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A Fairfax County Neighborhood Built Into the Surroundings Not on Top of Them - 10/31/07 09:28 AM
Just minutes from the buzz of the interstate sits the mid-century Fairfax County neighborhood of Holmes Run Acres. Built on a 122 acre tract of land originally owned by a Washington investor by the name of Herman Schmidt the property was named Holmes Run Acres in 1945 and a set of restrictions were put in place for the development of the land. Since mid-century modern neighborhoods are rare in Fairfax County they have garnered a following of loyal homeowners over the years and Holmes Run Acres is no exception. The development of the property began in 1950 with what would turn out (11 comments)
Has Neighborhood Farming Gone The Way of the Plow? - 10/30/07 04:17 PM
Most agents when they think of real estate marketing leap to neighborhood farming. It seems basic enough. You pick an area that you know or want to know and you bombard the homes with newsletters, door hangers and postcards. You do it once, twice maybe three times and if the phone doesn't ring you give up and move on. Once upon a time some brokerages even protected "farms" for their top producing agents. If they had been mailing in to the area for years it was considered their territory whether they were doing significant business or not. Marketing gurus will tell you (8 comments)
Prince William County-Ridgefield Crossing and Lake Terrapin Combine - 10/28/07 10:00 AM
Are you looking a great townhouse in the Lake Terrapin neighborhood and can't find it on the MLS? The reason is simple and one that confuses many buyers in Prince William County. Ridgefield Crossing is the "legal" subdivision name for the townhouses and some of the smaller detached homes in Lake Terrapin. How did this happen? Ridgefield crossing existed all alone on wide open land. Then along came K Hovnanian who wanted to build larger detached homes in the area and Lake Terrapin was born. As the first section of homes was being developed the homeowners in Ridgefield Crossing agreed to be (3 comments)
Prince William County-Enjoy the Waterview - 10/26/07 04:41 PM
Are you ready to enjoy the resort lifestyle all year long? Then you want to check out this great new listing in Belmont Bay on the Occoquan River. From the minute you open the front door you will know this is a place you can call home. The gourmet kitchen features gas cooking, stainless steel appliances, granite counters and loads of cabinet space. Everything a cook could want. Worried about not having enough room for guests to dine? Choose between the eating space in the kitchen, the raised breakfast bar or huge dining room. Enjoy the large living room with sliding (3 comments)
Every Neighborhood Has One - 10/24/07 01:29 PM
When you are out driving around showing houses do you ever get a question from a buyer that throws you for a bit of a loop? Not the usual ones about traffic or the ones that we can't answer about schools or crime but the one about who came up with that street name? Usually we are so familiar with an area that we can come up with a story or explanation. Roads named after historic figures, unusual landmarks or the developers family, etc. Occasionally though there is one that catches their eye that even you can't come up with an explanation (20 comments)
Located on over 1200 acres in Centreville, Virginia Run is another of Northern Virginia's classic neighborhoods. When you enter the community the first thing you notice is the long white rail fence that runs down the main road in the community. Reminisent of the fences lining properties in Virginia's horse country and with a community center designed after a large 18th century estate home. Surrounded by parkland and with an extensive trail system spread throughout the 1400 home community the entire feel is one of quiet elegance. <Started in 1987 the area was so popular that the builders couldn't keep (3 comments)
Walking Through Belmont Bay - 10/19/07 11:37 AM
Hidden just across the Prince William County line is the waterfront community of Belmont Bay. If you are driving down US Route 1 and cross the Occoquan River take a glance to your left and you will be surprised at what you will see. A community Washingtonian Magazine has twice picked as one of the "best communities" to live in the DC area sits right on the Occoquan River. So take a tour of our photo album of this hidden gem on the Occoquan River.
With a variety of choices from detached homes, townhouses, and condos buyers can (3 comments)
The Name Has Been Changed to Protect the Innocent - 10/17/07 05:19 PM
There is a lot of press swirling around the housing auctions that are popping up all over Northern Virginia. Mega ads are running in all of the papers, yellow signs line the streets and ballrooms are booked for multi-day events. Let's step back a couple of years and take a look at the home buying process in Northern Virginia. As a buyer you went out with your Realtor® (hopefully) or you made the Sunday rounds at Open Houses looking for just the right house. When you found it you frantically put together a contract in hopes that the house would be yours. Within (4 comments)
Looking for Solitude in Prince William County? - 10/17/07 07:14 AM
Then perhaps you should check out the 17,000 acre forest hidden away in Prince William County. One of the least visited national forests on the east coast Prince William Forest Park is located about 35 miles south of DC off of I-95. Prince William Forest Park is maanged by the National Park Service.The park was created by FDR as a recreational area for disadvantaged city kids. During WWI the park was used by the Office of Strategic Services for training. Most people do not realize that the park has cabins available for rent that can sleep 6-10 people. The cabins must be (3 comments)
Thomas Jefferson’s Second Home-No Little Cabin in the Woods - 10/16/07 07:40 PM
Most everyone knows about Thomas Jefferson's primary residence Monticello in Charlottesville Virginia. It is a beautiful home and shows how far ahead Jefferson was when it came to architecture, literature and agriculture. By like so many other homeowners today Jefferson also had a second home that is rarely mentioned in the history books and in fact Jefferson for the most part kept the existence of the home to himself. In 1773 his wife Martha inherited a 4000+ acres of land in central Virginia that included Natural Bridge. When the British invaded Monticello in 1781 Jefferson retreated to Popular Forest the name (3 comments)
Fix One Leaky Faucet in Your House Today - 10/15/07 06:52 PM
Today is a day like many others where we have been asked to stop and think about the environment for "Blog Action Day" and consider how we might be able to make a change to provide a better future for the earth, ourselves and the generations to follow. Interestingly enough driving through the City of Fairfax today these yellow signs caught my attention and appeared every few feet as a reminder to residents about the current water restrictions. Back in the late 1970's while living in Okinawa we were given the order that due to low water in the reservoirs that (6 comments)
Head to DC for the 2007 Solar Decathlon - 10/15/07 07:31 AM
The Solar Decathlon sponsored by the US Department of Energy kicked off this weekend in DC and will run until October 20th. The 20 college teams must design and build a solar house that runs entirely on the sun during the competition The homes are designed and built at their home campuses, disassembled and then reassembled in a solar village on the National Mall. Each home is open to the public and during the week the homes are judged on 10 different categories that not only look at the engineering but also on comfort and livability. Having visited the solar village during the last competition in (3 comments)
Rental Watch-Are the Mortgage Payments Being Made? - 10/14/07 05:36 PM
This week a call came from a former client asking for help for his co-worker. The sheriff had turned up at the door of their rental property with orders to evict them from the premises. The renters a US Army Major and his family had moved in to the property in early June and had been paying their rent on time. Unfortunately the owners of the home had not been paying the mortgage. Instead it appears that they had been cashing the rent checks and using those funds for other expenses. Now the bank is foreclosing on the property and wants (12 comments)
First Time Buyers and the 49 Page Addendum - 10/13/07 11:36 AM
I'm working with a great couple, first time buyers and newlyweds purchasing their new home. We met a year ago at an open house and after looking at a few places last year they decided to wait until after their wedding to begin a serious search. Lo and behold they found a lovely home in Fairfax County two weeks ago and we began the contract process. Of course buying your first home is scary enough but when you find the home you want and discover that it is owned by a relocation company the process gets even more complicated. In this case (7 comments)
Arlington County-Star Trek Meets Dewey Decimal - 10/12/07 04:46 PM
A few years ago a leaking hot water heater took a chunk out of my coveted book collection. Then another move made me realize that hauling around boxes of books was not very practical and added a lot to the moving bill. So after years of avoiding the public library it seemed like a good idea to check out how they might have changed. In the Northern Virginia area we are lucky to have a huge selection of libraries to choose from including a new state of the art library that opened recently in Shirlington. As soon as you walk in (5 comments)
This Lake Terrapin townhouse in Woodbridge VA has it all. Plenty of light loads of space, great location and it is move in ready. Brand new hardwood floors in the entry way lead you to the main level family room. Head up stairs and find a step down living room with sliding glass doors to a deck and trees. Separate dining room with space for a full size table. HUGE country kitchen with hardwood floors and two sets of morning sunlight windows. The center island adds plenty of extra counter space and (1 comments)
Prince William County-Communing with Nature - 10/11/07 07:48 AM
Take advantage to the great weather predicted for this weekend and join in on the activities at the Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge in Prince William County scheduled for Saturday October 13th. The Fall Wildlife Festival is the perfect time to wander through the 400 acre nature preserve which is home to not only loads of deer but also a breeding sanctuary for Osprey, Eagles and Herons. Wander along the river and with your camera and get some great shots of the native inhabitants. Raptor demonstrations (hawks and owls), hayrides, reptiles, and a photography workshops are just some of the activities scheduled for (3 comments)
Is Your Home a Certified Pre-Owned Home? - 10/10/07 08:33 PM
In today's market when buyers have multiple choices in a neighborhood how do you make you home stand out? Certainly every Realtor® will talk to you about pricing your home to sell and talk to you about making sure your home is free of clutter. A good agent will make sure that your home has the best quality photos in the MLS and your agent may even bring in a professional stager for a consultation if it is necessary. We hear the commercials for the high end car dealers talking about the benefits of buying a "certified pre-owned" car. They lure (17 comments)
Prince William County- Westridge Community - 10/10/07 07:34 AM
Tucked in the trees just off of Old Bridge Road in Prince William County is the quiet community of Westridge. Coming down the main tree lined drive you come upon the large community center, pond and fountain and you know you are in a neighborhood that makes you feel welcome. Many times the community of Westridge is lumped together with its neighbor Lake Ridge but you will find difference between the two. Westridge has its own community center, its home owners association and is on the "other side" of Old Bridge Road Road. Westridge has a number of different home styles from (3 comments)
The Fevered Pitch of Northern Virginia Housing Auctions - 10/08/07 02:33 PM
The ballrooms were packed with prospective buyers and their agents. Bankers and representatives lined the front rows. The auction book contained all of the homes that were going to be auctioned over the two day period. Auctioneers called a house number from the catalog and the bidding started...or not...depending on the property. If a bid wasn't forthcoming the auctioneer named a starting price to stir the crowd to action. Some of the homes were being sold absolute and it took a few rounds of bidding to finally figure out how the auctioneers were distinguishing the properties that would be SOLD that (3 comments)
The Value of Talking to the Neighbors - 10/07/07 07:13 PM
Today was a follow up day with a new development project in Prince William County. It was apparent that the neighborhood has come a long way since I took my first look two years ago. The club house and amenities are in, the grounds are fantastic and the streets are all paved. One of the things I've learned with new construction projects is to not only take a look at the furnished models, spec homes and amenities but to let my buyers talk to owners to get their feedback on living in the community. So we stopped in to the community center (6 comments)
Sensationalism Sells Papers - 10/05/07 08:12 AM
Say it isn't so. Today the Washington Post ran an article blaming the housing issues in Prince William County on the Board of Supervisors decision to pass tougher policies on illegal immigration in the area. According to the post article "Pr. William Immigration, Housing Ills Seen as Linked" when the county decided in July to have police check the residency status of anyone caught breaking the law a huge uproar began in the community. It should be added that according to the police they have NOT begun implementing this new policy yet the Washington Post ties the housing market decline and (3 comments)
Is it a House or is it a Home? - 10/04/07 05:56 PM
This could be a matter of semantics but it also could be the mindset that helped contribute to the unprecedented increase in the value of Northern Virginia real estate between the years 2001-2005. A HOUSE is not the same as a HOME. A house is a place where you may hang your hat for a little while but you don't buy it with the intention of every staying (or maybe ever moving in) for any length of time. It is purchased with the idea that there is money to be made. You use your Eight-Ball to try and figure out the (3 comments)
Why Do You Blog? - 10/03/07 10:16 AM
The last few days I've been asked that question over and over at the Virginia Association of Realtors® (VAR) Convention. First a little background on what is happening at VAR. An awareness of social media and its impact on real estate is beginning to take hold. The association is working hard to look at policies related to social media and blogging and has hired a Director of Communication and New Media, Ben Martin to help educate and lead their efforts. In between sessions at the conference I am helping in a Social Media Lab to introduce Virginia Realtors to blogging. There (4 comments)
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You - 10/02/07 07:45 AM
I know I think the saying really goes "what you don't know can't hurt you" but in a real estate transaction I think the CAN'T should be changed to CAN! One of the services that I provide to my prospective sellers is to try to help them understand the complexities of a real estate transaction, the implications of all of the options in the Virginia sales contract and correct pricing for today's market. Occasionally after this education some sellers will decide that they want to go the FSBO route and I've learned not to leave anything behind (that I will find (18 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.