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SunGazette

VOLUME 79 NO. 21

ARLINGTON’S SOURCE FOR HOMETOWN NEWS SINCE 1935

APRIL 17, 2014

School Officials Prep for Costly Choices to Keep Up with Growth SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

Construction of a new middle school, building a new South Arlington elementary school or adding on to existing schools, larger maximum capacities at all schools and bond referendums totaling nearly $370 million over the next six years are now officially on the table as the county school system grapples with rising enrollment. School officials rolled out preliminary recommendations April 10, kicking off a two-month process that will lead to School Board adoption of a capital-spending plan in mid-June. School Board Chairman Abby Raphael said no firm decisions have been made, but “we are starting to narrow the options.” Staff has concluded that building new facilities is generally more cost-effective than adding to existing schools or leasing space. While none of the recommendations is final, school officials are leaning toward a $111 million

New County Board member John Vihstadt is shown with his wife, Mary, and his father, Ed, following his swearing-in on April 11. Vihstadt, who defeated Alan Howze in the April 8 special election, took his seat on the dais at the April 12 board meeting. He is the first non-Democrat to sit on the board since Mike Lane served for eight months in 1999.

Vihstadt Promises Vigilance, Oversight SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

In the three-day window between winning election and taking office, new County Board member John Vihstadt received a lot of feedback. “I’ve heard from everyone from Gov. McAuliffe to a neighbor down the street who said, ‘I voted for you Tuesday and my pothole still is not fixed,’” Vihstadt chuckled during a ceremony April 11 to formally install him as the board’s junior member. Vihstadt, who ran as an independent with backing from Republicans, Greens

sworn into office by Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson, who praised his “long record of community service” in Arlington. Three of Vihstadt’s four new County Board cohorts were in attendance, although neither the man he succeeds (Zimmerman) nor defeated (Howze) was there. County Board Chairman Jay Fisette, who backed Howze, said Democrats on the board would treat Vihstadt as a colleague, not an interloper. “Campaigns are tough,” Fisette Continued on Page 17

Continued on Page 17

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and some prominent Democrats, crushed Democrat Alan Howze to win the seat held for 18 years by Chris Zimmerman, and to end the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s 15year monopoly on board slots. In remarks to a packed County Board room, Vihstadt said he would push for fiscal accountability. “It is time our county government lives within its means,” he said. The election was a victory, Vihstadt said, “for prioritizing core services . . . not for grandiose projects of questionable need.” Vihstadt, a 61-year-old attorney, was

middle school and either a $50 million South Arlington elementary school or additions to Abingdon, Barcroft, Patrick Henry, Hoffman-Boston, Claremont and/or Campbell elementaries. They also propose upping the maximum capacity at schools to 700 at the elementary level, 1,300 at middle schools and 2,200 at high schools. To pay for it all, school officials anticipate four successive bond referendums in coming years: • $80 million or more to be on the ballot this November. • $103 million in November 2016. • $90 million in November 2018. • $96 million in November 2020. The looming difficulty for school officials, Raphael told the Sun Gazette, is having the ability to sell bonds when the funds are needed for constructing schools. Like the county government, the school system is


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SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

Walter Lohmann and Lauren Monsivaiz are seniors in high school, and their fall travel plans already are worked out. He is headed across the Potomac to attend Georgetown University, she is moving halfway across the county to start classes at Texas A&M. But on April 8, each paused to express thanks for their years as participants in Encore Stage & Studio, which celebrated 47 years of nurturing young talent at a breakfast held at Washington Golf & Country Club. “Every person at every step of the way has helped me get where I’m going in my journey,” said Lohmann, a student at Bishop Ireton High School who has performed on stage and worked behind the scenes at Encore for the past decade. “It’s become one of the greatest experiences of my life,” added Monsivaiz, who attends Trinity Christian School and has participated in six productions. “Each one has been an indescribable experience,” she said at the fourth annual breakfast, which attracted more than 150 benefactors and boosters.

Above, Robin Baxter (left) was saluted with the Celeste Groves Award, named for Encore Stage & Studio’s longtime executive producer (shown at right). At right, Walter Lohmann and Lauren Monsivaiz attended the event to speak of the importance of Encore in their lives.

Beyond learning how to act and handle the technical aspects of theater productions, the nonprofit organization gives participants so much more, Monsivaiz said. “It opens up a world of opportunity: confidence, people skills and leadership,” the Vienna resident said. (As for the distance required to get to the Arlington productions? “It’s kind of a hike, but it’s definitely worth it,” Monsivaiz said.) While the theater troupe re-

cently had one of its biggest production ever, with nearly 4,500 people attending a run of “Little Mermaid Jr.,” ticket sales recoup just 40 percent of the cost of productions that can run $30,000 apiece – hence the fund-raising breakfast. Despite the costs, the results can be priceless, said Ashby Rushing, who serves on the organization’s board of directors. A middle-school teacher in Arlington, Rushing got involved after seeing first-hand “the ways

in which Encore was impacting those students [through] experiences on stage and backstage.” “It’s not only the shows, it’s the educational component,” Rushing said. Encore – which in its early decades was known as the Children’s Theatre – is on the right trajectory, said Sarah Duke, its executive director. “We have really grown a lot recently,” she said, noting that events like the breakfast provide the opportunity to “reflect on where we’ve been” while also focusing on the future. At the event, Robin Baxter was presented with the Celeste Groves Award, named in honor

of Encore’s longtime executive producer. Through the years, Baxter has served stints as board chairman, executive director and legal adviser. “It’s such a worthy organization,” Baxter said, praising the “teamwork of everyone involved.” For both Lohmann and Monsivaiz, the end of their high-school days won’t mean cutting ties with the theater organization. “I look forward to remaining a member of the Encore family for years to come,” said Lohmann. And while she will be 1,400 miles away, deep in the heart of Texas, Monsivaiz also aims to stay engaged. “It’s a family: Once you get in, you really can’t get out,” she said. And here’s proof that the relationship can last: Erin Driscoll, who performed in Encore’s Act III summer productions, remains a booster as her career in regional theater has taken flight. “Keep inspiring kids through the arts. I love you all; I love Encore!” Driscoll said in a video message taped during rehearsals of Signature Theatre’s upcoming “Threepenny Opera.”

April 17, 2014

Local Youth Sing Praises of Arlington Theater Initiative

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Nature Program Draws a Crowd at Elementary School SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

Pop quiz: When the little snakes head off to school in the morning, what’s their favorite subject? Hiss-story, of course! Corny puns were among the highlights of Long Branch Elementary School’s monthly Reach for Reading program on April 9, as wildlife – including a visit from a live snake – took center stage. The Reach for Reading program, which has been running at the school for 15 years, is designed to give immigrant students and their parents a chance to bond over educational programs while building social skills. Designed for toddlers through secondgraders, the program began in the late 1990s with fewer than a dozen participants. Today, as many as 100 attend. The April program brought back a familiar favorite, as Cliff Fairweather of Long Branch Nature Center came with frogs, toads, salamanders and a threelegged turtle named Stumpy. Here’s story about Stumpy: Twenty years ago, in August 1994, MeryLuz Molina and her daughters Adriana (then age 9) and Andrea (7) found the injured box turtle and brought it to the nature center, where Stumpy soon became a featured attraction. Molina, the parent liaison with the ESOL/HILT initiative at the school who provides translation services for the Reach for Reading program, said she and her daughters – now all grown, one living locally, the other in Australia – have the chance to visit with the rescued turtle from time to time. And with Stumpy less than halfway through a lifespan that could top 100 years, there will be many more opportunities. The elementary school’s demograph-

County naturalist Cliff Fairweather shows off a corn snake to students participating in the Reach for Reading program last week at Long Branch Elementary School. The program is designed for immigrant families with children in grades 2 to 4.

ics closely mirror the school system’s as a whole, principal Felicia Russo said: Just over half the student population is white, 21 percent are Hispanic, 12 percent are Asian and just under 10 percent are black. The Reach for Reading initiative is designed to aid students for whom English is not their native language. Among those enjoying the April program were sisters Cecilia and Gloria Fosso. They were born in Cameroon, where French is the native language. Today the sisters – in fourth and second grades, respectively – are fluent in English, as well. Why did they attend the program? “I like nature,” Gloria Fosso said. “You got to see the amphibians, to see the box turtle.” When it comes to wildlife, however, Gloria Fosso aims higher.

“I like tigers, wild cats,” she said. “Dogs, wolves and foxes. The one I like the best is the fox, red foxes. They have beautiful fur.” Cecilia Fosso said she got hooked on nature during a field trip that focused on Native Americans. As for the creatures that were on display April 9, Stumpy was a highlight. “I liked the box turtle best,” she said. Fairweather used the appearance to plug the nature center, which is located on South Carlin Springs Road. “Please come and visit us,” he said. And he tried to dissuade some myths, noting that most frogs go “peep” rather than “ribbit” and telling students to be appreciative of snakes rather than fearful of them.

“They are very important animals,” he said. “They control the population of rats and mice. They help keep us healthy.” As part of the program, students and their parents colored snake artwork, and the young people had the chance to unroll the 20-foot-long skin of a rock python. Long Bridge staff members Lee Ayoub, Greg D’Addario, Anne Malleck and Sandra Sterne showcased the Reach for Reading program in a recent edition of the Virginia Journal of Education, a publication of the Virginia Education Association. “We know its working. We see it,” they wrote of the initiative. “The program’s heart lies in making connections with parents and encouraging them to become partners with the school in their children’s education.”

Easter Production Aims to Explore the Full Life of Christ SCOTT McCAFFREY

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Staff Writer

Sun Gazette

Like many great ideas, this one occurred in the shower. Having walked and driven past Wilson Boulevard Christian Church for months, Janet Thomas had the idea hit her, perhaps divinely: She needed to go inside. “The spirit pulled me to it,” said Thomas, the founder and president of Bible Stories Theatre. “I hopped right out of the shower, put on my clothes and went to the church.” Based on the imposing facade, Thomas was expecting a large congregation and perhaps a cool welcome. Instead, she found a

small group who extended their hearts. This week, Thomas’s new religious family and her professional life come together, as the church hosts “The Third Day,” an original production written by Thomas to tell the story of Christ’s life from nativity to resurrection. The idea is to bring in those who might not regularly attend worship services, and to make sure, during the Easter season, they “stay focused on the Word rather than Easter bunnies,” she said. Putting on a show with limited resources is always a challenge. “This has been truly a test, because there’s no money,” Thomas

said. “I’ve called in some people I’ve known, I’ve been on the phone a lot. I’ve been pulling in everybody.” Rewrites were continuing as the production neared; Thomas is responsible not only for the dialogue, but also for the music. An affiliate of the Disciples of Christ denomination, Wilson Boulevard Christian Church celebrated its centennial last fall. The church’s efforts include evangelism and community service: It provides a community food pantry, is home to Ballston Children’s Center, has been active in ministering to recently released incarcerated people and, last year, started a dance company for little

children. T h e lineage of what is now Wilson Boulevard Christian Janet Thompson Church dates to June 1913 and a chance meeting between Mrs. George Fisher, who was canvassing a neighborhood selling religious books, and Mrs. Elizabeth Day, who answered her door and, in discussion with Fisher, discovered they were both members of the Christian Church (now known as Disciples of Christ). The women forged a friend-

ship and established a weekly prayer circle that attracted about 10 people in the homes of parishioners. By 1921, the congregation purchased its current site at 3850 Wilson Blvd., with the cornerstone being laid in October 1923 and a formal dedication ceremony held in September 1929. Known originally as Ballston Christian Church, the church’s name was changed to Wilson Boulevard Christian Church in 1937. Performances of “The Third Day” will be held April 18-20 at the church, 3850 Wilson Blvd. For tickets and information, see the Web site at www.biblestoriestheatre.org.


Effort Is Aimed at Enticing Smaller Firms

budgeted at $760,000. With the new contract, the project will go over budget by $87,700, if all contingency funds are used. The park is located in the center of a residential block between 19th and 22nd streets North and North Dinwiddie and North Cameron streets. Fisette Apologizes for ‘Latino Time’ Comment: County Board Chairman Jay Fisette on April 12 extended an apology for an offhand comment made at the swearing-in ceremony of John Vihstadt a day before. Noting that board colleague Walter Tejada had not yet arrived at the swearing-in and would be a bit late, Fisette said that Tejada was running on “Latino time.” Fisette was questioned about the phras-

County Board Chairman Jay Fisette on April 12 apologized for using the phrase “Latino time” when board colleague Walter Tejada was late for an event.

ing by a reporter from WJLA-TV, and said that after talking with friends, he found that “some were offended.” “No disrespect was intended,” Fisette said. “Live and learn.”

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County officials hope a broader range of incentives will entice technology firms – large and small – to locate in Arlington and stay for the long term. Changes adopted by the County Board April 12 “reflect the reality of a quicklychanging tech world,” board Chairman Jay Fisette said. “These carefully targeted, enhanced incentives will make Arlington an even more attractive community for some of the most innovative businesses in the world to get started and grow,” said Fisette, who has been pressing in recent months for a more business-friendly approach by the government. The measure, adopted unanimously, provides a range of tax breaks for tech companies that locate in the RosslynBallston and Route 1 corridors or Shirlington. The revisions eliminate the 100-person threshold previously required for firms to receive the incentives. County officials estimate five to 10 companies per year will benefit from the changes. Arlington Economic Development estimates a 20-person company would save $39,000 over five years, while an 80-person company would save $155,000. In recent years, Arlington officials have been rapped by the business and development communities for what was perceived as a lethargic business-recruitment effort, particularly in the high-tech, “creativeclass” sector. The April 12 action, officials say, shows they are serious about changing that perception. “Arlington now will be better able to compete with jurisdictions across our region and our nation that are offering incentives to attract the companies that will define our economic future,” said Cindy Richmond, the county government’s acting director of economic development. “Arlington is sending a strong signal that we are creating the conditions for fastgrowth tech sector companies to start here and stay here.” County Manager Says Evaluation of Assessment Spikes Remains Work in Progress: County Manager Barbara Donnellan on April 12 said staff continues to investigate individual cases where assessments on commercial property increased significantly this year, but offered no timetable on when the review might be concluded. While many of the increased assessments were concentrated in Clarendon, the review is taking into account all commercial properties – about 50 in all – that saw the biggest jumps. “They [staff] are individually looking at each one,” Donnellan said of parcels that saw assessment increases of 50 percent or more from 2013 to 2014. Board OKs Extra Funds to Complete Park Project: County Board members on April 12 approved a contract worth up to $71,900 to complete work on renovation of High View Park. The project had been scheduled for completion in the summer of 2012, but the contractor was dismissed for “failure to deliver satisfactorily,” staff said in a memo to County Board members. Renovation of the playground, walkways and picnic area at the park had been

April 17, 2014

C. Board OKs Expansion of Tech Zones

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April 17, 2014

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Highs & Lows

THE STORY IS COMPLICATED, although regular readers of this paper know its intricacies, but suffice it to say, Arlington Democrats may come to rue this year’s election timetable. If so, they have no one but themselves to blame. Last week’s drubbing of the party at the hands of John Vihstadt leaves Democrats with Alan Howze – good guy, competent guy, but clearly not the darling of the voters this time around – as their nominee for the fall. Because the filing deadline for Democrats wanting to vie for the nomination in the general election came two weeks before the April 8 special election, the field was effectively cleared for Howze in November. But with the size of the Vihstadt victory (57 percent to 41 percent), Democrats likely awakened the day after wondering if they might

not have been better served by having several candidates, Howze among them, vying for the nomination. Fingers are being pointed at departed County Board member Chris Zimmerman, whose resignation date was timed, coincidentally or not, to ensure that the special election would have to be held after the Democratic filing deadline for the general election. Had this been a rerun of 2012, when the filing deadline came two days after the County Board special election, you can rest assured that any number of Democrats would have spent that 48-hour period collecting petition signatures to get themselves on the June 10 primary. Howze remains the odds-on favorite for November, because the composition of the elector-

ate in general elections favors Democrats, but the party’s crushing defeat last week is more than a black eye: It puts the general-election race in play in a way it would not have been if this had been a squeaker. THUMBS UP: To those elected officials and others of the Democratic persuasion who attended John Vihstadt’s swearing-in ceremony. It surely was no fun for those folks to see their standard-bearer, Alan Howze, go down to defeat in the County Board special election, but attending the ceremony to wish Vihstadt well as he embarks on his term was classy. It sure beats taking your bat and your ball and going home when the baseball game doesn’t go your way.

‘Coolness Factor’Won’t Sustain Streetcar Proposal Editor: I read with interest Paul Donaldson’s reflections, as published in the Sun Gazette’s April 3 Letters section, on Los Angeles’ former streetcar system and how it was dismantled by the producers of automobiles, gasoline and automobile tires. This is a well-known and accepted background history. I used to live in Los Angeles, and I enjoyed his retelling. I’d like to point out one extremely telling aspect of the background history that relates directly to Arlington’s (and a little bit of Fairfax County’s, and maybe Alexandria’s) proposed new streetcar system: “Many of the trolley lines were located in the center of roadways with their own exclusive islands, and did not travel on the street with cars.” This almost throwaway line by the writ-

er underscores the essential flaw – even beyond its escalating estimated cost to build and operate – of the proposed Columbia Pike streetcar system. The streetcars will have to win the competition for use of the Pike’s curb lanes; when they can’t do so successfully, they cannot operate at all. A great deal of the support for this proposed system depends on the “coolness factor” of streetcars vs. buses that will induce people to leave their cars at home and ride mass transportation. However, what happens to the newly minted mass transportation riders when the curb lanes are otherwise occupied due to plowed snow that hasn’t yet been hauled away along the entire route; construction equipment that must operate on the sidewalk and curb lane to erect large buildings; an auto accident; new utilities hook-ups;

and more? It’s critical to keep in mind that the streetcar can travel no faster than the traffic on the Pike will allow, so speed is not an inducement to use it. Also, be aware that only one-third of the mass-transportation vehicles planned for the Pike will be streetcars, so convenience also is not an inducement. (It can be believed that letting one or two buses pass while waiting for a streetcar too many times will provide a counter-inducement to adopt mass transportation.) So, when service is stopped for minutes, hours or even days at a time, a reasonable person simply cannot assume that “coolness” will keep the targeted new, larger ridership on board for the long term. Ken Matzkin Arlington

There Is Middle Ground in the Debate Over Streetcars Editor: County Board members Jay Fisette, Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada are right that we should be respectful of the process over the last several years that has led to the streetcar initiative. But Libby Garvey and John Vihstadt are also right that it is human nature to pay close attention to an idea when it is really time to pay for it – and at about $60 million to $80 million per mile, the streetcar is not cheap. All during this debate, a practical trans-

portation problem begs for a solution: people need to be moved quickly and comfortably from Point A to B on Columbia Pike. It is time for a compromise. Here are three steps in that direction: 1) The County Board should hit the pause button on the streetcar and not move forward with it for now; 2) the board should implement a pilot program of rapid buses on Columbia Pike for the next three years; 3) after the pilot program is complete, the board should reassess the situation and decide how to

proceed. Proponents of the streetcar will not like putting the project on hold, but opponents of the streetcar will not like the fact that the streetcar remains an option. As the saying goes, governing is not about achieving the perfect – it is about achieving the good. It is time for a compromise that helps to solve the current transportation problem on Columbia Pike. It is time for the good. David Boling Arlington


Kenmore Teacher Is Named Tops in County for 2014

April 17, 2014

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Cassidy Nolen, who teaches technology at Kenmore Middle School, on April 11 was announced as Arlington’s 2014 teacher of the year. Nolen “has the special ability to connect arts and technology curriculum with students’ interests, and to design problemsolving experiences in a technology-rich environment,” Superintendent Patrick Murphy said in a statement. “His engaging courses are appreciated by students who thrive in a handson learning environment.” Nolen started with the school system in 1997, and “brought with him a keen sense of real-world practicality and the need to foster innovation, cooperation and creativity,” Kenmore principal John Word said. “Mr. Nolen is an inspiring teacher who encourages his students to pursue their passions,” said Karen Palmer, the parent of a Kenmore student. “My son is an engineering enthusiast who has a passion for computers – [Nolen’s] hands-on approach to learning is a hallmark of his class and an important factor to how much students take away from the experience.” Nolen and the 31 other Arlington educators who were named teachers of the year at their schools will be honored by the School Board on May 15. Nolen will go on to represent Arlington in the 2014 Virginia Teacher of the Year competition. Also on April 11, Glebe Elementary School principal Jamie Borg was named principal of the year. “Jamie is a skilled educator that empowers others to be more successful,” Murphy said. “She has high standards and expectations for student achievement.” Borg has been principal at Glebe for 10 years. She began her career at Swanson Middle School, and also served at Barcroft Elementary School. At Glebe, “she has been open and receptive to the community and its ideas,” said Glebe PTA president Gillyn Croog. Honored as the school system’s support employees of the year were Holly Rodriguez (Key Elementary School), Saundra Simonson (Gunston Middle School), Nakry Som (Facilities and Operations), Michelle Brauch (Human Resources), Renne Sidberry (Thomas Jefferson Middle School), Eugene Orr (Long Branch Elementary School) and Kathy Robinson (Patrick Henry Elementary School).

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Arlington Notes

April 17, 2014

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FORUMS SET ON FAIRLINGTON FARMERS’ MARKET: The Arlington Depart-

ment of Parks and Recreation will hold two community-input meetings as part of a proposal to establish a farmers’ market at Fairlington Community Center. A meeting on Monday, April 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be held to gather input and on May 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to discuss major themes of the proposal. Each meeting will be held at the community center, 3308 South Stafford St. For information, call (703) 228-7872. FORUM TO FOCUS ON PROSTATE CANCER: Virginia Hospital Center’s Cancer

Resource Center will host its prostate-cancer support group on Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at the center, 1701 North George Mason Drive. The program is designed for those undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, or recently diagnosed. For information, call (703) 558-5555. HISTORICAL SOCIETY, COUNTY GOVERNMENT TEAM UP: The Arlington

Historical Society and Arlington County government have entered into a new partnership that will see the county government tape Historical Society lectures at Central Library for broadcast on the government’s cable channels. The collaborative effort kicked off with the taping of an April 3 lecture by historian Nancy Perry about the federal government’s use of eminent-domain powers to obtain property in the Queen City community during construction of the Pentagon. John Richardson, president of the Historical Society, said the initiative was welcomed. “This is an exciting development, since it will make our programs available to a much wider audience,” Richardson said. In addition to being shown on the government’s cable channels on Verizon and Comcast, taped programs will be available on the Web sites www.arlingtonva.tv and www.arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org, and copies of programs will be provided to the county library system’s Center for Local Learning.

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AUTHOR DETAILS LOCAL STORIES IN NEW BOOK: “Arlington County Chroni-

Sun Gazette

cles,” a new book by Arlington journalist and author Charles Clark, is slated for publication this month by the History Press. The 224-page tome is part of the “American Chronicles” series, and features vignettes from the county’s history dating back to colonial times. The retail price is $19.99; the book will be available at local stores and on the Web at www.historypress.net. A-SPAN TO INAUGURATE ‘COMING HOME’ BREAKFAST PROGRAM: The Ar-

lington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) will host its inaugural Coming

Home Breakfast on Thursday, April 24 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association conference center, 4301 Wilson Blvd. “Having a safe place to come home to is so important for all of us,” A-SPAN executive director Kathleen Sibert said. “Our whole mission is to end homelessness in our community. The look on someone’s face when they receive keys to their own apartment is magical, and demonstrates the importance of having a home.” John Shooshan, chairman of the Shooshan Co. and a local philanthropist, will be the keynote speaker at the event, which is free and open to the public. For information and to R.S.V.P., call Amanda Mark at (703) 842-0168 or e-mail amark@a-span.org. ‘GREEN LIVING EXPO’ RETURNS TO GMU: The annual Green Living Expo,

sponsored by Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, will be held on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Founders Hall, located on the Arlington campus of George Mason University. For information, see the Web site at www.arlingtonenvironment.org. BIKE TOUR OF BOUNDARY STONES SLATED: The Center Hiking Club will host

a Boundary Stone Bike Tour on Saturday, April 19 beginning at 9:15 a.m. at the entrance to the East Falls Church Metro station. The 35-mile bike tour will pass 12 historic District of Columbia boundary stones in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County. The pace of the tour is leisurely; participants can travel all day. The event will be canceled if there is a 55 percent chance of rain or greater. The cost is $2. For information, call Bernie Berne at (703) 243-0179 or see the Web site at www.centerhikingclub.org.

CHURCH TO HOST EASTER EGG HUNT, BREAKFAST: Cherrydale United Method-

ist Church will hold an Easter egg hunt and breakfast with the Easter bunny on Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. at the church, 3701 Lorcom Lane. The community is invited; the event will be held rain or shine. For information, call (703) 527-221. SOUTH ARLINGTON KIWANIS TO HOLD SOCIAL, AUCTION: The South Arlington

Kiwanis Club will hold its 24th annual Auction/Social on Saturday, April 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 2700 19th St. South. The event will feature refreshments, a raffle and a live auction led by County Board member Walter Tejada. Tickets are $20; raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $25. For tickets and information, call Harro and Jane Wulf at (703) 243-5245 or e-mail jwulf1@verizon.net. NATURE CENTER TO HOST NATIVEPLANT SALE: Long Branch Nature Center

will hold a native-plant sale on Saturday, April 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the center, 625 South Carlin Springs Road. The community is invited.


THEATER TROUPE, NAUCK ORGANIZATION TEAM UP FOR YOUTH: Encore

Stage & Studio and the Nauck Community Services Center of the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corp. have embarked on a new partnership to support students in the Nauck community. As part of the agreement, Encore will provide tutoring, educational opportunities and spaces in its theater camps to students in the community, as well as provide tickets to Encore productions and backstage tours. “Working together, we are able to expose children, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, to theater and the world of possibilities it opens,” said Alexis Williams, who heads the Nauck Community Services Center. Williams related the tale of taking eight students to an encore production of “The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes.” “For many, this was their first experience with theater, and seeing other children acting showed them that they too could play characters, enter fantasy worlds and make crowds laugh,” she said. For information on the initiative, see the Web site at www.encorestage.org. For information on the community-services center, see the Web site at www.bajdcdc.org. WORKSHOP TO FOCUS ON COURTHOUSE REDEVELOPMENT: A community

workshop as part of the county government’s visioning process for the Courthouse area will be held on Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Key Elementary School. For information on the initiative, see the Web site at http://sites.arlingtonva.us/ courthouse.

BOWEN McCAULEY DANCE AGAIN LEADS ‘MOVE ME’ FEST: Bowen McCau-

system’s Arlington Reads 2014 initiative, sponsored by Friends of the Arlington Public Library. The library is spotlighting Ford’s book, “The Sportswriter.” The program is free, and the community is invited. Books will be available for purchase and signing. PROGRAM LOOKS AT CIVILIAN LIFE DURING CIVIL WAR: The Arlington Com-

mittee on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War will present a lecture, “Local Civilian Struggles During the Civil War,” on Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Central Library. The lecture will focus on what it was like to be a civilian in Alexandria and Arlington during the war, when the area was occupied by thousands of federal troops.

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FOOT HEALTH IS TOPIC OF PROGRAM FOR SENIORS: The senior-health depart-

ment of Virginia Hospital Center will present “Common Foot Problems” with Dr. Matthew Buchanan on Friday, April 25 at 11 a.m. at 601 South Carlin Springs Road. For information and to R.S.V.P., call (703) 558-6859.

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County Disability Advisory Commission is seeking applicants for membership. The commission advises the county government on ways to meet the needs of persons with physical and sensory disabilities. Meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Those who live or work in Arlington and have knowledge and experience in disability issues are encouraged to apply. For information, see the Web site at http://commissions.arlingtonva.us or e-mail Anna Maynard at amaynard@arlingtonva.us.

Money raised helps fund specific services and needs of our community’s developmentally disabled. Please join us at our monthly meetings: at the Salvation Army 508 South Glebe Rd Arlington Va on 2nd and 4th Tues (Jan-Mar) and 3rd Tuesday (April-Nov) at 7pm. Our website is www.civitan.org or via of Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlcivitanfleamarketor contact Leandra Finder at 703-473-7245.

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Memorial Baptist Church will host an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at the church, 3455 North Glebe Road. For information, see the Web site at www.memorialbaptistchurch.org.

Civitan International is a worldwide association of local community service clubs. Their mission is to strengthen local communities by serving individual and community needs, with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities. Arlington Civitans sponsor the CIVITAN I-66 PARKING GARAGE SALES -- held 1st Saturdays -- April through November.

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MARYMOUNT PREPS FOR ANNUAL STUDENT-FASHION EXTRAVAGANZA: “Un-

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ley Dance will hold its fifth annual Move Me Festival on Saturday, April 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School. The family friendly celebration of the arts and culture will be conducted in partnership with arts organizations across the Washington area. The event is free. For information, see the Web site at www.bmdc.org.

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Faith, Food and Fellowship program at Clarendon United Methodist Church will present “Who’s Who in Historic Congressional Cemetery” on Thursday, April 24 at noon at the church, 606 North Irving St. The event will feature Paul Williams, president of the Association for the Preservation of the Cemetery. For information, call (703) 527-8574 or see the Web site at www.morefaith.org.

The Arlington Commission on Long-TermCare Residences is seeking volunteer advocates to serve on the commission, which is appointed by the County Board. Board members must live or work in Arlington. For information and an application, call the Arlington Agency on Aging at (703) 228-1700 or see the Web site at www. arlingtonva.us/aging.

cut” is the theme of Marymount University’s annual Portfolio in Motion student fashion show, to be held Thursday, May 1 at 8 p.m. at the Rose Benté Lee Center on the university’s main campus. At the event, student designers will be shown, and Jhane Barnes will be presented with the 2014 Designer of the Year Award for more than three decades of achievement in the fashion industry. The show will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person, and sponsorship packages are available. For information, see the Web site at www.marymount.edu.

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April 17, 2014

Arlington Notes II

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April 17, 2014

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Politics

Election Recap: It’s on to the Nov. 4 General Election SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

www.insidenova.com

It’s one thing to win a special election in Arlington where turnout was under 25,000. It will be another to win a general election where three times as many people, many of them clutching the Democratic sample ballot, will head into the voting booth in November. That is new County Board member John Vihstadt’s challenge as he settles in: finding a path to victory against Democrats who, having been all but humiliated on April 8, will do everything in their power to win the seat back. Perhaps Vihstadt should turn to advice from the only other Arlington political leader in the past 15 years to upend the Democratic monopoly on elected office: David Foster. Foster – who was active in Vihstadt’s campaign this year – was elected to the School Board in 1999, running – not unlike Vihstadt – as an independent with support of the Arlington County Republican Committee. (Vihstadt also had the support of the Arlington Green Party, which was not a factor in county politics during Foster’s runs.) In the 1999 race, Foster narrowly defeated Sharon Davis, who had the backing of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Four years later, he easily defeated Larry Fishtahler, who garnered the Democratic endorsement but then saw the party do little to help his run. The Sun Gazette asked Foster, an attorney who recently wrapped up a four-year term on the Virginia Board of Education, what Vihstadt would have to do to overcome Democratic superiority at the polls in November. “The keys to re-election will be thoughtful and independent decision-making, hard work and constant community outreach,” Foster told the Sun Gazette. “John should also remain focused on County Board issues, avoiding divisive state and national issues that the board doesn’t control,” he said. “I expect that you will see all of that reflected in John’s service and that he will be a great addition to the board.” Foster had one advantage Vihstadt does not: 1999 and 2003 were “constitutional years” (also known as “off-off-year” elections) with no races for president, Congress or governor on the ballot. The November

Sun Gazette

2014 election will include a U.S. Senate race that likely will draw many occasional voters, the kind who are likely to support the Arlington Democratic ticket even if they have little interest in county governance. Voters in the 8th District also will choose a new member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in more than two decades. A benefit for Vihstadt will be the ability to put the word “re-elect” on his signage and campaign literature. He also will benefit from Virginia law, which does not allow party affiliation on ballots for local races. In the special election, Vihstadt defeated Democrat Alan Howze, 57 percent to 41 percent. Despite the loss, Howze will be the Democratic County Board standard-bearer in November, as he was the only candidate to file for the June 10 primary. Analysis: Democratic Voters Stayed Home to Send a Message: Did thousands of Democrats sit the April 8 election out to send a message to County Board members? That’s one theory to explain both the modest turnout and the victory of John Vihstadt. And it’s the view of Treasurer Frank O’Leary, who before the election was prognosticating a turnout of as many as 33,000 voters, far above the just over 22,000 who turned out. O’Leary thinks his prediction (based on voters’ casting early absentee ballots) would have been right in a typical election, but was skewed by a cranky electorate. “For this special election, the absentee vote proved to be absolutely worthless in predicting total turnout,” O’Leary said in a post-mortem the day after the election. “This was not due to some elusive statistical aberration, but rather the probability that 6,000 to 8,000 Democrats decided not to turn out.” “I conjecture that they did, however, want to send the [County] Board a message, but could not bring themselves to vote for a Republican running as an ‘independent,’” he said. With roughly $200,000 spent by both campaigns – a local record – and the “behind-the-scenes, frantic efforts” on both sides, the turnout easily should have exceeded 20 percent, the treasurer said. “Instead, only 16 percent of the nation’s best-educated electorate bothered to vote,” he said. O’Leary has been predicting turnout results for years; his efforts at times have been

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right on the mark, but in recent years, as more voters have cast absentee ballots, he’s had a tougher time guesstimating final turnout. But he doesn’t appear ready to throw in the towel. “Oh well, I had predicted a ‘wild ride,’ and I got one,” he said. V i h stadt’s VicJohn Vihstadt (top) and Alan tory Proved Howze are slated to meet Far-Reachagain on the ballot in Novem- ing: John ber. V i h s t a d t ’s County Board victory was widespread, according to results, with the independent winning 40 precincts to just 12 for Democrat Alan Howze. Howze’s success was limited to victories in precincts that are largely Democratic bastions: Columbia, Glen Carlyn, Jefferson, Fillmore, Claremont, Glebe, Arlington Mill, Shirlington, Four Mile Run, Monroe, Taylor and Gunston. (In normal times, all of Arlington usually counts as a Democratic bastion; in many recent elections, Democrats have won all 52 precincts in all races.) Vihstadt also managed a substantial margin of victory in absentee ballots, taking 53 percent of them. Vihstadt did best in Madison and Aurora Hills precincts, winning 74 percent and 71 percent of the vote, respectively. Howze did best in Arlington Mill (62 percent) and Four Mile Run (59 percent). State Republicans Crow Over Democratic Defeat: It hasn’t been the best of times over the past 12 months for the Republican Party of Virginia. So the victory of John Vihstadt – or, perhaps as importantly, the defeat of Democratic nominee Alan Howze – caught the eye of GOP leaders in Richmond. “Terry McAuliffe and Mark Warner

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threw the weight of their organizations behind the Democrat in the race,” said Republican Party of Virginia spokesman Garren Shipley, “and yet their candidate lost, and lost badly.” “That probably means something for the balance of 2014,” Shipley said. Some Precincts Now Reporting Results Electronically: Ah, technological change! For the first time, election officers in the April 8 special election had the choice to submit results by phone (as has been the case for years) or by taking an image of results and e-mailing it to the election headquarters. That option is in place in a couple of jurisdictions across Virginia, including the city of Fairfax, general registrar Linda Lindberg said. About 10 percent of the county’s precincts e-mailed in results, Lindberg said, with the low amount due largely to a “soft” roll-out and informal training. “We’ll address it more in June and November, and see what happens,” she said. The first precinct to report results – in this case, by phone – was Rosslyn, which is always one of the first, if not the first. Its results were phoned in at 7:04 p.m., just four minutes after the polls closed, and were taken by Electoral Board vice chairman David Bell. In what would be a trend, the precinct was won by John Vihstadt. Election Officials Continue Prep Work for Photo-ID Requirements: Arlington election officials used the April 8 special election as a reminder to voters about changes that will take effect with the Nov. 4 general election. Virginia law mandates that, beginning with voting in that election, those casting ballots must show photo identification. In order to make the public aware, county election staff distributed materials highlighting the changes at about a half-dozen precincts with the highest concentration of those not using photo IDs in previous elections. (Election officials said many of those who don’t have IDs live in the Metro corridor and do not drive.) The photo-ID requirements give those without any to obtain them without charge at local election offices beginning July 1. The new rules do not apply to the June 10 Democratic primary, in which Arlington Democrats will go to the polls to select the party’s nominee for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th).

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Schools & Military

n IoJo Diakité, the son of Lisa Nichols of Arlington, has been selected to perform in the University of Mary Washington production of “Lysistrata.”

Wakefield High School world-languages department chair and French teacher Kathryn Wheelock has been awarded a teacher training grant from the French government to study in Vichy, France from June 23 to July 4. This intensive program seeks to perfect skills and methodologies for teaching n

n Fairfax County Public Schools has offered admission to 487 students for the Class of 2018 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. A total of 2,900 eighth-grade students applied for admission. Of those offered admission, 75 percent live in Fairfax County and 25 percent are from Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Falls Church. Approximately 92 percent of students offered admission currently attend public schools. Established in 1985, Thomas Jefferson is a Virginia Governor’s School offering a comprehensive college-preparatory program emphasizing the sciences, mathematics and technology. The selection process for admittance involves what Fairfax school officials describe as a “holistic review” of each candidate essays, teacher recommendations and a student-authored information sheet, as well as consideration of grades and test scores on the admissions examination. A summer round of admissions for eighth-graders newly moved to a participating district after Sept. 30 of the previous year will add to the 487 acceptances at the end of June.

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Traumatic brain injury. Not the opponent Connor was expecting. Two years ago a simple game of catch ended with a trip to the emergency room. A baseball had struck Connor above the eyebrow and blood was pooling dangerously between his brain and skull. Watch how our experts responded at JustRightForChildren.com/Connor.

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Arlington students Claudia Landazabal and Shelby Tarkenton have been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Washington University in St. Louis. n

French language and culture. While studying at CAVILAM-Alliance Française, she will be hosted by a local French family. After returning, she will share a project online nationally with the American Association of Teachers of French, and present her experience at a professional conference for World Language teachers during the 2014-15 school year.

April 17, 2014

n The following local students earned degrees during December commencement exercises at Virginia Tech: Amanda Anger earned a bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, in international studies; Sylvie Thomas earned a bachelor of arts degree in international studies; Derek Stotler earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology; Michelle Sutherland earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science; Anthony Flickner earned a bachelor of science in business degree in management; Eric Liming earned a bachelor of science in construction engineering and management degree; Mary MacLaughlin earned a bachelor of science in business degree in hospitality and tourism management; Nael Salameh earned a bachelor of science in business degree in finance; and Michael Medina earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering degree.

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Connor McCormick Future tennis phenom

55+ News FORUM LOOKS AT EARTH-SAVING TECHNIQUES: An exhibition, “Fifty

Ways to Save the Earth,” will be on display from Monday, April 21 to Friday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Culpepper Garden Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-4403.

TRAVELERS HEAD TO HIGH COURT: Ar-

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS PROFFERED: Tips on taking award-winning photographs will be presented on Wednesday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Arlington Mill Senior Center. For information, call (703) 2287369. WALKERS AMBLE AMID CHERRY BLOSSOMS: The Arlington Walking Club will

lington County 55+ Travel hosts a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 22. The cost is $9 for transportation. For information, call (703) 228-4748.

travel to Kensington, Md., for a walk among cherry blossoms on Wednesday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. For information, call (703) 228-4403.

DANCE TROUPE OFFERS EXERCISE PROGRAM: Jane Franklin Dance offers

JOPLIN OPERA TO BE DISCUSSED:

six weekly sessions of standing stretches, rhythmic patterns and other exercises starting on Tuesday, April 22 at 2 p.m. at Walter Reed Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-0955.

NATURE WALK TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY: An Earth Day nature walk led by a

WORKSHOP LOOKS AT SPRING COOKING: Healthy spring cooking ideas will be

discussed on Tuesday, April 22 at 11 a.m. at Langston-Brown Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-6300.

FORUM ZEROES IN ON MAXIMIZING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS: Strategies

for maximizing Social Security benefits will be discussed on Thursday, April 24 at 4 p.m. at Langston-Brown Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-6300.

will be discussed on Thursday, April 24 at 11 a.m. at Langston-Brown Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-6300.

www.insidenova.com

county naturalist will be held on Tuesday, April 22 at 10 a.m. at Arlington Mill Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-7369.

Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha Opera will be discussed on Thursday, April 24 at 1 p.m. at Walter Reed Senior Center. For information, call (703) 228-0955.

Items for active seniors run each week.

Sun Gazette

TIPS LOOK AT PREVENTING IDENTITY THEFT: Tips on preventing identity theft

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April 17, 2014

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IN SK ! A E ER RIC V P O

MARK H. BEARDSLEY 703-629-2560

Beardsley@LNF.com

FALLS CHURCH CITY $1,060,000 JUST LISTED IN BROADMONT!

This renovated & redesigned rambler with 2-car detached garage sits on nearly 1/4 acre lot & mere steps from EFC Metro & downtown Falls Church! 3/4 BR, 2.5.5 BA, expansive, walk-out lower level. Open floor plan boasts roughly 3200 sf of living space with generous rooms & great circular flow. Large ‘Town & Country’ kitchen and adjoining breakfast/family area features stainless & granite, wood beams & charming brick accent. Other updates include: newer HVAC & windows, fresh paint inside & out, hardwood floors, new appliances. For more info or to schedule a private showing, call or text Pat at 703-200-7282, or visit http://patbias.LNFRE.com for Virtual Tour and photos.

PAT BIAS 703-284-9306 pat.bias@longandfoster.com

T SA EN PM P O 1-4

322 N Van Buren St Falls Church VA 22046

www.insidenova.com

Woodbury Heights: updated 1 BR condo 2 blocks to Metro

This bright and airy colonial has the space you have been looking for in a classically styled home. The main level features a spacious kitchen with glass cabinetry and gorgeous green granite counters which opens to a large dining area and family room, in addition to a spacious living room with fireplace and built-in book cases and a sun porch. Three bedrooms, two baths and the laundry occupy the upper level. On the lower level is a large recreation room, fourth bedroom and a bonus room perfect for an office, home gym or studio. The detached two-car garage has fixed stairs to an upper level that can be finished out for additional custom use. Taylor, Williamsburg, Yorktown.

CUL-DE-SAC

4708 38th Place N, Arlington VA 22207 asking price TBD

Call/text/email me any time

703-622-4441 See more at McEwen-Lunger.com

ASSOCIATE BROKER, CRS, ABR, SRES

Information contained in this report is deemed reliable but not guaranteed, should be independently verified, and does not constitute an opinion of MRIS or Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. ©2012 All rights reserved. NO ONE WILL WORK HARDER FOR YOU

WALK TO METRO 2609 N. Sycamore Street, Arlington VA, 22207 asking price TBD

Stunning 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath corner unit in upscale boutique building, The Monroe! Sun-drenched unit with 3 balconies, gleaming hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances, Elfa walk-in closet in master bedroom, washer and dryer in unit, 2-car garage and storage. Pet friendly building with rooftop terrace, fitness room, library lounge and concierge. Just one short block to VA Square Metro Station, along the sought- after Orange Line corridor within walking distance to Giant Foods, shops and restaurants. Freshly painted throughout - Move-in ready! 3625 10th Street N Unit #603

www.libbyross.com Libby.Ross@longandfoster.com

John Plank, Associate Broker s DSource: ICK N ATHAN (703)528-5646 Information based on data supplied by MRIS and its member Association(s) of REALTORS, who are not responsible for its accuracy. not reflect all activity in the Colonial marketplace. January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011. 4Does Bedroom/3 Bath

COOL CONTEMPORARY

Carol, Jerry & Jinx

For Sale or For Rent $184,500/$1450

COMING SOON

3605 Military Road, Arlington, VA 22207 asking price $1,199,000

D

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Located on a quiet cul-de-sac so close to the Shirlington restaurants this 2BR/2BA 3-level “Clarendon” unit has been beautifully updated and improved. Recent updates include new windows, opened-up kitchen w/granite counters and ss appliances, some appliances, and more. There is a private fenced-in backyard patio overlooking one of Fairlington’s lovely green areas with tennis courts and playgrounds. A great buy!

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Arlington 22201

Well-kept secret! * Feels oh-so private * New in 2013: LL bath remodel, all interior 6-panel wood doors, front storm door, attic fan, water heater, thermostat, 2 LR wall sconces * 3 beds/2 full baths upstairs * Lower level den used as bedroom; also nice family/rec room with fireplace, walkout to brick patio * Home larger than xpected * EZ to I-395, Mark Center, Shirlington, Bailey’s Crossroads * Home warranty * If you are thinking of buying or selling something similar, please call for a private consultation.

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John Plank, Associate Broker (703)528-5646 John.plank@LNF.com Mark Middendorf, Realtor® (703)928-3915 mark.middendorf@LNF.com

Sun Gazette


April 17, 2014

14

Did Election Outcome Change Streetcar Debate? SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

When it comes to the County Board split on the Columbia Pike streetcar, board member Libby Garvey says the momentum is on the side of those with reservations about the project. “In two years, we’ve gone from 5-0 [in support of the streetcar] to 3-2,” Garvey said on April 11 at the swearing-in of John Vihstadt, who shared Garvey’s opposition to the transit line proposed to run from Pentagon City west to Skyline. Vihstadt’s victory was construed by some as a referendum on big-ticket capital spending, with the poster child being the streetcar. While his Democratic opponent supported the streetcar plan, Vihstadt prefers an upgraded bus system in the corridor. The results of the election were “a very strong message,” said Garvey, who along with Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Sta-

mos broke with the Democratic leadership and supported Vihstadt’s independent bid. Vihstadt defeated Alan Howze, 57 percent to 41 percent, to win the seat of departed County Board member Chris Zimmerman; the two will meet for a rematch on the Nov. 4 ballot. Garvey and Vihstadt now have to find a way to sway another County Board member to their side. While the prospect appears unlikely, “I’m always hopeful,” Garvey told the Sun Gazette. Streetcar Boosters Say Election Didn’t Change Anything: Supporters of the Columbia Pike streetcar say the April 8 County Board special election will not derail their efforts. And they have the math on their side. Arlington Streetcar Now, which supports the planned five-mile line connecting Pentagon City west to Skyline, said it hopes new County Board member John Vihstadt will keep an open mind on the proposal. During the campaign, Vihstadt

said his preference was for an upgraded bus network throughout the Columbia Pike corridor. Vihstadt’s election “does not change any of the facts that have led the Arlington County Board to conclude on numerous occasions that the streetcar system is needed,” Arlington Streetcar Now said in a statement the day after the election. “We hope . . . that he reviews with an open mind the voluminous data showing that the streetcar system would do far more to promote the community’s vision than the enhanced bus service that he has favored,” the group said. Getting Vihstadt to hop on board the streetcar plan likely will be a hard sell. The special election appears to have taken the form of a proxy referendum on big-ticket spending projects, with the Columbia Pike streetcar proposal front and center. (Arlington voters have never gotten to vote on the concept, and depending on how financing for the streetcar is arranged,

county officials may be able to fund it without holding a voter referendum.) Had Democrat Alan Howze, a streetcar supporter, won the race, the issue probably would have been put to rest. But Vihstadt’s victory doesn’t change the fact that there remain three County Board members (Mary Hynes, Walter Tejada and Chairman Jay Fisette) in support of the concept and just two (Vihstadt and Libby Garvey) opposed. County officials continue to work out the proposed financing for the streetcar, which could cost between $250 million and $400 million. A more detailed financing plan is expected to be released in May, concurrent with the county manager’s proposed capital-improvement plan. Arlington officials have agreed to pay 80 percent of the local cost of construction, with Fairfax County chipping in 20 percent. Federal and state funds also could be sought.

For Del. Brink, #13 Has Proved to be an Unlucky Number SCOTT McCAFFREY

www.insidenova.com

Staff Writer

Sun Gazette

Triskaidekaphobiacs of the region, unite: Apparently there is something intrinsically nasty about the number 13. At least that’s what could be gleaned from a tale related by Del. Bob Brink (D48th), who this POLITICAL year rose to 13th in POTPOURRI inthe seniority House of Delegates. As such, Brink was entitled to a specialty license plate with “13” on it, denoting his status as a senior member of the lower body. And then? Well, we’ll let Brink relate the tale. He is able to see the humor in a painful situation: “The day I was putting my new No. 13s on, the pliers slipped and I gouged a big chunk of skin out of my finger. I said words to the effect of ‘Oh, drat,’ it bled profusely and two fingers had to be bandaged together to keep the wound immobilized. “That afternoon I had to present a bill before the House Rules Committee, chaired by the Speaker. He asked how I’d received my injury. I explained the incident; he ascribed it instead to the fact that I had introduced House Bill 666 [a bill related to Arlington elections]. “Del. Bobby Orrock, a former teacher, told me, ‘You know, I used to teach shop. If you like, I’ll give you a lesson on how to use a pair of pliers.’” The good news for Brink? As his seniority continues to rise, he’ll be able to trade in his unlucky 13s for lower-numbered license plates. As the 17-year incumbent occasionally notes in jest about his rise up the seniority ranks, “One big flu outbreak in Richmond, and I’ll be into single digits.” With the retirement last year of Del. Lacey Putney (I-Bedford), who had served since 1962, the most senior member of the House of Delegates became Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), who inherited the House of Delegates’ “1” license plate. Howell ranks second in seniority, but as Speaker gets his own special “1” plate.

At the bottom of the seniority list? Del. Robert Bloxom Jr. (R-Mappsville), who won a special election earlier this year, ranks at No. 100. Rep. Moran Rapped as ‘Porker’: U.S. Rep. Jim Moran’s comments that members of Congress are underpaid earned him “Porker of the Month” status for April from Citizens Against Government Waste. Rather than the comments’ being an April Fool’s Day joke, “It appears that Rep. Moran is just behaving like the fool he has become,” the organization said. Moran (D-8th), who is retiring at the end of his current term, said the $174,000 annual salary for members of the House of Representatives is not enough. Critics, including Citizens Against Government Waste, were quick to pounce. “If there is an up-side to the statement, it is that it perfectly encapsulates the attitude of a significant number of members of Congress, a group characterized by their tone-deaf elitism, grinding sense of entitlement, and frightening disconnection from the realities of everyday American citizens,” the group said in its response. Ebbin Wins Alexandria Straw Poll: Congressional contender Adam Ebbin can claim bragging rights after having won the Alexandria Democratic Committee straw poll, held April 6. Ebbin, one of 10 candidates running for the Democratic nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th), won 90 of the 325 votes cast. The straw-poll victory “shows the continued momentum my grassroots-driven campaign has been gathering,” Ebbin said in a statement. “Not only is my message resonating with voters, but we are building the infrastructure to turn out our supporters on Election Day.” Running behind Ebbin in the straw poll were Bill Euille (68 votes), Don Beyer (62) and Patrick Hope (58). No other candidate received more than 21 votes. Ebbin represented the 49th District in the House of Delegates before being elected to the state Senate, representing the 30th District, in 2011. He is one of three state senators – along with Barbara Favola and

Del. Bob Brink (D-48th) is shown speaking at a recent legislative forum in McLean. He has moved up to No. 13 in seniority – and apparently 13 was not such a lucky number. PHOTO BY BRIAN TROMPETER

Janet Howell – whose districts include portions of Arlington. Democrats Add Precinct Captain, Look for More: The Arlington County Democratic Committee on April 2 elected a new captain for the Buckingham precinct, but has kept four more precincts on its “mostwanted” list for leaders. Madison, Ashton Heights, Park Lane and Columbia precincts are most in need of captains, party precinct-operations chair Carol Fontein told the rank and file on April 2. About a dozen other precincts also are in need of captains. Arlington Democrats have two or three captains for each of Arlington’s precincts, depending on size. Captains are the point of contact between the party leadership and those in the precinct, and are responsible for making sure polling places are staffed on Election Day. Reception Slated for ‘Roosevelt Society’ Members: The Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) will host a reception for members of its Roosevelt Society on Wednesday, May 7 at 6 p.m., prior to the party’s monthly meeting.

The society is a group of givers who agree to support local Democratic activities with donations of at least $120 per year. “We need your money!” chuckled ACDC finance chair Jennifer Bodie, noting the expense that will be incurred as the party headquarters moves later this month from Courthouse to Crystal City. For information, e-mail finance@arlingtondemocrats.org. LGBT Democrats to Host Fund-Raising Event: The LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia will hold its annual Spring Pancakes and Politics Brunch at the home of Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy on Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will honor U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th). Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has been invited. Funds raised during the event will be used to support Democratic candidates in the 2015 legislative elections. To purchase tickets, see the Web site at http://lgbtvadem.org/events. For information, e-mail Charley Conrad at charleyconrad@gmail.com.


n High school spring sports action. n Local baseball, softball roundup.

For more sports visit:

www.insidenova.com/sports/Arlington

Rally Lifts W-L Past Yorktown

Teeing Off

It’s OK for Athletes to Play Community-College Sports Playing sports at community or junior colleges is a good option for high school athletes and can be a great fit.

Dave Facinoli

Fifth-Inning Homer Changes Outcome DAVE FACINOLI Staff Writer

Teddy Herbert had a productive couple of days on the baseball field for the Washington-Lee Generals last week. On April 11, the sophomore belted the game-winning three-run homer in the 4-3 road BASEBALL Generals’ win over the Yorktown Patriots. A couple of nights earlier in another away game, the right-hander was the starting and winning pitcher in W-L’s 11-1 victory over the Falls Church Jaguars. Through four innings, Yorktown was leading the April 11 high school game, 3-0, as junior right-hander Graeme Fineman was effectively mixing his pitches and no-hitting Washington-Lee. Then came the top of the fifth, when W-L got some openings with Fineman’s first walk, an infield hit by Andy Collins, then an error. Then, after scoring one run, the Generals got the lead for good at 4-3 on a two-out, three-run, oppositefield homer to right center by Herbert. Washington-Lee (5-1) held on to win by that score as Yorktown is 4-3. “It’s funny how things work,” Washington-Lee coach Doug Grove said. “Fineman is very good and we weren’t doing anything. Then we had the one big inning. Teddy got the big hit. When he Continued on Page 16

Washington-Lee High School sophomore right-hander Teddy Herbert was the winning pitcher in the Generals’ road victory over Falls Church last week. PHOTO BY DAVE FACINOLI

Wakefield Nets Season-High Goals in Victory DAVE STEINBACHER For the Sun Gazette

“I got a ball from Daniel over the top of the defender,” Vado saId. “I had my mind set to score. So I cut back and shot it low with my right foot from about seven yards out. We wanted to center our mind to win tonight. We wanted to get an early lead and knock the ball around.” Not too many minutes later, the Warriors struck again when Castillo scored on an assist from Jordi Carcamo. Minutes before halftime, Wakefield was ahead 3-0 when Ricky Astudillo scored unassisted. “We needed to maintain,” Wakefield coach Fernando Castro said. “We needed to be careful that they would not come back. After half, I put Daniel Vado into

the back to defense as opposed to striker. He is a great player that can play any position.” In the second half, the Warriors tallied their final goal when Jesse Parada drilled a 45-yard strike. “Our mid-fielders and our defense did well tonight,” Vado said. “We got an early lead and we were able to finish our chances.” The Wakefield coach credited his midfielders Castillo, John Fuquene, Jordi Carcamo Moya and Omar Al-Dulaimi for playing well. “We kept the ball moving. We kept it Continued on Page 16

There are a number of two-year schools throughout the metropolitan area like Northern Virginia Community College. Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse and soccer and women volleyball are among sports offered at NVCC. Other two-year schools, such as the ones in Maryland, offer baseball and a variety of sports, as well. Yet not enough high school athletes realize the option, or they choose not to take advantage of the opportunities. In this high-pressure and sometimes snooty Beltway society, there is an incorrect way of thinking from too many that community-college sports are not good enough, or it’s the 13th grade of high school athletics. If a player is participating in community college sports, there must be some reason or explanation, right? That’s all so very wrong. Two-year colleges can provide a tremendous advantage for athletes, both from a competitive and athletic nature. They can be a perfect training ground for a student who still needs to mature in the classroom or on the playing field before moving on to a four-year school. Or, they can be a place where a teenager just wants to play. There is nothing wrong with that, and no explanation is needed. Plus, community-college competition is first rate. Check it out. Two athletes from the Sun Gazette coverage areas recently chose to go the two-year route. Next spring, Flint Hill School baseball player Josh Crummer will play at Cochise Junior College in Arizona. This coming winter, Kyle Davis, the starting point guard for last season’s conference and region champion Wakefield High boys basketball team, will play at Frederick Community College in Maryland. Good for them. Both will have the opportunity to excel at those schools. Then, they can make the decision in a year or two about playing at a four-year school. Or they, like others, can decide that a one- or-two-year athletic career at a community college is good enough. And that’s OK.

Find daily updates on the Web at www.insidenova.com. Stay in touch through Twitter (@sungazettespts) and Facebook (sungazettenews).

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The Wakefield Warriors earned their fourth shutout of the season by blanking the Falls Church Jaguars, 4-0, on the road April 10. With the win, the Warriors most lopthis spring, SOCCER sided Wakefield improved to 3-3-2 in boys high school soccer action. The Warriors led 3-0 at halftime and didn’t let up in the second half. Striker Daniel Vado recorded the first goal with 35:13 remaining in the opening half on an assist from Daniel Castillo.

April 17, 2014

Sports

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Sun Gazette


April 17, 2014

16

High School Roundup WAKEFIELD’S DAVIS TO PLAY AT FREDERICK: Kyle Davis, the starting point

guard for the conference and region champion Wakefield High School boys basketball team this past season, will play at the next level in college. Davis will play junior college ball at Frederick Community College in Maryland. He signed his letter of intent to play for the Cougars last week. “I think that is a great fit for Kyle,” Wakefield coach Tony Bentley said. “He can go there to work on and improve his game and to mature as a person. Kyle’s best basketball is ahead of him.” Bentley said the play of Davis in the region tournament championship game was the reason Wakefield defeated previously undefeated Potomac. “Kyle kept their guards in foul trouble the whole game, and that was so important,” Bentley said. – by Dave Facinoli WAKEFIELD SOCCER PLAYER TO PLAY AT LYNCHBURG: Wakefield High School

senior Jairo Soto, a member of the boys soccer team, will play this coming fall at Lynchburg College. Soto, a senior, signed his national letter of intent to play at the Division III school as his teammates and coaches looked on. YORKTOWN GIRLS TENNIS: Entering

spring break, the Yorktown girls tennis team has a 9-0 record. The team had recent victories over Fairfax, South Lakes, Stuart and Madison. After break, the team faces stiff competition against McLean and Langley. Girls who played and had a huge impact in the team’s wins included Valerie Marshall, Olivia Tate, Zoe Dormuth, Rachael Cooper, Lexi Peck, Charlotte Ruffing, Samantha Cooper, Caitlin Van Kirk, Katherine Piper, Ellen Nye and Bianca Bethancourt.

Baseball

www.insidenova.com

Continued from Page 15

Sun Gazette

gets his foot down and stays back, he is a dangerous hitter.” Herbert struck out and grounded out his first two at-bats against Fineman. On his third, he got a fastball up and out and he drove the pitch for his first high school home run. “I was looking to get a fastball and hit it hard somewhere,” Herbert said. “I got my timing down and my foot down.” Yorktown was unable to complete an inning-ending double play on the batter before Herbert, when the throw to first was in the dirt. “We didn’t make the play there, but that’s baseball,” Yorktown coach Mike Ruck said. “Graeme pitched very well and they had one big hit.”

Soccer Continued from Page 15 going side to side,” Fuquene said. “We

Wakefield High School’s Kyle Davis signs a national letter of intent to play college basketball at Frederick Community college with coaches and others looking on. PHOTOS FROM WAKEFIELD Wakefield High School soccer player Jairo Soto signs a national letter of intent to play at Lynchburg College next fall as his head coach and his teammates look on at a ceremony at the school.

CORRECTION: Because of a production error, this photo of Yorktown High School’s Jack Dokken making a leaping kick to advance the ball around an Oakton player during a recent nonconference boys soccer game in Arlington did not appear as it was supposed to in last week’ paper. PHOTO BY DEB KOLT

Yorktown Patriots blanked the Washington-Lee Generals, 11-0, in five innings. Sophomore Maddie Silk allowed just three infield hits and one walk along with six strikeouts in route to her third shutout. In the first inning there was a quick change in momentum as W-L had its first two runners reach base. With runners on first and third and nobody out, York-

O’CONNELL BASEBALL: In other high

school baseball action last week, the host Bishop O’Connell Knights (6-7, 5-4) defeated the Paul VI Panthers, 8-2, then the DeMatha Stags, 8-7, with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was O’Connell’s second win over Paul VI this season after having not swept the Panthers in a season series for many years. The Knights had eight hits, led by home runs from Drew Tessier and Rafi Vazquez, who was the starting and winning pitcher. Vazquez pitched all seven innings. He struck out five, did not walk a batter and gave up five hits. O’Connell did not make an error. Nick Meruvia doubled for O’Connell, as did Myles Hudzick, who had two hits. Also, Hayden Basse, Will DiGiulian and Brian Murray also had hits for O’Connell.

Fineman threw all seven innings, allowing just two hits and getting 15 batters to ground out. Hunter Gray was the starter and winner for W-L in 51/3 innings of work. James Mellin pitched the final 12/3 of one-hit ball to get the win. WashingtonLee made four infield errors but also turned three infield double plays to get out of jams. Yorktown scored its three runs in the third inning when Parker Denny belted a solo homer, Bennett Nagurka doubled and Aaron Lee and Teddy Schroeder had RBI singles. Yorktown had seven hits. Lee had two and Harry Spitz and Jeff Antetomaso had the others. In the bottom of the seventh, Yorktown had two runners on but could not score the tying run. “It was a typical Washington-LeeYorktown game – exciting until the last out,” Grove said. “We were fortunate to

win.” Against Falls Church, W-L had night hits and received a good bit of help as Falls Church had a bad defensive game. The Jaguars walked seven batters, threw five wild pitches, had one balk, one passed ball, made two errors and did not catch a couple of other catchable fly balls during the high school baseball outing. Herbert (2-0) pitched four innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run. He struck out six, walked two and threw 56 pitches. The run he allowed was helped along by his balk and a wild pitch. “Teddy has been real good for two games in a row now,” Grove said. “That’s what we have been waiting for from him. He hit his spots tonight. With the bats, we were able to put the ball in play a lot.” With the bat for W-L, which struck out just once, Gray had two doubles and two RBI, Will Burgess had a two-run double that fell in when the Falls Church left

fielder tripped after he was in position to make the catch, and Jeff Constantz had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly. Collins, Cameron Anderson, Lucas Dolan, T.R. Sheehy and Chris Seymour (one RBI) had the other hits. Washington-Lee did not make a defensive error. Senior right-hander Alex Wandler pitched a perfect fifth inning of relief for the Generals with two strikeouts and a come backer. On April 12, Yorktown traveled to Williamsburg and defeated Walsingham, 12-9, as David Moeller hit two home runs and Lee had multiple hits. Jack Allen was the winning pitcher in relief. The game became tied at 9 after Yorktown led, 9-1. The Patriots did not make an error in the win. For more baseball stories and information on local teams, visit www.insidenova.com.

were able to penetrate behind their mids and their defenders. We have possessed the ball pretty well all season, but tonight was our best game at finishing.” Wakefield played Washington-Lee and Langley to scoreless ties and outshot

both teams. Vado leads Wakefield with two goals this season. Leading the Wakefield defense in the win over Falls Church and for the season so far is Murphy Wilt, Jesse Parada,

Christian Ramirez and Francisco Sanchez and goalies Jairo Castro and Kevin Escamilla. Wakefield resumes its schedule after spring break, beginning with games next week.

YORKTOWN ICE HOCKEY: The York-

town ice hockey club team (3-0-1) defeated Herndon, 4-0, Madison, 4-1, and Langley, 5-2, in recent games. Alex Hayes had four goals against Langley. Lucas Degraw started in net against Langley. Stephen Lovelace got the shutout against Herndon. Against Madison, Lovelace turned away 12 shots on goal as the Yorktown defense stifled the Madison attack.

YORKTOWN VS. W-L SOFTBALL: The

town catcher McKenzie Silk picked off the runner at third. Then with two outs, she threw out the second baserunner attempting to steal second. In the bottom half of the first, McKenzie Silk led off with the first of her two triples. Joanna Domson, Maddie Silk, Grace Woodward and Madeline Marshall all followed with hits. Bryanna Lansing capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0. Domson played a solid game at shortstop while fielding several balls up the middle, including a double play. She also had two hits. Woodward had two hits and Caroline George had two RBI. Emily Bennett had two hits to lead Washington-Lee. Pitcher Liana Ashby had the other W-L hit. Yorktown is now 5-2 and W-L has a record of 3-4-1.


Find all the Arlington news at our new Web site: www.insidenova.com/news/ arlington.

ROBBERY: n On April 8 at 7:06 p.m., a taxi driver reported that he had been robbed at gunpoint by a passenger in the 1800 block of Clarendon Boulevard. The suspect, 28-year-old Sami Traboulsi of Alexandria, was arrested and charged with robbery. BURGLARY: n On April 4 at 1:11 p.m., a home in the 2500 block of Clarendon Boulevard was burglarized. Two laptop computers and a Kindle Fire were taken. n On April 5 at 9:42 p.m., an individual reported that a home in the 3600 block of North Nelson Street had been burglarized. Various items were taken. n On April 7 at 8:10 a.m., it was reported that a basement laundry room in the 3800

block of 7th Street North was burglarized. The suspect damaged a dryer in an attempt to open a coin box. n On April 7 at 6:32 p.m., a home in the 1300 block of South Rolfe Street was burglarized. Two televisions and a Nintendo Wii system were taken. GRAND LARCENY FROM AUTO: n On April 8 at 5:46 a.m., it was reported that multiple vehicles in the 3000 block of South Columbus Street were broken into. Airbags were stolen. DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: n On April 4 at 8:26 a.m., police responded to a parking lot in the 4500 block of South Four Mile Run Drive, where several vehicles had their license plates bent upward and license-plate frames broken.

Business Briefcase AIR FORCE TO KEEP RESEARCH OFFICE IN BALLSTON: Members of the local

congressional delegation on April 10 expressed satisfaction that the U.S. Air Force would not be moving 170 members of its Office of Scientific Research from Ballston to Ohio. “The Air Force made the right decision,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th), who with U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) had pressed military officials to justify the planned relocation of the agency to Wright-Patterson Air

Schools Contiued from Page 1

not allowed to spend more than 10 percent of its operating budget on debt service. A large number of construction projects in recent years has at times put the school system close to that limit. “We have a challenge in having the debt capacity available when we need it,” Raphael said. Moving quickly on projects is critical: Elementary schools in much of Arlington

Vihstadt Continued from Page 1

said. “The campaign is over. We’re here to congratulate and celebrate John.” In his remarks, Vihstadt said he would press for appointment of an independent auditor for the county government, a proposal supported by the Arlington County Civic Federation. The county school system recently hired its own internal auditor. He said he would work to foster cooperation between the County Board and School Board; reform the bonding process to provide more transparency to voters; and expand advisory panels to tap a broader range of participation. Vihstadt is the first non-Democrat to serve on the County Board since Mike Lane’s eight-month tenure in 1999. That year, Lane won a special election over Democratic nominee Charles Mon-

There was no other damage to the vehicles. CITATION ISSUED IN FATAL ACCIDENT: n A 33-year-old Manassas man has been issued a summons for failure to pay full time and attention in connection with a Feb. 24 incident that left an Arlington mother of three dead. Police announced the results of their investigation on April 11. Marvin Valladares was driving a truck that collided in the 5900 block of Little Falls Road with a vehicle that had been parked to the side. At the time, Arlington resident Jennifer Lawson was attending to one of her children in the vehicle. Lawson was injured in the collision, and died at the hospital.

Force Base. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James told a Senate panel that having completed an evaluation of the office’s planned move, “it’s staying put.” “This decision reflects the fact that Northern Virginia is recognized as an unparalleled hub for technology, defense and education,” Warner said in a statement. A move from the local area would have been another blow to Arlington’s economicdevelopment efforts. Last year, the General Services Administration announced plans

Donald’s in Rosslyn is expected to begin about April 21, as work continues on the Central Place development. A safety fence will be placed around the perimeter, and the sidewalk, parking lane and one lane of traffic along North Moore Street will be closed between 19th Street North and the new Metro elevators.

already are overcrowded, and that wave of students eventually will crash into middle and high schools. To get a new elementary school built in South Arlington by 2018, for instance, school officials will need to identify a site by this November. The school system is holding an April 23 community meeting at 7 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School to gather feedback on the staff concepts. Superintendent Patrick Murphy will present his proposed plan to School Board members on May 8. School Board member Noah Simon said throughout the process, the board

would be “keeping our focus on where the crowding is the most.” School Board members are slated to adopt the capital-improvement program on June 17. To get a bond referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot, they will need approval of the County Board and the Circuit Court. Arlington voters have not turned down a school bond in more than 20 years. And while the result of the April 8 County Board special election suggests a certain discontent among the electorate, the school projects appear to be safe. Two years ago, voters approved a $42 million school-bond referendum by a large margin.

roe, only to lose narrowly to Monroe in the subsequent general election. Vihstadt, too, will be on the ballot again in seven months, facing off against Howze in the general election. “It’s uphill,” Lane said of the political road map ahead for the new board member, but said he could defy the odds and win in November. Vihstadt ran as a coalition-builder who drew support from across the political spectrum, Lane said. “With the way he’s positioned . . . he has a better shot than I did. He’s put together the kind of coalition [former School Board member] Dave Foster put together.” Vihstadt singled out his wife, Mary, as his “unofficial running mate.” The couple have two sons, Jack and Ben. Holding the Bible as he was sworn in was his 93-yearold father, Ed Vihstadt. Vihstadt plans to continue working at his D.C. law firm while also juggling duties as a County Board member and, soon

enough, a re-election bid. As for the November general election? “You never know what might happen at the polls,” he said.

to move the National Science Foundation headquarters from Ballston to Alexandria. McDONALD’S IN ROSSLYN TO FALL TO WRECKING BALL: Demolition of the Mc-

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE EHO

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of Virginia’s policy for achieving equal housing opportunity throughout the Commonwealth. We encourage and support advertising and marketing programs in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap. All real estate advertised herein is subject to Virginia’s fair housing law which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” This newspaper will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate that violates the fair housing law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. For more information or to file a housing complaint call the Virginia Fair Housing Office at (804) 367-9753. Email: fairhousing@dpor.virginia.gov. Web site: www.fairhousing.vipnet.org

www.insidenova.com

Call it the “Marymount shuffle”: University officials have ramped up planning for the day that will see them decamp from their Ballston building for a period of two to three years as the site is redeveloped. In a letter to the community, Marymount president Matthew Shank confirmed that the university anticipates breaking ground on the project sometime during the winter, “if all comes together as planned.” The result will be demolition of the “Blue Goose” building at the corner of North Fairfax Drive and North Glebe Road, to be replaced by a two-tower project, one for the university and one for rental housing. The university is partnering with the Shooshan Co. on the project. To accommodate the construction and expected growth in programs, Marymount has signed a 13-year lease for part of the first floor and all of the second floor of an office building at 4040 North Fairfax Drive, to be used to house the university’s physical-therapy program. Occupancy is expected to take place over the summer, before the start of the new school year. Marymount also has an option to lease additional square footage in the building for use as “swing space” during construction of the new Ballston campus. In recent years, the Ballston corridor has become a hub for institutions of higher education. Virginia Tech and Northern Virginia Community College have facilities in the corridor, as does Westwood College. The Blue Goose, which was constructed in the early 1960s and gained its nickname due to its color scheme, housed a variety of federal-government agencies before Marymount purchased it in the 1990s. The university’s main campus is about a mile farther up North Glebe Road. Marymount to Focus on Alums in New Advertising Campaign: Marymount University’s marketing effort is intensifying. The university recently purchased “billboard spots” that ran on local cable television to highlight its “Common Ground” theme, and in coming months will unveil 30-second spots that feature alumni discussing how their education prepared them for future endeavors. The ads will air on Comcast on an expanded range of channels in May and June, Marymount president Matthew Shank said in a newsletter to the community.

Police Beat

April 17, 2014

Marymount Prepares to Relocate in Ballston Area

17

Sun Gazette


April 17, 2014

18

Easter

Worship McLean Baptist Church

ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH INVITES YOU TO GOOD FRIDAY AND EASTER WORSHIP April 18 - Good Friday From Noon until 3:00 pm Meditations and Music

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703-356-8080

www.mcleanbaptist.org

April 19 - Easter Vigil 8:00 pm - The First Eucharist of Easter

MEDITATIONS BY THE RECTOR SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST by Joseph Haydn sung by the Choir ON THE

7:30 pm - Good Friday Liturgy and Music

LUX AETERNA by Morten Lauridsen featuring the St. John’s Choir with instrumental accompaniment.

All are welcome. No tickets are required.

April 17 ~ Maundy Thursday Worship at 7:30 pm Childcare available

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April 18 ~ Good Friday Worship at 7:30 pm Childcare available April 20 ~ Sunrise Service in the MBC Park at 7:00 am Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 am Worship at 8:45 am Christian Education at 9:45 am EGGStravaganza for children at 9:45 am Worship at 11:00 am

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5:30 pm - Holy Eucharist For more information: www.stjohnsmclean.org or 703-356-4902

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Advertising sAles reps Help Us COntinUe tO grOW! The Sun Gazette group of newspapers and web sites are looking for aggressive self-starting Advertising Sales Reps to help fuel our growth. Do you like helping local businesses develop print and online marketing campaigns? Do you like meeting new people in the community? Then you may be the right fit. Full or part-time contracted or employee positions with benefits available. Unlimited earnings potential. Must have reliable transportation. Experience in media or advertising sales preferred but not required. Business-tobusiness sales experience also preferred.

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April 17, 2014

Accounting services

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Contact Tonya Fields for advertising details.

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*Disclaimer: I am an independent coach who is neither an agent nor employee of, or subject to the direction of, Dave Ramsey or his company, the Lampo Group, Inc.

LAwn&gArden JMJ Horticulture AssociAtes 10% Winter Discount • Mulching/Winter Pruning/Spring Clean-Up • Ponds & Pondless Waterfalls • Landscape Design Installation • Landscape Lighting/Nightscaping • Retaining Walls • Walkways • Patios • Irrigation • Powerwashing

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Sun Gazette


April 17, 2014

20

lawn&garden tree ServiceS

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homeimprovement

21

Vienna • Oakton • Great Falls • Arlington

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Estimates Provided For Improvements Other Than Hourly Services

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April 17, 2014

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Sun Gazette


April 17, 2014

22

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Items taken from the archives of the Northern Virginia Sun. For information on local history, see the Web site at www. arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org. April 17, 1952: n First Baptist Church of Clarendon is holding a forum for 200 college students to discuss faith and the workplace. n Speakers came out swinging against the county government’s proposal to more than double business taxes. April 17, 1962: n Some speakers at the county budget hearing pushed for an increase in teacher pay. n President Kennedy has nominated former Gov. Almond to the U.S. Court of Custom and Patent Appeals, after Sen. Byrd blocked his appointment to a U.S. District Court judgeship. n In tennis, the Washington-Lee boys defeated Stuart, 9-0. n Jack Carter and Kitty Carlisle are the celebrity guests on TV’s “Password” tonight. Also on TV: “Dobie Gillis.” April 17, 1969: n Vivian Kallen and the Rev. Arthur Walls of Lomax AME Zion Church have announced plans to run for the House of Delegates. n The race for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor has heated up, but J. Sargeant Reynolds is still seen as the front-runner. n The Evening Optimist Club of Arlington has launched a “Respect for Law” campaign. April 19, 1982: n An effort is underway to curb the number of drug- and alcohol-related offenses in the Nauck community. n U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, has outraised his chief Democratic opponent, Ira Lechner, by a 4-to-1 margin. n A Sun editorial says “bumbling Democrats” are blowing their chance to win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Harry Byrd Jr. April 17, 1990: n School Board members are divided over whether the school system should conduct surveys on student drug use. n Eighteen Virginia firms are on the Forbes 500 list. n Greta Garbo, who died this week at age 84, will be buried in a secret locale. n Yorktown fell to Falls Church, 13-1, in baseball action, while Washington-Lee was dropped by Fairfax, 13-2, in softball action.

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23 April 17, 2014

Arlington history

19. Grilling order? 21. Attack a portcullis 24. Operated by air 25. Man with manors 26. “Babe” extras 27. Cast party cause 28. Diving bell link 29. Atlanta, for Delta 32. Bishop’s hat 33. Close, in a guessing game 35. Contest of sorts

36. Suddenly arose 38. Checker’s move? 39. During 42. Superhero’s side 43. Flightless flock 44. Start a garden 45. Victorian, for one 46. Board members? 48. Catskill snoozer

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Weichert

April 17, 2014

24

Real Estate

Mortgages

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While others commute, you can relax in your modern, closein, lovely, home built in 2005. Open floor plan. Beautiful kitchen with cherry cabinets, granite counters & stainless steel appliances. In unit Wash/dryer. New w/w carpet. Cermic tile in both BIG baths and kitchen. Separate dining room for Style, Comfort and Elegance elegant entertaining. Large balcony with electric plug-in to Oakton Lorem ipsum dolor sit enjoy soft music and those warm summer breezes. Walk in amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. closet in master BR. Assigned garage parking. Bldg Security, Fitness Ctr, Party Rm, Computer Rm. Transportation Nulla and mattis, enim nec sollicitudin minutes to DC/Pentagon/Shirlington. Steps pulvinar, nibh eros tincidunt mauris, to bus, near stores, restaurants, theaters, eu consequat metus risus eu odio. and Arlington Mill Ctr.

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Cras fringilla ullamcorper urna, at mattis felis ultricies eget. Cra fringill. (Web ID 1234567) $1,299,000

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SunGazette A R L I N G T O N

Where in the World

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Right here in Arlington selling houses. The Spring market has FINALLY arrived and inventory is low. It’s a great time to sell. Call Mark Middendorf and let me walk you through a financially positive and stress free process of selling your home. Twenty four years of full time experience and hundreds of very satisfied clients.

Spring 2014 REAL ESTATE

Guide

R DE UN

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3015 Pine Spring Road

$595,000 John Plank, Associate Broker (703)528-5646 LE A John.plank@LNF.com S R Mark Middendorf, Realtor® FO (703)928-3915 mark.middendorf@LNF.com

LD O S

R FO

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3438 North George Mason Drive

3002 Cedar Hill Road

Ballston - 3BR 2BA - $750,000 $825,000 $795,000

LovinglySErestored and U PM O 4 H 1- brick Colonial updated N 27 E R OPPRIL 1939. Pristine wood circa FO A floors on two levels, period detail, finished basement. Renovated kitchen with granite. 3BR 2BA upstairs. Arlington is our neighborhood, New windows throughout, let us make it yours. large screened-in porch overlooks 4502 North 7th Street 1236 North Taylor Street 103expansive, North Cleveland Street #1 Sales agent for 20 years private fenced yard. Just $1,600,000 $743,900 $1,295,000 Associate Broker, DC, MD and VA 3 blocks to Metro. Off street Glebe ES • Swanson MS BSBA Real Estate Investment & Construction Courtesy of Mark Middendorf, Long & Foster Realtors - 703.928.3915 parking. Open Sunday 1-4. Washington-Lee HS - mark.middendorf@longandfoster.com www.johnsellsarlington.com

LE A S

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 - S P R I N G R E A L E S TAT E G U I D E

2


But First-Quarter Report Shows Softness in Sales and Prices as Arlington Market Makes Turn Toward Springtime Buying

A nasty winter and lack of inventory may have played a part in the Arlington real estate market’s slowdown in March. Whether it continues into the heart of spring remains an open question. A total of 176 properties went to closing across the county last month, according to figures reported April 10 by RealEstate Business Intelligence, an arm of the local multiple-listing service. That’s down 20.4 percent from the 221 transactions that occurred in March 2013. The average sales price for homes that sold was $620,741, up just under 4 percent from the $597,172 reported a year before, with only the condominium market seeing a decline: • The average sales price for singlefamily homes rose 11.7 percent to $913,677. • The average sales price of attached homes, such as townhouses and rowhouses, rose 0.9 percent to $449,202. • The average sales price of condominiums declined 5.5 percent to $403,016. The median sales price was unchanged at $515,000 from a year before. There were 18 sales of $1 million or more for the month. Total sales volume for the month was $109.3 million, down 17.2 percent from $132 million a year before. Of homes that sold in March, it took

an average of 35 days between listing and ratified sales contract, an improvement from the 49 days required a year before. Homes sold for 98.2 percent of original listing price, down from 98.5 percent. Of homes that sold during the month, 140 relied on conventional financing for the transaction, followed by cash (22) and VA-backed loans. Heading into the heart of the spring buying season, there were 394 properties on the market across the county, up a whopping 43 percent from a year before, when inventory was tight. Where is the market headed? Both the total number of pending sales, and new pending sales during March, were below the rate from a year before, suggesting that start of the spring season could be a little rocky for the local market. Figures represent most, but not all, sales during the period. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision. 1st-Quarter Home Sales Softer Than ’13 Figures: It was going relatively well, all things considered, until March arrived. Then everything hit the skids. Total home sales across Arlington for the first quarter of the year were 8.7 percent lower than the same period in 2013, according to figures reported by RealEstate Business Intelligence, an arm of the local multiple-listing service, an

3

1st Quarter Arlington Home Sales Data from RealEstate Business Intelligence, and includes most, but not all, home sales across the county during the month.

Sales January February March 1st quarter

2014 127 164 176 467

2013 130 160 221 511

Change -2.3% +2.5% -20.4% -8.7%

Volume January February March 1st Quarter

$68,573,225 $96,827,618 $109,250,427 $274,661,270

$66,325,245 $94,841,583 $131,975,015 $293,141,843

+3.4% +2.1% -17.2% -6.3%

Avg. price: analyzed by the Sun Gazette. homes on the market. All figures are A 2014: total of 467 residential properties preliminary, and are subject to revision. $558,140 went to close during the quarter, com$573,663 The Sun Gazette has a new Web site, pared2013: to 511 properties during the same but the news is still the best in the reperiod a year ago. Sales were off slightly (+2.5%) (127 from 130) in January, rose slightly gion, from a seasoned team of profes(164 from 160) in February and then sionals. Find all the Fairfax news at our tanked (176 from 221) in March. new Web site: www.insidenova.com/ The average sales price of all homes news/fairfax. While the Data from RealEstate Business Intelligence, and includes most, butthere, not all,check homeallsales that sold during the three-month period across the county during the month. regional news, our archives and a host was up 2.5 percent, to $588,140. Sales of special2013 features, all updated throughvolume was down 6.3 percent, to $274.7 Sales Change 2014 million. out the day! 712 January -4.9 677 Figures represent most, but not all,

1st Quarter Fairfax Home Sales

February March 1st quarter

773 1,048 2,533

789 966 2,432

+2.1 -7.8% -4.0%

SELLERS: ALWAYS INTERVIEWING FOR LISTINGS • CALL BILLY BUCK

Avg. REDUCED • UPDATED COLONIAL VILLAGE CONDO

$332,504, 747 $394,314,537 $503,416,283 $1,230,235,567

$358,418,001 $368,516,319 $553,578,657 $1,280,512,887

1210 N. TAFT STREET #210

price LARGE 750 SQ. FT. CONDO WALK TO COURTHOUSE METRO 2014: $505,853 2013: $505,532 essentially unchanged

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 - S P R I N G R E A L E S TAT E G U I D E

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4

Local Forum Looks at Improving ‘the Arlington Way’ SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

What will the future of neighborhood activism bring? A panel convened by Leadership Arlington expressed hope that it would include more innovation, a broader range of participation and less hostility. “We must appreciate our legacy, but find new ways to do things,” said Kim Klingler, president of both the Leeway Overlee Civic Association and the Arlington Committee of 100. Klingler was one of three speakers at a panel discussing neighborhoods at WETA’s headquarters in Shirlington on April 10. They were tasked with helping the Leadership Arlington Signature Program’s class of 2013-14 in understanding that sometimes byzantine world of decision-making known as the Arlington Way. Takis Karantonis, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, took issue with the singular in that phrase: he said the process should be known as “the Arlington Ways.”

At a time when developers and neighborhoods – and even those within neighborhoods – often find themselves at loggerheads, Karantonis said those involved in community-building need to take the long-term, big-picture approach. “It’s not about the battles of today,” he said. “Create a [community] based on lasting value. Build a legacy. It’s not about buildings; it’s about people.” Klinger, who also holds a leadership position with the Arlington County Civic Federation, said the lengthy processes and plentiful controversy “actually scare off a lot of people” from participating in their neighborhood civic associations or other groups. “To make them want to come, that can be really hard,” she said. “Including all the voices is essential, [as is] making decisions that respect everyone,” said Josh Robinson, who four years ago opened Twisted Vines Bottleshop and Bistro with his wife on Columbia Pike. One of the problems for communitybuilding, Robinson said, is that many

people these days self-organize in ways that are unfamiliar to the traditional way of doing things. “They are self-selected into very small groups” that cross geographic boundaries, he said. During a question-and-answer period, both the speakers and members of the Leadership Arlington program decried a loss of civility throughout all stages of the civic process. Anyone with a computer connection these days can post screeds, often anonymously, to complain about just about anything. Participants in discussions about controversial topics often take a my-wayor-the-highway approach to those with whom they disagree. “Vitriol is cheap,” said Karantonis, who is in the center of what is probably the county’s most contentious current issue, the debate over the Columbia Pike streetcar. Klinger said the process works better when the participants know each other and appreciate the other side of issues. “Get out of your anonymous blogs,” said Klingler. “Small things mean a lot. Try to figure out where someone is com-

ing from.” (Klingler acknowledged that boorish behavior predates the Internet age. One dispute in her neighborhood goes back so far, no one seems to remember what caused it, she said.) What is missing in Arlington, Karantonis suggested, was a community vision toward a common goal, and those willing to expend the political capital required to help develop that shared vision. “Leadership is an extremely important component of community development,” he said. The Leadership Arlington Signature Program each year includes about 50 participants from the private, governmental and non-profit sectors, who spend 10 months studying a range of issues. The neighborhoods program was the final one of the class year. May 19 is the deadline for submission of applications from those interested in becoming members of the program’s Class of 2014-15. For information, see the Web site at www.leadershiparlington.org.

means that different constituencies will be colliding more frequently. Such was the case at the April 12 County Board meeting, when residents of the neighborhoods around Lubber Run Community Center attended en

masse to press for renovation of the 55year-old facility and for a promise from county officials that the land around or above the center won’t be used for housing or a new school. They came away partially mollified.

But not completely. “We’re not in a position to take anything off the table,” County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said of consider

Urbanization Is Bringing Some Constituencies on a Collision Course SCOTT McCAFFREY Staff Writer

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An increasingly urban, crowded county means more competition for available land across Arlington. Which

Continued on Page 29

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Virginia Home Sales Decline, Prices Rise in February Report The Johanna Baker Team

Was it a weather-related blip, or does it point to a general slowing in the local real estate market? Whatever the underlying cause, home sales across Virginia in February were down 7.6 percent from a year before, according to figures from the Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR). A total of 5,475 properties went to closing across the Old Dominion during the month, compared to 5,922 in February 2013. Analysts from the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, which each month look at the data and try to spot trends, say there could be a number of factors at work, separately or together. “This year-over-year decrease seems to signal a slowing recovery, but may instead be related to the winter weather events experienced throughout the state,” the analysts said. But they did not waver from predictions that 2014 will be a good one for real estate in the commonwealth. “Unemployment rates and mortgageinterest rates are working in the market’s favor, so we expect better performance in the Virginia market once we are free of snow and ice,” the analysts said. While sales were down, median pric-

es ticked up 1.7 percent to $234,000 and are up nearly 11 percent from two years ago. Analysts say that the moderate increase in prices over the past year indicates that inventory is keeping up with demand in most parts of the state. “We expect prices to remain stable, as long as inventory increases at an adequate rate throughout the spring,” they said. Total sales volume for the month was $1.58 billion, down 6 percent from a year before. Homes that went to closing in February spent an average of 97 days between listing and ratified sales contract. While it is not unusual for days on the market to rise during the winter months, the average waiting time in the February report was the highest since the 102 days of March 2012. Mortgage-interest rates remain at historic lows, though they are running higher than a year before. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage in February was 4.3 percent, according to Freddie Mac, down from 4.43 percent a month before but about the rate of 3.53 percent recorded a year ago. Complete data can be found on the Web site at www.varealtor.com/homesales.

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Property Owners are Entitled to Cut in Real Estate Taxes WAYNE KUBICKI

for fiscal 2015 are now on the playing board. Readers can find links to both reports at http://bit.ly/1hBxekk (they are Now that the special County Board labeled as A-1 & A-9). What did these two FY14 updates election has come and gone, it’s time to get back to governing and adopt the fis- show? More available money – lots of cal 2015 bud- it! Landscape & Garden Design While there are lots of numbers in get. This past those two reports – nothing unusual Stonework & Ponds week, County Manager Barbara Don- about that – they show a whopping net nellan released her report reviewing "Passion Is Our Middle Name" of $37.1 million of “extra money.” Major the 3rd quarter of fiscal 14 (running factors were real estate revenues being through March 31). Coupled with Ms. over budget due to the unexpected asDonnellan’s mid-year review, released sessment increases ($25M) and releasDesigner Cell: (804) ing a200-3991 prior reserve of $8MLandscape that had been back on March 11, the major auxiliary pieces to her original proposed budget previously set aside for “stabilization.” By agreement between the County Board and School Boards, $9.6 million is transferred to the Schools, leaving $27.5 million of additional funds on the county side. Given this news, a major part of the budget finalization deliberations will be what to do with this $27.5 million. As expected, Ms. Donnellan has already put forth her additional spending Landscape & Garden Design“wish list” totaling $13.4 million, for Landscape & Garden Design such spending areas as affordable housStonework & Ponds ing, street paving and maintenance capStonework & Ponds For the Sun Gazette

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a recent Sun invasives. (I am more apt to drive along 200-3991 Gazette, Cell: one (804) Lee Highway or MacArthur Boulevard Cell:703-881-1440 caught my eye. instead, adding to traffic in those neighIf you look closely, you will see that borhoods.) In admiring the pictures in the home The National Park Service, the Arprofile “Stylish Home Offers Glorious much of the ‘verdant surroundings’ the www.lissalandscapeco.com Views of Its Verdant Surroundings” in deck overlooks are not the leaves of lington government and the District healthy trees, but instead the leaves of of Columbia government are unable to vines killing those trees as they strangle take care of all their many tree-filled the tree; keep the bark moist and accel- acres, but I cannot understand how the erate rot; take sunlight for their own use residents and property owners nearby instead of the tree’s; compete with the can allow this ecological disaster to contree for nutrients and water; deprive the tinue. tree’s bark of normal contact withDesign air I hope that homeowners and real Landscape & Garden Design Landscape & and Garden and microorganisms; make the tree estate professionals will take a strong YOUR ORANGE LINE SPECIALISTS® top-heavy, causing it to fall&down during stand to save the beauty that belongs to Stonework & Ponds Stonework Ponds LYON PARK CAPE COD rain, wind, and snow storms. so many of us. LYON PARK CHARMER In"Passion addition, they attract mosquitoes "Passion Is Our Middle Name" Is Our Middle Name" Locally, you can contact Arlington and other pests. County’s RIP (Remove Invasive Plants) I grew up across the river and for 15 program, Casey Trees, the National years (nine on a school bus and six in a Park Service and Virginia Cooperative Designer Cell: (804) 200-3991 Landscape Designer 200-3991 car) I commuted to McLean alongCell: the (804) Extension for tips and further informaGeorge Washington Memorial Parkway tion, and there is a lot online. or Canal Road. I know how much the In the meantime, a simple start is to greenery there adds to our lives and please cut the base of any ivy or other 3118 N 1st Road • Arlington • $849,900 709 N. Cleveland St. • Arlington • $769,900 sense of peace and well-being. However, vines that are climbing trees. • Walk to Clarendon Metro, shopping and restaurants • Just 5 blocks to Clarendon Metro, shops & dining • Spacious 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath with 1 car garage • Vintage Craftsman, tall ceilings, crown trim, fireplace now I avoid driving along these roads, I hope your children will be able • Hardwood floors and wood burning fireplace • 3 bedroom plus den, 1 bath, new kitchen appliances • Den on main level and finished rec room in lower level for I am sickened to see vine-covered to enjoy seeing the beauty of the trees • Two-level deck with hot tub, great yard for play or pets • Lovely backyard, fully fenced with grass and patio masses and realize how bare it will be – not the green of deadly invasive vines, once the trees are finally pulled down by as I did. UPDATED BUNGALOW NEAR CLARENDON COZY BUNGALOW

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ital. For the purposes of this letter, let’s assume this entire Rate listed is the cost per $100 assessed valuation of residential list is funded. real estate as adopted by the County Board. Since 2008, it also That still leaves $14.1 milincludes the sanitary-district tax surcharge. lion left over. Rate Year Rate Rate Year Year To recap, the county man$0.950 $1.532 1985 2000 $1.023 ager’s proposed budget, plus Landscape & Garden 1970 Design nearly $10 million more to the 1971 $1.532 1986 $0.940 2001 $1.023 schools, plus another $13.4 Stonework & Ponds 1972 $1.532 1987 $0.920 2002 $0.993 million of County spending, 1973 $1.532 1988 $0.890 2003 $0.978 is now all coveredIs– Our and $14.1 "Passion Middle1974 Name" $1.512 1989 $0.780 2004 $0.958 million is still on the table. 1975 $1.512 1990 $0.765 2005 $0.878 I have a suggested use for 1976 $1.512 1991 $0.765 2006 $0.818 it. Let’s return it to the taxpay1992 $0.820 2007 $0.818 1977 Designer Cell: $1.490 (804) 200-3991 ers. 1978 $1.450 1993 $0.860 2008 $0.848 The County Board can’t 1979 $1.290 1994 $0.897 2009 $0.875 continue to spend every sur1980 $1.120 1995 $0.940 2010 $0.958 plus nickel they are left with. 1981 $0.960 1996 $0.960 2011 $0.958 A real estate tax-rate reduction 1982 $0.980 1997 $0.986 2012 $0.971 for calendar 2014 will take a bit of the sting out of the tax 1983 $0.990 1998 $0.998 2013 $1.006 bill hit caused by the increase 1984 $0.970 1999 $0.998 2014 $1.006* (Advertised rate) SOURCE: County government in residential assessments. Returning this $14.1 million excess to the taxpayers is simply the right thing to do. It Landscape & Garden DesignI even have a proposed name for my will cover about a 1.5-cent decrease in proposed 1.5-cent tax-rate reduction. I the taxStonework rate. It’s an action County think we should refer to it as the “Vih& the Ponds Board can easily take. stadt Dividend.”

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The National Association of Home ling for factors such as age and income. "Passion Middle Builders (NAHB)IsinOur March releasedName" the The survey data confirmed that there results of a new study, What Home Buy- are some significant differences across ers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences. the various ethnic groups of buyers such The latest release from NAHB’s pubas: Designer Cell: (804) 200-3991 lishing arm, BuilderBooks is a further • Minority home buyers are typically analysis of the 2013 study, What Home younger than White non-Hispanics Buyers Really Want, which presented buyers. The median African-American preferences of all home buyers com- buyer is 39, the Hispanic buyer is 37, bined. and the Asian buyer is about 36, while This new study compares and con- the median White buyer is 43 years old. trasts how housing preferences are For more information about the reaffected by the racial or ethnic back- port, see the organization’s Web site at ground of a home buyer, after control- www.nahb.org.

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Realtors Discuss the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Home-Inspection Process DAVE FACINOLI Staff Writer

Home inspections are still a big part of most transitions when a property is sold. Some inpections go well, some go poorly and others can cause delays, disputes and snags. The Sun Gazette asked some local Realtors about the role of home inpectors and inspections, whether they are reliable, and how often do buyers and sellers spar over what is in their reports. Here are their thoughts: Kelly Tierney, Re/Max Distinctive: “A good inspector is key. On one side, you have an inspector who has a mission to condemn a home or senselessly scare a buyer. On the other side, you get the inspector who gives the buyer a false sense of security about the home, as they might lack experience, hurry through the home and miss items that should have been noted. To find the inspector who can balance the middle, can often be difficult. Once you do, they are hard to schedule as they are booked solid.” John Mentis, Long & Foster: “I always recommend that buyers think about having a home inspection. But home inspectors can’t look through walls and they can’t find everything. Home inspections are a snapshot in time for the moment of that day. Buyers and sellers will spar over their report about 90 percent of the time, because there are differing opinions over the remedies and for who is responsible for it.” Karen Close, Long & Foster: “There are good, mediocre and bad home inspectors. Agents really need to do their homework and match a buyers’ personality with a home inspector’s personality. Some have better equipment than others, so that’s another thing to consider. Overall, an inspection is a great educational experience about a house. There is some sparring that takes up time and is an annoyance, usually over a small amount of money. I find that home inspectors don’t get in the way, agents sometimes get in the way. Sometimes it’s OK to let the faucet drip.” John McNamara, TTR Sotheby’s: “Some are very reliable and very good and some are overly aggressive. The main thing is to find a home inspector who is very balanced. It is important for them to have some leeway, with safety and code violations the most important things. A good home inspection is an insurance policy and gives peace of mind. When buyers and sellers spar over their report, in many instances it goes well, and in others it does not.” Karen Briscoe, Huckaby, Briscoe, Conroy Realty Group: “I look at home inspections like going to an internist for an annual physical. They identify areas of concern that require further investigation. They give the general conditions of a home and identify those areas of concern. There are no perfect homes. Almost every home has something, like our bodies. There is always something. We think home inspections are necessary and we encourage them. If the re-

quests are reasonable, they can be worked out.” Steve Wydler, Long & Foster: “I think home inspections are extremely valuable. Half of the value of a home inspection is an education about the home. The most reliable home inspectors know their limitations and are savvy and experienced. They know when to bring in a specialist. They can educate the buyers and sellers and flag the things that really need to be addressed.” Donna Moseley, TTR Sotheby’s: “We do believe home inspections are a good thing for buyers and educating them about how the system works. A good home inspector is one who has the ability to communicate with the buyer and seller with what are minor and major issues and what is determined as significant and insignificant.” Mark Middendorf, Long & Foster: “My opinion about most home inspectors around here is they are ones we know and trust. We usually don’t have a problem with them causing a lot of heartache. Usually any sparring between buyers and sellers over what they find is case-to-case and can be solved.” Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “Wow! Home inspectors. What can I say? The No. 1 impediment to closing deals. Some can be unbearable. I call them inspection Nazis. They scare buyers for no reason, and I think it is irresponsible. Removing inspection contingencies takes extreme patience, organization and expertise.” Dee Murphy, Long & Foster: “I really only use one home inspector, because I trust him. I haven’t had many deals fall apart over a home inspection. But I always warn buyers and sellers the toughest part of a transaction is the home inspection because there is a laundry list of things, especially if it is an older home. A home inspection is a mission to learn more about a home.” Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “A good home inspection will let buyers know how to maintain things and what concerns might be ahead. There are often differences, and getting them worked out really depends if the requests are reasonable or unreasonable. It’s definitely worth having a home inspection. For the quality of a good home inspector, it’s good to shop around.” Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Home inspectors are people. There are good ones and bad ones. Finding a good one who is efficient and can communicate well is important. You have to find a good professional and a person you can have a relationship with. There are times when purchasers and sellers don’t agree on a problem. There are gray areas in houses that are open for interpretation and what the remedy will be.” Gloria Adams, TTR Sotheby’s: “It’s tough sometimes when buyers and sellers are sparring. You do get confrontations. But generally everything gets resolved and Continued on Page 29


March 1st Quarter

$131,975,015 $293,141,843

$109,250,427 $274,661,270

-17.2% -6.3%

Fairfax Real Estate Market Outperforms Region in March, But First-Quarter Report Shows Softness in Sales and Prices Avg. price: 2014: $558,140 2013: $573,663 (+2.5%)

Although the results weren’t as anemic as in some other areas of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County saw fewer home sales and lower average prices in March. A total of 966 properties went to closing last month, down 7.8 percent from the 1,048 transactions a year before, according to figures reported April 10 by RealEstate Business Intelligence, an arm of the local multiple-listing service. The average sales price took a more modest tumble, dropping 1.3 percent from $528,224 in March 2013 to $521,135 in March 2014, in part because fewer single-family homes were part of the sales mix last month. Only one segment of the three-legged local market posted a decline: • The average sales price for singlefamily homes dropped 1.9 percent to $697,792. • The average sales price of attached homes, such as townhouses and rowhouses, rose 2.8 percent to $360,537. • The average sales price of condominiums rose 8.4 percent to $282,000. The median sales price of $448,500 was up 4.3 percent from a year before. There were 44 sales of $1 million or more for the month. Total sales volume for the month was $503.4 million, down 9.1 percent from $553.6 million a year before. Of homes that sold in March, it took

47 days between listing and ratified sales contract, a slight improvement from the 48 days required a year before. Homes sold for 97.9 percent of original listing price, down from 98.2 percent. Of homes that sold during the month, 607 relied on conventional financing for the transaction, followed by cash (145) and VA-backed loans (117). Heading into the heart of the spring buying season, there were 2,116 properties on the market across the county, up a whopping 39 percent from a year before, when inventory was tight. Where is the market headed? Both the total number of pending sales, and new pending sales during March, were well below the rate from a year before, suggesting that start of the spring season could be a little rocky for the local market. Figures represent most, but not all, sales during the period. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision. 1st-Quarter Home Sales Softer Than 2013 Figures: Average prices edged up ever so slightly, but total home sales and market volume declined during the first quarter of 2014 from a year before in Fairfax County. A total of 2,432 properties went to closing in January, February and March, a decrease of 4 percent from the 2,533 sales a year before, according to figures from RealEstate Business Intelligence,

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1st Quarter Fairfax Home Sales Data from RealEstate Business Intelligence, and includes most, but not all, home sales across the county during the month.

Sales January February March 1st quarter

2014 677 789 966 2,432

2013 712 773 1,048 2,533

Change -4.9 +2.1 -7.8% -4.0%

Volume January February March 1st Quarter

$332,504, 747 $394,314,537 $503,416,283 $1,230,235,567

$358,418,001 $368,516,319 $553,578,657 $1,280,512,887

-7.2% +7.0% -9.1% -3.9%

an arm of the local multiple-listing service. Avg. price Of the three months, only February $505,853 posted2014: an increase in year-over-year sales, at 2.1 percent. Declines were post2013: $505,532 ed in January (4.9 percent) and March essentially unchanged (7.8 percent). The average sales price of all homes that sold during the period was $505,853, essentially unchanged from the $505,532 a year before. Total sales volume was $1.23 billion, down 3.9 percent from $1.28 billion. Figures represent most, but not all,

homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.

The Sun Gazette has a new Web site, but the news is still the best in the region, from a seasoned team of professionals. Find all the Fairfax news at our new Web site: www.insidenova.com/ news/fairfax. While there, check all the regional news, our archives and a host of special features, all updated throughout the day!

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Charting the Ups, Downs of N.Va. Real Estate

Sales of homes across Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs surpassed the 20,000 mark in 2013 for the first time in six years, while the average sales price hit an all-time record, surpassing even the overheated market of 2003-06. As a result, the total sales volume reached its highest point since 2006, according to new figures. Work out the math, and the average sales price of all properties that went to closing in the year gone by stood at $540,043, up 7.1 percent from 2012 and up 25 percent from the market trough in the middle of the economic recession. The previous all-time high was set in 2007 at $538,463. It fell 20 percent to $431,018 in 2009 before rebounding. A total of 20,355 properties sold across the inner suburbs of Northern Virginia last year, according to figures reported by RealEstate Business Intelligence and analyzed by the Sun Gazette. That’s up from 18,623 transactions in 2012 and the best year since the 20,753 set in 2006. (The market’s all-time peak year was 2004, when 32,735 properties changed hands.) Figures were reported Jan. 10, and represent sales of single-family homes, attached properties and townhouses in Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Total sales volume for the year stood at $10,992,570,115, up 17 percent from a year before if still well below the $15.7 billion record set in 2005. Looking back on nearly 40 years of sales data from across the suburbs, the average price has grown from $58,739 in 1975, surpassing the $100,000 mark for the first time in 1981, the $200,000 mark in 1991, the $300,000 mark in 2002 and the $400,000 mark in 2004 before peaking at just above $538,000 in 2007. In the spirit of fun, here’s a trip down memory lane both at the state of the market and some of the local and national events that played a role in our lives: 1975: The average sales price is climbing close to the $60,000 mark, and more than 14,200 homes are sold in the local area. Interest rates, however, are on the rise, hovering at around 9 percent for a 30-year conventional loan. Nationally, Jerry Ford is in the White House, the Red Sox and Reds are in the World Series and NBC debuts “Saturday Night Live.” 1976: The nation’s bicenten-

39 Years of Home Sales Across Northern Virginia YEAR

1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

AVERAGE SALES PRICE

TOTAL SALES

For year

Change

For year

Change

$58,739 $62,373 $66,722 $71,639 $79,389 $90,744 $100,050 $103,631 $105,388 $108,049 $113,120 $121,922 $142,163 $162,850 $174,975 $174,616 $204,886 $202,534 $209,381 $210,557 $211,098 $214,102 $220,932 $229,151 $238,496 $252,374 $285,159 $319,293 $364,684 $441,253 $537,116 $537,741 $538,463 $461,039 $431,018 $469,018 $483,160 $504,338 $540,034

N/A +6.2% +7.0% +7.4% +11.4% +11.7% +10.3% +3.6% +1.7% +2.5% +4.7% +7.8% +16.6% +14.6% +7.4% -0.2% +17.3% -1.1% +3.3% +0.6% +0.3% +1.4% +3.2% +3.7% +4.1% +5.8% +13.0% +12.0% +14.2% +21.8% +21.7% +0.1% +0.1% -14.4% -6.5% +8.9% +3.0% +4.4% +7.1%

14,260 14,593 17,953 22,802 23,043 19,527 15,155 12,435 17,877 18,093 22,422 27,052 24,128 24,879 19,780 23,278 15,761 16,818 16,287 15,747 13,783 15,289 16,795 22,264 22,715 26,062 27,741 27,936 30,580 32,735 29,235 20,753 18,042 17,400 19,035 17,858 16,704 18,623 20,355

N/A +2.3% +23.0% +27.0% +1.0% -15.3% -22.4% -18.0% +43.7% +1.2% +23.9% +20.6% -11.8% +3.1% -20.5% +17.7% -32.3% +6.7% -3.2% -3.3% -12.2% +10.9% +9.8% +32.6% +2.0% +14.7% +6.4% +0.8% +9.4% +6.6% -10.7% -29.0% -13.1% -3.5% +9.3% -6.2% -6.5% +11.6% +9.3%

HISTORICAL/CULTURAL NOTES OF INTEREST

VOLUME (Billions)

$0.84 $0.91 $1.1 $1.6 $1.8 $1.7 $1.5 $1.2 $1.8 $1.9 $2.4 $3.3 $3.4 $4.0 $3.4 $4.0 $3.2 $3.4 $3.4 $3.3 $2.9 $3.2 $3.7 $5.1 $5.8 $6.5 $7.9 $8.9 $11.1 $14.4 $15.7 $11.1 $9.7 $8.0 $8.2 $8.4 $8.1 $9.4 $11.0

‘Saturday Night Live’ debuts Democrat Carter wins election First U.S. execution since ’67 John Paul II becomes pope Incident at Three Mile Island GOP’s Reagan trounces Carter Egypt’s Sadat is assassinated It’s a boy for Charles, Diana Riggins is Super Bowl MVP ‘Cosby’ is nation’s top TV show Michael Jordan’s rookie year Shuttle ‘Challenger’ explodes Iran-Contra scandal tops the news Bush manhandles Dukakis Earthquake strikes Bay Area Americans With Disabilities Act First Gulf War starts ... and ends L.A. riots after Rodney King verdict Bill Clinton is inaugurated GOP takes control of Congress O.J. Simpson found not guilty Richard Nixon dies after stroke Tiger Woods wins the Masters Monica Lewinsky in the news Clinton acquitted by Senate Florida determines presidency Terror attacks strike on 9/11 New war in Iraq looms Joe Gibbs returns to Redskins Kerry falls to Bush in election Katrina swamps Gulf Coast Democrats win back Congress Oil prices through the roof Economy plunges; Obama wins Unemployment hits double digits GOP makes a comeback Economic malaise lingers ‘Derecho’ storm slams region Democrats win Va. statewide races

Sales totals, average sales prices and volume come from data of RealEstate Business Intelligence and the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, as analyzed by the Sun Gazette, and may differ from other published figures. Totals are based on sales figures for Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church. Percentage changes and historical notes compiled by the Sun Gazette staff.

nial year is a good one for the local real estate market. Home sales increase 2.3 percent over a year before, and the average sales price is up 6.2 percent. 1977: Jimmy Carter takes the oath of office as president, Elvis “leaves the building” for the final time. The number of homes sold in Northern Virginia experiences 23-percent growth, and the average sales

price is up 7 percent. The total sales volume in Northern Virginia passes the $1 billion mark for the first time. 1978: The Washington Bullets have their best year ever. “The White Shadow” and “WKRP in Cincinnati” make their TV debuts. Despite a slightly frosty economic environment across Virginia and the nation, home sales locally

are up 27 percent, and the average sales price is up 7.4 percent. 1979: The Iran hostage drama begins, and John Wayne breathes his last. Irish terrorists kill Lord Mountbatten. The federal government bails out Chrysler, and interest rates start heading upward in a hurry. Nelson Rockefeller dies, creatively. The number of homes

sold increases just a bit, but the average sales price is up 11.4 percent. “In the Community, With the Community, F 1980: Ronald Reagan wins a landslide victory over Jimmy Carter, Mount St. Helens blows its top, and the U.S. skips the Summer Olympics. The spike in interest rates take a chunk out of the sales market (down Continued on Page 13


N.Va. Real Estate Market Has Seen Ups, Downs Since 1970s Continued from Page 12 15.3 percent), but average sales prices are up nearly 12 percent. 1981: Assassinations and attempted assassinations make for an ugly year. “Dallas” and “Dukes of Hazzard” provide some relief on TV. Actor Jack Albertson dies. Home sales drop precipitously, down 22.4 percent, but average sales prices show double-digit increases. The average sales price rises to more than $100,000 for the first time. 1982: LeAnn Rimes makes her musical debut with a “waaaahhh” in the delivery room. The Equal Rights Amendment goes down to defeat. “Gandhi” sweeps the Oscars and Toto is tops at the Grammys. After peaking at nearly 18.5 percent, interest rates are slowly declining, but total home sales are still down 18 percent. Double-digit price increases are gone, too. 1983: “The Love Boat” is still bringing in the viewers, and Sally Ride makes history in space. The U.S. invades Grenada, surprising the British (who thought it was theirs), and Carolyn Jones of “The Addams Family” fame dies. Home sales are up a whopping 43.7 percent (biggest annual increase in our survey) and the average sales price increase slightly. 1984: Walter Mondale carries Massachusetts and D.C. in the presidential election, but Ronald Reagan wins everything else. “Amadeus” is boffo at the Academy Awards. And in the local

real estate market, it is a quiet year, with sales up 1.2 percent and average prices up 2.5 percent. 1985: “Live Aid” brings music and humanitarianism together. Phil Collins can do no wrong in the music world, and Miss Utah is named Miss America. Interest rates are still high, at more than 12 percent, but sales rise a solid 23.9 percent. Average sales prices are up modestly, too. 1986: William Rehnquist is nominated chief justice, and the nation celebrates the first Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Actress Donna Reed ascends the staircase to heaven. Home sales increase more than 20 percent, and the average sales price is up a respectable 7.8 percent. 1987: The Iran-Contra scandal dominates the headlines, followed by a stock market crash. U2’s music is the rage, Cher wins an Oscar and Sonny becomes mayor of Palm Springs. Mortgage interest rates drop to under 10 percent for the first time since 1979. But home sales plummet more than 11 percent, even as average sales prices are up 16.6 percent. 1988: Michael Dukakis tries but fails to win the presidency, but the effort provides a career boost to comedian Jon Lovitz. The federal government gives amnesty to 1.4 million illegal aliens. Roy Orbison and his shades go to the hippest corner of rock-and-roll heaven. Interest rates spike up briefly, but both home sales and average prices increase.

The total sales volume surpasses $4 billion locally. 1989: The Exxon Valdez causes a mess in Alaska, and an earthquake strikes San Francisco. U.S. troops invade Panama and arrest Manuel Noriega. Ronald Reagan returns to California after eight years in the White House. Home sales drop 20 percent (totaling less than 20,000 for the first time since 1984), but average sales prices rise to nearly $175,000. 1990: Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait and provokes President Bush into sending troops to Saudi Arabia. Joe Pesci wins an Oscar for “Goodfellas.” The Cincinnati Reds win the World Series. And while home sales are up 17.7 percent, the average sales price dropped for the first time in recent memory, down 0.2 percent. 1991: Coalition troops liberate Kuwait, and President Bush’s approval rating tops 90 percent. The Senate is busy debating the appointment of Clarence Thomas, while the House of Representatives is trying to explain why members bounced more than 8,000 checks at its bank. Home sales plummet more than 32 percent (worst drop in the survey), but sales prices rise 17.3 percent to more than $200,000. 1992: Bill Clinton wins the White House. Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” is a massive hit. Notre Dame tops Florida in the Sugar Bowl, and Barry Bonds is the National League’s MVP. Interest rates

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

13

continue a slow decline. Home sales are up 6.7 percent, but average sales prices drop 1.1 percent. 1993: A bomb explodes under the World Trade Center. Janet Reno becomes the first female attorney general. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” becomes military policy. The world loses a classy lady with the death of Audrey Hepburn. Home sales drop 3.2 percent, but average sales prices rise 3.3 percent. 1994: NAFTA comes into being, baseball players go on strike, Aldrich Ames is arrested for spying, and Republicans take control of Congress. “Cats” is the Broadway musical that just won’t die. Dull year in real estate - home sales down slightly, average sales prices up a bit. 1995: A total of 168 people die in the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing. Congress repeals the 55-mph speed limit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tops the 5,000 mark. Mortgage money is available for about 9 percent. Home sales drop 12.5 percent, while average sales prices are up a bit. Total sales volume drops to $2.9 billion, lowest since 1985. 1996: Unabomber Ted Kaczynski is arrested, Cuba Gooding Jr. wins an Oscar and Atlanta hosts the Olympic Games. President Clinton wins 31 states and D.C. on the way to an easy re-election. Home sales are up 10.9 percent, Continued on Page 26

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Classic elegance is the watchword of our featured property, an all-brick charmer set in the sought-after Berkshire/Oakwood community that provides easy access to the urban-village corridor while sitting just north of Lee Highway in a friendly, neighborly locale. A large lot of nearly 8,500 square feet and many of the charming features of yesteryear can be found here. The home was constructed in 1950, as Arlington was growing in both size and affluence, and the homes of the era offer both pre-war craftsmanship and forward-thinking elegance. The property, located less than a mile from the East Falls Church Metro station and with Metrobus service right across the street, currently is on the market, listed at $869,900 by Dave Lloyd of Weichert, Realtors. After a welcome, we are ushered inside to the sizeable entry foyer with its period hardwood flooring and exposed staircase. From there, our exploration of the property begins. An architectural curved archway opens from the foyer to the sweeping living room, a large space designed both to entertain in style and to work well for daily living. More gleaming hardwoods are coupled with a picture window overlooking the front yard and additional side windows, providing plentiful natural sunlight.

A brick-surround, wood-burning fireplace features a stylish mantel with dentil mold trim, quarry tile apron and screen. The dining room is enchanting, with a chandelier, more hardwoods and picture window that overlooks the expansive rear yard. This space is open to the kitchen, living room and foyer for easy traffic flow. The comfortably sized kitchen features everything close at hand, with good-quality appliances, wood cabinetry, a pantry closet and a convenient side door to the back yard. We love versatility, and here on the first level, you will find a space that works well as a den, office or fifth bedroom. More great natural-light exposures can be found here. A screened-in porch is the definition of charm, adding to the overall effect. The master retreat is the highlight of the upper level, and unlike some homes of this vintage, where all bedrooms are on the small side, the master bedroom is large and welcoming, with multiple windows allowing natural light and fresh breezes. Closet space is plentiful, and the master bath features everything you would want, from ceramic-tile floor to period lighting to a daylight window. Three additional bedrooms can be found on this level, each with plenty of window space and overhead light fixtures, along with hardwood flooring.

Fixed stairs take you to the floored-attic, a great space with potential. A large family room/recreation room is the centerpiece of the lower level, with brand-new “wood-look” laminate flooring, a brick-hearth-surround, wood-burning fireplace and three windows. A workshop space doubles as extra storage and utility area, and contains a second refrigerator. From here, there are walk-up steps to the rear yard. A detached brick garage (with access off an alley from Powhatan Street) and fenced rear yard showcase the many features of a home that has stood watch over decades of growth. Articles are prepared by the Sun Gazette’s real estate advertising department on behalf of clients. For information on the home, contact the listing agent. For information on having a house reviewed, contact the Sun Gazette’s real estate advertising department at (703) 738-2520.

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Northern Virginia’s Spring Parade of Homes – a two-day event that attracts thousands of visitors from around region – will be held the weekend of April 26-27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), the free, self-guided tour is in its 17th year. The Signature sponsor of the event is George Mason Mortgage, a subsidiary of Cardinal Bank. The Parade of Homes will benefit NVBIA’s charitable organization, HomeAid Northern Virginia (www. homeaidnova.org), which builds and renovates shelters for homeless women and children and provides critical support to struggling families. This year’s “parade” features a wide array of homes – both newly built and remodeled – designed for many tastes, lifestyles and budgets. The self-guided tour offers home buyers and architecture buffs a chance to explore the region’s most innovative single family homes, custom homes, townhomes, condominiums and active-adult offerings. Those interested in universal design, green-certified design, and Energy Star rated homes will also have plenty of options to explore. There will even be homes available for immediate delivery. The Parade of Homes spans Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier counties and the city of Alexandria. Homes on display are offered in a variety of price ranges and neighborhoods. The event allows many of the area’s leading builders and remodelers the opportunity to showcase their craftsmanship, innovative design features, dynamic floor plans and the latest in interior-design ideas. A complete list of locations and communities is available at www. vaparade.com. Creating an individual tour is easy: Using the Web site, a personal tour can be automatically created and mapped with driving directions based upon individual choices and sorted by location, home type and price range.

Facts for buyers

Address: 6207 Lee Highway, Arlington (22205). Listed at: $869,900 by Dave Lloyd, Weichert, Realtors (703) 593-3204. Schools: Nottingham Elementary, Williamsburg Middle, Yorktown High School.

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Pending Home Sales Posted a Decline Nationally in February

703.967.4391

V

Kevin Love

KevinirtLuoal Tour ve.com

Life Member, NVAR Top Producer

703.969.6776

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Kevin@KevinLove.com www.KevinLove.com

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Betsy Twigg

17

Charming 1927 authentic Sears Bungalow located within 7 blocks of metro rail & 3 blocks to shops, restaurants & high school. Two additions 2000 & 2009. 5 Bedrooms/ 3 Full Baths, New Kit/Breakfast/Family Room w/Granite, Gorgeous Hardwoods Throughout, Fireplace, 9 Foot Ceilings & HVAC ‘09. Taylor/Swanson/Washington Lee Schools. 1708 North Quebec Street, Arlington VA 22207

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ruary, and are 9.3 percent below a year ago. The index in the West increased 2.3 percent in February to 86.1, but is 16.5 percent below February 2013. Total existing-home sales are forecast at 5.0 million this year, just below the nearly 5.1 million in 2013. Housing starts are projected to rise almost 19 percent in 2014, and reach about 1.1 million, closer to the underlying demand of 1.5 million. The gain in new home construction will reduce some of the pressure on home prices, with the national median existing-home price expected to rise in the range of 5.5 to 6 percent this year, compared with an 11.5 percent jump in 2013. The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing. The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existinghome sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

Arlington North

McEnearney Associates congratulates Betsy Twigg, the company’s top individual agent for the third consecutive year. With over $47M in 2013 sales, Betsy has the experience, skill and knowledge needed in today’s competitive market.

btwigg@mcenearney.com www.betsytwigg.com 4720 Lee Hwy | Arlington, VA 703.525.1900

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Pending home sales declined for the eighth straight month in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. Modest increases in the Midwest and West were offset by declines in the Northeast and South; all regions are below a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, dipped 0.8 percent to 93.9 from a downwardly revised 94.7 in January, and is 10.5 percent below February 2013 when it was 104.9. The February reading was the lowest since October 2011, when it was 92.2. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the recent slowdown in home sales may be behind us, while home prices continue to rise. “Contract signings for the past three months have been little changed, implying the market appears to be stabilizing,” he said. “Moreover, buyer traffic information from our monthly Realtor survey shows a modest turnaround, and some weather delayed transactions should close in the spring.” The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.4 percent to 77.1 in February, and is 7.4 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 2.8 percent to 95.3 in February, but is 8.5 percent lower than February 2013. Pending home sales in the South fell 4.0 percent to an index of 106.3 in Feb-

on o S 7 ng 4/2 i m n Co Ope


18

4th Quarter Proved Strong for Nation’s Housing Prices The lion’s share of metropolitan areas continued to experience strong yearover-year price growth in the fourth quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. A companion metro area annual affordability report shows less favorable conditions, particularly in the West. The median existing single-family home price increased in 73 percent of measured markets, with 119 out of 164 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) showing gains based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Forty-two areas, 26 percent, had double-digit increases, two were unchanged and 43 recorded lower median prices. There were fewer rising markets than seen in the third quarter, when price increases were recorded in 88 percent of metro areas from a year earlier, with 33 percent rising at double-digit rates, reflecting a slowdown in price growth. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said there are two ways of looking at the price gains. “The vast majority of homeowners have seen significant gains in equity over the past two years, which is helping the economy through increased consumer spending,” he said. “At the same time, home prices have been rising faster than incomes, while mortgage interest rates are above the record lows of a year ago. This is beginning to hamper housing affordability.” Y DA R TU .M SA 4 P N O PE T O 1

The five most expensive housing markets in the fourth quarter were the San Jose, Calif., metro area, where the median existing single-family price was $775,000; San Francisco, $682,400; Honolulu, $670,800; Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif., $666,300; and San Diego, where the median price was $476,800. The five lowest-cost metro areas were Toledo, Ohio, with a median singlefamily price of $80,500; Rockford, Ill., $81,400; Cumberland, Md., at $89,500; Elmira, N.Y., $99,500; and South Bend, Ind., with a median price of $101,100. The national median existing singlefamily home price was $196,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10.1 percent from $178,900 in the fourth quarter of 2012. In the third quarter the median price rose 12.5 percent from a year earlier. The median price is where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales generally sold at discount – accounted for 14 percent of fourth quarter sales, down from 24 percent a year ago. Yun said that tight supplies in many areas accounted for double-digit price growth. At the end of the fourth quarter there were 1.86 million existing homes available for sale, slightly above the fourth quarter of 2012, when 1.83 million homes were on the market. The average supply during the quarter was 4.9 months; it was 4.8 months in the fourth quarter of 2012. A supply of 6.0 to 6.5 months represents a rough balance be-

Arlington North

Transformation Thoughtfully renovated colonial with 4 bedrooms, 4 new baths, main level den or 5th bedroom, kitchen open to dining area, fireplace in living room, big rec room, deck opening to level yard and two car garage with attached shop. Move in and enjoy. Nottingham Williamsburg Yorktown. Details of 5714-27th St. N. at

betsytwigg.com

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Arlington North

where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments. Metro areas with the greatest housing affordability conditions in 2013 include Toledo, Ohio, with an index of 395.4; Rockford, Ill., at 374.5; Decatur, Ill., 343.7; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., 331.4; and Springfield, Ill., at 327.8. In the condo sector, metro area condominium and cooperative prices – covering changes in 55 metro areas – showed the national median existing-condo price was $197,200 in the fourth quarter, up 10.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. Forty-four metros showed increases in their median condo price from a year ago, one was unchanged and 10 areas had declines. Regionally, total existing-home sales in the Northeast declined 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter, but are 7.1 percent above the fourth quarter of 2012. The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast was $241,000 in the fourth quarter, up 5.5 percent from a year ago. In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter, but are 2.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest increased 7.0 percent to $152,400 in the fourth quarter from the same quarter a year ago. Existing-home sales in the South declined 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter, but are 3.6 percent above the fourth quarter of 2012. The median existing single-family home price in the South was $173,000 in the fourth quarter, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier. In the West, existing-home sales dropped 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and are 8.1 percent below a year ago. With notable inventory restrictions, the median existing single-family home price in the West jumped 15.5 percent to $286,200 in the fourth quarter from the fourth quarter of 2012

Local Legislator Plans to Focus Attention On Runoff Issues During the ’15 Session

Sparkling New Home Located on a quiet cul-de-sac near Gulf Branch, this home features master suites on the main and upper levels, inviting family room with fireplace opening to breakfast area and chef-style kitchen; lower level rec, media and workout space plus oversized garage. Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown. Details of 3536 N. Utah St. at “Successfully selling homes betsytwigg.com in every real estate market for a very long time.”

Betsy Twigg McEnearney Associates

703-967-4391

btwigg@mcenearney.com www.betsytwigg.com

tween buyers and sellers. Yun added, “New home construction activity needs to increase significantly in the fast appreciating markets to help relieve upward price pressure.” In 2013, housing starts totaled 924,000, well below the historic average of 1.5 million units that typically are needed. “Added housing supply will help moderate price growth this year, and should help to stem erosion in affordability, but mortgage interest rates are projected to rise above 5 percent by the end of the year,” Yun said. Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, fell 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in the fourth quarter from 5.36 million in the third quarter, but were 0.8 percent above the 4.90 million level during the fourth quarter of 2012. According to Freddie Mac, the national commitment rate on a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.30 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 4.44 percent in the third quarter; it was a record low 3.36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, with records dating back to 1971. NAR president Steve Brown, coowner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors in Dayton, Ohio, said consumers need to keep in mind that all real estate is local. “The national figures provide useful background, but it really gets down to supply and demand in a given neighborhood,” he said. “Metropolitan area figures are an excellent gauge of local housing markets, but there can be widely ranging conditions within a metro area.” NAR’s national annual Housing Affordability Index, with breakouts for metropolitan areas, fell to 175.8 in 2013 from a record high 196.5 in 2012. For first-time buyers making small downpayments, the affordability levels are relatively lower. The index is calculated on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average effective mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the stronger household purchasing power; recordkeeping began in 1970. An index of 100 is defined as the point

4720 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

A local member of the General Assembly says he will work next year to provide local governments more authority in regulating stormwater runoff. “This is a problem that affects many communities, particularly in Northern Virginia,” said Del. Bob Brink (D-48th), speaking at a recent community forum in McLean. Legislation was introduced in the 2014 session by Del. Kaye Kory (DFairfax) to allow governing bodies of localities across the commonwealth to prohibit any person from interfering with, or impeding, the runoff of stormwater into any culvert or drain on any Virginia Department of Transportation right-of-way “by placing leaves, plant trimmings or other objects within such right-of-way.”

Currently, state law does not provide that power to local governments. Brink said residents of the Franklin Park community, which straddles Arlington and McLean, have been particularly impacted. Kory’s measure died quickly in the legislature; it was stricken from the docket in the House Committee on Transportation by a voice vote just three weeks into the 2014 session. “Nothing every happens the first time in Richmond,” Brink said. “You come up against a lot [of legislators] from the rural area” who need to be educated on the issue, he said. Brink, whose district includes parts of Arlington and McLean, said he would work to “make this a priority” during the 2015 session.


19

McEnearney ® ASSOCIATES, INC. REALTORS

ARLington

$239,900

ARLington noRtH

$775,000

ARLington

$439,000

ARLington

$1,065,000

Live Better For Less

Larchmont Wynnewood

Like the Pike?

Expansive Rambler - Mint!

Renovated 1-bedroom spacious condo on “The Ridge.” Kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances and much more. Utilities, parking and pool included in condo fee. Short walk to Pentagon City/Row Metro and shops.

Opportunity to own in prettiest neighborhood in 22205! Long list of updates to 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath colonial with main level family room, garage, sparkling new kitchen and powder room; gorgeous yard and patio. Walk to Westover! Glebe, Swanson, Washington Lee.

Stylishly renovated 2-bedroom, 2.5bath, 2-level condo in Westhampton Mews near shops, parks, restaurants, Pentagon, airport. Light wood kitchen cabinets, granite tops; sparkling new bathrooms; wood floors, fireplace, patio.

3-bedroom + den, 4-bath, 1-car garage and fantastic yard! Marvelous master bedroom suite, generous rooms throughout, enclosed porch, extensive hardscape and private yard. Dream commute location near Marymount University. Top Condition!

Julie Pearson

Betsy twigg

Betsy twigg

703.862.4543 www.JuliePearson.com

703.967.4391 www.Betsytwigg.com

MLS# AR8310237

ALEXAnDRiA

MLS# AR8309388

$450,000

Delaine Campbell

703.299.0030 www.DelaineSells.com

Saturday, May 3rd • 9 a.m. - 12 noon Arlington Office of McEnearney Associates 4720 Lee Highway • Arlington, VA 22207

Please join us for our Annual Spring Cleaning event. Bring 3 non-perishable food items and up to 3 banker boxes of unwanted paper. Food donations will be picked up by the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). For more information, please call

MLS# AX8311043

ARLington

$525,000

MLS# AR8316061

FREE SHREDDING EVENT AND FOOD DRIVE

Carlyle towers 2-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,100 SF, glass enclosed sunroom, garage parking, extra storage, pool, fitness, 2 blocks to Metro, shopping, Whole Foods, and more. Private tennis, dog park, 24/7 front desk, rooftop outdoor area. Bring your offers!

703.967.4391 www.Betsytwigg.com

ARLington

MiD-$900s

703.525.1900

ARLington

$538,500

Laura Fall

703.967.9987 www.McEnearney.com MLS# AR8315492

FALLS CHuRCH

$424,900

Waters Edge Community Do not miss this stunning renovation! 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath, 3-level townhouse backs to a private lake in the heart of Baileys Crossroads. Just minutes to Pentagon City/DC. Over $100k in updates completed in 2010. Pool and tennis. Low HOA fee. Don’t Wait!

Delaine Campbell

703.299.0030 www.DelaineSells.com

ARLington

$379,900

SE m U O -4 p H 1 N 9, PE 4/1 O T SA

Eat-in gourmet kitchen. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. Top-floor master suite with vaulted ceilings and Palladian windows, 2 walk-in closets & HUGE master bath with Jacuzzi tub. Tons of storage throughout.

Courthouse Hill

glen Carlyn Charmer

Sunny Barcroft Model

Luxury townhome in popular Courthouse neighborhood 3 blocks to Metro! 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, upgraded high-end appliances, 2-zone HVAC, 2-car garage. Well maintained low maintenance living, nearby pool and park. 2408 13th Court N. 22201

Refreshed and move-in ready. 3-bedroom, 2-bath bungalow. Beautiful hardwoods on 2 floors, sunny breakfast area off kitchen overlooks deep flat backyard. A great value and easy commute to DC.

Located in Fairlington, this home offers an updated kitchen and baths along with an inviting patio! Other special features include plantation shutters, warm hardwoods along with fresh paint and new carpet in lower level.

Hal Logsdon

Hal Logsdon

Mason Montague Bavin

Stacy Hennessey & Kim Kreeb 703.395.4868 | 703.927.5396 www.McEnearney.com

202.372.6273 www.HalHomes.net

202.372.6273 www.HalHomes.net

MLS# AR8314856

McEnearney.com

703.525.1900

4720 Lee Highway | Arlington, VA 22207

703.338.6007 www.MasonBavin.com MLS# AX8314502

PREFERRED LENDER ®

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Luxury townhouse with Attached 2-Car garage


20

Stanley Martin Homes

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Stanley Martin Communities PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY Cardinal Grove Single-family homes in Woodbridge. From the $400’s | 703.490.1201

Hope Hill Crossing

Single-family homes in Southern Prince William County From the $400’s | 703.670.7790

MONTGOMERY COUNTY Preserve at Rock Creek

Townhomes in the heart of downtown Fairfax City. From the $600’s | 703.994.3780

Single-family homes in Rockville.

From the $700’s | 301.258.3406

The Orchards of Sandy Spring

Summit Oaks

Single-family homes in Lorton. From the $700’s | 703.339.9670

Single-family homes a mile from downtown Olney. From the $700’s | 301.258.3406

Heritage Crossing

Callaway

Chesterfield

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY Waterford Estates

Garage Townhomes in Downtown Manassas. From the $200’s | 703.366.3272 Two-story condominiums in Woodbridge. From the $200’s | 703.490.1115 A P R I L 2 0 1 4 - S P R I N G R E A L E S TAT E G U I D E

FAIRFAX COUNTY Cameron Glen

Powells Landing

Townhomes in Woodbridge. From the $300’s | 703.730.3912

Villages of Piedmont at Leopold’s Preserve

Single-family homes in Haymarket. Coming Soon | 800.466.4807

Single-family homes in Annandale! Coming Soon | 571.266.9172

Single-family homes in Bowie. From the $500’s | 301.249.4815

ST. MARY’S COUNTY Wildewood

Single-family homes and townhomes in California, MD. Single-family homes from the $200’s and townhomes from the $100’s 240.895.7900

LOUDOUN COUNTY Selma Estates

Single-family homes just north of Leesburg. From the $500’s | 703.777.8128

Huntleigh at Creighton Farms

Single-family homes in Leesburg. From the $700’s | 703.542.8850

Reservoir Ridge

Single-family homes in Ashburn. From the $700’s | 703.724.4122

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Survey of Millennials Shows Trends That Will Impact Market

Young home buyers remain optimistic and see their home as a good investment, while older buyers are more likely to trade down to a smaller property to match changing lifestyles, according to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers. Eight out of 10 recent buyers considered their home purchase a good financial investment, ranging from 87 percent for buyers age 33 and younger, to 74 percent for buyers 68 and older. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the Millennial generation, which is under the age of 34, is now entering the peak period in which people typically buy a first home. “Given that Millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, it means there is a potential for strong underlying demand. Moreover, their aspiration and the long-term investment aspect to owning a home remain solid among young people,” he said. “However, the challenges of tight credit, limited inventory, eroding affordability and high debt loads have limited the capacity of young people to own.” Twelve percent of all recent buyers had delayed their home purchase due to outstanding debt. Of the 20 percent of Millennial buyers who took longer to save for a downpayment, 56 percent cited student loan debt as the biggest obstacle. Fifteen percent of buyers aged

34 to 48 had delayed buying, with 35 percent citing student debt and 46 percent citing credit card debt. Even with the market frictions, the study found that the largest group of recent buyers was the Millennials, sometimes called Generation Y or Generation Next, those born between 1980 and 1995, who comprised 31 percent of recent purchases; followed closely by Generation X , those born between 1965 and 1979, at 30 percent. Percentages of recent home purchases among earlier generations was notably lower; 16 percent were Younger Boomers, those born between 1955 and 1964; 14 percent were Older Boomers, born between 1946 and 1954; and 9 percent were from the Silent Generation, those born between 1925 and 1945. The median age of Millennial home buyers was 29, their median income was $73,600 and they typically bought an 1,800-square foot home costing $180,000. The typical Gen X buyer was 40 years old, had a median income of $98,200, and purchased a 2,130-square foot home costing $250,000. Fourteen percent of all home purchases were by a multi-generational household, consisting of adult siblings, adult children, parents and/or grandparents. These households were largely concentrated among middle age buyers, with 22 percent of Younger Boomers identified as a multi-generational household. The biggest reasons for a multi-gen-

erational purchase were adult children moving back home and cost savings, each cited by 24 percent of all multigenerational households. Those were followed by health or caretaking of aging parents, 20 percent, and spending more time with aging parents, 11 percent. The prior living arrangement of recent buyers varied by generation. Among Millennials, 62 percent rented an apartment or house and 20 percent lived with their parents, relatives or friends. Younger Boomers and earlier generations mostly owned their previous residence, with older buyers much more likely to have been homeowners. The reason for buying a home also varied across generations: the Millennial through the Younger Boomers most often cited the desire to own a home of their own, while Older Boomers cited retirement and the Silent Generation most often wanted to be closer to family and friends. The study found that 79 percent of Older Boomers purchased an existing home, compared with 87 percent of Millennials. Although most purchases by all generations were in a suburban area, Millennials were more likely to buy in an urban or central city area, 19 percent, compared with only 12 percent of Older Boomers. The Silent Generation was more likely to buy in a small town, 24 percent; they also were more likely to purchase in senior related housing, cited by 26 percent of older respondents.

S D ER N FF E O EEK LE W IP ST T L U IR M DF L SO

Springfield

Younger buyers stayed closer to their previous residence, moving a median distance of 10 miles, whereas older buyers moved longer distances, with Older Boomers at 20 miles and the Silent Generation a median distance of 30 miles from their previous home. When it comes to a home’s environmentally friendly features, younger buyers placed higher importance on commuting costs than older generations, who placed higher importance on energy efficiency, landscaping and community features. The Millennials plan to stay in their home for 10 years, while the Baby Boom generation as a whole plans to stay for a median of 20 years. All home buyers, regardless of age, typically began the home buying process by looking online for properties for sales and then contacting a real estate agent, although Millennials also looked online for information about the home buying process before contacting an agent. Younger buyers were more likely to first learn about the home they purchased through the Internet; Older Boomers and the Silent Generation most often first learned about the home they purchased from their real estate agent. Nearly nine out of 10 buyers financed their purchase, but those buying with all cash increased with age. Among the Silent Generation, 45 percent paid cash for their home, according to the report.

S D ER N FF E O EEK LE W IP ST T L U IR M DF L SO

375,000

$

4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 fireplaces. One level living. New carpet and freshly painted. Large fenced yard, close to shopping, 395 & 495. Contact Julia.

Arlington

239,900

NEW HOME. 7000+ sqft with 6 bedrooms, 6.55 baths on a rare half acre lot on the WGCC golf course. Amazing Golf course views. OLRA Call Tommy, Chrissy or Julia for information. Julia and Chrissy.

E ! PL S TI CT I L A U R M NT O C

475,000

$

Two master BR, 2 ½ baths – over 2,000 sq ft of finished space and huge, landscaped backyard! No HOA! Contact Chrissy or Lisa.

Falls Church

525,000

$

2 master BR, 3 ½ baths – so close to WFC Metro, Falls Church City shops & restaurants and the Mosaic District! Contact Lisa or Chrissy.

Falls Church

1,325,000

$

Coming soon in heart of Falls Church City-New Construction ! June Delivery. Home features over 4500sq ft, 5 BR/4.5 BA. Gourmet Kitchen w pantry, breakfast nook. Fam rm w FP. Garage. Mud room. Contact Chrissy.

Falls Church

774,900

$

5/6 BR, 3 BA home on close to an acre in close-in lake community just 6 mi to DC! Contact Lisa or Chrissy.

CRS, GRI, ABR

Chrissy O’Donnell 703.626.8374 chrissy@chrissyandlisa.com

Tommy Avent 703.346.3373 tommy@juliaavent.com

Lisa DuBois 703.350.9595 lisa@chrissyandlisa.com

703.850.6606 julia@juliaavent.com

660,000

$

3 bedroom, 2 bath with main level addition. Remodeled kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances. Basement bath remodeled. New HVAC 2011. Less than a mile to Ballston Metro. Contact Julia.

T AC T! TR KE N R CO A R EM E D R N O U EF B

! E N RY JU IVE L DE

Julia Avent, Broker/Owner

4784 Lee Highway Arlington, VA 22207 703-677-8730 • www.byinvitationrealty.com

Arlington Forest

COMING SOON

$

The Sierra Condo built in 2005. Great one bedroom and den, with brand new hardwood floors, granite counters, gas cooking, Courtyard views, garage parking, exercise room. Contact Julia or Tommy.

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! YS E DA L P 2 TI N LI I U TS M C A TR N O C

Falls Church

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Weather a Factor When It Comes to Weak Winter Sales Figures

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Rising prices and severe winter weather caused existing-home sales to slip in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.60 million in February from 4.62 million in January, and 7.1 percent below the 4.95 million-unit level in February 2013. February’s pace of sales was the lowest since July 2012, when it stood at 4.59 million. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said conditions in February were largely unchanged from January. “We had ongoing unusual weather disruptions across much of the country last month, with the continuing frictions of constrained inventory, restrictive mortgage lending standards and housing affordability less favorable than a year ago,” he said. “Some transactions are simply being delayed, so there should be some improvement in the months ahead. With an expected pickup in job creation, home sales should trend up modestly over the course of the year.” The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $189,000, which is 9.1 percent above February 2013. “Price gains have translated into an additional $4 trillion of housing wealth recovery over the past three years,” Yun added. Distressed homes – foreclosures and

short sales – accounted for 16 percent of February sales, compared with 15 percent in January and 25 percent in February 2013. Eleven percent of February sales were foreclosures, and 5 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in February, while short sales were discounted 11 percent. Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 6.4 percent to 2.00 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.9 months in January. Unsold inventory is 5.3 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.6-month supply. The median time on market for all homes was 62 days in February, down from 67 days in January and 74 days on market in February 2013. Short sales were on the market for a median of 94 days in February, while foreclosures typically sold in 60 days and non-distressed homes took 61 days. Thirty-four percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.30 percent in February from 4.43 percent in January; the rate was 3.53 percent in February 2013. First-time buyers accounted for 28 percent of purchases in February, up

from 26 percent in January, but down from 30 percent in February 2013. NAR president Steve Brown, coowner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors in Dayton, Ohio, said student debt appears to be a factor in the weak level of first-time buyers. “The biggest problems for first-time buyers are tight credit and limited inventory in the lower price ranges,” he said. “However, 20 percent of buyers under the age of 33, the prime group of first-time buyers, delayed their purchase because of outstanding debt. In our recent consumer survey, 56 percent of younger buyers who took longer to save for a down payment identified student debt as the biggest obstacle.” Brown notes the survey results are for recent homebuyers. “It’s clear there are other people who would like to buy a home that are not in the market because of debt issues, so we can expect a lingering impact of delayed home buying,” Brown added. All-cash sales comprised 35 percent of transactions in February, up from 33 percent in January and 32 percent in February 2013. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 21 percent of homes in February, compared with 20 percent in January; they were 22 percent in February 2013. Seventy-three percent of investors paid cash in February. Single-family home sales edged down 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in February

from 4.05 million in January, and are 6.9 percent below the 4.34 million-unit level in February 2013. The median existing single-family home price was $189,200 in February, up 9.0 percent from a year ago. Existing condominium and co-op sales declined 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 560,000 units in February from 570,000 in January, and are 8.2 percent below a year ago. The median existing condo price was $187,900 in February, which is 9.8 percent above February 2013. Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 11.3 percent to an annual rate of 550,000 in February, and are 12.7 percent below February 2013. The median price in the Northeast was $237,800, up 1.5 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the Midwest declined 3.8 percent in February to a pace of 1.00 million, and are 12.3 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $140,900, which is 8.6 percent higher than February 2013. In the South, existing-home sales rose 1.5 percent to an annual level of 1.98 million in January, but are 0.5 percent below February 2013. The median price in the South was $163,400, up 8.3 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the West rose 5.9 percent to a pace of 1.07 million in February, but are 10.1 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $279,400, up 18.0 percent from February 2013.


Washington Region Ranks #7 Nationally in Total Population

All together now: We’re No. 7! We’re No. 7! With 5,949,859 residents, the Washington area was the seventh-largest metro area in the nation on July 1, 2013, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. No surprise at the top of the list: New York remained the largest metropolitan area, with 19,949,502 residents. It was followed by Los Angeles (13,131,431); Chicago (9,537,289); Dallas-Fort Worth (6,810,913); Houston (6,313,158); and Philadelphia (6,034,678). After Washington, the top 10 was rounded out by Miami (5,828,191); Atlanta (5,522,942); and Boston (4,684,299). The Villages (Fla.) was the metropolitan area that saw the highest increase in population between July 1 of 2012 and 2013, as its number of residents grew by 5.2 percent, according to Census Bureau figures. Other big growers were Odessa, Texas (up 3.3 percent); Midland, Texas (3.3

percent); Fargo, N.D. (3.1 percent); Bismarck, N.D. (3.1 percent); Casper, Wyo. (2.9 percent), Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2.7 percent); Austin, Texas (2.6 percent); Daphne, Ala. (2.6 percent); and Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. (2.5 percent). In terms of actual people, the Houston metro area saw the largest increase from 2012 to 2013, adding 137,692 people, according to Census Bureau estimates. It was followed by New York (111,749); Dallas-Fort Worth (108,112); Los Angeles (94,386); and Washington (87,265). Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle rounded out the top 10. Of the nation’s counties, Harris County, Texas, had the largest numeric change, at 83,000, followed by Maricopa County, Ariz., at 69,000 and Los Angeles County, Calif., at 65,000. Among counties with 10,000 or more residents, the fastest growers from 2012 to 2013 were Williams, N.D. (up 10.7 percent); Duchesne, Utah (5.5 percent); and Sumter, Fla. (5.2 percent).

Average prices rose slightly but total sales were down close to double digits in a weak Northern Virginia home-sales report for March. A total of 1,351 properties went to closing across the region during the month, according to figures reported April 10 by RealEstate Business Intelligence, an arm of the local multiplelisting service. That’s down 9.9 percent from 1,499 transactions in March 2013. Data represent sales in Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. The average sales price for all properties that sold during the month inched up ever so slight to stand at $533,534. That’s an increase of 0.3 percent from $531,950 a year before. Average prices were up in all three segments of the market: • The average sales price for single-family homes rose 0.9 percent to $725,492. • The average sales price of attached homes, such as townhouses and rowhouses, rose 2.3 percent to $392,156. • The average sales price of condominiums rose 3.1 percent to $330,187. The median sales price of $455,000 was up 2.8 percent from a year before. There were 76 sales of $1 million or more for the month. Total sales volume for the month was $720.8 million, down 9.6 percent from $797.4 million a year before. Of homes that sold in March, it took an average of 45 days between listing and ratified sales contract, a slight improvement from the 48 days required a year before. Homes sold for 97.9 percent of original listing price, down from 98.2 percent. Of homes that sold during the month,

882 relied on conventional financing for the transaction, followed by cash (208) and VA-backed loans (149). Heading into the heart of the spring buying season, there were 3,012 properties on the market across the county, up a 39.5 percent from a year before, when inventory was tight. Where is the market headed? Both the total number of pending sales, and new pending sales during March, were well below the rate from a year before, suggesting that start of the spring season could be a little rocky for the local market. Sales Prices Rise, Transactions Decline in D.C., Inner Suburbs: Average prices were up but total sales were down in a soft home-sales report for the District of Columbia and its inner suburbs in March. A total of 3,168 properties changed hands during the month, a decline of 11.2 percent from the 3,569 homes that sold a year before, according to figures reported April 10 by Real Estate Business Intelligence, an arm of the local multiple-listing service. Figures represent sales in the District of Columbia; Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. Of all homes that sold, the average price of $475,956 was up 2.7 percent from $463,492 a year before, while the median sales price of $389,900 was up 4.7 percent from $372,500. Average prices rose in all three segments of the market: single-family, attached and condominiums. Homes that went to closing during the month spent an average of 49 days on the market between listing and ratified sales contract.

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Prices Up, Sales Down Across N.Va. in March Homes Report

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Unique, Private Sanctuary in McLean 10,000-Square-Foot Estate Was Private Residence of Architect

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Sun Gazette Featured Property

It is always a treat to explore a home crafted by an architect for his or her personal residence. And when one comes on the market, it’s an even more enchanting experience. Such is the case with this week’s featured property, an exceptional retreat custom designed by noted local architect Micheline Papadakou-Young, who made this her home for years. Located on a large lot and set on a cul-de-sac surrounded by parkland in the Potomac Hills community of McLean, the property represents a paradise of urban living – close to everything but set apart from it all. And with 10,000 square feet of extraordinary interior space in tune with the nature that awaits outside, the home is both an entertainer’s dream and a joy for daily living. The property currently is on the market, listed at $2,450,000 by Dean Yeonas of Yeonas & Shafran Real Estate. We drive up to the home with the beauty of Potomac Hills Park on both sides of us, an amble that only accentuates the beauty of the redwood used in construction. Several decks add to the ambiance and provide exceptional spaces for enjoying the changing landscape. We are welcomed to the soaring foyer to begin our exploration. As an architect’s home, the layout is creative, and there are four levels of exceptionality to explore. The formal rooms are expansive, with superb traffic flow. On the main level, you will find the large family room with fireplace; an amply proportioned dining room, a Great Room that soars three stories high, with fireplace and wet bar; the grand kitchen with separate breakfast rooms; and two bonus spaces that have been used as studies. Nearly every space has marvelous views of the surrounding landscape.

The upper level is home to the master retreat, with copious space, a fireplace, access to a rooftop deck and extraordinary closet space, along with a sumptuous bath featuring a soaking tub and access to yet more closet space. Three additional bedrooms can be found on this level, each showcasing the creative use of space. The loft level further showcases creativity in design. From the central open area, you can look down – all the way down! – to the Great Room two stories below. There are two additional full bedrooms on this level, along with two lofts attached to the bedrooms below, a separate sitting area and a rooftop deck for further enjoyment. After three levels of excitement, could there be more to go? Let’s go downstairs! The lower level offers additional showplace spaces, from the large family room (with fireplace) and even larger recreation room (also with fireplace) and its adjacent game room and fitness area. There also is a guest kitchen, guest bed-

room and den, along with a full bath and side entry for privacy. The property is ideally situated, close to Chain Bridge and Key Bridge with easy access both to the retail and dining opportunities of McLean and Arlington. It’s a stunning opportunity: An urban showstopper retreat. Articles are prepared by the Sun Gazette’s real estate advertising department on behalf of clients. For information on the home, contact the listing agent. For information on having a house reviewed, contact the Sun Gazette’s real estate advertising department at (703) 738-2520.

Facts for buyers

Address: 6130 Kinyon Place, McLean (22101). Listed at: $2,450,000 by Dean Yeonas, Yeonas & Shafran Real Estate (703) 216-8552. Schools: Chesterbrook Elementary, Longfellow Middle, McLean High School.

U.S. Sales of New Homes Rose in 2013 Despite a monthly drop in December, sales of new homes in 2013 were up 16.4 percent over the previous year, according to figures reported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “December’s decline in new-home sales follows elevated levels in the previous two months, and means the fourth quarter was still much stronger than the third,” said Rick Judson, NAHB’s chairman and a home builder from Charlotte. How much that momentum from 2013 will carry over into this year remains an open question, he said. “While we expect sales to gain strength in 2014, builders still face considerable constraints, including tight credit conditions for home buyers, and a limited supply of labor and buildable lots,” Judson said. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said 2014 should prove “a strong year for housing, despite some headwinds. “Consumers are getting used to more realistic mortgage rates, which still remain favorable on a historical basis,” Crowe said. Regionally, new-home sales activity fell 36.4 percent in the weather-battered Northeast, 7.3 percent in the South and 8.8 percent in the West. The Midwest posted a gain of 17.6 percent. The inventory of new homes fell to 171,000 units, which is a five-month supply at the current sales pace. Although this is an increase over the previous month, it is due to the slower sales pace in December. While builders had something to cheer in 2013, so too did those who remodel existing homes. NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) held steady at 57 in the fourth quarter of 2013, the same level as the third quarter of 2013 and the highest reading since the first quarter of 2004. An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity. “The remodeling industry ends 2013 on a high note as remodeler confidence holds steady at a historically high level,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, a remodeler from Houston. “We expect to keep this positive momentum going in 2014 as more home owners will continue to take on remodels and repairs that had been postponed in the downturn,” he said. INSIDENOVA pocket-sized. Now no matter where you are, you can get all your local news, sports, and traffic. Download the InsideNoVa app, then follow all the news in Northern Virginia, anywhere you go.

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Designed for Entertaining and Equestrians

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‘Fairhaven Farm’ Is Set in a Bucolic Location Close to Middleburg

feet of living space, three bedrooms and two baths, and a glorious fireplace. The eight-stall stone horse barn features a tack room and wash stall, and the property’s copious amount of acreage includes plenty of pastureland. The location is hard to beat, putting you close to the village shops in Middleburg and yet within easy access of the Washington area and Dulles Airport. A lovely opportunity to own a creative home in a spectacular setting. Articles are prepared by Middleburg Life’s real estate advertising department on behalf of clients. For information on the home, contact the listing agent. For information on having a house reviewed, con-

Facts for buyers

tact the Middleburg Life real estate advertising department at (540) 687-6059.

Address: Fairhaven Farm, Middleburg. Listed at: $$3,400,000 by Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399 and Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835, Middleburg Real Estate.

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Our monthly quest for exceptionality in local real estate this month brings us to Fairhaven Farm, a newer estate located on 54 acres near Middleburg, with Goose Creek running through the property. A bright and spacious manor house provides an open floor plan, making it perfect for entertaining, while the equestrian amenities are top-quality, allowing the home to work well both as a daily abode or a weekend retreat for riders. The property currently is on the market, listed at $3,400,000 by Scott Buzzelli and Peter Pejacsevich of Middleburg Real Estate. Exceptional views of the creek and the Blue Ridge showcase the stellar location of the property, and our anticipation builds as we enjoy the long, scenic driveway the brings us to the main house. Constructed in 1998, the ranch/rambler property showcases creativity. The gable roof gives an inkling of the charms that await our interior inspection. Rooms are light-filled, and the formal rooms open up to lovely deck space with marvelous vistas. All told, there are four bedrooms, including the master retreat, and five baths. A separate guest house, which also would work well as a caretaker package, is part of the estate, with 1,200 square


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N.Va. Real Estate Market Has Seens Ups and Downs

Continued from Page 13

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and the average sales price are up 1.4 percent. 1997: Madeleine Albright is sworn in as the nation’s first female secretary of state. The Dow Jones average drops more than 550 points on Oct. 27, but rebounds the next day. Fashion mogul Gianni Versace is murdered. Home sales rise 9.8 percent, and average sales prices are up 3.2 percent to more than $220,000. 1998: “Titanic” sweeps the Oscars, and Americans learn of new uses for cigars as the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal takes some unpleasant turns. Jerry Seinfeld leaves TV, Mark McGwire sets a new home-run record, and actor Jack (“Hawaii Five-O”) Lord dies. The real estate market swells, with average sales up 32.6 percent, average sales prices up 3.7 percent, and total volume surpassing $5 billion. 1999: Cable television continued to play a greater and greater role in our daily lives. Home sales were up slightly, with average home sales prices rising to nearly $240,000. A home mortgage could be found with an average interest rate of 7.8 percent. 2000: The presidential election essentially ends in a tie, another Summer Olympic Games comes and goes, and the Washington Redskins continue to find success elusive. Home sales rise 14.7 percent, the average sales price tops

the quarter-million-dollar mark for the first time, and sales volume grows to $6.5 billion. 2001: More than 3,000 people die in terrorist bombings on Sept. 11, and the nation mobilizes for a new kind of war. While the economy suffers, the attacks don’t dampen Northern Virginia’s hot real estate market, with total sales rising 6.4 percent and the average sales price up 13 percent to $285,000. Total sales volume tops $7.9 billion. 2002: The Bush administration continues its planning to disrupt the “Axis of Evil,” and focuses on Iraq. The stock market begins to recover from its doldrums, but unemployment remains a concern. While home sales are up only slightly, the average sales price rises over $300,000 for the first time, and total sales volume is $8.9 billion. 2003: The war in Iraq seems to be going well, but cleaning up after the military victory proves to be a thorny and deadly task. Could it be: Red Sox vs. Cubs in the World Series? (Alas, no.) Home sales show no sign of slipping, with average prices also heading up considerably throughout the metropolitan area. Sales volume tops $10 billion for the first time. 2004: The insurgency in Iraq is all over the headlines, and becomes one of the focal points of the presidential campaign. While the national economy continues to struggle toward recovery, the local economy continues to roar along.

Joe Gibbs gets off to a shaky start in his return to the Redskins, and baseball is finally set to return to D.C. RIP Rodney Dangerfield, Ronald Reagan, Julia Child and Isabel “Weezie” Sanford. The average home value continues to rise (up 21.8 percent), and sales are modestly up from a year before. 2005: All good things come to an end: Actor Eddie Albert joins Eva Gabor in a “Green Acres” heaven reunion. Chicken King Frank Perdue and civil rights icon Rosa Parks also die. The war in Iraq continues as the Bush administration enters its second term. On the real estate scene, the bull market of the past six years is coming to a close, although parts of the of local marketplace still showed spark. Sales volume tops $15 billion for the first time, but that will be the high-water mark for the local market. 2006: The war in Iraq drags on, the Redskins continue to disappoint and the local real estate market shows the effects of slowing sales and moderating prices. Long-term, the market has proven to be a success, but for those who bought at the height of the boom, there will be challenges if they need to sell their properties in the short term. Total sales volume drops to $11.1 billion, the first decline reported since 1999. 2007: The first few months of the year see the real estate market attempting to shake off the doldrums, with inventory not so high and prices seeming to hold steady. Hopes in the real estate

industry that the market would sprout to life in spring prove unfounded, as the market continues to meander generally downward. The inner suburbs hold up the best, but by mid-year, even they are flat or declining. At the end of it all, home sales are down 13.1 percent from the year before, but – for the 15th year in a row – average home sales posted an increase. 2008: Economic calamity strikes the nation late in the year, brought on in large part by what had been the overheated real estate market. Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama battle it out for the presidency, and while the military surge in Iraq produces some results, there are plenty of other challenges facing U.S. foreign policy during the year. The newspaper industry continues to struggle. Sir Edmund Hillary, Charlton Heston, Jim McKay and Suzanne Pleshette die. Home sales across Northern Virginia are down about 4 percent, to the lowest point since 1996, and average sales prices plunges more than 14 percent, perhaps the largest drop ever in the local area. 2009: The economy remains the big story; it continues to wobble but doesn’t collapse. Meanwhile, the new Obama administration must decide what to do in Afghanistan, the latest military flashpoint. Terrorism rears its head at ChristContinued on Page 29


Exceptional Vistas Over the Lower Valley

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215-Acre Liberty Hill Farm Can Date Its Provenance to the 1780s

flooring. Modern touches are not forgotten, as the home has a central HVAC system and an up-to-date kitchen. A separate guest house features a bedroom, bathroom and library, and an existing foundation on the property can be used as the genesis for a future guesthouse or office. The history of the property is extensive and exceptional; it was Benjamin and Molly O’Rear who in mid-1787 set the first stone on the foundation of the main home. In honor of the newly written U.S. Constitution, they changed the name of the site from Windy Castle to Liberty Hill. There were hardships for the next century, but the owners of Liberty Hill were resourceful and entrepreneurial, at one point turning the home into a bedand-breakfast for denizens of Tidewater seeking to escape the heat and malaria of sumertime. A number of Hunts kenneled their hounds here for exercise and training. The panorama of the property showcased the moving of armies during the

Civil War, and cavalry battles could be seen as both Union and Confederate leaders attempted to control the Valley. It is seen as entirely probable that the main house, root cellar and smokehouse could have served as a hideout for missing or wounded soldiers. The property survived the war with little damage; its barn was one of the few in the Lower Valley that was not burned, and remains one of the few pre-war structures that exist today. Today, the view over the valley remains exceptional, and it frames a growing and dynamic community. Allow yourself to be part of this exceptional piece of history. It is an estate well worthy of consideration for those who love history and desire grand vistas. Articles are prepared by Middleburg Life’s real estate advertising department on behalf of clients. For information on the home, contact the listing agent. For information on having a house reviewed, contact the Middleburg Life real estate advertising department at (540) 687-6059.

Facts for buyers Address: Liberty Hill Farm, Boyce, Va. Listed at: $1,900,000 by Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905 and Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930, Sheridan-MacMahon Ltd. Realtors.

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For those who love and respect history, our monthly featured property represents an opportunity not to be missed. Offered to the public for the first time, Liberty Hill Farm dates to the 1780s, and has been in the same family since 1939. A mountaintop retreat on 215 acres – onethird open and pasture, the remainder wooded – near historic Boyce and Paris in Clarke County, the property features unrestricted, panoramic views of the Lower Shenandoah Valley, including the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. And as the day ebbs, you have the opportunity to view exceptional sunsets. The property currently is on the market, listed at $1,900,000 by Paul MacMahon and Helen MacMahon of SheridanMacMahon Ltd. Realtors. One of the oldest existing homes in the county, Liberty Hill Farm features amenities throughout its acreage, from stone walls and mature trees to a fully stocked pond and multiple streams and springs. The main home is constructed of wood and stone, and showcases elegance throughout, including heart-of-pine


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Combination of Warmth, Elegance

Classic Property in Falcon Ridge Features Grand Rooms, Pool

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Sun Gazette Featured Property

Our quest for the best in local real estate brings us to the always-in-fashion Falcon Ridge community of Great Falls, where we have the opportunity to tour a showplace that combines classic grandeur with an elegance just right for entertaining and living in style. The impressive facade is a perfect introduction to what awaits as we experience the interior of the home, which is set on a 1.7-acre cul-de-sac for added serenity. The property currently is on the market, listed at $1,799,000 by the Lyons & McGuire Team of Keller Williams Realty. The design of the home manages to combine warmth and elegance, which is hard to find in a home in the over-7,000square-foot range. While grand, the home retains the human element so important to modern living. We begin our exploration in the twostory foyer, which showcases an elegant curved staircase and bids us welcome. The formal living room features a columned entry, curved bay (perfect for a grand piano) and wood-burning fireplace with marble surround and hearth. French doors lead us to the sun room. The formal dining room is large enough to entertain a crowd, and is separated from the exceptional kitchen area by a convenient butler’s pantry. The kitchen is a standout – updated and featuring a huge center island and

breakfast bar. A separate breakfast room provides access to the rear deck. The family room soars up two stories, with five Palladian windows and three sliding-glass doors providing access to the deck and views over the pool and woodlands beyond. The sun room, touched on earlier, has windows on three sides, showcasing the ever-changing scenery, while the library is designed for reflective moments. The master suite highlights the second level, a showstopper of elegance. Here, you will find a large sleeping area, separate sitting room, vaulted ceiling and a three-sided fireplace. The master bath is home to a Jacuzzi whirlpool tub and other high-end amenities. Three additional bedrooms are found on this level, one en-suite and the others sharing a bath. The walk-out lower level offers Frenchdoor access to the patio and pool deck, and the highlight here has to be the large recreation area. There also is an exercise room, game area, media area and the

home’s fifth bedroom with full bath. The deck features custom wroughtiron railing and Ipe floor, while the pool and spa are heated. Located in one of the most sought-after Great Falls locales, this home features a warmhearted nature and exquisite craftsmanship. Articles are prepared by the Sun Gazette’s real estate advertising department on behalf of clients. For information on the home, contact the listing agent. For information on having a house reviewed, contact the Sun Gazette’s real estate advertising department at (703) 738-2520.

Facts for buyers Address: 10100 Harewood Court, Great Fall (22066). Listed at: $1,799,000 by the Lyons & McGuire Team, Keller Williams Realty (703) 406-9009. Schools: Great Falls Elementary, Cooper Middle, Langley High School.

‘Green’ Housing Gets Boost in New Report A new survey suggests that environmentally friendly housing is a winner for the nation’s real estate market, as well as for Mother Nature. GuildQuality recently conducted a national survey of homeowners who purchased a National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certified green home built within the past three years. The study, commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and presented at the annual International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, aimed to uncover how green homeowners feel after purchasing their home. The survey primarily focused on home-buyers’ overall satisfaction, and whether they would recommend purchasing an environmentally friendly “green” home to others. Prior to this study, customer satisfaction among green homeowners had not been thoroughly explored. “Historically, studies have focused on interest in green among buyers in the market or on trends as reported by industry professionals,” said Matt Belcher, co-chairman of NAHB’s Energy & Green Building Subcommittee and a builder from Missourie. “While that’s certainly important information for all those in the industry,” he said, “it doesn’t always get to the heart of what new buyers want to know, which is: ‘How satisfied are green homeowners with their decision?’ This data provides groundbreaking information that can be of value to the general public as well as the industry.” Key findings of the study reveal: • 94 percent of those surveyed would recommend a green home to a friend. • 92 percent would purchase another green home. • 71 percent of respondents believe that green homes are, overall, of higher quality. • 55 percent knew their home may have cost more than a non-green home, but believed the benefits outweighed the cost. • 90 percent were satisfied knowing they “did the right thing” in buying a green home. Homeowners also provided their feedback on what influenced their decision to purchase a green home, and the sustainable features they value most. According to respondents, low utility bills, energy efficiency and better insulation topped the list of the greenrelated aspects that homeowners were most satisfied with. The full report is available on the Web site at www.guildquality.com/ green-homeowner-study-report/. INSIDENOVA pocket-sized. Now no matter where you are, you can get all your local news, sports, and traffic. Download the InsideNoVa app, then follow all the news in Northern Virginia, anywhere you go.

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N.Va. Real Estate Market Has Seen Its Share of Ups and Downs Continued from Page 26

mastime, about the same time the local area is buried under a foot and a half of snow. Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon and Walter Cronkite die, and Redskins fans have almost nothing to cheer about except the arrival of yet another new coach. Home sales rebound, increasing 9.3 percent, but average sales prices are at their lowest point since 2003. 2010: Republicans grab back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, setting up a showdown with President Obama over the nation’s priorities. Meanwhile, the economic situation continues to wander along in the weeds, and while there is some progress in extricating U.S. forces from Iraq, Afghanistan continues to be a problem that seems to defy a solution. The local real estate market can’t seem to find its footing, although it is buoyed by federal tax credits that help a bit. Elizabeth Edwards, Gary Coleman, Lena Horne and Teddy Pend-

ergrass were among those who left us. In the Northern Virginia area, home sales were down 6.2 percent from 2009 figures, although they were up compared to 2008. And the average sales price saw a rebound, up 8.9 percent to $469,018. 2011: The economy continues to stumble along, and the folks in Washington seemed more interested in brinksmanship than bipartisanship. The stock market teetered and tottered, and threats of a double-dip recession have loomed. The local real estate market continues to show both signs of progress (higher average sales prices) and areas of concern (anemic sales figures). But the full story won’t be known until January rolls around and the final figures are in. 2012: Presidential politics dominates the year, and voters in November return Barack Obama with a decisive but not overwhelming victory. Republicans lose seats in Congress. Economic conditions remain soft, while questions remain about the amount of U.S. debt. The Red-

skins rebound in the second half of the year to reach the playoffs, while the Nationals also have a good season. Whitney Houston, Neil Armstrong, Dick Clark and Andy Griffith were among those who died during the year, while Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian dominated gossip sites. “Honey BooBoo” became famous through cable TV. The Northern Virginia real estate market showed a rebound both in total sales (up 11.6 percent from a year before) and average sales price (up 4.4 percent and again over the half-milliondollar mark). 2013: The stock market rebounded, unemployment receded a bit and more people were questioning why the rich got richer while everyone else didn’t during the economic rebound. President Obama’s approval ratings declined, in part to a botched rollout of his health-care package, but Republicans didn’t benefit much. A partial shutdown of the federal government served

to reinforce the view of many that the nation’s leaders seemed to either not know, or not care, what they were doing. The travails of the Washington Redskins took center stage for much of the fall, with the team posting a lousy record and coach Mike Shanahan sent packing with a going-away gift of millions of dollars. Virginians reversed course, electing Democrat Terry McAuliffe as governor – but Republicans kept their tight grip on control of the House of Delegates. Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Tom Clancy, James Gandolfini and Eydie Gorme were among those who left us. The local real estate market continued its rebound, with average prices in the inner suburbs of Northern Virginia setting a record at $540,043 and the number of sales surpassing the 20,000 mark for the first time since 2006.

from County Manager Barbara Donnellan, who next month will present her proposed 10-year capital-improvement plan to board members. “Lubber Run has become near and dear to my heart – I am pushing staff [to include it],” she said. But both Donnellan and board members suggested it was premature to take the site, or any site, out of consideration for other uses. “Everything is on the table for discussion,” County Board member Walter Tejada said. Colliding constituencies – those supporting housing, nature, the arts, schools, open space and more – could make for contentious discussions, he said. “It’s going to be a difficult conversation,” Tejada said. “It’s going to take a collaborative effort.” (As for renovation of the community center, Tejada was on board. “It ought to be rebuilt; that’s long overdue,” he said at

the meeting.) After being pressed by activists from VOICE several months ago, County Board members directed Donnellan to come up with a short list of county parcels where housing potentially could be located. That review is ongoing, and its ultimate publication will just be the start of a long community conversation. “Anything on the list will require ex-

tensive public discussion,” Donnellan said. Residents from Arlington Forest, Bluemont and Buckingham attended the County Board meeting to express their opposition using the site for housing or a school, but Fisette said there seldom is unanimity on what to do with specific parcels. “There are always mixed views, in any neighborhood,” he said.

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Different Arlington Constituencies Are on Collision Course Continued from Page 4

ation that the 5-acre site be used for affordable housing. The Lubber Run site was one identified by Virginians Organizing for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) that could be used to provide a venue to stem the tide of affordable housing in the county. The School Board also was eyeing the site for construction of a new facility, but has backed away from that idea in recent days. The group of residents who attended the April 12 County Board meeting, led by Michael Thomas of Arlington Forest, contend that the site is too small to be used for multiple purposes, and want the county government to move forward in renovating the community center. The project “has been delayed and deferred for nearly 20 years,” Thomas said. “Now is the time to move forward.” That view got a sympathetic hearing

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA

R E A L E S TAT E A U C T I O N Maple Hall Historic Inn & 55± Acres

Q&A on Home Inspections

Continued from Page 10

Thursday, April 24, 2:00 PM • Sale Held On-Site Minimum Bid only $699,000! Maple Hall c.1850 is a Virginia Historic Landmark located just north of Lexington, Virginia. The Greek Revival home was restored to a historic inn in the mid 1980’s and operated continually until December of 2012. The Inn and two additional buildings boast 22 fully furnished guest rooms, each with private baths, along with complete dining and kitchen facilities. All of this located on 55± acres. Don’t miss this great opportunity. Property address: 3111 North Lee Highway, Lexington, VA 24450.

(540) 342-3560 (800) 551-3588

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A P R I L 2 0 1 4 - S P R I N G R E A L E S TAT E G U I D E

everybody goes home happy. It’s a winwin. The home-inspection process is pretty routine and a good education for buyers. It’s hard to judge home inspectors because there are lots of them. Some think they have to find something wrong in a house to earn their money.” Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “The home-inspection industry is somewhat regulated but you can get all kinds. Like any service business, there are good ones and bad ones. Inspections are very valuable for the buyers and sellers. Every sitiuation is unique and different, because every house has some measure of repair. You try to respond to disputes based on facts and data and approach them in a logical fashion. Get an alternate opinion if needed. There are issues sometimes buyers and sellers don’t even know about. When that happens, it can be fixed by the seller or

a credit is given to the buyer.” Eric Ritland, American Realty: “I now find that home inspectors are part of national associations. So they look for certain things on a uniform check list, and they shy away from giving their opinions and they are not open to a dialog. Inspectors used to be people who knew a lot about houses.” Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “Home inspectors are generalists. They are hired to give a general overview and snapshot of a home. You want to have an inspector who is familiar with all of the different types of systems. What buyers have to understand is, sellers can say no to fixing a problem or potential trouble area that home inspectors might find. This is such a seller’s market, buyers have to choose what they absolutely want to have done and what they will take on themselves, then negotiate a strategy.”


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Survey: Prospective Homeowners Looking for Specific Items

During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is sharing with home buyers the most popular features in new single-family homes in 2014. Builders from across the country were surveyed on what features they were most likely to include in a typical single-family home this year, revealing that convenience, livability and energy efficiency are top priorities. “Newly constructed homes can suit the specific requirements of today’s home buyers,” said NAHB chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and devel-

oper from Wilmington, Del. “And now is a great time to consider buying a new home, as consumers can take advantage of competitive home prices and low interest rates to find the perfect new home for their families.” Home builders are including features that are practical and functional for the daily lives of today’s home buyers. The features that are most likely to be included in a typical single-family home this year are: • A walk-in closet in the master bedroom. • Low-E windows.

• A laundry room. • A great room.

Energy efficiency is a key theme with Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated windows at the top of the list. These features help make the home more comfortable and can save the home owner significant money over the long term. On a median per square-foot basis, home owners spent 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity, while owners of new homes spent 65 cents per square foot per year, according to data from the

2009 American Housing Survey (AHS). Builders also list features such as granite countertops, a double sink and a central island as winning elements in new-home kitchens, and a linen closet and a private toilet in the bathroom. Additional features likely to be included throughout the home include first-floor ceilings at least nine-feet high, a front porch, outdoor lighting and a patio. Home buyers can access home buying and home building information and resources at nahb.org/forconsumers.

Remodeling Continues to See Healthy Demand Across Nation The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) fourthquarter Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) data of current and future remodeling business conditions continues to show growth. Although remodelers report the highest overall rating on business conditions, at 6.51 (from 6.41 last quarter), numbers in most other categories experienced a slight drop. “Many remodelers entered 2014 with jobs in the pipeline, which hasn’t happened in the past few years,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning & Research Committee and president of O’Grady Builders, based in Drexel Hill, Pa. “Although inquiries, requests for bids and

conversion of bids are down in Q4, that backlog has given remodelers confidence that the overall business conditions will remain positive.” Growth indicators in the fourth quarter of 2013 are as follows (rating is from 1 to 9, where 1 is much worse than a year ago and 9 is much better; 5 is about the same as last year): Current business conditions was rated 6.51 (from 6.41 last quarter) Number of inquiries fell to 6.2, a significant drop from 6.55 last quarter. Requests for bids fell to 6.22 from 6.45, a significant decline from last quarter. Conversion of bids to jobs continues to be the weakest measure remaining

flat at 6.03. Value of jobs sold declined to 6.27 from 6.31 recorded last quarter. Conversion of bids to jobs continues to be the weakest measure when compared to the same time last year. Yet, the projected strength of sales in three months had a significant increase to 6.41 from the 6.12 recorded in September. “The fourth quarter of this year was very strong for many remodelers, as reflected in the Remodeling Business Pulse Survey,” O’Grady says. “Average sale prices continue to rise, and consumers are more comfortable spending money on projects that will increase the value of their homes.” Other significant contributors to overall activity:

• People needing to do projects that had been postponed was selected by 75 percent (down from 85 percent last quarter) • Improving home prices came in second, at 60 percent of respondents (down from 72 percent in September). • Economic growth improved continued at the No. 3 spot, at 52 percent (an increase of 6 percent from last quarter). “The outlook forecasts that favorable business conditions will remain strong across all regions of the United States,” O’Grady says. “Consumer confidence is up, which translates into more homeowners feeling safe investing in their homes.”

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 - S P R I N G R E A L E S TAT E G U I D E

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I N T E R N A T I O N A L

A P R I L 2 0 1 4 - S P R I N G R E A L E S TAT E G U I D E

FI N E P RO P E RTI E S


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Large 4 bedroom home on 1/3 acre with wonderfully landscaped lot — a gardener’s delight. Light-filled living room, entertainment-size dining room and updated kitchen. Spacious family room with woodburning fireplace, randomwidth pegged oak flooring and French door to large rear deck. Hugh recreation room with built-ins. Plenty of storage space

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Stunning 5BR, 3.5BA Center Hall Colonial. Immaculate Condition. Updated Kitchen w/granite and Island adjoining sunroom, family room and covered sky-lighted patio. Great curb appeal! Fenced backyard.

Cell

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To my clients............................

Thank You

for your business and referrals.

Recently recognized…

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Jane Price 703-628-0470 Jane@JanePrice.com

Sun Gazette Arlington April 17, 2014  
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