Torpedo Factory condominiums in summer

The Torpedo Factory Condominiums are located between Alexandria’s Potomac waterfront and the historic and famed Carlyle House. Click the link if you’re interested in prices and availabilities at the Torpedo Factory Condos.

Torpedo Factory in summer

The Torpedo Factory condos are very close to the Torpedo Factory Art Center and as such are found in one of the most desirable locations in Northern VA. The Torpedo Factory is within walking distance of numerous restaurants, the waterfront, King Street and the King St. Trolley.

Torpedo Factory condos

The roof lines and architectural details of the Torpedo Factory are very appealing, and as you can see the grounds are very well-kept. Following an Old Town tradition, the walkways in the Torpedo Factory condo community are not concrete, but rather are paved with bricks.

Torpedo Factory garden style townhouse condominiums

In the summer, annuals and crepe myrtles blossom around every corner. Ever wonder what’s in those dormers at the Torpedo Factory?

dormer at Torpedo Factory

Solitude from a busy world.

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

Why do I need a realtor?

When you are looking to buy or rent a home, a licensed real estate agent provides a variety of unique skills and connections to ensure you get a much better home.

  1. First and foremost a Realtor brings security.  People know what they want in a home, but very few people realize the litany of potential pitfalls that can ruin your new nest.
  2. Second, a Realtor brings diversity.  Unless you’re going to limit your selection to public listings, and kiss good-bye some of the best homes in the market, then you need a Realtor to grant you access.
  3. Third, a Realtor brings you economy.  Whether buying or selling, no-one has access to market information to the degree a Realtor does.  This ensures that you’re not overspending on your new home, or underselling your old one.
  4. Finally, a Realtor brings you peace of mind.  The process of finding a new home, or someone to buy or rent your existing home can be daunting.  Challenges from financing, to proper title transfer, to negotiating your price require attention to detail, and can be very stressful, and time consuming if not handled properly.

To learn more about how a licensed real estate agent can assist you contact us.

Properties in Focus

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

Comparing condos and townhouses to single family homes?

The answer depends upon what you want.  Aside from the obvious differences of having more green space with most single family homes, such as those in Belle View versus the tighter knit community potential in a high-rise condominium or townhouses there are other, harder to see, but no less profound differences.

Single Family Home Benefits

  • Absence of monthly homeowners or condo fees
  • Less stringent rules and regulations
  • No homeowners or condo association that can impose restrictions without your consent
  • Fewer parking restrictions and fees

Condo and Town House Benefits

  1. No need to save money to cover what condo fees will cover:
    1. Roof repairs/replacement
    2. Common area repairs
    3. Yard Maintenance
    4. Maintenance, paving, and plowing of the driveway, sidewalks, and curbs.
    5. Siding and gutter maintenance or repair
  2. Some have controlled access
  3. On site community amenities from club rooms to pools and exercise rooms
  4. Many have improved public transit service, shuttles to metro service, etc

Properties in Focus

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

Richmond Highway Express

Richmond Highway Express, nicknamed “REX” is a bus route operated by the WMATA (the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) in partnership with Fairfax County, the City of Alexandria, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Government. The REX is a limited stop express bus that serves the Richmond Highway corridor. Before the REX, riders from Fort Belvoir had many stops to make along Richmond Highway enroute to Huntington Metrorail Station and to the King Street Metrorail Station.

REX buses operate every 15 minutes in both directions on Richmond Highway during weekday rush hours. During non-rush hours and on Satuday the REX comes through every 30 minutes. Then on Sunday the bus only operates every 60 minutes. Buses operate between 5:30 AM and 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM on Sunday.

The REX uses special technology which allows REX buses to sustain green lights in order to move more quickly up and down Rt. 1. The REX bus has low-floor buses for quicker boarding and SmartCard for quicker paying. In addition the REX has only a limited number of stops:

  • King Street Metro (Alexandria)
  • Dulaney Street/PTO (Alexandria)
  • Eisenhower Avenue (Alexandria)
  • Kings Highway
  • Beacon Center
  • Lockheed Boulevard
  • Arlington Drive
  • Belford Drive South
  • Ladson Lane
  • South County Center
  • Frye Road
  • Lukens Lane
  • Sacramento Drive/Cooper Road
  • Old Mill Road/Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway
  • Dewitt Hospital (Fort Belvoir)
  • Langfitt Loop (Fort Belvoir)
  • 16th Street & Belvoir Road (Fort Belvoir)
  • Jackson Loop (North) & Gunston Road (Fort Belvoir)

REX passengers may transfer at any Richmond Highway stop to Fairfax Connector routes, and may transfer at Huntington and King Street Metro stations to rail service as well as other local bus service such as Alexandria’s DASH.REX bus at King St. Metro

To stand-out from other Metrobuses and other area bus lines, REX buses are purple-blue with a golden yellow logo featuring the image of a running lion. The lion references the three lions emblazoned on the Fairfax County seal, which references the family crest of Lord Fairfax. Bus stop signs use the same color scheme, and stand out among the other bus stops along Route 1.



Properties in Alexandria

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

Crossing the Potomac on foot or by bicycle

Woodrow Wilson at Old Town
Woodrow Wilson Bridge at Old Town Alexandria

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge is close to Porto Vecchio and Belle View Condominiums. On June 6th, 2009 the long-awaited bicycle crossing of the Potomac at Woodrow Wilson Bridge was completed. The bridge now connects the Mt. Vernon Trail to the National Harbor in Maryland allowing pedestrians and bikers to traverse the river near I-495 just outside Old Town Alexandria VA near the George Washington Parkway. The completion of the mile long bike-pedestrian trial is one of the final milestones in the massive Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project which was started a number of years ago. The “Active Transportation Lane” crossing is open to walkers, joggers, bikers, roller-bladers, scooters and virtually any form of unmechanized traffic.

The Alexandria Times reported that “Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson and other federal, state and local officials were among the first to utilize the new river crossing after a ceremony on the Maryland side of the river.”

The reviews from bikers have been very positive. says, “It’s a flawed masterpiece and a fantastic resource. The ride is great, with the overpass as a small park over the Beltway. The views are stunning (and the telescopes free)…”

Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Woodrow Wilson Bridge at Old Town

The Woodrow Wilson Crossing is easily accessed by communities like Belle View, River Towers, Porto Vecchio, the Bearings South and parts of Old Town Alexandria which are near the bridge.

GW Parkway
Bike path on the George Washington Parkway at the Belle Haven Marina

Properties in Belle View


Photo of Will Nesbitt of Condo Alexandria About the AuthorWill Nesbitt is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and maintains Condo Alexandria. Will specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne. Will resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Alexandria VA in Fairfax County.

Does the 2 year lease actually assure me of rental income for that time period?

A landlord asks us:

Here is a view of the courtyard at the Royalton
Here is a view of the courtyard at the Royalton

I should know the answer to this question but does the 2 year lease actually assure me of rental income for that time period? In other words, if the tenant breaks the lease after 12 months do I have any financial recourse/protection or do I simply take my losses and start looking for another tenant?

Yes . . . and no.

The way our leases (and most leases in the Commonwealth of Virginia) are written, the lease is structured so that the tenant is agreeing to pay a large sum of money for a fixed period of occupancy.  That large sum is then divided into monthly payments.

For example, if the monthly rent is $1,000 then a tenant is promising to pay $12,000 for a one year lease.  For a two year lease of the same property the tenant is agreeing to pay $24,000 but will make monthly payments of $1000. The promise is to pay $12,000 not to pay $1,000 per month and this is an important distinction in the law because it means that if the tenant breaks the lease he is still obligated to pay the entire lease amount.

But here’s where it gets a little complicated.  If the tenant breaches his contract and defaults on the lease, then the landlord can sue and recover the entire amount left on the lease from the tenant.  At the same time, the landlord is obligated to attempt to mitigate his damages.  That means that if the tenant does breach the lease the landlord must try to find a replacement tenant.  However, the tenant is responsible for all the landlord’s damages.  For example, if there is an expense for finding a new tenant, the old tenant must pay that cost.  If there is any vacancy between the tenants, the old tenant must pay that to cover the landlord’s loss.  And a court will back the landlord up to that point.

However, if and when a new tenant is identified then the tenant is off the hook for any further debt which may be left on the lease.  The court will not allow the landlord to let a property sit vacant just because the tenant breached a lease. So the tenant has an obligation to find a new tenant and to minimize vacancy and to pay for any vacancy. But the landlord has an obligation to mitigate his damages.

In theory the tenant has obligated himself to pay two years of rent, but in reality things happen and we already have established practices to extract a tenant from a lease.

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

Why do I need a pre-approval to shop for homes?

Buying your new house or condo involves a multitude of steps.  Having a real estate agent ensures that these steps go smoothly for you.  Having said that, one of the most important aspects of your new home purchase is getting a loan secured.  Doing so in advance ensures benefits you in three ways:

  1. You are searching for properties that will be within budget
  2. Your offer carries extra weight because of your ready to buy status
  3. The home buying process will go smoother and quicker through its final stages.

The value of these three together is quite great, and can make the difference between getting the home of your dreams and that one that “just got away”.

Properties in Focus


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

Help me find a condo for rent!

Here’s an email that I recently received and my response. I’ve changed the names (for privacy’s sake), but am posting for the benefit of those who might be seeking a rental agent.

Hello Will,
We are actually interested in working with an agent, as opposed to trying to do the leg work ourselves. My husband is currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We are awaiting orders that originally had us relocating this summer. Now it looks more like late October/November, following the new fiscal year.
As mentioned, we will be stateside and staying in DC on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22/23rd and would like to commit to meeting with an agent who handles rentals. Realizing that one may not know what units will become available in November, it would still provide a head start in preparing for our relocation. We are not familiar with the neighborhoods other than online research and bits of information provided by friends. My husband does wish to be (at least) within walking distance of the metro. We are interested in checking out Old Town Alexandria and other suggested areas.
Thank you for your time.


Dear Sally,

I’m happy to provide consultations and advice at no charge. As a rental agent I am the most helpful to renters who know what they want but don’t want to spend time and energy chasing dead-ends or stuck in traffic. If you know where you will be working, how many bedrooms you need, what amenities you enjoy, my expertise allows me to very quickly identify a short list of properties that will be of interest to you. I am constantly touring homes, properties and neighborhoods. I know the area’s traffic patterns. I know Northern Virginia.

You’re probably not asking me to do this—but in case you are—I must make clear that I am not available to spend time and resources trying to give you my expertise. It would be impossible for me to do this in a weekend anyway.  Lastly, from a business standpoint, it is not an effective use of my skills or your time to expend resources and time driving around to neighborhoods and going to condo communities in June on the hope that you will will rent something in November.

Again, I’m available to chat and offer free advice and provide direction if you would like to follow up with your own footwork. Thanks much for the opportunity. It is appreciated.


Will Nesbitt

Condo Alexandria \ Nesbitt Realty

Alexandria VA

703 765 0300 ext. 224

888 783 6391 (fax)

Properties in Focus

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





Pirates Cove Waterpark is in Lorton

Pirates Cove Waterpark is inside Pohick Regional Park at 6501 Pohick Bay Dr  Lorton, VA 22079. The phone number for Pirates Cove Waterpark is (703) 339-6104. Pirates Cove Waterpark has an adult pool, a kid pool, waterslides, patios, a large sand area, and Captains Galley (a onsite cafe).


Aubrey NesbittAbout the Author --- Aubrey Nesbitt is a native of Northern Virginia who attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a veteran of the US Army and helps his family business by providing informational articles like this one. In addition to photography and blogging, Aubrey provides administrative support for the office.