Arlington, VA

For several years, Arlington-based tour operator TripUSAFrance has provided one of a kind, small-group visits to France, with company owner Julia Girard-Gervois and her father Stephane as personal tour guides.

The reviews on TripAdvisor are raves, with participants praising the authenticity of the experience, as Julia and Stephane introduce visitors to the scenery and people of their beloved and beautiful part of the world.

For a limited time, that experience enjoys a $500 discount for two of their tours booked for April 23 to May 2 and May 7 to May 16 when you add ARL500 as the coupon code.

Julia has designed tours that take visitors — a pleasant maximum of 14 — to where other tours simply cannot go; the Montpellier native has created itineraries calling on her personal insights that take clients deep into the culture of the region — which means, no tourist traps. Julia leads visitors into Medieval cities, ancient castles and chateaux, wineries, beaches and markets and introduces clients to locals who enrich the experience.

The discounted nine-day South of France tour includes stops at out-of-the-way villages, Medieval castles and vineyards that Julia knows intimately. There are many fun activities as well including a leisurely lunch and wine cruise down the famous Canal du Midi, visiting a traditional ranch in the Camargue, and a picnic catered by Julia’s mother.

The eight-day tour of Normandy takes visitors to Stephane’s home region where you discover the magic of the north. The tidal island of Mont St. Michel, the port in Honfleur, and an in-depth tour of WW2 sites with a local expert are among the highlights. You will also be treated to cheese and calvados tastings at local farms and a dinner at the horse races. It goes without saying that on both tours, the culinary experiences are assured to be spectacular.

To book a tour, see this page or call 703-375-9548. The email address is [email protected].

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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. Enjoy!

Question: How did the Arlington real estate market do in 2019?

Answer: Arlington’s real estate market made the national news cycle more than a few times in 2019 with some pretty extraordinary references to rapid appreciation — some accurate and some not. I’ve seen prices in some pockets of the market surge 15-20% in 2019, but for most of the market, appreciation was strong but not eye-popping.

Overall, the average and median price of a home sold in Arlington in 2019 was $705k and $610k, a 6.3% and 8.9% increase over 2018, respectively. Average days on market dropped by one week and an incredible 61.4% of buyers paid at or above the seller’s original asking price. The number of homes listed for sale in 2019 dropped about 17% compared to 2018 and demand surged, with buyers absorbing about 67% more inventory in 2019 than in 2018.

Last week I looked at how Arlington’s condo market performed in 2019 and this week we’ll dig into the performance of the detached and townhouse/duplex markets. I did separate write-ups on the 22202 (Amazon zip code) condo and detached home markets last month and decided not to include data from 22202 in most of the analysis for this week.

Arlington Detached/Townhouse Market Performance

First, we’ll take a look at some of the key measures for market performance across Arlington and within North and South Arlington. I’ve listed some highlights below, followed by a summary data table:

  • Median detached home prices increase by 6.7% from $890k in 2018 to $950k in 2019
  • Median townhouse/duplex prices increased 8.5% from $530k in 2018 to $575k in 2019
  • Average detached homes prices increased by an average of 5.1% and townhouse/duplex homes by 3.6%
  • South Arlington appreciated more than North Arlington, particularly in the less expensive townhouse/duplex market
  • On average, a detached home in North Arlington is 55.5% more expensive than a detached home in South Arlington and 76.9% more expensive for townhouse/duplex homes
  • Buyers accomplished very little trying to negotiate with sellers, averaging just 1.1% off original asking prices on detached homes and paying an average of 1% over the original asking price on townhouse/duplex homes
  • The number of new detached homes sold in 2019 was just below the trailing five-year average. Note that not all new homes make it in the MLS, so the actual count is likely a bit higher

Performance By Zip Code

Next let’s take a look at average prices for both detached and townhouse/duplex homes by zip code:

  • Over the last five years, the top performing zip codes have been 22202 (National Landing) and 22209 (Rosslyn area), with Amazon HQ2 and Nestle leading the way in the commercial sector for those zip codes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this trend continue over the next five years
  • Nearly all of the appreciation for 22202 came from 2019’s Amazon bump
  • If I remove new construction sales from the data, the appreciation percentages remain relatively similar for every zip code except for 22203 and 22213. Without new construction included, 22203 gained 4.5% (instead of zero change) and 22213 gained .5% (instead of dropping 2%), in 2019

Read More

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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.

With the change in control of the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate, there is an opportunity to modernize employment laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

While there are a number of other suggestions out there already regarding the raising wages, right to work laws and other wage-related issues, I think that there are also some less contentious fixes that could offer employees enhanced protections.

Here are some suggestions for the Virginia Legislature to consider:

Enact a Whistleblower Law: Virginia has been one of those states where whistleblower laws for the private sector are nearly non-existent. Currently, there is no general statute where an individual employed in the private sector is terminated because of disclosures about illegal activities.

There has been a common-law cause of action known as a Bowman claim but the courts have long avoided holding employers accountable without a statute in place. We are hopeful that the legislature is able to accomplish this. New York has a very good law that protects private-sector employees from whistleblower retaliation that should be considered. NY Consolidated Laws, Labor Law – LAB § 740.

Add Sexual Orientation Discrimination to the Virginia Human Rights Act: The Virginia Human Rights Act does not currently protect workers from sexual orientation discrimination. It is past time for the Commonwealth of Virginia to change this. Doing so would only require a minor addition to VA Code § 2.2-3900.

Provide an Employee the Right to Dispute Termination Allegations: While Virginia and other jurisdictions remain at-will states, there is no reason why an employee should not be permitted to rebut false allegations made against them in a termination matter which have been placed on file with the employer. Massachusetts has an excellent law (MGL Ch. 149, Section 52C) on this subject which provides an employee a complete copy of their personnel file and the opportunity to negotiate what their final employment record will reflect.

Alternatively, the law provides the employee the opportunity to respond to negative termination allegations that would be kept in their employment file. If a third party requests information about the person’s former employment, both the termination letter and the former employee’s response would be provided, not just the termination letter. While amended recently, the Virginia Legislature would likely have to amend VA Code § 8.01-413.1 to accomplish this needed reform.

Revamp the Administrative Grievance Process for State/Public Employees: Presently, while there is a process that allows public employees to file a grievance and seek a hearing in termination cases, the truth is that the process is heavily slanted to the public employer. The hearing officers rule overwhelmingly on an employer’s behalf even when a termination is flawed. There is no reason why the hearing process cannot provide a level playing field for public sector employees. This would not require legislation, only changes and training at the hearing official level at the Virginia Office of Equal Employment and Dispute Resolution.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law representation or advice, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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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.

Thank you Arlington Magazine for honoring the Community Energy Plan as the Editor Pick for the Best of Arlington Magazine 2020! You recognize that the effects of climate change continue to accelerate; Arlington is not sitting idly by.

For those that may not be aware, the Arlington County Board adopted sweeping updates to the Community Energy Plan in 2019.  If you haven’t had the chance to take a look at it the final version of the Community Energy Plan, click here to give it a read,   The Community Energy Plan sets ambitious targets for transforming the County’s energy sector.

Some highlights of Arlington’s Community Energy Plan include:

  • Sets goal for a carbon-neutral Arlington by 2050
  • Government operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025
  • Community to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  • Considering energy equity during implementation

There is no better cure for worry than action! The County is working hard to put together a list of projects that we will implement to help us achieve the ambitious milestones noted above.

One key milestone is to achieve 100% renewable electricity for Government operations by 2025. That goal is just around the corner and we are already focused on achieving it.

We are proud of the work we’ve done together to save money and energy. Please join us as we move forward. Every action makes a difference.

Together we can create a carbon-neutral Arlington by 2050!

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This sponsored column is by James Montana, Esq. and Doran Shemin, 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.

In the past few months, the news outlets have been buzzing with the royal drama surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The couple has split from official British royal family duties due to a desire to live a more private life; this may be the biggest royal controversy since Prince Harry’s great-great-uncle Edward abdicated the throne in 1936. For now, it appears that the couple will split their time between North America and the United Kingdom, spending much of their time in Canada.

Given the fact that Meghan Markle is a U.S. citizen, the happy quasi-royals may want to relocate in the United States. A common misconception is that foreign nationals automatically become U.S. citizens if they marry a U.S. citizen. For reasons we have explained elsewhere, using links to Animal House, that simply isn’t so. If Prince Harry wanted to live permanently in the United States, the Duchess would have to go through the formal process of petitioning for the Prince to receive lawful permanent residency (a.k.a. a green card).

After having a green card for at least 3 years, Prince Harry would be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. But would he? We think not.

One of the first eligibility questions on the naturalization application is “Do you now have, or did you EVER have, a hereditary title or an order of nobility in any foreign country?” The following question states “If you answered “Yes,” are you willing to give up any inherited titles or orders of nobility that you have in a foreign country at your naturalization ceremony?”

While Prince Harry would obviously have to answer “yes” to the first question, he might not be willing to say “yes” to the second. His business interests, never mind his identity, might be rather well served by remaining the Duke of Sussex.

Then, of course, there is Prince Harry’s military service to consider. Prince Harry (“Lt. Wales,” to the squaddies) served two tours in Afghanistan and, in addition to his admirable work as a soldier, has served as an honorary officer in the Royal Air Force, the Royal Marines and the Royal Navy. He would need detailed discharge paperwork from all of these Services.

Other than that, we think Prince Harry wouldn’t have too many difficulties become a U.S. citizen. But, of course, we’d be glad to help him find out. We offer the same reasonable rates, personal service, and careful work to HRHs (and former HRHs) as we do to everyone else.

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Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.

Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here are a few highlights:

3802 Dittmar Road
6 BD/6 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Keller Williams Capital Properties
Listed: $1,999,995
Open: Saturday 12-3 p.m.

 

4817 24th Street N.
5 BD/3 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Washington Fine Properties
Listed: $1,324,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1515 23rd Road S.
3 BD/3 BA single-family home
Agent: Re/Max Executives
Listed: $1,095,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

629 19th Street S.
3 BD/2 BA single-family home
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $900,000
Open: Saturday 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

 

640 N. Illinois Street
3 BD/1 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $849,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

900 N. Stafford Street #2015
2 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Kw Metro Center
Listed: $570,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

4069 S. Four Mile Run Drive #203
2 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Redfin Corporation
Listed: $424,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

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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 Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Perhaps the historic events unfolding on Capitol Hill this week have raised uncertainty about our nation’s direction and caused home buyers to hesitate a bit as home sales dropped this week to only 33 from 43 last week.

Sellers did their part by listing 50 homes, so the drop in sales wasn’t an inventory issue. Our market’s few weaknesses include linkage to Federal government activity as our economy is primarily driven by the U.S government across the Potomac. For example, every presidential election year our real estate market just gets weird with erratic shifts of high volatility to dormancy over short periods. Something spooked buyers this week, and it wasn’t the weather.

Nationally, the housing market is hot in most places. A report released this week by the National Association of Realtors indicates that the median home price from a year ago increased 7.8% to $274,500. In the northeast region, the number of existing home sales is up 8.8% from a year ago, which has helped to drive down inventory levels by 8.5%, as if inventory wasn’t bad enough.

Currently Arlington has only 150 homes actively for sale. At the current rate of absorption, that’s only 1.1 months of inventory. Nationally, inventory has dropped to only 3 months, the lowest level since before the great recession of 2008.

Wage growth has picked up by 3% and that’s a big help for home buyer’s affordability, but when prices go up 7.8% it still puts buyers farther behind. Economists believe the affordability factor will eventually slow home sales and bring down price growth. But if I were a buyer right now, I wouldn’t bet on it happening soon enough. I’d get out there, compete in the bidding wars, and ratify a contract as soon as possible so I could enjoy the ride of equity growth while it lasts.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Making its mark in Ballston center is Origin, the newest residential tower featuring studio to two-bedroom residences. In particular, a variety of great one-bedroom floorplans are available right now to accommodate a range of lifestyles.

Walking into Origin´s residences feels serendipitous with its elevated level of finish and attention to detail that has gone into the design of every room.

The chef-inspired kitchens deliver high-end conveniences with its stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, Caesarstone quartz countertops, ceramic-tile backsplashes, under-cabinet task lighting and built-in pantries.

Bathrooms are designed to deliver the perfect energizing start to the day. Bathrooms feature quartz countertops with large illuminated vanity mirrors, plenty of under the sink storage space, Moen chrome fixtures and large format tile flooring.

Every home at Origin has extensive light-filled living areas with sustainable wood flooring and impressive views, but not every home is the same. Origin embraces each resident’s lifestyle with its extensive conveniences, options and upgrades. Residents can select from two interior finish packages in Pearl and Asher and may upgrade their apartments to include ample walk-in closets, floor-to-ceiling windows, patios and terraces, kitchen islands and more!

Origin has dedicated three floors to a bespoke collection of amenities that inspire residents to live their best lives. With extensive work/life amenities, Origin features a fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment, a work lounge with individual study rooms, 24 hr concierge service, a rooftop pool with cabanas and a private clubroom, a rentable entertainment space with a fireplace, and a dog spa along with a rooftop dog park and multiple indoor and outdoor entertainment areas.

Ready to live in Origin? Visit originballston.com and schedule your tour.

For a limited time Origin is offering ONE MONTH FREE to select move-ins before March 21.

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

By BizLaunch Team

In addition to the many tools at BizLaunch’s disposal such as Score, one on one consultations and innovative programming, BizLaunch has another resource for businesses with a unique partnership with Latino Economic Development Center. Here is a little about one of the newest members of Arlington’s small business ecosystem.

As a native Arlingtonian, Eddy Campos-Molina is excited to start working with small businesses in the area. Having been raised in a family of entrepreneurs, Eddy has seen firsthand many of the challenges that small businesses face, particularly in the Latino community.

As a Loan Officer & Small Business Coach for LEDC (Latino Economic Development Center), Eddy’s goal is to provide support to Arlington’s existing small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in three main ways. Through business loans, business advice and credit building.

Business Loans

As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), LEDC provides alternative micro loan options to start-ups and existing businesses that have difficulty obtaining credit from mainstream financial institutions.

Business Advice

As a Small Business Coach Eddy will be providing hands-on workshops and one-on-one business coaching. LEDC helps launch new enterprises and support existing businesses with business planning, financial projections and marketing support etc.

Credit Building

LEDC also provides access to financial products specifically tailored to build one’s personal credit, along with knowledge of what goes into a credit score and how it impacts one’s financial goals.

Make an appointment with Eddy today! Eddy will also be available to take appointments on Fridays at the Bizlaunch office 1100 N. Glebe Rd. Suite 1500.

You can reach Eddy through his direct number and email listed below:

Eddy Campos-Molina
478-324-2839 
[email protected]

Además de los múltiples recursos que BizLaunch ofrece como consultoría uno a uno con asesores de SCORE y programas innovadores BizLaunch tendrá otro recurso para negocios a través de nuestra asociación con El Centro Latino de Desarrollo Económico (LEDC).  A continuación encontrará más información sobre uno de los nuevos miembros del ecosistema de pequeños negocios de Arlington.

Como nativo de Arlington, Eddy Campos-Molina está entusiasmado de comenzar a trabajar con pequeñas empresas en el área. Siendo hijo de una pequeña empresaria, Eddy ha visto de primera mano muchos de los desafíos que enfrentan las pequeñas empresas, particularmente en la comunidad latina.

Como Oficial de Préstamo y Coach de Pequeñas Empresas para LEDC (Centro Latino de Desarrollo Económico), el objetivo de Eddy es brindar apoyo a las pequeñas empresas existentes y a los emprendedores mediante tres formas principales. A través de préstamos comerciales, asesoramiento empresarial y mejoramiento del puntaje de crédito.

Préstamos comerciales

Como una Institución Financiera de Desarrollo Comunitario Certificada (CDFI), LEDC ofrece opciones alternativas de microcrédito para empresas nuevas y existentes que tienen dificultades para obtener crédito de las instituciones financieras convencionales.

Asesoramiento empresarial

Como entrenador de pequeñas empresas, Eddy ofrecerá talleres de capacitación y asesoramiento individual. LEDC ayuda a lanzar nuevas empresas y a apoya a las empresas existentes con asesoría en planificación comercial, proyecciones financieras y soporte de marketing, etc.

Construcción de historial crediticio

LEDC también proporciona acceso a productos financieros específicamente diseñados para mejorar el puntaje de crédito y brinda conocimiento acerca de cómo construir crédito y lograr sus objetivos financieros.

Haga una cita con Eddy hoy! Eddy también estará disponible para tomar citas los viernes en la oficina de Bizlaunch.

Puede comunicarse con Eddy a través de su número directo y correo electrónico que se enumeran a continuación:

Eddy Campos-Molina
478-324-2839
[email protected]

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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.

We throw quite a few stats, facts and figures at you each week with “Just Reduced.”

In addition to the figures on the surface — which certainly include listing price and possible reductions — there are some big-time figures that may not be quite as immediately publicized that you’ll certainly want to figure out before signing on the dotted line.

Among them are closing costs, insurance costs, taxes, prospective renovations, maintenance fees, inspection costs and potential homeowner association fees.

Entering any transaction, you’ll want to dissect everything that may be involved with the property. A detailed statement with line-by-line costs and fees will be imperative to determine the true value of your investment up-front.

There is quite a bit involved and, when entering unchartered waters and related lingo, it can certainly be stressful.

We’re here to help. When you’re ready to pull the trigger on an Arlington real estate investment, we’ve been navigating the local market for more than 30 years have the local expertise needed to get the most bang for your buck.

And now on to this week’s numbers.

As of January 20, there are 106 detached homes, 15 townhouses and 53 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 5 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week:

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 Arlington Realty, Inc.

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Spaces are still available in the PreKindergarten program at St. Thomas More Cathedral School for the 2020-2021 school year. Children must be 4 years old by September 30, 2020 to register. Apply here for admission.

The PreK program is 5 days a week with 3 dismissal options — 12:45, 3:15 or 6 p.m. The philosophy is learning through play in small group hands-on center based activities with a classroom teacher and full-time aide in each classroom. The core curriculum consists of instruction in the following subjects: religion, reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Students also participate in the following special classes every week: art, Spanish, library skills, technology, physical education and music.

St. Thomas More Cathedral School serves students in PreKindergarten through 8th grade in the Diocese of Arlington. Our mission is to nurture and develop the spiritual, academic, social and emotional promise of each child in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, rooted in Gospel values and led by the examples of the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ.

Prospective parents for PreK-8th grade can RSVP for the event at www.stmschool.org.

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