Arlington, VA

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: We have made a backyard pool a higher priority on our housing criteria, but finding very few homes for sale that have one. How difficult is it going to be to find a house with a pool already built?

Answer: A few years ago I wrote a column about whether or not having a pool helps or hurts when selling your home. The short version is that, historically, homes with pools take longer to sell and sell at a deeper discount from the original asking price than homes without pools.

It makes sense because most local buyers don’t value having an in-ground pool — they’re costly to maintain, parents of young children see them as a safety hazard, they often take up most/all of the backyard lawn space, and it’s useful less than half of the year.

However, things have changed this year with buyer and homeowner demand for backyard pools increasing. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind finding and selling homes with pools in Arlington and Fairfax County. The data below is based on sales of single-family detached (SFD) homes sold since 2015.

Data Highlights

  • It is REALLY hard to find a home in Arlington with a pool. Only 1.4% of SFD sales in 5+ years have included a pool.
  • The average price of a home with a pool in Arlington is artificially inflated by a $45M sale earlier this year. Without that sale, the average price of a home with a pool in Arlington drops to $1,352,000 and $1,423,000 in the 22207 zip code.
  • 70% of homes sold with a pool are in 22207 and 22205.
  • The highest percentage of homes sold with a pool in the area is in Great Falls, with just over ¼ of the sales including a pool.
  • In Arlington, you’re most likely to find that pools take up most/all of the usable backyard space, but lot sizes in Fairfax County are big enough to accommodate a pool and a lawn.

Building Your Own Pool

Most people are shocked when they find out what it costs to build a gunite (concrete) in-ground pool around here, which usually runs $150k-$200k+ 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 and ask 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 for problems, 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 up front 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 setup a spreadsheet and accompany some of our clients in the vetting process. We had a local company at 205k for a pool that a Fredericksburg based company had at 145k. 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 215k.

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 $150k-$200k 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 $55k-$65k (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.

Thank you very much Rob! For anybody interested in excellent landscaping design consultation and work, I highly recommend Rob and his team at Groff Landscape Design. Pool design, layout and project management is part of their service package for those interested in building a pool. They even have a great financing program available to help spread the cost of what is often $100k+ landscaping projects.

If you’d like to discuss buying or selling strategies, 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 D.C., and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. #10C Arlington, VA 22203, (703) 390-9460.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnowStartup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. Monday Properties remains firmly committed to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, tenants and community. This week, Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1000 and 1100 Wilson (The Rosslyn Tower).

Rosslyn-based Higher Logic followed up on a recent expansion of its 1919 N. Lynn Street offices with the acquisition of Customer Imperative, a South Carolina-based startup that focuses on building communities and establishing a dialogue between businesses and their customers.

Higher Logic’s focus is on creating online forums for companies, nonprofits and member-based organizations. The company said that the goal of the acquisition was to establish new ways to open dialogues with customers and between community members.

“Communities are a cornerstone of the customer success model,” Higher Logic said in a press release. “Higher Logic enables organizations to establish relationships with and between their customers, providing personalized experiences at scale that drive retention and growth.”

The acquisition will also bring some of the Customer Imperative leadership into Higher Logic. Customer Imperative founder Jay Nathan will join Higher Logic as Chief Customer Officer and lead the “Gain Grow Retain” community. Managing Partner Jeff Breunsbach will become Director of Customer Experience for Higher Logic and oversee day-to-day community operations for Gain Grow Retain, the press release said.

“Today more than ever, the need to clearly understand and drive customer success is a core business requirement,” said Higher Logic Chief Executive Officer Kevin Boyce. “Higher Logic was founded on the principle of personalized engagement at scale. Adding the industry expertise of Customer Imperative and the unique insights of the Gain Grow Retain community to Higher Logic allows us to rapidly advance our mission in the customer success world and further our ongoing commitment to the association space.”

“Together we will continue to bring people together for meaningful conversations and use those conversations to discover key insights and drive better outcomes,” Boyce added

Gain Grow Retain, which is included in the acquisition, is a sort of forum for customer-focused business leaders. The Gain Grow Retain website announced that the acquisition by Higher Logic means that it will be going through a relaunch.

Higher Logic cited the fact that Gain Grow Retain had gained over 3,000 members under six months a marker for success. Members engage in weekly office hour calls, participate in a podcast, and have a back-and-forth dialogue in online forums, according to Higher Logic. The project will continue as an independent program within Higher Logic with access to new tools from the larger company.

“We’re excited to re-launch Gain Grow Retain on the premier community platform, built by Higher Logic,” Jeff Breunsbach, a managing partner for Customer Imperative, said on the website. “There will be a deeper focus on customer experience and connecting all of our channels together in one place.”

Photo via Higher Logic/Facebook

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This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

It’s hard to go wrong with a great slice of pizza — but where can you find the best pizza in Arlington?

In this week’s Neighborhood Spotlight, we wanted to take a culinary tour of some of the best slices in the area. So join three of our amazing agents — Drew Carpenter, Elisa Seth, and Peter Applegate — as they take you on a journey to find the top pie around!

As always, we are looking for more places to highlight in our Spotlight series. So if you have a favorite restaurant or nightlife spot that you’d like to see us share, just let us know down in the comments — we’d love to check it out!

Without further ado, here are our top 3 favorite pizza spots in Arlington.

Wiseguy Pizza

Located just across the street from the Rosslyn Metro stop, Wiseguy Pizza is a premier place to grab a classic New York slice. Although inside dining is on hold during the COVID-19 regulations, customers can still get pizza for carryout, either by the slice or by the pie.

One of the best things about Wiseguy Pizza is the opportunity to mix-and-match your selection. The Rosslyn eatery offers 16 varieties of pre-made pies, including both classic choices like Pepperoni and Margherita and more out-there combinations such as a Penne Alla Vodka pizza. Alternatively, if you are feeling creative, choose your own toppings for a custom ‘za!

So if you are in the mood to get a taste of the Big Apple without leaving the Washington D.C. area, you can’t do better than Wiseguy Pizza!

Pupatella Pizza

There are a lot of places that claim to serve up Neapolitan pizza — but many of them aren’t selling true Naples-style ‘za. The recipe and baking style of Neapolitan pizza are on UNESCO’s intangible heritage list due to the meal’s immense cultural and historical significance. Because of this, pizzerias who want to whip up an authentic Neapolitan pie can have their process certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN).

So, where are you supposed to get authentic Neapolitan pizza in Arlington? Look no further than Pupatella Pizza! This fantastic pizzeria has two locations in Arlington, with one just a few blocks away from the Ballston Metro Station and the other near the National Cemetery in South Arlington.

Like everything else at the pizzeria, the oven is the pinnacle of authenticity — the owner commissioned this culinary crucible from a Neapolitan forge, and the bricks are even made using volcanic ash from the famous Mt. Vesuvius!

Fireworks Pizza

Rounding out our tour of Arlington’s top pizzerias is Fireworks Pizza, conveniently located in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington — just a short walk from the nearby metro station.

As the name implies, Fireworks specializes in artisanal wood-fired pies. Customers can build their own pizza or order one of the house suggestions, from traditional margherita ‘za to the award winning “Rise & Shine DC” — a pizza pie topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, and shredded potatoes.

Of course, few things pair better with a piping-hot pizza than a stiff drink — and Fireworks Pizza has plenty to offer from behind the bar! Beer lovers are sure to go gaga over the extensive menu of drafts. If beer isn’t your libation of choice, you can always accompany your ‘za with one of Fireworks’s signature cocktails!

Due to the continuing COVID-19 regulations, customers can dine inside of the storefront, but the indoor bar is not serving any drinks. However, their patio is open for service, complete with a fully stocked bar! In addition, Fireworks is offering curbside pick up of their meals, so you can enjoy one of the best takeout options in Arlington without having to even leave the car.

The Verdict

Each of these 3 pizzerias offers a wildly different flavor experience — and all of them are top-class in their fields!

No matter which of these 3 pizzerias you choose to visit next, however, you are sure to have a great experience — that’s because they are built on years of experience and innovation from the experts! Working with the experts is vitally important for getting a great pizza pie — but it’s even more important when you are trying to decide if you should sell your house now!

If you want to learn more about how Arlington’s best real estate team can help you buy or sell a home faster, for a better price, and with absolutely zero stress, then you need to contact the Keri Shull Team! All you have to do is click here to schedule a time for a free, no-hassle real estate Consultation today!

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This sponsored column is written by Steve Quartell, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). Sign up for the email newsletter and receive exclusive discounts and offers. Order from Arrowine’s expanding online store for curbside pickup.

My last Beer Newsletter for the shop was titled “Beer for you — Here for you” it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot. Frankly it’s on all our minds here at Arrowine and other small businesses working to make adjustments for community safety while still serving that same community.

And yeah, we all remember the phrases we heard ad nauseam at the start this — “Now more than ever” or “We’re all in this together.” Let me tell you, as much as I grew tired of hearing it from multinational corporations, it really hits home for a small business. We really are in this together — and our commitment to service, quality and safety is important — now more than ever.

So we are very much “Here for you” more over, I’ve come to appreciate my go-to beers that beckon “Here for you” from the cooler more and more these dog days of summer (or is that beer for you — sometimes can’t hear over the phones).

“New” is so integral to craft beer culture, but for a lot of my professional drinking career, I’ve stuck with some of the same standbys and go-to beers more often than not. We talked 312 last time and that beer honestly took me all the way through 2011. I really didn’t need another one, until the flavor profile changed and left me coming up short.

Thankfully, this coincided with the start of new breweries right at home — and I quickly settled into some new go-tos from the brewers that were just opening in the D.C. area — Port City, DC Brau and oh so many now that came to follow.

I still go back to a lot of those beers that helped establish the area’s first breweries since Christian Heurich shut down operations. There’s just that comfort in cracking open a beer and knowing what road it’s gonna take you down. Like re-watching your favorite tv show, putting your favorite song on repeat, or putting on that ten part basketball documentary series you dig as background noise while finishing work on something.

My go-to beers don’t take me back anywhere in particular — really they put me right where I am. They give me a little reminder that you’re alright just where you are, just take a breath for a minute, and then keep pushing on.

So call them what ya like, “Go-to beer” “Lawnmower Beer” “Background Beer” below are the beers that are “here for you” at least for me — you’ll find them all online at shoparrowine.com and at 10% off with code HereForYou. I’ve even included some glassware recommendations.

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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:

3100 N. Rochester Street
6 BD/4 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Samson Properties
Listed: $1,998,000
Open: Sunday 2-5 p.m.

 

3506 7th Street N.
5 BD/3 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Rlah Real Estate
Listed: $1,350,000
Open: Sunday 12-2 p.m.

 

4034 7th Street S.
3 BD/4 BA, 1 half bath single-family home
Agent: Golston Real Estate, Inc.
Listed: $1,100,000
Open: Virtual Tour

 

4634 4th Street N.
3 BD/3 BA, 1 half bath villa/townhouse
Agent: Re/Max Allegiance
Listed: $879,900
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m.

 

1423 N. Rhodes Street #201
2 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Compass
Listed: $789,900
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m.

 

2720 S. Arlington Mill Drive #1007
2 BD/2 BA condo
Agent: Re/Max Allegiance
Listed: $629,000
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m.

 

1020 N. Highland Street #413
1 BD/1 BA condo
Agent: Century 21 Redwood Realty
Listed: $489,900
Open: Sunday 2-4 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.

Greetings from gorgeous Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks! It’s bright and sunny up here, but not nearly as hot as Arlington (high temps this week are just 82 degrees). There is quite a contrast in the real estate market compared to Arlington. Houses here sit for a long time and are frequently sold for a less than the asking price.

In Arlington, it looks like we may be slowing down a bit as we head into August. Last week we saw a huge bump in market activity, but this past week has been a bit more “normal.” There were about 40 fewer homes listed this week compared to last week!

This past week in Arlington, sellers listed some 77 properties for sale while buyers ratified 65 contracts. The bump in inventory is being absorbed.

There are currently 340 homes for sale in Arlington, 10 less than last week. 125 are detached homes, 24 are townhouses/semi-detached, and 191 are condos. Average days on market (DOM) is 51 and median DOM is 28.

The median list price of currently available properties is $799,900, while the average is $1,003,505. Last year for the same week, sellers listed 63 homes and buyers ratified 42 contracts.

Another interesting note about how our inventory is stacking up compared to last year — at this time last year there were 90 fewer properties for sale in Arlington. That difference only represents about a week and a half of additional inventory meaning this is still a super-hot seller’s market.

Click here to search currently available Arlington real estate. Call the Andors Real Estate Group today at (703) 203-1117 to talk more about buying or selling Arlington real estate. Below are eight homes that are new this week that I think you might like to check out.

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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 feature will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers.

For this week’s edition of Boring Title we interviewed Eddie Jackson with Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp. Eddie talks about the top 3 questions he is asked in regards to refinancing a property during the pandemic. If you own a property and don’t know if you should refinance or not, you HAVE to watch this!

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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This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios

After experiencing a global health pandemic during the last several months, the one thing we’ve learned is the importance of community.

Arlington is made up of dynamic communities bound together and committed in their support of one another, and the local businesses that make up the woven fabric of diverse neighborhoods. Surviving a health crisis is challenging as our way of life as we know it is so vastly different.

In BizLaunch, we are currently working on designing curriculum this summer for our small business community to help aide with challenges facing businesses as we work through this international health crisis. We are committed to introducing the latest round of funding sources offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia and organizations that support small businesses. The following are potential grant opportunities for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

On Monday, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced its RebuildVA Small Business Grant. The Grant has $70 million for small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be made available through Rebuild VA, a new economic recovery fund, and grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to approximately 7,000 applicants to cover eligible expenses. The application opens August 10, 2020 and you can find specific details about the program here.

Rebuild VA will be administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD). Eligible businesses and nonprofits must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees.

Eligible organizations include food and beverage establishments, non-essential retail, exercise and fitness, entertainment and public amusement, personal care and personal grooming services, and private campground and overnight summer camps. Businesses must also certify that they have not received federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds or other funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act as well as local government funding.

Information sessions will be held on July 31 at noon and, August 4th at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The following grant opportunities have been compiled by the BizLaunch Team and are available for eligible small business funding. Click on the hyperlinks below for more details:

  • LISC — Small Business Grant. Applications accepted through August 3, 2020.
  • Red Backpack Fund — Applications open August 3rd and are specific grants for women entrepreneurs .
  • VISA and IFundWomen expanded their GRANT program for Black women-owned businesses through July 31, 2020.
  • Nav Small Business GRANT

Another summer opportunity is BizTalk. BizTalk is a new series of webinars hosted by BizLaunch which features hot topics of interest. Please join us on August 20th at 10 a.m. as we feature Arlington’s own Alan Zucker who will speak on “Adjusting to Uncertainty.”

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Meet the newest Pet of the Week, Duke, an 8 month old Cockapoo who loves watching birds.

Here is what Duke had to say about his new life here in Arlington:

Hi – Meet Duke, an 8 month old Cockapoo who calls Arlington home since March 2020. With his boundless energy, he often uses his amazing speed and pouncing to catch people’s attention.

Duke loves watching squirrels and birds around, playing with his hundreds toys around the house, walking around the neighborhood and, of course, eating! He is also a punctual helper around the house by overseeing all food preparation.

Duke is a one of a kind puppy, and we couldn’t be happier to have him as a part of our home!

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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.

Here we are: It’s the final Wednesday and final column of July. Say what you want about 2020 (yes, it’s wonky), but time is absolutely flying.

So, what do we have to look forward to for August?

Sure, it can be easy to get down on ourselves and the things we can’t do at the moment, but there is still plenty to do — and do safely — here in Arlington County. August is Family Fun Month and National Picnic Month.

And, with parks and outdoor opportunities galore here in Arlington County, there are plenty of optimal settings to celebrate. Among them, Lacey Woods Park is primed with picnic tables and oodles of shade. Glencarlyn Park is always a hit, too, with its picturesque creek and shelters aplenty.

Here is to a healthy and happy August.

When you’re ready to embark on your next real estate journey, the team at Arlington Realty, Inc. is here for you. Now on to this week’s Just Reduced figures.

As of July 27, there are 158 detached homes, 33 townhouses and 206 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 32 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week:

Please note that 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: Will housing inventory come back to the market after this spring’s big drop?

Answer: If you’re tired of seeing me write about the low housing supply, I don’t blame you, but it’s the most important factor in our housing market and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. This week’s analysis digs into just how big the gap in expected vs actual housing inventory was this spring (Coronavirus) and what the future might look like as that inventory (hopefully) rolls back into the market.

20 Years of (mostly) Consistent Housing Inventory

The pace and distribution of new inventory in Arlington has been pretty consistent over the last 20 years. Inventory peaks in the spring, with about 1/3 of new listings hitting the market from March-May and then steadily declines to annual lows during the holidays, with a slight “fall bump.”

Where It All Went Wrong

Like everything else in 2020, housing inventory suffered tremendously during the COVID-19 outbreak and associated lockdowns. In the months prior to COVID-19 (December-February) the number of new listings seemed to be on track to return to, or close to, our 20-year average after a down year in 2019 (due to the Amazon HQ2 announcement). However, from March-June 2020 we ended up down 232 single-family/townhouse listings and 163 condo listings compared to the 20-year average.

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