Great Falls Library

Great Falls Library is located at 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls VA.  The library houses a collection of more than 70,000 items and has 9 Internet stations available for public use.  The library provides free wireless Internet access.

The library has the following services:

  • Access Services — Large-print books, magnifier, and ZoomText. Audio Loop available in the meeting room.
  • Display Cases — 2 Children’s Display Cases; one Community Display
  • Book Sale — Ongoing, plus semi-annual sales in October and February.
  • Meeting Areas — Meeting Room: capacity 155 (seated 72) Conference Room: capacity 8
  • Quiet Study Room — 9 capacity

Live Near Lake Anne in Reston VA

Lake Anne in Reston is surrounded by wooded lots filled with peaceful homes and condos in Reston VA. In summer paddle boaters, canoers and others enjoy the calm waters of Lake Anne while others walk the many trails surrounding the water.

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

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  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

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  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

  • REDUCED: 7202 Churchill Rd, McLean

    Open House, Sunday, 1-4 BIG PRICE DROP! 7202 CHURCHILL ROAD McLean, VA 22101 6 Bedrooms 5.5 Bathrooms 6,752 SF $1,695,000

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  • [FWD: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures]

    We played a game at the office this Sunday. Lots of fun. Sincerely, Will Nesbitt Principal Broker   Nesbitt RealtyAlexandria VA licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland 703 765 0300 (main) 571 237 7902 (direct)888 783 6391 (fax) ——– Original Message ——– Subject: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures From: [email protected]

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Cascade at Landmark condo association information

If you have any questions regarding condo documents, maintenance or insurance, please call the office, below:

Nothern Virginia Condo Experts

Cascade at Landmark Condo

300 Yoakum Pkwy.
Alexandria, VA, 22304
703-461-3636

If you would like to buy a condo, Condo Alexandria would be glad to help.


No properties found.


For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

 

Northern Virginia’s Road Network

Northern Virginia’s traffic is shaped by its proximity to Washington DC and proximity to several important job centers. The world famous Capitol Beltway (Interstate 495) circles DC like a wheel around a hub. The Beltway links Northern Virginia’s suburban communities such as Springfield, Kingstowne, Braddock Road and Vienna to the transportation network. The Beltway generally moves at or above the speed limit most times and most days.

In Virginia, the Beltway travels from the American Legion Bridge upriver to the newly-rebuilt Woodrow Wilson Bridge downriver. At each bridge the Beltway enters Maryland. In Maryland the Beltway loops around DC creating a complete route.

Nesbitt Realty is a real estate brokerage serving Tysons Corner VA

There are several important job centers along 495, such as Tysons Corner. Tysons Corner is poorly served by mass transit and there are regularly scheduled traffic jams at Tysons every rush hour.  In addition, the bridges are choke-points for traffic entering and leaving Virginia at the American Legion Bridge and at the recently re-built Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Traffic into Maryland at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge favors Virginia commuters heading into Maryland. Commuters from Virginia generally won’t have much trouble reaching Andrews AFB, the Census Bureau, etc. Conversely, the evening approach to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge backs up with Maryland residents heading home from jos in Virginia. This problem should soon be alleviated greatly as the new bridge comes completely online.

The American Legion Bridge serves many Virginia commuters headed for Rockville, Silver Spring, etc. This  burden, coupled with its proximity to Tysons Corner causes the Beltway to slow during rush hour.

The Beltway loops around DC like a wheel around a hub. Many roads and rails in the area link to DC like spokes on that wheel. There are many of these spokes, but in Virginia there are three primary corridors from DC: I-66, I-395, and US 1 together with the GW Parkway.

66 Corridor and Orange Line

I-66 is HOV only during rush hour, but other routes (such as 50, 29 & 28) parallel the interstate as it approaches DC. Taken as a whole this road system can carry a tremendous amount of traffic, but it slows considerably during rush hour.

Interstate 66 is a major commuter route in Northern VA

The 66 corridor is also served by the Orange Line, with Metro stops in Arlington at Rosslyn, Clarendon, Ballston (and more). The Orange Line continues through West Falls Church and then into Fairfax County with a terminal station at Vienna. 66 is used by commuters in Fairfax, Centreville, Manassas and beyond to the hinterlands.

In addition to the routes mentioned above, outside the Beltway 66 is supported by the Dulles Tollroad, which links the area to Dulles Airport and outlying suburbs such as Herndon, Reston and beyond.

I-395

Interstate 395 doesn’t have a Metro train service but it carries a massive load of traffic none-the-less. In addition to its 8 to 10 lanes of traffic, 395 has an extra 3 lanes of HOV that switch direction depending on the hour of the day. 395 leaves DC between the Pentagon and Crystal City (both in Arlington) and on the way out to I-95 and the Beltway at Springfield, I 395 passes Shirlington, Landmark, East Falls Church and other neighborhoods.

Traffic on 395 is nearly always heavy but only slows during rush hour.

George Washington Parkway, Rt. 1 and the Yellow & Blue Lines

North of the Key Bridge, the 4 to 6 lanes of the George Washington Parkway ties into I-495 at the American Legion Bridge. This route serves Mclean and Northern Arlington County. South of Memorial Bridge, the George Washington Parkway and US Rt. 1 together only carry 8 to 10 lanes of traffic.

Huntington Metro Yellow line at the lower level

Traffic here is relatively light considering the proximity to the city, and the fact that US 1 has several traffic lights. This route follows the Potomac downriver toward the Beltway at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

This route is also supported by the Yellow and Blue Metro Lines. Taken as a whole, this route serves commuters at Crystal City, Pentagon City, Del Ray, Old Town, New Alexandria and Mt. Vernon to the city. At King St, the Yellow and Blue Lines fork with the Yellow Line continuing toward Mt. Vernon, but ending at Huntington. The Blue Line turns south toward Springfield with stops at Van Dorn and Springfield.

Alexandria National Cemetery

 

The Arlington National Cemetery is recognized around the country and around the world, but nearby is a similar treasure from our nation’s heritage: the Alexandria National Cemetery.

The Alexandria National Cemetery is located in the City of Alexandria VA

Arlington National Cemetery was featured in Gardens of Stone and numerous other feature films. This has no doubt added to Arlington’s mystique and celebrity. Arlington Cemetery was carved from the farm of Robert E. Lee, a native of Alexandria. This is one of many connections between Arlington and Alexandria National Cemeteries.

The five acres of Alexandria National Cemetery are tiny compared to Arlington’s 612 acres. Newcomers and those who don’t know the history of the area may be surprised to learn that while Alexandria was a colonial era settlement, Arlington is a relatively new creation. (Check out Alexandria’s best real estate deal ever!)

Alexandria National Cemetery predates the cemetery in Arlington and is in some ways the reason for Arlington’s existence. Alexandria National Cemetery was established during the Civil War in 1862 as one of the original 14 national cemeteries.

The first four acres of Alexandria National Cemetery were purchased by the US government from what was to be Spring Garden Farm.  By 1870, the United States purchased additional land to bring the cemetery up to its current size.

The first burials made in Alexandria National Cemetery were soldiers who died during training for the Civil War. Additionally, some casualties were sick or diseased soldiers from one of the numerous hospitals around Alexandria. The death and destruction wrought by the Civil War exceeded all expectations. It was evident that Alexandria National Cemetery would be woefully short of the needs imposed by the War. By 1864, Alexandria National Cemetery was nearly filled to capacity. In large part, the shortage of space in Alexandria led to the planning, development and construction of Arlington National Cemetery.

After the Civil War, improvements were made to the design of Alexandria National Cemetery and by 1871 the cemetery had added a fountain, a cobblestone avenue and graveled walkways. A wrought-iron rostrum, a small pond and a greenhouse were added as well. The primary building on grounds is a brownstone structure—the superintendent’s lodge.  The lodge dating to 1870 is the oldest surviving building on the grounds. The lodge is constructed in a style and with materials popular from the era and perhaps best recognized in the the Smithsonian Institution’s “Castle,” and the U.S. Capitol floor and rotunda door frames.

Many of the graves at Alexandria National Cemetery date to the Civil War era

Like other national cemeteries, the Alexandria National Cemetery featured a “comfort station” built in 1887. This building is one of only a few such structures to survive to the present day. In 1927, the station significantly altered by adding a dining room and converting the facility into a kitchen/store room and tool-shed/toilet. The entire cemetery is surrounded by a wall of Seneca sandstone with River Blue Stone coping. (This is the same material used to build the superintendent’s lodge.) Visitors gain entry by passing through a 12-foot wide ornamental cast-iron gate at the Wilkes Street entrance.

In the 1930’s the flagpole was added and in 1995 the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic places. There is no grave locator or kiosk on the grounds and the cemetery only has room for cremated remains and certain relatives of persons already buried at Alexandria National Cemetery.

Among other notable persons buried at the Alexandria National Cemetery are several “Buffalo Soldiers“—a nickname for several Cavalry Regiments of the US Army. Several African-American regiments of Buffalo Soldiers were formed during the Civil War to fight alongside the Union Army. Among these were the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and many United States Colored Troops Regiments.  After the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldiers were established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army. It is fitting that these soldiers are buried near Alexandria’s African American Heritage Park.

Together with the African American Heritage Park the Alexandria National Cemetery makes up the eastern boundary of the Carlyle District.

 

Finding the right condo

snow at Belle View condos

I met a potential client who told me that she had been looking for two years for a condo.  She called me because she wanted to see a particular property in Belle View. After establishing that she didn’t have an agent, I showed her Belle View I practically had to drag here to see a property I thought she would like based upon her input. That property was Montebello, and she absolutely loved it and was amazed because she wouldn’t have had a clue that Montebello existed if it wasn’t for me.

A few days later, she wanted me to tag along to another property that she had found at my property search site.  That prompted me to “set the record straight” with some frank talk.

Obviously, I would love the opportunity to be of service to her. I appreciate and value each client and always need one more client. But there are limits to what I can and will do and this is for the protection of both the client and myself.

Living room at Montebello

When I take on a client it is because I know I can add value to my client’s end of the transaction.  I add value by finding right property at the right price. As I have demonstrated to her and others, I know the condos of Northern Virginia very well. Additionally, I can be a pretty tough negotiator when the time calls.

Thus, if a client allows me to represent him or her, I think it’s important that I go with the client whenever the client views properties (with the possible exception of open houses).  So, to answer her first question, of course I want to go with a client when a client has interest in a property.  But, when I see someone who has been looking for two years, three years, and has probably burned through a couple of agents who threw their hands up in frustration, I think it is important establish a few facts.

There are two primary reasons why a buyer takes a long time to select a property:

  1. The buyer either has unrealistic expectations; or
  2. The buyer does not have clearly defined goals.

When expectations are unrealistic the best thing that I can do as an agent is to apprise the buyer of reality and wish them well in their search. This is not because I’m a tough guy, but rather because it would ruin me a professional to chase the impossible.  To use a metaphor, maybe bigfoot exists.  I’ve heard that people saw
him.  But if I made my living as a game hunter, I’m not going to spend my time (the only thing I really have) trying to catch bigfoot.  I’ll wish you well if you are looking for bigfoot, but I’ll stick to game that I pull from the forest every single day.

In this case, the buyer had a reasonable assessment of reality but she didn’t really know what she was looking for. In other words, she didn’t have clearly defined goals.

The client’s method for finding a condo was simple: she randomly searched the Internet and other media to identify prospects. She then visited the potential location and then moved on to something else. That method will use up a lot of time and energy.  I’m not saying the random selection method NEVER works, but in this case the client had already spent two years and hadn’t found the right property.

Obviously, a buyer needs to see some properties to get an idea of what is available.  But what doesn’t make sense is to randomly shop units to find what you want.  Northern Virginia (Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County) is a huge metropolitan market. There are so many condominiums in Northern Virginia that a person won’t be able to see them all. (Unless like me, the only thing you do is look at condos all day.)

I told this client gently but firmly, what I thought made the most sense. I told her the truth.  That is, instead of the client leading me around and letting me open doors so she could find a condo, I would play the part of the expert.

As an expert, I would asked pointed questions and listen carefully to her replies. In this way, we can define exactly what it is that the buyer is looking for.  Then, after we have established the goals, then it makes sense to begin touring the selections that I recommend.

With each condominium we visit, I’ll learn more about her needs and we’ll get closer to the property that this client will eventually buy.

  1. Define goals.
  2. Refine goals.
  3. Buy.

Simple, effective and good for the client and the agent.

 

FHA Premiums to Rise April 1

Starting Monday, borrowers will be charged higher mortgage insurance premiums on new Federal Housing Administration loans. The annual fee on the majority of FHA loans will rise by 0.1 percent on April 1.

This marks the third time the FHA has increased its mortgage insurance premiums in two years. And since 2008, the fee has nearly tripled.

Some borrowers are rushing to beat the April 1 deadline.

The FHA premium hikes are part of an effort by the agency to increase its insurance fund. In early June, the FHA will require borrowers who take out new FHA loans to pay for mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan.

Source: “FHA Loans Get Pricer April 1,” Bankrate.com (March 26, 2013) and “Mortgage insurers prep for FHA premium increases,” HousingWire (March 28, 2013)

 

 

Big Predictions for Housing for Next 2 Years

Home sales are projected to post some big gains in the next two years, according to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly economic outlook. 

Fannie Mae economists predict that existing-home sales will rise by 10.5 percent this year, and by 6.2 percent in 2014. The economists made even bolder projections for new single-family home sales — growing 15.1 percent this year and 44.1 percent in 2014.

“We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, continuing to boost household net worth, gradually diminishing the population of underwater borrowers, and reducing incentive for strategic defaults,” according to Fannie Mae’s report.

Fannie Mae projects that mortgage rates will stay low by historical averages this year, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise from an average of 3.5 percent during the first quarter to an average of 4 percent during the final three months of 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2014, mortgage rates are projected to tick up to a 4.5 percent average.

Mortgage applications for purchases are projected to increase by 16.8 percent this year and by 17.1 percent in 2014. However, a decline in applications for refinancings will likely cause mortgage originations to be down 14.5 percent this year and by 31.4 percent in 2014, Fannie economists predict.

Source: “Fannie Mae sees housing upturn as ‘intact’,” Inman News (March 28, 2013)

Latest Listings in Springfield VA

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

    Read More

  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

    Read More

  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

  • REDUCED: 7202 Churchill Rd, McLean

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    We played a game at the office this Sunday. Lots of fun. Sincerely, Will Nesbitt Principal Broker   Nesbitt RealtyAlexandria VA licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland 703 765 0300 (main) 571 237 7902 (direct)888 783 6391 (fax) ——– Original Message ——– Subject: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures From: [email protected]

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The Potomac River

Washington Monument
Creative Commons License photo credit: CrimsonMage

The Potomac River is located on the east coast of the United States, and runs through Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. before it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. It is over 380 miles long and wider than 11 miles at its widest point.

As it passes through Washington DC, the nation’s capital, the Potomac passes the Washington Monument and the memorials of Jefferson, and Lincoln. Many consider the Potomac to be one of the most beautiful and bountiful rivers on the East Coast. The river is also widely regard its historic, scenic and recreational significance. Among the many who loved the Potomac was George Washington, who worked as a surveyor at many points along the banks of the river. George Washington’s mansion
at Mount Vernon is on the Potomac.

Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate on the Potomac

The Potomac’s source is a small spring at the Fairfax Stone in West Virginia. From there, the river gathers many tributaries, winding through the mountains and valleys of Appalachia. One of its most
dramatic turns occurs at Harper’s Ferry where the Shenandoah meets the
Potomac.

Harpers Ferry

At Great Falls, the Potomac tumbles down from the Appalachian Highlands to the sandy soils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.  Visitors from the colonial era to the modern era relish the views here. Today visitors at Great Falls
will not only marvel at the cataracts, but also the engineering efforts of those who sought to fulfill George Washington’s dream of connecting the Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River. The C & O Canal was only operational for a few short years, but remnants of the system are still functional at Great Falls Park.

Great Falls

Finally, the river flows almost 400 miles widening to over 11 miles as it reaches the Chesapeake Bay on the long, low, and barren peninsula named Point Lookout, Maryland.  Before the US Civil War, Point Lookout was home to a few hotels and boarding houses, but during the war it was converted into one of the largest and worst of the Union
prisoner-of-war camps.

Point Lookout Postcard

Fishers, anglers, boaters, sailors and kayakers all enjoy the Potomac.

The Potomac River has a watershed of 14,670 square miles including tributaries in Maryland (the Monocacy, Savage, and St. Mary’s Rivers); in Virginia (the Shenandoah and Occoquan Rivers); in West Virginia (the South Branch and Cacapon Rivers); in Pennsylvania (Conococheague and Antietam Creeks); and in Washington DC (the Anacostia River). The Potomac cradles forests, battlefields, farmlands, mountains, parks, and cities. It is known to many as our Nation’s River.Potomac at Arlington

If you’re searching for a home or condo in Northern Virginia with a view of the Potomac, contact Will Nesbitt with Condo Alexandria.