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For Singles and Young Families: Woodcrest Cluster in North Reston

What could be more perfect for singles or young families than adorable two or three levels townhomes? Not too big, not too small—just right. That’s Woodcrest Cluster.

This is a small cluster with only 63 homes. The quaint colonial style townhomes have an average of 1,000 sq feet of living space, two bedrooms, and 1 ½ or 2 baths.

Several of the homes also have fireplaces, and many have fenced-in back yards—perfect for letting the dog out! Surrounded by wooded areas, they afford privacy and are light and bright.

Located in North Reston, North Point Shopping Center (grocery store, restaurants, and more) and Lake Newport pool are both easy walking distance. The surrounding Reston Association walking paths provide easy access to outdoor activity.

The proximity to Reston Parkway, Fairfax County Parkway, and Route 7—and Dulles Airport for those who travel—make commuting a breeze from this location. Armstrong Elementary School is walking distance, and Herndon Middle School & Herndon High School are a short ride away.

 

Thanksgiving Weekend Reston Style

Thanksgiving greetingsThanksgiving feels so early this year! But there is still plenty of time to plan your fun holiday weekend activities. Here are my picks for Thanksgiving weekend in Reston.

Before the big weekend:

Thanksgiving Food Drive, November 1 to 20

Every year, the Reston Community Center, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and Cornerstones join to help families in need by collecting non-perishable food and other items. Cornerstones is a wonderful organization providing a range of services for families in need, and supporting them is always a priority for me. From November 1 – 20, you can drop you items off at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community (located on the website). Visit the website for a list of items needed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church - 2017 Christmas Bazaar

This free family event is Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Get a start on holiday shopping with unique handcrafted gifts. Stock up on holiday treats like gourmet peanut brittle, homemade baked goods and preserves. There will be a raffle for a beautiful Christmas basket and fun activities for the kids. Proceeds will benefit the Martin Luther King Christian Church Building Fund. Follow the link for the address.

Thanksgiving Day

Turkey Day 5k

November 23 at 8:00 AM at South Lakes High School.

What better way to prepare for your Thanksgiving feast than run, jog or walk in a fun-filled 5k race? There will be a run for everyone…. 5k, 1-Mile Fun Run, and even a FREE Tot Trot! The race will start and finish on the NEW South Lakes High School track.

Bring an old, clean coat to donate to One Warm Coat, whose mission is to provide anyone in need with a warm coat, free of charge. One Warm Coat’s vision is that they become a part of the American lifestyle; that when a coat is no longer needed, people will think of them and donate it; that donors will be warmed by the knowledge that their coats will go directly to children, women, and men in need.

Register here.

Thanksgiving Friday

27th annual Reston Holiday Parade

The holiday season at Reston Town Center is always festive, and Thanksgiving Friday launches it all. The 27th annual Reston Holiday Parade starts at 11:00AM with Macy’s-style balloons, musicians, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, special guest emcees — and Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. It’s always fun to see who shows up! Before the parade begins, spectators will get their own jingle bells so they can make some festive noise. Since 1991, rain or shine, the parade has been an annual tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos.

The fun doesn’t stop after the parade. There will be Mini-Train rides until 4:30PM and street entertainment. The Clauses will return for the Fountain Square Tree Lighting and Sing Along at 6PM. Afterward, horse-drawn carriage rides continue from 6:30 until 10PM. Proceeds from the photos and rides benefit local charities. The acclaimed Ice Skating Pavilion is open all day and every day from November until March.

Schedule:

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Reston Holiday Parade – 27th Annual – Hometown Holidays!

12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Santa & Mrs. Claus, visits and photos; Mini-Train Rides

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Tree Lighting & Sing Along

6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Horse-drawn Carriage Rides

Thanksgiving Saturday

Thanksgiving Craft Beer & Wine Festival

On Saturday, November 25, 2017, head over to the Tysons Biergarten from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM for the craft Beer & Wine Festival! Tickets are only $20. The festival features 50+ beers and wines from local breweries and wineries. There will also be live music, delicious food, contests and prizes. Best of all—this is a dog friendly and kid friendly event! Buy your tickets in advance and get there early!

 

5 Tips for Boosting Your Curb Appeal

New door knobWondering when the best time to list your home is? The answer is right now. Fall is actually a great time of year to put your house on the market. It’s not really a matter of when to do it; it’s a matter of what you need to do to prepare.

First impressions matter, so making sure your home has curb appeal is really important. I’ve had many clients refuse to look inside the house simply because they didn’t like the way the outside looked. Here are five things you can do to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers.

  1. Power Wash Your House and Decks
    Over time, your house and deck can start looking grungy. Sometimes a new coat of paint or stain is called for (you should do that every six or seven years), but often a good power washing is more than enough to make your house look brand-spanking new. Your house will look so fresh, you may wonder why you’ve never done this before!
  2. Replace Rotted Wood
    Many of the homes in Reston have wood exteriors and HOA requirements forbid any other type of siding. In our moist climate, wood will sometimes rot—especially around window casings. The good news is that fixing it may not be as costly as you think. Sure it’s not as quick a fix as planting flowers, but it will drastically boost your curb appeal.
  3. Clean the Gutters
    Cleaning the gutters really doesn’t take that long. Whether you do it yourself or pay to have it done, it will help make your house look more inviting. Something about weeds growing out of gutters just looks untidy.
  4. Do Some Landscaping
    Flowers and a nice lawn…boy do they make a house look good. This time of year there are still flowers you can plant, and it’s not expensive. Whether they’re in flower boxes, hanging baskets, or berms, they provide a huge boost to your curb appeal. Planting flowers is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to make a big impact. Then make sure you don’t have any lawn dead spots around your trees. Plant some shade loving flowers or plants around the shady spots (hostas do particularly well here), or just mulch. You will be amazed at how clean and appealing your yard looks with these simple changes.
  5. Upgrade the Hardware on Your Door
    Another super simple upgrade is to change the hardware on your door. Styles change over time, so make sure your door looks current. Swapping out old light fixtures and mailboxes (if you have one by your door) can also add new life to your entrance.

There are many more things you can do to boost your curb appeal, but these five things will drastically improve how your house looks to potential buyers and will make them want to come in and see more.

(Photo credit: Designed by Freepik)

Easy Access to All the Things

West MarketThere is something to be said for being able to walk everywhere. That’s part of why people love living in West Market, a community across the street from Reston Town Center. In fact, West Market residents can walk to the grocery store, restaurants, the movie theater, the W&OD trail, and anything else they could need (even Target is walking distance).

One of my favorite West Market amenities is the private pond that has a walking trail around it (it’s about 1/2 mile total around the pond). You can do the loop several times, take the trail to the W&OD trail, or sit on one of the benches and read a book on a gorgeous day. It’s peaceful and lovely.

West Market was built in the late 1990’s. Five builders came together to create this architecturally diverse community. Most people first notice the rounded exteriors that are unlike anything else in Reston. Spacious common areas include a clubhouse, which includes a main hall and kitchen for meetings and gatherings, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool.

The dwelling units comprise two condo communities: The Lincoln Park community has 104 luxury, 2-story townhome style condos. Madison Park has 122 condominium units (24 of which are townhouses) within seven buildings.

West Market is a great choice for anyone wanting to live in the Reston Town Center area without actually being in Town Center.

Hook Road and Its Recreation Area

hook road recreation areaThe Hook Road neighborhood off Fairway Drive is a sweet little pocket of homes built in the 1960s. In case the road names don’t give it away, this small community backs up to the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course. Those are some very nice views from back decks.

The Hook Road homes are classic contemporary style, most with three or four bedrooms, are typically two story, and many have brick exteriors.

The homes line only one side of the street. The inner space of the horseshoe houses a baseball diamond for little league, RA tennis courts, and a basketball court provide entertainment all summer. And there is plenty of room among that green space to lay out a blanket for a family picnic.

But that may change.

Reston Association is currently assessing how the Hook Road Recreation Area could be improved, and the time for community input is now (specifically tomorrow night, October 10, and October 24). RA’s goal is to present a proposal to the RA Board of Directors early next year.

The Hook Road Recreation Area was originally developed in 1965 with tennis and basketball amenities added in 1973. Since that time, the recreation area has remained relatively unchanged.

In 2016, the RA board approved a new capital project methodology called “Full Facility Enhancements,” focuses on revitalizing facilities as a singular unit instead of replacing individual amenities. If you use the recreation area, or just want to know what the plan is, attend the meetings. You can find out the locations on the RA website. You can also sign up to for email updates about the project: Email HookRoadInfo@reston.org.

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    2017 Labor Day Weekend in Reston

    I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that Labor Day is this weekend! But it is, and that means one of my all-time favorite events is happening. That’s the annual Jazz & Blues Festival at Lake Anne on Saturday. On Monday, head to downtown Herndon for the annual Labor Day Festival. In between, enjoy your last weekend at the pool!

    11th Annual Jazz & Blues Festival

    11th Annual Jazz & Blues FestivalThis free music festival is fun for the whole family (and the dogs). Every year, the stellar entertainment features acclaimed artists. The performances take place from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday (September 2). The Lake Anne Merchants, Reston Community CenterReston Association and Aperture Reston Station sponsor this event. For the full schedule of events/times, visit www.lakeanneplaza.com. Here is the line up:

    • 1 p.m. Cheick Hamala Dibate
    • 2 p.m. Sam Gunderson
    • 3 p.m. John Lee & Michael Pavone
    • 4 p.m. Integriti Reeves
    • 5 p.m. Mykle Lyons – Sextet
    • 6 p.m. Gigi MacClaughlin
    • 7 p.m. Kriss Funn
    • 8 p.m. Crush Funk Brass

    Herndon Labor Day Festival

    Technically not Reston, but still close and a lot of fun. There is something for everyone on the Labor Day outing. The downtown Herndon festival features Virginia wine tastings, craft beers, great music, a craft show, outstanding sponsors, delicious food vendors and lawn games. The event is on Monday (September 4) from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Tastings and beer sales end at 4 p.m.) Visit the website for ticket prices and information.

     

    Want to Live on Lake Thoreau? Try Purple Beech or Upper Lake

    I love contemporary architecture and Lake Thoreau, so it’s no surprise that Purple Beech Drive and Upper Lake Drive are two one of my favorite streets in Reston. While on opposite sides of the lake both are typical Reston single family home communities with an organic, natural feel to the wood-sided homes. In addition to lake access, the homes are also on generous, wooded plots. You feel like you’re at a resort!

    As with most single-family home communities, the sizes and layouts are all different. Typically, though, they are 4-bedroom, multi-level homes. They have beautiful wooded yards, and the entire neighborhood is well landscaped and attractive. Purple Beech is a cul-de-sac and Upper Lake is a horseshoe, which means both are quiet and peaceful—great places to let your children play outside and enjoy nature.

    While not all of the homes have direct lakefront access to Lake Thoreau, they do all have full lake access and privileges. Imagine paddling on the lake during the summer, or enjoying a picnic on your own floating barge (a favorite among many people who live on Reston’s lakes). A lovely 2-mile walking path circles the lake. In nice whether, lake residents make full use of it, walking to South Lakes Village Center to enjoy a meal or simply going for a run.

    Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lake High School are close by. Other nearby amenities include the Walker Nature Education Center, Reston Regional golf course, Reston Metro station (about 1 mile), Reston Town Center, pools and tennis courts.

    These are the kind of streets you dream of: close to anything you want to do, but also perfect if you just want to hang out in your beautiful home.

    Reston Townhomes Are Waiting for You

    Reston townhomesI sometimes think that people visiting Reston may think condos and apartments are the only living options. Certainly in the Reston Town Center area where more condos are being built all the time it seems that way. But many long-time Reston residents associate Reston living with townhouses. That makes sense with close to a 140 separate townhouse clusters in Reston. Each has its own personality too.

    Often when I’m working with new clients who aren’t from the area, they’ve never considered living in a townhouse. It’s a condo or single-family home. They perceive townhomes as dark and small with little privacy from neighbors. I just laugh a little. Because when they visit some of the townhome communities around here, they quickly change their minds.

    Our townhome clusters are wildly varied from the comfortable and modest to over-the-top luxurious. Many are on lakes or a golf course. All have beautiful, well-kept common areas. What’s best for new homebuyers is that Reston townhomes offer a wide range of housing options for almost every price point. That means neighborhoods are often a combination of young families, singles, or couples who have downsized. It’s a wonderful, eclectic mix. And for busy professionals, there is the bonus of a lovely neighborhood that you don’t have to care for — your cluster maintains the common property.

    If you’ve never considered townhome living because you’re worried about the size, the light or living in such close proximity, may I invite you to tour some Reston townhomes. In my opinion, we do it better than any other town. From the first communities built in Reston, Waterview and Hickory Clusters, to West Market built in 1998, Reston has perfected townhome living.

    Explore the Public Art of Reston

    A Bird in the Hand, public art RestonArt is part of the heart and soul of Reston. Since the beginning, public art was placed in the village centers, and it continues today. And the Greater Reston Arts Center and Jo Ann Rose Art Gallery at the RCC Lake Anne have places where the community has access to contemporary visual arts.

    In my opinion, the art is one of the distinguishing features of Reston—among a very long list of amazing features.

    Whether you want to go to a gallery, an art show or explore public art, Reston has something for you.

    I think taking a walking tour of public art installations is particularly fun. Public Art Reston has a map you can download for just such an adventure. Okay, so it would really be several adventures if you were walking as the art is spread out around Reston.

    For the many programs and installations GRACE sponsors, click these links: exhibitions, educational programming, and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. To find out about exhibits at the RCC, click here.

    Photo: A Bird in the Hand by Patrick Dougherty was installed at Reston Town Center in 2015. www.stickwork.net Photo from the Public Art Reston website.

     

    Three Great Communities off Wainwright Drive

    I love wandering through the original Reston communities. I’m always struck by the differences in each neighborhood, even those adjacent to each other. Wainwright Drive in the Lake Anne area is a great example. The three townhome communities couldn’t be more different, despite all sharing an excellent location near Reston Town Center and Lake Anne and having been developed within years of each other.

    Coleson Cluster

    Coleson Cluster, Wainwright DriveMost people who know anything of Reston’s history know about Waterview Cluster — the iconic townhomes on Lake Anne. Few people know that award-winning architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith designed another community of townhomes with the same floor plan and style as nearby Waterview. Coleson Cluster was built during the mid 1960s and comprises 45 townhomes spread over four and a half acres of lush lawn and trees. The townhouses in this beautiful community have a charming mid-century modern meets cottage vibe. They are light and airy, with light and inviting interior spaces. With flat roofs, large windows and contemporary style, they range in size from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet.

    Mediterranean Villa, Reston

    Mediterranean Villa, Wainwright DriveContinuing the European feel is Mediterranean Villa. Developed in 1970, the Mediterranean Villa homes feature white stucco exteriors with tiled roofs, 2-car garages, and about 1900 to 2500 square feet of living space. It’s a small and tight-knit community of 37 homes sited on a quiet cul-de-sac. Yes, these patio homes are nestled among oaks and pines rather than the coast, but they are as bright and airy as you will find anywhere in the Mediterranean.

    Wainwright Cluster

    Wainwright Cluster, Wainwright DriveBoston-based PARD Team, a young multi-disciplinary group of urban planners, architects, researchers and designers designed Wainwright Cluster in 1966. The cluster was part of the PARD Team’s mission to meet "the new challenges created by the uncontrolled urbanization of our environment, recent discoveries in the fields of social research, and rapid changes in building technology."

    These homes were designed for first time homeowners. There are six models varying in size and layout. However, spacious bedrooms, large closets, ample storage space, breakfast nooks, and ground floor powder rooms are standard in all of them. The homes also feature spacious carports, large storage sheds, well-equipped play areas and private outdoor patios. Grouped into neighborhood subclusters, each neighborhood group is situated around a common landscaped green. Large windows at the rear of each home provide panoramic views of the thickly wooded areas surrounding the subclusters.

    All of these neighborhoods are ideally located. Just off North Shore Drive, both Reston Town Center and Lake Anne are an easy walk. In fact, the Reston Association paths in this area are among community favorites and you are guaranteed to run into friends as you walk. The neighborhood is also close to the Reston Metro, Dulles Toll Road and Dulles airport. The kids can walk to Lake Anne Elementary, which is just two blocks away. And the entire family can enjoy the Reston pools and tennis courts, also within walking distance.