What’s so great about a condo?

There are many types of condominiums.   Some condos look like houses or townhouses; most look like high-rises or garden-style apartments. Even though a condo can look look like a townhouse or house, owning a condo differs from owing a fee simple property in many ways. There are aspects of condo living that some may view as advantages or disadvantages, and you should be aware of these before you buy.

Nothern Virginia Condo Experts

Here are a few basic benefits and considerations of condo living to help you make your decision.

The City

Busy folk who love being close to the action often choose a condominium because condo developments most often occur in the city. In the Carlyle District, in Arlington and places like Skyline Square, land is at a premium. But in all these examples, your condo is well served by public transportation. These condos are also close to the culture and opportunities of the city.

Of course the downside to being in town is that you’re in the city—that means traffic, hustle and bustle and other disadvantages of living downtown. For example, the USPTO is crawling with people during rush hour. Crystal City
is a pass-thru for many many commuters. Most homes and townhomes have a lawn or yard of some kind, but few condo owners have a yard or personal green space.

Community Living

A condominium owner is part of a community. The community lifestyle has many advantages. For example, the owner of a condo can leave things on a whim. There is no yard to worry about, and the building is secure. Neighbors and condo staff will watch the property while you’re on travel or vacation. Most condos in Alexandria, Arlington, Crystal City and Falls Church have security features such as buzzers, a concierge or a guard service. If you travel often for business or pleasure (or if this is a second home), there are no worries while you’re out of pocket. Many condos have clubs, activities and the opportunity to socialize with neighbors.

But, shared walls and common areas mean that you are more likely to hear your neighbors. If you need your home to be a hideaway where you can escape from people, you have to deal with the fact that you might encounter neighbors in the hallway. Nosy neighbors are found everywhere, but it’s a lot easier for them to keep tabs on you as you come and go in a condo. The community will set standards and make decisions about common areas. For example, many condo association have rules about pets so that the common areas are not over-run with pets and pet debris.

The Association

You can take part in the decision making (by voting or by being a board member), but you must abide by the rules of the community. As you may know, condos are governed by a set of rules called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). This can include restrictions on noise levels, pet ownership, renovations, and even what kind of curtains you can put in your windows.

Every unit owner is a member of the condo association, which also has an elected board. The association serves to enforce bylaws, handles maintenance and repair issues, etc.Because the condo association is made up of homeowners rather than property-management professionals, the association may be weak and inefficient. Most associations oversee a paid management firm.

Also, if you want to make renovations to your unit or rent your unit out, you may have to get approval from the condo association.This purpose of this oversight is most usually designed to make sure that you don’t remove any load bearing walls or short circuit community electricity.

Maintenance

Homeowners have a lot to worry about, but condo owners on the other hand …

Think of Nesbitt Realty for condos and condominiums in Northern VA

Condo owners generally don’t mow lawns. They don’t clean gutters. They don’t even have to hire or pay landscapers. In a condominium someone else takes care of the exterior, the common areas, the snow removal and more. For example, someone else makes sure there’s money enough to pay for the new roof.

Of course, that service comes at a price: the monthly condo fees. The association collects these fees to pay for maintenance and repair of the common areas. All homeowners pay for maintenance, but the owner of a single family residence can save money by mowing his own lawn. The owner of a single family home can defer payment a little longer if money is tight. Of course, by aggregating the fees of maintenance, condominium owners often have enough money to pay for amenities that are not common in a single family residence. For example, a swimming pool is pretty standard in a condo.

Affordability

Some condos in Northern Virginia list are every bit as expensive as single family houses elsewhere. Condos in Crystal City, condos in Arlington and condos in Alexandria (especially in the Carlyle District) can be quite pricey. But some condos are surprisingly affordable. This makes a great option for first-time buyers and singles who may find single-family houses unaffordable. Condominiums are more sensitive to trends in the real estate market than single-family homes. Now that the prices have dropped there are some tremendous bargains for shoppers.

Amenities.  

Most condominium developments offer a range of amenities in the common areas. It’s pretty standard in Northern Virginia to have access to a swimming pool, gym or tennis courts in most condo complexes.

Condominiums are found in all shapes, sizes, prices and types. Are you looking for a high-rise condo, a mid-rise or a garden-style condo? Maybe you'd prefer a townhouse?

The term "garden-style" condo usually refers to a condominium residence in a building that has less than three stories. Most garden-style condos have balconies or patios for each residence. Many garden-style condos have a main entrance that opens to a common-area hallway. Additional common areas include the green space and "gardens" surrounding the structures. If you're interested in garden-style condos you'll have a lot of options in Northern Virginia.

From the suburban feel of Kingstowne to the central location of Bolling Brook from the vintage charm of Belle View to the chic feel of Carlyle Square, are just some of the many Northern Virginia condominium communities we feature.


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Recent Listings


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

Questions for your condo agent

Think of Nesbitt Realty for condos and condominiums in Northern VA

Here are some common questions to ask your agent, your mortgage broker and yourself when you are thinking of buying a condo.

  • How much can I afford per month?
  • Is the condo is my price range?
  • Do I like the community?
    • Where are the grocery stores, shopping malls, bars?
  • Is there enough space for my needs?
  • What is the condition of the condo unit?
  • Do the common areas need repairs, renovations?
  • How old is the condo?
  • Is there a parking facility?
    • Is parking assigned?
    • Is there a fee to park?
    • Is there guest parking and if so where?
  • Does the condominium have access to public transportation?
    • Metro or bus only?
    • Shuttle or Limo service?
  • What are the chances that this condo will increase in value?
  • What type of security system is in place?
  • Does the condominium association allow pets? If so how many and what type?
  • What are the condo fees and what they include?
  • What is the condo association policy about renters?
  • How much is in the reserve fund?
  • Does the condo association have a certificate of insurance?

Properties in Clarendon

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

Kelley Farm

Kelley farm is a subdivision of houses located in Woodbridge, VA, im Prince William County.  It’s close to I-95 and right off of route 1, which is very convenient to all the commuters out there. All of the houses here are absolutely beautiful, many of them having stone siding. Some of the benefits of living in the community are that its close to public transportation, their are many parks, both recreational and national near by. Also, their are alot of restaurants, entertainment options, shopping, etc. close to Kelley farm. Their are great schools in the Woodbridge area. The houses at Kelley Farm are all quite large, and most definitly appealing. The neighborhood is very well kept as far as i can tell. It overall seems to be a pleasant area to live in.

Properties in Woodbridge Area


No properties found.


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Walk Score includes public transportation!

Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score attempts to numerically measure how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking. If you’re looking for a walkable area, check out what Condo-Alexandria.com can do:

  1. Search by Walk Score. Now this is cool. You can decide what your minimum walkable criteria is when you search for properties.
  2. Sort by Walk Score. If you can search by Walk Score, you should be able to sort by Walk Score too. Just click in the “sort by” box at the top of the results and choose “Walk Score, Highest First” to order the search results from highest to lowest Walk Score.
  3. View the Walk Score in both the search results and property details. Every time you search for property you’ll find out just how walkable the area is!
  4. View the Walk Score tile. When you click on the “Walk Score” link at the top-right of the property details area, you’ll see the Walk Score tile that shows all of the amenities that are factored into the score.

We hope you’ll enjoy using Walk Score as much as we enjoyed building it into our system. We’re really excited to say that we’re one of the first providers of this type of functionality. We spent quite some time on the UI for this feature in order to make everyone happy.

And in case you haven’t heard, Walk Score just improved its usefulness. Previous versions of Walk Score did not include public transportation. That is to say, a property next door to a metro station had no higher Walk Score than a property far from public transportation. Well, that’s all changed now!

Our latest enhancement adds mass transit to the Walk Score calculations. See for yourself now.