65°Partly Cloudy

by Eleanor Greene — September 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

As the weather remains relatively cool and clear, it’s hard not to notice the earlier sunsets happening these days. Even as the days get shorter, there’s still time to check out the multitude of open houses around Arlington this weekend.

As always, see our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

455428th4554 28th Road S.
1 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Julie Chesser, Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $255,000
Open: Saturday from 1-4 p.m.

6940Fairfax6940 Fairfax Drive
2 BD / 2 BA Condominium
Agent: Heather Bennett, Redfin Corporation
Listed: $415,900
Open: Saturday from 12-2 p.m.

310813th3108 13th Street S.
4 BD / 2 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Alison Miller, Keller Williams Realty Falls Church
Listed: $549,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

46134th4613 4th Road N.
3 BD / 3 Full, 1 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: Meredith Strerrett, Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $770,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

1418Edison1418 Edison Street N.
3 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Shahrzad Miller, Mcenearney Associates
Listed: $989,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

5515LittleFalls5515 Little Falls Road
5 BD / 3 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: David Lloyd, Weichert Realtors
Listed: $1,200,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,572 0

Tomb guard at Arlington National Cemetery (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

McMenamin Leads Cash Race — Independent Arlington County Board candidate Michael McMenamin has the most cash on hand of the four candidates in the race. McMenamin’s campaign reported $13,699 on hand as of Aug. 31, compared to $10,127 for Democrat Katie Cristol, $8,853 for Democrat Christian Dorsey and $1,657 for independent Audrey Clement. Dorsey has thus far spent the most on his campaign: $55,048, compared to McMenamin’s spending of $2,050. [InsideNova]

‘Demolition Derby’ for Old Houses — All over Arlington, older, more modest homes are being torn down and much larger, more lavish homes are being built in their place. The actual number of homes destroyed is low relative to Arlington’s population — the county reported 124 demolition permits for the first six months of 2015 — but it still worries long-time residents. “Can middle-income people in their 30s, first-time buyers, still live in Arlington?” asked one woman. [Falls Church News-Press]

Local Youth Pilgrimage to Philly — Six hundred teenagers from around Northern Virginia, plus 185 students from Arlington’s Bishop O’Connell High School, will be making a pilgrimage to Philadelphia for the visit of Pope Francis. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Death Nears for Man Who Raped, Killed in Arlington — A man suspected of raping and killing a woman in Arlington in 1988 is scheduled to be executed in Virginia in two weeks. Alfredo Prieto has also been convicted of or is suspected in a number of other murders and rape cases in Virginia and California. [Los Angeles Times]

Grants for Serving Those with Disabilities — Arlington County has $111,910 available for grants to groups that provide services to Arlington residents with physical and sensory disabilities. The deadline for grant applications is Oct. 30. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Eleanor Greene — September 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm 0

There’s really a lot going on this weekend in Arlington, and whether you’re looking to spend some dough or save it, there are plenty of interesting events to check out. Likewise, this is a great weekend for open houses in every price range, so get looking.

As always, see our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

462736th4627 36th Street S.
1 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Lynn Robinson-Grant, Long & Foster
Listed: $317,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

38359thStreet3835 9th Street N.
2 BD / 2 BA Condominium
Agent: Karrina Brown, Re/max Executives
Listed: $550,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

111416th1114 16th Street S.
2 BD / 2 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Keri Shull, Optime Realty
Listed: $599,900
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

1947 Woodley1947 Woodley Street N.
3 BD / 2 Full, 2 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: Kevin Adler, Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $699,950
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

37085th3708 5th Street S.
4 BD / 3 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Kelly Lichtenberg, Long & Foster
Listed: $825,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

111717th1117 17th Street S.
4 BD / 4 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Robert Johnson, Arlington Premier Realty
Listed: $1,199,000
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — August 25, 2015 at 9:30 am 2,120 0

Future 12th Street extension in Pentagon City

Arlington No. 3 on ‘Walkable’ List — Arlington is the third most walkable “mid-sized city” in the U.S., according to rankings from real estate firm Redfin. The top ranked locales on the list were Jersey City, N.J. and Newark, N.J. “Many of the cities on the list are considered suburbs of the nation’s largest cities, proving that one need not live in the center of a major city in order to enjoy a walkable lifestyle,” said a press release. [Business Wire]

Income Needed to Buy a Home — Want to buy a house in the D.C. area? In order to afford the median sales price of a home in the region — $403,800 — you’ll need a household income of $86,595. The median sale price of a home in Arlington last month was $622,500. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com — August 21, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,528 0

Rainbow over the Iwo Jima memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Motorcycle Ride Arrives This Afternoon — The annual America’s 9/11 Ride will arrive in Arlington around 3 p.m. today. The ride is escorted by police and features hundreds of motorcyclists. The bikers are arriving at the DoubleTree Crystal City hotel and touring the Pentagon this afternoon, before departing for New York City at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Arlington > D.C. in Home Prices — The median home sale price in Arlington is now more than $100,000 higher than in the District of Columbia. A year ago, the median sale price in Arlington was $490,500, compared to $499,900 in D.C. [Washington Business Journal]

Preservation Board Delays Reevesland Action — The Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board has deferred consideration of changes to the Reevesland farmhouse until November. Arlington County is seeking to make a couple of changes to prepare the house for sale. [InsideNova]

Tablet Changes Coming — We’ve heard your feedback and are making some changed to the ARLnow experience for tablet users. Chief among those changes: full articles will now once again be displayed on the homepage if you own an iPad or other tablet. That change is expected to take place within a few days.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — August 20, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,564 0

Rabbit (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Flash Flood Watch Tonight — Arlington and much of the D.C. area is under a Flash Flood Watch tonight. The watch runs from 4 p.m. to midnight. Forecasters say storms with very heavy rain will pass through the region and may produce flash flooding. [Twitter]

Regional Home Prices Flat — The Washington region saw no year-over-year growth in the median sales price of single family homes in the second quarter of 2015. That comes at a time when 93 percent of metropolitan areas reported increases in median home sales prices. [InsideNova]

Highline Now Offering Sunday BrunchHighline RxR in Crystal City is now offering Sunday brunch service. The bar/restaurant opened in February, in the former Bailey’s space above McCormick and Schmick’s. [Facebook]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 18, 2015 at 3:30 pm 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’m thinking about buying a condo and hear that the condo association for the building should be providing me with information in a Resale Packet or Certificate. What’s included in this packet? Is there anything I should be on the lookout for as I’m reviewing it?

A: When purchasing a condo in Virginia, a condo association for the building, if intact, is required to provide you with information about the building under the Virginia Condominium Act. If a condo association exists, the Seller of the unit must seek out and provide you with a Resale Certificate for that unit and any other documentation they have specific to the unit, and building, prior to settlement.

What is the Resale Certificate? The Resale Certificate includes important documentation about the property, including the homeowner association’s description of rules and regulations, financial standing and planned assessments, as well as condo board meeting minutes and articles of incorporation. This is not just “routine paperwork” and should be carefully reviewed by the purchaser.

The Virginia Condominium Act gives a purchaser three days from receiving the Resale Certificate or being notified that the certificate is not available to cancel the contract at any time within the three days of notice for any reason and without penalty.

Here are the top things to look for when reviewing the Resale Certificate:

Pending Special Assessments: Be on the lookout for any special assessments, or charges for special projects planned in the building, that are pending or have been approved. These should be listed in the Resale Certificate. If a special assessment is listed, it could be the purchaser’s responsibly to cover the cost of this assessment after closing. Some special assessments can exceed $10,000 per unit, or more.

Are there restrictions (on pets, grills, etc.)? The most common situation for a purchaser to void a contract is because of a restriction in the building. Many buildings have restrictions on pets. If the building allows pets, there may be strict policies on the weight of the pet, often intended to keep large animals out of the building.

Is the condo association in good financial standing? You can find out by reviewing the amount of funds in the association’s reserves. If the association is in the red or has low reserves it could mean there’s a problem. It’s also a good idea to review the minutes from association meetings to identify any pending issues that could affect you financially upon purchasing the unit.

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 — 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.


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.

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — June 26, 2015 at 8:30 am 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.”

Buyers outpaced sellers this week in the Arlington real estate market with 72 ratified contracts and only 66 fresh new listings.

Buyer activity remains strong spurred by media reports of impending mortgage rate increases. But rates this week held steady at 4.125% for 30-yr fixed rate jumbo.

There were reports this week that the Fed would start raising rates later this year. But Fed rates do not directly influence mortgage rates. Rather, mortgage rates are influenced primarily by the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury and other bond markets.

The average list price for those ratified contracts was $680,000 and average days on market jumped to 42 due to several sales of homes that had been on the market a year. Prices ranged from $135,000 to a $2.8 million luxury condo in Rosslyn.

Nationally, sales of existing homes are up by 11.4 percent.

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

by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2015 at 9:15 am 1,922 0

Storm clouds over the Arlington Forest Club (Flickr pool photo by Alves Family)

Fire at Columbia Pike Gas Station — A small fire, reportedly started by an acetylene torch, prompted a large fire department response at the Citgo gas station on Columbia Pike yesterday morning. The fire was quickly extinguished. [Twitter]

Bills Proposed to Scuttle Immigration Office — Three Republicans are sponsoring legislation in the House of Representatives that would block the Obama administration from opening a new immigration office in Crystal City. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office could bring some 1,000 jobs to the area, but Republicans worry that it may eventually be intended to process cases of what they term Obama’s “executive amnesty” program. [Washington Business Journal, Breitbart]

Arlington Housing Cools a Bit — Arlington’s hot real estate market cooled a bit in May, according to recently released housing sales data. The volume of sales was down 10 percent in May while the median selling price held steady. [Washington Business Journal]

Association Moving to Crystal City — The Aluminum Association, a trade group, is moving into a new headquarters in Crystal City this week. The association is moving into the refurbished, LEED Gold certified office building at 1400 Crystal Drive. [Associations Now]

Flickr pool photo by Alves Family

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,810 0

Rain soaks the Columbia Pike Blues Festival on Saturday (Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin)

First Week of Summer — This is the first full week of summer and the first full week of summer break for Arlington public school students. High schools, middle schools and elementary schools let out for the summer on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, respectively. School will begin again on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day. [Arlington Public Schools]

Bus Enforcement Begins on Memorial Bridge — Police will reportedly begin enforcing the 10-ton load limit on the corroding Memorial Bridge today, effectively banning “most buses.” [Patch]

Realtors: Presidential Election Will Have Little Impact — The upcoming 2016 presidential election won’t have much of an impact on the real estate market, most local realtors interviewed by the Sun Gazette said. According to one: “It affects the market some because we have turnover, but nobody leaves Washington. Those who leave office become lobbyists and buy bigger houses. If there is a change in parties, those coming to town rent.” [InsideNova]

Arlington to Reach Out to the ‘Casual’ Cyclist — Arlington County is working with a Vancouver-based communication firm on a video documentary project that will reach out to and encourage casual cycling as a means of transportation. The idea seems to be to deemphasize the Lycra-clad image of “Capital ‘C'” cycling in favor of more casual, fashionable and lower-speed cycling. However, in the comments of the linked article on the county’s Mobility Lab blog, some “lifestyle” cyclists don’t seem to like the idea of dividing cyclists into two different groups. [Mobility Lab]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — June 12, 2015 at 8:30 am 1,163 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 settled back down to normal seasonal activity this week after last week’s frenzied buying spree.

No big drama this week in the mortgage industry with rates holding steady, so far.

Some 81 new listings came on the market this week, while 71 properties were sold ranging in price from $55,000 to $2.2 million. The average list price or those ratified was $669,000 and average days on market was 35.

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

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

Ask Will banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Will Wiard, an Arlington-based real estate broker. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. Do you have any tips on working with a real estate agent in a longer-term house hunt? I don’t need to buy immediately, and want to take the time to find the perfect place. I would like to find an agent who can recommend and show me properties that meet my criteria as they come on the market, as well as offer advice not biased by his or her personal interests.

A: It’s never too early to consult with a Realtor. And as with any major investment, you’ll want to be sure you don’t rush through this process and take the time to select the property that best meets your criteria. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Discuss your goals and expectations upfront.

It’s important to be honest and disclose your goals, expectations and timeline with the agent from the beginning. Whether you are in a rental lease for the next six months, still saving for a down payment or generally just not in a hurry to buy – these are all key things to tell your agent to ensure they properly represent your interests throughout the process.

2. Find a local realtor.

In any house hunt you will want to find a realtor that is an expert in the location you are looking to buy. This will make it much easier to stay apprised of the homes coming on the market and effectively navigate the negotiation process when the time comes to make an offer. Selecting someone nearby also makes it more convenient to arrange meetings and showing times.

3. Set communications preferences.

Are you more easily reached by phone, email or text message? How frequently do you prefer that your agent contact you – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? Discussing communications preferences with your agent will help him or her better meet your expectations.

4. Get pre-approved for a loan.

If you are among the majority homebuyers that plan to secure a loan to purchase the home be sure to secure a pre-approval letter from a lender you trust who is familiar with the market before seeing property. Even if you don’t plan to buy something for the next few months, or even year, getting pre-approved can help you avoid any financing challenges down the road.

Don’t have a lender? No problem. An experienced agent can recommend someone they have worked with and trust. Keep in mind that pre-approval does not bind you into working with the financial institution that gives you loan pre-approval, but will help you and your agent understand the price range you can comfortably afford. Most agents also require pre-approval before showing property. Even if you’re not ready to see property, talking with a lender to explore financing options can give you a better understanding of the loan programs that may be the best fit for you.

5. Select your home criteria.

Are you looking for a condo, a town house or freestanding house? How many rooms and bathrooms do you need? Is there a city, or even neighborhood, you prefer? These, and many other criteria, are important for narrowing your housing search. Even if you aren’t yet ready to start seeing property, your agent can set you up with an electronic listing alert where you can peruse for-sale homes and get a better idea of your options and related pricing.

As you continue your house hunt, your criteria may change, as it often does for buyers. It’s important to keep your agent updated on all of your criteria and let him or her know if something changes, so he or she can refine your search.

6. Protect your interests by entering into an agreement.

Once you’ve found an agent who you feel comfortable working with for your home search you should enter into a signed agreement with that agent and company. Created in July 2012, Virginia law requires a buyer and an agent who have agreed to work together in an agency relationship to define the terms of the agreement in writing. This helps protect the interests of both parties, and helps to ensure that the agent is representing your interests first to the best of his or her ability.

In many cases this will be an exclusive right to represent buyer’s agreement, but the terms of the agreement are often negotiable. Your agent should work with you to finalize this agreement before showing you property.

I’m hoping readers can share any additional advice in the comment section 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 — June 5, 2015 at 8:00 am 1,016 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.”

What a difference a week makes! Arlington’s real estate market jumped back into hyper gear this week with 125 fresh new listings and 90 ratified contracts.

Just listed properties range in price from $135,000 to $2.2 million. Of the 90 sold homes this week, 15 are over $1 million lifting the average list price of ratified deals to $689,000. The average days on market dropped like a stone to only 34.

So what happened to cause this activity? Mortgage interest rates responded to volatile bond markets this week and 30-yr fixed rates climbed a good 1/4% or more. News outlets reported that this hike is likely to keep climbing. So it appears buyers are getting off the fence, ratifying contracts, and locking in lower rates while they can.

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


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