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Morning Notes

Tysons Company Tops Fortune List — Tysons-based Hilton is No. 1 on Fortune’s new 100 Best Companies to Work For list. The hotel operator was also joined by local companies Navy Federal (#29, Vienna), Capital One (#39, Tysons), CustomInk (#86, Merrifield) and Mars Inc. (#98, McLean) on the annual list. [Fortune, Twitter]

State of McLean: Under Construction — “McLean is poised to benefit from a raft of infrastructure and revitalization projects, Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) told the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce Feb. 14 [during] his annual ‘State of McLean’ speech.” [InsideNova]

Falls Church Property Assessments Rise — “Property values are on the rise in Falls Church, according to 2019 assessment data released by the city. Overall residential and commercial property values have increased from January 2018. Commercial property values rose by 4.3 percent and residential real estate values by 2.93 percent over the last year.” [Patch]

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Luxury for Less: Feb. 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.

Vienna is a popular place to live in the D.C. Metro area.

People love the small-town charm, the proximity to Tysons Corner and the trails that wind through our enchanting town. When the weather is nice, we all meet outdoors to enjoy a run, take a leisurely stroll to the Whole Foods, or walk our dogs. It’s a pretty idyllic life in the D.C. Metro area and no one who lives here is surprised that we consistently top lists of best places to live in the U.S.

The only problem, this town is becoming more and more expensive. Real estate prices are quite diverse in Vienna. The town is divided into 4 quadrants with each quadrant selling homes at different prices. Currently, the hot market in Vienna seems to be in Southeast.

Southeast is very desirable for its proximity to Tysons, great schools and walkability to Westwood Country Club. Living on Mashie or Niblick Drive has suddenly become very elite, in part thanks to the very large, high-end homes recently built on those two streets. In addition to paying top dollar to get in to Southeast Vienna, the town taxes can break the budget.

Recent sales in southeast include a $1,030,000 condo on Glyndon and $2,350,000 detached home on Niblick. Top that off with an additional real estate tax for living in the Town of Vienna of 22.5 cents per $100 of the property’s assessed value. It’s steep to live in this neighborhood.

What if you want to live in Vienna without the extra taxes or the price tag over $2M? Just east of the town and mere steps from this hot neighborhood are many great homes that sell for less and lack the extra taxes. This neighborhood is just west of Old Courthouse Road and east of Electric Avenue.

Most of the homes were built 10 years ago or more but have a lot of space and similar access to the trails, Tysons and the shops on Maple Avenue. In contrast to Southeast, the most expensive home sold in this neighborhood in the past six months was a detached home with over 7500 sq. ft. that sold for $1,695,000. Still too much? Most of the homes in this neighborhood sold for around $1M with many below that amount. Vienna addresses without the steep Vienna prices.

This week we have quite a few great homes featured and one just outside the town limits in Vienna to consider!

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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Morning Notes

Local Startup Raises $30 Million — “Fairfax-based real estate data and analytics company Remine,” which has offices in Tysons and Dunn Loring, “has closed a $30 million Series A funding round, bringing its total amount raised to $48 million.” [Washington Business Journal]

Officials Hold Meeting on E-Bikes — “The recent popularity [of] e-bikes and the fact they are not allowed on trails in Fairfax County and NOVA Parks prompted NOVA Parks and Fairfax County Park Authority to take steps to understand the issues and then share facts with the public and listen to their comments.” [McLean Connection]

Fairfax Home Market Flat to Start Year — “A modest increase in sales was offset by slightly lower average sales price in the January home-sales report for Fairfax County. And as a result, the total sales volume for the month stood relatively unchanged as the local market began to segue from winter to spring.” [InsideNova]

Falls Church Seeking BZA Member — The Falls Church Board of Zoning Appeals is looking to fill a vacancy for the position of Alternate Member. [City of Falls Church]

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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 less than a 10 minute walk to a Metro Station. What are the options around Dunn Loring?

Answer: The Dunn Loring neighborhood is one of the fastest changing areas in Fairfax County in a few short years. It is now a vibrant and walkable community with many different housing options to offer just a few steps from the metro.

Here’s what I love about the location:

Easy Commute

The Dunn Loring/Merrifield Metro is located between Interstate 66 at Gallows Road and it services the Orange Line which gets you to D.C. in about 25 minutes.

There’s also easy access to the Capital Beltway, I-66 and Route 50, making it convenient for public transportation and driving. And let’s not forget about cyclists! The W&OD Trail is in your backyard and it goes all the way from Shirlington to Purceville. The W&OD Trail has a maze of paths for hiking, biking, running and walking.

Everything Is Just Steps Away

You can walk to almost everything. From Home Depot, to Harris Teeter (this one has a wine bar, cheers), to a doggie day care, spa services, to the Merrifield Garden Center. You can also take a bit longer of a walk to the Mosaic District but I’ll cover that neighborhood in a separate column.

Here are some of my favorite food spots: Blackfinn Ameripub (great trivia, many tv’s for watching sports and live music), District Taco and the newest Peruvian restaurant Inca Social.

They also have a small dog park.

Bonus: There is free retail parking.

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Morning Notes

Valentine’s Day Options in McLean and Tysons — “With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you don’t want to be stuck trying to find a last-minute dinner reservation… We’ve got a few suggestions for restaurants around McLean and Tysons, including those offering special dining options on OpenTable.” [Patch]

Inca Social Officially Open in Merrifield — “Inca Social just brought Merrifield a colorful new getaway for Peruvian comfort foods that are designed to be paired with a long lineup of Virginia craft beers.” [Eater]

A Local Teardown Story — A local man who grew tired of his five-level townhouse in McLean decided to pursue a new home but, unsatisfied by the options, decided instead to buy and tear down a “distressed” house in Pimmit Hills and build his dream home in its place. [Washington Post]

Keam in the Times — “Asked about the state of the government, Delegate Mark L. Keam, a Democrat from Fairfax County, replied with one word: ‘Uncertain.'” [New York Times]

McLean Mansion Offered for Sale — “Buyers will be able to bid in person and online when the mansion in McLean, Va., known as Whispering Woods goes on the auction block on Feb. 27. The 15,000-square-foot mansion at 8305 Alford St. rests on three acres behind fences and gates.” [Washington Post]

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Luxury for Less: Feb. 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.

The big news last week was the Federal Reserve meeting. The Fed did not raise the benchmark federal funds rate and indicated that interest rates would remain steady.

The Fed had previously announced after the December meeting that interest rates would be raised twice in 2019. What does that mean for the mortgage markets? Mortgage interest rates are actually more related to the 10-year U.S.

Treasury note than to the federal funds rate so the overall health of the economy will be a better predictor where mortgage rates will go. Economists have predicted interest rates in the mortgage markets to be between 5-6% by the end of 2019. For now, we can expect mortgage rates to remain low.

In the Tysons area, snow and cold days kept many people indoors so this is a great week to go out and find some great homes. Here are this week’s luxury for less homes:

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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Luxury for Less: Jan. 30

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 approach February, we find ourselves with a similar problem from this time last year — there is very little inventory.

My office is buzzing with multiple offers and buyers trying to get homes before they even hit the market. While Fairfax County’s inventory is slightly up compared to this time last year, it’s still not enough to keep up with demand and the average list price has increased to $985,978 from $820,268 this time last year.

Fortunately, there are still great homes to be found and great neighborhoods to explore. One of the more popular neighborhoods in the Tysons area is the neighborhood around Westwood Country Club.

Westwood Country Club is located just a few minutes from Tysons Corner in the sought-after Town of Vienna. Homes in this neighborhood range from 1950s ramblers to the large, newly built custom homes that are becoming the norm in Vienna.

This neighborhood is one of the more popular because the W&OD trail is just minutes away, you can walk to the country club and Tysons is a short and easy commute. Many people enjoy walking to the mall from this area and anyone who has tried to drive down Maple Avenue at rush hour knows that being close to the Tysons Corner side of the road is a big plus.

You don’t have to have the big, new home budget to get into this great neighborhood. One recently reduced property in this neighborhood is move in ready and just $774,900. Check out 1007 NE Westbriar Drive Vienna (Reduced $25,000) and other great luxury properties for less:

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: My mortgage lender told me a homeowner’s policy was the last thing needed to fully approve our home loan. I want to shop around and make sure I get the coverage I need. What should I know before deciding on a home insurance policy?

Answer: It’s important to understand the basics of homeowners insurance so you can purchase a policy that meets your needs. It primarily covers your home and the stuff inside of it in the event of theft or some disasters (fire, windstorm, hail, lightning, smoke, explosion, theft, vandalism, riot and vehicle collision).

If your house is destroyed by a covered peril, a standard homeowner’s policy will go a long way toward repairing or rebuilding your home.

I’m not an insurance expert, so I talked to Matt Deadrick, with DDM Insurance, and he provided great insight that will help you understand basic insurance coverage and choose additional coverage that will fit your needs.

Dwelling Replacement Cost Coverage On Your Homeowners Policy

The value of your home may vary and this may cause concerns when you think about the amount of insurance you carry on your homeowner’s policy and whether it’s enough or too much. But the bottom line is that what your home can be rebuilt for versus what you can sell it for are two completely different things.

With Market Value, location, school district, distance to shopping and public transportation, etc. go into the calculations.

With Dwelling Replacement Cost, a completely different set of parameters is taken into account. The location is much less of a factor than the square footage of the house. The construction of your home and its features are what count.

When a new application is taken, your agent should ask questions about your home and it’s features such as square footage, age, number of rooms, if there is a finished basement, etc. This will be used to calculate an estimate of what your home can be rebuilt for, and determine the “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy.

Because there is no way to know exactly what a house costs to rebuild until it actually has to be rebuilt, it is imperative to include some coverage that takes into account that the “Dwelling Coverage” may need to be increased in the event of a catastrophic loss such as a fire.

No one wants to find out they didn’t carry enough homeowners insurance after their home is destroyed.

This is where the right homeowner’s policy can save the day. Basic homeowners policy will only pay up to the dwelling limit listed on the policy, even if it costs more to rebuild your home. However, there are several options available which help to make a homeowners policy much more flexible.

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Luxury for Less: Jan. 23

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.

Monday was a holiday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Congress designated this day as a national day of service and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

This federal agency that leads service and volunteering, launched an effort to make the third Monday in January a “day on, not a day off.” In honor of Monday’s day of service, I would like to highlight volunteer opportunities in the Tyson’s Corner area that you can dedicate some time to throughout the year.

Volunteer service has always been an essential principal in my life and I am proud to be a member of an organization such as TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, a brokerage firm that truly supports local communities.

Nationalservice.gov highlights volunteer opportunities in your area. These opportunities are typically available all year round and always in need of help. Volunteer Fairfax declares volunteering a new year’s resolution worth keeping.

Their website has a database of local opportunities so you can find the right one for you. If you can’t find something there, Volunteer Match offers another database of opportunities and don’t forget to get your kids involved! There are many benefits to volunteering and I hope that 2019 can be a year of service for you.

Now back to house hunting! It’s brutally cold outside so head inside to a great open house this weekend or look at some of these warm interiors:

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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How is Tysons progressing in its quest to become America’s “next great city?”

A pair of upcoming events are planned to look at the current state of Tysons’ economy and where it should go from here.

The first, a “State of the Market” event next Thursday (Jan. 24), will focus on the development of the local office and retail markets. The event is hosted by Bisnow, a commercial real estate news organization.

The event will be held at 1600 Tysons Boulevard. Tickets to the event are $99.

Breakfast and networking start at 7:30 a.m. A discussion of continuing Tysons’ development boom starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by a discussion of how the new developments around the Greensboro Metro station will impact the market starts at 9:15 a.m.

“As we look at 1.5 million square feet of office under construction, 1,800 multifamily units to deliver, and massive mixed-use developments in the pipeline, the area shows no signs of slowing down,” Bisnow said in the event description. “With a few years of booming development, is the market fully built?  How much more construction does the market need to see? Northern Virginia is poised for growth, but is it growing quick enough to meet the supply being delivered?”

One week later, the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce will host its 27th Annual Economic Conference. The central theme of the conference is a review of the last ten years of development in Tysons and examining economic indicators for the area’s future growth.

The event is scheduled for Jan. 31 from 7:30-11 a.m. in the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner at 7920 Jones Branch Drive.

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