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Navigating Fluctuating Mortgage Interest Rates in 2023: 7 Tips For Arlington Homebuyers

Navigating Fluctuating Mortgage Interest Rates in 2023: 7 Tips For Arlington Homebuyers

Potential homebuyers in Northern Virginia are facing a unique set of challenges in 2023.

One of the most significant factors is the fluctuating interest rates for mortgages, which have been rising.

In this blog post, I’ll delve into the reasons behind the increasing interest rates and offer tips for homeowners-to-be in planning their mortgage financing in this dynamic environment.
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5 Great Places To Watch July 4th Fireworks From Arlington, VA


The annual Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are one of the largest displays in the U.S.A.

The fireworks are slated to begin at 9:09 p.m. next Tuesday. The best way to avoid the crowds and get a great view of the Independence Day celebration is from across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

Here are 5 great places to watch July 4th fireworks from Arlington, VA:

1. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

My favorite location is from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial – known to locals as the Iwo Jima statue.
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Arlington Arts Festival This Weekend In Clarendon

Arlington County, Virginia festival of arts in Clarendon area this April 2023

The 9th Annual Arlington Festival Of The Arts, a two-day juried outdoor art exhibit, returns to the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, VA, this weekend.

Admission is free.

More than 100 artists (selected by a panel of judges) will display their works along N. Highland Street and Wilson Boulevard on Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival features painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics, pottery, mixed media and more.

Works ranging from $15 handmade jewelry to $50,00 life-sized sculptures will be available.

To learn more and see an artist sample look book visit

Btw, if you’re looking to buy or sell in Arlington, Virginia, please call me today!

Meg Ross, Top Realtor in Arlington County, Virginia

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Amazon HQ2 Construction Pause Is An Adjustment of the Retailer Giant’s Construction Project

Recent news reports indicate Amazon is pausing construction on parts of the second phase of its big Arlington-based HQ2 project at National Landing.

The news comes as Amazon plans to open HQ2’s first phase, Metropolitan Park, which includes two large office buildings, in June.

The retailer said it is pausing the groundbreaking on HQ2’s second phase, PenPlace, after announcing some 18,000 layoffs nationwide in January and the needs of its increasingly remote workforce.

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Amazon HQ2: Summer 2022 Updates Impacting Arlington County, Virginia

Building on progress at Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, 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:

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Arlington Residents Can Drop Off Hazardous Materials For Free This Saturday

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.)

Have questions? Or want to buy or sell in Arlington, Virginia?

Meg Ross, Top Realtor in Arlington County, Virginia

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3 Reasons To Avoid Dual Agency When Buying or Selling a Home

5 Reasons to Avoid Dual Agency Representation by Top Arlington Realtor Meg Ross

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?

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

3 Considerations 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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