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Don't Like the Weather in Northern Virginia? Wait a Day it will change! - 02/29/08 07:13 AM
As native of the Northern Virginia area I've had a chance to see most of the extremes that have hit the area. Blizzards and hurricanes we've had a few. Sometimes you can even get three seasons in one week. As a military spouse I've also had the opportunity to experience the weather in a few other choice locations and learned a thing or two about how weather forecasters throw around terms that don't necessarily make sense unless you've never lived anywhere else. When you hear the term "monsoon season" when you live in the Far East you know what that means. (5 comments)
Securing Your Personal Property and Precious Photos - 02/27/08 06:42 PM
Whenever the news shows families who have been devastated by a natural disaster, a fire or a robbery and they have lost important family papers or photos it reminds me of the advice given to me a few years ago that I have been passing on to my clients preparing for a move ever sense. Now that technology has made the purchase of scanners affordable for everyone you should consider making copies of your personal documents such as social security cards, credit card numbers, bank accounts, investment accounts, wills, power of attorney and any other documents that you might need and save them to (16 comments)
Checking out the Education Opportunities in Northern Virginia - 02/27/08 07:12 AM
Congratulations! If you're moving to the Northern Virginia area you've found a great area to call home. With so much to do in the all around the area, the Nations Capital just a short distance from most neighborhoods, an abundance of outdoor activities, plenty of choices for dining and innovative schools the area has more to offer than you can imagine. For families who are moving to the area with children figuring out the local school systems is a top priority. As an agent we can not make recommendations about area schools but we can provide you public information and reports (3 comments)
Things to Do and See in Washington DC-For Free - 02/26/08 11:38 AM
Unlike a trip to Epcot Center in Florida which will can cost a family of four an arm and a leg for the day you can spend an entire day exploring DC and the surrounding area for free. So where should you start?How about a visit to the White House? Now you won't be joining anyone for a State Dinner but you can check out many of the famous public rooms and learn about the history behind them. To secure a ticket to tour the White House all your member of Congress and request tickets. Call at least a month before your (25 comments)
HOT Lanes in Northern Virginia-Lets Get Real - 02/25/08 06:51 PM
Northern Virginia doesn't have the worst traffic in the US but sometimes local and federal politics get in the way of making smart decisions about future road and railway expansions. For months now there has been a debate in the area about whether to allow private enterprise the option to build HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes. One set of the lanes will start in Stafford County Virginia and come north to Washington DC. Having just watched the extension of the metro rail system flounder, flop and die leaving the congestion in the Tysons Corner area to grow worse by the day, the idea (3 comments)
What Happens When You Build a Highway Instead of An Airport? - 02/24/08 11:41 PM
Ask the residents of Northern Virginia who drive through the Springfield "mixing bowl" everyday and they may tell you that an airport would be preferable to the 50 ramps and 20 lanes they deal with everyday. Ask a tourist driving through and you can bet they would rather be flying over than trying to navigate their way through the maze. In 1945 this same area was the location of a 3,000 foot long unpaved runway as part of the Springfield Airport. The tiny airport offered fuel and maintenance facilities for small aircraft. One of the mechanics at the airport in the late 1940's was Charlie Kulp (18 comments)
Commuting in Northern Virginia-Trains, Planes and Automobiles - 02/24/08 02:33 PM
For the very fortunate commuters in Northern Virginia a walk outside the back down and a hop in your helicopter gets you up and over the traffic and on to your destination. In case you think it isn't possible just ask the lucky homeowner who lives across the Occoquan River from me. Indeed he has his own helicopter pad in his back yard!
For the rest of us we need to find the more usual routes to get ourselves from our homes to work. If DC is your destination you have multiple choices from all points on the compass to (5 comments)
Another Mega Home Auction Comes to Northern Virginia - 02/24/08 07:40 AM
If you were driving around Northern Virginia this weekend you couldn't help but notice the Auction signs scattered throughout the area. This weekend was one of the three preview weekends for the big four day auction scheduled March 8-11 to try and sell over 500 properties in Virginia, DC and Maryland.One of the different twists with this auction is that a number of the properties to be auctioned are NOT in the MLS. Unless you have an agent who knows about this auction you may not be aware of some of the properties available. Check out the auction site and you can view (14 comments)
Waterfrtont Living in Belmont Bay - 02/23/08 02:03 PM
Super new pricing and incentives on the new Harborside Condos in Belmont Bay in Woodbridge, VA. I'm looking forward to introducing you to these great units with views of the Belmont Bay Marina and Occoquan River. You can 703-346-2213 to schedule a viewing. You'll love what you see in Belmont Bay! Great location for military coming to the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir or Quantico. (2 comments)
So are you ready to enjoy your life and not worry about raking leaves, shoveling sidewalks or scrapping ice off your windshield? Want to stay close to the city, major shopping areas and yet wake up every day and see water? Then you might want to check out this great condo available in Belmont Bay in Woodbridge VA. (1 comments)
Foreclosure Auction in Alexandria-EOS 21 Condos on the Block - 02/22/08 06:34 PM
Following on the success of the Parkside Auction in Alexandria last October the developers of the EOS-21 project in Alexandria have decided to auction off the remaining 43 units they have not sold in the last two years of their conversion project. EOS-21 is located on South Van Dorn Street just off of I-395 (past Landmark Mall) and the condos were orignally part of the Oakwood Suite Apartments and were converted to condos in 2005. The remaining units are in EOS-5 and EOS-6 on the South Reynolds Street side of the complex. According to the auction site the lowest priced one bedroom (10 comments)
At the turn of the century in Lorton Virginia a small group of 22 people created a Sunday school at the one room school house on Silverbrook Road. When the congregation grew to over 70 people it was decided that it was time to build a church to accommodate the growing interest in church services in the area. Wanting to stay in Lorton the church was able to buy a piece of property just down the road from the school house for the incredible price of twenty dollars!A small white clapboard church, typical of the era was erected and dedicated (8 comments)
Patience Grasshopper-The Pebble is Within Your Reach - 02/21/08 08:12 AM
Patience among bloggers seems to be hard to find. By the number of posts we see asking how to get a blog to Page One on Google in 30 seconds or less, it seems that most people who are blogging think that it should bring instant recognition and readership.As Master Po would say to young Caine, "patience grasshopper." Finding the instant solution to bringing an audience to your blog is not the way to build readership or credibility. As you look around, especially outside of AR, you see blogs that have evolved over time to become the heavy hitters in the industry. (18 comments)
Saying Good Bye to "The Awakening" Sculpture in DC - 02/19/08 06:46 PM
For anyone who has ever encountered this strange sculpture at Hains Point in Washington DC it always takes a few minutes to take it all in. If you weren't excepting to see a giant emerging from the earth it can be a real surprise. Kids love it and tourists spend a lot of time photographing the sculpture. Now "The Awakening" is leaving and moving across the Potomac River to a new home in Prince Georges County at the new mega National Harbor development. Even though I write quite a bit about DC and Northern Virginia history I was surprised to learn that the statue has (16 comments)
Riding the Rails-From Union Station to Old Town Alexandria - 02/19/08 05:17 PM
If you're just joining the "Magical History Tour" you might want to take a few minutes and check out where we have already been in the DC and Northern Virginia area. Magical History Tour of Northern VirginaMagical History Tour Takes to the Water-Washington DC Today our tour is just a short train ride from Union Station to Old Town Alexandria. We wanted to leave you plenty of time to take in the sights of our stops and enjoy a leisurely afternoon explore Old Town Alexandria. So All Aboard and away we go.
If we are going to start in Union Station (6 comments)
Pushy Salesman-Rethink Your Approach - 02/19/08 01:47 PM
One of the ways I view my job as a Realtor® is a customer relationship manager. It means that I work hard to build win/win situations between all of the people that it needs to take to get a deal to the closing table. So when my phone rings and on the other end is a pushy salesman I'm floored that they think their approach is going to work. Today it happened again. John from XYZ Company called to try and sell me the latest and greatest real estate widget (name changed to protect the not so innocent). Now I don't (16 comments)
Northern Virginia Homes-Looking Through the Scrapbook of Neighborhoods - 02/18/08 09:35 AM
Scattered throughout Northern Virginia are a variety of communities that offer buyers significant choices to consider. Most buyers looking for a home have a unique set of features that they would like to have in their new home. It is what makes heading out with new buyers so much fun and why our area isn't all about cookie cutter neighborhoods. So we pulled a few pages out of our Northern Virginia scrapbook to give you an idea of a few choices. For buyers who like older neighborhoods closer to town then the neighborhoods of Parkfairfax in Alexandria and Fairlington in Arlington (some (10 comments)
Fairfax County Foreclosures-Townhomes Homes in Springfield VA - 02/16/08 11:42 AM
As a follow-on to my posting earlier regarding Fairfax County Foreclosures-Detached Homes in Springfield VA this list is the current townhouse properties listed in the MLS in either Foreclosure or as an REO property in Springfield, VA.Just as with the previous list a foreclosure property may or may not be the best deal available in a neighborhood and working with an agent to help you look at all of the options before deciding on a Fairfax County foreclosure property is essential.
If you are interested in receiving information on any of these Fairfax County foreclosure properties or in other areas (7 comments)
Fairfax County Foreclosures-Detached Homes in Springfield VA - 02/16/08 07:39 AM
With the news continuing to talk about foreclosures and short sales it makes sense to continue to post information on different cities and a list of the current properties available. Throughout Farifax County buyers will find a great variety of homes available to consider. Deals are beginning to emerge from among hundreds of homes available.As a buyer before you consider buying a bank owned property you need to understand that buying a property from a bank or mortgage company is not the same process as buying directly from an owner. Buying a foreclosure takes patience and sometimes weeks of waiting for the bank representative (3 comments)
Belmont Bay- Premier Waterfront Community in Prince William County - 02/15/08 01:45 PM
Hidden just across the Prince William County line is the waterfront community of Belmont Bay. As you 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. With a variety of choices from detached homes, townhouses, and condos buyers can find just about anything they are looking for. What makes it even more unusual is the VRE station at the entrance to the community making the (10 comments)
Tee Time in Northern Virginia-A Golf Course for Everyone - 02/15/08 08:52 AM
Whether you want to get in a round of miniature golf with the family, only have time to play 9 holes or want to spend the day on the links, Northern Virginia golf courses cover it all. With both public and private courses designed by many of the most famous names in golf and with plenty of challenges for golfers of all levels.Some of the names of the courses are familiar to many whether they live in this area or not and others might just be that new little gem that you may want to give a try the next time you (13 comments)
Will This Affect the Resale Value of My House-Foreclosures - 02/14/08 03:29 PM
Last week my Will This Affect the Resale Value of My Home post looked at the issue with power lines and water towers as possible issues with the resale value of your home. This week we are going to look at a serious issue in many Northern Virginia neighborhoods, foreclosures and how they may affect the value of your home. Foreclosures vary from community to community. In some areas you might not be able to tell a home is in foreclosure from any other for sale in the neighborhood. In others you may find signs that announce the property is a foreclosure or see homes that (10 comments)
No Cold Calls Please-Our Lives and Our Identities are at Stake - 02/13/08 09:21 AM
This past week I had three phone calls from Wells Fargo Mortgage Company. The first woman who called identified herself by a first name and said she was calling from Wells Fargo. Fine I say what is this regarding? Her response was "first I need you to verify your address." WHOA! I'm not going to give you my address until you tell me who you are. Again she says she is calling from Wells Fargo. Trust me we went back and forth for a couple of minutes before she finally go the hint that I was not going answer any questions (43 comments)
If You List It They Will Come-Marketing Your Home for All It’s Worth - 02/12/08 06:21 PM
You have decided that you need to sell your Northern Virginia home and are wondering how can you make your home standout from all of the other properties listed for sale. If you haven't read the first two parts of "If You List It They Will Come" you should start there:If You List It They Will Come-Getting Your Home ReadyIf You List It They Will Come-Pricing Your Home to SellIf the Realtor® you are talking to suggests that all you need to do to get your home SOLD is list it in the MLS and buyers will come running to your house, then once again you (6 comments)
Taking Detours While Driving Clients in Northern Virginia - 02/11/08 06:59 PM
My favorite road sign in Northern Virginia used to sit on the American Legion Bridge between Virginia and Maryland. The message was one of the few road signs that made you laugh and told the truth all at the same time.Now I may be the only Realtor® who hasn't succumbed to getting a little talk box in my car that is supposed to give directions from Point A to Point B. Call it ego (or stupidity) but as a native of the area I can usually find my way from one neighborhood to another without too many problems. Add to the (10 comments)
Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford Lived Here and So Can You - 02/11/08 10:25 AM
In the early 1950's two future presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford called Parkfairfax home. My parents lived just one door down from the Nixon's in what were at the time rental apartments located in Alexandria VA. Originally built constructed in 1941 to fulfill a housing shortage need for government employees close to Washington DC the homes today still are popular with buyers of all ages. The originally developer of the property was the same construction company that built the Empire State building. A total of 286 buildings were built containing 720 one bedroom units, 863 two bedroom units and 101 (10 comments)
If You List It They Will Come-Pricing Your Home To Sell - 02/10/08 07:59 AM
Buyers in the Northern Virginia market are looking for a good deal. They won't buy a house that is overpriced no matter how you try to entice them. Forget the free lease on a Mercedes or cruise to the Bahamas those aren't going to bring any offers to the table. Price your home right and offer the right incentives (closing cost assistance) and you may be on the short list. Just as in Part I of If You List It They Will Come don't be swayed by the agent who comes in the door and tells you the highest listing price for your home and (18 comments)
Two Royal Communities in Northern Virginia-Kings Park & Kings Park West - 02/08/08 06:59 AM
It isn't hard to figure out what the developer of the first Kings Park was planning when they laid out the plan for the community and the homes. With one look at the street names Thames, Victoria, Trafalgar and Cromwell among others you might think you have made a trip back to England. Then when you add the names of the five original models; King, Queen, Princess, Duke and Duchess, you realize absolutely there is a royal connection!
My family bought our very first home in Kings Park in 1981. Having just returned from five years overseas we were (5 comments)
If You List It They Will Come-Getting Your Home Ready - 02/07/08 04:29 PM
At least that was the depth of the advice that most agents needed to give their sellers a few years ago. However in today's market if you interview an agent and this is the best they can do then you need to show them the door.In the current market in Northern Virginia sellers need to step up to the plate and take a look at their homes in a different light. If you are getting ready to put your home on the market you need to take an honest look around you and make what might be some tough decisions. Everyone has (5 comments)
Northern Virginia-Diners, Dives and Delights - 02/07/08 06:49 AM
Oh go ahead, you know you want to. Occasionally you just have to indulge that little longing for something that just might not be good for you. You can regret it tomorrow but today let's go ahead and hit a few of the oh so good but bad for your local joints.
If you are looking for the last surviving diner in Fairfax City then you need to stop at the 29 Diner at the intersection of Routes 29 and 123. Originally called the Tastee 29 Diner when the doors opened July 1947 the diner was on the busiest "major" highway (18 comments)
Fairfax Station-A Trio of Neighborhoods Waiting for You - 02/06/08 05:30 PM
For buyers relocating to Fairfax County who are looking for classic homes on larger lots still within commuting distance to DC the Fairfax Station area may be what you are looking for. Located just minutes from the Fairfax County Parkway, 15 minutes from the Springfield Metro or Burke Centre VRE, the area boasts great community centers, county parks and historic sites for families to explore. Cachet Magazine has ranked Fairfax Station in the top ten for "Best Quality of Life" and it is easy to see why when you explore some of the neighborhoods.Three neighborhoods in Fairfax Station; Barrington, Crosspointe and South Run (1 comments)
Will This Affect the Resale Value of My Home? - 02/05/08 05:22 PM
Buyers today are often thrown for a loop when they look around a neighborhood and see so many FOR SALE signs. The sign riders advertising foreclosures or short sales don't help. However in the case of some buyers it has nothing to do with the home values in the neighborhood, they can see past the market today and know that in the Northern Virginia area prices do recover. What throws them for a loop is whether the large utility right away, electric poles and water towers will affect the value of their home when they go to sell. My answer is always YES. (21 comments)
The Magical History Tour Takes to the Water-Washington DC - 02/04/08 06:36 PM
So have you recovered from all of the walking on the last round of the Magical History Tour? Did you remember to hold on to your ticket? Today we are going to take a little different mode of transportation for our tour. We are going to head out on the little Potomac River to get a different view of the area. First we might not want to make the Potomac River angry by calling it little. In reality it is 380 miles long, starting from a spring in West Virginia and flowing all the way to the Chesapeake Bay. Along the (23 comments)
Welcome to the Magical History Tour of Northern Virginia - 02/03/08 08:35 AM
Hop on the bus and come along for the ride. We make stops along the way at historic mansions, churches and towns throughout Northern Virginia. You can get off and stay awhile at any location. We will circle back around to pick you up when you are done. Your ticket is good forever. If you can't see them all today, don't worry, they will be here tomorrow and for centuries to come. We will start today with the Northern Virginia Historic Churches Tour. These churches are small gems found throughout Fairfax Station, and Lorton. They aren't the large and lavish cathedrals that (8 comments)
A Million Dollars in Springfield VA-Who Could Have Imagined - 02/01/08 10:49 PM
Sometimes it is hard to imagine how far an area has come when you know the long term history. For some of the original buyers in Springfield, Virginia it may be hard to believe that the new homes being built just off the Fairfax County Parkway are selling for well over $1 million dollars. This week I had prospective buyers checking out Belmead at South Run Crossing a new luxury home development by Van Metre homes in Springfield Virginia. The homes are grand and as can be expected with Van Metre the standard features are what you would expect for (8 comments)
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