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7024 Arbor Lane, McLean (via Google Maps)

The weather may have turned cold, but the Tysons-area housing market has kept warm with plenty of activity over the past month.

According to data from Homesnap, there were 127 homes sold in Tysons, Vienna, and McLean in October, a slight uptick from the nearly 120 sales reported in September. The median sales price was close to $38,000 higher than the median list price of $500,000, as of the week of Oct. 31.

Here are some of the most expensive homes sold in the area in October:

In the market? Check out the latest in Tysons area real estate.

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It is hard not to appreciate the history, charm and architecture of the areas surrounding the nation’s capital. Walking the same cobblestone streets as the Founding Fathers still hits me every single time I show a home in Old Town or Georgetown. We are surrounded by homes with rich history.

This month, I will highlight active listings that are rooted in the past, filled with history, and looking for their next caretaker.

2706 Olive Street NW, Washington, DC 20007, listed for $3,500,000. Built shortly after the Civil War by Edgar Moore, a leading figure in the Black community, the house is part of a vibrant tapestry of African American influence in Washington, D.C. during the Reconstruction era, the listing describes. The home was eventually acquired by Paul and Julia Child in 1948. And this is the home where Julia Child worked on her groundbreaking culinary tome “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

101 N Water Street, Chestertown, MD 21620, listed for $4,400,000. “Widehall,” built in 1769, is the most acclaimed historic downtown waterfront estate in Chestertown, Maryland. The many stewards of this residence, include two Maryland governors and two U.S. Senators.

108 Washington Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22405, listed for $260,000. How about a historic home built in 1800 that was once a Post Office and backs up to a babbling brook?

202 N Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, listed for $1,590,000. One block from King Street this Second Empire Victorian home was built in 1840 by John Harlow. He and his three brothers (Irish immigrants who worked in the import, export and grocery business) built 202, 204 and 206 North Fairfax at a similar time. They are referred by locals as the 3 Irish Brothers Houses.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

Went to bed two hours later than normal and up at the same time this morning. Sound familiar? Hope your kids had a great Halloween evening trick-or-treating or hanging out with friends!

I have some random bits of information and advice to pass along on this sunny Monday morning!

Candy Donations

If you looked at the pile of candy last night and saw future cavities waiting to be drilled, fear not! Many of the local dentists, some PTAs, libraries and other organizations will collect the candy to ship off to troops stationed overseas. I know Merrifield Pediatric Dentistry and Ghaffari Orthodontics usually collect, but please call both before you show up.

Photo by Sebbi Strauch on Unsplash

Thanksgiving Catering

If you’re considering skipping the cooking the year, I highly recommend you make reservations for dining out or catering orders ASAP. Many restaurants are doing hot or heat-at-home to go orders for the big day, but they’ll book up fast.

Here’s a list of some places doing take out that I’m aware of at this time:

  • Founding Farmers
  • RPM Italian
  • Rose’s at Home (Rose’s Luxury)
  • Bazin’s on Church

Also, Holiday Light Show tickets start soon!

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights tickets are already on sale and the first night is November 11! They usually sell out and I’m sure with the warmer temps the earlier dates will go quickly.

Bull Run Festival Of Lights begins on November 11 also and you can buy tickets online now.

We’re lucky to have a lot of events that happen this time of year in Northern Virginia. My post next week will have a more extensive list of festive options, but I wanted to get these two popular events out to you now so you get a jump on ticket sales!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

This year the 75th Annual Vienna Halloween Parade will take place on Wednesday, October 27 at 7 p.m.

The theme this year is “The Roaring Twenties.” The parade is about half a mile long and lasts about 1.5 hours. The parade route runs from the intersection of Branch/Maple and ends at the library at Center/Maple.

If you’ve never been, here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience!

  • People set out chairs and blankets early in the day to reserve their spot. If you want a front row view, I suggest you do the same. The town asks that no one does this before noon on the day of the parade and that revelers stay clear of the sidewalk and benches during the day.
  • If you have a flat bed truck, you can back into parking spaces at the shopping centers and sit high to get a better view.
  • Some of the groups in the parade are very loud. If you have someone who is noise sensitive, consider bringing something to help them enjoy the parade without the noise.
  • There are no food vendors except for the nearby restaurants so plan to bring food if you need it or support a local restaurant.
  • Kids in costumes can walk in the parade with an adult if they want to. Participants meet at 6 p.m. in the parking lot at United Bank (374 Maple Avenue E).
  • Depending on what part of town you live in, you should be able to find parking to easily get out. Many people park at Vienna Elementary, the library, the Giant shopping plaza, side streets, Walgreens shopping center, or the Fresh Market parking lot.
  • The Town will be giving away 1,000 Halloween Goody Bags at the end of the parade near Vienna Elementary while supplies last (no candy or items will be allowed to be given out on the parade route).

The parade is one of my favorite Vienna events!

Bring extra blankets in case it’s cold. You can grab hot chocolate and food at the Vienna Shopping Center and Caffe Amouri is open until 7 p.m., so grab your hot chocolate on the way.

Here’s a map of the parade route and road closures (the first year we lived in Vienna I had no idea this was a thing and we tried to get take out that night… big mistake!)

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! It’s getting close to trick or treating time, which means the town is looking spooky and festive!

If you’re looking to view Halloween decorations, check out some of the addresses listed below. If I have missed any must see destinations, please leave it in the comments!

  • Hill Road (dead end street)
  • Meadow Lane Park (the house across the street from Ware Street SW) has TONS of blow ups
  • Hickory Circle SW (mix of blow ups and other décor)
  • Cottage Street between Plum Street SW and Yeonas Drive SW (multiple homes with blow ups, great skeleton display)
  • Park Street/Elmar Drive SE (great skeleton display)
  • 326 Adahi Roadd SE (skelton display)

And of course, fan favorite Ni Family Lights (2512 Drexel Street) which has a lineup of 7 new songs plus This is Halloween. Their light show runs Sunday-Thursday 6:30-9:30 p.m., and 6:30-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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The Return to Earn initiative was launched in June of this year to help small businesses find and retain the talent they need while also helping unemployed Virginian’s transition back into the workforce.

As a program incentive, businesses can receive $500 per hire for a maximum of 25 employees. That means your business could receive up to $12,500 depending on hiring and staffing needs.

Basic eligibility requirements for program participation follow.

Employers must:

  • Be incorporated in Virginia
  • Be in good standing with the state
  • Have 99 employees or less

For new hires:

  • Must have been brought on board after May 31, 2021
  • The position must be W2 and come with a wage of $15 an hour or more (tips can be included in wage determination)
  • Must attest to having been unemployed at the time of hire*

The SkillSource Group, Inc. and Virginia Career Works Northern Region are working hard to make this program available to the small business community and to make the application, enrollment and reimbursement process as simple as possible. Stand out from the competition, increase new employee morale and take part in the Return to Earn Program. Click here to access an online application.

*Length of unemployment is dependent on time of hire

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

October is a ADHD Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mental Illness Awareness Week also runs from Oct. 3 to 9 with World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.

I think it’s important to recognize that the pandemic has caused undue stress, grief, anxiety and depression for many, many people. Adults, kids — it doesn’t matter. Everyone has been impacted in ways we probably won’t know for years to come.

We live in an area that has some of the most amazing doctors and medical care. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t forget to get your mammogram — it might just save your life.

Also, don’t rely strictly on the schools to screen your children for learning disabilities or mood disorders — pay attention to them. I’m not an expert, but I am Dr. Mom, so realize kids display symptoms of things like depression, bipolar, ADHD and other illnesses in different ways.

Here are some resources I’d like to share with you:

  • You can ask the school to evaluate your child. They’re required to do so within 60 days, and it’s free. You can also do a private neuropsych evaluation, but that can cost a few thousand dollars.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools has to screen your children for speech, voice, language, fine and gross motor skills, vision, and hearing. But PLEASE don’t just rely on them. I’ve heard so many stories from other parents of missed diagnoses for years. Advocate for your children, because if you don’t, nobody will.
  • If you’ve recently had a baby, please ask people if what you’re feeling is what they’re also feeling. It can be overwhelming, scary, moody and so much more. Talk to someone. Talk until you find the right someone.
  • For a mammogram, Fairfax Radiology Breast Center of Fairfax has weekend appointments available, so you have no excuse not to go.
  • You always have the option of finding a therapist. Fairfax County offers Behavioral Health Services for Adults, and some services are offered through insurance or on an ability to pay scale.

All of this to say, you don’t need to suffer alone. I have noticed the more I talk about REAL issues as a mom, the more other people are willing to share their stories as well. We’re all just looking for connection, and if someone says their life is perfect, you don’t want to be their friend anyway. Perfection doesn’t exist. We all carry something with us. You deserve help in carrying that load.

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Is now a good time to sell? Yes. Is now a good time to buy? Yes. What if you could buy two houses for the same price as your current place…interested? Um… Two for the price of one? Yes please.

Here it is folks: Inventory remains low and, yes — for the millionth time — interest rates are low, too. I sound like a broken record, right?

Let’s really dig into this though…if you own your home, try to think about a time when your equity was higher than it is today. Now think about how your needs are different today versus when you bought this home:

  • Are you still commuting into the office at the same frequency?
  • Do you still have kids living at home?
  • Are you spending more of your time outdoors?
  • Does your current home serve your needs?

Now, combine these ingredients: High equity and low interest rates. Add a dash of a struggling condo market and that primetime opportunity to buy the dream country or waterfront home you have always wanted. Instead of trading up, think about trading for double.

Say your current home could be sold in the $1.2 million and $1.5 million range. What if you could buy the perfect city condo plus a non-city oasis for the same amount… Would you be interested? Here are a few examples, where you can capitalize on real estate’s “2 for 1 Special.”

11 S. Liberty Street, Middleburg, VA 20117, listed for $647,000
1781 Chain Bridge Road #202, McLean, VA 22102, listed for $875,000

6189 Fairview Drive, King George, VA 22485, listed for $650,000
1529 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia 22207, listed for $825,000

214 Magruder Place SE, Leesburg, VA 20175, listed for $800,000
601 Bashford Lane #2, Alexandria, VA 22314, listed for $299,000

37625 John Mosby Highway, Middleburg, VA 20117, listed for $795,000 3267 N. Street NW #1, Washington, D.C. 20007, listed for $659,000

399 Deerpath Avenue SW, Leesburg, VA 20175, listed for $569,000
2125 14th Street NW #320, Washington, D.C. 20009, listed for $699,900

12 President Point Drive #A1, Annapolis, MD 21403, listed for $650,000
3663 13th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20010, listed for $799,000

Are you ready to trade for double? Does a 2 for 1 Special sound like something that you and your family would be interested in? Call me anytime, and we can discuss your next big move (or two). Move with Mackenzie Horne.

Mackenzie Horne, MBA is a licensed REALTOR® in VA, DC and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean, VA. Send Mackenzie a message at 571-594-9136, [email protected] or @MackHorneRealtor.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

Next Monday is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and also a three-day weekend for many. I feel like this comes right at a critical point of exhaustion, and the idea of getting away for a day or two sounds really nice.

In this article, I’m throwing out some ideas for nearby getaways for the long weekend, especially since the weather is still so warm.

Outdoor Getaways

  • Colonial Beach, Virginia: Colonial Beach is about 90 minutes away from Tysons. It has easy parking, is on the Potomac River (so very few waves), has shallow water and there’s a fishing pier. You’ll find a cute snow cone and ice cream spot, too. (Try the chocolate éclair ice cream!)
  • Aquia Landing Park in Stafford, Virginia: About an hour from Tysons, this is a popular fishing spot and beach for swimming. Note there’s a fee for parking.
  • Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland: An hour from Tysons, Sandy Point is a popular beach before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge with lots of space for distancing. This is a great spot if you just want to escape for a day.
  • Mason Neck State Park in Lorton, Virginia: This small hidden gem is located under an hour from Tysons and offers fishing plus canoe and kayak rentals. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. You’ll also find spots for swimming and walking trails.
  • Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania, Virginia: About two hours away, you’ll find lots of sand and water for swimming and playing, camping grounds for overnight stays, and walking trails. Tents are not allowed on the beach.
  • Calvert Cliffs State Park in Lusby, Maryland: Located about 90 minutes from Tysons, Calvert Cliffs is a Maryland state park featuring fishing, swimming and walking trails. It’s $7 per car for day use if you’ve got Virginia state plates.
Lake Anna State Park (via Lake Anna State Park/Facebook)

Noteworthy Stays

  • Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia: Here you’ll find a spa, restaurants, wineries, an infinity pool, hiking trails, zip lining and, for golf fans, access to the club at Creighton Farms.
  • The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia: Find a top-rated restaurant at The Inn, and the quaint town of Washington is perfect for exploring.
  • Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Maryland: On the beautiful Chesapeake, Inn at Perry Cabin has a spa, restaurants, pool, fitness center, golf and tennis.
  • The Inn at Vaucluse Spring in Stephens City, Virginia: This is a romantic bed and breakfast perched along the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania: Nemacolin has many types of lodging, a spa, golf, ax throwing, zip lining and tons of restaurant choices.
  • The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia: Filled with historic charm, this huge spa features hot springs, a water park, golf and lots of other family-friendly activities.
  • The Tides Inn in Irvington, Virginia: Find a spa, wine trail, sailing school, golf and newly redesigned rooms that open today!
  • The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia: This resort contains a spa, a casino, pool, arcade, bowling and so many other activities to keep you busy!
  • Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia: Located in historic Leesburg, Lansdowne Resort has a spa, golf course and more.
  • Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland: Explore the spa, luxury accommodations, historic Easton and Hunters’ Tavern.

Got plans for the upcoming three-day weekend? Share them in the comments below!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

This week is Banned Books Week, where we get to celebrate our freedom to read.

Fairfax County residents are lucky — we have a strong library system to enjoy. We have libraries in Oakton, Vienna, McLean and the Pimmit Hills/Tysons branch. You can visit any of them for internet use, books browsing, returning books to any branch and, of course, getting book suggestions from a librarian. But did you know there are so many more opportunities at the library than just borrowing books?

Take a look:

  • Download the Libby app, and you can borrow e-books to your Kindle or Kindle App for free. Just log in to your Fairfax County library account.
  • Download audio books for yourself or your kids. We use this on road trips — my kids love audiobooks. (The “Dairy of a Wimpy Kid” series is a favorite in my house).
  • Many events are held at the library, including author events, book sales, knitting groups, book clubs and toddler reading time.
  • You can reserve the meeting room space at the library for nonprofit events.
  • Stream kids’ videos on animals, math, science, history and more!
  • STEAM Opportunities for the youth — camps (some virtual during COVID), activities and resources.
  • AP/ACT/SAT test prep materials, plus other homework assistance resources.
  • Tuesday morning classes with a master gardener on native plants and best practices for your garden.
  • Various workshops throughout the year.

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, each library has a “friends of” group that helps the library with various tasks like book sales to raise money for the library. Find your local library here.

Additionally, over the summer, the library generally does a reading challenge for school-aged kids and motivates them to complete a reading task in exchange for a reward that’s usually coupons for free items around town (ice cream, mini golf, etc.).

Happy reading!

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