Tysons Corner, VA

Welcome to New Homes, a monthly column highlighting the new construction real estate market, written by Conor Sullivan and Dave Moya of Three Stones Residential at Keller Williams Realty. We are here to share our experience and expertise in lot acquisition, financing and construction of custom homes. 

When you’re buying a home, you have to make lots of decisions — where you want to live, what type of house you want to look at, and most importantly, deciding between moving into an older home or building a brand new one.

There’s no getting around it: up-front costs of building a new home are more expensive than buying one that already exists. However, the average home sales price continues to climb in the Northern Virginia region. In July, the average home sales price was $619,082, up 1.58% from July 2018.

But just because the sticker price of an older home is significantly less doesn’t mean that there aren’t additional hidden costs associated with it. Older homes can potentially come with a barrage of problems, which requires extra cash to fix.

So, should you buy a new home — and can you actually afford to do it? Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about buying a new home versus an old one, plus the logistics of securing a loan.

Weighing The Pros And Cons

When trying to determine if you can afford a new home, it’s important to know all of the pros and cons before you buy. Here are some things to consider:

Additional Maintenance: An older home may be fine today, but eventually there will be maintenance that you’ll have to take on.

Warranty: An old home doesn’t always come with a warranty like a new home will. In many states, including Virginia and the District of Columbia, home builders are legally required to provide a home warranty for at least a year on workmanship and materials.

Age of Appliances: An older home may come with new appliances or may not. The average cost of replacing appliances can range between $350 and $8,000.

Renovation Costs: Not every room in an older home will be your taste, which could cost extra money for renovation. A new home can be designed exactly to your specifications.

The Logistics Of Buying A New Home

Buying a new home has a slightly different process than buying an existing home. Here’s what you need to know:

You’ll need to secure a construction loan — A construction loan is needed to pay for the work to be completed on your home. You can secure a stand-alone construction loan and then get a regular mortgage later, or a construction-to-permanent loan (which combines the two).

A construction loan requires a bigger down payment because it is considered “riskier” for the lender, and the interest rates are typically higher than a traditional home loan.

You may need a jumbo mortgage — Because new builds are more expensive, you may need a “jumbo mortgage,” or a home loan that is bigger than the conforming loan limits (a fancy term for the maximum amount Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae is allowed to loan). To qualify, you’ll need a credit score of at least 680 and a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or lower.

Here are some current options for buying new homes in the Tysons area:

Want to learn more about buying or building a brand-new house?  Three Stones Residential specializes in matching homeowners with the right builder and lot location. If you have any questions about new homes or builders, please email us at [email protected] today to get into your dream home. Let us help you love where you live.

Want to learn more about financing a New Home build? McLean Mortgage (NMLS ID: 99665) can handle all of your construction financing needs. You can build your new home with as little as 5% down. Contact construction loan expert Troy Toureau (NMLS ID: 5618) at 301-440-4261 or AnyHomeLoans.com to learn more.

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Open Houses: August 23

Three Stones Residential agents pride ourselves on our consultative service approach, local expertise and real estate market knowledge. With over 26 years of business experience in the DMV, we have consistently performed in the top 2% of local Realtors and are currently the #1 group at Keller Williams Metro Center. 

1911 Prout Place, Falls Church
6 BD/5 BA
Agent: KW Metro Center
Listed: $1,489,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2316 Trott Avenue, Vienna
6 BD/7 BA
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $1,789,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

6940 Cavalier Trail, Falls Church
4 BD/4 BA
Agent: United Real Estate
Listed: $875,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

6816 McLean Province Circle, Falls Church
3 BD/3 BA
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Listed: $750,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

6719 Van Fleet Drive, McLean
6 BD/5.5 BA
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $1,850,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

1600 Sereno Court, Vienna
4 BD/3.5 BA
Agent: Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $734,900
Open: Saturday 1-4 p.m.

 

Our role is to offer sound advice and guidance to our clients in order for them to achieve their goals in either buying, selling, leasing or managing real estate. We are truly “Your Home… for Everything Real Estate.” To schedule a private showing of these or any other properties of interest please do not hesitate to contact us here or email us at [email protected].

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Luxury for Less: August 21

Welcome to Luxury For Less, a weekly column highlighting the best deals in luxury real estate. Written by Brandy Schantz of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury For Less offers tips and tricks navigating the competitive real estate market and securing the home of your dreams. To learn more, visit ttrsir.com.

It’s been quite a busy year but the market finally appears to be slowing just a bit.

Teachers are hard at work getting ready for the school year to begin and Fairfax County schools will officially start back next week. This means that sellers are getting serious before the holiday season is upon us and the market slows to a crawl. This week’s featured home is a wow home for sure. Who needs to leave home when you have a 5,000 bottle wine cellar, a gym, a bar, a recreation room and a backyard to die for.

This home in Great Falls is a stunner and is now reduced in price by nearly a half million dollars. Enjoy peace and tranquility next to your koi pond and truly get away from the hustle and bustle.

9110 Dara Lane Great Falls (Reduced $450,000)

Check out the rest of this week’s Luxury for Less listings:

The properties listed are a small selection of properties available in the Tyson’s Corner area. For a full list of properties listed on MLS and private exclusives, please contact Brandy Schantz.

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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.

I meet a lot of people who want a large piece of land with their house in the Tyson’s Corner area.

For many, a quarter acre lot (about 10,000 sq. ft.) isn’t enough. But did you know the larger the lot size in Vienna and McLean, the higher probability the house is on well water and/or a septic system instead of public utilities? That’s the funny thing about land, once you get over about a half acre, you’re leaving behind Fairfax County water/sewer.

If you’re looking for land or already own a house with land, don’t forget about these maintenance items and some pros and cons.

Well Water

Pro: Water is free! Many people say it also tastes better.

You should check your pH level regularly, along with other possible contaminates. There’s a small cost associated with maintenance on a well — neutralizer, water filtration system, water softener, etc. If the well ever gets contaminated past the point of safe usage, you may have to drill new one. Learn more about Wells.

Septic System

Septic systems are in place of public sewer, which handles all water and organic matter that runs down the plumbing system. The septic tank is buried in the yard and flows to a drainfield.

Maintenance: The septic tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. When you’re buying a home, you should be doing a septic tank inspection where they check to make sure the size of the system is adequate for the house (usually this is measured by the number of bedrooms).

To learn more about septic systems, read here.

My go to contractors for each are Bell Pump and Well and Five Star Septic.

If you have more questions on this topic or others related to home care, buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

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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.

One of our major practice areas involves representing individuals in security clearance law matters.

We frequently speak to individuals who have issues or concerns relating to their security clearances and are seeking a new position elsewhere. We decided to put together some tips for employees that are changing positions in the context of holding a security clearance.

Tips for employees leaving one cleared position for another:

Leave Your Existing Employer on Good Terms

It is very important to leave your employer on good terms when taking a new position elsewhere. The better the departure, the less likely that you will have issues relating to your security clearance. Keep in mind that a former employer can still report security concerns about a former employee even when they have left.

I recommend the cordial departure approach with supervisors and the company and that the individual take every step possible to keep their former employer happy while you leave.

Know the Status of One’s Clearance Before You Go

It is important to know the status of your clearance before you leave. Too often we have seen a person accept a new position but not realize that their security clearance was out of scope or pending re-investigation, possibly leaving them without an active clearance when they leave.

There is also the possibility that a negative incident report is pending which is unknown at the time of departure. This is a major potential problem where an employee has left their position thinking that all is okay, but then later find out (usually after 2 weeks at the new job) that there is a problem with their security clearance which often leads to a termination.

Have the New Employer Check Your Status Before Leaving the Former Employer 

The individual leaving employment should confirm and re-confirm with the new employer’s security office the status of their security clearance.

This is especially the case where an individual maintains a security clearance in one system, i.e. the Department of Defense JPAS database and attempts to move to a position with an Intelligence Community agency (i.e. NSA, CIA) which is covered by a different database known as Scattered Castles. Sometimes these two databases do not sync well which can cause issues and delays.

Individuals Having Security Incidents Should Take it Slow Before they Leave

One of the most common problems that we come across is when an individual knows that they have an incident report but they still attempt to move to the new employer before their security issue is adjudicated and cleared.

If an individual knows that they have an incident report pending they are typically much better off by staying with their existing employer who will likely keep them employed while the matter is adjudicated. The new employer is far more likely to tell an individual, only after they have left their prior employment, that their clearance has an issue and that they can no longer hire them.

Special Transition Notes

When there is a difficult transition like when the employer is upset with an individual leaving their position for another job it is important to be very careful what the employee takes when with them when they leave the office. We have had numerous cases where an employee leaves one employer under less than favorable circumstances and then the employer claims loss of confidential information and reports the employee to clearance authorities.

In particular, an individual should be very careful in what they take from their computer or printed files from the office. If there is any question, get permission from the employer. Some clients have been reported for taking company emails, files or other information, even if not classified which results in significant security clearance issues.

Conclusion

If you need assistance with a security clearance issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com or securityclearancelawyer.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

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Open Houses: August 16

Three Stones Residential agents pride ourselves on our consultative service approach, local expertise and real estate market knowledge. With over 26 years of business experience in the DMV, we have consistently performed in the top 2% of local Realtors and are currently the #1 group at Keller Williams Metro Center. 

1911 Prout Place, Falls Church
6 BD/5 BA
Agent: KW Metro Center
Listed: $1,489,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

3320 Grass Hill Terrace, Falls Church
5 BD/3 BA
Agent: RE/MAX West End
Listed: $899,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

6729 Kennedy Lane Falls Church
4 BD/1.5 BA
Agent: Keller Williams Realty Falls Church
Listed: $675,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

9555 Lagersfield Circle, Vienna
4 BD/4.5 BA
Agent: Weichert, REALTORS
Listed: $849,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

802 Ware Street SW, Vienna
3 BD/2.5 BA
Agent: Pearson Smith Realty, LLC
Listed: $769,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1533 Cedar Avenue, McLean
4 BD/4.5 BA
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $875,000
Open: Saturday & Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

Our role is to offer sound advice and guidance to our clients in order for them to achieve their goals in either buying, selling, leasing or managing real estate. We are truly “Your Home… for Everything Real Estate.” To schedule a private showing of these or any other properties of interest please do not hesitate to contact us here or email us at [email protected].

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Just Listed Properties: August 15

Three Stones Residential agents pride ourselves on our consultative service approach, local expertise and real estate market knowledge. With over 26 years of business experience in the DMV, we have consistently performed in the top 2% of local Realtors and are currently the #1 group at Keller Williams Metro Center. 

The following properties were recently listed in the Tysons, McLean, Vienna and Falls Church areas.

Our role is to offer sound advice and guidance to our clients in order for them to achieve their goals in either buying, selling, leasing or managing real estate. We are truly “Your Home… for Everything Real Estate.” To schedule a private showing of these or any other properties of interest please do not hesitate to contact us here or email us at [email protected].

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Luxury for Less: August 14

Welcome to Luxury For Less, a weekly column highlighting the best deals in luxury real estate. Written by Brandy Schantz of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury For Less offers tips and tricks navigating the competitive real estate market and securing the home of your dreams. To learn more, visit ttrsir.com.

Many buyers in the current market are experiencing a lot of competition.

This year has consistently been a very strong seller’s market. Where we are seeing a shift in the market is the above $1 million mark. Yes, many detached homes in places like Falls Church and Vienna sell very quickly if priced below $1.3M but overall, it’s softening and buying a new build home is getting just a little bit easier.

This week’s feature has a nearly 1 acre lot and a motivated seller. Great combination! This beautiful home features high end finishes and location close to Tysons Corner. Just reduced $100,000!

1281 Serenity Woods Lane Vienna (Reduced $100,000)

Check out the rest of this week’s Luxury for Less listings:

The properties listed are a small selection of properties available in the Tyson’s Corner area. For a full list of properties listed on MLS and private exclusives, please contact Brandy Schantz.

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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: I’m looking to purchase a home that’s walking distance from the metro station. What are my housing options and what neighborhoods do you recommend around the Vienna Metro Station?

Answer: Vienna Metro Station is the last stop on the Orange Line. The station is in Oakton, in the median of Interstate 66 at Nutley Street (Virginia State Route 243) which provides quick access to 495 and can take you to D.C. in 25 minutes. You can get to Dulles Airport in 20 minutes. Overall, a great location!

The communities around the metro are beautiful and offer many housing options. It’s a mix of original homes and new construction; condos and large homes. The area is very walkable with lots of green spaces, and it tends to be quiet during the weekends.

What’s Great About The Neighborhood

Location — The Vienna Metro is located minutes away from Tysons. Depending on which side of the metro you are, you could walk to Pan Am Shopping Center. It’s less than 2 miles from the upcoming mixed use development Scout on the Circle, which will have small shop retail, and a 54,000 sq. ft. Giant Food.

It’s also less than 3 miles from the Town of Vienna and all its amenities. (Check my past column about Town of Vienna)

It’s only 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.

Active Community — The Providence Community Center is just steps from the metro and it provides the residents of all ages various fun activities such as Yoga, crafts,and chess club. Here’s the full schedule.

There are parks within walking distance such as Nottoway Park, offering tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, gardens, picnic areas and wooded nature paths.

If you have a dog, you can walk to Moorefield Park. The play area is shaded by mature trees and completely fenced in, providing a cool and safe retreat for dogs and their families. Water is available on site as well. All dogs must be licensed by the Town of Vienna or Fairfax County.

Housing

There are many different options for detached homes, townhomes and condos. If you’re interested in new construction, check out my column about Metro West.

Within 1.2 miles from the metro, there are 66 properties for sale, ranging from a one bedroom condo for $179,900, to a brand new 6,000 sq. ft., 5 bedroom single family home for $2,295,000. You can see the active listings here.

Twelve properties are under contract, ranging from a 1 bedroom condo at $195,000, to a new custom built, 6 bedroom single family house at $1,449,900.

In the past 6 months, 86 condos were sold for a median price of $327,500; 110 townhouses were sold for a median price of $549,000; and 71 single family homes sold for a median price of $815,000.

I visited some active listings in the area, and the nearest to the metro is a 2 bedroom condo, located at 2971 Centerboro Drive #379 (Courtesy of RLAH Real Estate).

Here’s a little video tour for you:

If you’d like more information, or would like a question answered in my weekly column, please reach out 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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End of Summer Fun!

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

The clock is ticking on our summer fun!

Just 2 weeks to go until the kids go back to school and the adults go back to our regular schedules. But before that happens, there’s actually a lot going on around the area for some late summer fun.

You’ve got 3 weeks left at the pool, but if you’re looking for something else to do, try one of these things this week:

  • Restaurant Week all over D.C. and NoVA! Find a full list of restaurant participants here. Some of my favorites include Ambar, Ford’s Fish Shack, Lyon Hall and TenPenh
  • Arlington County Fair: August 14-18, see the full schedule here. Pretend you’re reliving ViVa Vienna or McLean Day!
  • Kids on the Green: 10 a.m. at the Town Green, kids performers
  • Chillin’ on Church: 6:30 p.m. on the Town Green with a live band, food trucks, activities for kids and beer truck!
  • Kids Obstacle Course at McLean Central Park: Saturday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m. Buy $10 tickets here. The Vienna Kids Adventure Race was last weekend and so much fun! If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend for the under 10 crowd.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Volta Under The Big Top; Definitely not too dark for the whole family but a great excuse for a date night!

Also I’d love some reader input! If you have a favorite getaway for a day, drop it in the comments below.

Do you like going to Sandy Point for a beach day? Know a better spot? Let me know!

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