Blog :: 2012

Random thoughts on Real Estate and Reston's numbers

One of the biggest surprises of being in real estate was realizing how little the work turns out to be about houses, and how much more it is about walking with people as they navigate different life transitions. I love the HGTV real estate shows where the real estate agent shows a buyer 3 homes and voila, they pick a house, write a contract, move in and the next time you see them they're at a house warming party - all this in 30 minutes. As is often the case with realty TV, it's not very real.

In real life people are dealing with all kinds of events that are driving them to move from one place to another place. Some are happy, some are sad, some are speculative but it is mostly about life changes, marriage, births, deaths, retiring, divorcing, new jobs and lost jobs. Sometimes it's about more than one thing, a new marriage and a new job. Change is almost always hard for people; we are rarely at our best when we're moving through transitions. Real estate agents spend a lot of time with people who aren't at their best, but they might be more real than if you had met them at a cocktail party. It isn't always easy, but the realness of it makes it feel important, even if it's just for that short period of time when you help someone move from one place to the next.

So those are my random thoughts on real estate.

Here are the Reston numbers. There are currently 128 fully active properties on the market inReston. 41 Single Family Homes, 45 Townhouses the remainder are Condominiums. Inventory of homes continues to be very low.

Sales June - today: 262 properties with a sales volume of $114,500,000.

Sales year to date: 639 properties with a sales volume of $265,851,000.

1970's Reston Apartment Conversions - More Than Meets the Eye

Plain Jane or Surprise Inside?

In Reston we have a number of apartments that were built in the 1970's that converted to condominiums in the late 1980's. Vantage Hill, Parkcrest Circle, and Ivy Oak are just a few of them.

Ivy Oak Condomiums

Ivy Oak Condominiums

As a Realtor, I always find them interesting. They are mostly tan brick with the ever present Reston Brown trim. They tend to be a little on the boxy side, a little on the plain side; but most of them are set on large beautiful land parcels. Some are set in the woods, others have open park like areas but they all have way more of open space than your typical condominium community.

Vantage Hill sits on 15 beautifully wooded acres that have been designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. That's 15 acres for 152 units or, more than 4000 square feet per unit. I don't know where else you'd find anything approaching that amount of open space in a more recently built condominium. The other surprise is on the inside. By today's standards these units are large. Ivy Oak units range from 1760 - 1875 square feet. Ivy Oak is also unique because they are townhouse style condominiums; they are on 2 levels so no one is living above you. The floor plan on the main level is very open and many have wood burning fireplaces.

When you look at the money for the space and then add the physical setting of these communities, they stack up pretty well against their more contemporary counterparts.

We all know the old adage of not judging a book by its cover- the same is true for property. You do yourself a disservice when you refuse to view a property based solely on your response to the outside. Take a look, and then decide.

Prices on these units range from around $140,000 for a one bedroom in Vantage Hill  to about $325,000 for a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath in Ivy Oak.

Vantage Hill, Parkcrest, and Ivy Oak owners, tell us what you love about your neighborhood.