Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

County Opening Free Testing Site Today — “Arlington County is opening a no-cost, no-appointment, COVID-19 testing kiosk in the parking lot at Courthouse Plaza in partnership with Curative, which operates two additional sites in the County. The kiosk will be open seven days a week from 12-8 p.m., starting Tuesday, April 13.” [Arlington County]

Fmr. Arlington Waiter Now a Real Estate Kingpin — “In 2013, Heider, then 25, was working at an Italian restaurant in Shirlington when his manager became the assistant to a local real-estate agent. When this agent moved to Washington Fine Properties, Heider’s former manager brought him on to help. As the assistant to the assistant, Heider worked without any base pay, making money only when he brought in referrals. At night, he waited tables at the Crystal City Morton’s.” [Washingtonian]

Kitchen Fire at Pike Apartment BuildingUpdated at 9:10 a.m. — Arlington County firefighters responded to a kitchen fire at the Dominion Towers apartments on Columbia Pike last night. No injuries were reported. [Twitter, Twitter]

Marymount Students Volunteering at Vax Clinic — “Since the start of the spring semester, students in Marymount University’s Nursing program have been using their classroom skills to serve as vaccinators in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic… [The students] are often on the team of registered nurses and EMS personnel who are on duty for vaccinations at the Lubber Run Community Center in Arlington.” [Marymount University]

YHS Finishes Football Season on Win Streak — “For the Yorktown Patriots, the shortened seven-game high-school football season was like two campaigns. There was the 0-2 beginning when the Patriots lost badly and struggled in all aspects of the game. Then there was the 5-0 finish, when Yorktown was vastly improved in all areas… Yorktown capped its season with a 24-15 victory over the T.C. Williams Titans.” [Sun Gazette]

Last Call: Vote in the Spring 2021 Arlies — Today is the last day to vote for your favorite local places, people and organizations in the spring edition of ARLnow’s Arlies awards. [SurveyMonkey]

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Arlington County’s projected revenue appears sunnier than when County Manager Mark Schwartz first presented his proposed budget for the 2022 fiscal year in February. 

The county can attribute this warmer outlook to two sources: the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan and strong business license tax receipts, Budget Director Richard Stephenson said during a public hearing on the tax rate last Thursday. While he did not specify the revenue from the business taxes, Stephenson said President Joe Biden’s relief bill will apportion $46 million to the county.  

Combined, the influx of cash could mean funding will be restored to libraries, community centers, Arlington Independent Media and the Virginia Cooperative Extension, for example.

Schwartz’s proposed budget delays the re-opening of Cherrydale and Glencarlyn libraries and reduces support for AIM and VCE. Between 2019-20 and the proposed budget, funding for AIM had dropped by 22%, while the proposed reductions to VCE would require the organization to find new funding sources or reduce its programs. Members of the public spoke in favor of restoring funding to these programs last Tuesday.

Still, Arlington County will be leaning on real estate taxes for the lion’s share, 59%, of its revenue. Specifically, it will be relying on increasing residential real-estate taxes due to rising property values as commercial property assessments drop. 

“We’ve experienced some significant reductions to several of our tax revenues and non-tax fees,” Stephenson said. “We were fortunate this past January that real estate assessments came in slightly higher than we were originally projecting. While we experienced a decrease in commercial property assessments, new construction and residential properties increased.”

While property values are rising, Schwartz is proposing to keep the rate flat — at $1.013 per $100 of assessed value — for the upcoming fiscal year. That will mean an overall tax increase for most homeowners.

The County Board is slated to vote on this rate next Tuesday.  

Members cannot increase the rate but they could decrease it, which is something that a few Arlington residents told board members they would like to see.  

While Arlington has proposed holding its tax rate steady, nearby jurisdictions — including Fairfax County and Loudoun County — have proposed lowering or approved a lower real estate tax rate, said Audrey Clement, who is running as an independent for a seat on the County Board. 

“The impetus for tax reductions elsewhere is to provide relief to homeowners hit by rising assessments, even as the pandemic has put a lot of them out of work,” Clement told the board.

She said the county is using falling commercial real estate tax revenue to justify freezing rather than lowering the residential tax rate.

“The county will tell you it can’t afford to reduce the real estate tax rate because the pandemic has drained the commercial real estate tax revenue, but where were your real estate tax rates heading when the county was flush with revenue from corporate tenants?” she said. “They were going up.”

Meanwhile, two residents, William Barratt and Cindy Nelson, both asked the County Board to reduce real estate taxes.

Barratt said the Bluemont Civic Association, of which he is a part, passed a resolution encouraging the board to reduce the tax rate. The homeowner said he and his wife have seen a 15% increase in their taxes in recent years.

“I don’t think this is a wise idea for anyone: poor and rich,” Nelson said. “It’s just not right.”

The stormwater tax rate is set to increase, which Stephenson said will help generate $15.1 million earmarked for stormwater improvements.

Eventually, the county plans to eliminate the stormwater tax completely in favor of a fee based on how much impervious surface covers a given property, Schwartz previously said.

A higher cigarette tax rate is also being proposed that could generate $600,000. Like most of the county’s tax revenue, almost half of that will go toward Arlington Public Schools, Stephenson said.

Images (2-4) via Arlington County

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Address: 1730 Arlington Blvd #507
Neighborhood: The Weldon Condominium
Listed: $315,000

Take your first step on the housing ladder with this light-filled one-bedroom condominium near everything you want in Arlington.

The large living and dining area overlooks a quiet, treed hillside and provides space for media, dining, reading, relaxing, and working and learning from home. A second desk area is available in the bedroom, and the generous closet space is a plus. The kitchen features light-wood cabinets, granite tops and stainless appliances, while the bath has classic white tile and a large vanity. The heating and cooling system is nearly new. Fresh, neutral decor and gleaming floors enhance the home’s appeal.

Two reserved parking spaces come with the condo, and the low condo fee of $445 per month includes all utilities. Enjoy the Weldon’s exercise room, rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Washington and Rosslyn skylines, and a secure lobby for package deliveries. As a bonus, you can see the caisson horses graze on the hillside at Fort Myer.

Jog to the Iwo Jima Memorial to hear the Netherlands Carillon, and stop at the venerable Quarterdeck for a sandwich and beverage on the way home. Walk or bike to the Courthouse Metro Station and for shops, restaurants, farmers market and nightlife. You’ll have an easy commute to Washington, the Pentagon, National Airpot, Fort Myer/Henderson Hall, Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and Pentagon and Crystal Cities at National Landing.

Listed by:
Betsy Twigg
McEnearney Associates
703-967-4391
[email protected]
www.betsytwigg.com

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Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.

Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here are a few highlights:

3201 Military Road
6 BD/6 BA, 2 half bath single-family home
Agent: KW United
Listed: $3,389,000
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

 

3911 Lorcom Lane
5 BD/5 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Compass
Listed: $2,650,000
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

 

3179 17th Street N.
5 BD/4 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $2,125,000
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

 

1807 N. Underwood Street
4 BD/4 BA single-family home
Agent: McEnearney Associates
Listed: $1,350,000
Open: Sunday, 12-3 p.m.

 

1521 23rd Road S.
3 BD/3 BA single-family home
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $1,095,000
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

 

1411 Key Blvd, #304
2 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $855,000
Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

 

1327 S. Glebe Road
4 BD/3 BA, 1 half bath townhome
Agent: Keller Williams Capital Properties
Listed: $749,900
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

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Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Andors Real Estate Group.

Last week I wrote about Easter being a busy week in real estate. While it was true this year, it was slower than surrounding weeks, comparatively speaking.

Plenty of real estate transactions occurred, including abundant “bidding wars,” but the numbers softened by 20% to 30% in some of the key metrics I measure weekly.

We had fewer new listings, fewer ratified contracts, and available inventory increased. It’s too early to tell, but I’m sure this won’t be a lasting trend — demand is simply too high!

Arlington’s small geographic area is largely made up of detached homes, and these homes are the most in demand by a wide margin. We’ve got virtually no new land available for large-scale developments, so this is a matter of scarcity, even if sellers of existing homes decided to list their properties in large numbers.

Developers can certainly go vertical where zoning allows, but there is no shortage of available condominiums to purchase.

I expect land value to continue to increase at a rapid pace in the short- and mid-term, all while the average stock of housing continues to age. Smaller, older homes are on the chopping block as builders continue to work in the upper price brackets, despite the desire of many to call the smaller houses their home. The economics of Arlington real estate has developers continuing to produce a steady stock of new homes for sale, but the prices are multiples above the average resale in Arlington.

Sellers listed 96 homes for sale this past week, down 12 from the week before, while buyers ratified 59 contracts in the same timeframe — 37 fewer than the week prior; 28 of the homes that went under contract were on the market for seven days or less.

This week, there are 427 available properties for sale throughout all of Arlington and across all property types — one more to choose from compared to last week. Of these, 92 are detached homes — making up just 21% of the available inventory. There are 46 townhome/semi-detached homes, and condominiums make up 289 of the available units in Arlington, or 67%.

A quick comparison to last year: For the same week, sellers listed 60 homes and buyers ratified 38 contracts. There were also only 239 available properties for sale this week last year.

The average list price for currently available properties is $808,341 and the median is $575,000. Currently available properties in Arlington have an average of 67 days on market (DOM) and a median of just 35.

Click here to search currently available Arlington real estate. If you see a home you’re interested in purchasing, give us a call.

Call the Andors Real Estate Group today at 703-203-1117 to talk more about buying or selling Arlington real estate. Below are eight new listings I think you might like to check out:

1026 21st Street S.

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Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers. 

For many people across Northern Virginia, buying a home is one of the biggest investments they will make in their lifetime. That’s why it is so important to make sure that your investment is protected.

Believe it or not, there are many reasons why title insurance and working with a reputable title company is so important. Here are the most common and unexpected reasons you absolutely need title insurance.

1. Proper Record-Keeping

When you use a title and escrow company to process your sale, this means there is a proper record for who owns the home and land. This helps protect your investment while you own it and when you want to sell it.

2. Avoid Scam Artists

Even in this day and age, there are scam artists that can forge documents and pretend to own a property. These types of people may approach you as not wanting to go through the proper channels to buy a home.

You could find later that they were not the legal owners of a home and therefore you are not the legal owner despite any money exchanged.

3. Undisclosed Estate Issues

Even if a home is not sold directly as a result of an estate sale there could be issues with a will regarding who owns a home. If someone doesn’t have full ownership rights, they can’t sell the home legally. Title insurance can help protect you from undisclosed issues down the road.

4. Fencing or Illegal Building on Your Property

Whether you have a lot of property or a small piece of property, encroachment of fencing or buildings onto your property can be an issue. Just because a building or fence is there does not mean that it was permitted, approved or on the property line. A good title and escrow company can help you understand what you own and what you need to protect.

5. Legal Disputes

Anything from divorce, bankruptcy or disputes regarding payments on renovations can put the title of a house at risk. If you buy a house with outstanding lawsuits or potential lawsuits, you might have legitimate liability as a new buyer if you don’t have title insurance.

6. Mistakes

In any industry errors and omissions can happen. Title insurance protects you from overlooking something regarding your property and its legal ownership.

An example is that it’s possible that an heir was never put on the deed and as a result that person could come back years later saying they own 50% of your property. If you don’t have title insurance you could have to pay the heir out of your own pocket which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Whether it is a boundary issue or defects in the title, title insurance can provide you with some peace of mind and help secure your largest investment.

Pro tip: Always choose the enhanced policy over the standard policy when purchasing a single-family home or a newly constructed condo. The enhanced policy protects you against boundary disputes and also increases the policy’s value 10% a year for 5 years. An example is a $1M house would be covered $1.5M within 5 years.

Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected]. Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company! 

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We’re a quarter of the way through 2021 — we can’t believe it either — and Arlington’s real estate market shows no signs of slowing down.

This past week, a whopping 96 properties were reported sold across the county, including a $3 million six-bedroom home in Bellevue Forest.

Looking at the big picture, as of April 4, there were 583 homes listed for sale in Arlington, according to Homesnap. This includes 404 condos, 133 detached homes and 46 townhomes.

“The median list price is $575,000 and the median sales price is $625,000,” Homesnap reports. “There have been 198 new listings in the last 4 weeks and 263 sales.”

Here’s a look at a few of the properties sold in the past seven days:

In the market? See properties that have been Just Listed and Just Reduced.

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Morning Notes

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]

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Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by Arlington Realty, Inc. Maximize your real estate investment with the team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6000 today!

Please note: While Arlington Realty, Inc. provides this information for the community, it may not be the listing company of these homes.

It’s April, and among many other happenings, it’s National Lawn and Garden Month!

With the uber-frigid temperatures in our rearview mirror for the time being, it’s an excellent time to give our green spaces a little TLC.

In and around Arlington County, this equates to eliminating any debris (branches, leaves and anything in between) that may have been hanging around since the fall. Additionally, if you have any bare spots in your lawn or community’s common areas, you’ll want to re-seed or lay seed soon so it can grow in evenly.

And, let’s certainly not forget those pesky weeds! You’ll want to nip those in the bud long before the spring showers come and they grow totally out of control.

Throughout the decades, the time-tested team at Arlington Realty, Inc. has been looking out for all aspects of our community’s homes. If and when you’re ready to explore an all-new home for you and yours, we’re ready to roll on your behalf!

And now on to this week’s Just Reduced figures…

As of April 5, there are 114 detached homes, 50 townhouses and 310 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 29 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week, including:

Please note this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Arlington Realty, Inc.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: Have you seen a change in demand for home pools since COVID-19 began?

Answer: In 2017 I wrote that for most homes in Northern Virginia (and the D.C. metro), having a pool had a negative impact on resale because most buyers see them as a hazard, unnecessary expense and/or inefficient use of yard. However, COVID has changed the minds of many buyers and caused demand for homes with pools to increase significantly.

Demand for Pools Much Higher in 2020+

Below is a look at the data (as of April 4, 2021) of homes sold with a pool in Arlington County, Falls Church City, Alexandria City, Fairfax County and Loudoun County since 2015. The numbers were pretty consistent prior to 2020, then demand clearly shifted in favor of pools due to COVID. All indicators improved significantly for people selling a home with a pool.

Demand Similar Across Northern Virginia

I broke down the sales data since 2015 between each Northern Virginia jurisdiction to see if certain markets perform better or worse on sales of homes with pools. It turns out that there’s not much of a difference on where you’re buying in Northern Virginia — the interest in pools seems to be relatively similar across each market. Note how few homes in Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church have pools.

Looking for a Pool?

If you’re looking for a house with a pool in Northern Virginia, I wrote an article last year breaking down what sub-markets you’re most likely to find homes with a pool for sale and the sales data for those homes.

Unfortunately, it’s incredibly expensive to build your own pool here. Most people are shocked when they find out what it costs to build a gunite (concrete) in-ground pool around here, which usually runs from $150,000 to $200,000 before additional patio and landscaping work.

I linked up with local Arlington landscape designer/expert Rob Groff, of Groff Landscape Design, to find out why it’s so much more expensive to build a pool here than elsewhere in the region/country. I also asked about a common strategy I’ve heard from homeowners to hire an out-of-town company to build a pool for less and pay for their travel/lodging during the project to save some money.

Q: Why is it so expensive to build a pool here?

A: It’s so much more expensive to build a pool here because permitting is more time consuming and expensive; materials and labor are more expensive; average lot size is smaller, which oftentimes causes problems; and engineering, municipal-related site preparation, such as construction entrances, super silt fence, site restoration, drainage, etc. are all a factor.

Q: Is it more cost-effective for homeowners to hire an out-of-town pool company who builds pools for less money and pay for their travel/lodging?

A: A lot of pool companies don’t include all expenses upfront and therefore there are a ton of surprise costs on the back-end of the pool project. I’ve seen this a lot, especially from out-of-area pool companies. We actually set up a spreadsheet and accompany some of our clients in the vetting process. We had a local company at $205,000 for a pool that a Fredericksburg-based company had at $145,000. By the time the meeting was over and we corrected the Fredericksburg company to make sure they didn’t leave anything off, they were up at $215,000.

Q: Are there more affordable options for in-ground pools that you recommend?

A: In Northern Virginia, a gunite (concrete) pool has been the standard for a long time. On average, we see these coming in at $150,000 to $200,000 in Northern Virginia (not including the pool patio and other surrounding elements like landscaping, lighting, etc.). Fiberglass pools are growing in popularity and their base price is closer to $55,000 to $65,000 (River Pools and Spa). These fiberglass pools don’t feel the same to many homeowners as a true gunite pool, but they save enough money to make people consider them. There are a ton of good videos on their website that explains the differences between gunite and fiberglass, etc.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local Real Estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at 703-539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. 703-390-9460.

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Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.

Check out the Arlington Realty website for a full list of homes for sale and open houses in Arlington. Here are a few highlights:

1827 N. Highland Street
5 BD/4 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $2,200,000
Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. and Sunday, 2-4 p.m.

 

5616 4th Street S. 
5 BD/5 BA single-family home
Agent: Classic Cottages Realty
Listed: $1,449,000
Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

 

3825 37th Street N.
5 BD/4 BA single-family home
Agent: Compass
Listed: $1,249,000
Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

 

1991 N. Adams Street
4 BD/3 BA, 1 half bath townhome
Agent: KW Metro Center
Listed: $950,000
Open: Saturday, 1-3:30 p.m. and Sunday, 1-3 p.m.

 

1812 N. Ode Street
2 BD/2 BA, 1 half bath condo
Agent: Compass
Listed: $899,900
Open: Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

 

1833 S. George Mason Drive
4 BD/2 BA single-family home
Agent: KW United
Listed: $775,000
Open: Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

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