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Amazon HQ2: Summer 2022 Updates Impacting Arlington County, Virginia

Since announcing Arlington as the site of its HQ2 in 2018, Amazon –– the online juggernaut retailer –– has reportedly committed more than $35 million in total investments to local nonprofits, community groups, public schools, and businesses.

We’re now half-way through 2022 and it seems like a good time to recap and update on Amazon’s recent local activities impacting Arlington County and its surrounding communities.

Here is a curated list of up Amazon HQ2 news, tidbits, and other updates (from the past few weeks) worth sharing with fellow Arlingtonians and beyond:

August 2, 2022 | ARLNow

New Amazon STEM lab opens at Wakefield High School

📸 ARLNow staff photo by Jay Westcott

July 31, 2022 | The Washington Post

Move over, ‘National Landing’ — Amazon HQ2’s neighborhood tries ‘NaLa’

📸 National Landing Business Improvement District

July 20, 2022 | ARLNow

Four additional local businesses, including two restaurants, to open at Amazon HQ2

📸 Peruvian Brothers

July 18, 2022 | Business Journals

Amazon pauses office construction in two big hubs. What does that mean for HQ2?

📸 NBBJ/SCAPE

Meanwhile, construction of Amazon’s HQ2 Pen Place Helix  continues …

Construction of the Amazon HQ2 complex continues, evidenced by Arlingtonian Stephen Loynd who’s been sharing visual progress of the building developments on his social media:

Amazon Rising on a beautiful Sunday stroll via @loyndsview on Twitter

📸 4:30 PM · Jun 5, 2022 from Arlington, VA via @loyndsview

📸 4:30 PM · Jun 5, 2022 from Arlington, VA via @loyndsview

📸 6:24 PM · Apr 16, 2022 from Arlington, VA via @loyndsview

Amazon Rising on a beautiful Sunday stroll via @loyndsview on Twitter

📸 12:44 PM · Apr 13, 2022 via @loyndsview

First Amazon … now Boeing!

Also … in case you missed it, now the aerospace giant is also moving its global headquarters to Arlington, Va., from Chicago!

How do you think the Boeing HQ move will impact housing in our county?!

Talk to me in the comments 🙏

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Arlington Residents Can Drop Off Hazardous Materials For Free This Saturday

Arlington County’s spring Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) for residents to drop off hazardous materials, old electronics and more will be held this Saturday, April 23, at Yorktown High School.

The E-CARE event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school located at 5200 Yorktown Blvd., Arlington, VA.

To see the long list of accepted items – including automotive fluids, electronics (computers, printers, keyboards, scanners, copiers, cellphones and televisions), fire extinguishers, household cleaners, lawn and garden products, pesticides and pool chemicals – and drop-off guidelines at the county’s E-CARE web page.

Bikes for the World will also be accepting serviceable and repairable bikes to be sent to countries where they are needed for basic transportation. A $10 donation per bike is requested to offset shipping charges.

The county is asking residents to pack vehicles in this order to make unloading easier and faster: electronics first, household hazardous materials next, then metals and bicycles.

Last year’s spring E-CARE event collected some 95,000 pounds of hazardous materials, with another 77,000 pounds collected at the fall 2021 event.

(Photo courtesy of Arlington County.)
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3 Reasons To Avoid Dual Agency When Buying or Selling a Home

Dual agency, when one real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller in one transaction, can be fraught with perils and pitfalls. 

Dual agency is a bad idea and I won’t do it – and neither should you.

Before I explain my reasons why you should avoid dual agency, let me first list the types of real estate representation that are available when you buy or sell a home:

4 Types of Real Estate Representation by Meg Ross, Arlington Virginia Top Realtor

When Are You Likely To Encounter Dual Agency?

A common way that a dual agency situation can arise is if you visit an open house as a buyer before you’ve hired a real estate agent, and tell the agent showing the home that you are interested in buying the house. Then the agent, who is working for the seller, offers to help you write an offer on the house. If you accept that offer, you will be working with a dual agent or representative.

3 Reasons To Avoid Dual Agency Entirely

1) There are no benefits to homebuyers
A dual agent can’t be your advocate since the agent is representing both parties. Plus, you could be losing out on the opportunity to have an agent search for properties and represent only your interests.

2) A conflict of interest is inevitable
A dual agent is not required to disclose the lowest price or terms the seller will accept, or the highest price and best terms the buyer is willing to offer. That creates a conflict of interest since the seller wants the highest possible price and the buyer wants the lowest possible price.

3) Your interests as a buyer compete directly with the seller’s interests
While your agent is bound not to share any information you provide, would you feel comfortable telling someone also working for the seller the top price you would be willing to pay for a home?

Homebuyers and sellers can avoid these scenarios entirely by hiring someone who will exclusively represent ONLY their interests.

2 More Reasons To Steer Clear

If you’re wanting more information about this important topic, here are 2 ADDITIONAL REASONS to avoid dual agency:

4) A dual agent has a large incentive to close a sale
This could create issues where the agent may not adequately represent one or both parties for fear of spoiling the deal, and losing out on not one, but two commissions.

5) Dual agency is lawsuit prone
Dual representation is the most common cause of lawsuits in the real estate industry because it poses serious ethical risks.

Interested in buying a home or selling a home in the Arlington, Virginia area?

I welcome your emails, calls, or text messages. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at 703.447.0970 for a no-pressure, free consultation – I would love to see if I could help you!

~ Meg

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3 Tips For Buying a Fixer-Upper That Won’t Zap Your Home Buying Budget

Every so often, an opportunity arises for Arlington, Virginia, area homebuyers – and investors – to purchase homes at a good price because the homes are in need of light (or dramatic!) repairs, improvements, replacements or cosmetic attention.

While buying a house that needs some TLC can have real advantages (like being able to update it the way you want), the renovation process is not without its challenges.

So before you invest into any level of home buying inspired elbow grease, do consider the following tips to help preserve your home buying budget:

  1. Check Local Zoning
    Zoning regulations specify how a property can be used and can – or cannot – be changed. Think about how you may want to change the property. (For my Arlington-focused buyers, you can start checking your local zoning from this interactive zoning map or by checking out Arlington County’s Zoning Ordinance PDF from here).
  2. Investigate Local Building Codes
    Building codes are designed to ensure the structural and fire safety of buildings. Codes cover pretty much everything relating to building design, construction, additions, enlargements, alterations and even repairs and maintenance including standards for plumbing, electrical and mechanical construction. (Arlington buyers, start investigating local building codes here.)
  3. Check Permits
    Have changes already been made to the home that required permits? If so, check the county website to make sure the permits exist and have been satisfied. (Homebuyers interested in Arlington County homes, check residential permits via this link)
  4. Bonus! One more consideration: Investigate development plans
    Conduct research to find out whether the city, county or state has plans or has approved private-entity plans that might adversely affect the home’s value.

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ARLINGTON REAL ESTATE MARKET SAW SALES REBOUND AS PRICES REMAINED STEADY IN 2021

The Arlington, VA, real estate market remained steady in 2021 with the big news being that home sales increased 27 percent while the average home sales price was up 1.3 percent compared to 2020.

Here’s a look at the 2021 housing market numbers in Arlington:

Arlington Home Sales Were Up 27% In 2021

There were 3,546 homes sold in Arlington County in 2021, a 27.1 percent increase compared to the 2,793 sold in 2020.

The sales rebound in 2021 included the condominium market, which stalled during the height of the pandemic in 2020 as buyers sought more space.

  • Condo sales were up 31.8 percent.
  • Townhome sales jumped 22.1 percent.
  • Single-family home sales rose 25.6 percent.

Arlington Home Prices Were Up 1.3% In 2021

While the number of home sales was up strongly, the average home sales price in Arlington in 2021 was relatively flat, up just 1.3 percent overall, to $783,488 versus 2020’s $777,296.

However, price changes vary depending on the type of residence with single-family homes and townhomes showing strong gains and the condominium market slipping.

  • Condo prices decreased 1.0% to $463,894 from $468,408.
  • Townhome prices jumped 3.3% to $730,605 from $707,213.
  • Single-family home prices were up 2.2% to $1,214,250 from $1,188,730.

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How To Help Arlington Charities On Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, a global movement that encourages people to do good is a great opportunity for you to help local charities right here in Arlington.

In the same way that businesses take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the giving community comes together for #GivingTuesday, which started in 2012, and last year, more than $2.5 billion was raised.

This year’s #GivingTuesday is November 30.

You can participate in many ways on Giving Tuesday. Whether it’s by giving some of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice in your community. There are some 200 nonprofit organizations based in Arlington, VA, that could use your help and are part of #GivingTuesday.

Here are 5 local Arlington charities that I regularly support:

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Amazon HQ2 News Roundup: Summer 2021

Campus news and trends impacting Arlington County and surrounding communities

As Amazon continues developing its new HQ2 headquarters location in the National Landing area in Arlington County (made up of Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Potomac Yard), the online retail giant continues expanding its footprint.

Recent happenings with direct impact to Arlington residents include:

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Arlington Housing Market Remains Steady So Far In 2021

While the Coronavirus pandemic continues to upend our lives, it has not impacted the strength of the Arlington, VA, real estate market.

The Arlington County housing market remains steady with the number of all homes sold during the first half of 2021 increasing while the average home sales price for all homes up 1.2 percent compared to 2020.
However, while prices for single-family homes and townhomes grew and the time it takes to sell them remained steady (townhomes) or went down slightly (single-family), condo values dropped and the time to sell them increased by 57 percent from 21 days to 33 days.

This reinforces the shift I am still seeing of home buyers moving away from purchasing condominiums and instead buying single-family homes, as people look for more space to accommodate home offices and home gyms.

Now, let’s look at the housing market numbers for the first half of this year:
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New Cherrydale Farmers Market Joins 8 Other Arlington Farmers Markets

I visited the grand opening of the new Cherrydale Farmers Market. Some 20 vendors were offering fruits and veggies and everything from breakfast sandwiches to barbecue.

One of my favorite finds was the Borek Turkish Pastry and spicy Hummus from Chia Catering of Stone Ridge. And there were Cannoli Kits at Caputo Brothers Creamery of Spring Grove, PA, and smoked local Virginia Trout from Cold Country Salmon of Zion Crossroads, VA.

Cherrydale Farmers Market, which replaces the Marymount University Farmers Market, is located at Dorothy Hamm Middle School (4100 Vacation Lane) on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon. It will be open through Nov. 20, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
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