Tysons, VA

Open Houses: November 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. 

3320 Grass Hill Terrace, Falls Church
5 BD/3 BA
Agent: RE/MAX West End
Listed: $879,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

2013 Mayfair McLean Court, Falls Church
3 BD/3.5 BA
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Listed: $980,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

444 West Broad Street Unit 508, Falls Church
2 BD/2 BA
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Listed: $550,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

125 Carter Court South West, Vienna
3 BD/3.5 BA
Agent: Samson Properties
Listed: $719,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

8520 Idylwood Mews Court, Vienna
4 BD/4.5 BA
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $1,085,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

8355 1st Avenue, Vienna
2 BD/3.5 BA
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $699,900
Open: Saturday 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

 

1450 McLean Mews Court, McLean
3 BD/4 BA
Agent: KW Metro Center
Listed: $930,000
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.

 

1805 Briar Ridge Court, McLean
3 BD/3.5 BA
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $1,250,000
Open: Saturday & Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

1613 Forest Lane, McLean
5 BD/4 BA
Agent: Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $1,355,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 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: November 13

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.

As we head into the holidays, the housing market is still humming along.

I always tell my clients that winter is actually the best time to buy or sell a home because all parties are motivated. There aren’t many sellers testing the market to see how high of a price they can get or neighbors just looking at homes in case they decide to buy. These are buyers and sellers with a mission. Currently, I have quite a few buyers focused on buying a home before the new year. If you want to sell quickly, if priced right, now is a good time.

This week’s feature home has been featured in this article before. The home was taken off market and recently came back on. It’s been reduced in price by over $150,000 and is now priced below the tax assessment. This home is in Ballantrae Farms, one of the most prestigious and sought after neighborhoods in the area.

With nearly 8,000 square feet of finished space, this is one of the larger homes we’ve featured. There is an additional 2,500+ square feet of unfinished space that can be finished. Situated on a .58 acre lot, this home features a Baccarat chandelier, Calcutta marble floors and a main level master suite. Priced at $2,397,000, this home is now a steal!

To see this beautiful home or any others, you can schedule an appointment by emailing or calling me at [email protected] or 571-263-0206.

1285 Ballantrae Farm Drive McLean (Reduced $152,000)

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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Vienna Turkey Trot Tips

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 annual Vienna Turkey Trot is the Sunday before Thanksgiving on November 24.

The race starts at the Fire House on Cherry Street SE across from Waters Field. Here’s a brief overview of the event and some tips below.

The race begins with everyone lining up in the street by the Fire House. There’s music playing, everyone talking, and cheering. There’s a very enthusiastic man dressed in a Turkey Suit that will lead the race. There is a group stretch before the race, then they have the fun run line up to kick it off!

  • Register early! You can pick up your packet before the race to make the morning easy the day of. The registration packets often include some fun things like a sweet treat, tattoos, jelly bands and if you registered early a t-shirt. They do have day of registration starting at 7 a.m. if you decide to jump into the race that day.
  • The Kids Fun Run starts first at 8 a.m. The 5k/10k starts when that’s over at 8:30 a.m.
  • Plan to park in one of the approved lots: The Community Center, Vienna Elementary, Patrick Henry Library, The lot BEHIND the Vienna shopping center, Town Green lot or Caboose Parking Lot.
  • Strollers are welcome! But dogs are not. Leave Fido at home.
  • My family and I always love to watch the other runners after we do the Fun Run and we stay to cheer them on. Stay to cheer people on! You can line up on Center Street or Cottage to cheer them on. I think most of them appreciate the cheering.

For more information on prices, age groups and course information visit the website.

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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.

We thought that an article on whistleblowing would be timely given the recent news involving the whistleblower complaint involving Ukraine. A whistleblower is simply an individual who learns of illegal or unethical activity (or waste, fraud and abuse) and reports it.

Most whistleblowers do not end up famous, but they often play a critical role in holding employers and the government accountable for engaging in illegal activities. Too often illegal activities are ignored by an employee for fear of retaliation. Some employees, however, take a stand at great risk to themselves. As a result, many whistleblower laws have developed over the years to protect these individuals.

Whistleblower Laws in the United States and Virginia

The United States has had whistleblower laws in effect since 1863 during the time of President Abraham Lincoln, who wanted to encourage individuals to report rampant fraud against the federal government in response to purchases during the Civil War. As a result, the False Claims Act (FCA) became law and encouraged private citizens to bring lawsuits against individuals and companies who were defrauding the government.

As an incentive, the whistleblower could receive a percentage of whatever the government recovered from the disclosure. The FCA is still in effect today, though numerous other federal and state laws cover different types of whistleblowers.

In 1989, the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) was enacted to protect federal employees who disclosed illegal actions by the federal government and waste, fraud and abuse. The WPA sought to protect federal employee whistleblowers who suffered retaliation for reporting these illegal activities. There are numerous other whistleblower laws at the federal and state levels that protect individuals who disclose different types of illegal activities, such as the Clean Air Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

These are just some of the existing whistleblower laws that can protect individuals that make disclosures. Additionally, many states allow employees, either by statute or common law, the ability to challenge retaliation related to whistleblowing activities.

In Virginia, because the state has not yet enacted general state whistleblower protections for employees, the courts have allowed employees to bring whistleblower claims through common law. These are known as Bowman claims, after the case of Bowman v. State Bank of Keysville, 331 S.E.2d 797 (Va. 1985).

General Test to Qualify for Whistleblower Protection

The importance of being a whistleblower is that certain protections can then come into play after the disclosures are made. Generally, once a disclosure is made, an employer finds out who disclosed the illegal activity and are very unhappy with the employee. This often causes employer retaliation against the whistleblower.

Whistleblower protection laws usually follow the same 3-part test to determine if an employee can prevail on a retaliation claim. In general, this requires:

  1. That the individual had a good faith belief that their employer was engaging in illegal activities or waste, fraud and abuse and they reported it
  2. That the individual’s employer knew that the individual made such disclosures
  3. That the whistleblower suffered retaliation due to the disclosures

Depending on the statute involved, a whistleblower can receive legal protection from retaliation (the most common retaliatory action involves termination from employment), damages, back pay and attorney fees. Each statute is different so individuals should consult with an attorney if they believe that they may need whistleblower protection.

Conclusion

If you need assistance with whistleblower representation or other employment issues, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook.

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Open Houses: November 8

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. 

6805 Farragut Avenue, Falls Church
4 BD/2.5 BA
Agent: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Listed: $675,000
Open: Sunday 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

 

3113 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church
5 BD/4 BA
Agent: Redfin Corporation
Listed: $950,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2905 Linden Lane, Falls Church
3 BD/2.5 BA
Agent: Kw Metro Center
Listed: $784,900
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

8520 Idylwood Mews Court, Vienna 
4 BD/4.5 BA
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $1,085,000
Open: Sunday 1-3:30 p.m.

 

8419 Stonewall Drive, Vienna
4 BD/2.5 BA
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $764,500
Open: Sunday 1-4:30 p.m.

 

1603 Leeds Castle Drive, Vienna 
3 BD/2.5 BA
Agent: Century 21 Redwood Realty
Listed: $730,000
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.

 

6635 Langdon Court, McLean 
4 BD/3 BA
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $1,099,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

1415 McLean Mews Court, McLean
3 BD/4 BA
Agent: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Listed: $889,950
Open: Sunday 1-3 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: November 7

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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The ever-evolving “security threat landscape” and changes in user behavior and IT infrastructure require IT professionals to keep their knowledge up to date and stay on top of the latest trends and developments.

Earning a 100% online Master of Information Technology with a specialization in cybersecurity from Virginia Tech can help individuals meet these heightened demands in a number of ways.

Ranked the #1 online master’s degree for cybersecurity by Cyberdegrees.org, and one of the top 3 online graduate IT programs nationwide by U.S. News and World Report, Virginia Tech’s VT-MIT program takes a unique approach to specialized education.

Core courses in areas such as information systems design, elec­tronic commerce, software engineering and computer programming help students master technical expertise in a business context. After completing these core courses, degree students can choose to specialize in cybersecurity.

Areas of focus range from cybersecurity management — for those interested in running their own in-house cybersecurity practice — to cybersecurity policy, which explores the legal and ethical concerns triggered by data breaches. This breadth of content allows students to tailor their education around their career ambitions.

Part of Virginia Tech’s core strength is its world-class cyber­security research, supported by $15 million in research grants and contracts. Students can access six cybersecurity research centers, including the Ballston-based Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

The VT-MIT program’s 100% online format allows students to pursue higher education at their own pace — a flexibility that allows for a longer timeline. Further enriching the student environment is the program’s openness to students with diverse backgrounds and interests, including business line leaders looking to improve their technology capabilities while leveraging their domain expertise.

Combating today’s cyber threats has never been more difficult, nor more critical to business continuity. A Master of Information Technology degree with a specialization in cybersecurity from Virginia Tech can help leaders better understand the systemic nature of these threats, and teach them strategies for dealing with an increasingly complex security landscape.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology with cybersecurity specializations here.

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Luxury for Less: November 6

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.

Luxury for Less features many different types of homes. Sometimes we feature homes that are extravagant beyond measure, some that are great fixer uppers, and others that are just good deals.

This article has luxury homes that have been reduced in price but vary in style and expense. This week’s home is just plain priced to sell. 614 Valley Drive SE is in one of the hottest neighborhoods in Vienna. This home is just simply big. It has over 6,000 square feet above grade and another 2,300 square feet in the basement. It’s situated on a large lot, over .50 acres, and has an assessed value of $2.1 million. It’s now priced at $1.899 million.

What makes this neighborhood so hot? This section of Vienna is very close to Tysons Corner, eliminating the need to fight Maple Avenue traffic to get to work or home. It’s also walking distance to Westwood Country Club and the Town of Vienna. The W&OD Trail is just next to Valley Drive and Wildwood Park is in the neighborhood, perfect for walking the dog or just sitting and enjoying nature.

This neighborhood has seen many large, luxurious custom homes built recently and spending well over $2 million to live in this neighborhood is becoming more and more commonplace in recent months. The best part of the neighborhood? The neighbors are pretty great. I live in this neighborhood and love the access for running, walking the dogs, and just saying hello to my neighbors.

To see this beautiful home or any others, you can schedule an appointment by emailing or calling me at [email protected] or 571-263-0206.

614 Valley Drive SE Vienna (Reduced $29,900)

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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In today’s digital age, as technology drives innovation throughout the enterprise, business acumen and technology expertise are emerging as essential skills.

At the same time, traditional functional roles are blurring, creating a blended business environment where IT leaders must embrace more business-oriented responsibilities and line of business leaders must find their way around sophisticated and complex technology systems. Only through education can these professionals gain the necessary skills and expertise to keep pace with this evolving business landscape. But it shouldn’t have to come at the cost of a full-time position.

Virginia Tech’s dual Master’s degree in business administration and information technology (MBA + MIT) is based in the D.C. area and can help professionals gain the experience, expertise and advantages they need to succeed in a blended business environment. Here’s how:

  • Career boost: Students receive an MBA while keeping up with changes in the technology industry by adding on a Master of IT. The result: greater marketability in a competitive labor market.
  • Economize time and money: The dual-degree program double-counts up to five courses earned in the MBA program toward those also offered in the MIT program or vice versa.
  • Work-life balance: Both the MBA and MIT degrees are built for full-time working professionals. Students have the flexibility to set their own pace by choosing the number of courses they will take each semester.
  • Variety: Students can select from a wide range of specialization areas including business intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, networking and software engineering.
  • Network: An in-person class format for the MBA program encourages students to establish valuable working relationships with classmates, and engage with top-notch faculty. A 100% online format for the MIT degree provides additional flexibility for working professionals and opportunity to work with students from across the country.

The Virginia Tech MBA + MIT dual-degree program offers the flexibility to contribute to business growth, revenue and innovation as a working professional today — and as a substantially more marketable leader tomorrow.

Learn more the dual degree program here or explore Virginia Tech’s other local MBA options here.

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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 our first house in 2020 and we’re trying to set up a budget. What advice do you give clients to help them decide how much of a mortgage they can afford?

Answer: Spend too much and you’ll have a half-empty home for a few years. Don’t spend enough and you may be moving sooner than you hoped. This week we’ll break down some of the conversations I have early on with clients as they’re deciding how much mortgage they can afford.

How Much Can You Really Spend?

The first thing you’ll want to do is determine how much you’re allowed to spend by talking with a lender who will provide an honest, detailed review of your finances to let you know what your maximum loan and monthly payment amount is. A good lender will also serve as a valuable advisor as you plan your budget.

Length of Ownership

The amount of time you expect to own your home is extremely important in your home-buying strategy and often glossed over.

If you are buying a 3-5 year home (accurate for many first-time buyers) your focus should be on value and keeping your cost down so that you give yourself room to save for your next purchase, which is likely a longer-term home. Your income and inflation are less likely to increase significantly in that time, so an expensive monthly payment now will still feel expensive in 3-5 years.

If you are buying a 10-15+ year home, the greatest value you’ll generate is choosing a home that suits you and your family long-term. The cost of buying something too small or too far from work that leads to a sale halfway through your intended ownership period is often much higher (taxes, commissions, closing costs, moving costs, etc) than the cost of moving into a slightly uncomfortable range of your budget.

Your mortgage payment hopefully won’t feel expensive forever if you’re in the first half of your professional career because you’ll likely have significant increases in income and, over time, the effects of inflation will minimize the stress of your mortgage (if it’s a fixed rate mortgage).

Monthly vs Down Payment

I find that most people based their budget on their savings and thus, the amount they have to put down towards a max purchase price. Remember a home mortgage isn’t the only recurring expense. Don’t forget to consider how much you’re comfortable spending each month which includes your mortgage, taxes (assume annual increases), applicable condo or HOA fees and homeowner’s insurance. This doesn’t include a budget for maintenance and repairs, which should be estimated at an annual expense of 1-2% of your home’s value.

Savings is clearly an important factor in what you can afford. Your savings determines the amount you can put down; although with solid loan products available with as little as 3% down, many buyers qualify for a lot of house with little savings.

In addition to your down payment, you’ll pay 2-3% of the purchase price in closing costs like taxes, fees, insurance and escrows (closing costs can be paid by the seller). Finally, don’t forget about what you’ll need after you close — moving and furniture add up quickly and you should always have 3-6 months of fixed/living expenses in savings in case of emergency.

Don’t Tempt Yourself

Once you decide on your budget, don’t allow yourself to visit properties that are highly unlikely to drop within your budget. One of the easiest ways to derail your progress is visiting homes 10-20% over budget, leading you to desire features that only exist together in homes you can’t afford. Save the window shopping for another time if you’re serious about buying a home now.

Ultimately, the best way to decide how much mortgage you can afford is to plan ahead by establishing a relationship with a lender and taking enough time to explore your options with an agent who understands the market and your needs.

With enough planning and work, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if the mortgage you can afford gets you the home you want, or if paying rent for another year is better than paying a mortgage.

If you’d like more information, or would like a question answered in my bi-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, 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite #10C Arlington, VA 22203, 703-390-9460.

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