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by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 17, 2015 at 9:10 am 952 0

Just Listed banner

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.”

Arlington’s real estate sales remain steady and consistent for the summer market with 52 homes going under contract this week while 66 new listings came on the market.

Buyers still have a broad variety of properties to choose from. Most sales this week were condos with 30 units ratified. The high ratio of condo sales pushed the average list price of ratified properties down to $606,450. And the days on market climbed to 56 reflecting several properties that had lingered for nearly a year.

Mortgage interest rates held steady this week, climbing only 3 basis points (3/100th %) on the good news that the EU reached a debt agreement with Greece. The average 30-yr fixed rate is now at 4.17%.

Listing of the week: 3700 N. Edison. It’s deceptively large and keeps on going…

You can access all active listings in Arlington on the Cathell Team website.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm 301 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a new column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

Most of you have likely brought a stool sample in to your pet’s annual veterinary visit, perhaps wondering in the back of your mind why it’s necessary to check a stool sample on an annual basis, especially if you have a cat or dog that spends minimal time outdoors.

Roundworms, hookworms, Giardia and coccidia are the most common intestinal parasites in our geographical region, and all but coccidia also have the potential to be zoonotic — transmissible to human beings — thus deserving special attention.

Roundworms, most specifically Toxocara canis (in dogs) and Toxocara gati (in cats), were found to be present in 1/79 (1.2%) of dogs and 1/26 (3.82%) of cats in Arlington County. Infection can occur via ingestion of infective eggs, in utero transmission (dogs only), or transmammary transmission, which is why it is seen so commonly in puppies and kittens. Infection can cause pot-bellied appearance, failure to thrive, and gastrointestinal signs; puppies infected in utero are most likely to be severely sick. Roundworm eggs are often found in soil, including houseplant potting soil (a source of infection for indoor-only cats). Children, with their propensity to put things in their mouths, are most at risk for zoonotic infection. Due to the complicated migration of roundworm throughout the body tissues upon ingestion in an inappropriate host, symptoms in humans can include visceral larva migrans and ocular larva migrans. Ocular larva migrans is a cause of retinal damage and partial blindness in children and can be mistaken for the more severe disease, retinoblastoma (cancer), resulting in an unnecessary removal of the eye.

Hookworms (Ancylostoma species.), found in 2.21% of dogs and 0.51% of cats in Arlington County, are transmitted via ingestion of infected eggs, as well as transmammary transmission; the larval stages of hookworm also have the ability to penetrate intact skin to infect their host. Hookworms suck blood from the wall of the intestinal tract and can lead to severe anemia and even death in young puppies; older dogs may show diarrhea as the primary sign. Hookworms are most often contracted by humans when they directly penetrate the skin, leading to cutaneous larva migrans.

Giardia, a protozoan parasite, is a common cause of intestinal symptoms in cats and dogs — primarily diarrhea, and less commonly vomiting, inappetence, or weight loss. According to the CAPC, 15.6% of dogs and 10.3% of cats with compatible symptoms tested positive for Giardia, though there are distinct regional differences, with infection being more common in some areas than others. Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the U.S., causing similar gastrointestinal signs to those seen in our pets, such as diarrhea, bloating and cramping. Transmission in both humans and dogs results from ingestion of cysts shed in the feces of infected animals, typically from contaminated water. Fortunately, Giardia subspecies are quite species-specific so transmission between humans and pets is uncommon in healthy individuals. Children, elderly, or otherwise immune-deficient individuals are most at risk for transmission from an infected pet.

Coccidia (Isospora species), another protozoan parasite, though not thought to be zoonotic, is a common intestinal parasite, especially in puppies and kittens who do not have fully developed immune systems. It is also more common in pets from intense breeding, hoarding and shelter situations as it is very hardy in the environment. The most recent prevalence data from CAPC showed that Coccida was present in approximately 3% of dogs and cats in Pennsylvania (the closest state with prevalence data).

In general, pet-to-human transmission of roundworms, hookworms and Giardia can be minimized by removing feces from the environment on a daily basis and hand-washing after any potential contamination. Once in the environment, it is extremely difficult to decontaminate the environment; however, if stools are picked up immediately there is little chance of transmission to other pets and/or humans. It is also important to dispose of feces with the municipal waste, as it otherwise has the potential to contaminate water sources.

Other intestinal parasites found less commonly in our pets include whipworms (dogs), tapeworms, stomach worms, Toxoplasma (cats), and Strongyloides. In addition to your pet’s veterinarian, the Companion Animal Parasite Council is a fantastic resource for all things parasite-related.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Wellness Matters banner

The following weekly column is written and sponsored by Virginia Hospital Center, a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and one of America’s 100 Top Hospitals for the third year in a row.

The AC is blasting, the iced tea is flowing and everybody is looking for the nearest pool. Welcome to summer in the District! For most of us, hot weather is an uncomfortable nuisance. But it’s also a potential health risk that can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.

“We generally start to see patients with heat related illnesses around Memorial Day Weekend and this year has been no exception. With the very high temperatures, we’re seeing patients on a regular basis with heat related issues,” says Michael Silverman, MD, Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine at Virginia Hospital Center.

Here’s how to stay cool when temperatures rise.

  • Keep it loose. Wear loose-fitting clothes in a light color. Opt for cotton if you can.
  • Scale back your workout. Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when air is cooler. Decrease your exertion level. On very hot days, exercise inside in air conditioning.
  • Combat dehydration. Drink water to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine, soft drinks and alcohol.
  • Turn off the oven. Try recipes that don’t need cooking.
  • Circulate! Run electric or hand-held fans to keep air moving freely. Even when the air conditioning is on, fans help reduce mugginess.
  • Beat bedtime heat. Take a bath or shower in tepid water. Keep lotion in the refrigerator and apply before bed.
  • Use common sense. On scorching days, stay inside. If you must go out, stick to shady areas and avoid excessive activity. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, spend part of the day somewhere that does, such as a mall, library or movie theatre.

Young children, the elderly, and people with chronic health problems such as heart or lung disease are particularly vulnerable to heat and should always stay in cool places during hot weather.

Heat-related Illness

“Dehydration and heat cramps are the earliest symptoms of heat-related illness. Stop what you’re doing, rest and allow your body to cool down. Drink some water and stretch the muscles that are cramping,” advises Dr. Silverman.

Left untreated, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion. Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, clammy skin, nausea and vomiting, headache and lightheadedness. Move to a cooler location, lie down and loosen your clothing. Apply wet, cool cloths to your body and sip some water. If your symptoms continue, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke–a form of hyperthermia in which the body’s temperature regulation system fails. Symptoms include body temperature above 104°F, hot and red skin, confusion, rapid pulse, shallow breathing and possible unconsciousness. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal without prompt treatment. Call 911 immediately. While waiting for paramedics to arrive, initiate first aid: move to a cooler location, remove any unnecessary clothing and apply wet, cool cloths to the body, especially the head, neck, armpits and groin.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — July 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm 863 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Sam-I-Am, a dachshund who is as cuddly and lovable as his center of gravity is low.

Sam’s owner, Bill, had the following to say about the little guy.

This is Sam-I-Am.  He’s a dachshund through-and-through. We brought him home from the breeder in May of 2013. Sam had lived with his biological mom and dad, Maggie and ET.  He has been able to visit with his parents to the delight of all, perhaps most of all the breeders.

It’s often said that little dogs think they really are big dogs, Sam, not so much. He’ll bark up a storm patrolling the perimeter of his Arlington yard but when something really scary comes along he runs straight to his keepers. He is the sweetest little guy who wants nothing more than to be with his humans, usually as close as he can get. He’s a creature of habit too. He loves his daily patches of morning sunlight for snoozing, exploring his yard and playing every evening before he beds down for a long sleep right about the same time each night.

Our Sam likes to be on the water too. He perches happily in the forward corner of his sailboat cockpit and leans into the tacks with the best of the crew. He makes is displeasure known when the motor has to be turned on rather than being under sail. His joy is a trip to the beach in the dinghy, he explores, does is business, paddles in the lapping waves then runs back and scrabbles up the side of the dink ready to head back to the anchorage and re-take command of his sailing cutter seeming to say – “look lively there swabs, light up the barbie and pull me a cold one from the icebox!”

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.

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, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 15, 2015 at 5:00 am 425 0

If you’re not a DC Bocce League player by now, why not?

Did you know that you can win weekly contests after your bocce game at our sponsor bars? Have you heard that you don’t need to break a sweat to participate in this rec league? Maybe you just haven’t found the right DC Bocce location to sign up for? If that’s the case, then check out the DC Bocce League summer season, featuring four new 2015 locations:

Driven by the desire to make friends out of strangers and fueled by Peroni & Blue Moon specials, DC Bocce League offers weekly bocce ball matches played between multi-person, co-ed teams.

The game isn’t difficult; just about anyone who can palm a ball can have fun playing. Plus, unlike most other sports, you stand on the same side of the court as your opponents, so socializing is the norm — what better way to distract the competition than with a well-crafted ball joke?

If this sounds like the game for you, head over to DC Bocce League’s website to register your team or sign up as a free agent and be matched with a team. Register for the summer season for $50 when you enter promo-code ROLL20 during check out. The summer season runs from July 20 through September 12.

The preceding post was written and sponsored by DC Bocce League.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 14, 2015 at 2:30 pm 346 0

Ask Will banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: I’ve heard of a few real estate wiring scams going around. What do you know about them? Any tips to avoid them?

A: It’s true. There are several wiring scams out there that could affect a real estate transaction, and all involved in the transaction need to be aware. The most common issue recently seems to be the hacking of email accounts to change the wiring instructions and intercept the release of funds. One way this can happen is by clicking a link sent via email giving a hacker access. It’s important to verify the sender before clicking or downloading anything sent to you.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, when closing on a home in Virginia you have the option to have the funds mailed as a check instead of a wire. If you choose a wire, be wary of any emails that request a change in the wiring instructions and make sure the title company has the correct account information before they release the funds.

Here are a few examples of recent scams:

Hacking of an agent’s account

A scam that is all too common is when someone hacks into an agent’s email account and sends emails pretending to be the agent. Title companies have seen hackers send emails to clients instructing the client to wire funds for a transaction to a specific account, purporting to be either the agent’s account or settlement company account. For agents, it’s best to warn clients not to alter any wiring instructions without confirming an email with a follow-up telephone call.

Fake email from the seller

Another variation on this is a hacker spoofing a seller’s email address and sending an email requesting that the sale proceeds be wired to a different account than that requested at settlement. Having investigated the situation at two offices recently, a local title company found that the hackers gained access through the seller’s email accounts and obtained information about the sale by reading the seller’s emails.

Many title companies operate under a policy that prohibits the distribution of funds anywhere other than where they were instructed at settlement by a signed proceeds authorization. If the seller wants to change the account, they are required to have a new signed and notarized proceeds authorization for the seller’s protection.

The key takeaway

Regardless of the scam, it’s always best to confirm any changes in wiring instructions received via email with a phone call or in person. Once a wire goes out and the funds are transferred it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve the funds.

I’m hoping some readers can share any additional advice they have in comments below.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm 836 0

Berry&Berry2

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

by John Berry

President Obama recently proposed a salary increase for millions of American employees by proposing to expand the scope of overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor would raise the overtime salary threshold–which is currently $23,700–to as much as $50,400. As a result, the salary level for non-exempt employees would double under the new overtime rule if they work more than 40 hours a week. This new overtime rule would present a significant change in overtime requirements for employers and employees.

One of the reasons for the change is that the current overtime rules provide employers significant leeway to classify employees as “managerial” and, therefore, exempt them from time-and-a-half overtime compensation. The President took the action under the FLSA, which was enacted in 1938 and last updated in 2004, through a proposed change in regulations by the U.S. Department of Labor. This type of regulatory change does not require Congressional action and will likely be in effect in 2016 when the rule is finalized. The public can comment on the proposed rule up until September 4, 2015.

In the past, the FLSA salary threshold did not account for inflation. One of the goals of the proposed rule is to establish procedures for automatically updating salary levels in the future. The new overtime change will mean that a significant portion of employees will now be eligible for overtime compensation for the first time. For more information on the new proposed rule, view the U.S. Department of Labor’s fact sheet.

We represent employees in federal employment matters nationwide, and private and public sector employees in employment matters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.  If you need assistance with an employment law issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by Heather Mongilio — July 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm 671 0

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: 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.

Brazen headquarters

An Arlington company may have the solution for scheduling meetings in different states or attracting more people to its workforce.

Brazen, located off of Wilson Boulevard by the Courthouse Metro, provides a digital real-time chat platform for companies and universities to host meetings or open houses.

Through the software, companies and universities can reach people — job prospects, college applicants, customers, etc. — around the country and the world, said Brazen founder Ryan Healy.

“Broadly speaking, we help companies create better engagement through our chat platforms,” Healy said.

By providing the online open houses and meetings, Brazen helps connect a “passive” workforce with employers. The company has found that some people will not attend an in-person job open house but will join one online.

“It’s a great way to attract top talent to come work for your team,” Healy said.

The company, which last month announced that it had raised $4.7 million in venture funding, works with clients both in and outside of the United States. And with clients all around the world, the company has to use a chat platform to connect with its clients, said CEO Ed Barrientos.

“It is ironic because our product is designed to bridge those gaps,” Barrientos said. “We drink our own Kool Aid.”

Brian Healy and Ed Barrientos

But using technology to schedule virtual meetings has its benefits, including saving on travel costs. And having more technological meetings and less in person seems to be a trend most companies are moving toward, Healy said.

“We don’t see it replacing face-to-face, physical contact, but it fills in the gaps,” Barrientos said.

Although the company uses its own chat platform to conduct business online, Barrientos and Healy still needed to find a physical location that would allow them to grow the company and hire more employees.

Healy and Barrientos started the company in Wisconsin and then moved to Tyson’s before coming to Arlington, they said, adding that Arlington provided the company with a great location to advance the startup.

Arlington is perfect for a tech startup, Barrientos said, and he can see Arlington becoming the next tech hub. One thing that helps is the caliber of people the county attracts with Washington, D.C. being so close.

“The area tends to attract a lot of ambitious people,” Barrientos said.

Among these people are millennials and those only a couple of years out of college. The strong workforce from Arlington and D.C. is necessary to help startups like Brazen expand.

“The startup culture, the startup ecosystem comes from the energy of that [workforce],” Healy said.

Brazen, formerly known as Brazen Careerist, is rapidly expanding and is hiring. The company is looking for people for sales, account management, job development and customer success and plans to go from 25 to 40 employees in the upcoming months, he said.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm 335 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Certified Beer Server in the Cicerone Certification Program.

When you head out for vacation this summer, be sure to read up on beers that are from the area where you will be visiting. That’s what I did when my family took a road trip down to Savannah.

There are quite a few craft breweries between Virginia and Georgia. Some distribute up here and others only serve their beer from the pub next door. Seek out the local gems while you’re abroad — you might discover a beer to remember. Then find the wider distributed brews when you return home to reminisce.

I’m going to recreate my road trip by sharing beers from the states I drove through that are available here. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a South Carolina beer for this article, but I’d love to hear what your favorite South Carolina brew is.

My Imaginary Girlfriend

Virginia

Lost Rhino Brewing Company, My Imaginary Girlfriend (MIG) IPA (6.1% ABV)

The first beer actually fits into the category of local gem. Located east of Dulles Town Center in Ashburn, Lost Rhino Brewing Company is the torch carried by former Old Dominion brewers who stayed in Virginia when Old Dominion moved to Delaware. I hold the beers of that Virginia incarnation of Old Dominion in a special place in my beer memory — their Tupper’s Hop Pocket was my introduction to a hop bomb.

Well, MIG is every bit as good as I remember all Old Dominion’s beers to be — usually on the hoppy side. The aroma is a pleasing bitter citrus with a hint of pine, a thrilling sign post to the hop adventure ahead. MIG’s flavor explodes as tropical fruit and grapefruit at first, but finishes complexly with a hint light maltiness and pine. Cool off in the shade with a glass of this and a light salad.

Rabid Duck

North Carolina

The Duck-Rabbit Brewing Company, Rabid Duck Imperial Stout (10.0% ABV)

Head south on interstate 95 just past Rocky Mount, NC and take exit 38 for interstate 795 and head into Farmville. There you will find The Duck-Rabbit Brewing Company — the self-proclaimed “dark beer specialist.” It’s hard to argue with that moniker — they only brew dark beers (really!) and it pays. They were famous for their milk stout before milk stouts were in fashion (they really were).

Rabid Duck is a special imperial stout. While it’s a heavy hitter at 10% ABV, it is also super drinkable. Dark brown sugar is all over the aroma. The flavor, though, is where the real pay off is — the black malt provides a fantastic bitterness that offsets the sweetness of the alcohol. While most imperial stouts are better suited to after dinner enjoyment, this one is light enough to accompany a grilled steak.

Maggie's Farmhouse Ale

Georgia

Terrapin Beer Company, Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale (5.3% ABV)

Once in Savannah, you can find plenty of local gems like I mentioned above, such as Moon River Brewing Company and Service Brewing Company. The former’s firkin of cask-conditioned Swamp Fox IPA was a beer to remember (and dream about). Unfortunately, those breweries are not available here at home.

Northeast of Savannah is the college town of Athens, home to Terrapin Beer Company. Known in recent years as one of the craft breweries that sold a stake to “big beer” — MillerCoors bought in in 2009 — Terrapin has nevertheless retained it’s craft identity by continuing to produce well-made, interesting beers. Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale is a great example of their commitment to the craft. Mixing the state fruit of Georgia with a farmhouse ale is ingenious. The tropical fruit inherent in the Belgian beer style blends perfectly well with the peach. Unlike traditional farmhouse ales, which can be a bit spicy, this one is fruity and refreshing. It’s effervescent and only lightly malty — perfect for a hot, sunny day in one of Savannah’s many historic squares. Don’t forget to pour your Maggie’s into a plastic cup, open containers are allowed in Savannah as long as they’re plastic!

That was quite a trip! I hope you are able to bring back some beer from wherever you go this summer. If you can’t bring it home, be sure to enjoy it while you’re there. Then come home and relive some of your favorite moments with breweries you can get up here. Cheers!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 10, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,096 0

Just Listed banner

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.”

The summer real estate market has finally arrived and the pace has slowed considerably.

This week only 57 new listings came on the market in Arlington, while 46 properties went under contract. The average list price of homes that sold week is $630,000, a bit down from previous weeks. And the days on market shot up this week to 57 due to 7 ratified properties that had been on the market six months or more.

The big news this week is that mortgage interest rates dropped about 10 basis points to about 4.04% for 30-yr fixed rate jumbo. The drop is attributed to the flight of capital into U.S. 10-year securities and other bonds coming out of a Europe and Asia. The Greek debt crisis and the devaluation of China’s stock markets has made investors nervous and motivated them to move their capital to safer harbors.

It’s still a great time to buy real estate in Arlington!

You can access all active listings in Arlington on the Cathell Team website.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm 964 0

Rental Report header

Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA) is the governing law with regards to landlord-tenant relations in the state of Virginia. Most residential rentals within the state are covered by the act, and those that are not, such as single family units where the landlord owns fewer than 10 dwellings, can still be covered as long as there is a clause in the lease that states VRLTA applies. Here are a few important clauses in the VRLTA every landlord or renter should understand.

Application Fees: A landlord is allowed to charge an application fee and hold an application deposit for their unit. If an applicant opts to not move forward with the unit, or if a landlord declines their application, the landlord must refund the application fee, less any costs or damages, to the applicant within 20 days. The costs and damages must be provided to the applicant in an itemized list.

Prepaid Rent: In Virginia, prepaid rent is allowed, however, all prepaid rent must be placed in an escrow account within five days of receipt, not to be removed until rent becomes due, or with consent of the tenant.

Insurance: The landlord may require the tenant to have renters insurance which should be noted in the lease agreement. The landlord may obtain insurance on behalf of the tenant and charge the tenant for the actual cost plus administrative fees.

Unsigned Rental Agreements: Occasionally, one party may not send back a signed lease agreement, or perhaps the landlord may have forgotten to provide a copy to the tenant. While this is a “no-no” under the VRLTA, it doesn’t mean the terms of the lease do not apply. If the landlord accepts rent from the tenant, or if the tenant takes possession of the unit and/or pays rent, the terms of the lease agreement still apply. Bottom line: Just because you forgot to sign, doesn’t make your obligations void. Make sure everyone has a copy of the signed agreement to save headaches later.

Special Clauses: Sometimes landlords or renters like to cherry pick lease language or add special clauses to override something in a standard lease document, however the VRLTA specifically states such language is prohibited.

Security Deposits: In Virginia, a landlord may hold a security deposit equal to two months’ of rent. A security deposit must be returned to the tenant within 45 days of lease termination, less any damages. The landlord is required to accrue interest on the security deposit, however no interest is due or payable back to the tenant unless the deposit is held for 13 months or more.

The above represents only a snippet of the VRLTA. These are the more common questions asked by either landlords or tenants. If you have additional questions, contact an attorney or the Arlington Housing Division at 703-228-3765.

Have a rental-related question you’d like Rental Report to answer? Email it to [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 8, 2015 at 2:45 pm 777 0

Wellness Matters banner

The following weekly column is written and sponsored by Virginia Hospital Center, a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and one of America’s 100 Top Hospitals for the third year in a row.

Rising temperatures and more outdoor activity mean it’s time to increase your fluid intake. The body needs more hydration in warm weather, especially during exercise. But how much is enough? When is the best time to drink? And which is better, water or sports drinks?

Water is critical; you can’t function without it. It protects and hydrates your organs, enhances digestion, transports nutrients to cells, and keeps you energized and mentally sharp. It also balances electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to keep muscles functioning properly. Approximately 45 to 50 percent of daily water intake comes from drinking fluids, 35 percent from eating food and the rest from metabolism.

How Much is Enough?

If you don’t drink enough water you risk dehydration. But you might not need as much as you think. The old edict of eight glasses a day is passé because everyone’s water requirements vary. Proper hydration depends on many factors, including your activity level, how hard you are exercising, weather conditions, etc.

Staying properly hydrated is especially important when you exercise. It helps fight fatigue and prolong endurance. Even mild dehydration can affect your performance and make you more injury prone. The risk rises when the temperature rises, because you sweat more and lose fluids more quickly.

Hydration is key, but don’t overdo it! Drinking large amounts of water can cause a condition called hyponatremia, in which sodium levels in the blood drop and lead to confusion, muscle cramps, weakness and risk of death. Sports beverages are helpful in replenishing electrolytes and carbohydrates. They are especially important in prolonged activity and endurance sports.

When Should You Drink?

Thirst is a signal that your body would like more fluid. Even if you don’t feel totally parched, mild thirst is still a sign of impending dehydration. Other signs include dry mouth, fatigue, headache, dark yellow urine and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, especially while exercising, take a water break! Schedule an appointment to see Elizabeth Gannon, DO with the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group: 703.532.5436

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — July 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm 1,027 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Otis, a lab mix who’s often described as an “over-sized baby.”

Here’s what Otis had to say about himself and his penchant for eating beds:

Hi, I’m Otis. I’m a 4 year-old lab mix adopted from Lost Dog Rescue Foundation. Although I’m nearly 30 in dog-years, most people confuse me for a puppy. As you can see, I’m a large barrel-chested dog with a bark that can make you jump out of your skin. But don’t be fooled.

In my off-time as Barbie’s Secret Service agent, I am best known for being an over-sized baby. Frightening thunderstorm? I scurry to my mama’s side of the bed and tuck my head under for safety. Loud noise in the middle of the night? I know I have mom, dad, and 1 year-old human sister for protection (funny that they thought I’d be a great alarm system). And don’t even get me started on stairs. I know the stairs in our house are a secret death trap out to swallow me whole. It takes all my courage and might to climb up and down.

Despite my utter fear of thunderstorms, loud noises, and the stairs…oh my, the stairs… one thing is for sure – I love eating my beds. That’s right. My parents have bought me so many beds after my consumption (ahem — destruction) of each and every one that they’ve lost count! Over the years, I’d estimate they have bought me more than 12 beds! I figure if they spend enough money on my beds, they’ll allow me to enjoy their king size bed with them one day. A dog can dream, right?

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.

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, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

 

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm 876 0

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: I’m planning to move overseas within the next few months and am interested in renting my condo for the first time. Do you have any tips to make the self-management of the property go more smoothly?

A: If you’re renting out your home for the first time and are not using a property management company or agent, there are some steps you can take to help prepare before you sign onto a lease agreement. The goal is to minimize property maintenance and rental issues during the term of the lease, and allow the tenant quiet enjoyment of the property.

Ensure solid leasing terms up front. There are a lot of places online that claim to offer fully enforceable lease agreements, but they can be risky. Depending on the state and jurisdiction, there are special modifications that need to be included to ensure you are protected. If you want to do rent your property on your own, without involving a management company or realtor, I suggest you consult with an attorney before finalizing the lease agreement.

Consider preventive maintenance. Before you rent, conduct a self-inspection of the systems and appliances in your home and consider replacing those that are in (or nearing) disrepair. For example, if your hot water heater on its last leg it may be time for an update. Making these updates can limit inconveniences for both your tenant and yourself if they were to fail while you are away. This can also help avoid any further damage that may come as a result (i.e., water damage). Keep in mind these updates can also be a tax write off (talk to your accountant!).

Discuss ongoing maintenance needs during a pre-rental walkthrough. Holding this in-person walkthrough with your tenant can help them understand how to conduct routine maintenance, such as replacing filters or the appropriate light bulbs, and identifying and operating shutoff values for plumbing, electric and appliances.

This may also be a good time to explore the condition of the property with the tenant so they can identify any imperfections in advance of signing the lease. Providing this opportunity can help avoid any issues that may fall beyond normal wear and tear once the tenant vacates.

Establish a system to receive regular payments. Whether you’re moving out of the area or staying local an automated monthly payment system can help protect against any hiccups with late payments from your renter. I recommend asking your tenant to enroll in direct deposit or e-checks that are automatically sent from the bank each month. This helps remove the anxiety associated with receiving the mailed payment, and the possibility of it getting lost in transit – especially if your are moving overseas.

Plan for emergency repairs. If you’re moving out of the area, make sure to have a system in place to ensure your property and your tenant are taken care of in the event of an emergency. Outside of property management companies, there are companies that offer 24-hour emergency services should your tenant have a last-minute issue and you’re not available.

While many homeowners in the area rent on their own, renting and property management are not for everyone. Should you find this situation daunting, property management is always an option. Many local brokerages offer this service, and I am also happy to make a referral for anyone interested.

I’m hoping some readers can share any additional advice they have in comments.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 7, 2015 at 7:00 am 711 0

La Moto Washington, located in the heart of Arlington, and a short walk from the Clarendon Metro, is the official flagship store for Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi.

Whether you are new to riding, or simply want to add utility and excitement to your morning commute, La Moto Washington has a vehicle to suit your riding level and interests. For the expert rider and track enthusiast, our knowledgeable staff can set you up with a test ride on the Aprilia of your choice.

With financing rates at low at 3.9%, in combination with factory cash incentives, it has never been easier to ride. Come by and see us today!

The preceding post was written and sponsored by La Moto Washington

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