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Arlington Bracing for Snow, Wind and Cold

Much of the D.C. region is under a Winter Weather Advisory tonight as a coastal storm packing snow, icy cold temperatures and strong wind nears.

Arlington County crews have been mobilized and are treating roads in anticipation of an inch or so of snow tonight and tomorrow, potentially disrupting the morning commute.

As of 4 p.m., grocery store shelves in Clarendon still had plenty of milk and toilet paper, though the former was being frequently restocked by store employees. The scene, at least thus far, was nothing like that outside a D.C. Trader Joe’s store that was mobbed by customers last night.

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonDES/status/948664802389495808

More from the National Weather Service:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY… * WHAT… SNOW EXPECTED. PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON THURSDAY. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND ONE INCH ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL, NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN… FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… VERY COLD CONDITIONS MEAN THAT SNOW WILL QUICKLY STICK ON ROADS AND SIDEWALKS… MAKING THE THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE DANGEROUS. PLAN AHEAD AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION IF TRAVELING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT OR THURSDAY. BITTERLY COLD CONDITIONS WILL FOLLOW FOR LATE THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND CAUSING SNOW TO REMAIN ON UNTREATED SURFACES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1.

More from VDOT:

Virginia Department of Transportation and contract crews will mobilize late Wednesday night to treat roads for snow forecasted to arrive before Thursday morning’s rush hour. A second week of frigid temperatures continues to turn falling precipitation into slick road conditions. Small amounts of snow falling on below-freezing roads can easily melt from the friction of vehicle tires and then quickly refreeze into a layer of ice.

Once fully mobilized, please watch for crews as they stage along roads ahead of time. Crews will treat roads with salt and sand as needed once snow begins to fall overnight Wednesday and will remain on duty until road conditions improve. Please give treatments trucks room to work, as they are very heavy and drive slowly.

Drivers are asked to:

  • Stay tuned to weather (see National Weather Service forecast).
  • If conditions are icy, avoid or delay trips for safety. Otherwise, allow plenty of extra time and reduce speeds significantly.
  • Assume any pavement may be slick. Crews are unable to plow a light coating, and even previously treated roads become slick quickly with low pavement and air temperatures.
  • Take it slow on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and other known trouble spots.
  • Ensure gas tanks and wiper fluid tanks are full.
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Orange Line Living Hosting Home Buying Seminar in Arlington

The first 3 to attend each class get a free Google Chromecast!

Attend the free first time home buyer workshop on January 8 co-hosted by Orange Line Living and The Keri Shull Team to learn all of our tips and get $1,500 towards your next home purchase. Bonus for this class date: Receive an additional $500 towards appraisal from our friends at Pure Mortgage.

Reasons to consider buying even in light of the 2018 Tax Plan Changes:

  1. New mortgages will still be deductible up to $750,000
  2. The child tax credit is doubling
  3. Most people will be playing less overall in taxes therefore having more money to put towards housing.

At this first-time home buyer workshop, you will get a comprehensive explanation of the home purchasing process — there is a ton to know when it comes to mortgages, taxes, government programs, titles — the list goes on.

Home buying specialists with The Orange Line Living and Keri Shull Teams will be teaching all of the acronyms and definitions you will need, what happens at each stage of your transaction, real strategies on how to negotiate a lower purchase price, the different type of loans available and much more. There will be local specialists from multiple industries in attendance, so come with questions.

Benefits of Attending

  • $1,500 credit towards your new home or towards early lease termination
  • 12-month home buy-back guarantee
  • Wine and cheese provided
  • $500 off your appraisal
  • The first 3 to attend will receive a Google Chromecast

Space is limited, register by clicking here.

The event is hosted by best-selling author and top nationally-ranked real estate agent Dan Lesniak, author of The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent. Dan and his team have developed a special process that has allowed them to help over one thousand local families buy or sell their home.

Details

Space is limited so be sure to register at arlingtonhomebuyerclass.com.

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Crime Report: Man Breaks into Clarendon Home, Refuses to Leave

A 20-year-old man from Oakton broke into a home in the Clarendon area last Thursday night and refused to leave, police say.

The man, who had been drinking, entered through a locked door and “did not comply” with a resident’s request that he leave, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

More from ACPD:

UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-12280219, 1000 block of N. Edgewood Street. At approximately 10:51 p.m. on December 28, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim heard a loud noise in their residence and encountered an unknown suspect, who had entered their residence through an unlocked door. The victim asked the suspect to leave the residence, which he did not comply with. Patrick Minkler, 20, of Oakton, VA, was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry and Underage Consumption of Alcohol.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2017-12310002, 2500 block of S. Kenwood St. At approximately 11:55 p.m. on December 30, police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by a wanted suspect known to police. During the stop, the suspect turned the vehicle into the officer, knocking him to the ground. The suspect then fled the scene in the vehicle. Units in the area attempted to locate the suspect unsuccessfully. Warrants were obtained for the suspect for Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Driving with a Suspended/Revoked License.

ROBBERY, 2017-12300240, 3100 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 10:23 p.m. on December 30, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that two males entered a business, one of whom carried a firearm, and stole money and items of value. The suspects fled on foot prior to police arrival. Suspect One is described as a black male, approximately 30 years old, between 5’10 and 6’0, approximately 210 lbs., wearing dark clothing, gloves and a mask. Suspect Two is described as a black male, 30-40 years old, between 5’6 and 5’7, approximately 180 lbs., wearing a blue jacket, jeans, gloves and a mask. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS INJURY BY CAUSTIC AGENT, 2017-12300212, 1400 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:20 p.m. on December 30, police were dispatched to the report of a pepper spraying just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a verbal dispute over money, a female suspect assaulted the male victim. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black female. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

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Schwartz Gives Bicycle Advisory Committee a ‘Revamping’

The county’s Bicycle Advisory Committee has been revamped for the new year by County Manager Mark Schwartz, who has installed a new member as chair.

In a letter dated December 27, 2017, Schwartz told the group he wanted to make the group “more fully representative” of the biking community, and have more civic and citizen associations represented on the 18-person committee. Currently, Schwartz said, less than five of those groups are represented.

And he said that starting this month, the eight members that have “rarely or never attended” meetings would be removed from the committee. The BAC provides advice on issues that affect cycling in Arlington.

Schwartz also appointed Edgar Gil Rico, a member of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the county’s Master Transportation Planning Bicycle Element Working Group and an instructor with the League of American Bicyclists, as chair.

“I would like to begin 2018 with a renewed spirit by re-establishing the [Bicycle Advisory Committee] into a committee that is more fully representative of the current Arlington cyclist community; to accomplish this we need to engage citizens from our collective populations who have not been previously represented,” Schwartz wrote.

But Schwartz’s decision appears to be unpopular in some quarters. One anonymous tipster wrote that it caught the current members by surprise.

“The group was blindsided by the letter, and one long-standing member has resigned, apparently in protest,” the tipster wrote.

Former BAC chair Gillian Burgess confirmed the letter, and said she was “as surprised by the County Manager’s email as the rest of the BAC.” Burgess declined to comment further, but confirmed that one “longstanding member did resign and his expertise and experience will be missed.”

Chris Slatt, chair of the county’s Transportation Commission, said Randy Swart was the member to resign. Swartz was described in a 2007 article as a “bike safety crusader.”

Slatt criticized the decision, saying that committee members have been “left in limbo” as to whether they are still members, or when the next meeting will be. Burgess and Slatt said they had not been consulted on the decision.

“Expanding the diversity and representation of the BAC is a worthy goal, but this seems like an ill-considered and rude way to do it — especially right in the middle of the process to update the bike plan,” Slatt said. “As chair of the Transportation Commission I have worked with my board liaison over the years to to try ensure a diverse set of viewpoints on [the commission] — geographically, demographically and even trying to get a mix of homeowners and renters.”

“It could be done, over time, as a partnership between the chair and the Manager through new appointments without having to tell existing members that their service is no longer wanted.”

Schwartz’s full letter to the group is after the jump.

As we approach the end of another very productive year in advancing cycling projects and updating the Master Transportation Plan’s Bike Element, I’d like to express my gratitude for your service on Arlington County’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC).

I would like to begin 2018 with a renewed spirit by re-establishing the BAC into a committee that is more fully representative of the current make-up of the Arlington cyclist community; to accomplish this we need to engage citizens from our collective populations who have not been previously represented. The County has sixty-two registered civic and citizen associations; however, the BAC membership currently represents less than five of them.

To that end, I will be revamping the membership of the BAC to include representatives from more civic and citizen associations. There are currently eighteen members in the active member roster, however, only ten have regular attendance; eleven members are not representatives of an organization or civic association. Beginning in January 2018, the eight members that have rarely or never attended meetings will be removed from membership on the committee. The goal will be to have or minimum 15-member committee seated within 30 days of the first BAC meeting in January.

I will be appointing a new member, Edgar Gil Rico, who will also serve as the new Chair to help the County establish new goals, recruit representation from civic organizations and continue to work of the BAC. Edgar is a member of WABA, Arlington County’s MTP Bicycle Element Working Group, and an instructor with the League of America Bicyclists.

Please join me in welcoming Edgar to the BAC.

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Registration Open for Beyer Helicopter Noise Forum in Fairlington

Registration is open for Rep. Don Beyer’s (D) community forum in Fairlington later this month on helicopter noise.

Beyer will host the forum on January 16 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Abingdon Elementary School (3035 S. Abingdon Street), as part of a study he added to last year’s Defense Authorization Act that passed Congress.

Anyone wishing to attend must register online.

“The provision was proposed by Rep. Beyer in response to frequent complaints from constituents about excess noise from military helicopters,” organizers wrote. “It directs DOD to study changes to the region’s helicopter flight routes, operating procedures, and types of helicopters flown in the national capital airspace to mitigate the effect of noise on the region’s neighborhoods.”

Courtesy photo

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Arlington Pet of the Week: Hamilton

Becky's Pet Care

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Hamilton, a 4-month-old Vizsla.

Here is what he had to say about his life so far:

My name is Hamilton and I am a 4-month-old Vizsla. My Dad likes to call me Hammy, Hamsandwich, Hamdawg, Hamhawk, or Hamster.

I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but I am not a Steelers fan. I am a fan of all D.C. sports teams, especially the Washington Redskins and Capitals because I can easily “Rock the Red.”

My favorite activities include playing outside, sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong and watching my dad eat dinner. With my free time I can be found at the Shirlington Dog Park or on my favorite couch licking the bottoms of my paws because they smell like Frito Lay chips.

I live an active lifestyle so I frequently go out to various parks to avoid the pupperazzi. I care a lot about animal rights, human rights, and the planet as a whole. To protect the earth from global warming I have taught my Dad to pick up after me.

If you ever see me, please say hi. I would love to meet you!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

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Arts Focus: Rated ‘R’ for Resources

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

It’s hard to say January without resolutions. The lure of the gym, more greens on our plates, open space on our closet shelves, increased profit. Everyone’s beckoned to start anew, called to something better, just as easily as the calendar page is turned.

For creatives and businesses in Arlington, the reboot can be as simple as accessing the many resources offered all year long by Arlington County Economic Development. Without adding overhead for consultants, organizers or coaches, there’s plenty available for free. Think you’re only getting what you pay for? Think again. The support built by Arlington County for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses is an investment in keeping and attracting a diverse business base. And that helps the economy.

From business planning to design thinking, marketing, networking and growth, these resources will last long past the February fade. Check these out to get the resolve going.

Creative Economy. Plug into Arlington’s newest sector initiative that fosters a growing creative community through programs like Made in Arlington. Spotlighting makers and entrepreneurs who are testing and building their businesses in Arlington, the program has gone from one day pop-ups to a two month holiday market in partnership with Arlington Public Library. Looking to see the impact of the creative process in business? Return on Creativity: ROC will be back with seminars this spring and fall. Sign up to stay informed. Check out the blog!

BizLaunch will steer your business through all the rigors of planning, leading and growing your business. Not sure about zoning? Need a consultation with a SCORE counselor? Never heard of SCORE? This may be your best discovery of 2018. There’s plenty to learn from the experts in startups.

Directory, a free resource to any small business to get listed by industry and Urban Village.

Re-engage by applying to serve on a County Advisory commission, become a Chamber member or attend a meeting, join a board, attend a civic association meeting, connect with your area BID or Partnership. Resources are closer at hand than you may think.

Resolutions? They’re not crystal balls or silver bullets, but they are promises you’ll want to keep.

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Police Seeking Public’s Help Identifying Westover Bank Robbery Suspect

The Arlington County Police Department is seeking information on a man suspected for robbing a bank in Westover last month.

Police said the man entered a branch of Wells Fargo at 1701 N. McKinley Road just before 3:30 p.m. on December 22 and handed the teller a note demanding money. He then fled on foot after the teller complied.

Police said the suspect is a white male, aged between 40 and 50 years old, approximately between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-6 tall. He was wearing a gray winter hat, dark red coat and blue jeans at the time of the incident.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect captured on surveillance footage.

On Friday, December 22, 2017, at approximately 3:22 p.m., a male suspect entered the Wells Fargo Bank located at 1701 N. McKinley Road in Arlington, Virginia and passed the teller a note, demanding money. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, the suspect exited the bank and fled on foot heading towards Washington Boulevard.

The suspect is described as a white male, 40-50 years old, approximately 5’3″ – 5’6″ tall. He was wearing a gray winter hat, dark red coat and blue jeans at the time of the incident.

The Arlington County Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding this incident contact Detective C. Riccio at 703.228.4180 or [email protected]. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Photos via Arlington County Police Department

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Cristol Elected County Board Chair, Dorsey New Vice Chair

Katie Cristol will serve as Arlington County Board chair for 2018, with Christian Dorsey nominated as vice chair alongside her.

Both were nominated and unanimously voted in at the County Board’s organizational meeting (video) last night (Tuesday), where members lay out their agendas for the year. This year’s meeting avoided the political wrangling of last year, when Cristol was elected vice chair.

In her remarks after being elected chair, Cristol said she would focus on protecting and adding affordable housing and work to help Metro return to a “sound footing” financially. The Washington Post noted her relative youth — 32 — and said she is the first millennial to lead a county dominated by those in the 20-34 age group.

One of Cristol’s other priorities is to continue work on the county’s nascent childcare initiative, which began this year and is looking to expand options and the quality of child care available in Arlington.

“Child care accessibility similarly speaks to the foundational values of Arlington County,” Cristol said. “The idea that this place is a place for young families is part of our ‘old story,’ at least since an influx of veteran families in the postwar years made Arlington a ground zero for the Baby Boom.”

Dorsey called on the county to establish its own consumer protection bureau to educate businesses and residents about their rights and settle disputes between the two. Like Cristol, he also said affordable housing and Metro will be key priorities this year. The Board last year hiked property taxes to help, in part, to pay for increased Metro costs.

Dorsey said the consumer protection bureau could be a crucial addition, which he said “does not require substantial new funding.”

“We frequently hear complaints involving predatory towing, billing and service issues with cable and telecommunications companies, predatory lenders, identity theft, hired transportation, rental housing, and general contract enforcement,” he said. “I believe there are beneficial outcomes in dispute resolution and prevention that a consumer protection bureau can promote.”

Libby Garvey, now the longest-serving County Board member after the retirement of Jay Fisette last year, said she wants to work on public discussions and ensuring they remain civil. She urged residents to give feedback on a draft guide on Civic Engagement, which will be finalized this year.

“I believe improving civic dialogue and general civility in our discussions is another challenge for us,” Garvey said in her remarks. “[Perhaps] it is because of the poor examples we are seeing on the national stage, but I’ve been hearing more and more, recently, about inconsiderate and unpleasant interactions in public meetings on County issues right here in Arlington.”

Independent Board member John Vihstadt, who is running for re-election this year, said the county should strive for more transparency in government, have greater fiscal discipline and better mitigate the impacts of development.

Vihstadt said cost/benefit analyses should be required of every new development, something he called a “cardinal recommendation” of the 2015 Community Facilities Study.

“Other jurisdictions do this; so can Arlington,” he said. “Let’s leverage the new political dynamic in Richmond by broadening the scope of community benefits to find new ways to help offset the cost and stress of additional development on our surrounding neighborhoods.”

Erik Gutshall is new onto the Board for this year, having won last November’s election to replace Fisette, who retired after 20 years. He noted in his remarks that the budget “will be rife with difficult choices constrained by a harsh revenue gap,” but pledged to support public education, affordable housing and civic engagement.

“As we catch a glance in the rear-view mirror, check our current speed, and peer up the road ahead, it’s clear that we are blessed with a strong foundation, deeply rooted in our shared values, that will sustain our continued success as we meet the tumultuous challenges brought upon us by outside forces,” he said.

The County Board’s first regular meeting of the year is set for Saturday, January 27.

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Faccia Luna Name-Change to Alto Fumo Now Official

A longtime Italian restaurant in Clarendon has officially changed its name.

Faccia Luna became Alto Fumo on January 1, but not much has changed other than some new food options.

Boubker Errami, who has been involved with the restaurant since it opened in 1992, said the restaurant will now offer dishes like oysters and fried calamari as well as staples like pizza and pasta.

He also said the eatery at 2909 Wilson Blvd will have new salads and small plates and an expanded happy hour featuring numerous craft beers. No other aspects of the restaurant, including the furnishings, will change, he said.

As of Tuesday (January 2), the menus on display had been updated with the new name, but the old awnings remained with the Faccia Luna name. Alto Fumo also has a new Facebook page.

Faccia Luna’s Facebook page, meanwhile, posted on Monday, thanking customers and encouraging them to visit Faccia Luna in Alexandria.

Thank you Faccia Luna Arlington customers for your loyalty, support, and for making us a part of your family traditions.

Starting January 1, 2018 Faccia Luna Arlington will be closing its doors. You can still enjoy our great wood-fired pizzas, and classic Italian pastas at Faccia Luna Trattoria in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.

Errami said the changes come as Clarendon continues to add new restaurants and bars, and as Alto Fumo’s owners look to expand their customer base.

“We have great loyal customers, we’re just looking for more to come in the door, because we’ve been here since 1992,” he said. “We want to stay the neighborhood spot for this area.”

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Morning Notes

New ‘Best of Arlington’ List — Arlington Magazine is out with its annual “Best of Arlington” list. This year’s winners include The Liberty Tavern for Best Restaurant in Arlington, Ambar Clarendon for Best New Restaurant and Clare & Don’s Beach Shack in Falls Church for Best Outdoor Dining.

Tattoo Expo Returning — The D.C. Tattoo Expo is coming back to Arlington for another year. The expo is being held Jan. 12-14 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. [D.C. Tattoo Expo]

Arlington Commute Near Average — Arlington residents have a 28.3-minute commute from home to work, on average, comparable to the statewide average of 28.1 minutes, according to the Census Bureau’s latest American Communities Survey. [InsideNova]

Snow, Bitter Cold in Forecast — A ‘monster storm’ will bring bitter cold, strong winds and — according to the latest forecasts — 1-2 inches of snow between tonight and Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service is warning of possible impacts on the Thursday morning commute. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Twitter]

NBC Profiles ‘Arlington Ladies’ — The “Arlington Ladies,” a group of women who are a part of every funeral at Arlington National Cemetery since 1948, were profiled by Lester Holt on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast. [NBC News]

REIT Acquires Rosslyn Office Building — “Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE) has reached a deal to acquire a Rosslyn office tower for $250 million, one of its largest office deals in recent history as the District-based developer seeks to rebalance its D.C.-area portfolio.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Just Reduced Properties in Arlington

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.  

By now, your champagne glass is likely empty and all of your confetti has been thrown. But, before we get too far into 2018 here… Happy New Year! Wishing you — and all of our Just Reduced readers and neighbors — much success and the power to reach your goals in 2018.

So, what continues to be at the top of most folks’ wish lists and resolutions at the beginning of a new year?

Homeownership.

Don’t be intimidated by what seems to be an overly complex and complicated process/decision/transaction. This is one resolution you can keep and one goal you can reach in the New Year… with the right team by your side!

When you’re ready to get the absolute most out of your decision, we’re here to help no matter what you may be looking for. Our team has been advocating on behalf of our Arlington County neighbors for decades and this year will certainly be no exception.

As of January 1 there are 140 detached homes, 23 townhouses and 184 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 5 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

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