Arlington, VA

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: Do you know when Pierce condos sales will begin?

Answer: Penzance’s ambitious Pierce condo project, the high-end 104-unit building that is currently under construction in Rosslyn, began setting pre-sale appointments last week and taking their first deposits this week for condos expected to deliver in 2021. Their sales team set over 50 appointments during an invite-only event last week, indicating plenty of interest in the building… but will that interest turn into the 10% deposit needed to secure a unit in Northern Virginia’s most expensive building?

When 2000 Clarendon in Courthouse began sales there was no question the demand would be through the roof given the lack of condo supply and that pricing was within range of other condos in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor. However, Pierce is a different product and very different price point with over half of the units priced over $2M and many units going for $1,100-$1,200/sq. ft.

The most comparable building we have to this in Arlington is Turnberry Tower in Rosslyn (the blue glass building) which has had 85 sales in the last five years, 20 of which have been over $2M and only seven at $1,000/sq. ft. or more. Pierce will need to sell 104 units in a lot less than five years with more than 50 units being $2M+.

Is the luxury buyer market in Arlington/Northern Virginia deep enough to support these sales? I’m looking forward to finding out.

What Will You Get?

The amenity package at Pierce includes a 24hr concierge staff, rooftop pool, two-level gym, and a rooftop club room and terrace.

Each unit is being designed with the same finishes and color package; there will not be any options/upgrades for buyers. The package includes Thermador and Bosch appliances, custom Snaidero cabinetry, hand-scrapped hickory floors, quartz countertops and many units with direct-access elevators.

There have been other high-end condo projects in the region that have taken a similar approach of not offering finish options for buyers, so there is some precedent.

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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 Melissa L. Watkins, Esq.

Failing to accommodate an employee based on their religious beliefs can be costly for an employer.

Recently, a hotel dishwasher in Miami was awarded $21.5 million in damages after her employer refused to grant a religious accommodation, requiring that she work on Sundays and eventually terminating her. While the employee will not likely be able to recover this amount due to a cap on punitive damages, the award demonstrates the courts and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) heightened attention to employers’ obligation to adequately respond to employees’ requests for religious accommodations.

Religious Discrimination and Title VII

Title VII of the U.S. Code protects workers from employment discrimination based on their religion. The law forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. Title VII requires reasonable accommodation of an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, and practices when requested.

The need for religious accommodation most often arises where an individual’s religious beliefs, observances, or practices conflict with a specific task or requirement of the job or application process. Accommodation requests often relate to work schedules, dress, grooming, or religious expression or practice while at work.

The prohibition on religious discrimination and the requirement for reasonable accommodation apply whether an employee’s religious views are mainstream or non-traditional, and even if the views are not recognized by an organized religion. An employer cannot require that an employee provide documentation from an established religious congregation.

Under Title VII, employers are required to accommodate the religious practices of their employees unless a requested accommodation can be shown to be an undue hardship. An accommodation may cause undue hardship if it is costly, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, infringes on the rights of other employees, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work. However, customer preferences or even the anticipated loss of business are not considered undue hardships.

How Religious Discrimination Claims are Established

In order to establish a claim of discrimination for an employer’s failure to grant a religious accommodation, employees generally need to show that the following:

(1) he or she has a bona fide religious belief, the practice of which conflicted with their employment

(2) he or she informed the agency/employer of this belief and conflict

(3) the agency/employer nevertheless enforced its requirement against the employee

Contact Us

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.

The Arlington County Board adopted sweeping updates to the Community Energy Plan setting ambitious targets for transforming the County’s energy sector. CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2050.

Many residents and stakeholders gave input and supported the recently updated Community Energy Plan. We don’t say it enough but we really mean it — THANK YOU! Thank you for your input and engagement.

Please join us for a happy hour to celebrate this and other recent actions, meet neighbors, and learn how you can take action.

Community Celebration and Kickoff to Carbon Neutral 2050

March 25, 5-7 p.m.
New District Brewing Company
2709 S. Oakland Street, Arlington, VA 22206

Space is limited, please click below to RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-celebration-kickoff-to-carbon-neutral-2050-tickets-96155476619?aff=ARLnow222

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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:

4503 32nd Road N.
6 BD/6BA, 2 half bath single-family home
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Listed: $3,675,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

4917 15th Street N.
5 BD/3 BA single-family home
Agent: Re/Max Allegiance
Listed: $1,399,900
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

3812 37th Street N.
3 BD/3 BA single-family home
Agent: Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $995,000
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.

 

906 N. Edison Street
3 BD/2 BA single-family home
Agent: Kw Metro Center
Listed: $885,000
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.

 

2819 N. George Mason Drive
2 BD/1 BA single-family home
Agent: William G. Buck & Associates, Inc
Listed: $769,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1121 Arlington Boulevard #1006
2 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Compass
Listed: $549,888
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

3301 S. Stafford Street #A1
1 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Redfin Corporation
Listed: $449,000
Open: Saturday 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 Andors Real Estate Group.

It’s been an interesting week in Arlington real estate.

On one hand, we’ve seen some crazy bidding wars that continue to push home prices higher. On the other hand, a buyer had a contract accepted on a new listing that included a home sale contingency, meaning they need to sell their home before they can complete the purchase. Home sale contingencies are rarely accepted in Arlington as the risk to the seller is generally unnecessary due to such high buyer demand.

A home in North Arlington settled this week for $132,000 over list price — that was 13% above what the sellers were asking for. Buyers were conducting pre-inspections, removing all contingencies and doing everything they could to have their offers be accepted.

Sellers listed some 68 properties for sale this week. 31 of those were under contract within a week, while buyers ratified a total of 53 properties.

Global concerns over coronavirus do not seem to be impacting our local housing marketplace whatsoever. Some U.S. markets like New York City and Los Angeles have seen a slight slowdown in foreign investment, but fears of broader potential economic ripple effects haven’t really shown up. Arlington has so far shrugged it off.

Arlington inventory is creeping up very slightly, something we begin to see each year around this time — there are now 157 active properties for sale vs. 150 last week.

44 of the available properties in Arlington are new builds — only one of which is priced below $1 million!

We’re still hovering at about three quarters of a month of inventory in Arlington, just about as far into seller’s market territory as it gets. This is not going to even out any time soon, folks. If you’re thinking about selling, now is the time!

Mortgage rates have been holding pretty steady for weeks now, still hovering right around 3.5% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. For comparison, this week last year the rate was 4.375%.

Click here to search currently available Arlington real estate. Call the  Andors Real Estate Group today at (703) 203-1117 to talk more about buying or selling Arlington real estate.

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Arlington Travel Baseball (ATB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit youth baseball organization that provides an opportunity for players ages 9-14U to acquire superior skills through higher levels of competition.

ATB is seeking head and assistant coaches who have a passion for the game and want to join a “winning” team. Ideally, we are in search of former college baseball players who want to teach the game they grew up playing.

Coaches will be compensated a competitive wage and required to pass a background check. Coaching experience is a plus but not required and training is available as needed. Coaches will report to the Director of Player Development, who will set team goals and assist with practice plans and specific skills development.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Manage the day to day field activities of the team. Teaching relevant skills, tactics and techniques
  • Arrive on time and have a practice plan for each practice
  • Lead the team at all regular season, playoff and tournament games
  • Coach in a positive manner (Coaches will have coach of conduct form)
  • Communicate with Team General Manager with administrative needs of team
  • Prepare the players for the physical and mental challenges of competitive baseball
  • Identify player strengths and weaknesses and provide progress reports at end of summer season
  • Attend annual tryouts in July

If you’re interested or know someone who might be please contact us at [email protected] or call 703-801-6297.

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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.

As of Monday, February 24, 2020, most green card applicants will need to clear an entirely new, extraordinarily complex hurdle: the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.

Our goal, in this brief article, is to provide readers with an overview of what the Trump Administration is demanding of green card applicants going forward. We encourage our U.S. citizen readers to imagine doing this for themselves.

Tax Return Transcripts

Previously, green card applicants were required to provide tax documentation in a form familiar to most Americans — mostly commonly a copy of Form 1040, plus Form W-2. This will no longer suffice. Now, green card applicants must provide tax return transcripts, which are produced by the IRS. Tax return transcripts are, in theory, available online. In practice, obtaining a tax return transcript online can be quite difficult, and so many people will need to file paper applications and wait for the IRS to answer.

If you’re applying for a green card, you’ll need a tax return transcript for yourself, plus a separate tax return transcript for each and every member of your household who filed a separate tax return.

Can’t figure out how to get tax return transcripts? Find an accountant, and get out your checkbook.

Household Assets and Resources

You’ll need to provide the net value of real estate — so, you had better dig up the deed and a recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser. Don’t have a recent appraisal? Get out your checkbook.

You’ll need to provide checking and savings account statements for the past twelve months. Yes, all of them. Enjoy your trip to the bank or, if you switched banks in the past year, to several banks.

If you have investments, you’ll need to provide statements showing their net cash value. This includes retirement investments, which are tallied separately. Can’t figure out the net cash value of liquidating your traditional IRA or 401(k)? Remember, you’ll need to calculate taxes and early withdrawal fees, so don’t leap to conclusions. Probably safest to find an accountant, and get out your checkbook.

Liabilities or Debts

You’ll need to provide documentation for each and every liability in your financial picture, including mortgages, car loans, child support, alimony, credit card debt and tax bills.

Having fun yet?

Credit Report

You’ll need to get a credit report. Did you freeze your credit after the recent Equifax scandal? Too bad, you’ll have to unfreeze it. If there are any errors in your credit report (and there frequently are), provide evidence that you’ve disputed the errors and that the error is under investigation.

If you don’t have a credit score, you’ll need to provide evidence of continued payment of bills. We have no idea what that means in practice.

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DC Bike Ride will be back on May 16, with 20 miles of car-free roads, monumental views, great music and delicious snacks along the course.

Every year, the Ride attracts thousands of riders in a lifetime cycling adventure through the nation’s capital.

With a course designed for all ages and riding abilities, DC Bike Ride became the biggest celebration of cycling in D.C. by offering a unique experience to its participants. Besides a course full of D.C.’s famous landmarks and rest stops with local music and food, the Ride offers photo stations along the way, and a finish festival to keep the party going.

As a recreational event, DC Bike Ride is meant for everyone. And if you don’t have a bike or don’t want to transport yours to the start line, the Rent & Ride program offers convenience at an affordable price.

DC Bike Ride is also committed to positively impact the local community by supporting local nonprofits initiatives and creating the Sponsor-A-Rider Program for participants who can’t afford the registration fee.

Are you ready to enjoy life on two wheels? REGISTER NOW!

Event Information:

Date: May 16 at 8 a.m.
Location: West Potomac Park (121 West Basin Drive SW | Washington, D.C.)
Website: dcbikeride.com

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This article was written by Michael Stiefvater, Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

With hundreds of innovative companies and a 100,000-plus strong workforce, it is of little surprise that Startup Genome gave the Washington D.C. region a top-three global ranking for its cybersecurity ecosystem.

Arlington is a significant contributor to this ecosystem with more than 30,000 cybersecurity jobs between the federal workforce and private companies. While the Department of Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency account for a substantial share of those positions, the County is also home to more than 200 companies that are developing innovative solutions to cyber vulnerabilities, one of the largest issues facing the modern world.

To honor the impressive contributions from several of these entrepreneurs to the area’s cyber community, regional media group DCA Live kicked off its 2020 event schedule with a Red Hot Cyber celebration at Ballston’s Marymount University campus on January 29. Arlington was well represented at the event, with the following companies receiving awards:

DeepSig (Rosslyn)

DeepSig is a venture-backed startup pioneering the application of deep learning to reinvent wireless communications. The company’s software replaces core wireless technology with deep learning, which results in communication systems that are faster, more cost efficient and secure, and able to excel in complex environments. DeepSig landed $1.5 million in seed funding in 2018 and currently employs nearly 20 people.

HyperQube (Ballston)

HyperQube enables companies to quickly and easily build an exact copy of any infrastructure or network to determine how the connected environment responds to changes caused by software updates, new technologies and unplanned events such as outages or cyberattacks. Founded in 2018, the company is set for significant growth in the new year as it expects to add customers and close on a new round of funding, which will translate into the hiring of up to 20 new employees.

Ostendio (Rosslyn)

Ostendio’s leading product, MyVCM, is an Integrated Risk Management Platform for small and midsize organizations who need to demonstrate compliance to security standards. The platform’s unique bottom-up security approach allows organizations to easily report their security posture to internal and external stakeholders. The company moved to a larger office in Rosslyn last July to accommodate its growing team of nearly 25 employees.

ThreatConnect (Ballston)

ThreatConnect provides industry-leading advanced threat intelligence software and services to effectively aggregate, analyze and act to counter sophisticated cyberattacks. In 2019 the company’s impressive revenue growth earned it a spot on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. ThreatConnect was also recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Virginia.

SCYTHE (Crystal City)

SCYTHE is a developer of an information security platform designed to prevent breaches and attacks from various cyber threats by providing continuous simulations that give organizations real-time understanding of where their defenses stack up to current and future threats to the enterprise. SCYTHE landed $3 million in initial financing in 2018 and currently employs more than 20 people.

Shift5 (Rosslyn)

Shift5 develops hardware and software systems intended to defend weapon systems, air platforms and commercial transportation systems. The company’s cybersecurity solutions and features include intrusion detection and prevention against hacks on internal data bus networks. Founded by three former U.S. Army officers, Shift5 raised $2.5 million in venture funding in 2019 and employs nearly 15 people.

Congratulations to all the honorees, who are excellent representatives of Arlington’s thriving cybersecurity industry!

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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.

Tomorrow is a very important day.

To honor this big day, you are more than likely to see oodles upon oodles of adorable pet photos floating around your social feeds, websites and more.

Yes, Thursday, February 20 is Love Your Pet Day. And, like so many in our area and beyond, the squad at Arlington Realty, Inc. loves its pets.

In addition to our furry friends periodically popping by the office for a treat, we know the importance a pet can make in a real estate search. In fact, in many cases, a pet policy can totally make or break a deal.

So, if you have Fido, Mittens or whatever your best friend may be named along for the journey, we want to ensure your entire family settles into an optimal scenario.

From an expansive yard for Spot to run to a cat-friendly condo to call your own, when you’re ready to embark on your pet-friendly search, we’re ready to help.

As of February 17, there are 112 detached homes, 13 townhouses and 63 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 7 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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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 is the market shaping up for 2020? Have things cooled down or picked up where they left off last year?

Answer: The early Arlington/Northern Virginia market conditions are… crazy. After a fast and furious 2019 for condos and detached/townhouse properties in Arlington, it looks like we’re in for another year of fast-paced sales and strong appreciation.

In some of the most in-demand markets (e.g. R-B Corridor condos and $800k-$1.2M detached) pre-inspections (buyers do an inspection before making an offer), zero contingencies and escalations 3-10% over the asking price no longer guarantee an accepted offer because there are multiple buyers offering those terms.

From the activity I’ve seen on both the buyer and seller side of this market, it seems like sellers can safely increase their asking price by 3-5% over what 2019 sales support and soon enough appraisers will have the necessary data points to support these increases, thereby eliminating much of the current appraisal risk for financed purchases.

Activity Over The Last 30 Days

The market fired up within the first couple weeks of January, but you know I never like to make statements about the market without also backing it up with data. So here are some highlights on the type of activity we’ve had over the last ~30 days (excluding relisted homes, Coops, and age-restricted housing). The data is of 7 a.m. Tuesday, February 18:

  • 223 homes listed for sale
  • Of those 223 homes, 150 (67.3%) are sold or under contract
  • Of the 150 homes sold or under contract, only 16 (10.7%) were on the market for 10+ days and 97 (64.7%) were on the market for 6 days or less (indicative of multiple offers)
  • Of the 73 homes still for sale, 37 (50.7%) are still within their first week on the market (high probability of going under contract soon) and 16 (21.9%) are $1.7M+
  • Of the 25 that sold, only one sold for below the original asking price and it was in a condo building with a major pending lawsuit that makes it nearly impossible for a buyer to get a loan. 7 have sold for over ask.

New Supply Increasing, Total Supply Decreasing Less

There is a glimmer of hope for buyers amongst all the competition and price appreciation. Arlington had a YoY increase in new listings for December ’19 and January ’20 for the first time since October ’18 (Amazon HQ2 announced in November ’18). While demand is still outpacing new supply, resulting in 45(!) consecutive months of YoY decreases in housing supply, the drop in YoY supply was below 20% for the first time since October ’18 (-8.8% drop). So what does that mean in plain English? It’s getting less bad.

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