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Off-Market Source: Dec. 13

Every week the Eli Residential Group scours our network for off-market and pre-market homes to give home buyers and investors access to properties they can’t find anywhere else online. If you are interested in a property you see here or have specific needs you cannot find on the market, please reach out to us at [email protected] to talk to a real person, not an automated response system.

If you are a homeowner, investor, builder or agent who would like your off-market or pre-market property featured for a half million local readers on PoPville, ARLnow or Tysons Reporter, please email us at [email protected].

Belle Haven Renovation with $5,000/Month Income
6000 Block Arkendale Road
Alexandria, Va 22307

Description: Unique investment or future owner-occupant opportunity in one of Alexandria’s top neighborhoods, Belle Haven. High-end gut renovation in 2017 with existing two-year lease for $5,000/month in place. Investors can collect great rent and sell in two years with excellent appreciation driven by Amazon HQ2. Owner-occupant can secure today’s pricing and pay down mortgage through remainder of lease. 4 BR/3 BA, open floor plan, massive 2+ car attached garage in this open floor plan home.
Price: $1,050,000
Courtesy of RLAH Real Estate

To view all of our off-market or pre-market properties, visit the off-market section of our website. We add new properties every week.

The Eli Residential Group is a real estate team with RLAH Real Estate, (703) 390-9460, operating in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Contact the team directly at [email protected]

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Ask Val: Afraid of a Bad Flip?

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Val Sotillo, Northern Virginia-based Realtor and Falls Church resident. Please submit your questions to her via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: I’m looking to buy a remodeled home but I’m afraid of buying a bad flip and wondering if you have any tips for spotting them during showings.

Answer: Whether or not a home has been recently renovated for sale by an investor or homeowner, it’s important for you to do as much digging and inspecting as possible to verify the quality of the work and materials.

Never assume that because a home has been professionally remodeled and looks new that you do not need to perform an inspection. A home inspection is most valuable when buying a flipped property because you’re paying a premium for it being/appearing new.

However, inspections take place after entering into a purchase agreement and cost money, so I’ll highlight some things you can look for before making an offer that will give you an idea of the quality of the work.

Exterior

  • Driveway — Repaving a driveway is expensive and often ignored in cheap flips. Look for cracks or other damage in the driveway. If the driveway has been redone, that’s a good sign.
  • Roof — You don’t need to be a roofing expert to know whether a roof looks to be old and damaged or in new or good condition.
  • Downspouts — You want to see water runoff extending away from the home by 8-10 ft. Not being dropped right next to it, which is often overlooked by inexperienced or cheap investors.
  • Lawn — Grass takes time and money to look good so if the lawn is in good condition, that’s a great sign.
  • Windows — Windows are very expensive and you can tell a lot about an investor by the windows they install. Are they good quality? Did they replace none, some or all of them? Do they have a warranty?

Interior

  • Floor Plan — Did the investor make decisions that leave you scratching your head like a shortage of kitchen cabinets, awkward toilet placement or tiny clothes closets? It’s not easy to redesign a floor plan and novice remodelers almost always make mistakes.
  • Plumbing — Turning on faucets will also signal if there are issues with the water pressure, or in some cases, if the hardware hasn’t been hooked up to a water source at all.
  • Look Under the Cabinets — House flippers often focus on the cosmetic appeal of the home rather than the functionality. Look under the kitchen sink. If you see that the drain lines, disposal and wiring have been spray painted, it’s a sign the flipper or contractor is covering up a dated disposal.
  • Electrical — Look at the inside of the panel door to see if it’s been labeled and if there is a signed/finalized permit sticker.
  • Furnace — Does the exhaust pipe have a constant positive pitch leaving the unit until it reaches the exterior (note: this should also be the case on a gas water heater)?
  • Door Frames/Shoe Molding — Are the frames around the doors and shoe molding along the floor new or painted over? New frames/molding looks clean and smooth while originals with paint over top look clumpy and damaged. If it’s original frames/molding, you might be looking at a quick, cheap flip.

Other

  • In Virginia, sellers are not obligated to provide detailed property disclosures, but you can still ask the current owners for a written, detailed report of all the changes they’ve made to the property.
  • Receipts — Try to confirm who did the work. Are they licensed, bonded and insured? Don’t be afraid to talk to the contractors who did the work and see how much they’re willing to share about the materials and crew they used.
  • Days Since Last Sale — Look up how much time has lapsed between the investor’s purchase of the property and the completion of the remodel. The timing of the work should align with what the seller is claiming to have done and the time it takes to get the permits.

Check this link for a list of renovations and additions that need a permit in Fairfax County.

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Winter Break Camps Around Tysons

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Winter break for Fairfax County starts after school on Friday, December 21 and students don’t go back until January 7!

That’s a long time with nothing to do, except a holiday if you celebrate. If you’re looking for camps for your kids over winter break, please read this list of suggestions. If you have an option I might have missed, please comment below and let our readers know.

Day Camps

Adrenaline Dance Studio 6 Options for full day or half day camp, ages 3-14.

Stemtree — Grades K-6 is one group, and then Grade 7 and up is another. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

MyGym of McLean — Camp is for 3-9 year olds, hours are 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Enshin Karate — Day camp from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

TigerDen of McLean

Once Upon A Dream — Ages 3-10, Each day has a theme, offering all day option (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) or half day (9 a.m. to Noon, or 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.)

The Old Firehouse Center in McLean — Offers daily trips for 5th through 9th graders. Examples include Dave & Busters, Zava Zone, Indoor Go Karting and more.

The TEA Center — Preschool through 8th grade, 6:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

I’m also going to share my sanity saving local tip:

Sign up for Our-Kids.com. They send a weekly email with all of the activities for the upcoming week so you don’t have to scour the internet for something to do. It’s neatly packaged by location (DC, VA, or MD), by day, and time. Red Tricycle does something similar.

Looking for some more options? Try Fairfax County Winter Camp or the Town of Vienna also has some camps.
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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 Kimberly H. Berry, Esq.

One of the more typical types of retirement matters that our firm handles involves the representation of federal employees in the disability retirement process before various federal agencies and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Federal employees thinking about filing for disability retirement should consider the following five issues as they debate whether or not to proceed.

1. How Serious are the Federal Employee’s Medical Disabilities and are They Linked to Duties in Their Position Description?

When making a disability retirement decision OPM evaluates a federal employee’s continued ability to work with their medical condition in the context of the duties described in their position description. OPM uses the phrase “useful and efficient service in your current position” to describe the degree to which a federal employee can carry out their job duties.

If the medical disability is not considered serious enough, or not fully supported by medical documentation and evidence, then OPM may deny the disability retirement application.

2. How Long is the Medical Disability Expected to Last?

The duration of a medical disability is very important when OPM makes a disability retirement decision. OPM generally requires that a medical disability be expected to last at least 1 year.

When considering whether to file for disability retirement, it is important for a federal employee to consider the expected length of the individual’s medical disability. Disabilities with shorter durations can be problematic for federal employees in the disability retirement process.

3. Is it Possible for the Federal Employee to Survive on a Reduced Annuity? Read More

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Off-Market Source: Dec. 6

Every week the Eli Residential Group scours our network for off-market and pre-market homes to give home buyers and investors access to properties they can’t find anywhere else online. If you are interested in a property you see here or have specific needs you cannot find on the market, please reach out to us at [email protected] to talk to a real person, not an automated response system.

If you are a homeowner, investor, builder or agent who would like your off-market or pre-market property featured for a half million local readers on PoPville, ARLnow or Tysons Reporter, please email us at [email protected].

Massive Condo in Gates of West Falls
7025 Haycock Road, Unit G
Falls Church, VA 22043

Description: Huge 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath condo with 2 garage spaces. 2036 sq. ft. with floor to ceiling windows, updated bathrooms, gas fireplace and a huge patio. Renovations by Case Design.
Price: Low $600’s
Courtesy of RLAH Real Estate

To view all of our off-market or pre-market properties, visit the off-market section of our website. We add new properties every week.

The Eli Residential Group is a real estate team with RLAH Real Estate, (703) 390-9460, operating in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Contact the team directly at [email protected]

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Val Sotillo, Northern Virginia-based Realtor and Falls Church resident. Please submit your questions to her via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: Is there any new development within walking distance from the Vienna Metro?

Answer: Metro Row at Vienna station is a great option, located just south of the Vienna/Fairfax GMU Metro station.

Built by NVR Inc., it’s a 16-acre community with 141 luxury townhomes. They started Phase One in 2016, and they currently are on Phase Two, with expected delivery date for May/June 2019. There are only 18 home sites still available.

The Homes

Metro Row has been a favorite community for our clients because they deliver a spacious, luxury new townhouse at a great value. Now that they’re well into construction on the second (and last) phase, I thought it would be a good time to check in on what’s left and tour their latest models. Here’s what I like:

  • Sizes vary from 2,283 to 2,695 sq. ft. and they accommodate up to 4 bedrooms and 3 and a half bathrooms. The first level can either be an in-law suit or a family room. Very practical use of space.
  • My favorite units have access from the main level to a covered back porch with gas fireplace and private backyard. They are great for entertaining!
  • The powder room in the model home had a glass tile accent wall and I think that’s an awesome idea you can also apply to the other bathrooms. See video below!

Location, Location, Location

Metro Row is located in a rapidly growing part of Fairfax. Consider these facts:

  • Located 0.6 miles from the Vienna Metro (Orange Line makes downtown D.C. just 20 minutes away).
  • Easy access to I-66 and 495.
  • Walking distance from Pan Am Shopping Center, where you have everything you could possibly need: get groceries at Safeway, watch sports at Glory Days, your daily coffee at Starbucks, pet supplies at Pet Valu, many international restaurants (California Shabu Shabu offers a fun dining experience!) and many other services such as gas station, banks, UPS Store and fast food.
  • About a mile from the upcoming mixed use development Scout on the Circle, which will have small shop retail, and a 54,000 sq. ft. Giant Food.
  • A 5 minute drive to the thriving Mosaic District, offering many options for dining (True Food and B Side are some my favorites!), shopping, fitness and entertainment.
  • 21 miles from both Reagan National Airport and Dulles Airport.

Price

The townhomes at Metro Row start at $759,990, and go up to the mid $900’s, depending on the finishes selected. The HOA fee is $111 (will decrease to $89 a month by community completion) and it includes common ground maintenance, snow removal, trash removal, recycling, grass cutting and landscaping.

As for incentives, they offer up to $20,000 off quick move-ins and a special gift in the model home valued up to $2,500.

If you would like more details about Metro Row, schedule a tour, explore more neighborhoods, or if you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. I hope to hear from you soon!

Val Sotillo is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, 703-390-9460.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

If you’re like me, you love the magic of holiday light displays but don’t have the motivation to do it yourself. We love driving our kids around to look at the amazing light shows people put together. Some even have their own radio station to coordinate lights and music!

It’s still early in the season, so some more houses might make the list later this month. Here are some early favorites:

Vienna

10203 Lawyers Road — Lawyers is a busy road, so you’ll have to drive slowly by because there’s nowhere to pull over, unless you go to the street across from the house (Galloping Way).

117 Hickory Circle SW — This display is set to music (instructions are posted in the front of the house on the cul-de-sac or at the back in the shopping center). Make sure you see both sides of the house. Follow their Facebook Page for details. The show runs 5:30-10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 5:30-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

117 Kingsley Road SE  This location is blow up heaven! They have so many favorites on display including Disney characters, Santa in a sleigh being pulled by his reindeer suspended mid-air above their roof and more. Plenty of street parking so you can easily take a walk by the house.

1801 Beulah Road — This house has an amazing front yard that is completely decked out, including a mailbox for “Letters to Santa!” I’m not sure where those letters go, but this Christmas décor is stunning! There’s a pull off and a street across from it (Chestnut Farm Drive) if you want to pull over to take it all in.

2438 Cedar Lane  Beautiful and abundant light display, including a dancing tree of lights. No music from what I could tell, but beautiful.

2528 Drexel Street  The Ni Family Light show is one of the hits of Vienna. There’s plenty of street parking to pull over and watch. They have a playlist that accompanies the choreographed light show. They’re doing a repeat show of 2017 before they launch the 2018 playlist. The show runs 5-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 5-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Honorable Mention The Vine Church (2501 Gallows Road) The Ni Family also helps with this light show, which has over 10,000 pixels (it’s huge!)

McLean

7815 Birnam Wood Drive  The show runs 7-9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 6-11 p.m. on weekends. Completely covered in lights, even the lawn has light displays and blow ups.

6530 Heather Brook Court — Show runs from 5 p.m. to midnight daily. There is a start button and a radio station to listen to music while watching the light show. The display includes lights and tons of blow ups.

Remember, don’t go on the lawns! Stay on the sidewalk or the street and enjoy the display safely.

Are there any homes that were missed? Any other neighborhoods in the area worth a visit? If so, leave a comment with details.

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Off-Market Source: Nov. 29

Every week the Eli Residential Group scours our network for off-market and pre-market homes to give home buyers and investors access to properties they can’t find anywhere else online. If you are interested in a property you see here or have specific needs you cannot find on the market, please reach out to us at [email protected] to talk to a real person, not an automated response system.

If you are a homeowner, investor, builder or agent who would like your off-market or pre-market property featured for a half million local readers on PoPville, ARLnow or Tysons Reporter, please email us at [email protected].

Three-Home Investment Package
Two homes in Sterling, Virginia and one in Manassas, Virginia

Description: One owner selling three investment properties in Northern Virginia with established tenants and strong rental income. Will sell individually or as package for a discount. All detached homes. Two 3 BR/2 BA, one 5 BR/2 BA.
Price: Low $300’s – mid $300’s each OBO
Courtesy of RLAH Real Estate

To view all of our off-market or pre-market properties, visit the off-market section of our website. We add new properties every week.

The Eli Residential Group is a real estate team with RLAH Real Estate, (703) 390-9460, operating in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Contact the team directly at [email protected]

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Val Sotillo, Northern Virginia-based Realtor and Falls Church resident. Please submit your questions to her via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: We are planning to buy a home in the D.C. area in the next 12 months. What should we know before buying a house that we can get started with now?

Answer: Whether you’re a first-time buyer, experienced buyer relocating from out-of-state, or moving locally here’s a list of things I review and plan out with clients before getting into the full swing of house hunting.

Requirements, Timelines, and Contracts

The most important thing you can do as a buyer is take time to become educated on the process, timelines and key contractual terms/obligations in the area you plan to search. This is also a good way to meet and vet different real estate agents early on to get a feel for who is willing to spend time with you up-front on education and planning vs pushing immediately for a sale.

Get Pre-Approved

It’s important to identify a lender who provides high quality service and also has loan products that fit your profile (down payment, credit score, job industry, etc).

Getting a pre-approval from a lender who reviews and verifies your financial documents, income, and employment will decrease the chances of you being rejected from a loan, increase your leverage in contract negotiations and reduce the amount of work required of you once you’re under contract.

Set A Monthly Budget

Most people qualify for more than they actually want to spend, especially dual-income buyers, so budgeting is important. Set a monthly budget for total housing expenses including mortgage, taxes, insurance and applicable Association fees or mortgage insurance.

Do You Want Representation?

Determine if you want to be represented by a Realtor (breaking news… I highly recommend it). In most cases, the seller pays commission to the buyer’s broker, so representation often comes at little or no cost to buyers.

Cash Needs + Savings

You need cash savings for your down payment + closing costs of 2.5-3% of the sales price. When your offer gets accepted, you need to deposit 1-5% of the sale price into an escrow account to secure the sale.

You’ll spend about $1,000 before closing on inspections and appraisal. Don’t forget moving expenses, furniture, painting, etc. You should have 3-6 months of emergency savings tucked away after everything is paid for.

How Long Will You Live There?

This is the most underrated conversation for buyers to have when setting a budget and determining criteria. Your home-buying strategy should look very different if you’re planning to own for 3-5 years vs 10-12 years so give it serious thought and be realistic.

Sometimes the best investment is buying a house that allows you to live there longer and eliminates one or more real estate transactions in your lifetime. The value you get out of being in a home for 10 years vs 3 years far surpasses a small increase in your budget.

Deadlines and Lease Terms

Figure out if you have any strict deadlines for the move and if there are costs of buying before or after that deadline. If you’re renting, make sure you find out the cost of early termination or if month-to-month leasing is an option.

I hope this list is helpful not just for local D.C. metro readers, but for anybody getting started with their home search and wondering what you should know before buying a house.

These are the conversations and steps I take with my clients every day to make sure they’re prepared and have the right strategy in place before we even look at homes together. I’m sure I left a few things off this list, but this should get you 95% of the way there.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. I hope to hear from you soon!

Val Sotillo is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, 703-390-9460.

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December Events Around Tysons

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Monday, November 26, 6 p.m.: Church St Holiday Stroll

Santa arrives on his firetruck at 6:15 p.m. to greet children by the Freeman Store and Museum and will help the mayor light the holiday tree and menorah at 6:20 p.m. There will be music and marshmallow roasting stations.

Thursday, November 29, 7 p.m.: Tiny Tots Holiday Concert

The James Madison High School band program presents a seasonal music concert on Thursday and Friday at 10 a.m., along with a Thursday 7 p.m. concert. Tickets require advance purchase at $9/person. The concert takes place at JMS at 2500 James Madison Drive, Vienna.

Friday, November 30, 5 p.m.: Mosaic District Holiday Tree Lighting

Mosaic district welcomes Santa on his firetruck, the Vienna Singing Princesses, Chasing Autumn Trio and a screening of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, all surrounding a 7 p.m. Tree lighting ceremony.

Saturday, December 1-2, 9 a.m.: The Enchanted Forest by the Junior League of Northern Virginia

Hosted both Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m., the Junior League of Northern Virginia hosts the Enchanted Forest at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel. Events include visits from Santa, crafts, live entertainment like the Great Zucchini and more. Tickets required.

Saturday, December 1, 8 a.m.: McLean Reindog Parade

Hosted by the McLean Chamber of Commerce – dress your dog up and walk in a parade for prizes! Santa on the firetruck will visit, along with donuts, hot chocolate and entertainment. Register here. Admission is 2 cans of dog food to donate to a local animal shelter.

Saturday, December 1, 4 p.m.: Wolftrap Holiday Sing-A-Long

A FREE holiday sing-a-long concert starting at 4 p.m. Wolf Trap will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots at the entrance. Admission is free and so is parking. If you bring a candle, you can join in the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional.

Sunday, December 2, 8 a.m.: 2018 Santa Breakfast at Tysons

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