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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. 

As of November 14, there are 143 detached homes, 50 townhouses and 208 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 34 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week, including:

6332 22nd Street N.

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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Mark your calendar for our company-wide Annual Black Friday Sale!

On Friday, November 25 Copperwood TavernDudley’s Sport and AleThe Pinemoor, Brass Rabbit, and Quinn’s On The Corner will open at 9 a.m. for their annual BOGO Gift Card Sale.

Purchase a $25, $50, $100 gift card and receive the equivalent value free! The sale is valid in-store only and there is no limit on purchase.

Subscribe to each of their newsletters for updates!

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. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist. Enjoy!

Question: Is it possible to take over a seller’s existing loan if they have a low interest rate?

Answer: Thank you to our Veterans and Active-Duty military for your service.

In keeping up with the theme of last week’s column, addressing popular mortgage product/strategies, and in honor of Veterans Day, this week I’ll cover assumable VA loans.

An assumable loan is a loan that can be transferred from a seller to a buyer, allowing the buyer to maintain the interest rate of the seller’s existing loan rather than accept a market-rate interest rate. This can be valuable in a high-interest rate environment like we’re in now when most homeowners have an interest rate well below current market rates.

To help me provide the best information about assumable VA loans, I reached out to Skip Clasper of Sandy Spring Bank ([email protected]), who I highly recommend for a range of loan products including VA loans, construction/rehab loans, and jumbo loans.

Only Some Loans Are Assumable

VA loans (available to Veterans, service members and surviving spouses), FHA loans, and USDA loans are the only traditional loan products that are assumable. They make up a relatively small percentage of existing home loans in Arlington (likely single-digit percentage of total loans). I’m not aware of any conventional loans that can be assumed.

Key Details about Assuming a VA Loan

There are some important details and caveats to assuming a VA loan that both buyers and sellers need to understand prior to transferring a loan:

  1. Buyers do NOT have to be a Veteran or otherwise qualify for a VA loan to assume a VA Loan.
  2. Sellers can NOT obtain a new VA loan until the previously assumed loan is paid off (or refinanced out of) unless the new buyer is a Veteran and uses their eligibility on the assumed loan.
  3. It is less expensive (closing costs) to assume a loan than to originate a new loan. The VA Funding fee is only 0.5% for assumable VA loans.
  4. You need a down payment that covers the gap between the assumable loan balance and the purchase price. For example, if the seller’s loan balance is $200,000 and the purchase price is $500,000, the buyer is assuming $200,000 is debt and will have to cover the remaining $300,000 via down payment or alternative debt such as a second trust.
  5. Buyers need to qualify for the loan using normal income, debt, and credit guidelines.

As you can probably determine from the above details, there are only a limited number of scenarios where assuming a VA loan makes sense for both parties. The biggest hurdle to VA loan assumption is that the VA loan eligibility stays with the loan so if the buyer does not have their own VA loan eligibility, the seller must be sure they are okay giving up this very valuable benefit until the new buyer pays it off or refinances.

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 discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist.

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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This sponsored column is by Law Office of James Montana PLLC. All questions about it should be directed to James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq., and Laura Lorenzo, Esq., practicing attorneys at The Law Office of James Montana PLLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Falls Church, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact us for an appointment.

One of the chief complaints we hear as immigration lawyers is that immigration processes take forever.

U.S. citizens who file a petition on behalf of their spouses are taking at least a year in most places. Many employment-based green card applicants are waiting at least two years to receive their green cards. And asylum? The average wait time for an interview in the D.C. area is about five years. Trust us; we hate it, too.

However, if you’re tired of waiting for a decision, there is a solution. Sue the government in federal court! Here’s the deal:

In many types of immigration cases, a statute or regulation dictates that the immigration authorities must make a decision on application within a certain period of time.  For example, Congress specifically stated in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 that petitions for juveniles that have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both parents, must be adjudicated within 180 days.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, or APA, Congress created the ability to sue an agency for failing to act when the agency is required to act, or when the action is unreasonably delayed or unlawfully withheld. A good example of a decision unlawfully withheld is a special immigrant juvenile petition that must be adjudicated in 180 days. However, you can also file an APA lawsuit regarding discretionary applications, like green card applications. Just because the immigration authorities have the discretion to approve or deny an application, it does not mean that the authorities can sit on the case forever.

Additionally, under the Mandamus Act, a lawsuit can be filed to compel an agency to act. In these cases, the plaintiff, or the person suing the agency, must show that (1) she has a clear right to the relief requested; (2) the agency has a clear duty to perform; and (3) there is no other adequate remedy available.

An important note: The goal of the lawsuit is to receive a decision, whether negative or positive. It is not to compel an approval. The only thing the judge can do is order the agency to take action in the pending immigration matter.

In the majority of cases, these lawsuits do not go all the way to a full trial. Usually, the government does not want to deal with the lawsuit, and instead will make a decision on the application or petition so that the case can be dismissed.

If you are tired of waiting around for USCIS, the Department of Labor, or the Department of State to make a decision in your case, we recommend that you speak with an experienced immigration attorney that handles these types of cases in federal court. Picking the right federal court in which to sue can be very tricky, and each court (and sometimes each judge) has their own specific rules that you must follow or else you risk having your case rejected. You also have to provide a copy of your complaint to many different offices, and failure to do so can also result in the case being dismissed.

As always, we welcome questions and comments. We’ll answer all we can!

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You’re busy! Let someone else make Thanksgiving dinner this year. Let RSVP Catering do the work. 

Never in your wildest dreams would you let someone else prepare and cook the food for your holiday family feast. Although, to be honest, you did think about getting some prepared side dishes at the grocery story to save time and effort, didn’t you?

This year, go wild and let RSVP Catering do the heavy lifting for your holiday meals, including mains as well as the sides!

One of the region’s premier catering services — long counted on by corporations and wedding planners to fulfill the culinary needs of their festivities — has a holiday offer that’s hard to refuse: The creative chefs at RSVP Catering will make your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for you and your guests — and deliver it to your door. 

To lift some of the guilt off your shoulders about letting someone else do all the work, keep in mind that an event catered by the renowned RSVP Catering adds an elegant, sophisticated touch to your affair while keeping it personal. RSVP Catering does the shopping, prep, cooking, and delivery; you still get to serve it in the manner of your family traditions. 

RSVP Catering’s Thanksgiving 2022 program provides a choice of turkey methods — traditional herb roasted or Cajun-fried (and if you’ve never had the opportunity, you might want to take a chance) — in family style meals that can feed five or 10. The smaller option is $185 and the large meal is $370, and includes four delicious side dishes, homemade challah, and sweet potato biscuits.

Sides include creamy mashed potatoes, sage and turkey sausage cornbread stuffing, sauteed green beans, maple-sherry roasted carrots, ultimate mac and cheese, grilled sweet potatoes, charred brussels, and fall harvest salad. Many of the options are gluten free, as are both turkey dishes. 

Optional dessert offerings, which feed eight to 10 guests, brings to the table dutch apple pie, bourbon pecan pie, pumpkin chiffon pie, and a pear and pistachio tart.  

Those who want RSVP Catering’s chefs to take care of Thanksgiving need to put their orders in by Monday, November 21. View the RSVP Catering Thanksgiving menu for all the dinner details.

By the way, everything from the menu is available for home delivery and catering options for events, weddings and corporate events are available throughout the year!

Get in touch soon to assure delivery!

Email RSPV Catering at [email protected], or call 703-573-8700.

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The 2700 South Nelson Project is planned to replace the two buildings acquired by Arlington County at 2700 South Nelson Street and 2701 South Oakland Street with a temporary flexible outdoor arts and maker space.

Based on the needs and ideas shared by community stakeholders, the artists and designers at Graham Projects have created two design concepts.

View the designs and share your feedback to shape the future temporary creative open space at 2700 S Nelson! The feedback form will be open through November 21.

As a part of the Public Engagement process of the project, the Graham Projects design team and Arlington County officials engaged nearly 400 participants through several outreach strategies; including targeted meetings with key stakeholder groups, a public virtual Kick Off Presentation, two in-person Pop-Ups reaching residents at popular gathering spots, and an online Engagement Web Page where folks could respond to different examples of public art and placemaking; and share their ideas for colors, thematic inspiration, local history, and on-site programming.

Want to read more about the public feedback that informed the potential design concepts? Download the 2700 S Nelson St Placemaking Plan: Community Engagement Data Analysis.

View renderings and videos about each of the proposed designs at this link, then share your feedback through November 21.

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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. 

As of November 7, there are 153 detached homes, 52 townhouses and 217 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 46 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week, including:

2420 N. George Mason Drive

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. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist. Enjoy!

Question: The seller of a home I’m interested in is offering a 2-1 Buydown incentive. Should I accept that or negotiate for something else?

Answer: Higher mortgage rates have re-opened conversations about creative ways to help buyers reduce their rates and monthly payments to incentivize demand: assumptions, seller-financing, buy-downs, adjustable mortgages, and more. Over the coming months, I’ll start covering some of these options to share pros and cons of each.

This week, we will look at the 2-1 Buydown, which has captured a lot of attention lately and is being marketed as a way for seller’s to draw buyer interest by helping them reduce their monthly payments during the first two years of their loan.

I’d like to thank Trey Reed of Intercoastal Mortgage ([email protected]) and Brad Pace of US Bank ([email protected]) for their contributions on this article.

What is a 2-1 Buydown?

A 2-1 Buydown is a seller-paid benefit to the borrower/buyer that reduces their mortgage rate by 2% in the first year and 1% in the second year. In the simplest terms, it allows the seller to pre-pay some of the buyer’s interest payments for the first two years of the loan to reduce their monthly payments.

It generally equates to a savings on total interest payments equal to ~2.35% of the loan amount, over the two-year period. The seller pays that amount to the bank at closing, which shows up as an additional cost to the seller on their settlement statement. The 2-1 Buydown is something sellers may offer up-front or that buyers can negotiate for.

Ultimately, the question (which is reflected in the above poll) is whether or not the dollars allocated by the seller to a 2-1 Buydown are best used there versus towards buyer closing costs (reduces buyers out-of-pocket), lowering the purchase price (reduces interest/payments over the life of the loan and loan payoff amount), or points (a permanent reduction in interest rate rather than pre-paying some interest for two years).

It’s important to note that the 2-1 Buydown doesn’t change the qualification requirements (e.g. Debt to Income ratio limits) for the borrower (buyer). They must qualify for the loan at the full mortgage rate, not the discounted rate.

There is also a less commonly used 3-2-1 product that lasts three years and reduces the rate by 3%, 2%, and 1% in years 1-3 of the loan.

Example of a 2-1 Buydown

Here’s an example from Brad Pace at US Bank of a 2-1 Buydown, compared to using the same dollars to reduce the purchase price:

Standard Deal without Any Negotiated Discount:

  • Purchase Price: $1,500,000
  • Loan Amount: $1,200,000 (20% down)
  • Interest Rate (7yr ARM): 5.75%
  • Principle & Interest (P&I) Payment: $7,002

Deal with 2-1 Buydown:

  • First Year P&I Savings: $17,345.85 ($5,557 P&I payment)
  • Second Year P&I Savings: $8,917.27 ($6,259 P&I payment)
  • Buyer Savings in First Two Years (also the cost to seller): $26,263.12

Deal with Cost of 2-1 Buydown Applied to Price:

  • Purchase Price: $1,500,000 – $26,263 = $1,473,737
  • Loan Amount: $1,178,989 (20% down)
  • P&I: $6,880
  • Buyer pays $23,328 more in first two years compared to the 2-1 Buydown and will take ~16 years for the lower ($122/mo P&I) payment on the price reduction to breakeven with the cost savings of the 2-1 Buydown. However, buyers also benefit from a lower loan balance which means more equity and more proceeds when they sell.

Read More

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This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Continuous evaluation (CE) is an ongoing screening process for security clearance holders that monitors cleared employees in between periodic reinvestigations. Many government employees, military personnel, and government contractors have already been placed in the CE system over the past few years.

What is Continuous Evaluation?

Continuous Evaluation (CE) is an ongoing security screening process reviewing the background of a cleared individual. Traditionally, the government has investigated individuals with security clearances through periodic reinvestigations after 5 or 10 years, depending on the level of the individual’s clearance. This has often caused gaps where the security clearance process has not uncovered potential adverse information on individuals between investigations.

CE is an effort by the government to reform the security clearance system and increase the timeliness of potentially adverse information reviewed between periodic reinvestigations. CE employs automatic record checks to provide near real-time security risk information on an individual. CE checks utilize commercial databases, criminal databases, U.S. Government databases, public records and other available information. Presently, CE does not use social media, although there have been some test programs using social media analysis.

When an individual is enrolled in CE, the government will be alerted to any changes in a clearance holder’s eligibility. If adverse or unreported information is identified through the CE process, the system will alert the sponsoring agency. One example of CE is where a security clearance holder is arrested for a crime which is then reported to government clearance adjudicators. The agency will then review the potentially adverse information to determine if further adjudication of the security clearance is required. With CE, it is important for individuals to focus on self-reporting issues that arise before they are later discovered.

CE is a work in progress. There will be changes and updates to CE as the government makes adjustments to the security clearance process as part of reform. The ultimate goal is full Continuous Vetting (CV), which is a more comprehensive form of CE. CV will likely eventually eliminate the need for periodic reinvestigations in the future.

Contact Us

When an individual is facing security clearance concerns it is important to obtain legal advice and/or legal representation. Our law firm advises individuals in the security clearance process. We can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070. Additionally, our Facebook page is located here and our Twitter account is located here.

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This article was written by Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador for Arlington Economic Development.

Eight fast-growing Arlington companies were honored last night in Arlington Economic Development’s inaugural REV Awards ceremony.

REV, which stands for Revenue, Employment and Venture, recognizes Arlington-based companies who have experienced substantial growth in their respective categories. Close to 100 business leaders attended the reception that was held at JBG Smith’s state-of-the art experience center at National Landing. Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Christian Dorsey, as well as partnering organizations like JBG Smith, National Landing Business Improvement District, Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership were on hand to honor the awardees.

“The REV Awards were created to celebrate the innovation and perseverance in Arlington’s business community,” said Michael Stiefvater, Acting Director of AED’s Business Investment Group. “The eight winning companies exemplify these traits as leaders in their respective industries and we are proud that they call Arlington home.”

Companies honored at last night’s event include:

Revenue

  • Under $5M: Franklin IQ, a management consulting company that helps companies align strategy, empower talent, simplify challenges to create real impact for their clients.
  • $5M-$15M: C3 Integrated Solutions, a full-service IT provider that specializes in securing companies through cloud-based solutions with industry leading partners.
  • $15M-$25M: Black Cape, has a proven track record and expertise in developing mission applications and applying machine learning and artificial Intelligence to hard problems in the government and commercial sectors.
  • $25+M: PGLS, offers translation, interpretation, transcription, language training, and localization in more than 200 languages and dialects. The company delivers on-time, accurate, and personalized language service solutions to numerous companies and government agencies.

Employment

  • Under 100: Shift5, an operational technology cybersecurity company that protects the world’s transportation infrastructure and weapons systems from cyberattacks.
  • Over 100: Targeted Victory, a fast-growing digital first agency built for the mobile age, sitting at the intersection of politics and business. The company has collectively helped their clients raise more than $1.45 billion in online fundraising and managed over $330 million in digital advertising.

Venture Capital

  • Early-stage: EarthOptics, a soil data measurement and mapping company whose technology helps farmers more sustainably manage their soil, increase yields and feed the growing world.
  • Late-stage: Federated Wireless, a leading innovator of private wireless and shared spectrum services.

All REV winners were required to be privately held Arlington-based companies outside the retail sector and were required to provide documentation to demonstrate their growth in each relevant category. We salute these companies for their accomplishments and contributions to Arlington’s economy.

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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. 

As of October 31, there are 163 detached homes, 57 townhouses and 219 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 32 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week, including:

3133 S. Glebe Road

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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