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This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Depending upon the security concerns involved, it can be extremely helpful when federal employees or government contractors facing security clearance issues have support from a medical professional. In security clearance matters, it’s usually very beneficial and important for our federal employee and contractor clients to consult with a medical professional if appropriate and when medical or medical-related security concerns are under review by clearance authorities.

Types of Security Concerns that Could Involve Medical Professionals

Depending upon the facts of the security clearance case, there are a variety of security concerns for which a seasoned medical professional may be helpful to a security clearance applicant or holder. One of the most common types of security clearance cases in which a medical professional may be helpful involves the psychological or mental health condition of the security clearance applicant or holder under Guideline I, Psychological Conditions, under SEAD 4 (Page 19). Medical professionals may also be of assistance when a security clearance applicant or holder has security concerns involving illegal prescription drug use and/or an alcohol-related traffic matter.

Use of Medical Professionals in Security Clearance Matters

When an individual’s security clearance is at issue, it can be very helpful to obtain a medical professional’s review of the underlying issues for use in mitigating the security concern. When such situations arise, the clearance authority will ask whether there are mitigating factors present regarding the security concerns at issue. Clearance authorities will often take reasoned medical opinions into account when considering whether or not to permit an individual to obtain or retain his or her security clearance. When this occurs, it can be important to have a medical professional’s opinion, especially if a regular physician is not available to meet with the individual to attempt to mitigate the security concerns at issue.

The following examples more clearly demonstrate when a medical professional can be of help to a security clearance applicant or holder:

Example 1: The clearance holder has had three arrests for driving while intoxicated over the past five years. In this situation, it is important to have a medical professional evaluate, counsel and respond to the types of security concerns involved. The medical professional can often outline all of the treatment options available to the clearance holder and analyze the efforts undertaken by the clearance holder to address any alcohol-related concerns or treatment. A seasoned medical professional can also render a medical opinion as to whether or not such issues are likely to reoccur and the best way the clearance holder can avoid such issues in the future.

Example 2: The clearance holder has a significant mental health disorder, and a clearance authority needs to determine whether the medical condition would affect the individual’s ability to hold access to classified information. In this situation, it is important and helpful if a medical professional can provide a reasoned medical opinion as to whether the mental health condition will be an impediment to retaining a security clearance. The medical professional can evaluate the individual’s medical history, treatment undertaken for the medical issues and issue an opinion as to how the medical condition will likely affect the clearance holder in the future. Read More

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This regularly scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

We all love the Arlington Public Library, and we are excited to announce upgraded thermal cameras are now available to checkout.

Stop by the Arlington County Library or click here to borrow free energy efficiency tools, along with the information needed to identify and act on energy efficiency opportunities.

Use Knowledge to Take Action

  • Thermal imaging cameras see what your eyes can’t. They help identify hot and cold spots in your home, indicating where insulation is missing and where air leaks occur.
  • Energy meters show exactly how much electricity appliances and electronics consume. Understanding energy use in your home is the first step to taking action toward a “greener” home.
  • LED bulb sampler box lets you try various bulbs to find the right shape, color and brightness for each room in your home. All of the bulbs are dimmable and come with an informational guide.
  • The curated booklist offers energy saving tips and will help your complete “do-it-yourself” projects to save energy and money to make your home more comfortable. The list also includes Spanish titles.

The Energy Lending Library and other AIRE programs offer you energy-saving resources to rethink energy and help our community reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Also, don’t forget that the last Solar and EV Charger Co-op info session will take place on July 28. Click here to register and join more than 200 other Arlington homeowners that have already signed up with the co-op this year.

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Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Andors Real Estate Group.

Good morning, and welcome to JUST LISTED!

It’s been a great week in real estate here in Arlington! The pace has kept consistent for new listings for a second straight week while buyers took advantage of some homes that had sat for a little longer on the market. Overall ratifications were up as a result, and total inventory decreased slightly. I’ll go into more detail below, but as a summary overview, the market is still very strong, and I suspect inventory has just about plateaued as we head into August.

Historically, August is a slower month, though 2020 was of course an anomaly. We’ll see how this August behaves with regard to real estate. I expect a brisk fall market to start just before Labor Day this year, since the school schedule has shifted forward a week.

The Andors Real Estate Group has a fantastic, beautiful new listing that just hit the market, and we’re excited to share!

It’s our PICK OF THE WEEK, check it out: 730B 15th Street S., Arlington, VA 22202 — $774,000

The most convenient living in National Landing — top-to-bottom 100% renovation with premium materials throughout! This private end-unit three bedroom, two full and one half bathroom townhome has been completely renovated and features 1,400 square feet of finished living space on two levels. A beautiful chef’s kitchen with eat-in island, private balcony, gorgeous bathrooms and hand-hewn style hardwood flooring are just some of the many things to enjoy about this beautiful home. Southampton is extremely convenient, just across the street from the Pentagon City Metro and close to all the shops, grocery stores, and dining and an easy trek into D.C.

Find me here Saturday and Sunday afternoon, 1-4 p.m. for the open houses!

Sellers listed 97 homes for sale this past week, three less than the week before. Buyers ratified 82 contracts, 14 more than the week prior. 36 of the ratified contracts were on homes JUST LISTED in the past seven days.

There are 545 available properties for sale throughout all of Arlington and across all property types. 146 are detached homes, 55 are townhome/semi-detached homes and 344 of the available units in Arlington are condos.

For a bit of perspective, this same week last year sellers listed 113 homes and buyers ratified 80 contracts. There were also only 350 available properties for sale this week last year.

The average list price for currently available properties is $791,023 and the median is $580,000. Currently available properties in Arlington have an average of 57 days on market (DOM) and a median of just 35.

Click here to search currently available Arlington real estate. If you see a home you’re interested in purchasing, give us a call.

Call the Andors Real Estate Group today at 703-203-1117 to talk more about buying or selling Arlington real estate. Below are eight new listings I think you might like to check out:

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A new locally owned and operated optometric practice is now open in Ballston!

NOVA Optique + Eyecare was founded by Dr. Sara Varghai, who has been providing care to the Arlington community since 2014.

The practice features the latest technologies in eye care equipment such as Optos digital wide-field camera, digital phoropter, visual field analyzer and OCT machine. They also offer unique frame lines to Northern Virginia, including Dita, ic! berlin, Lindberg and other handcrafted lines.

Dr. Varghai set out to create a practice where individualized care is of utmost importance. She likes to know that her patients are seeing well while looking their best. Educating patients is critical to Dr. Varghai, as she takes time with each and every patient to go over exam results, diagnosis and treatment options. She finds this pertinent in maintaining eye health and the prevention of ocular disease.

She offers comprehensive eye exams for glasses and contacts, as well as ocular emergencies and infections. To schedule an appointment, reach out online, give the office a call at 703-879-4326 or just stop by!

NOVA Optique + Eyecare
672 North Glebe Road (Ballston)
Instagram | Facebook

This sponsored column is by James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq. and Laura Lorenzo, Esq., practicing attorneys at Steelyard LLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Arlington, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact James for an appointment.

Litigation over the constitutionality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) took a turn this week, courtesy of Federal District Court Judge Andrew Hanen. In this brief explainer, we will first provide the facts about what has happened to DACA, and then we will offer our prediction about the future of the program.

First, the facts. Judge Hanen’s injunction prevents the Department of Homeland Security from approving any “initial” DACA applications. What is an initial application? An initial application is an application for recognition under DACA by someone who has not had it before. Judge Hanen’s injunction leaves “renewal” applications for DACA completely untouched, via a peculiar two-step: the injunction enjoins the application of DACA in full, then temporarily stays the injunction for current recipients of DACA. Here is the relevant quotation from the injunction:

“With respect to DACA recipients who obtained that status on or before the date of this injunction and DACA renewal applications for these existing recipients (regardless of when the renewal applications are submitted) the order of immediate vacatur and the permanent injunction… are temporarily stayed until a further order of this Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the United States Supreme Court.”

Why would Judge Hanen stay his own injunction? He recognized that a large class of stakeholders — including U.S. citizens and businesses — has come to depend on the DACA program, and it would be unjust to immediately terminate the program while litigation over its constitutionality remains pending. Again, the relevant quotation from the Order:

“Hundreds of thousands of individual DACA recipients, along with their employers, states, and loved ones, have come to rely on the DACA program. […] Given these interests, it is not equitable for a government program that has engendered such significant reliance to terminate suddenly.”

Here is our class-by-class summary of the state of play, as of July 22, 2021. (It is even more important than usual to emphasize that this is not legal advice to you as an individual. Talk to an attorney!)

  1. If you already have DACA, your DACA designation and work permit remain valid.
  2. If you have never had DACA and your first application is pending, the Department of Homeland Security cannot approve the application. The application will remain pending for the foreseeable future.
  3. If you have a DACA renewal pending, the Department of Homeland Security will adjudicate it as normal.
  4. If you are eligible to renew your DACA, you can submit your renewal application and it will be adjudicated as normal.
  5. If you are eligible to apply for DACA for the first time, you can submit your application but it will remain pending indefinitely.

Now, here is our (short) prediction about what comes next.

Read More

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The inaugural Bands & Brews on the Boulevard will turn Wilson Boulevard into an all-day music festival, complete with a 200-foot street pub on Saturday, July 24, in Ballston.

Six bands will perform at a 30-foot concert stage from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a 200-foot street pub offering beer, wine and cocktails.

Attendees can enjoy live music performances by DJ Touch Basis, Andrew Savoia and Fordson Labs, Turtle Recall, Junkfood, Popstar Drive, Aztec Sun, and Bobby McKeys’ Dueling Pianos. See the full schedule of bands online.

This event is free and open to the public, but street pub tickets are needed for drinks. Purchase advance tickets with presale discounts online.

To sponsor part of the event or to register as a volunteer, visit Ballston BID’s website.

Bands & Brews on the Boulevard is a signature event of BallstonGives and will benefit the Ballston Bartender Relief Fund, an ongoing initiative to provide events and marketing for the restaurant industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Because Arlington earned the title of Fittest City in the U.S. for the third year in a row last week, we thought we’d use this as an opportunity to highlight one of Arlington’s newest fitness brands, Method Fitness, which opened its doors earlier this year.

Aryan Siahpoushan, the founder of Method Fitness, moved to Arlington after college and began working for one of the Big Four consulting firms in the region.

“After about six months in, I realized it wasn’t for me,” Siahpoushan said. “In college, I majored in business because I wanted to be an entrepreneur; at the time, however, I didn’t know what my future business would be.”

Through much self-reflection and research, Siahpoushan realized he wanted to work in the fitness industry. After a year at the consulting firm, he left for a career change and began working at a gym in Ballston.

“Working there was an opportunity for me to obtain certifications, gain training experience and learn more about the industry in real-time,” he said.

Toward the end of 2019, Siahpoushan left to become an independent personal trainer for a local gym in Arlington.

“My intention was to open my own gym someday soon, so I became an independent personal trainer to gain experience managing and building clientele — without the overhead of my own space,” he said.

Then, COVID-19 came and forced gyms to close in March 2020.

“In many ways, COVID-19 accelerated the opening of Method Fitness,” Siahpoushan explained. “While during the lockdown I was still providing sessions, albeit virtually, but the volume at which I was training simply wasn’t the same as before. This afforded me the opportunity to truly focus on my business plan.”

In July 2020, he began looking for space to open his one-on-one fitness concept and secured a location at 3315 Langston Blvd (formerly Lee Highway) in December.

“I saw an opportunity within the industry that could thrive, especially given the ‘new normalʼ that COVID presented us — the concept of a one-on-one fitness space that provides clients an exclusive environment for just personal training, which differs from a big-box gym,” Siahpoushan said.

To help him with his business plan, Siahpoushan sought out the Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) through George Mason University. He began meeting with his counselor, Mark Julian, in July 2020.

“My counselor was instrumental in helping get Method Fitness off the ground, serving as a resource and sounding board for my idea,” Siahpoushan said. “Outside of friends and family, he was the only person I spoke to about my idea.”

With its consistent ranking as the Fittest City in the U.S., it makes sense that Arlington would be a desirable location for a fitness startup.

“People in Arlington prioritize their fitness,” Siahpoushan said. “When I come in before 6 a.m., I constantly see people along Langston Blvd run, bike and walk to start their day.”

Since opening earlier this year, Method Fitness has seen a positive response from the community, allowing Siahpoushan to bring on two additional trainers, Mateo Moore and Justin Fabella.

Method Fitness offers in-person and virtual one-on-one personal training sessions customized to meet clients’ needs for those looking to focus on their fitness goals. Check out their website to schedule your initial consultation and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by Arlington Realty, Inc. Maximize your real estate investment with the team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6000 today!

Please note: While Arlington Realty, Inc. provides this information for the community, it may not be the listing company of these homes.

“A home was reduced in price by $1,000, why should I care?” It’s a common question we’ve received during the six-plus years of this column.

The simple answer is this: It signals flexibility and potential negotiation ahead.

With so many reduced properties, a small publicized price reduction may only be the beginning. So many times we’ve seen a $1,000 reduction turn into a $5,000, $10,000 and even $100,000 cut in price down the line. But, you have to be able to negotiate further. And, more often than not, that requires having a powerful team on your side.

When you’re ready to embark on a journey to achieve your real estate dreams, the time-tested team at Arlington Realty, Inc. is ready to advocate on your behalf. Until then, here are this week’s Just Reduced numbers:

As of July 19, there are 173 detached homes, 52 townhouses and 370 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 39 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week:

Please note 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 Arlington Realty, Inc.

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Walking into a clean home is one of the best feelings. No toys to step over, no pet hair tumbleweeds to dodge, no countertops begging to be wiped down.

But these days, many of us are running low on time and energy. That’s why it’s worth calling in reinforcements.

Hiring a professional cleaner is a huge time (and sanity) saver. The only issue? Finding a cleaning company you feel good about hiring can be difficult.

But Well-Paid Maids, based here in the D.C. area, is transparent about what they pay their cleaners. Wages start at $20 an hour, plus they offer benefits, like health, dental and vision insurance; 22 paid days off a year; and 100% employer-paid commuting costs.

“Not only are our labor practices the right thing to do, but they also lead to better results for our customers,” says Aaron Seyedian, the founder of Well-Paid Maids.

They also use healthy and sustainable cleaning products, rated “low concern” or “lowest concern” by the Environmental Working Group.

All in all, you’ll be left with a clean home and a clean conscience with Well-Paid Maids.

Check out all their services online and book a cleaning in less than 60 seconds.

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This regularly scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist. Enjoy!

Question: How has Arlington’s single-family housing market performed in the first half of 2021?

Answer: The news has been full of stories and data about the explosion in real estate prices and intense competition for single-family homes across the country. Arlington has been no exception.

This week, we’ll take a look at some charts and data that highlight what we’ve experienced so far in 2021 for single-family homes (SFH) in Arlington.

Overview: Prices Up, Listing Activity Up, Inventory Down

The year-over-year median price for SFHs increased 8.6% in Q1 and 20.6% in Q2 (remember Q2 2020 had end-to-end strict COVID lockdowns) with both quarters exceeding a median price over $1.1M — the first time that has happened in any quarter in Arlington. If you want to skip 2020 because of COVID, Q1/Q2 median prices in 2021 were up 17.4% and 21.1%, respectively, compared to 2019 median prices.

After back-to-back years of below-average listing volume, the number of SFHs listed for sale in the first half of 2021 exceeded 900 homes for the first time since 2017 and ended up well above the 10-year first half average of approximately 860 homes listed for sale during the first half.

Despite strong listing volume, active inventory hit a 10+ year low due to demand outpacing new supply. We finished Q2 with 1.3 months of supply — about twice as high as Loudoun County, which is struggling tremendously with inventory levels.

Bye-Bye Affordability

Of the six ZIP codes with enough SFH supply to generate reliable data (22206, 22209 and 22213 don’t have enough SFH sales), only one had an average sold price below $1M, compared to four in 2019!

One of my biggest takeaways from the 2021 market so far is just how quickly prices have increased in the least expensive neighborhoods. The two ZIP codes with the lowest average SFH price, 22203 and 22204, increased by 16.8% and 20.7%, respectively, from the first half of 2020, while the four most expensive saw increases ranging from 0.4% to 8.8%.

In 2020, the average home in 22201 (most expensive ZIP code) was 95% more expensive than the average home in 22204 (least expensive ZIP code). In 2021, the gap closed quickly with the average 22201 home being 62% more expensive than the 22204 average.

Price Distributions Skew High

While the largest volume of sales still falls in a sub-$1M range, the price distribution in Arlington skews high. Despite the high average/median prices, Arlington doesn’t have much of an ultra high-end market, with just three sales over $3M and just two SFH sales over $3.5M in the last five years.

Prior to this year, the percentage of sales under $800K was always greater than the percentage of sales over $1.5M. In the first half of 2021, not only were there a higher percentage of sales over $1.5M but the number of sales over $1.5M nearly doubled the number of sales under $800K!

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Address: 1600 N. Oak Street #624
Neighborhood: The Belvedere — Rosslyn
Listed: $439,900

Welcome to #624 at The Belvedere! This spacious floor plan offers 815 square feet of renovated living space. The large living and dining area features laminate hardwood floors and leads out to a bright and airy sunroom with treetop views. The renovated kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, upgraded cabinetry and a custom backsplash.

The primary bathroom features an upgraded vanity with quartz countertops, a walk-in closet, linen pantry and an updated tub/shower. The property comes with one garage parking spot.

The Belvedere has a fantastic amenity package that features a large pool, fitness center, 24/7 front desk, party room, convenience store, car wash area and much more! The Belvedere has an incredible location that is a short walk to the Rosslyn Metro, Target, Starbucks and Safeway, and the building is just minutes away from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The location offers easy access to D.C., major highways and everything the area has to offer!

Contact The Battle Group or your buyer’s agent for more information or to set up a private showing.

Listed by:
Matt Leighton
The Battle Group – Century 21 Redwood Realty
703-472-0574
[email protected]
TheMattLeighton.com

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