Alexandria, VA

Whether you’re actively searching for your new home or are just beginning to consider making a move, open houses are the perfect way to start your search.

Open houses allow you to get a feel for things such as neighborhood, how far your budget will go, must-haves in your new home, and some design inspiration.

As the #4 expansion team in the country, HergGroup Greater Washington’s website has a comprehensive list of open houses and homes for sale in Alexandria and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of the local open houses this week:

  • 900 Franklin Street, Patrick Henry — $525,000 (Open House: 1/26 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
  • 45 Arell Court, Lands of Quaker Village — $650,000 (Open House: 1/25 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, 1/26 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
  • 1102 Trinity Drive, College Park — $825,000 (Open House: 1/26 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
  • 710 Lyles Lane, Potomac Greens — $975,000 (Open House: 1/26 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
  • 3404 Holly Street, Cobblestone — $1,365,000 (Open House: 1/26 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
  • 530 N Pitt Street, Old Town — $1,699,000 (Open House: 1/26 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM)

The preceding feature was sponsored by HergGroup Greater Washington and John Lam of Go Homeside Financial. Go Homeside Financial is located at 4000 Legato Road, Suite 550 Fairfax, VA. (571)212-4812, jplam.gohomeside.com.

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Peter Crouch of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Peter at 703-244-4024 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Chicken or egg? Do I buy first or sell first?

Answer: One of the biggest challenges in this — or mostly any market — is the question of sequence. Whether moving up to a bigger home, downsizing, or moving sideways, there MUST be a plan, or success could be elusive.

The market this year seems poised for a repeat of last year. As a buyer, you must prepare your best offer for a property, since that seller may well receive multiple offers. Most buyers need/want their equity out of their current home in order to purchase the next. So, can you make that offer contingent on selling the house you are currently in — and be successful? Last year, most sellers would not accept a contingent offer.

On the other hand, as a seller, is it wise to put your house on the market, and accept an offer and a move-out date without knowing what your next property will be? That could be a recipe for camping out at Extended Stay America or at the relatives’ for quite awhile!

The issue is how to make that difficult problem as seamless as possible. That is where consulting with experienced professionals — a good real estate broker and lender — are crucially important. Here are some tips and strategies:

  • The first step is to evaluate if you have an option for temporary housing — or even if you want to consider it. If you have local family, does it make any sense to go there for awhile? That would allow you to sell your current home and get your equity in the bank without feeling stressed about rushing into the next purchase.
  • If that is not an option, you may want to market your home for sale — but with a request to “Rent-back” for up to 2 months after settlement. Since the average settlement takes between 30 & 45 days, that would give you almost 3-1/2 months total to then find your next home. You get your equity out at settlement (30-45 days), so you can then use it to make a non-contingent offer on the next home. Much better position for buyer-you, but a little risk that the right house does not come up even with the extra time.
  • If that is tough to imagine, then a good local lender may be able to offer what is known as a “Bridge Loan.” This allows the lender to give you a loan to essentially take equity out of your current house before you sell it, and to use it for the down payment on the next house. In this scenario, you are a buyer first, and then you become a seller. This one takes a good bit of planning, and a very good local lender. It is not for everyone, but is certainly an option to explore.

Example: I have a current client for whom we signed a contract last August to purchase a condo under construction. We knew it would be ready this February, so we evaluated the options, and she was able to live with relatives nearby for several months. We sold her house in October (rather than waiting until the middle of winter), and she has her equity in the bank awaiting completion of the condo.

Another couple found the house they wanted to purchase, and we were able to qualify them for the new mortgage based on “imputed” income from savings and a temporary 401K loan. The 401K provided the down payment in this case (was easier than a bridge loan).

We also knew their existing townhouse would sell very quickly. So, they were able to buy non-contingent, and then sell their townhouse immediately, with matching settlement dates. The proceeds of the townhouse paid back the 401K loan. By the way, we knew they were looking at houses, so we had this scenario set up months before.

Everyone has a different set of circumstances, but the bottom line is it takes planning. You MUST set up a strategy with a good local lender and real estate broker — ahead of time.

Pete Crouch has been a licensed Broker in Alexandria for over two decades. Experienced in construction, finance and making things work, Pete often brainstorms with clients — months and even years ahead of a move. Pete also has a specialty in Mature Moves and will be a speaker at “Decluttering and Downsizing: Ideas from the Experts” at Beatley Library on February 6. Text 703-244-4024 or email [email protected] to register.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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The current market is hot! A low inventory is pushing prices and demand up — bringing opportunity for sellers, and competition for buyers.

What does that mean for you? Whether you’re buying or selling, HergGroup Greater Washington will work with you to ensure you come out on top of any transaction. Our experienced team has the industry knowledge and understanding to help you in today’s competitive market.

Despite the hot market, sometimes properties get reduced in price to stay competitive. Here are some that were just reduced over the past week or so:

The preceding feature was written and sponsored by HergGroup Greater Washington.

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Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates Realtors®. 

Welcome Back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria, Virginia. I, along with my two rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky and Micki MacNaughton, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $115 million in 2018.

Total new contract activity for the first eleven days of 2020 was down 3.1% compared to the same time period last year for the six jurisdictions we track.

The results are like a Stephen Strasburg-pitched inning: Three up — three down. Loudoun County, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. all had increases in the number of newly ratified contracts, up 3.4%, 0.8% and 8.1% respectively. The other three all had decreases in new contracts, with Northern Virginia off 1.8%, Prince William County down 10.2% and Prince George’s County down 12.5%.

Want to check out some Just Listed properties in the Alexandria area? The following properties offer a snapshot of what is new on the market. Click here for more Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears, and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 #WeAreAlexandria

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Whether you’re actively searching for your new home or are just beginning to consider making a move, open houses are the perfect way to start your search.

Open houses allow you to get a feel for things such as neighborhood, how far your budget will go, must-haves in your new home, and some design inspiration.

As the #4 expansion team in the country, HergGroup Greater Washington’s website has a comprehensive list of open houses and homes for sale in Alexandria and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of the local open houses this week:

The preceding feature was sponsored by HergGroup Greater Washington and John Lam of Go Homeside Financial. Go Homeside Financial is located at 4000 Legato Road, Suite 550 Fairfax, VA. (571)212-4812, jplam.gohomeside.com.

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Philip G. Matyas, Associate Broker of The Shannon Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Philip at 703-507-8655 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Which Old Town real estate office sold the most houses in 2019?

Answer: As anyone who was looking to buy or sell a home last year knows, 2019 was a fast-paced, high-demand home market that required in-depth local knowledge and dynamic, steadfast action from their buyer or seller agent to achieve success. For those looking to purchase or sell a home in 2020 the signs point to an even greater need for experienced agents to help advise, navigate and negotiate through an anticipated frothy market.

For 2019, McEnearney Associates, Inc., Old Town office hit the trifecta. With a total sales volume in the City of Alexandria of over $433,500,000* for all of last year, McEnearney topped the nine other local offices. McEnearney’s influence and experienced sales groups far outpaced the second and third closest competitors who, when combined, still had a total sales volume significantly less than McEnearney’s. (*Compiled from the Bright™ multiple listing service)

Breaking down McEnearney’s total sales volume into categories of listing and selling of homes, the Old Town office listed 300 homes/units and had a total sales volume for listings of over $244,500,000. Again, the combined second and third closest competitors’ listing sales volume and number of homes/units listed was less.

To finish the trifecta, McEnearney helped clients buy 214 homes/units with a sales volume of over $188,900,000, once again outpacing their two closest competitors combined numbers and sales volume.

So, what’s new at the start of 2020?

I can answer that question with a question. Did you see my article last month (ALXnow December 18, 2019) on the effect a mild winter could have on our local market? It’s worth reading again as in the last 30 days people walked around in shorts and interest in homes and sales heated up from Old Town to McLean to Mount Vernon. Along with the change in weather came some change to buyer strategies.

One of The Shannon Group’s agents listed a home in the Historic Old Town District on December 27 and already closed on it on January 13 — two days ago. In a separate transaction also in Historic Old Town, a mid-December buyer client of ours will be closing on a home, as this article goes to print. (It has been a mild winter, hasn’t it?)

In this hectic, extremely competitive environment, a significant number of deals are made before a property ever publicly reaches the market. There is a trend beginning with owners who do not want to conduct open houses, have other personal concerns for the sale of their home or desire a different timeframe to buy or sell into rather than the current market. They, also, are looking for the buyer who wants to “get in ahead of the crowd.”

Some of these owners with their special criteria may contact me to strategize and coordinate their special needs and timing. Linking a buyer with such an owner is one way deals are occurring more often, but they only happen because of the inside, local knowledge and coordination of the agent.

For example, if you know of any properties as noted below, we have buyers for a:

  • 3 Bed, 2+ Bath Townhouse within 1/2 mile of King Street Metro
  • 2 Bed, 2+ Bath Condo in the Heart of Old Town
  • 4 Bed, 3+ Bath Single Family Home between Potomac River GW & Parkway
  • 2 Bed, 1 Bath Condo in Park Fairfax or Fairlington

And if you know any buyers looking this spring, we have a home in the SE Quadrant of Old Town and a home in Villamay.

Bring your home buying or selling needs to the Old Town experts, Joan Shannon and Philip G. Matyas. Contact us by email or call 703-507-8655 to set up an appointment to discuss your real estate needs and view homes from Historic Old Town to Mt. Vernon and beyond on our website Shannon-Group.com.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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The current market is hot! A low inventory is pushing prices and demand up — bringing opportunity for sellers, and competition for buyers.

What does that mean for you? Whether you’re buying or selling, HergGroup Greater Washington will work with you to ensure you come out on top of any transaction. Our experienced team has the industry knowledge and understanding to help you in today’s competitive market.

Despite the hot market, sometimes properties get reduced in price to stay competitive. Here are some that were just reduced over the past week or so:

The preceding feature was written and sponsored by HergGroup Greater Washington.

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This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

On October 8, 2019, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments as to whether or not Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 involving sex discrimination applies to LGBT employees.

The U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal are currently split on the issue. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will focus on the text of the law, not politics, and do the right thing here. In my opinion, the Civil Rights Act clearly protects LGBT employees from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status. The civil rights law was written broadly and anticipates other forms of sex discrimination.

The Three Cases

The Supreme Court heard three combined cases on the issue during oral argument. They involve 3 employees, two gay males and one transgender female. The two men were fired due to their sexual orientation and the transgender woman was fired from her employment because of her gender identity. A link to the synopsis on Scotusblog can be found here.

Common Sense Should Prevail

As with so many other issues in the law, common sense has been distorted through the various legal arguments. Most individuals know that “sex” discrimination is discrimination based on some aspect of sex. Those opposing the inclusion of LGBT employees from sexual discrimination protections have tried to twist the plain meaning of the statute’s wording by claiming it to be different than it reads.

To some, it could reasonably appear that LGBT employees are attempting to enlarge the definition of a law which was meant to protect women from sex discrimination back in 1964. However, the law was also meant to broadly define sex discrimination, which can happen to anyone, regardless of whether they are straight, LGBTQ or otherwise. Opponents have argued that gender identity, sexual orientation and sex discrimination have multiple different meanings in an effort to confuse the issue.

One of the arguments put forth seems to make the concept clear to me:

The argument before the Court is that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII, because when an employer fires a male employee for dating men, but does not fire a female employee who also dates men, the employer discriminates based on sex. 

History of Sex Discrimination Law is Non-Existent

Furthermore, Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination was a last-minute inclusion in the Civil Rights Act that was intended to scuttle the bill by former Congressman Howard Smith from Virginia. Apparently, Congressman Smith elicited laughter from his colleagues when he proposed this addition at the last minute. He must have been shocked when the sex discrimination law passed Congress.

As a result, the definition was left broad, without any hearings and debate to define it. Many courts and the EEOC have concluded that the law was intended to protect LGBT employees. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will do the right thing here. Nobody should be subject to sex discrimination.

A ruling, either way, is probably likely to be 5-4, either way. The swing justice is likely Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has taken the view that the text was clear in that sex discrimination could include these forms of discrimination. If the 3 employees prevail it will likely be because Justice Gorsuch and/or Kavanaugh rule with them. However, if the Court rules against LGBT employees, it will only be a matter of time before a future Supreme Court overrules them and the justices that supported this type of discrimination will be remembered poorly.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law representation or advice, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates Realtors®. 

Welcome Back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria, Virginia. I, along with my two rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky and Micki MacNaughton, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $115 million in 2018.

This week, we have a beautiful, rarely available end unit that just hit the market on Shad Row in Old Town, Alexandria! Listed at $665,000, this bright and updated 2 BD/1 BA home is updated and well-maintained – your move-in-ready dream.

Gorgeous hardwoods on sprawl throughout all levels and while the freshly painted, soft-neutral gray add a modern touch. Enter into the living room, where beautiful hardwoods and a wood burning fireplace await. The kitchen with stainless appliances and granite countertops and dining area are situated on this level, and a pantry offers additional storage.

576 N Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 — The Jen Walker Team

The second floor features a large master bedroom with two double closets, a ceiling fan and wall sconces. The updated bath is found on this level with carrara tiling, large vanity and updated fixtures. Laundry can be accessed here for added convenience. The third floor features plenty of space! There is room for a lofted double bed and an additional double bed — making great use of this space. Great for storage, the home has an attic with pull down stairs as well as a large crawl space.

If it’s outdoor space you crave, look no further. The private patio is just off the living room and is the largest patio in Shad Row. While private, Old Town is right at your fingertips — walk to Trader Joe’s, Metro, King Street and more. Leave your car in the underground garage and explore all that Old Town has to offer. Contact us to schedule a tour!

Want to check out some Just Listed properties in the Alexandria area? The following properties offer a snapshot of what is new on the market. Click here for more Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears, and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 #WeAreAlexandria

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Whether you’re actively searching for your new home or are just beginning to consider making a move, open houses are the perfect way to start your search.

Open houses allow you to get a feel for things such as neighborhood, how far your budget will go, must-haves in your new home, and some design inspiration.

As the #4 expansion team in the country, HergGroup Greater Washington’s website has a comprehensive list of open houses and homes for sale in Alexandria and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of the local open houses this week:

The preceding feature was sponsored by HergGroup Greater Washington and John Lam of Go Homeside Financial. Go Homeside Financial is located at 4000 Legato Road, Suite 550 Fairfax, VA. (571)212-4812, jplam.gohomeside.com.

0 Comments

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: As a dog owner, would you share some suggestions for things to consider when purchasing (or renting) a home?

Answer: Everyone has a personal set of deal breakers when it comes to “must haves” for their dog. My first suggestion would be to think about what those would be for you and your pet.

  • Do you need a fenced yard? Or are you OK with walking your dog on a leash? Or taking them to the dog park?
  • Is an entrance from the ground floor required? Or is your dog OK with an elevator or stairs?
  • Does your dog bark when neighbors walk by the front door, or cry when you are not at home? If that is the case, a condo may not work for you, but a single family home or end-unit townhouse might be fine.
  • How does your dog get along with other canines? Keep this in mind when selecting a home that has other dogs in close proximity.
  • Similarly, does your dog like children? Being next to a playground or school would be difficult if children are not their favorite friends.
  • How about floors? Some dogs are afraid of hardwoods, and others have a tendency to have accidents, so think about those things too.

Secondly, keep in mind that some condo or townhouse developments have pet restrictions. Find out what they are before falling in love with a home.

  • Check to see if there are breed restrictions
  • There also may be maximum size/weight rules
  • The number of pets also may come into play
  • Registering your pet with the development or the city may be required
  • Most planned developments have specified dog walking areas, or places in the community where your pet is not allowed
  • Some even take your dog’s DNA to fine you if your dog relieves him/herself and you do not clean up

Working with a pet friendly real estate professional who understands that your dog is a member of your family and their needs are an important part of your house hunt can make all the difference in an already stressful situation. Finding the home that works for both you and your pets makes the transition so much easier for everyone. For tips on moving with your dog, check out the Dog Friendly Real Estate section of my website.

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Having had seven golden retrievers since moving to Alexandria in 1989, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home. Stay tuned from her next article about selling your home when you own a dog.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

0 Comments

The current market is hot! A low inventory is pushing prices and demand up — bringing opportunity for sellers, and competition for buyers.

What does that mean for you? Whether you’re buying or selling, HergGroup Greater Washington will work with you to ensure you come out on top of any transaction. Our experienced team has the industry knowledge and understanding to help you in today’s competitive market.

Despite the hot market, sometimes properties get reduced in price to stay competitive. Here are some that were just reduced over the past week or so:

The preceding feature was written and sponsored by HergGroup Greater Washington.

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