This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.
With their busy schedules of helping buyers and sellers get great prices on homes, our agents need the chance to blow off some steam — so why don’t you join them? They wanted to take some time today to show you two of our favorite places to have fun in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia.
Ballston is full of hidden gems and amazing spots for revelers of all ages, and we wanted to take the chance to talk about a couple of them today!
What’s your favorite place to go for fun in Ballston? Let us know in the comments below — we’d love to check it out!!
Are you interested in moving to Ballston, another neighborhood in Arlington, or anywhere else in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia? The Keri Shull Team can help make sure you get a great price for the perfect home!
If you want to learn more about how we can help you find AND WIN your dream home, contact The Keri Shull Team today!
I’m currently living an odd, opposite-day version of Dry January; let’s call it “Oh wow, there’s a lot of beer in the cellar and beer fridge I should get rid of some of those” January.
Pictured is the first round of culling, from a nice, dry, cold-year-round spot in my basement at home. They were kept exactly how you want to keep your beer, if you’re not going to put them in a fridge. I’ll give some praise to a couple standouts:
Brothers Brewing Mezcal Milkshake and Fütnote Boysenberry (2015) — I got these during the year I was a member of the Brothers Brewing Horizon Society. The Fütnote beers were a rotating series of pale Sours with a different fruit addition for each release. This Boysenberry bottle was a little flat, but flavor-wise much more put-together and mature than I’d expected.
Mezcal Milkshake is an Imperial Milk Stout with orange peel and aged in Tequila barrels. I’d been planning to bring it to a bottle share as I’m not much of a Tequila guy but obviously that never happened. It’s still not my thing but if it were, I would’ve been happy at how well it held up.
Surly Smoke (2012) — If I’d been up for taking down a 750mL bottle of 8.4% smoked Lager, I would’ve gone for it with this one. Using smoked malt from Bamberg and aged on oak, Smoke lived up to its name while allowing the richness of the non-smoked malt to come through and was deadly drinkable for its ABV. Impressive.
I’m not going call out the rest beer by beer, but among them I found multiple Brettanomyces (wild yeast) infections: One beer that wasn’t supposed to have Brett in it, for example, I would’ve sworn in a blind tasting to be a Sour. I started taking a video of one beer steadily gushing foam out of its top for some 30-45 seconds after having watched it steadily gush foam from its top for 30-45 seconds.
Some beers were overrun by the Brett that was there originally. One was an entirely undrinkable mess of a beverage. A couple had gone flat, and a couple had lost some of the characteristics that made me want them in the first place. Here’s the thing, though, and this is why I’m not calling all of these beers out for whatever flaws they had: The majority of my experiences with these beers is my fault.
I’ve never really been one to cellar a lot of beer, but there was a moment somewhere during 2014-2015 where I was reveling a bit in the access I had to new and different things, and it made a bit of a “that guy” out of me. I kept putting off opening beers for bottle shares that didn’t happen or nights where I’d want to get to them that never came around. That Sour that shouldn’t have been? If I’d opened it within a year of buying it, it would’ve been fine. It would’ve been what I wanted.
In mostly unrelated news, our draft station is now up and running at Arrowine for growler fills, and I’m hoping to have our can seamer working in the next few days for crowlers. You can follow our draft board in real-time on our Untappd page or on Arrowine.com.
Next time: I raid the beer fridge. Did the old stuff in there hold up any better?
Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.
4611 36th Street N.
6 BD/5 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Washington Fine Properties
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
6300 28th Street N.
6 BD/5 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Pearson Smith Realty, Llc
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
4118 Lee Highway
5 BD/2 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
730 N. Tazewell Street
3 BD/2 BA, 2 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
4080 Lee Highway
2 BD/2 BA, 1 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Ttr Sothebys International Realty
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.
1609 S. Hayes Street #1
3 BD/2 BA, 1 half bath condo
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
3238 9th Street S.
2 BD/1 BA villa/townhouse
Agent: Re/Max Allegiance
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.
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.”
While the weather can’t decide if its winter or spring, home buyers this week have screamed from the rooftops that the spring real estate market has launched. Sellers stepped up and listed 54 homes in Arlington while buyers ratified 43 contracts this week. And some 27 of those sold within seven days. These are March numbers, and its only mid-January. The bidding wars have begun.
Loan applications for existing homes jumped 30% last week over the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. And new home loan applications are up 39% from a year ago.
Higher demand and low inventory makes it really hard on home buyers, especially new home buyers who are going through the nerve-wracking process for the first time. Here are a few tips:
- Work with an experienced agent with proven track record of winning in competitive bidding
- Work with a reputable local hybrid lender that underwrites in their own shop, also with proven track record (ask your rock star agent for referrals for lenders, they know who is good)
- Look at homes listed below your maximum purchase range so you have room to escalate your bid upward to win
- Go big just once to get ahead of the market to win. You may FEEL like you’re over-paying, but in six months you’ll look like the genius in the room when others are still making offers while prices have jumped three percent and you’ve already built equity
Buyers, here’s some good news: interest rates dropped this week by about 1/8% to 3.625% for a 30-yr fixed rate. Make the commitment to own and start building equity and wealth.
Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.
- 1956 N. Cleveland Street #1, Arlington, VA 22201 — $475,000
- 1609 S. Hayes Street #1, Arlington, VA 22202 — $630,000
- 4600 2nd Street S., Arlington, VA 22204 — $749,900
- 611 N. Fillmore Street, Arlington, VA 22201 — $889,900
- 1628 N. Harrison Street, Arlington, VA 22205 — $1,115,000
- 5805 26th Street N., Arlington, VA 22207 — $1,250,000
- 4817 24th Street N., Arlington, VA 22207 — $1,374,900
Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly feature will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers.
For this week’s edition of Boring Title, Latane Meade, CEO of Allied Title & Escrow, gives a brief market update, talks about our year in review and announces our next home buying workshop this Saturday (it involves free beer!).
To check out our year in review, click here.
To sign up for our home buying workshop on Saturday, click here.
Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected]. Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!
This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
Capacity building frequently tops our list of New Year’s Resolutions, and Arlington Arts has a great way for artists to take your work to the next level!
Learn the essentials of grant writing along with resources for searching and structuring your proposals in the first of a new season of capacity building workshops. There are separate sessions geared toward both Individual Artists (January 16) and Organizations (January 18).
Springboard for the Arts is a nationally recognized economic and community development organization for artists by artists. Its mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information and services they need to make a living and a life. Springboard for the Arts has a goal of distributing 10,000 “Work of Art Toolkits.”
The instructor for the initial offering, Mary Briggs has comprehensive experience working with multidisciplinary artists and diverse communities. As co-founder and director of the community arts non-profit You Are Here in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, she researches and authors grants to procure general operating and project funding from government agencies and foundations.
Briggs also is an adjunct lecturer at Goucher College, Towson, MD in the Masters in Cultural Sustainability program. From 1989 until 2011 she was on staff of the Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington County, Virginia, where among other duties, she authored and managed grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other state and local agencies to fund community arts and folklore projects.
Registration for this workshop will close Friday, January 15. The Cultural Affairs offices are located between S. Oakland and S. Nelson Streets on S. Four Mile Run Drive. Parking is limited. Additional parking may be found in Shirlington Village, a 10 minute walk from Cultural Affairs.
In addition to the Arts Enterprise Institute’s offerings, Arlington Arts also is partnering with two literary organizations to bring a broad range of workshops to the community. Here’s just a sampling of offerings through February:
The Writer’s Passage Workshops:
January 11 Romancing the Story
February 4 Introduction to Screenwriting
February 29 Building a Writing Routine
The Writer’s Center Workshops:
January 21-February 18 Conflict & Tension
February 1-15 Whole Brain Poetry
February 5 How to Write a Novel
February 5 PLAYWRITING: Dialogue
February 8 From Novel to Novelist
February 12 PLAYWRITING: Exposition & Process
February 20-March 12 Thursday Night Writing Prompts!
February 22 Meter Crash Course
February 26 PLAYWRITING: Character
Click here for more information about all upcoming workshop opportunities
This week two kittens are Arlington’s Pet of the Week: Chip and Queso.
Here is what the feline brothers’ owner has to say about their new lives in Arlington:
Chip, a grey tabby, and Queso, an orange tabby, are 8 months old and are, in fact, brothers…though you wouldn’t guess it by the looks of them. Rescued by City Kitties from a rural farm in West Virginia, they now enjoy the urban life in Clarendon.
Chip’s hobbies including eating, chasing Queso, and darting into his home away from home, the common area hallway, each and every time the front door opens. He has an affinity for the refrigerator and will eagerly jump inside it, given the opportunity. Of the two brothers, he is the more vocal, and will make it known when he is ready for his human servants to feed him.
Queso excels at playing with cat coils, his favorite toys. He owns approximately 50 of them, 45 or so of which are under the sofa at any given time. He is mesmerized by water and enjoys paw bathing in the sink. If he’s not relaxing on his personalized blankie, you can probably find him nestled in a cardboard box or hanging out inside an IKEA bag, his other favorite toy.
To enjoy Chip and Queso’s daily antics, follow them on Instagram at @chipandquesokitties.
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 eight 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.
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.
January 15 is National Hat Day. Yes, we love a good quirky awareness day, obviously.
So, what kind of hat are you sporting today?
Fortunately, since we’re hovering at around 60 degrees, we’re all not necessarily needing a thermal beanie. It’s never a bad time to rep our World Series champs Nats (still riding that wave of happiness) or league-leading Caps either (let’s bring home another cup this year, boys).
Here at Arlington Realty, we’re sporting our strategic and thinking caps today… and every day.
It’s simply a wild and wonderful time to be engrained in the local real estate market. The Washington D.C. area weathered the recession, has continued to be anchored by a stable and growing housing market and there is so much ahead for us all in 2020.
To make the most of it and get the most bang for your buck, that thinking (and executing!) cap will be vital — not only for you, but the team you select to advocate on your behalf.
As of January 13, there are 100 detached homes, 11 townhouses and 54 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 9 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.
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 expect interest rates to remain low in 2020?
Answer: Mortgage rates increased sharply in 2018, peaking at 7+ year highs in the fall of 2018, and most experts expected that trend to continue into 2019 and for 30 yr rates to clear the 5% mark for the first time since spring 2010. However, changes in economic policy and financial markets pushed rates down at the end of 2018 and throughout 2019, coming close to all-time lows in the 2nd half of 2019.
Average 30 yr Fixed Mortgage Rate Since 1971
Average 30 yr Fixed Mortgage Rate Since 2010
Rates in 2020+
The Mortgage Bankers Association and Freddie Mac each predict that rates will remain low, right around current levels, through 2021 with an average 30 yr Fixed Rate hovering around 3.7-3.8% through that period. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that rates won’t start increasing until 2022, when they’re predicting the average rate to increase modestly to 4.1%.
If these projections are accurate, it should support strong price growth over the next few years in Arlington, Northern Virginia and the greater D.C. area.
However, keep in mind that just over 12 months ago, most experts predicted that mortgage rates would be over 5% by 2020 and, according to Freddie Mac, the average 30 yr Fixed Rate last week was 3.64%. Changes in the global or U.S. economy, the election, and the stock market can all change the course of rates in 2020 and beyond.
If you’re considering purchasing in 2020, I wrote a column a few years ago about the value of a good lender that I’d encourage you to review. If you’d like to talk to somebody, I suggest reaching out to Jake Ryon of First Home Mortgage at [email protected].
If you’d like to meet to discuss buying or selling in the area, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].
If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. #10C Arlington, VA 22203, (703) 390-9460.
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.
A psychological condition can become a security clearance concern for government contractors and federal employees.
The good news is that federal agencies, especially over the past 10-15 years, have responded to such concerns with more empathy and consideration than ever before. However, there are some considerations to be aware of when these issues arise.
We all know that a mental health condition can enter an individual’s life at any time and for any reason. It can be genetic or can be triggered by a death, divorce, loss of employment or injury. When a psychological condition arises in the context of applying for or attempting to retain a security clearance, the individual needs to seek legal advice to enable the person the best opportunity to maintain or obtain their security clearance.
Being diagnosed with a mental health illness doesn’t mean that the individual can’t obtain or continue to hold a security clearance. Thousands upon thousands of clearance holders retain their security clearances even if they have psychological conditions. These days, the best way for a security clearance holder to address psychological issues is to disclose them where appropriate and demonstrate that any psychological issues are under control or no longer an issue. There are many ways to do this.
Furthermore, the revised Adjudicative Guidelines (SEAD 4) for Psychological Concerns (Guideline I) state that “no negative inference concerning the standards in this guideline may be raised solely on the basis of mental health counseling.”
The key for an individual is to be upfront and honest in completing security clearance forms and in speaking with investigators about such issues. It is often the case that an individual can lose a security clearance because they did not disclose a serious psychological condition (dishonesty) when had they disclosed the psychological concern they would have obtained their security clearance.
The following are examples of the potential mitigation evidence that can be used in security clearance cases involving psychological conditions, depending on the specific facts or condition at issue. These can include:
- Medical opinions issued by mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors) showing that a psychological condition is under control
- Evidence that demonstrates that an individual has complied with medical treatment and recommendations related to a psychological condition
- Evidence that the individual has entered counseling, therapy or other treatment programs administered by medical professionals
- Evidence that a psychological condition no longer affects the individual
Each case under Guideline I is different, but we have found that most cases can be mitigated with the proper attention to treatment and the preparation of documentation showing that any major psychological condition is under control or in the past.
If you are in need of security clearance 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 Security Clearance Blog, Facebook or Twitter.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
(Updated 3:35 p.m.) Higher Logic (1919 N. Lynn Street),an engagement platform that uses community and marketing automation to improve customer and member experiences., is still growing quickly.
The company, founded 13 years ago, helps people within companies, nonprofits and member-based organizations build stronger communities, according to a company spokesperson. It was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the country last year.
Higher Logic was founded under Rob Wenger, who is the executive chairman. It moved to Rosslyn in 2018 and now has offices in Portland; Saratoga Springs, New York; and Australia.
Though Higher Logic specializes in building online communities, development of marketing automation and integration of pre-existing platforms, according to a company spokesperson.
The software gives people the tool to to facilitate efficient conversations, clear up confusion and answer questions by connecting the right people and even help people form mentorships, the spokesperson said.
Throughout the years, the company has received grants and awards including a $60,000 grant from Arlington Economic Development. It was also listed in 2016 as one of Virginia’s Fantastic 50 Companies by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
In an interview published by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, Hunter Montgomery, who was previously in charge of the Higher Logic’s marketing, said the company’s growth can be at least partially attributed to its acquisition of two companies: Informz and Real Magnet, Inc.
Now, the company employs around 320 people and is actively hiring, according to a press release, which added that the company is looking to take on roughly 30 new employees in almost every department.
Every year around the fall, Higher Logic hosts a conference in D.C. bringing together clients from around the country. The spokesperson said the gathering serves as a training opportunity to educate customers on how to use the software and allows people to brainstorm new potential improvements and give feedback.
The 2020 conference is set for September.
Photo via Higher Logic/Facebook