Northern Virginias Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from Northern Virginias market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Oct. 23, 2019

Theatre Lovers from Reston Homes See the Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

See the Reston players near Reston homes.One reason people love their Reston homes is the proximity to Washington DC. The city is close enough that residents can commute for work or go in for a concert, a play, or a game. However, Reston real estate has plenty of its own events, especially when it comes to the arts. The Reston Players are starting up their 53rd season with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The hilarious musical comedy opened to great reviews on Friday, October 18th. There are still several shows scheduled. This coming weekend, come for 8 p.m. performances on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th. Enjoy a matinee on Sunday the 27th at 2 p.m. There will also be performances on the following two weekends, November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and the 8th and 9th. The show follows the shenanigans of Monty Navarro, 9th in line to be the Earl of Highhurst, as he tries to get rid of the heirs ahead of him without getting caught. He’s also looking for a spot of romance, and the combination produces a laugh-out-loud show you don’t want to miss. 

Reston Real Estate Owners Get Season Subscriptions to the Reston Players

Those living in Reston homes who enjoy community theatre should check out the auditions scheduled for the next show, The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, October 29th and Wednesday, October 30th at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday November 2nd at 9 a.m. The show will be performed on January 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st, and February 1st, 2020.

If you’re not an actor but love live theatre, consider a season subscription. This allows you to see all four shows of the season for the price of three. A full price subscription is $92. Seniors and students 18 and younger can get a subscription for $80.

Visit the Reston Players online to get details about the current show, find out how to audition, and learn about season subscriptions. 


Posted in Community News
Oct. 21, 2019

Find Out if an Adjustable Rate Mortgage Is Right for Your Reston Real Estate Purchase

Reston real estate shoppers check out adjustable rate mortgages.When you start shopping for Reston real estate, you should also get in touch with a mortgage professional and start figuring out what type of loan is the best for you. The most common type of loan is the 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan. The advantage with a fixed rate loan is that you know how much your house payment will be for the entire life of the loan. However, more younger house buyers are opting for the flexibility offered by an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). An adjustable rate loan will often have a lower rate, essentially giving buyers more buying power as they check out Reston property. Experts say that those who go for an ARM will be able to afford about $30,000 more than those who stay with a traditional fixed rate loan. 

Reston Property Buyers Can Benefit From Savings with an ARM

If adjustable rate loans are so great, why doesn’t everyone choose them? The biggest risk is that the interest rate will go up after the initial period. The fixed period on an ARM will typically be 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. After that, the interest rate will change, based on the index it’s linked to. If you plan to stay in your current job and location, you’ll probably be better off with a fixed rate loan.

For those who expect to move for a job or who just prefer not to be tied down, an ARM can be a better deal. You’ll likely have a lower interest rate and lower payments. In addition, you are paying more on the principal in the first few years than you would be with a fixed rate loan. This means that if you decide to sell after the initial fixed-rate term, you’ll have more equity in the house.

Give the office a call if you’re curious about your mortgage options. I’d be happy to discuss your plans and help you understand what’s available.


Oct. 16, 2019

Not Every Update to Reston Property Will Make the Selling Price Higher

Be careful about renovations to Reston property.Home is where the heart is, but for many people home is also the biggest investment they make. It’s important to understand what kinds of updates and renovations are considered necessary maintenance, which are primarily for your enjoyment, and which will actually help your Reston property sell for more. While replacing the roof or HVAC will cost a lot of money, you shouldn’t plan to recoup those costs when you sell the house. The same is true for upgrades to the electrical system or plumbing. On the other hand, a newer roof or other major systems may help your house sell more quickly. Buyers may feel more positively toward your Reston home if they know they won’t have to save to do extensive repairs. 

Keep Your Reston Home Classic and Neutral Rather than Trendy

Many people believe they must redecorate and renovate the interior of Reston property before putting it on the market. It’s definitely true that a nice interior will help your home sell faster and for close to your asking price. However, you shouldn’t plan on getting a big return on investment for a new paint job unless you do the work yourself. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t repaint. Just be aware of what the real costs and benefits are.

Totally updating your house according to the latest trends is not a great idea. Trends come and go very quickly, so you risk your house looking dated very fast. If the hardware in your kitchen is showing its age, consider replacing it with timeless pieces. Hold off on redoing your kitchen if you’re going to be moving soon. A big kitchen renovation will be costly but it won’t increase the value of your home by a whole lot.

Some projects will get a good return on investment. These include a new front door, weather-proof windows, and a new garage door.

Feel free to call our office to discuss what renovations will be best for your house.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 14, 2019

How to Decide How Much to Spend on a Reston Rental

Figure how what Reston rental you can afford.If you’re hunting for a Reston rental, you want to start by making a budget. Landlords will look at your income and credit history to gauge whether you’ll be a good tenant. Most want to see that rent will take up a reasonable proportion of your income, leaving you enough to meet your other expenses. The 30% rule is pretty commonplace. That is, you should spend no more than 30% on rent. The thing is, 30% is a pretty arbitrary guideline. You need to take into account other expenses, like student loans, a car loan and insurance, credit cards, healthcare, and other expenses.

Reston Real Estate Is a Great Choice, Renting or Buying

The 30% rule dates from public housing guidelines written in the 1960s, so it doesn’t always work nowadays. In places with higher rents and cost of living, many people spend more of their income on rent. Rents have risen quite a bit faster than wages since 2007. The key thing is to make sure you really do have enough money for rent and all the other necessary costs. If you find you’re struggling to afford Reston rental prices, look at your spending and see if there are ways to cut down. You can also consider getting a roommate. You can split rental costs as well as utilities.

There are many good reasons people choose to rent rather than buy Reston real estate. However, you should look carefully at what makes the most financial sense. The debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage is 43%. Keep in mind that there are many programs to help first-time home buyers afford a down payment, closing costs, and offer affordable mortgages. 

Feel free to give the office a call to discuss what options are open to you, both for renting and buying. We would be honored to walk you through this important decision.


Oct. 9, 2019

Go to Russia House Restaurant for a Delicious Meal in Historic Herndon Real Estate

Herndon real estate owners eat Russian cuisine.If you’re looking for a new spot for date night, or want a fun place to meet friends, check out Russia House Restaurant. Located in the historic Herndon real estate district at 724 Pine Street, the atmosphere is both chic and relaxed. The crystal chandeliers, Russian antiques, and nesting dolls all combine to create the feel of an authentic eatery in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Lunch is served Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Take a Culinary Trip to Russia Without Going Far From Your Herndon Home

Whenever you decide to go to Russia House, don’t leave your appetite at your Herndon home. The menus have tons of delicious options, starting with the appetizers, or zakuski as they say in Russia. Try a little of everything and order the zakuski platter. There are several types of caviar, including salmon roe, black lump fish, American sturgeon, and royal ossetra. The borscht (beet soup) gets rave reviews. On the lighter side, there are several tasty salads, as well as vegetarian platters with pasta, fresh vegetables, and mushrooms. Those who love seafood will be delighted with the choices, from pan-seared trout to shrimp to scallops. Then there are the meat entrees. Have the classic chicken Kiev or the delectable beef stroganoff. The duck with sour cherries is amazing. You can also branch out with lamb shahlyk or juja kabob.

Russia House hosts events throughout the year, including special multi-course dinners with wine pairings. Follow their Facebook page to find out about special pricing offered on certain entrees. Herndon real estate owners can also have Russia House cater parties or throw a private event at the restaurant. 

Visit Russia House Restaurant to see the full menu, make reservations, and find out about upcoming events. 


Posted in Community News
Oct. 7, 2019

Check out Hickory Cluster Homes and Find Great Architecture

Choose Hickory Cluster homes for gorgeous design.Each of the townhouse clusters in Reston was carefully designed by a team of architects to be a cohesive unit that was also in harmony with the natural surroundings. Hickory Cluster homes are no exception. Designed by Charles M. Goodman, the townhouses were built in a distinctive block style that nevertheless manages to fit in with the mature trees in the cluster. The cluster was built in 1965. These townhouses have two to four bedrooms and one to three bathrooms. Inside, they have lots of windows that let in plenty of natural light. They also have private patios, perfect for entertaining and relaxing. The townhouses have been meticulously maintained and retain their mid-century modern style. Anyone shopping for Reston real estate will find the original design values on full display in Hickory Cluster.

Choose Reston Real Estate for a Beautiful Planned Community

Hickory Cluster homes are wonderfully situated for residents to enjoy everything Reston offers. The Green Trail goes through the cluster. Residents can use to walk to Lake Anne Village Center for shopping and dining, about a mile away. Or just head over to Lake Anne for a lovely walk around the lake. For swimming, residents go to North Shore Pool, which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Lake Newport Tennis Courts are also very close, just across Baron Cameron Avenue. The Silver Line is a couple miles away from the cluster, making it easy for commuters to get to work in Washington DC. Or take it to catch a concert or see the sights of the capital.

Families considering Hickory Cluster will like the nearby schools. Students attend Lake Anne Elementary, then Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. The high school has the international baccalaureate program, which gives students an excellent foundation for future success.

If you’d like to see Hickory Cluster or any other area of Reston, give our office a call!


Oct. 2, 2019

Attention Reston Home Owners! Washington West Film Festival Is Coming to Town

See movies near your Reston home a the West Washington Film Fest.Enjoy some amazing films away from your Reston home at the Washington West Film Festival. This event will take place from October 24th through October 28th, 2019. This festival began in 2011 and has grown every year. It is unique because all box office proceeds go to struggling communities. By participating in this festival, you are directly helping those in need. There are several ways for those who call Reston home to be involved. Come and enjoy a film or event, consider becoming a sponsor or member, volunteer, intern, and even submit a film.

Come for a Huge Variety of Films on Reston Real Estate

Nearly all of the films will be shown at Bow Tie Cinemas, located at Reston Town Center, but one, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, will be shown at CenterStage in the Reston Community Center. Visit the Washington West Film Festival online to view the offerings and purchase tickets. Scroll through to see the options or also search with filters such as D.C. premiere, directorial debut, documentary, female filmmaker, international, local, narrative, short film, student, and world premiere. Support some local films, including Miss Virginia, 17 Blocks, and Beyond 60 Project.  

All festival guests are also invited to Happy Hour at the Bar and Lounge at Bow Tie Cinemas to grab a drink and mingle on Friday, October 25th at 4:30 p.m. Anyone who has purchased a ticket to the Breakthrough, The Power of Art, or Greener Grasses can receive a free drink between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Just show your ticket to the Washington West Crew at the venue to grab your free drink ticket. Also do not miss the annual Pavilion Party and Awards Ceremony. This event will take place on Saturday, October 26th at 8 p.m. at Reston Town Center Pavilion. There will be music, dancing, drinks, food, and awards presented to winning filmmakers. Always remember to drink responsibly and arrange for a ride back to your Reston real estate.


Posted in Community News
Sept. 30, 2019

Why Reston Homes Sometimes Sell Really Quickly

Reston homes sell fast when they're priced right.While sellers are usually excited when their house sells quickly, if it sells too quickly they might wonder if they priced it correctly. Did their agent really know as much about pricing Reston homes as they should have? Maybe they worry they could have gotten a higher price. In a buyers’ market, a house priced below market might sell faster than expected. However, the Reston real estate market is more of a sellers’ market. Lots of people who work in the capitol want to live here, so property is usually in high demand. Over the last three months, the average property has sold in 24 days. Of course, this includes Reston homes that have sold in less than a week, as well as those that have taken several months to sell.

Reston Real Estate Sells in a Few Days When It’s Priced for the Market

Usually a home in Reston that’s sold quickly has been priced right for the market. You can be more assured that you’ve gotten a good price when several factors are present. First of all, when you hire an experienced agent with a good reputation, you’re almost certainly getting excellent service. Your agent will be able to take a long view of market conditions and price accordingly. They also have access to lots of data about properties that have sold recently and can compare your house to similar ones.

Another reason that Reston property sells fast is that a good agent will have a comprehensive marketing strategy. They will tell you you need to do in terms of decluttering, deep cleaning, and repairs to get the house in the best shape possible. They might suggest you hire a staging company. They can recommend a good photographer and know how to get your house seen online, which is where most people start looking for real estate. Agents also let one another know when a new property is coming on the market, too, so they can let their clients know. All of these elements can come together to help great properties sell in just a few days.

To get an experienced real estate agent to help you sell your property, give the office a call.


Sept. 25, 2019

Reston Real Estate Buyers and Sellers Learn the Difference Between Listing and Selling Agents

Learn the difference between listing and selling agents for Reston real estate.When buying or selling Reston real estate, education is key to a smooth process, especially for those who are in the market for the first time. A good place to start is understanding the difference between listing agents and selling agents. Sellers will work with a listing agent to market the property and get it sold. Buyers will find a selling agent to help them find properties and close the deal.

Hire an Experienced Agent to Help with Buying or Selling a Reston Home

You may wonder if you really need to work with an agent when buying or selling Reston real estate. It may be tempting to forego an agent to save some money. However, their industry expertise will be well worth their commission. Just be sure to take your time and interview several agents before making your choice. Ask them questions about their experience, performance, and ask for a few references. Choose someone that you believe will do a good job representing you and also that you feel a connection with.

Both types of agents are compensated when a home is sold. Ask agents about their fees before signing a contract. Some will charge a flat fee or take a percentage of the sale price. Generally, the fee paid to the selling agent is taken out of the proceeds of the home sale and paid by the seller.

Keep in mind that a listing agent is not normally also the selling agent. In fact, some buyers think it could be in their best interest to call the listing agent and ask to see a Reston home for sale, thinking that they could get a better deal working with the agent directly. This is not a good idea. Agents should be working solely for the interests of their client. It is not ethical to represent both parties in a transaction, especially when an agent’s pay is at stake.

We’d love to be part of your buying or selling team. Give the office a call, and we’ll see if we can work together.


Sept. 23, 2019

Entering the Reston Property Market? Questions to Ask When You Interview Agents

Get a good agent for the Reston property market.It is important to find a good real estate agent that really meshes with you when buying or selling a Reston property. Take the time to interview a few potential candidates before deciding whom to work with. Here are a few areas to be sure to chat about before making your selection for a realtor. Also keep in mind that they will be interviewing you as well to see if they would like to take you on as a client. 

Ask the agent how long they have been in the business. Of course, the more years under their belt, they more they should know. However, a new agent is not always a bad idea. If they have had top notch training and have access to mentors who really know the business, give them a shot if you get a good vibe from them.

Make Sure Your Reston Real Estate Agent Knows the Neighborhoods You Like

Next, find out about the agent’s knowledge of the area you would like to buy in. Ask them what their strategy will be with either finding or selling your Reston property. How many homes does the agent think you will see before finding the right one? How strong are their negotiating skills? How will the agent market your home? What tips does the agent have for preparing your Reston real estate for sale?

Be sure to ask about their fee. Ask for references. Find out how they can help find other professionals such as mortgage brokers or home inspectors. Finally, ask what sets them apart from other agents. Try to talk to a few other people who have used the agent and find out if they were pleased with their work. Also think back on your time spent with the agent. Did you enjoy it and come away with a sense of trust? You will be spending a lot of time with this person and fully trust that they have your best interests at heart.