71°Clear

by ARLnow.com — August 17, 2015 at 5:00 am 1,139 0

Adam Gallegos, Realtor, Real Living | At Home
Phone: 703-627-1255
Email: [email protected]

Adam Gallegos was working for a tech startup when the real estate bug bit.

Gallegos was buying his first home and he decided to do it himself. Handling your own real estate transaction, however, turned out to be pretty complicated. After hitting snag after snag, Gallegos committed himself to putting in the hours of research he needed to get it right.

By the time the deal was done, Gallegos had fallen in love with real estate. He ditched the long office hours of his technology company, got a real estate license and was soon enjoying being out and about, helping people buy and sell homes.

That was ten years ago. Three years later, in 2008, Gallegos got another itch. Entrepreneurial by nature, he left a large real estate firm and founded Arbour Realty.

With Arbour, Gallegos invested less in recruiting other agents to join his firm and more in customer service. Many of his customers were younger, first-time homebuyers, so he focused on education — extensively explaining the home buying process to clients before viewing homes.

“We always start off with, let’s meet at the office, let’s talk about the whole process, let’s talk about anything you have questions about, all your goals,” Gallegos said. “We map out what we’re going to do for those clients, set their expectations correctly, and then do everything we can to exceed those expectations.”

Gallegos also made listening a cornerstone of his business. After each deal closed, he asked for candid feedback from his clients.

“That helped us to improve along the way,” Gallegos said.

Another avenue for client education was his blog. In 2012, Gallegos partnered with ARLnow.com to bring the blog to the entire Arlington community, in the form of his popular Ask Adam column.

“I’d get recognized on the street, it was kind of weird,” he said.

Gallegos still works with first-time homebuyers, but he’s also been working with many of those early clients, who are now second- and third-time homebuyers. The Orange Line condos purchased by those young professionals shortly after the recession have appreciated in value, allowing them to move up to townhouses and single-family homes.

Arbour, meanwhile, was recently acquired by D.C.-based Real Living | At Home. That has allowed Gallegos to focus less on management and get back to being a Realtor first and foremost. He still works out of his Ballston office but can spend more time outside the office, with clients. Plus, the deal has put Real Living | At Home’s resources — including an in-house photographer, videographer and marketing team — at his fingertips.

“When we put a listing on the market, it stands out every time,” Gallegos said.

(This year Gallegos was recognized for leading one of the top real estate teams in the D.C. area by Washingtonian Magazine.)

Gallegos said that while much of his business is north of Route 50, he is seeing interest in south Arlington as a less expensive, “nice alternative market.” That interest has, however, waned just a bit since the cancellation of the streetcar project.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm 521 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.

With all the hot weather we’ve had recently, you may notice that your pet is drinking more water than normal… this likely is just par for the course, but when should you be concerned?  How much is too much?  

Polydipsia is the medical term for increased thirst, and polyuria the term for increased urination.  It is often very difficult at the onset to know whether the problem lies primarily with increased thirst (increased thirst drives the increased urine volume) or increased urination (increased urine volume drives increased thirst, as urine is not being concentrated effectively); problems that lead to increased urination tend to be more common causes in both dogs and cats.  The symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia are frequent causes for veterinary visits; often it is urinary accidents or inappropriate urination that may finally bring the problem to light, as quantifying thirst and/or urination can be quite tricky at home, especially if there are multiple pets in the household.  

Some of the more common reasons for increased thirst include behavioral issues (“psychogenic polydipsia” (i.e. drinking for “fun”),  fever, pain, or neurological disorders.  Increased urination can be caused by something as simple as a urinary tract infection or as complex as: electrolyte abnormalities, diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes), kidney insufficiency or failure, liver disease, elevated thyroid level, drugs (such as the common corticosteroid prednisone, or the anti-seizure medication phenobarbital), infection of the uterus, or abnormalities of the body’s resting steroid levels (Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease).

When a patient initially presents for the complaint of increased thirst and/or urination, the first step is to verify that there is, in fact, increased thirst or urination. The diagnostic work-up is started with a physical exam and thorough history to determine if there are any other factors that may be contributing to the symptoms. We then often have the owner quantify the water intake over a several days period (which is much easier in a single dog or cat household), in addition to running a urinalysis to determine how well the urine is concentrated. One of the most basic tests that can be run is to check the concentration of a first morning urine sample (often the most concentrated sample of the day) – if it is dilute then we know there is an issue and additional work up is warranted. Blood work is often part of the initial work-up as well, as we can assess kidney and liver function, and rule out conditions such as kidney failure or diabetes as well as to give clues about other metabolic disorders that would necessitate further investigation.

As mentioned above, quantifying thirst and especially urination may be difficult; but, since they go hand-in-hand the majority of the time, quantifying thirst is a bit more straight-forward and is a good starting point. Normal water consumption can be very variable, but averages around 50-60 mL/kg/day for both cats and dogs (i.e.  4-¾ to 5-¾ cups per day for a 50 pound dog).  Anything over 80-100 mL/kg/day is considered polydipsia (i.e.  7-½ to 9-½ cups per day for that same 50 pound dog).

Though it can be tempting to restrict water intake in a pet that is having urinary accidents in the house or needing to go out with increased frequency, this is very rarely recommended, and in the rare cases where it is indicated it should be done only with supervision from your veterinarian. Restricting water in the face of underlying metabolic or infectious diseases could lead to dehydration (sometimes severe) and decompensation of the underlying problem.

So, if you are concerned that your pet might be hitting the bowl a little too hard be sure to talk to your pet’s veterinarian!

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 — August 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm 378 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.

Your teenager wants to try-out for their high school sports team. They will need good grades, a strong work ethic, demonstrate exceptional sportsmanship and complete a sports physical exam. They can’t even get on the field unless they bring their completed school athletic forms.

If you forgot to make an appointment for a sports physical, simply grab the forms and walk into Virginia Hospital Center Urgent Care. It’s convenient, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can choose to use your insurance or pay cash. Before you go, confirm with your insurer that the visit is covered. If not, we ask for a payment of $75 at time of service.

Virginia Hospital Center Urgent Care is the only urgent care facility in the area open 365 days a year. The center is staffed by physicians trained in family practice, emergency medicine and internal medicine, as well as a team of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Radiology Technicians. The urgent care website has even more in-depth information about the facilities and staff.

Urgent care centers are a great resource for non-emergency conditions that deserve prompt attention, including cuts, colds, fevers, sore throats, sprains and fractures.

Remember, though, that urgent care is not a substitute for emergency care. An emergency is a condition that is considered life-threatening or could cause impairment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency department:

  • Chest pain
  • Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stroke (loss of vision, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech or confusion)
  • Compound open fracture or joint separation
  • Severe trauma or bleeding
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Poisoning

Virginia Hospital Center Urgent Care
601 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA
Phone: 703.717.7000

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

by Heather Mongilio — August 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm 1,173 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Miso, a 7-month-old Shiba Inu puppy, who loves going to the dog park.

Miso is new to Arlington but loves meeting people and dogs. He also likes eating, sleeping and watching TV. Here’s what Miso had to say about himself:

Hello! My name is Miso, which is pronounced like the soup that you find in restaurants. I am a Shiba Inu who was born on Jan. 15, 2015. My mom and dad bought me from a pet store in Bethesda, Maryland when I was 2 months old. I have been living in Arlington since then and have enjoyed meeting so many people and dogs! I have also become quite the ladies’ man since living here.

Some of my favorite things include eating, sleeping and watching TV. I do occasionally love going to the dog park when it’s not too hot out. My favorite part of the dog park is playing with my friends and rolling in the sand. I mostly roll in the sand because I know my mom will give me a refreshing bath when I get home. When I am not at the dog park you can find me playing with my many toys at home or playing fetch with Dad. I am in the process of losing my teeth so my parents have bought me lots of bones which I have found is better to chew on than the furniture.

After a long day of dog walks, chewing and playing I will end the evening in my bed curled up with my favorite stuffed animal.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week?[email protected] 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 — August 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm 684 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: Is there a difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent?

A: Good question. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but there is a difference. While, both a real estate agent and a Realtor® are licensed, a real estate agent is not held to the same level of ethics and standard of practice as a Realtor®. This is primarily because to be called a Realtor®, a real estate professional must be a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and agree to uphold the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Of course, both agents and Realtors® are required to operate within the law. However, the NAR Code takes things a step further, for example, by requiring a Realtor® “to protect and promote the interests of their client” and “treat all parties honestly,” among many other articles that real estate professionals are not necessarily bound to under the law. You can find more detail in this great resource by NAR.

How does this apply to buyers and sellers? Well, it means that there isn’t necessarily anything binding a non-Realtor® to offer you the same level of representation. Additionally, the NAR and a state-based chapter strictly enforce the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

In Virginia, in most cases a Realtor® is a member of not only the NAR, but also the Virginia Association of Realtors® and a local association of Realtors®, for example the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®. With all these checks and balances created by NAR over 100 years for Realtors®, it’s probably a good idea to look for “Realtor®” when you’re searching for representation. And, while you’re at it, you might also want to throw in a question about the Code to test their knowledge, such as:

Q: What does the NAR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice say about representing both a buyer and a seller in a transaction?

A (for your back pocket): Realtors® shall not accept compensation from more than one party without disclosing to all parties and securing the informed consent of the Realtor®’s client(s).

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 — August 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm 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 Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

By Kimberly H. Berry, Esq.

Federal employees filing for disability retirement are either covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). One of the key components of a federal employee’s successful disability retirement application is a well-written physician’s statement.

When evaluating a federal employee’s disability retirement application, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is primarily seeking medical evidence that supports the federal employee’s information provided in his or her application. In order for OPM to support a federal employee’s claim that he or she is disabled and unable to provide useful and efficient service in his or her current position, the federal employee should provide a well-written and detailed physician’s statement when submitting the application. OPM most likely will deny a disability retirement application without such a statement.

OPM’s Standard Form 3112C and instructions do not actually provide much detail as to what specifically should be included in the physician’s statement. However, based on our experience, it is crucial that the physician provide a great deal of detailed medical documentation in the statement. The best type of physician’s statement further addresses the federal employee’s specific medical conditions and symptoms, and how they prevent the federal employee from performing his or her job duties as described in the federal employee’s position description. The federal employee should provide the physician with a copy or summary of his or her official and actual job duties. Keep in mind that OPM is not necessarily focused on whether the federal employee is fully disabled from completing a particular type of work. OPM is more interested in detailed medical evidence establishing how the federal employee is disabled in such a way that prevents the employee from performing his or her current job duties.

If a federal employee retains our firm to assist in his or her disability retirement application, we usually coordinate with the employee’s physician regarding the statement, assist the physician with information that might be important to include in the statement, and help to answer the physician’s questions about the disability retirement process. In addition, we often assist the physician with the actual drafting of the physician statement since we recognize that physicians have very busy schedules. Also, it is sometimes helpful to offer to pay for the physician’s time in preparing the statement, if appropriate. Typically, most physicians want to help their patients in the disability retirement application process and are usually the first to recommend disability retirement to the federal employee.

When considering OPM disability retirement, it is important to obtain the advice and representation of legal counsel. Our firm represents federal employees in the disability retirement process before various federal agencies and OPM. Please contact us at www.retirementlaw.com, www.berrylegal.com, or by telephone at (703) 668-0070, for a consultation to discuss your individual disability retirement matter. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

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

by Heather Mongilio — August 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm 1,095 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.

Mobile version of Chef's Hat (Courtesy of Jeff Jones)

A Courthouse resident has created an app to help people save recipes they find online.

John Jones developed Chef’s Hat, a mobile and web app that works like an online recipe box. Users sign in through Facebook or Twitter and then start electronically clipping recipes.

All clipped recipes are saved to the app and can be accessed on phones, tablets or the computer. The app is available for free on both iTunes and Android markets.

“It’s your mom’s recipe book that always has the right recipe,” Jones said.

The idea came from personal experience, he said. Jones enjoys cooking with his wife, but he found recipe saving websites, like Pinterest, inadequate. So he decided to build an app that would make it easier to clip recipes. The app was released late in July and it has been downloaded a couple hundred times, Jones said.

Jeff Jones (Courtesy of Jeff Jones)

The app reformats each clipped recipe with a clean font face and easy-to-read layout instead of linking to or taking a screenshot of the original recipe webpage. The app was designed with the user in mind, Jones said.

“There are so many apps in the marketplace so it drives developers to be creative and think about what their users want,” he said.

With a focus on user experience — or UX — developers are constantly focused on improving the app to fit what people want, Jones said.

“It’s always about what’s best for the users,” he said.

Thinking about user preferences is why he created a mobile and web version of the app, he said. When developing the app, he was thinking about where people browse for recipes.

Jones is already thinking about updates he will make. One idea is the ability to create an account and log in with an email address instead of using Facebook or Twitter. Another is making the sharing of recipes easier. He is also playing with the idea of creating a recommended recipe addition, where the app would recommend recipes for users to try based on the recipes they have saved.

Web version of Chef's Hat (Courtesy of John Jones)“I think there are a lot of possibilities with this app,” he said.

Another potential addition is advertising. He prefers to use “purpose driven advertising,” instead of the “annoying” banner ads, he said.

While Jones says he will not use banner ads, he did say that he consider options for publishing promoted posts, such as partnering with a food blog or company that could promote recipes on the app. He is also considering premium features for the app, he said.

“I see this potentially as an app for cooks and amateur cooks,” Jones said.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm 583 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.

Just inside the Washington, D.C. border and a few blocks south of the Takoma Park Metro station sits 3 Stars Brewing Company. Founding homebrewers, Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, had a vision “to make this world-class city a world-class craft beer destination,” which has led them to craft some of the most creative brews in the metro area.

Beers with descriptions like Berliner-style rye or raspberry porter or any one of their saisons — Citra lemon peel, cranberry, rye or peppercorn — have made the 3 Stars name synonymous with experimentation. That this curious exploration of flavor combinations has also led to success isn’t surprising when you try their beer. They were named D.C.’s Best Local Brewery two years in a row by the Washington City Paper, Rising Stars in 2014 by Star Chefs Magazine and, most recently, Thrillist listed 3 Stars as the best brewery in D.C.

Not content to stick with conventional and established styles, 3 Stars claims to have brewed “more than 40 different distinctive beers.” The vast majority of these have only been available on draft and often only at 3 Stars, or occasionally in bombers. But earlier this summer 3 Stars partnered with River City Cannery, a mobile canning machine, to offer some of their beers in 4-packs of 1 pint tallboy cans.

Two of the following beers are available in the tallboys, White Ghost IPA and Lemon Citra Saison. The other two are available in bombers. According to an article on DCist, there are plans to can their double IPA, Two To the Dome and Above the Clouds, their farmhouse pale ale. The future certainly looks bright for 3 Stars.

3 Stars Brewing Co. Peppercorn Saison (6.5% ABV)

Peppercorn Saison sits a top a unique set of saisons and farmhouse ales that 3 Stars makes. Despite the name, this beer is a subtle and straightforward saison. The aroma is appropriately dominated by banana — yeast used to make saisons is a Belgian strain that creates aromas and flavors of tropical fruit and banana. Fruitiness defines the flavor, moving from a pleasant sweetness to a refreshing tartness in the finish. Despite having a “season” — early spring — this saison is delicious year-round.

3 Stars Citra Lemon3 Stars Brewing Co. Citra Lemon Saison (5.2% ABV)

The first of the two canned beers to come off the line, Lemon Citra Saison comes off as a tart version of a saison. This beer isn’t technically a sour, but its tartness puts it in an interesting in-between category. The aroma is of lemonade and water cracker with some banana as it warms up. As the name suggests, lemon is the first thing you taste, complete with all its tartness, but the malt kicks in bringing a sweetness to offset it. Despite the refreshing tartness, this beer can be enjoyed all spring and summer and into the fall. 3 Stars chose well by canning this one.

3 Stars Ghost3 Stars Brewing Co. Ghost White IPA (5.9% ABV)

A white IPA is a beer that combines the high hop quantities of an India Pale Ale with a Belgian-style white beer or wit beer. Wit beers typically include a portion of unmalted wheat in the grain bill, which accounts for the cloudy appearance of the beer and therefore the name. Ghost’s aroma is of light hops and biscuit. The flavor is surprisingly complex, with a hop bitterness that grows as you swallow and a sweetness that develops in the background from the malt. I’ve had this in winter (on draught) and in the summer which has proven it’s great anytime.


3 Stars Desolation3 Stars Brewing Co. Desolation Imperial Porter on Rye Barrel Aged Coffee Beans (9.6% ABV)

Though Dominion Wine & Beer does not yet carry this beer — they plan to offer it as soon as they can — I couldn’t leave it out. Thrillist even name-dropped Desolation in their “Best Craft Brewery in Every State” article. It’s worth a look and worth looking for. This beer is delicious, strong and drinkable. The aroma is an enticing mix of sweet black coffee and toast. In your mouth, the flavors mingle: a dark chocolate bitterness from the black patent malt and the big sweetened iced coffee. The alcohol is apparent in the sweetness, but not in any obtrusive way. The nearly black appearance suggests an imperial stout, but, being a porter, this still has a relatively light body. All in all, this bomber is not one to take lightly — it’s strong without overpowering and it’s delicious.

In other beer news, The Beer Institute recently released interesting data regarding the economic impact of the beer industry. Altogether, more than 2,800 breweries (macro and craft) contribute nearly $253 billion to the U.S. economy. That amounts to 1.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Breweries and beer importers also employ nearly 50,000 people across the country.

“It can be said that beer truly serves America. Beer is more than our nation’s favorite adult drink – it is a powerhouse in job creation, commercial activity and tax revenue,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, which released the study jointly with NBWA.

Go find some 3 Stars beer, if you haven’t already, and let us know what you think. Cheers!

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

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 7, 2015 at 8:10 am 1,325 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 Arlington real estate market held steady this week with 63 new listings and 65 ratified contracts.

The fresh inventory ranges in price from $139,000 to $1.8 million. Of those properties sold this week, the average list price dropped to $598,500 and the average days on market held at 52, the same as last week.

Mortgage interest rates also held steady at about 4% for 30-yr fixed rate jumbo.

  1. 2701 ARLINGTON BLVD #202, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $309,000
  2. 2930 BUCHANAN ST S #B1, ARLINGTON, VA 22206- $329,900
  3. 1633 COLONIAL TER #105, ARLINGTON, VA 22209- $475,000
  4. 1231 QUINTANA ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22205- $669,000
  5. 4519 HENDERSON RD N, ARLINGTON, VA 22203- $710,000
  6. 1610 QUEEN ST #222, ARLINGTON, VA 22209- $849,900
  7. 4812 11TH ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22205- $989,300
  8. 1308 EVERGREEN ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22205- $1,169,900

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

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1,794 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.

Did you know the average rent price for a one bedroom in Arlington in 2014 was $1678? Are you looking for a one bedroom apartment in Arlington, but you don’t know where to start? We have a few suggestions of units running the gamut of pricing and neighborhoods to help you narrow down your search area.

Probably the top-requested Arlington neighborhood by newcomers is the Clarendon/Courthouse area. This section between Rosslyn and Ballston is teeming with restaurants, shops and active residents. Of course this spot also has some of the highest rents.

This new, luxury building in Clarendon is perfectly located near the Metro, Trader Joe’s and Washington Blvd, which can get car commuters to Route 50 and I-395 in just a few minutes. This building has 1 BR units currently starting around $2270, and it has amenities galore, including a roof top pool, fitness center and 24-hour concierge.

Just down the road in the Ballston/Virginia square area is this property just a block or so from the Virginia Square Metro station. Their one bedroom units are currently starting at $1725. While this is a smaller building with fewer amenities, they do still have controlled access and a fitness center, and the proximity to the Metro is hard to beat.

If proximity to the Metro isn’t a requirement, but you still want to be fairly close to the Ballston area, this building offers large one bedroom units, this pet friendly building is a great option. The 700-900 square foot units start at $1530, and amenities include a new gym, controlled access and parking.

If you head over to the Pentagon City/Crystal City area, you can be close to a Metro, shopping, restaurants, running trails and, of course, Reagan National Airport. This area is often overlooked by newcomers interested in the Rosslyn/Ballston corridor, but it has a lot to offer for renters.

This property is located right in the heart of Pentagon Row, steps from the Metro, grocery shopping, restaurants, Virginia Highlands Park and the Pentagon City Mall. Amenities include a fitness center, indoor pool and it is cat-friendly. Their large, one bedroom apartments with are starting at $1750.

Not far from Pentagon City, in South Arlington, this large, garden style apartment community offers apartments that are pet friendly, include some utilities and a parking space all starting at $1510. Additional amenities include a weekday shuttle to the Pentagon City Metro station, a fitness center and a pool.

This is just a snapshot of apartments available in the Arlington area to show what is available at different price ranges in Arlington. Not to mention several other great neighborhoods to choose from. For more information on Arlington neighborhoods check out some of our other posts including Top Reasons Arlington is a Great Place to Live and Arlington’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods.

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 — August 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm 626 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.

Frequent migraines? Digestive issues? Can’t sleep? These and other chronic conditions are often byproducts of today’s high-velocity, high-stress lifestyle. When you visit a physician for help, you may want to see a doctor who practices functional medicine. Your experience will be quite different. You’ll complete an extensive questionnaire about the possible cause of your symptoms, such as diet, digestive patterns, sleep and stress levels, exercise, smoking and alcohol use. Your doctor will then explore any issues the health history turns up. Together, you’ll uncover what lies at the root of the problem and what you need to restore health.

Sam P. Pappas, MD, who practices functional medicine at Virginia Hospital Center, says the emphasis is on wellness, nutrition, ancestral health and optimal function. “We look at the big picture and treat the whole patient. It’s a true paradigm shift from organ-based diseases to functional dynamic systems.”

Functional medicine is a systems-oriented, science-based approach that takes your biochemistry, physiology, and genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors into account when looking for the reasons behind a specific medical issue. It shifts the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a patient-centered approach. Instead of just soothing your symptoms, functional medicine doctors work with you to identify and eradicate the source of your condition.

From What to Why

If conventional medicine is the medicine of what – What disease do you have? What drug should you take? – then functional medicine is the medicine of why. It addresses the whole person, focusing on your health history, your family history and the environmental factors that interact to influence your individual health. It’s an effective and powerful new method to tackle many common digestive, metabolic, hormonal and cardiovascular disorders.

Dr. Pappas explains further. “I bridge the science of medicine with the personalization of health and lifestyle. Medicine is an art masquerading as a science.”

What is Patient-Centered Care? 

Many caregivers say they offer patient-centered care, but what does that really mean? True patient-centered care puts the patient at the heart of every medical decision. Functional medicine supports a patient-centered approach to treatment. Individual preferences, needs and values are respected. Patients and clinicians work together as partners to achieve optimal health. Studies show that patients who take an active role in their own care and feel more in control of their well-being are more likely to make sustained lifestyle changes to improve their health.

Appointments with Dr. Pappas may be scheduled by calling the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Primary Care McLean at 703-992-0649.

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

by Heather Mongilio — August 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm 1,290 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week if Ezra, a Sheepadoodle — an Old English Sheepdog and standard poodle mix — who loves socks.

Ezra also loves to steal tomatoes from the vines and can perform a number of tricks. Here’s what his owners had to say about him:

Ezra – who usually goes by “Ezi” – is full of it:  Full of tricks, full of spirit and full of mischief. His go-to trick is “sit pretty” (pictured above), which is usually very effective, but if he doesn’t get what he wants, he will automatically move into down, roll-over, high-five and back into sit pretty again. It’s quite a show.  Thanks to many classes at Woofs!, Ezi is a charming, well-socialized adolescent “sheepadoodle.” That’s half Old English Sheepdog and half Standard Poodle. Ezra’s hijinks are lovingly (albeit sporadically) chronicled on Instagram at @ezrathesheepadoodle.

Ezi thinks every passerby exists only to give him attention. Since he looks like an adorable stuffed panda bear, he is often correct. He occasionally startles strangers, however, when he moves in for a “sheepadoodle hug” and walks straight through their legs and then turns around and weaves back again (apparently an instinctual herding trait).

His mischievous side really shines as a tomato thief. He unabashedly bounds into the backyard vegetable garden and plucks the ripest fruit right off the vine. Tomato juice and seeds on his muzzle belie any alibi he could attempt.  “Sock radar” is his superpower. He can sense that a sock is present anytime, anywhere. Clean or dirty, he will find the sock. His best work was upending a perfectly packed suitcase to retrieve a pair of clean socks nestled inside shoes stowed at the very bottom. And whenever he finds a sock, he is full of pure joy.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week?[email protected] 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 — August 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1,357 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 see a lot of houses in Arlington County with room additions. I’m trying to decide whether it’s better to move to a larger house or renovate/add to my existing home. We like our neighborhood and would prefer to stay; however, I don’t know how to determine whether it’s cost effective to renovate. From my understanding of the process, an appraiser won’t give an estimated value until the architectural drawings are complete. But, I’m trying to avoid a situation where I pay for architectural drawings for a job that turns out to be impractical (say only 50 percent of reno costs added to value).

A: This is a great question, and it’s not only common in your circumstance, but for buyers, as well. It’s not always necessary to go through the full process to pay for architecture drawings to reach a final property valuation. There are some other areas to explore that might help you reach a decision before making that investment.

Budget: When contemplating renovating your home or selling for an upgrade, your budget comes first. It’s a good idea to look at other recently updated homes in the area and reach out to the builder or contractor to explore the costs. If any of these homes are on the market, keep an eye out for an open house to get an idea of the finishes and style. If you like the updates and the price, it could make it easier to decide if an addition is right for you. Before taking the next step, make sure to talk to your lender about the different loans available. A home equity loan may be an option and could add a financial boost when making major home improvements.

Timeframe: Before you move forward with the addition its important to consider how long the work will take. It’s also a good idea to plan the addition around a time of year that works well for you and the builder. At minimum, you will want to pick a time of year when weather delays are rare. Keep in mind that projects can be complete within the planned timeframe; however, delays do frequently occur. You’ll want to plan for them in advance. Work in at least 1-2 months for potential unknowns, such as delayed shipments. Further, county-permitting approvals for the project can take some time as well.

Scale of work: What is the level of work you are planning? Will you be living in the home during the updates? If you plan to live in the home, there could be further delays based on having to complete the updates in stages. Depending on the age of the home, there may also be special, time-consuming and expensive precautions taken to ensure your safety. You’ll want to weigh the pros and cons, including the costs (or costs savings), of temporarily re-locating during the renovation.

Resale: Consider whether the renovation or addition is going to give you a return on investment when you go to sell. The level of finishes and the market trends will be a deciding element for the end value. In some cases, depending on the lot size and the location, at the end of the day, it might make sense to sell and move to a bigger home.

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 — August 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm 385 0

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Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.

I had an interesting thing happen to me this weekend. My new cat has been attacking and biting me, “for no reason” and “out of the blue.” These are two statements that I always hear from dog training clients and I always insist that nothing is out of the blue or for no reason. Yet I could not apply the same reasoning to my cat. The recommendation: my cat needs more exercise. He’s bored. Of course he does!

How many times have I told a dog training client that an increase in exercise will solve a myriad of behavior problems. Probably hundreds of times. And it’s true. Is your dog waking you up at night? Chewing inappropriately? Excessive barking? Pulling on leash? Biting at you to get your attention? Exercise may not solve these problems but it can certainly be a part of the solution.

The first thing you need to know is that for most young dogs, walking on a leash does not even come close to meeting their exercise needs. Walks are a great way to maintain your dogs socialization and keep them acclimated to their environment but they do very little to dent their energy levels. Young, in-shape dogs will usually require at least two hours of exercise a day.

To truly exercise a dog, the dog needs to be trotting or running. The best ways to accomplish this is with off-leash excursions that involve hiking, running and swimming. Unfortunately for most urban dog owners, an off-leash hike before work is out of the question. The best we can hope for is a weekend adventure.

So here are some ideas for getting in some real exercise during the week. Of course, with the weather in the nineties every day, these are mostly indoor activities until the fall.

Fetching: This is the best way to get your dog running. A 15 minute session of fetch is probably equivalent to a 60 minute walk. To increase the cardio aspect see if your dog will run up and down stairs to retrieve the ball or toy.

Tugging: The idea that tugging will make your dog aggressive is an old wives tale. Tug away! Not only is it a great outlet for puppies who are still in their mouthing and chewing stage, it is a great outlet for older dogs as well. Not to mention the benefits of an upper body workout for the human. If you occasionally win, start the game up again with a toss to sneak in a fetch.

Interactive food toys: These are awesome. Not only will they get your dog moving a bit, they are great mental stimulation which will also tire out your dog. You can feed your dogs entire daily ration of food in interactive toys and you can even give them to the dog to keep them engaged while you are out of the house. Why feed your dog in a bowl when you can get more bang for your buck with a food toy?

Training: Teach your dog some tricks. Tricks are a great way to exercise parts of the body that the dog may not always use. Sit up and beg works the abs and core, spin to the right and left provides stretching, as does a nice stretch into a bow. Tricks also give you the same double benefit of physical movement and mental stimulation. Fifteen minutes of trick work a day would really help.

Bottom line: Get your dog training and moving and most of all have fun!

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

by Heather Mongilio — August 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm 0

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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.

Mark Tobias and Oron Strauss

For healthcare insurance companies, compiling and submitting data to state and federal governments is a long process, but an Arlington company may have an answer.

Babel Health, which is based in Courthouse, provides a information system for health insurance companies that validates and reformats data to make it ready to submit to state and federal governments, said co-founder Mark Tobias.

Insurance companies upload data for patients, including birth dates, the medical code, names, admittance dates, etc., into the system. It then goes through the data checking for irregularities as well as checks it against editing rules that look at format and accuracy, such as making sure a person with a death date can’t have an admittance date.

‘We are basically the last guardian to find and protect the data,” Tobias said.

The system will then send the data back to the healthcare company to let them fix the errors. Once the data passes validation checks, the system reformats it to fit the various forms healthcare companies have to submit.

“It helps insurance plans get their data together with more integrity and more accuracy,” co-founder Oron Strauss said.

The company works with smaller and medium sized healthcare companies and recently signed their first client. The company provides the service for a reasonable cost, which makes them ideal for medium-sized companies that would not usually be able to afford a sophisticated data system.

The company helps insurance plans cut down costs, which in turn help them keep plans more reasonably price, Tobias said.

“At the end of the day, so much is driven by cost,” he said.

Although the company is young, Strauss and Tobias already have long term goals for it. They both want to bring the system to healthcare providers to increase efficiency and compliance, Strauss said.

The company is not the first run by Strauss and Tobias. The two have been business partners for 18 years and have founded several business ventures, including Pantheon, a software company that works with nonprofits. Many of the employees working for Pantheon also work for Babel Health and helped build the software program that edits and cleans the data.

Building the software from the ground up has its benefits, the most important being the security features that are incorporated into the program. That’s especially notable in the wake of security breaches at the federal Office of Personnel Management and at large retail chains like Target.

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