As a tribute to our first president, George Washington, the Masonic Memorial was created. The memorial looks like the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria. With 9 floors in the edifice, it has something for everyone.
The first floor is dedicated to the Shriner’s, with the George Washington Memorial Theater joining along side. The second floor features the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22. On the third floor is the Grotto Exhibit, an organization featuring the Master Masons. The fourth and fifth floors are covered with paintings, and historical documents. The sixth contains the Memorial Library. Once on the seventh floor you will experience murals of Masonic lessons. On the eighth floor is The Knights Templar Chapel. Finally, as you make your way to the ninth floor you will see a replica of King Solomon’s throne.
This historical site is a must see. It contains many reflections of one of our founding fathers and a glimpse inside the mysterious. The Masonic Memorial is easily accessible near the King Street Metro. The Masonic Memorial has a spectacular view of King St and is right in front of the Alexandria Amtrak station.
One of the biggest questions every condo buyer and home buyer has to ask is, “How much work am I willing to take on?”
Some folks want a turnkey residence. Some folks want a residence that has brand new modern appliances and cabinets. Some people want appliances and cabinets that have never been used.
Some people don’t mind an older kitchen. Some people like the feel of a kitchen that was put in long ago.
Others like an older kitchen because they like the idea of ripping out the old and putting in the new. It can be very gratify—not to mention financially rewarding—to completely remake a residence. As a homeowner, or condo owner, you are the ultimate authority. It is your domain to decide what will stay and what must go. This can be a lot of fun.
But, remodeling can be a lot of work. Living through the dust and the inconvenience can be a hassle. If you don’t know where to turn to, it can also be very expensive. But no matter how you personally resolve the issue, it’s important to consider before you actually start shopping.
Buying a first home can be a daunting experience. Here are five common and costly mistakes that novice home buyers make:
1. Ignore the costs of having a low credit score. Lower-score borrowers pay thousands of dollars in increased interest rates over the life of the loan.
2. Make purchases on credit before settlement. Lenders continue to check credit scores right up until the time of closing. Too much shopping could cause the lender to take back the loan.
3. Scrimp on an inspection. Being surprised by the need for expensive repairs can be financially devastating.
4. Buy without contingencies. Buyers should give themselves an out if the inspection turns up problems or the bank raises the interest rates.
5. No money for insurance. Insurance can be surprisingly pricey. Buyers who don’t budget for it can face a nasty surprise.
For a first-time home buyer, one of the most difficult things to do is to just start the process? What does one actually do to buy a home? We’ve prepared this short list of links to help you begin your home buying quest.
Affordability Calculator — How much home can you afford? The affordability will help you determine what your price range.
Buyers Tips — Simple and effective tips for shopping homes.
Balance and symmetry are the ruling characteristics of this formal style. Homes are often brick with detailing in copper or slate. Windows and chimneys are symmetrical and perfectly balanced, at least in original versions of the style. Defining features include a steep, high, hip roof; balcony and porch balustrades; rectangle doors set in arched openings; and double French windows with shutters. Second-story windows usually have a curved head that breaks through the cornice.
The design had its origins in the style of rural manor homes, or chateaus, built by the French nobles during the reign of Louis XIV in the mid-1600s. The French Provincial design was a popular Revival style in the 1920s and again in the 1960s.
French Provincial revivals can be found in upscale neighborhoods throughout Northern Virginia.
Engleside and Woodlawn in the winter
Engleside Plaza is a great reasource for Southern Fairfax County residents especially around Woodlawn and Engleside. This is is close proximity to the park at George Washington’s Grist Mill.
A gristmill is a mill for the grinding of grain, specifically a customer’s own grain. Grist mills were a common site in colonial America, but there are few such mills still in operation today. Pierce Mill a Rock Creek Park in DC is open to the public but is non-operational. The mill needs repairs. But…
Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria, Virginia. Through educational programming and learning-oriented gardening sites, the mission of Green Spring Gardens is to advance awareness and promote the practice of gardening in Northern Virginia.
Visitors to the Gardens can stroll through 5 acres of gardening plots and may attend classes at the Visitor Center. In addition, guests can research gardening questions or explore the Green Spring Garden ecosystem in an educational setting at the horticultural library. Green Spring Gardens is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday; admission is free. Call 703-642-5173 for more information.
Mason (not to be confused with George Mason University), is located in a suburban village in Falls Church, Virginia. Mason’s location in Falls Church was separated from Fairfax County jurisdiction in 1948, by citizens with the intention of improving the quality of their local neighborhood . Moving forward with this tradition of high academic standards, to the year 2013, 20 percent of the graduating class earned GPAs of 4.0 and above. Additionally, George Mason High School’s scores consistently rank well above those of Virginia, as well as those of the United States standardized test averages. Due to these high marks, Mason is regularly cited in national publications.
Facts about George Mason High School
GMHS was the first school to offer International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which offers students the possibility of earning college credit while still in high school
Located at 7124 Leesburg Pike Falls Church VA 22043
Current Principal is Tyrone Byrd
Mascot is the Mustang
The Washington Post Challenge Index has rated GMHS at the top of all public schools in the DC metropolitan area, each year since 1998
According to Newsweek’s national indexes, GMHS has consistently ranked among the most challenging public schools in the USA
The schools multicultural population represents over 25 different nationalities
GMHS does not rank its students
75% of GMHS’s class of 2013 are enrolled at four –year colleges/universities
The majority of GMHS college bound students move on to Virginia schools like GMU, JMU, UMW, UVA, & William and Mary
FCCPS.org. (n.d.). Falls Church City Public Schools. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.fccps.org/index.php?option=com_contactenhanced&view=contact&id=43&Itemid=742
GMHS 2013-2014 School Profile. (n.d.). FCCPS. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.fccps.org/gm/images/stories/pdfs/2013-2014%20School%20Profile.pdf
George Mason High School. (2014, March 28). -. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.fccps.org/gm/
Maxwell, J., & Spencer, F. (n.d.). Top High Schools. Northern Virginia Magazine RSS. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.northernvirginiamag.com/top-high-schools/
Julie Nesbitt of Nesbitt Realty recommends the following preparation tips for those who are selling their homes:
Create a neutral environment by boxing up personal items such as knick-knacks, family mementos, and books.
Make the rooms seem more spacious by removing excess furniture.
Thoroughly clean carpets, windows, closets, and ovens.
Assess needed household repairs and make them.
Clear debris from sidewalks, decks, and driveways.
Get a qualified HVAC specialist to certify that the furnace and air conditioner is in good condition.
Replace dated kitchen and bathroom hardware and fixtures.
Remove heavy curtains that block light.
Repaint rooms that look dull using a neutral color such as cream or tan.
Refinish worn hardwood floors.
Paint the front door and buy a new welcome mat.
Marketing a Home for Sale
Marketing a home for sale involves several important steps. First, Nesbitt Realty orders professional quality photos of the property from both the exterior and the interior. We also take 3-D imagery and prepare a floor-plan. Nesbitt Realty will create a virtual tour online. The photos and flooplan are used in online and print advertising to make home buyers aware that the property is on the market. Nesbitt Realty handles all the details of arranging showings. Nesbitt Realty also holds open house events to allow potential buyers to view the property without scheduling an appointment. We utilize both print and online advertising, and have one of the largest Internet footprints in the area. Finally, we of course don’t forget to place a sign out front to let passersby know that the property is for sale.
The best deals on homes these days are often on properties that aren’t perfect. But that doesn’t mean that home shoppers looking for a great deal can’t find a place with potential.
Location, location, location. You can always fix a property, but you can’t always fix the neighborhood. In the long run, home buyers often get a better deal with the worst house in a great neighborhood than with a fancy house in a not-so terrific neighborhood.
Less than 50 years old. Properties older than a half decade are likely to have more fundamental problems — like aging wiring, inadequate plumbing and sagging foundations. In and around Old Town and historic areas, that’s not always possible, so shoppers also look for homes that have been completely renovated as opposed to homes with a facelift and fresh coat of paint.
Livable floor plan. It’s a good idea to buy a home with a basic design that makes you happy from the start. This is because moving walls can cost a lot of money.
Light. Houses with the most potential have plenty of natural light. Southern facing homes often have the best light.
Good storage. Adding storage isn’t cheap, so it’s smart to choose a property that already has it.
Are you ready to buy a home?
All across Northern Virginia, people are looking to a buy home – either now or in the future. Over the last few years, lower interest rates have come along, making it more affordable than ever to buy a home. In order to buy a house, you’ll need to start saving your money and have enough for the closing costs and a down payment. Check out our Closing Cost Estimator and talk to an agent to get an idea of what you need to have on hand to make your home purchase.
In most cases, the closing costs will run you around 5% of the property price. Before you purchase the home, you should always get an estimate. An estimate won’t be the exact price, although it will be really close. You should always plan to save up a bit more money than you need, just to be on the safe side. It’s always best to have more than enough than not enough.
You’ll know your ready to buy a home when you know exactly how much you can afford, and you’re willing to stick with your plan. When you buy a home and get your monthly mortgage payment, it shouldn’t be any more than 25% of your total monthly income. Although there are lenders out there who will say that you can afford to pay more, you should never let them talk you into doing so – but stick to your budget instead.
Condominiums and townhouses offer an affordable option to single-family homes in many markets, and they’re ideal for those who appreciate a maintenance-free lifestyle. But before you buy, make sure you do your legwork. These are some of the important elements to consider:
Some condos have storage lockers, but usually there are no attics or basements to hold extra belongings.
Yards and outdoor areas are usually smaller in condos, so if you like to garden or entertain outdoors, this may not be a good fit. However, if you dread yard work, this may be the perfect option for you.
Many condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centers, and other facilities that would be very expensive in a single-family home.
Many condos have onsite maintenance personnel to care for common areas, do repairs in your unit, and let in workers when you’re not home — good news if you like to travel.
Keyed entries and even doormen are common in many condos. You’re also closer to other people in case of an emergency.
Reserve funds and association fees
Although fees generally help pay for amenities and provide savings for future repairs, you will have to pay the fees decided by the condo board, whether or not you’re interested in the amenity.
The ease of selling your unit may be dependent on what else is for sale in your building, since units are usually fairly similar.
Although you have a vote, the rules of the condo association can affect your ability to use your property. For example, some condos prohibit home-based businesses. Others prohibit pets, or don’t allow owners to rent out their units. Read the covenants, restrictions, and bylaws of the condo carefully before you make an offer.
You’re much closer to your neighbors in a condo or town home. If possible, try to meet your closest prospective neighbors.
This style is predominantly found in the Midwest, South, New England, and Midatlantic regions, though you may spot subtypes in parts of California. Its popularity in the 1800s stemmed from archeological findings of the time, indicating that the Grecians had spawned Roman culture. American architects also favored the style for political reasons: the War of 1812 cast England in an unfavorable light; and public sentiment favored the Greeks in their war for independence in the 1820s.
Identify the style by its entry, full-height, or full-building width porches, entryway columns sized in scale to the porch type, and a front door surrounded by narrow rectangular windows. Roofs are generally gabled or hipped. Roof cornices sport a wide trim. The front-gable found in one subtype became a common feature in Midwestern and Northeastern residential architecture well into the 20th century.