Tysons, VA

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.

This week we’re featuring an excellent value home. 501 Arnon Ridge Court Great Falls (Reduced $50,000) is situated on a two-acre lot and offers main level living. At nearly 3,000 sq. ft., this home provides plenty of space to spread out. If you’re looking for a great value with plenty of land, 501 Arnon Ridge Court is a great option.

If you’re seeking a large lot with a home to expand, Arnon Ridge is surrounded by multi-million dollar homes so the sky is the limit! You can pop top, add an addition, or even build your dream home.

To see this beautiful home or any of the other homes on the market in the D.C. area, please contact Brandy at [email protected] or 571-263-0206.

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.

McLean and Vienna are not HOA heavy areas, in my opinion, as compared to areas out in Loudoun County.

We have a short list of neighborhoods that have mandatory participation, which is the main difference between a civic association and an HOA. An HOA has a mandatory fee you have to pay if you buy a property within that area, which also means you have to obey the rules and regulations of that neighborhood. A civic association may also have a fee, but it’s strictly optional if you want to participate, and usually it’s very small.

Now some people like the rules of an HOA so they can keep the neighborhood looking “clean,” for example if a neighbor’s lawn gets too long, or there’s a bunch of trash/old cars in a yard. However, the downsides to an HOA are that any changes you want to make on the outside require approval (usually). Adding a shed, renovations, a pool, etc. all require review and approval. With a civic association, you can usually do whatever you want and only have to adhere to Fairfax County regulations.

The other big thing to know is that when you’re buying or selling homes within an HOA community, the seller is required to provide a copy of all of the bylaws, budget, meeting notes, etc. to a purchaser who has a 3 day review period, during which they can void for any reason.

Want chickens and the HOA documents say no? Void the contract without a penalty. A civic association is not subject to this 3 day period since participation is optional. However, it still might be nice to know what the civic association does. It might give insight into neighborhood parties, events, resources, etc.

Some example of civic associations are:

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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.

A common concern for security clearance holders and applicants involves foreign influence.

A significant portion of security clearance appeals typically focuses on this very issue. With respect to foreign influence, the Government is chiefly concerned with an individual’s loyalty or ties to another country over those to the United States.

The rules regarding foreign influence and security clearance cases are set forth in Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (SEAD 4), Guideline B, which discusses the foreign influence concerns that could lead an individual not obtaining or in losing a security clearance.

Examples of Foreign Influence Issues

Some brief examples of issues that might come up to cause the Government concern in potentially denying a security clearance follow:

Example 1 — U.S. citizen was born in India. She has recently inherited a home worth $75,000 and other assets of $50,000 in India. The individual’s parents and family also still live in India.

Example 2 — U.S. citizen born in Taiwan has family that still lives in Taiwan and extended family in China. The individual also has received health benefits from Taiwan in the past.

Example 3 — U.S. citizen’s brother is a general in the Iraqi forces. The risk of having a close relative in such a high foreign position causes a significant security concern for the U.S. Government. See DOHA Case.

Example 4 — U.S. Citizen had 6 relatives in the Philippines. The large number of relatives in the Philippines caused security concerns for the individual in their security clearance matter. See DOHA Case.

Specific Security Concerns Involving Foreign Influence

There are numerous examples of foreign influence issues that can arise when seeking a security clearance. According to SEAD 4, Paragraph 7 the guidelines define serious foreign influence issues as involving the following types of issues:

7(a) contact, regardless of method, with a foreign family member, business or professional associate, friend, or other person who is a citizen of or resident in a foreign country if that contact creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion

(b) connections to a foreign person, group, government, or country that create a potential conflict of interest between the individual’s obligation to protect classified or sensitive information or technology and the individual’s desire to help a foreign person, group, or country by providing that information or technology

(c) failure to report or fully disclose, when required, association with a foreign person, group, government, or country

(d) counterintelligence information, whether classified or unclassified, that indicates the individual’s access to classified information or eligibility for a sensitive position may involve unacceptable risk to national security

(e) shared living quarters with a person or persons, regardless of citizenship status, if that relationship creates a heightened risk of foreign inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion

(f) substantial business, financial, or property interests in a foreign country, or in any foreign-owned or foreign-operated business that could subject the individual to a heightened risk of foreign influence or exploitation or personal conflict of interest

(g) unauthorized association with a suspected or known agent, associate, or employee of a foreign intelligence entity

(h) indications that representatives or nationals from a foreign country are acting to increase the vulnerability of the individual to possible future exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion

(i) conduct, especially while traveling or residing outside the U.S., that may make the individual vulnerable to exploitation, pressure, or coercion by a foreign person, group, government, or country

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Open Houses: December 6

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. 

358 James Street, Falls Church
2 BD/1 BA
Agent: Kw Metro Center
Listed: $430,000
Open: Saturday 2-4 p.m. & Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

8380 Greensboro Drive Unit 412, McLean
3 BD/2 BA
Agent: Kw Metro Center
Listed: $619,000
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m. & Sunday 1-4 p.m

 

6805 Farragut Avenue, Falls Church
4 BD/2.5BA
Agent: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Listed: $649,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

7567 Chrisland Cove, Falls Church
2 BD/2.5 BA
Agent: Houwzer Llc
Listed: $474,950
Open: Saturday 1-3 p.m.

 

6502 Divine Street, McLean
5 BD/5.5 BA
Agent: McEnearney Associates, Inc
Listed: $1,399,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

6000 Chesterbrook Road, McLean
3 BD/2.4BA
Agent: Weichert Realtors
Listed: $990,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

9687 Scotch Haven Drive, Vienna
3 BD/3.5 BA
Agent: McEnearney Associates, Inc
Listed: $632,000
Open: Saturday 12-2 p.m. & Sunday 12-3 p.m.

 

303 Branch Road SE, Vienna
5 BD/4.5 BA
Agent: Ayr Hill Realty
Listed: $1,499,900
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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Just Listed Properties: December 5

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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A curated collection of shops and restaurants conveniently located in the heart of Tysons Corner, The Shops at Fairfax Square presents an exciting holiday shopping and dining experience.

World class retailers, fitness and spa offerings, matched with extraordinary boutiques, personal shopping and culinary experiences provide memorable gift options for all of the special people on your list.

  • Elegance by Roya, an exceptional fine bridal salon featuring today’s leading bridal fashion and designers with styles to fit every bride’s preference.
  • Equinox is not just a fitness club, it is a temple of well-being offering world class personal trainers, luxurious spa amenities and group fitness.
  • Liljenquist & Beckstead features highly skilled artisans in a family owned and operated store where custom designed jewelry is a passion.
  • Miele believes in fine lines and timeless elegance. Whatever the style of your kitchen, Miele is always a perfect match.
  • Mynd Spa and Salon is a full-service spa with all your wellness and beauty needs in one place and the most skilled technicians you could ask for.
  • Roche Bobois offers unique and innovative collections in this spectacular showroom with experienced consultants who can help plan projects at every stage of the process.
  • Tiffany & Co., America’s House of Design. The timeless features of jewelry, silver and watch designs have captured excitement worldwide.

Take a shopping break and enjoy a bite at one of our exciting new restaurants, which include Patsy’s American featuring an all-American classic menu and Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks with a raw bar, fresh seafood, prime and wagyu cuts and an extensive wine list. Best Buns Bakery & Cafe presents hearth baked breads and sweet treats hand molded by artisan bakers

Fairfax Square offers complimentary on-site and valet parking and transportation from the McLean Metro Station.

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Luxury for Less: December 4

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.

This week we’re featuring another wow home in the area. 10015 High Hill Place Great Falls (Reduced $400,000) is a breathtaking English Tudor in Great Falls.

This stately home is situated on nearly 2 acres and is beautifully landscaped. This old world inspired home features stone walls, a slate roof, English coffered ceilings and gorgeous arched windows. The sophisticated touches in this home are unparalleled. The lower level includes a wet bar and custom wine cellar that any wine connoisseur would love. The outdoor pool and private spa is nothing short of stunning.

To see this beautiful home or any of the other homes on the market in the D.C. area, please contact Brandy at [email protected] or 571-263-0206.

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 is a sponsored column by 3Summit Investment Management, LLC based in Vienna, VA. 3Summit designs custom, modern investment portfolios and has unique expertise in managing investment risk.

By Dan Irvine | Principal, 3Summit Investment Management

Nearly half of American households invest in mutual funds.

However, popularity doesn’t equate to quality — investing in mutual funds can be a poor investment strategy. If you own mutual funds, you may be surprised to hear our reasons why mutual funds are not a good investment.

“Stock picking” rarely works

Mutual fund managers attempt to outperform the markets by using stock analysts to pick individual stocks to produce higher returns than the market as a whole. The theory behind the strategy of stock picking is that if you can buy only the best stocks in the market and avoid the worst, your mutual fund should easily outperform the market it seeks to beat.

Unfortunately, the evidence shows that stock picking rarely works and the majority of mutual funds underperform simple market indices that invest in all or most of the stocks in any given market.

No investor can predict the markets. Your chances of picking a mutual fund that outperforms a specific stock market index looks more like Vegas odds than an investment strategy. In 2018, only 38% of the 4,600 active mutual funds beat their comparative market index during that year. If we extend that view over the last 10 years, it gets worse. Only 24% of active mutual funds beat their target market index.

Prudent investors that invested in index funds instead of mutual funds over the last 10 years had a 76% greater likelihood of achieving better performance (Morningstar Active Passive Barometer 2018).

The longer you hold a mutual fund the lower your long-term returns are likely to be

Many professional investment advisors weigh past returns heavily when selecting mutual funds for their clients. Mutual funds with the best recent performance usually attract the most new investors. Research shows that picking mutual funds based on past performance is a poor choice because mutual funds that have performed well in the past, usually do not continue to outperform.

Of the top performing 25% of actively managed mutual funds at the end of 2016, only 7% of those funds remained in the top 25% after three consecutive years. Even worse, only 1.4% of the top performing mutual funds remained in the top 25% performance ranking after five consecutive years (S&P Dow Jones SPIVA Research, September 2018).

Mutual fund performance appears to be a function of luck instead of stock picking skill by the mutual fund manager. The bottom line is that you face uncomfortably high odds of accumulating less wealth by investing in mutual funds instead of index funds.

Mutual funds are structured with inherent disadvantages

In addition to the likelihood of lower long-term performance, mutual funds erode an investor’s potential returns through high fee structures and tax inefficiencies. The commissions for trading mutual funds can be very high as well, depending on the fund and broker used for trading. Furthermore, mutual funds can only be traded at the end of the day, unlike a stock or index fund that can be traded anytime throughout the day at the current market price.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of mutual funds is also the reason that mutual funds remain such a popular investment. Many mutual funds have built-in conflicts of interest because many non-fiduciary investment advisors receive minimally disclosed fees through fee-sharing agreements with the mutual fund manager. Investment advisors can receive a fee kickback when they invest their clients’ money in those mutual funds, regardless of the fund’s quality.

Take another look at your investment portfolio

If you own mutual funds, the new year is a good time to re-evaluate your investment strategy and improve your chances of generating higher returns and more wealth over your investing time horizon.

If you would like professional assistance in evaluating your investment strategy and portfolio please call 571-565-2161 or email us, we are always happy to help. Also consider learning more about this topic and gaining unique investing insights by listening to our popular podcast or viewing our investing video series.

3Summit Investment Management is a fiduciary investment advisor providing clients with an alternative to outdated, conventional investment portfolios. We design custom, modern portfolios capable of delivering greater wealth accumulation with much lower levels of risk. To learn more about how we can help you improve your long-term investing results call (571) 565-2161, email ([email protected]) or visit 3Summit.com.

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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 under contract for a single family house near Tysons and we are trying to decide if we need to purchase a home warranty. How do home warranties work and what do they cover?

Answer: Getting a home warranty is always a great idea, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer with no experience in maintaining a home. The last thing you want after purchasing a home is an emergency repair that you did not budget for.

A home warranty is an annual service contract that provides repairs for your home, and pays for the replacement or repair of major appliances and home systems (like an HVAC system).

Don’t mistake a warranty for homeowners insurance, which covers your home’s structure and belongings in the event of a fire, flood, or other accidents.

How Does It Work and How Much Does It Cost?                                 

Home warranty companies have agreements with licensed service providers. When something that is covered by a home warranty needs repair, the homeowner calls the home warranty company, which sends a service provider to check the problem. If the provider determines that the needed repair or replacement is covered by the warranty, they complete the work. The homeowner only pays a co-pay, which usually is a flat rate of $75-$125.

The exact price of a home warranty depends on the coverage level you choose. Many companies offer basic plans and add-ons depending on your needs. A typical annual cost might be $200 for major appliances and $600 for a policy covering HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.

I had the opportunity to talk to Jonathan Asfour with Super Home Warranty, and he answered some of the most frequent questions people have when it comes to home warranties:

What’s Covered?

Always check with your home warranty provider to confirm what’s included in your plan. Coverage usually includes:

  • Built-in Microwave
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Clothes Washer
  • Dishwasher
  • Range, oven and cooktop
  • Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Range Exhaust Fan
  • Trash Compactor
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heat System/Heat Pump
  • Ductwork
  • Water Heater
  • Interior Electrical
  • Interior Plumbing
  • Sprinkler System

Super also offers a concierge program where we can get almost anything that you’d typically ask a superintendent to do for you (painting, pest control, yard work, handyman fixes, etc.). We also have included maintenance as well — this includes a pre-season HVAC tune up, carpet cleaning and re-key service, all for the price of our co-pay of $75.

The biggest issues that people typically are worried about are any HVAC or water heater claims, as these can be fairly pricey. Home warranties mitigate that risk and cover most (if not all) of costs of repairs to those items.

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The working professionals who pursue the Arlington-based Executive MBA at Virginia Tech get a rich education in the fundamentals of business — accounting and finance, marketing, operations, ethics, communications and leadership.

But woven around foundation courses are “experiential modules” designed to accelerate development in four essential and current areas: business analytics, entrepreneurship and innovation, leadership and governance, and global business.

The hands-on experience of the integrated modules is meant to allow Executive MBA students to immediately put their learning into action. That’s the idea behind all of Virginia Tech’s MBA programs — giving working professionals the tools they need to advance their careers as they pursue an MBA.

“What we did at Virginia Tech a few years ago was to say that we really want to focus on the working professional — someone who wants to enhance their career or make a change in the direction of their career, but not at the expense of continuing to be a business professional,” says Pamplin College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast. That allows those students to come into the classroom, he adds, “and use what they’ve learned as part of the experience of the MBA program.”

That strategy meant Pamplin had to rethink program formats and locations to ensure they were meeting the needs of their busy students. They now offer three different paths to the same MBA and have centrally located their classes in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, Richmond, Roanoke and Newport News.

Ballston is home to the Executive MBA program, an 18-month, cohort-based option for mid-career professionals that meets every other weekend.

The nationally-ranked Evening MBA program is just two Metro stops away in Falls Church. It is designed to provide maximum flexibility by allowing students to change their course load each semester to balance work and other commitments.

The Professional MBA program is a 24-month hybrid online and in-person option with once-per-month class meetings that rotate between Richmond, Roanoke and Newport News.

Visit mba.vt.edu to learn more about Virginia Tech’s MBA programs or register to attend an upcoming information session.

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