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by ARLnow.com — January 17, 2014 at 5:00 am 402 0

Editor’s Note: This post is written and sponsored by Urban Turf.

Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Clarendon next Wednesday, January 22nd. (Update: this event has been canceled due to weather.)

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title — will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

Click here to register

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, suite 700 (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: One block from the Clarendon station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2014@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

Click here to register

by Ethan Rothstein — January 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm 1,992 0

Arlington Economic Development's Alex Iams, left, speaks at the NAIOP economic development luncheonArlington is “still sorting through the mess” of the BRAC closures that have boosted office vacancy rates, an Arlington representative told hundreds of Northern Virginia commercial real estate developers today.

Arlington, like other communities in the D.C. area, is experiencing weakness in the office market. The high office vacancy rate is exacerbated by new office buildings coming on the market and certain large employers (including military offices impacted by BRAC) leaving.

To combat that, Arlington is considering options providing certain incentives to attract new businesses and hang on to existing employers.

“We’re aggressively planning for the future,” Alex Iams, a commercial development specialist with Arlington Economic Development, told members of NAIOP, an association for commercial real estate developers.

“[BRAC] is still a four-letter word in Arlington for certain,” he said. “We did an aggressive plan for Crystal City, we’ve done planning along Columbia Pike. We have done planning for BRAC in Rosslyn as well, so we’re not only doing planning for the future, but now we’re aggressively positioning ourselves to hold on to what we have.”

Iams was one-fifth of a panel with the directors of economic development from Alexandria as well as Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. He told ARLnow.com that Arlington is considering tax incentives and other methods to try to encourage businesses to grow — and, just as importantly, stay — in Arlington.

“We’re trying to structure a policy on how to address office vacancy,” he said. “We haven’t done it yet, but you can expect to see it at the end of the season.”

The commercial real estate industry in Northern Virginia listens to economic development officials speakWith the delivery of the 35-story 1812 N. Moore Street last fall, Iams said Arlington’s office vacancy rate is now hovering around 20 percent, the highest it’s been in nearly a decade. Iams said projects like Monday Properties’ skyscraper, which is still unoccupied after being built “on spec” are “suffering the most, because it’s so much space all at once.”

Iams pointed to the success at 1776 Wilson Blvd, a five-story office building at the intersection of N. Quinn Street. It opened in winter of 2012 and is about 85 percent leased, he said.

What Arlington can do to solve its vacancy rate, Iams said, is to follow Vornado’s example in Crystal City when the first wave of BRAC closures saw the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office move to Alexandria.

“Vornado didn’t just sit on their hands,” Iams said. “There was an adaptation with rents and an increase in amenities nearby, and they transformed Crystal Drive into a retail center.”

Iams also cited Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Penrose Square and the Village at Shirlington as examples of “placemaking” the county has partnered with private businesses on to make specific areas more attractive to employees and residents.

The other economic development leaders lamented the lack of demand for office space while demand for residential units all over Northern Virginia is exploding, creating a tricky regulatory line to walk to ensure balance. Iams said Arlington, despite its vacancy rate, still sees demand for office development.

“We’re getting questions from our board and our community about approving more office space,” he said. “The office market also works in cycles, and we want different kinds of products available to be able to deploy when a certain company or tenant may be searching in our market.”

by ARLnow.com — January 14, 2014 at 9:00 am 925 0

Gaslight square condominium development (Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography)

Real Estate ‘Bull Market’ in December — Arlington’s residential real estate market soared in December, reaching a deal volume of $134.4 million, up almost 40 percent over a year prior. The average sales price rose 12.8 percent. [Sun Gazette]

Yorktown Nominated for a GRAMMY — Yorktown High Schools is one of 123 schools nationwide selected as a semifinalist for the 2014 GRAMMY Signature Schools Award. “Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year,” the school system said in a press release. [Arlington Public Schools]

MLK Weekend Metro Track Work — Track work will reduce Metro service on the Orange and Blue lines to one train every 20 minutes this weekend. The track work will not be performed on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Metro will instead operate on a normal Saturday schedule systemwide. [WMATA]

Flickr pool by Lawrence Cheng Photography

by ARLnow.com — January 2, 2014 at 9:00 am 1,374 0

Two people talking on a Clarendon sidewalk (Flickr photo by Ddimick)

S.C. Man Arrested for Assaulting Ex-Girlfriend — A 24-year-old South Carolina man has been arrested by Arlington County police for an alleged extended, brutal assault on his ex-girlfriend. The assault took place in a car on Route 50 and again in the woman’s apartment in Courthouse, police say.  The man is charged with an array of crimes: abduction with intent to defile, felony strangulation, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, sexual battery, assault and battery, and unlawfully obstructing messages to law enforcement. [NBC Washington]

Rent Holds Steady in Arlington — The average monthly rent for a house or apartment in Arlington was $2,497 in the third quarter of 2013, down slightly from $2,501 one year prior. Rent, meanwhile, increased in Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax County. [Sun Gazette]

Woodmont Neighborhood Profiled — Arlington’s Woodmont neighborhood is “a calm oasis near the Potomac,” according to a profile. The neighborhood’s tranquility is despite the fact that it’s only a quarter mile from the Key Bridge and D.C. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

by ARLnow.com — December 23, 2013 at 9:10 am 2,668 0

Christmas tree in the Sheraton hotel on Columbia Pike

Free House in Arlington — The new owners of a 1926 Sears bungalow kit home in Lyon Park are offering the house for free to a caring owner. The only catch? The home’s recipient will have to have somewhere to move it. “The needs of the homeowner do not meet the constrictions of the current home,” according to the Preservation Arlington blog. “Rather than bulldoze this historic property, the homeowner is interested in giving it away for only the cost of moving the home.” [Preservation Arlington]

Big Year for OpowerUpdated at 2:20 p.m. – Courthouse-based Opower doubled the number of people who use its energy-saving software in 2013, going from 10 million users to about 20 million users. The company also increased its workforce by 50 percent, from about 300 to 460 employees. [Washington Post]

New South Arlington Elementary School? — Speaking at last week’s School Board meeting, civic activist Monique O’Grady asked the board when a proposed new elementary school for South Arlington would be built. Without one, she worried that South Arlington schools could turn into a “trailer park,” filled with relocatable classroom trailers. [Sun Gazette]

by Katie Pyzyk — December 11, 2013 at 8:30 am 1,102 0

Cardinal in Alcova Heights (photo by Matt Henneman)

Home Prices Fall — Arlington was the only jurisdiction in the D.C. metro area to see a drop in home prices last month. The median Arlington sales price in November was $498,500, down 2.1 percent from last year. [Washington Business Journal]

Big Difference Between ‘Near’ and ‘Next To’ Metro Stations – It’s no surprise that real estate closer to Metro stations is more valuable, but what may be surprising is for how high a price such properties can be sold. Looking at the five stations along the Orange Line’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor — which is deemed one of the hot areas for development — researchers found that properties one-twentieth of a mile from a station (264 feet) can fetch more than a 30 percent premium over those just a quarter mile away. [Washington Post]

Winter Class Registration Begins — Online registration for the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Enjoy Arlington winter classes began today at 7:00 a.m. Available class schedules can be viewed online. Call the Registration Office at 703-228-4747 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with any questions. [Arlington County]

Photo by Matt Henneman

by Katie Pyzyk — December 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm 1,157 0

Avery Row Apartments (photo via Avery Row Apartments website(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) The leasing center at the new Avery Row (1200 N. Rolfe Street) apartment complex opened for business yesterday (December 9).

Potential residents can now tour the four story, 67-unit building in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood. The “boutique apartment community” features one and two bedroom apartments, balconies, rooftop terraces and an outdoor dining area.

“We give you a lot of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, a lot of outdoor areas to appreciate nature,” said Shelley Brooks, Regional Portfolio Manager for Bozzuto Management Company. “It’s a very special community. It’s modern, yet elegant. I think they’ll go very quickly.”

The complex had previously been known as “Grayson Flats” and was intended to be marketed as apartment rentals. But Reston-based Silverwood Companies announced its purchase of the property in April and repositioned it as a condominium building, while also changing the name to “The Avery.” The property was recently repositioned again as the Avery Row apartments; it is still owned by Silverwood and Bozzuto Management Company currently oversees the property.

Brooks explained that The Avery opened for condo sales in early June and interest rates increased less than three weeks later, stopping interest in the condos. Silverwood reassessed the market and determined apartments were a better option, especially given what it calls a lack of large, luxury units in the area.

The apartments are ready for immediate move-in. So far, one apartment has been leased and there are 66 others available. Monthly rental prices range from $2,345 for a one bedroom to more than $3,430 for a two bedroom with den.

by ARLnow.com — December 9, 2013 at 6:00 am 0

Update at 3:50 p.m. — Due to tomorrow’s inclement weather forecast, this event has been canceled.

Earlier: Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Clarendon on Tuesday, December 10th.

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title – will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, suite 700 (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: One block from the Clarendon station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2013@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

by ARLnow.com — December 5, 2013 at 6:00 am 389 0

arlnow_header_625x236

Editor’s note: This post is written and sponsored by Urban Turf.

Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Clarendon on Tuesday, December 10th.

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title – will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

Click here to register

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, suite 700 (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: One block from the Clarendon station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2013@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

Click here to register

by ARLnow.com — December 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm 676 0

There’s a new addition to our Arlington real estate section.

Now, in addition to sale, rental and open house listings, we’re debuting real-time Arlington real estate statistics.

Our technology partners are still working out a couple of kinks (for instance, the 12-month view of price decreases appears to have incomplete data) but for the most part the page provides an interesting and useful look at market trends by analyzing real estate listings in the county.

According to current listings, the average price for a home in Arlington is $695,155, while the median price is $549,900. The number of listings is on a seasonal downswing, as is average price per square foot.

Among neighborhoods indexed in the listings, Rock Spring has the highest average sale price ($1,524,500) while Columbia Heights West had the lowest ($225,493).

by ARLnow.com — November 22, 2013 at 11:15 am 1,299 0

FBR logoTwo financial organizations in Arlington are moving — but they’re staying in the county.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and FBR, an investment bank, will be moving into new offices in Arlington over the next year and a half. That’s good news for economic development officials in Arlington, who are still reeling from the impending loss of the National Science Foundation and its 2,237 jobs.

FBR will move from a “trophy” office building at 1001 19th Street N. in Rosslyn to a slightly less lofty accommodations, at 1300 17th Street N., also in Rosslyn. FBR’s new lease runs through the end of 2025. First-year rent for the space — on the building’s 2nd, 13th and 14th floors — is $41 per square foot for the lower floor and $51.50 per square foot for the higher floors, according to an SEC filing.

FBR employs approximately 250 people in Arlington. The company hopes to make the move this May.

The FDIC, meanwhile, has signed a lease for 171,000 square feet in the former DARPA building at 3701 N. Fairfax Drive, in Virginia Square. The agency expects to move employees there from an office at 1310 N. Courthouse Road, in Courthouse, in April 2015.

The FDIC has an existing office at 3501 N. Fairfax Drive, and the new accommodations will eliminate the need to shuttle employees back and forth between Courthouse and Virginia Square, the Washington Business Journal reported.

by ARLnow.com — November 22, 2013 at 9:15 am 1,845 0

A VH-60 helicopter and passenger jet landing at DCA photographed in flight (Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder)

Lyon Park Bat Turns Out to Be Something Else — A Lyon Park resident called animal control officers late last month after a startling discovery: a bat inside his or her home. There was only one problem — the responding animal control officer found that the “bat” was actually a sweatband. It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Previously, a balloon had been mistaken for a bat, a ski hat lying on the road was mistaken for a dead cat, and a “mangy, emaciated cat” turned out to be stuffed animal. [DCist]

GOP Trying to Find Candidate for Special Election — The upcoming County Board special election to replace the retiring Chris Zimmerman could give Arlington Republicans their best chance of winning a seat on the Board since the late 1990s, the last time any non-Democrat served as a Board member. “We could really pull a surprise,” said Arlington County Republican Committee chairman Charles Hokanson. [Sun Gazette]

County Seeking Food Donations for AFAC — As part of County Board Chair Walter Tejada’s “Moving Forward Together” initiative, Arlington County is collecting food items to help stock the shelves at the Arlington Food Assistance Center for the winter. Drop-off points have been set up at Arlington community centers and libraries. [Arlington County]

Mary Bono Selling Arlington Condo — Former California congresswoman Mary Bono is selling her two-bedroom, two-bath condo in the Eclipse building, near Potomac Yard, for $569,000. [Washington Post]

Lustron Home for Sale — A “rare and historic” Lustron home in south Arlington is for sale. The prefabricated two-bedroom, one bathroom home is all steel and was considered a “[marvel] of modern efficiency and style” when it was built at the end of World War II. It’s listed at $499,000. [Preservation Arlington]

Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm 1,223 0

Ask Adam header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: We are planning to buy a home in 2014 and are a little anxious about how much of a seller’s market it will be. Can you share some strategies that have worked well for you in a seller’s market? 

Every situation includes a unique combination of needs, wants and personalities. That said, I’ll share three tips you may want to employ during your home search and negotiations.

1) It’s not just about the money. Unlike what they show on TV, each offer includes a multitude of criteria in addition to price. I try to find out as much as possible about the sellers’ situation before making recommendations to my clients.  For example, I want to know why they are selling and when they prefer to move out. I ask about any specific concerns they have about the sale.

Let’s say the sellers are still trying to find a new home for themselves. In this case, we may offer to close in 30 days so they have access to their proceeds, but allow the sellers to rent back the home for specific period of time so they have breathing room to complete their purchase and move out of their current home. If the competition is steep enough, we may offer to let them rent back for free.

Maybe they are weary about the home appraising. In this case, we can consider waiving the appraisal contingency if this is an option or working with the lender to cut the appraisal contingency period down from a few weeks to a few days. I can tell you from experience that working with the right lender is priceless in these situations.

There are literally hundreds of examples I can provide, but the point is that you want to consider more than just price when making your offer, especially when competing with other buyers. You’re welcome to read an article I wrote about the various ways you can make your offer more competitive.

2) Act quickly. I tell my clients from day one that we will take as long as they need in order to find the right home, but I want them to be in a position to move quickly once they find that home. Regardless of the market, another interested buyer can completely change the dynamics of your negotiations.  You can save you thousands of dollars by wrapping up a contract before another buyer comes along.

Not every seller is going to be willing to accept an offer before they go on the market or within the first couple days of being on the market, but others are happy to do so if the terms you present are agreeable to them.

Make sure you have a solid pre-approval letter from local lender (or proof of funds if you plan to pay cash), funds available for your earnest money deposit and an agent that can work quickly on your behalf. I stress *local* lender because a savvy listing agent is going to educate their client about the issues that often arise from working with online lenders, out of state lenders and even some of the bigger banks.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — October 11, 2013 at 5:00 am 396 0

This post is sponsored by Point2 Homes.

Point2 provides real estate marketing and lead management software to brokers and agents. Point2’s solutions also include the real estate listings portal, Point2 Homes.

Created By BlankSlate

According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, 90% of homebuyers search online and shoppers perform an average of 11 searches before taking action on a real estate site. In addition to sites like PoPville and Redfin, Point2 Homes is a site you should consider when doing your metro D.C. searching. It’s got some features that can have you staring at the computer late into the evening.

Point2-Homes-DC-parcel-mapFirst of all, like other sites, Point2 Homes has a range of search tools for sales and rentals, but the one that really caught our eye was the parcel maps with overlays that provide lots of local information. In the D.C. metro region there are many overlays like FEMA flood hazard areas, tax per square foot, school filters, and year built.

With new residential developments springing up all over Washington D.C., plus all the homes for sale in towns like Arlington and Alexandria, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype.

The parcel maps on Point2 Homes show you what’s underneath the surface, allowing you to visualize your new neighborhood and even pinpoint the best blocks.

Another reason why you should use Point2 Homes is for the detailed Property Data Reports from their sister website Property Shark. With information like the floor area ratio, available air rights, current and projected tax value, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what you’re getting yourself into before you decide to buy.

Point2-Homes-DC-condoIn addition, historical sales information lets you track the property’s value over time, giving you more insight into a property’s value.

Savvy homebuyers are increasingly doing their own comparisons and detailed property research. By creating a login on Point2 Homes, you can access Property Data Reports on up to four properties for free.

Also, if you are a real estate agent or brokerage, the Point2 Agent offering has many resources available to help you grow and manage your business, including agent websites, lead management, social media tools, and listing syndication.

Follow Point2 on Twitter and Facebook and get the free iPhone app

by ARLnow.com — October 3, 2013 at 9:00 am 2,070 0

Watering a yard in north Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography)

Z-Burger to End Free Burger Promotion — Z-Burger is ending its free burger promotion for furloughed federal workers. The local burger chain says they’ve given away more than $60,000 worth of burgers to more than 15,000 federal workers. The company says it’s losing too much money to continue, so the giveaway will end tonight (Thursday). “In order for us to stay in business, we had to make the hard choice,” said owner Peter Tabibian.

New Townhouses Coming to Westover — A new townhouse development is coming to the Westover neighborhood. The Westover Place townhomes are replacing a series of aging but mixed-income low-rise apartment buildings on N. Kensington Street. Prices for new homes in the development start in the $800′s. [Arlington Housing Report]

CivFed Calls for County Audit Staff — Delegates to the Arlington County Civic Federation voted 40-2 this week on a resolution that calls for Arlington to hire an independent, internal auditing and financial control staff. [Sun Gazette]

WRIT Buys Crystal City Building — Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has purchased The Paramount, a 17-story apartment building at 1425 S. Eads Street, for $48 million. [Globe St.]

Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography

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