Alexandria, VA

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 $103 million in 2019.

Our Just Listed properties this week features three stunning properties in Alexandria! All three properties will be hosting a Virtual Open this weekend. Tune into our Instagram to see the live tours!

425 E Windsor Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301 — The Jen Walker Team

Up first, we have this spacious and bright, detached 3 bedroom/3 bathroom Del Ray home. Located just three blocks to “The Avenue,” this home has the square footage and storage you’ve been waiting for! Enter into the large, two-story foyer, and step into the living room to the left. A great space for relaxing or entertaining, this space features built-ins and plenty of seating space.

Situated off this space is a full bathroom. As you continue to the rear of the home, a large kitchen with a peninsula welcomes you. Pantry/laundry are located off the kitchen. An additional living/dining room with a gas fireplace is located just off the kitchen. A door leads to the massive 2 car garage — ideal for storage, a home gym or parking. On the upper level you will find three bedrooms and two full baths. Two bedrooms, each with large closets, connect with a Jack and Jill bath. The master suite features vaulted ceilings, an en-suite bath and loads of closet space.

On the lower level you will find an unfinished basement that has been framed and plumbed for a full bath. The rear yard has mature trees and landscaping, a deck and stone patio area. Park in the driveway or garage and walk to the shops and restaurants on “The Avenue” or and Potomac Yard! Our Virtual Open will be held this Saturday, May 23 at 11 a.m. for 425 E Windsor Avenue. Tune in then!

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This week’s Q&A column is written by Karisue Wyson, Director of Recruiting & Agent Support at McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article, contact Karisue at 703-615-0876 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Is now a good time to start a career in real estate?

Answer: Real estate has never been a career for those uninterested in hard work, maintaining focus in the midst of chaos, and having an optimistic view of the future. Why else would anyone take on a job where you don’t get paid until the end of the process? This is a career for entrepreneurs looking to build a business over a long period of time with highs and lows along the way.

But there is no doubt that what realtors are facing now is complex and challenging, tying together economic and health crises with a seismic shift in the way we do business.

No one has experienced what we are going through right now, so in some sense all agents are at the same starting point of learning to sell in the midst of a global pandemic. Of course, agents who were selling during the housing crisis of the late 2000s have a better reference level for what it takes to succeed in a challenging market.

But during the Great Recession it took years for our housing industry to recover and a great deal of overhaul in the businesses associated with real estate to reclaim public trust. That is not the case today, and there are signs that the strength of our local housing market prior to the pandemic — buoyed by low inventory and low mortgage rates, two things that have not changed — is keeping us in a positive position.

As local officials designated real estate as an essential service, realtors quickly ramped up to serve the public in the safest and most efficient ways possible. From stocking listings with anti-bacterial supplies to hosting virtual open houses and guiding clients through remote-access settlements, agents have ensured that CDC guidelines on public interactions have been carefully followed. And the results show that sales are still happening at a hopeful pace.

Local stats from throughout the D.C. area, as compiled by McEnearney’s David Howell, Executive Vice President & CIO, shows that for the last several weeks, contract activity still lags behind that of last year, but the previously very wide gap continues to narrow.

For the week of May 10-16, the total number of newly ratified contracts was down just 14.6% compared to the same week last year. To put that into perspective, the previous week was off 19.3%, and that was preceded by weekly drops of 30.9%, 40% and 45%.

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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.

Virginia employees, if House Bill 123 is signed by Governor Ralph Northam or not otherwise acted upon by April 6, 2020, will have new rights to wages that are unlawfully unpaid.

Virginia House Bill 123 has been passed by both the Virginia House and Senate. The new legislation would create a private right of action for collecting unpaid wages in Virginia. House Bill 123 allows employees that have not been paid to sue an employer to recover their pay, in addition to damages.

Details of Employer Damages and Penalties

House Bill 123 permits Virginia employees to bring claims against employers that fail to pay wages and allows them to recover the wages owed, plus 8% interest from the date that the wages were due. Employees can also be awarded triple damages (3 times the amount of unpaid wages), their attorney’s fees and other costs if a court finds that the employer knowingly failed to pay the wages.

In our experience, most employers are aware that they did not pay wages owed to an employee. There is also a $1,000 civil penalty against the employe for a violation.

Example: Under the law, for example, if an employer fails to pay an employee $1,000 that they earned, they could be liable for that amount, plus 8%, potentially 3 times the wages that were not paid, along with attorney’s fees incurred by the employee, and a civil penalty.

The $1,000 that was unpaid could easily become a judgment against the employer for $5,000 to $8,000 by the time damages and fees are included. Then the civil penalty would also need to be added. If a court finds that there is a genuine dispute between an employer and employee, the employer would not be required to pay triple damages.

Criminal Penalties for Employer Apply

There are also criminal law penalties in the new law. Employers could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail, if the wages owed are less than $10,000. Employers are to be considered guilty of a felony, punishable by a prison term of up to five years, if the value of wages owed is at least $10,000 or if the employer previously had been convicted of such a violation.

Criminal liability now only applies if the nonpayment of wages was willful with the intent to defraud. If signed by the Governor or allowed to become law, the legislation would take effect July 1, 2020.

Contact Us

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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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: Other than less activity in the marketplace, how else has COVID-19 changed the way real estate is being conducted in Alexandria?

Answer: Do you remember Spencer Johnson’s book, “Who Moved My Cheese?”

I re-read it for about the 20th time again recently, and it never fails to inspire me to look at my business from a different perspective. Having been in some form of sales for my entire professional career, this is far from the first time I have had to reinvent my normal way of going about my business. Luckily this time I have a terrific company in McEnearney Associates Realtors that is providing the support to make the evolution less difficult.

To highlight a few modifications and validations that have resulted over the past few months:

Professional Photography: This has always been a must at McEnearney — now more than ever. Over 95% of buyers start their home search online, therefore, high quality photos are essential in having your listing stand out. Not only still photos, but interactive 3-D Virtual Tours where you can move through the home with a click of your mouse, to narrated videos set to music, and my personal favorite, live Facebook and Instagram virtual open houses.

421 S Payne Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 — Offered at $1,350,000

I love the feedback that I received from a neighbor recently on a listing in Old Town Village…

“I watched your live Facebook Open House last Sunday and really enjoyed it! Frankly, I liked it better than an in-person tour because you went into so much detail about each room, the upgrades and improvements, and the exterior of the home and the community.”

Believe it or not… as I was finishing up the live tour and locking up the house, the doorbell rang… it was someone that had watched the live open house and wanted to check it out. She ended up buying it!

Advertising: Since I am not holding the traditional public open houses with groups of people in and out over a three-hour period, advertising has become even more important. Between mailings, print media, email marketing, online advertising, networking agent-to-agent and agent-to-potential buyers, and social media — the goal is to encourage agents and buyers to check out the various methods of viewing a home and to set up a private tour.

Private Showings: These are being conducted by appointment only — one group at a time — with a maximum of three people per party – and are scheduled to avoid overlap. Masks and gloves are required by all parties, and we are asking potential buyers and agents to stay in their cars until their appointment time to avoid contact with neighbors or other parties leaving the home.

Paperwork Signing: Electronic signing has become the norm.

Closings: Settlements are done virtually with all parties in separate locations and include a notary. As of now, the time from contract to closing has been extended a bit to at least 30 days.

Whether you are buying or selling, feel free to contact me to discuss the market, and how I can safely help you achieve your real estate goals.

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.

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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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 $103 million in 2019.

From the moment you step through the white picket fence, 211 E Howell will charm you! Just steps from “The Avenue” in sought-after Del Ray, this detached 4 bed/3.5 bath expanded bungalow is a stunner. The beautifully manicured front yard leads you to the front porch — perfect for watching the world go by!

211 E Howell Avenue, Alexandria VA 22301 — The Jen Walker Team

A wonderful floor plan for entertaining or everyday living, the main level includes a living room, separate dining room, fabulous kitchen with stainless appliances and a family room, breakfast nook and a half bathroom. Just off the rear, a screened porch and covered porch overlook the beautiful, private yard.

The upper level includes four bedrooms, one a large master suite with walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom. The three remaining bedrooms share a hall bath. The home’s lower level includes a recreation room, spacious office/bedroom, a full bathroom, laundry and utility space and a large unfinished area perfect for a workbench, storage or even a home gym! This home is truly a walker’s paradise — leave your car in the driveway and walk to all Del Ray has to offer. Minutes away from Old Town and Potomac Yard and close to 395 or GW Parkway, you won’t want to miss this one! Welcome Home!

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by George Myers of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact George at 703-585-8301 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How are first-time homebuyers successfully entering our competitive market with low inventory?

Answer: The keyword from that question is successfully. Now more than ever, first-time buyers need to engage with a comprehensive and experienced team of experts to successfully access the D.C. area’s competitive real estate market. It is only a comprehensive approach that will ultimately leave the buyer (now homeowner!) pleased with their acquisition.

When working with first-time buyers I always quantify the subjective and objective aspects of the home buying process. Going to open houses (remember those?) and previewing homes in person or online is the “fun” and subjective part of this process — dreaming of hosting dinner parties with friends, backyard BBQs, the wall placement of a cherished piece of artwork, walking the dog to the dog park just around the corner, or strolling on a crisp fall morning to pick-up vegetables from a farmer’s market. That’s the fun stuff!

The objective nuts and bolts of the transaction — the contract strategy and negotiation, home inspections, mortgage application and underwriting processes — are far less glamorous but equally important to a successful acquisition. The subjective choices may rest primarily with the buyers, but the majority of the objective expertise will come from the experience of the real estate expert.

Our real estate market consists not only of the homes available for purchase, but also the lenders, settlement agents, home inspectors and real estate professionals that make acquisitions possible. When working with first-time buyers, it is imperative that I help them navigate the process by pointing out the potential issues, situations and problems they may encounter. The potential issues are numerous.

Our mortgage lending guidelines change every day and our buyers not only need to be aware of these changes but also need to be working with a trusted experienced lender. Appraisal guidelines are not the same as they were four months ago and are almost certain to change again before summer is over. Additionally, understanding a home inspection might be a hurdle for a first-time buyer. Home inspections often identify issues with properties that are unforeseen, but almost never unique.

Helping buyers understand that what they perceive as a problem in the inspection report, is oftentimes a situation that I have experienced and successfully navigated many times in the past, giving buyers a high level of confidence and comfort. And while it would be impossible to predict every possible issue, discussing in advance the potential or likely situations that may arise leads to fewer surprises and less stress in the transaction.

But before any of this can happen, the buyers must actually be under contract to purchase a home! How do first-time buyers differentiate their offer to purchase from all the other offers when the seller is going to receive multiple offers? Crafting a contract offer that both recognizes the needs and preferences of the seller and the uniqueness of the property and its value will help the offer rise to the top.

This is where most first-time buyers, who assume the contract negotiating process is primarily about the sales price, need the most guidance. The phrase that “the devil is in the details” is very applicable — more contract offers are dismissed by sellers because of the smaller, perhaps less-significant terms in the contract than on the sales price offered on the front page of the contract itself.

The single best piece of advice I can offer a first-time buyer is to find an experienced, local real estate agent with whom they are comfortable, sit down with them for an hour over a cup of coffee and discuss the entire acquisition process. Address the objective nature of the process and then move on to the fun.

George Myers is a lifelong Alexandria native and a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. George is a calm, low-pressure agent who listens and keenly observes in order to confidently navigate each clients’ uniquely personal decision to buy or sell. Contact George at 703-585-8301 to learn more.

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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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.

Many security clearance holders and future applicants have been affected by the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, most often in connection with their overall financial situation or credit. This article discusses the potential security clearance implications of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 for security clearance holders and applicants.

Financial Issues

The most common security clearance concern for clearance holders, even before the pandemic, involved financial issues. The current COVID-19 crisis will directly impact these types of security concerns. Individuals will likely face potential financial losses, bankruptcy, bad credit or unmanageable debt as a result of the crisis.

These types of issues fall under Guideline F, Financial Considerations pursuant to Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (SEAD 4). SEAD 4 provides the Government’s security clearance guidelines that adjudicators review in evaluating whether or not to grant a security clearance. Financial concerns usually include bad credit, unpaid debts, unpaid taxes and other related financial issues.

It is very likely, due to the existing and future disruptions in business and work that many individuals could be laid off or lose their jobs if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts for an extended period of time. We may very well be entering a recession right now given the number of jobless claims that have recently been filed.

With these recent layoffs, individual finances are clearly going to be negatively impacted. An economic downturn and loss of work can have massive financial implications for many government contractors and other private-sector employees in a relatively short period of time. If individuals are laid off, it is often the case that they find themselves financially underwater within a month. As a result, these individuals are often unable to pay their mortgage, rent, car loans, consumer credit loans or other major bills.

These types of issues affect security clearance holders as debts which result from such a recession are not easily rectified immediately even when new positions requiring clearances become available. We still have clients who lost a majority of their investments during the Great Recession between 2007 and 2009 who still have to address financial issues in connection with their security clearances.

In other words, COVID-19 may lead to a downturn which can have a major effect on security clearance holders or applicants for a long period of time.

The COVID-19 Crisis Will Most Certainly be Viewed as Unique and Mitigating

In terms of security clearances, there is good news for clearance holders, applicants and future applicants. Clearance adjudicators recognize that major shared events, like recessions, are unique in nature which can help to mitigate those security clearance concerns. COVID-19 related financial issues and any downturn would almost certainly fall in this category.

Specifically, SEAD 4, under Guideline F, Financial Considerations, provides mitigation to those facing security concerns related to debts, credit and other financial issues. SEAD 4. Paragraph 20(a) provides as mitigation that “the behavior happened so long ago, was so infrequent, or occurred under such circumstances that it is unlikely to recur…” Furthermore, Paragraph 20(b) states, as a key mitigating factor that “the conditions that resulted in the financial problem were largely beyond the person’s control (e.g., loss of employment, a business downturn, unexpected medical emergency… and the individual acted responsibly under the circumstances.)”

There is no reason to doubt that security clearance adjudicators will give serious consideration to mitigating financial-related security clearance concerns related to debts, bankruptcy and taxes as they have done in the past as it relates to losses occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our general advice to security clearance holders is for them to keep on top of their finances, work with creditors (even if they are uncooperative) if they are laid off or lose their jobs and keep copies of all documents and their attempts to resolve debts or otherwise appear to act responsibly. Even if a creditor doesn’t act reasonable, copies of records showing that the individual tried to do their best in a difficult financial situation is often very helpful.

Contact Us

If you are in need of security clearance 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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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Brian Bonnet, Senior Loan Officer (NMLS ID# 224811) of Atlantic Coast Mortgage, LLC (NMLS ID# 643114). To learn more about current mortgage rates and the home loan process, contact Brian at 703-766-6702 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How do I navigate the current mortgage environment?

Answer: A great deal has changed in the mortgage industry over the past several weeks as the industry responds to COVID-19 economic concerns. Real estate agents and consumers need to be aware of the changes as they navigate the current residential real estate market.

The mortgage industry is facing a severe liquidity problem. Investors stopped purchasing Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) which is the source of capital mortgage bankers use to make loans to consumers. The Federal Reserve stepped in and began purchasing some MBS offerings but is limiting its purchases to true conforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac packages.

Securities based on larger loans and on VA and FHA loans are not being sold. When the mortgage industry cannot sell its MBS, there is limited cash available to make loans to consumers, evidenced by current disparity in rate and point structures.

Generally true conforming loans (< $510,401) are available in the low 3 percentiles at zero points for borrowers with good credit. By contrast, high balance conforming loans, jumbo loans and VA and FHA loans are in the upper 3’s to low 4’s.

In addition to rate/point increases, the past several weeks has seen underwriting guidelines tighten significantly. Across the industry minimum credit scores for all loan programs are being raised and minimum down payments for larger loans are being increased. Where jumbo loans are still available, minimum borrower reserve requirements are being increased and income standards are being tightened.

On some programs, maximum debt-to-income ratios are being lowered. Mortgage insurance companies are also tightening their underwriting requirements and have increased mortgage insurance premiums. All in all, many borrowers are finding it more difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.

On the positive side, both Fannie and Freddie began accepting exterior only and “desktop” appraisals for most scenarios. VA and FHA are following suit.

Our industry is beginning to work with the settlement industry to allow for hybrid electronic settlements, limiting those documents which must be “wet signed” to just a handful of the settlement documents.

Undoubtedly some consumers will decide now is not the time to sell or purchase a home. Others will recognize that this may be a great time to enter the market. For sellers, inventory is still low. For buyers, they may be competing against fewer fellow purchasers. As I always told my boys when they were standing at the plate, you cannot hit if you don’t swing.

Agents, buyers and sellers need to keep a couple of additional things in mind. The mortgage process for the next month or so will take a little longer than usual as lenders are processing very high re-finance volumes. The appraisal process where interior inspections are required will take longer and will require coordination between sellers and appraisers for safe practices.

More than ever, borrowers need to be truly approved for financing before writing contracts. In some instances, after being preliminarily approved, buyers will lose employment and or income prior to settlement and will end up not qualified for financing. Financing contingencies must remain in place from contract to settlement.

As the nation and the world work through the virus crisis and our economy stabilizes, the mortgage industry will stabilize as well.

If you would like more information to help plan your next move, please contact Brian Bonnet at [email protected] or call 703-766-6702.

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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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 $103 million in 2019.

Our Just Listed property features this beautiful, detached 6 bedroom, 4 bath home was just renovated by Alexandria company — Morris Construction. Known for high-quality workmanship, built-in features, custom trim and finishes, Morris Construction has built an amazing home at 2500 Page Terrace!

2500 Page Terrace,  Alexandria, VA 22302  — The Jen Walker Team

A charming front porch with two ceiling fans with milk glass lighting welcomes you to this amazing space. As you enter, you instantly feel at home with the warm glow of the lighting and open floor plan. A large dining room with a bar area tucked away is ideal for hosting dinner parties and entertaining. The oversized island with warm wood cabinetry complements the adjacent white shaker-style cabinetry — providing an abundance of storage.

The kitchen is truly a chef’s dream — a custom range hood over the 6 burner gas stove and a large apron-front farmhouse sink soften this space, and large pendent lighting feels modern and comfortable all at once. This space opens up to the living room, complete with custom shiplap trim and built-in gas fireplace. Exit the living room to a beautiful patio — great for al fresco dining! Two bedrooms and a full bathroom are situated to the left of the main entrance, providing for privacy and ample space for guests or a home office.

Not to be missed is another entry point from the main level — enter from the driveway into a large mudroom. This beautiful space features custom-built lockers, drawer storage and bench seating. Ceramic tile flooring provides for easy cleaning — truly an amazing space! As you head to the upper level, the open staircase provides for a continued airy and comfortable feeling and a white shiplap wall is a unique focal point to lead you upstairs.

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Chris Perry and Kathy Hassett of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Chris at 610-733-0247 or Kathy at 703-863-1546, or by email at [email protected] or [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: As a buyer, what should I know before diving into the current Virginia real estate market?

Answer: Real estate sales are governed by state contract law and property law. Depending on the circumstances, buyers in Virginia can expose themselves to significant risk if they are not fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Virginia is one of only three states that follow the caveat emptor theory for real estate transactions. Caveat emptor is a Latin term meaning “let the buyer beware.” It is a legal principle that requires a buyer to assume the risk for the purchase and conduct the appropriate inquiries before completing the sale.

Sellers in Virginia, and their agents, are merely required to provide buyers with a signed notice of the Virginia Real Estate Disclosure Act, which alerts the buyer that the seller will make no representations or warranties about the property. As a result, sellers are not required to make any disclosures about the condition of the property or adjacent parcels, with the exception of known material defects which would affect the value of the property.

It is the obligation of the buyer to conduct the necessary inspections or to ask the proper questions to uncover any potential issues with the home.

In the “buyer beware” atmosphere what should a buyer do to ensure that they are purchasing a property in good condition? Including a home inspection contingency with the purchase offer allows the buyer to take a close look at the property and its various systems (i.e. heating/air conditioning units, electric, and plumbing) and become aware of existing or possible future problems. When necessary, the buyer may have multiple inspections take place during the home inspection contingency period.

For example, in addition to a general home inspection, the buyer may opt to have a structural engineer inspect the property and give an opinion on the foundation or have a contractor inspect the roof. The home inspection contingency gives the buyer the opportunity to discover systems or appliances that are in need of repair or replacement, or safety hazards present in the home that should be addressed.

During this time of the novel coronavirus pandemic, inspections are still taking place with extra safety and health precautions. Inspectors are wearing protective gear and performing the inspection without the buyer or buyer’s agent present in the home.

Video clips and texts, in addition to the written report, are used to provide information to the buyer about the home’s systems, appliances and structure, and the inspectors are available to discuss concerns and answer questions that the buyer and their agent have.

Following the inspection period the buyer has the opportunity to negotiate with the sellers to make necessary repairs in the home prior to settlement. As an alternative to negotiating repairs, the buyer has the option of voiding the sales contract if they determine they no longer want the property. The buyer is responsible for the cost of the inspection(s), but it is money well spent to gain information on the condition of the property.

Kathy Hassett and Chris Perry, Realtors® with McEnearney Associates in Old Town, have the experience and knowledge to guide their clients through the home buying process successfully and protect their clients’ interests throughout the transaction. Contact Chris Perry at 703-286-1204 or Kathy Hassett at 703-863-1546 today for assistance in your next real estate purchase or sale.

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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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.

Many Virginians have recently found themselves laid off or otherwise out of work due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, unemployment compensation benefits are needed like never before. This is a short article on the unemployment claims process in Virginia and benefits in light of new legislation.

Benefits for affected employees can be sought through the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). Employees who have been laid off, terminated or otherwise had their hours reduced can qualify. Here is a link to the VEC directions for initiating a claim.

Changes to Unemployment Claims Related to COVID-19

On March 12, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also provided additional guidance to state unemployment agencies interpreting unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DOL offered states guidance in being flexible in awarding unemployment compensation to those affected.

As of March 15, the Commonwealth of Virginia waived the one-week waiting period for the unemployed to receive unemployment benefits. The effect of this change is that out of work Virginians can receive unemployment compensation benefits sooner.

Another change is that a claimant in Virginia has usually had to show that they were actively seeking new work, but Virginia changed this requirement in light of COVID-19 for obvious reasons.

Lastly, Virginia is in the process of making unemployment compensation benefits available to the self-employed (1099 and Gig Economy workers) pursuant to an order from Governor Northam.

To file for unemployment compensation in Virginia, please apply at www.vec.virginia.gov. It is also recommended to file as soon as possible so that benefits can start as soon as possible.

Contact Us

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 $103 million in 2019.

Our Just Listed properties this week features two beautiful homes in Alexandria City.

First up, we have this beautifully renovated Braddock Heights home with all the bells and whistles. This beautiful, detached 6 bedroom, 4 bath home was just renovated by Alexandria company — Morris Construction. Known for high-quality workmanship, built-in features, custom trim and finishes, Morris Construction has built an amazing home at 2500 Page Terrace!

2500 Page Terrace,  Alexandria, VA 22302 — The Jen Walker Team

A charming front porch with two ceiling fans with milk glass lighting welcomes you to this amazing space. As you enter, you instantly feel at home with the warm glow of the lighting and open floor plan. A large dining room with a bar area tucked away is ideal for hosting dinner parties and entertaining. The oversized island with warm wood cabinetry complements the adjacent white shaker-style cabinetry — providing an abundance of storage.

The kitchen is truly a chef’s dream — a custom range hood over the 6 burner gas stove and a large apron-front farmhouse sink soften this space, and large pendent lighting feels modern and comfortable all at once. This space opens up to the living room, complete with custom shiplap trim and built-in gas fireplace. Exit the living room to a beautiful patio — great for al fresco dining! Two bedrooms and a full bathroom are situated to the left of the main entrance, providing for privacy and ample space for guests or a home office.

Not to be missed is another entry point from the main level — enter from the driveway into a large mudroom. This beautiful space features custom-built lockers, drawer storage and bench seating. Ceramic tile flooring provides for easy cleaning — truly an amazing space! As you head to the upper level, the open staircase provides for a continued airy and comfortable feeling and a white shiplap wall is a unique focal point to lead you upstairs.

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