Fairfax has a lot to love

Fairfax has long been a Northern Virginia favorite for a number of reasons.  Great schools, shopping, strong job market, and safe neighborhoods have kept steady residents.  Fairfax is home to George Mason University and top producing public schools.  The county has launched major projects to revive its historic district with great success and the economic vitality is strong as a result.  There are a number of places to choose from if you’re in search of a new home. heart I like that it is minutes away from George Mason University.  Students will find this helpful when trying to save money and avoid hefty parking and commuting cost.  Fairfax has had a long reputation for good schools and strong jobs.  I like that it has a unique mix of old and new homes.  You can tell that the city has evolved to accommodate its commuters by adding public transportation with buses and commuter stations to access the metro. The city itself seems to have easy access to grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants, and gas stations.  I had an opportunity to ride around the area and I must admit that I felt safe.   That is always a nice feature when selecting a neighborhood to live in.  I saw plenty of families walking down the streets enjoying the beautiful weather.  It’s the kind of city that has a lot to offer and a lot to love.

Reston Town Center

I went here over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised at how much there is to do in such a small area.  Reston Town Center is situated right off the Dulles Toll Road and hidden behind some pretty tall office buildings.  Your first impression would make you think you were in a major officeplex that is designated just for businesses.  In any case, walking up and down the street was pretty impressive.  I spoke to a few people along the way and they said that it was a beautiful place to come during the holiday season.  They have an ice skating rink that is open during the winter season and it ends around mid-March.  Although, I’m not one for skating, the fact that it was outdoors appealed to me. I enjoyed the outdoor shopping experience.  We decided to get a bite to eat and settled on eating at Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food.  I liked the décor of the restaurant and it seemed extremely warm and inviting.  The hostess was real nice and it wasn’t too crowded when we went, so they were extremely attentive.  The menu was uncomplicated and I like how you weren’t overwhelmed with choices.  We started off with a cocktail which was delish.  Since we were starving, I skipped the appetizer and went right for the main course.  I decided on their grouper on top of a cauliflower mash.  The funny thing is that I hate cauliflower!  However, I didn’t even think it was cauliflower, since it appeared like mashed potatoes. It was the best vegetable I had eaten in a long time.  We finished our dining experience with their white chocolate bread pudding.  Let me pause for a moment and have a moment of silence……..for the best desert I believe ever existed in a chain restaurant.  Maybe it was the way the caramel puddled in the center of the mini Bundt cake?  Or perhaps the vanilla bean ice cream melted on the side since the desert is served warm.  In any case, it was an out of this world experience.  OMG, how could I forget the complementary bread basket we received at the beginning of the meal?  It was simply awesome.  Needless to say we left there completely stuffed and satisfied with the $90 bill we received. We left the restaurant and continued our stroll.  People seemed to be pretty excited about what the little strip had to offer and they had every reason to be.  If you are ever in the area and need some place new to try or experience, I would suggest giving Reston Town Center a go.

Reston Homes for Sale

Properties in Reston

Marumsco Village

Marumsco Village is located in Woodbridge, Va, right off of Route 1. Its only minutes away from I-95 which is very convienent to most. The houses are all pretty old. Their streets are very narrow and crowded with cars. The neighborhood seems to be pleasant, however the whole place is very old and possesses a "worn out" look to it. If you're looking for a larger house I wouldn't recommend it, but if you're looking for a smaller, cheaper home, then Marumsco Village may just be the neighborhood for you. There is an elementary school (Marumsco Hills) and a middle school within a mile from the neighborhood, so its convenient if you have younger children.

Summer season at Wolf Trap a fun, eclectic line-up

If you like Broadway shows, but can’t afford the tickets. Want a night at the symphony but can’t seem to make the time. Or are ready to revisit those rock and roll songs from your youth, make a date with Wolf Trap this summer. The summer concert season at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center kicks off Memorial Day weekend with an eclectic mix of comedy, concerts and symphonies. Where else can you see The Monkees (yes, those Monkees) on a Sunday night and enjoy the Mormon Tabernacle Choir the following Wednesday? Huey Lewis and the News will slip in right after the Aspen Sante Fe Ballet but before “Fiddler on the Roof.” Located between the Dulles Toll Road and Leesburg Pike/Rte. 7 in Vienna, Wolf Trap’s Filene Center will host more than 90 performances from late May through mid-September. The amphitheater nestled in the National Park for the Performing Arts, seats 7,028 including more than 3,000 lawn seats. This year’s line-up includes perennial favorites Garrison Keillor (of Prairie Home Companion fame), Bill Cosby, The Beach Boys and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Broadway visits Wolf Trap with performances of “Sweeney Todd,” “Mama Mia” and Fiddler. Take a step back in time with concerts by The Go-Go’s, Peter Frampton, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Symphony lovers will enjoy performances by the National Symphony Orchestra with “Tcheers to Tchaikovsky,” and “Three Broadway Divas.” Tickets are now on sale for many shows. (Too many to list here) For a full list of the summer concert series and ticket availability, see wolftrap.org. Make plans for a great night (or two) under the stars or, as Wolf Trap says, “Where the arts come out to play.”  

Privacy and convenience converge at Riverside Estates

Near the intersection of Rt. 1 and Old Mount Vernon Highway lies Riverside Estates, a somewhat private and hidden placed tucked near a Potomac tributary. Despite its privacy and serenity, Riverside Estates is located near a highway that allows for easy access to many Northern Virginia hotspots, including Fort Belvoir, Old Town, the Metro, Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon. Because of its privacy, this neighborhood is desirable, and the homes fit the community’s beautiful peacefulness. Built primarily in the 1960s, the homes come in many varieties and have received renovations and upgrades.

Survey: Sellers Fare Better With Agents

Sellers have a better chance at getting their house sold by using a REALTOR® than opting for the do-it-yourself approach, according to a survey of 1,000 home owners by HomeGain.com, an online real estate resource. Nearly 60 percent of home owners who used a REALTOR® to sell their home were successful compared to 39 percent of FSBOs, the survey found. In the survey, 83 percent of home owners said they used a REALTOR® to sell their home, whereas 17 percent said they tried to sell it themselves. This corresponds to results from NAR's 2010 Profile of Buyers & Sellers, which found 88 percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent. (Additionally, 83 percent of buyers bought their home through an agent.) “It is especially striking that home owners fare significantly better in selling their homes using a REALTOR® than selling on their own,” says Louis Cammarosano, general manager at HomeGain. “Due to that relative success, the level of satisfaction in the home selling process is also higher for home sellers utilizing the services of a REALTOR® than those who try to sell their homes on their own.” Among the findings in its For Sale by Owner vs. REALTOR® survey:
  • 88 percent of home owners who sold their homes using a REALTOR® said they would use a REALTOR® again.
  • 24 percent of FSBOs eventually contacted a REALTOR® to help sell their home.
Source: “HomeGain Survey Finds Home Sellers Fare 50% Better in Getting Their Homes Sold Using a REALTOR® Than Selling on Their Own,” HomeGain.com (Feb. 24, 2011)

Got Duke?

Duke Street is a popular and vivacious street in Alexandria.  It is lined with offices, high-rises, shops, and restaurants.  It is quite the eclectic mix of old and new.  Alexandria is rich with history and full of new life as it has grown to be one of Northern Virginia’s top places to settle.  Local delicacies are easy to find and the adventurer never gets bored. Landmark Mall caters to traditional shoppers with stores such as Sears, Macy’s, and Victoria Secret.  There is plenty to do to pass the time.  Walking down the street you can explore various international cuisines such as Mayur Indian Restaurant.  This is fine Indian dining that any palate could enjoy.  You have a number of choices if you prefer Asian, Italian, or American cuisine.  Whatever your taste buds desire, you will not be disappointed. There is no shortage of history with civil war reenactments, 200 year old buildings, and monuments.  Tourists are amazed at the amount of historic richness that the city itself has managed to preserve and pass on from generation to generation.  Walking down Duke can almost transport you back in time but you are quickly reminded that it is 2011 by all of the modern hot spots available. Located in the heart of one of 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destination winners, this street is sure to leave a memorable impression.  Its year round draw has kept visitors swarming in year after year.

Dentist in Lorton

Aesthetic Dentistry of Lorton, providing comprehensive individualized dental care, is located at 7764 Armistead Rd #100, Lorton VA 22079. They are a family of dentists: father Edward Reeves and son Ryan Reeves. The atmosphere of this office is always pleasant with a staff that is cheerful and engaging. I always receive expert care and very friendly service. The staff will always take heir time in explaining dental care options & oral health maintenance. The staff is both friendly and well trained. My children look forward to coming to get their check up and teeth cleaned, which speaks volumes of the staff. The office is very child-friendly. Use most advanced techniques in dentistry to give you the smile you have always wanted. Many dental insurance providers accepted. I am very grateful to have found Aesthetic Dentistry of Lorton.

Existing-Home Sales Up Again in January

The uptrend in existing-home sales continues, with January sales rising for the third consecutive month with a pace that is now above levels a year ago, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in January from a downwardly revised 5.22 million in December, and are 5.3 percent above the 5.09 million level in January 2010. This is the first time in seven months that sales activity was higher than a year earlier. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the improvement is good but could be better. “The uptrend in home sales is consistent with improvements in the economy and jobs, which are helping boost consumer confidence,” Yun said. “The extremely favorable housing affordability conditions are a big factor, but buyers have been constrained by unnecessarily tight credit. As a result, there are abnormally high levels of all-cash purchases, along with rising investor activity.” A parallel NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 29 percent of homes in January, down from 33 percent in December and 40 percent in January 2010 when an extended tax credit was in place. Investors accounted for 23 percent of purchases in January, up from 20 percent in December and 17 percent in January 2010; the balance of sales were to repeat buyers. All-cash sales rose to 32 percent in January from 29 percent in December and 26 percent in January 2010. “Increases in all-cash transactions, the investor market share and distressed home sales all go hand-in-hand. With tight credit standards, it’s not surprising to see so much activity where cash is king and investors are taking advantage of conditions to purchase undervalued homes,” Yun said. All-cash purchases are at the highest level since NAR started measuring these purchases monthly in October 2008, when they accounted for 15 percent of the market. The average of all-cash deals was 20 percent in 2009, rising to 28 percent last year. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $158,800 in January, down 3.7 percent from January 2010. Distressed homes edged up to a 37 percent market share in January from 36 percent in December; it was 38 percent in January 2010. NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said the median price is being dampened by unusual market factors. “Unprecedented levels of all-cash purchases, primarily of distressed homes sold at deep discounts, undoubtedly pulls the median price downward,” Phipps said. “Given the levels of inventory we see today, we believe that traditional homes in good condition have held their value.” Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 5.1 percent to 3.38 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.2-month supply in December. The inventory supply is at the lowest level since December 2009 when there was a 7.3-month supply. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.76 percent in January from 4.71 percent in December; the rate was 5.03 percent in January 2010. Single-family home sales rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.69 million in January from 4.58 million in December, and are 4.9 percent higher than the 4.47 million level in January 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $159,400 in January, down 2.7 percent from a year ago. Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 670,000 in January from 640,000 in December, and are 7.9 percent above the 621,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $154,900 in January, which is 10.2 percent below January 2010. Regional Sales Northeast: Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 4.6 percent to an annual pace of 830,000 in January from a spike in December and are 1.2 percent below January 2010. The median price in the Northeast was $236,500, which is 4.0 percent below a year ago. Midwest :"Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 1.8 percent in January to a level of 1.14 million and are 3.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $126,300, which is 3.2 percent below January 2010. South: In the South, existing-home sales increased 3.6 percent to an annual pace of 2.02 million in January and are 8.0 percent higher than January 2010. The median price in the South was $136,600, down 2.1 percent from a year ago. West: Existing-home sales in the West rose 7.9 percent to an annual level of 1.37 million in January and are 7.0 percent above January 2010. The median price in the West was $193,200, down 5.7 percent from a year ago. — NAR
  • Home Prices In Arlington Continue To Hike

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  • Inlet Cove is near Fort Belvoir and Potomac Mills

    Inlet Cove outside Belvoir
    Inlet Cove is alongside Route 1 This neighborhood of townhouses is near grocers and eateries Inlet Cove is close to Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, and Potomac Mills shops, in the city of Woodbridge Interior to these properties are multilevel Inlet Cove is serene

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  • Pending Home Sales on an Upswing

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  • A Good Time to Buy a High-End Home

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    Some of the best housing deals are on high-end homes, many over $1 million. Some of them need TLC or they aren’t in the most-coveted locations. But there are plenty of desirable properties and lots of sellers who are getting impatient. Buyers with cash have the best opportunities. Buyers who need a mortgage should move…

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  • Who is today’s homebuyer and why are they buying?

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    The National Association of Realtors recently did a study about the characteristics of home buyers. Some of the findings might surprise you. Thirteen percent of buyers purchased a home with one or more parents and grandparents together with adult children. There were several reasons given for purchasing a multi-generational home. Cost savings; Children over the…

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Taste the Middle East without leaving Tysons Corner

Alf Laylah, Tysons Corner

Alf Laylah is located at 8605 Westwood Center Drive #100 in Vienna, VA 22180.  If you are looking for a fun time around the Tysons Corner area, Alf Laylah is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights.  Alf Laylah is a restaurant that on these nights turns into a lounge.  It is a great place to listen to live Arabian songs and get familiar with the Middle Eastern culture.  The lounge has a dance floor, a full bar and has a variety of hookahs available for customers.  The social scene is a fun and youthful.  The prices are modest for the lounge and the food is amazing. A great fact about Alf Laylah is that when you go you feel welcomed since the staff is very friendly and the restaurant is very chic and has a modern feel to it.  It is not something that you would expect from a typical Middle Eastern restaurant, and the live music is just spectacular.  The fun fact about the weekend nights is that they have live belly dancing performances, which is a very exciting experience for most.  It is a great place for a date or for a group of friends to go eat, drink, dance and smoke.

Homes for Sale in Vienna VA