Tysons, VA

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

It’s hard to believe, but agents are still out showing homes for now.

It looks a lot different: gloves, sanitizer, Clorox wipes, or maybe a FaceTime showing, but people are still buying and selling homes in Vienna. My company, McEnearney Associates, has cancelled all public and broker open houses for the remainder of the month (and probably longer), however individual showings are still happening.

In the past 10 days, as of this writing, there were 70 new properties listed for sale in all of Vienna (including a bunch that were listed as “coming soon”). During those 10 days, 34 homes have gone under contract.

Believe it or not, I think any impact on the housing market will be short lived, and it’ll mostly look like lower or paused inventory, especially if our state is put on shut down. Talks of a recession don’t resemble the housing market crash of 2008, mostly because most of the people who own a home right now, were actually qualified to buy it instead of the bad loans given out during 2005-2006.

Unemployment will certainly have an impact on mortgage, but there’s also talks of suspending mortgage payments for a year on Fannie or Freddie mac loans, so I don’t expect there to be a sudden influx of distressed properties when this is done.

My educated guess is that in May or June when we get the “mostly clear” to resume activities, you’ll see all of the homes that would have been listed during March/April hit the market at once. Our low inventory issue may suddenly be temporarily solved.

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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’m sure you’ve seen the suggested color coded daily schedule circling Facebook in an attempt to keep the kids on a learning path during this shutdown.

In reality, it’s probably more like the one that has a block for “iPad” every other hour. While I’m sure some days will be easier than others — thanks to the good weather we’ve been having — I have pulled together a list of resources you can use to help come up with teachable moments with your kids.

There are a bunch of companies giving away their resources for free this month so use them if you have access!

Here’s a longer list of free resources and another.

Hope you stay healthy, friends!

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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.

The 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival opens on March 20 and runs until April 12.

Although they haven’t officially forecasted the peak bloom dates, they hint that it should be around the end of March/1st April. During the Festival, there are events almost everyday — popular ones include the Kit Festival on the 28th, the parade on the 4th, Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Run and 5k Run-Walk on the 5th, and Petalpalooza on the 11th that ends with a fireworks show on the river.

If you’re planning on visiting the Cherry Blossom Festival this year, I have some tips to help you make the visit a little less stressful.

  • The event takes places in the Tidal Basin, which is a short walk from the following Metro Stations: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom, L’Enfant and Smithsonian stops.
  • You can reserve a parking spot ahead of time through SpotHero to get 50% off parking. I highly recommend doing this ahead of time to guarantee a spot. If you park at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, there’s a back staircase that leads right to the Tidal Basin.
  • You can bike to the event. They’ll be offering extra bike parking at the Jefferson Memorial.
  • It’s always easier to bring your own food than brave the lines, or look for a food vendor. That said, there are a bunch of restaurants along the Wharf that are easy to get to by walking from the Tidal Basin.

Want to skip the crowds but still want to check out the trees? Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna has their own peak bloom you can find on their Facebook page.

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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.

Maybe you had a cold once and decided not to take the medicine, maybe you skipped that advisory to “finish all of these meds”, whatever the reason — your medicine cabinet is full of old prescriptions you don’t need and don’t know what to do with.

Or maybe it’s just me? I have a bag I’ve been looking to dispose of for a while, so I found a list of places to take old prescriptions to safely dispose of them.

There are national “take-back” days and the Town of Vienna usually has theirs in October and April. The National Take Back Day for 2020 is Saturday, April 25.

If you’re looking for something other than that day, try one of these locations:

  • Spectrum Healthcare: 10580 Arrowhead Drive, Fairfax
  • CVS in Merrifield: 8124 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church (near the Five Guys and Elephant Jumps)
  • INOVA Emergency Room Pharmacy: 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church (green metal box in the Pharmacy of the ER)
  • Fairfax County Policy Station in McLean: 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean
  • Fairfax County Police Station in Fairfax: 12300 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax
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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.

A local Vienna based charity, BRAWS, “works to bring dignity and empowerment to women and girls living in shelters by providing new, personally fitted undergarments and menstrual supplies.”

In addition to the wide reach this organization has, they also help our FCPS schools by stocking them with menstrual supplies in girls’ bathrooms.

They have volunteer opportunities throughout the year to donate your time with donation deliveries, event hosting and collection drives. You can also donate here.

Their biggest fundraising event, Mardi Braws, actually takes places this Friday night, February 28 at Westwood Country Club at 8 p.m.

There’s a massive silent auction, which you don’t need to attend to bid on, as well as a raffle. Lots of local businesses, the Capitals, The Nationals, the Wizards and more donate to this organization to help raise money. I am also sponsoring the event this year, along with fellow Tyson’s Reporter contributor, Brandy Schantz of the Schantz Group. A full list of the 2020 sponsors can be found here.

You can purchase tickets to attend the event at $100 each, bid on silent auction items, or just donate money or supplies.

Please consider checking out this wonderful local organization and supporting in any way you can.

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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.

The new development in Tyson’s by the Greensboro Metro is called “The Boro.”

If you haven’t explored the area yet, it’s designed to be a multi-purpose community that brings residential (both condo and apartments), retail, entertainment and office together in one space. The neighborhood is built with a 14-screen ICON movie theater (reclining seats!), and the largest Whole Foods in the D.C. area.

While still under construction at the time of this writing, I wanted to give you my favorite things in The Boro right now:

  1. The bread pudding doughnuts at Curiosity Doughnuts in Whole Foods. My son also loved the beignets.
  2. Fish Taco! Everything on the menu is great — I’ve been to their Maryland location as well, but the chips & guac, followed by the Ancho Shrimp salad is so, so good.
  3. The Whole Foods food hall — a great meeting spot for a please-everyone food hall, easy parking in the garage or short walk from the metro. Lots of tables to sit and chat.
  4. Honorable Mention: Paris Baguette for all your carb and sweet tooth needs. I myself am more of a salty treat girl (my popcorn addiction is well known), but who can pass up a delicious croissant?

I look forward to checking out the new spots as they open.

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Easy Walking Trails Near 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.

My kids spent most of the weekend outside enjoying our early spring — thanks Punxsutawney Phil!

I grew up in Upstate New York, so I’m no stranger to cold winter weather, but I will admit I don’t mind these mild January/February days! We live in an area that’s covered in secret wonders to explore, whether by yourself, with your dogs, or with you family.

There are some great options to get outside, walk off that Superbowl Hangover, keep up with your New Years resolutions and keep everyone sane from feeling cooped up inside.

Here are some of my favorite walking trails near Tysons:

  1. The obvious, The W&OD Trail — You can jump on at so many junction points around town and make a day of it. Walk, run, bike etc to a nearby restaurant (like Caboose or Church Street Pizza), or head to the Community Center in Vienna, Spacebar in Falls Church or take it to Arlington and go explore the new Ballston Quarter.
  2. Roosevelt Island — Located just off the GW Parkway in Arlington, we did this walk on New Years Day with my kids. It’s quiet, an easy walk, and a dose of some history to remember. If you like to skip rocks, the trail is surrounded by the Potomac River, so easy ways to walk down to the water and throw rocks, enjoy a beautiful view of Georgetown, and let the kids or dogs run.
  3. Meadowlark Connector Trail — A small portion that diverges from the W&OD and leads you directly to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
  4. Great Falls — Either the Virginia or Maryland side will offer a wonderful walk/hike and beautiful views. We love to pack some sandwiches and walk from one end to the other and find a big rock to sit on in the sun and enjoy the sounds of the falls. It’s really a beautiful thing to see and such an escape from our daily D.C. life, commute and chaos!
  5. Scott’s Run Nature Preserve — Located in McLean just off Georgetown Pike, it also has some beautiful water views and cliff views of the Potomac River. We did this hike on New Years Day 2019 and I think we saw a total of 1 other person in 2 hours. It was such a nice quiet way to spend a few hours. Parking can be tricky if you don’t know where you’re going, so plan ahead.

Did I miss your favorite hidden spot? Share it with me below!

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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.

Valentine’s Day is just about 3 weeks away and on a Friday this year!

Sometimes we can forget to book early, so here’s your reminder to book a restaurant reservation early this year! Some of these may even have a special menu for Valentine’s Day.

Vienna

  • Clarity
  • The Palm
  • Bazins
  • Maple Ave
  • Randy’s
  • Café Renaissance
  • Blend 111
  • Zenola

Falls Church

  • 2941
  • Thompson’s Italian
  • Dominion Beer & Wine

McLean

  • Assaggi Osteria
  • J Gilbert’s
  • Eddie V’s
  • Wildfire
  • Lebanese Taverna
  • Nostos
  • Founding Farmers

Looking for ladies night out ideas instead? Check out this post from last year!

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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’ve ever read any of my bio, you know that I was a softball player in college at the University of Rochester in New York.

I was an All-American, both academically and athletically. My husband was a soccer coach in Loudoun County for Potomac Falls High School and I coached Varsity Softball at Yorktown High School in Arlington for a few years around 2007. My boys are both heavily involved in baseball and basketball sports around Vienna. To say we’re a sports family is mildly understated.

Having started my kids playing in the i9 program has been so much FUN. Something I think gets lost these days in kids sports. I’m highlighting the program, which is a franchise, but is locally owned by a Vienna/Oakton family for the entire Fairfax County franchise.

They offer programs that start as young as 3 years old for both girls and boys and goes up to 13 in flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball and zip lacrosse.

The programs for the little kids is usually once a week for an hour: a 30 minute practice followed by a 30 minute game. They have a weekly sportsmanship value that’s discussed in detail. Things like positivity, teamwork, humility and listening. For the younger kids, one kid from each team gets a medal per work for demonstrating that value (every kid gets a medal by the end of the season).

Here’s the reason I love the program so much: the guys who run it every week are passionate. They all have day jobs, they do this because they LOVE it. They love working with the kids to teach them the sport and they’re so enthusiastic you can’t help but love the experience.

Special shout out to Mervin who runs a lot of the Vienna location sports — we’ve had him for soccer, baseball and basketball now and he’s hilarious. He’s so good with the kids, good about getting parents involved in the right way, and encouraging a good time. For their first and last games, they usually do fun events like letting the kids run through a banner with music playing, or run down a line of outstretched parent hands for a high-five while they announce their names.

If you have kids who may be the ones who hide behind your legs at first (I had one too), these guys go out of their way to get those kids into it. No pressure of course, but little things like giving them a jersey and asking them to hold a ball, because you know if they’re holding one they’ll start dribbling it. Then try again next week.

In a world where there’s so much pressure on kids so early, i9 brings back what youth sports should be: FUN.

Thank you Todd Peterson for running such a wonderful organization!

For more information on the program, visit i9Sports.com.

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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.

Are you a member of the Vienna VA Foodies Facebook group? How about the development discussion?

Maybe you’re neither but you’re a local resident who has ideas on how to make the town of Vienna better, well, you have two chances to get face to face with people who want to listen. Back in November, the Town announced it hired a new Economic Development Manager, Natalie Monkou. She’s holding 2 pop-up office hours at Caffe Amouri for anyone to attend:

This Wednesday, January 15 at 11 a.m.
Thursday, January 23 at 6 p.m.

I plan on attending the January 15 one and would love to hear what your suggestions will be. I’d also love to meet some of the people who read this weekly column, so please, come introduce yourself to me if you join in!

The Town has asked people to RSVP, but that’s mostly so they know how many people to anticipate and whether it’s a mix of residents or business owners. I think a mix of both is necessary in helping to shape the future of the town.

What do you think the town needs most?

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