Call for Public Input in Police Chief Search — “The head of the Arlington branch of the NAACP wants the county government to include more public involvement as it prepares to select a new police chief… Community groups should ‘have the opportunity to participate throughout the entire selection process,’ Spain wrote. ‘Now more than ever, we need openness and transparency, and all candidates should understand the needs of the community.'” [Sun Gazette]
Reminder: Arlies Voting Now Underway — “Voting for the spring 2021 Arlies is now live! The Arlies are ARLnow’s community awards, highlighting Arlington’s favorite local places, people and organizations — as chosen by you.” Each season brings a new group of categories. [ARLnow, SurveyMonkey]
Arlington Homes Selling for Near Ask — “If Arlington homeowners appear to be getting a little too aggressive in setting listing prices for their homes, they are in good company. The same seems to be true for neighboring Alexandria and Falls Church, as well. For the first two months of the year, Arlington home-sellers garnered an average 98.47 percent of listing price.” [Sun Gazette]
Nearby: POTUS Visits Alexandria — “President Joe Biden visited the Neighborhood Health vaccine site at Virginia Theological Seminary today (Tuesday) just before he was scheduled to announce that states should open COVID-19 vaccination appointments to all adults by April 19. ‘We passed 150 million (vaccine doses distributed) yesterday,’ Biden said. ‘When you go home, get all your friends and tell them, ‘Get a shot when they can.”” [ALXnow, Twitter]
Voting for the spring 2021 Arlies is now live!
The Arlies are ARLnow’s community awards, highlighting Arlington’s favorite local places, people and organizations — as chosen by you.
Last week, we announced the 18 categories included in this season’s Arlies, alongside our sponsor, George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government.
To vote, write in your local favorites in each category in the ballot below.
Voting will be open for two weeks, and the survey should take no longer than 5 minutes to fill out. Readers will only be able to submit it once, and we’ll monitor submissions for attempts at repeated voting to ensure the integrity of the voting process.
The winners will be announced shortly after voting closes.
Trouble with the embedded form? You can also take the survey here.
Last week, we announced the kick-off of the spring 2021 Arlies.
Now, we’re announcing the categories for the latest edition of ARLnow’s quarterly community awards, alongside our sponsor, George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Starting next week you can vote for your local favorites in the 18 categories below.
- Favorite date night spot
- Favorite pool
- Favorite brunch spot
- Favorite local social media account
- Favorite farmers market
- Favorite Arlington neighborhood
- Favorite notable Arlington resident (past or present)
- Favorite local shop
- Favorite park
- Favorite local nonprofit
- Favorite cleaning service
- Favorite auto repair shop
- Favorite Rosslyn-Ballston corridor real estate agent
- Favorite apartment building
- Favorite optometry shop
- Favorite dermatologist
- Favorite moving company
- Favorite pest control company
As these awards are strictly reader-driven, readers and not editors are choosing their favorites in each category.
The Arlies honor ARLnow readers’ favorite local places, people and organizations, and are held seasonally, each with different categories. Be sure to keep an eye open for when voting opens next week to vote in your favorites!
Spring is right around the corner, and so is the next edition of The Arlies!
In January, ARLnow readers took part in the winter 2021 Arlies by letting us know some of your favorite local places, people and organizations. Soon we’ll be highlighting even more categories.
What’s the best brunch spot in Arlington? Where’s your favorite place for date night?
Those are a couple of the questions that ARLnow readers will help to answer.
At a time when many residents and businesses are struggling, the Arlies provides a way to highlight some of the good things happening in our backyard, while bringing recognition to those whose dedication to service has earned the community’s trust.
Voting for the spring 2021 Arlies will kick off at the end of March. We’ll tally the votes and announce the winners soon after.
This is a strictly reader-driven award, with readers and not editors choosing their favorites in each category.
We’ll be announcing the categories next week alongside our sponsor, George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Stay tuned!
When asked why she got her real estate license more than 16 years ago, Katie Wethman responded simply: “It’s personal for me.”
Back in 2010, the long-time Arlington resident was looking for a home, and she felt like no one could clearly explain the process or answer her questions. So, she got her license and began teaching first-time homebuyer classes.
“It can be a really overwhelming process for first-time and even second-time homebuyers because people only buy a couple of houses in their entire life,” said Wethman, who’s now the managing director of the Wethman Group.
In her class, which she’s been teaching for more than 15 years, Wethman breaks down the process, eliminating the overwhelming stress many homebuyers experience.
We recently caught up with Wethman, who was voted one of Arlington’s top real estate agents for first-time homebuyers in the 2021 Winter Arlies. She shared some of her best advice for first-time buyers (or, really, any homebuyer).
1. Find the right team
When buying a home, it’s essential you work with a team you trust. Of course, this includes a real estate agent.
“If you have that, everything else will fall into place,” Wethman said.
The agents at Wethman Group are there to be your advocate, to help you make the best, most informed decision possible.
“Right now, the market is so hot that it’s really hard to separate a logical decision from the emotion and the pressure and excitement,” Wethman said. “That’s our role — to remove the emotion and point out the negative as well as the positive so you can make an informed decision instead of a rushed emotional decision.”
Another piece of the puzzle people is finding the right lender — someone who can work quickly and counsel you on different loan programs. Wethman and her team are happy to connect buyers with one of their recommended lenders.
2. Talk honestly about expectations and trade-offs
When Wethman’s team connects with a new buyer, they typically schedule two meetings so they can get to know one another, outline the homebuying process and answer any questions.
They’ll also make a list of must-have, nice-to-have and deal breakers when it comes to a home.
“Too many people waste time trying to find that needle in the haystack,” Wethman said. She encourages buyers to remember “everything in the search process is trade-offs and decisions between price, condition and location.”
Wethman’s team also performs historical analyses to see how often your perfect house is likely to come on the market.
3. Just get started, there’s no pressure
It’s no secret the real estate market is hot in Arlington right now, and that can be intimidating for first-time homebuyers. If you’re interested in buying a home — or even if you’re just a tad curious — Wethman encourages you to connect with her team.
“I think sometimes people are afraid to start the process because they don’t want to be pressured,” Wethman said.
She’s all about building long-term relationships. In fact, she’s had people reach out five years after initially connecting, finally ready to make a move.
“Sometimes the right answer is to keep renting and just keep in touch,” she said. “We’re your consultant, and we’re going to give you the right advice. It’s the same advice we’d give a good friend or family member.”
If you’re interested in exploring the homebuying journey, Wethman and her team are happy to help.
Natalie Roy isn’t the type of real estate agent who rolls up to a house showing in a luxury car. Instead, if the weather’s decent, you’ll find her pedaling up on her bicycle.
If you’re in the market to buy a home, she welcomes you to join her to ride along on a bike house-hunting tour. (Though biking isn’t a requirement when working with Roy.)
“The best way to know a community is walking or biking through it,” said Roy, the owner of the aptly named Bicycling Realty of KW Metro Center.
Roy’s unique approach to the house-hunting process is just one of the reasons she was voted the top real estate agent for first-time homebuyers in the 2021 Winter Arlies.
Getting to Know Natalie Roy and Bicycling Realty
Roy has been a member of the Arlington community, specifically the Lyon Park neighborhood, for nearly 30 years. She’s always biked as much as possible when getting around town.
When Roy decided to go into real estate more than eight years ago, she wanted to bring her passion for the environment into her business.
Enter: Bicycling Realty.
If a client opts in to a bike house-hunting tour, Roy builds an itinerary to take buyers through one or two adjacent neighborhoods with a few home stops along the way.
Plus, there’s another perk to house-hunting on a bike. “The experience of looking for a house is stressful,” Roy said. “If you’re biking, I find people are happier.”
Arlington’s Top Real Estate Agent for First-Time Buyers
Not only is Roy a fun real estate tour guide, she’s also a big-time advocate for her clients and is especially protective of first-time homebuyers. She sits down with them to outline the process and the intricacies of contracts.
“What’s really important with first-time homebuyers is to make sure they know what that contract says and what’s really there,” Roy said. “I find there are so many things with the transaction that can be confusing for people, so it’s important to make sure people understand.”
She’s also transparent and sets expectations up front, especially with homes going fast in today’s market.
“You don’t want to push them into anything,” Roy said. “If they lose a property because they weren’t comfortable, go find another one. That’s just my feeling, and I always tell them, if they lose it, there’s something better out there — and it’s true.”
Roy’s Larger Vision: Building Community
Roy is passionate about the Arlington community. She loves giving back to local organizations and also bringing people together. Pre-COVID, her team organized local events and invited their clients, so they could get to know their neighborhoods.
“When you purchase a home, you are not just buying a house but a place in the community,” Roy said.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned pro, Natalie and her team at Bicycling Realty are ready to help. Grab your helmet, and schedule a bike house-hunting tour. (But no judgment if you prefer to drive!)
Want to Learn More About Natalie Roy?
See below for some fun facts.
You voted, we counted and the results are in.
Below you’ll find the winners of the ARLnow’s inaugural winter 2021 Arlies, as voted on by well over 1,000 readers. For each category, we’ve highlighted the top vote-getter, but have included up to two others that were close behind in the voting as additional winners.
Congrats to all of the winners and thank you to all who voted. The Arlies will return with a spring edition, featuring all new categories, in a couple of months.
Best Hill to Go Sledding
- Jamestown Park
- Other winners: Nottingham Elementary, Bluemont Park
- Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
- Other winners: Bakeshop, Pastries by Randolph
- Kenny Riggleman
- Other winners: Michael & Son, Chandler’s Plumbing & Heating Co.
- Origins Thai Spa
- Other winners: Azure Dream Spa, The Art of Health
Best Family Dinner Spot
- Silver Diner
- Other winners: Pupatella, Lost Dog Café
Best Pet Boarding
- Fur-Get Me Not
- Other winners: WOOF’S! Dog Training Center, The Board Hound
Best Insurance Agent
- Johno Steffen
- Other winners: Mike Garcia, Lisa Miller
- Scott Murray Jr.
- Other winners: Cheryl Gottesfeld, Edward J. Beck
Best ARLnow Commenter
- Flood Czar
- Other winner: Virginia Koons
Best Real Estate Agent for First Time Buyers
- Natalie Roy
- Other winners: Conor Sullivan, Wethman Group
Best Coffee Shop
- Northside Social
- Other winners: Idido Coffee House, Kino Coffee
Best Place of Worship
- St. Charles Parish
- Other winners: Rock Spring Congregational Church, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church
Best Family Physician
- Dr. Angele C. Seiler
- Other winners: Dr. Kenneth J. Lin, Dr. Hong Hanh L. Nguyen
Best Restaurant for Takeout/Delivery
- Lost Dog Café
- Other winners: Liberty Tavern, Bangkok 54
Best Nail Salon
- Yorktown Nails
- Other winners: Nails 2000, Aura Day Spa
Best Private Elementary School
- Full Circle Montessori School
- Other winners: St. Agnes Catholic School, Rivendell School
Best Beer/Wine Shop
- Arrowine & Cheese
- Other winners: Total Wine, The Brew Shop
Best Personal Trainer
- Andy Shin Fitness
- Other winners: Nadya Lutz, Sheila Cordaro
Best Plumber/Plumbing Company
- Chandler’s Plumbing & Heating
- Other winners: Caffi Services, Marines Plumbing
Voting has been extended one week in our first-ever Arlies awards.
If you haven’t heard, the Arlies are ARLnow’s community awards, honoring Arlington’s top local places, people and companies — as chosen by our readers.
Last week, we launched our first-ever Arlies awards ballot, and quickly received almost 500 responses. Thank you to everyone who already voted for supporting your favorite local places and businesses.
Instead of closing the survey as planned this week, we’ve decided to extend the end date through Tuesday, January 26, so that ARLnow’s vast popularity doesn’t steal the spotlight from Inauguration Day. This should also give the procrastinators (you know who you are) more time to vote for your favorite coffee shop, family restaurant, or comment section “pixeltarian.”
If you haven’t voted, write your favorites in each category in the ballot below, we’ll tally the votes and announce the winners soon after.
As a reminder, readers will only be able to submit it once, and we’ll monitor submissions for attempts at repeated voting to ensure the integrity of the voting process.
Having trouble with the embedded form below? You can also take the survey here.
Voting is now live in our first-ever Arlies awards!
The Arlies are ARLnow’s community awards, honoring Arlington’s top local places, people and companies — as chosen by readers.
Last week, we previewed our categories, asked for feedback and we listened. “Best Place to Catch a Show” will be removed from this season’s awards — it’s perhaps more appropriate for post-pandemic times — and replaced with “Best ARLnow Commenter”. Good luck to all of our top commenters!
To vote, write your favorites in each category in the ballot below, and we’ll tally the votes and announce the winners soon after.
You have a week or so to fill out and submit the survey, which should take no longer than 5-10 minutes. Readers will only be able to submit it once, and we’ll monitor submissions for attempts at repeated voting to ensure the integrity of the voting process.
Having trouble with the embedded form below? You can also take the survey here.
Last month, we announced the launch of The Arlies, ARLnow’s awards for the top local places, people and organizations in Arlington.
Now, we’re revealing the Winter 2021 categories, which you can vote on starting next week. Here’s a sneak preview of the categories included in the Winter 2021 Arlies:
- Best coffee shop
- Best spa
- Best hill to go sledding
- Best bakery
- Best family dinner spot
- Best pet boarding
- Best insurance agent
- Best place of worship
- Best beer/wine shop
- Best chiropractor
- Best place to catch a show
- Best real estate agent for first-time buyers
- Best family physician
- Best restaurant for takeout/delivery
- Best nail salon
- Best electrician or electrical company
- Best private elementary school
- Best mental health professional
- Best personal trainer
- Best plumber or plumbing company
Because these awards are strictly reader-driven, we’re counting on you to choose your favorites in each category. Be sure to keep an eye open for when voting opens next Tuesday.
The Arlies will be held seasonally, with a winter, spring, summer and fall edition, each with different categories. Have suggestions for future categories? Let us know in the comments!
Which local restaurant has the best takeout? What’s the best sledding hill in Arlington? Where should you go to board your pet?
Those are a few of the questions that ARLnow readers will help to answer as we launch The Arlies, Arlington’s community awards.
The Arlies will honor the top local places, people and organizations in Arlington, as chosen by a diverse swath of the community. At a time when many local residents and businesses are struggling, the Arlies provides a way to highlight some of the good things happening in our backyard, while bringing recognition to those whose dedication to service has earned the community’s trust.
Rather than running once a year, the Arlies will run quarterly, with different categories depending on the season, making it easier to vote and follow along.
The first round of voting for the inaugural 2021 Arlies will kick off next month. We’ll tally the votes and announce the winners soon after.
This will be strictly a reader-driven award, with readers and not editors choosing their favorites in each category. We’re excited to announce this new feature today and to bring it to you shortly after the holidays. Stay tuned!