Dryers. Each floor has a common laundry that users pay to use per load.

Can you renovate your condo unit?

Yes — Certain modifications to the condo unit must meet the condo association guidelines. This is common for all condos. Basic improvements like changing tiles and items like that can be done without any issues.
For other projects that require county permits normally, they must be obtained along with inspections from the county.

Is there a Fitness Room?

YES — There is an exercise room that’s open 24 hours a day, and a sauna. Many people will want something much more substantial, and there are multiple options. Sport & Health at Pike & Rose is the most modern. There’s also a Gold’s Gym just behind The Forum at Montrose Shopping Center and some niche Cross Fit style gyms tucked in off Nebel Street.

Is there a tennis court or playground?

YES — There is a tennis court, but it looks as of February 2018 every bit circa 1970’s. The tot lot I suppose qualifies as a playground, but I don’t think any kid two years of age would be very impressed. There are plenty of more substantial playgrounds and tennis courts within a mile of the condo complex.

Is there a Pool?

YES — There is a seasonal outdoor pool with deck area. It’s adequate and serves the purpose. Much better than the tennis court. The building directly behind the fence is one of the White Flint Station Condo buildings.

Is grilling allowed?

YES — Grills are never allowed in condo buildings or condo balconies. The Forum doesn’t have balconies. They do have a “grilling area” next to the tennis court, tot lot, and pool. I suppose it qualifies, but you might want to roll out a portable grill. The grilling area and tennis court sort of sum up the overall feel of the complex. If these types of amenities are less important than having space in a really prime area and price is a factor, this might be your place.

Is there a Party Room?

YES — There is a community or party room you can use when it’s not rented, and certainly as a resident you can rent it for your own parties.

Is there a Business Conference room?

NO — There is no designated business conference room.

Is there a Secured building?

YES — You must have a key to get in, or be buzzed in by the front desk. All guests must sign in. Also, the property has video surveillance cameras.

Is Extra Storage available?

YES — Yes there are extra storage units, but they are very small. If you need more storage space, there are multiple storage facility options about a 1/3 of a mile away.

Who are the Internet and Cable providers?

Both Verizon Fios and Comcast are available for internet, tv, and phone service.

How much is the Move-In fee?

Currently it’s $300 be it for a new owner or renter. Your move-in must be scheduled in advance to insure the elevator is reserved for you, and you must move in Monday – Friday between 8am – 5pm. It’s advised that you schedule your move-in at the very minimum one week in advance.

Are there any clubs or groups?

YES — No formal groups that I know of right now.

What’s the closest METRO and how far away?

The White Flint METRO is just 1-block away (the corner of Rockville Pike and Marinelli Road).

Rockville - North Bethesda 20852 neighborhoods

Bentley Place Hungerford  Randolph Hills Tower Oaks
Bethesda Park Luxberry Courts Strathmore Park Tuckerman Station
Chapman Row at Twinbrook Luxmanor The Fallswood Walnut Grove
Crest of Wickford Midtown Bethesda North The Forum White Flint Station
Fallstone Miramont Villas The Gallery Windermere
Gables of Tuckerman North Farm The Sterling Symphony Park 
Georgetown Village Oaks at North Bethesda The Wisconsin  
Grayrob Old Farm Tilden Woods Grosvenor Woods
Grosvenor Park Old Georgetown Village Timberlawn 930 Rose

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