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Ask Adam: Orange Line Spotlight

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: I found your last article about the Arlington real estate market helpful.  I’m in the market for a home along the Orange Line.  It sounds like everything is selling pretty well right now, but can you tell me which ones are at the top?

Based on what I am seeing out there, these are the neighborhoods with the most action along the Orange Line, broken down by condo, townhouse and single family house:

Condo – Clarendon 1021 (1021 N. Garfield St.)

Clarendon 1021 is one of the largest condominiums on the Orange Line with 417 homes.  Therefore it also tends to have the most homes available, which works to its advantage during an inventory drought like this one.  Four homes have already sold so far this year and eight more are under contract.

The biggest attraction to Clarendon 1021 is the location.  Walk out the front door and you are within two blocks of Clarendon Metro.  You’re within easy walking distance of Arlington’s most popular bars and restaurants.  Within the same radius are a number of conveniences including shopping, groceries, fitness facilities, banks, car/bike share, drugstore,  etc.  Because of its size, Clarendon 1021 is able to offer a full array of amenities (including rooftop pool and 24×7 front desk) while keeping condo fees relatively low.

Other popular options along the Orange Line are The Phoenix, Station Square, Liberty Center and Wooster & Mercer Lofts.  I would also keep an eye on the Courthouse area.  There is a lot of new retail space being developed, which will include new shopping and dining options.  I expect the Courthouse area to become a great second choice to Clarendon.

Townhome – Clarendon Park (near Fillmore and 11th)

Clarendon Park (photo via Adam Gallegos)Clarendon Park shares a similar location to Clarendon 1021.  You may find bigger, newer and more extravagant townhomes along the Orange Line, but none with such a sought after a location.  Already this year, we have seen sales in this neighborhood escalate from $26,000 to $68,000 over list price.  Only the smallest model seems to have any trouble selling quickly.

Clarendon Park offers street and park views.  The most popular homes have large front porches that face the park.  Typical of urban style townhomes, they include a rooftop terrace in lieu of a yard.

Clarendon Park is a great option if a central location is important to you.

Another popular option along the Orange Line is Courthouse Hill where the average number of days-on-market in 2013 is only three.  Of the four homes that have sold this year in Courthouse Hill, two have sold the first day!

Single Family House – Ashton Heights

Depending on where you live within Ashton Heights you are either an easy walk or bike ride to Ballston and Virginia Square.  You also have direct access to DC via route 50.

If you are looking for conformity, Ashton Heights is not the place for you.  The homes range from the traditional colonials to more contemporary Craftsmans and Bungalows.  There is also a wide range of prices.  Thus far in 2013, we have seen homes listed from $650,000 to $1,629,000.  What is consistent is the speed at which the homes sell.  Homes are only taking eight days on average to sell.

The Ballston area has a lot of conveniences within close proximity and I expect the area to continue growing in popularity.

Lyon Village would have been the easy choice for this category, but there really has not been much available in Lyon Village so far this year.  Some homes in Lyon Village are selling before they even hit the market.

Though it is important to understand which neighborhoods are performing well during this market, I think it is also important to research how they performed during the weaker market we just emerged from.  Please feel free to contact me for additional information about a specific neighborhood or neighborhoods you are considering.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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