My Blog

Blog

Reston's Changing Landscape

Polo Fields Home - Exterior

The impact of Metro on Reston is hard to miss. Anyone who’s tried to cross the Dulles Toll Road at rush hour can attest to the changes we’ve gone through over the past 5 years.  In addition to the impact on traffic and travel, Metro has also had an impact on neighborhoods.

Over the next several weeks I’m going to write about neighborhoods that fall within a 1-mile radius of the three Reston/Herndon Metro stops. This week we’re looking at Polo Fields.

Polo Fields consists of approximately 400 single family homes that were built between 1981 and 1996. They range in size from over 3000 sq. ft. with 6 bedrooms and 4 bath units, to more modest 1800 sq. ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath homes. They generally have nice flat yards that are great for kids and dogs. Many of the houses boast beautiful and welcoming front porches. 

Polo Fields Home - Exterior

Home prices over the past year have ranged from a low $508,000 for a smaller (1875 sq. ft.) property that needed a good bit infrastructure work like windows, roof, HVAC, etc., etc., to a high of $735,000 for a larger 300 sq. ft. plus a finished basement property that was in tip-top, move-in ready condition. This has always been a neighborhood that sells well—days on market last year averaged just 14 days, which is about 1/3 of what the overall Reston market averaged.

These homes, which are already really, really desirable have gotten a HUGE location upgrade. Every single one of them is less than one mile to the new Metro stop—ALL of them are a 20 minute or less walk from front door to the station—many of them are fewer than 10 minutes from door to station. It was a really good neighborhood before—being walkable to the Metro bumps this neighborhood up to super desirable.

Corridor 2.0

alt tag

I've been checking out the new construction that’s popping up along Sunset Hills Rd and Sunrise Valley Drive. As a long time Restonian it’s a little unnerving to see the crush of development taking place in areas that were previously office parks and light industry enclaves. The new Pulte Homes project on Michael Faraday felt especially jarring to me. As I stood in a beautifully finished living room I experienced a kind of cognitive dissonance; every previous trip I’d ever made on that end of Sunset Hills Rd has been related to dental appointments, trips to the Post Office or picking up to-go meals from China Star. Now I was looking at an evolving skyline, two blocks away was the striking face of 1900 Reston Station- the Helmut Jahn building; beyond that the cranes are visible for the other mixed use projects that are coming to Sunset Hills.

The Pulte Homes project is the first of many to come along Sunset Hills Rd that will create an entirely new Reston neighborhood, one with a much more urban feel to it than any other we’ve seen before.

The Pulte project is called Lofts at Reston Station. It is comprised of 12 two level row house styled condos and 32 one level condo in an elevator building. The one level condos offer 7 floor plans all two bedroom, 2 full bath units ranging from 1274 sq feet to 1668 sq feet. The baseline features include 9ft ceilings, hardwood floors, granite counters in kitchens and baths and a full range of energy efficient and smart home technologies.

It will be interesting to watch this area develop over the next several years, transforming into a walkable, transit focused and very dense neighborhood. It looks like this neighborhood is on a path to develop into something that will have a core to anchor it—the Metro Plaza. It will be interesting to watch that plaza evolve as the community settles in around it as residents rather than commuters. It’s not unlike Reston’s early developments, creating the gathering places, adding the residence and then letting it bubble into a neighborhood.

 

Photo Credit: BHC Photography - Bradley Hunter Caricofe 

Golf Course Island Cluster, Reston, VA

Front Door - Golf Course Island Cluster

Front Door - Golf Course Island ClusterI think Golf Course Island Cluster is one of Reston’s gems. From the outside, these contemporary, cedar sided homes look small. But walk inside and it’s like one of those magic tents in Harry Potter—the space just expands. This may be one of the reason’s the community won an architectural design award when they were built in the late 60s.

There is a lot going on in Golf Course Island Cluster right now. Over the last several years, the original owners have been moving out and young families and young professionals are moving in. As this happens, people are renovating the homes—mostly updating the kitchens. With 188 units, homes come up for sale often—some are fixer-uppers, others have been freshly renovated. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it here. 

The Golf Course Island townhomes come in various sizes. Most are three bedrooms, although there are a couple with two bedrooms and a few with four bedrooms and lofts. The hallmark of all is well-designed space that flows, large closets, and privacy. Ye s, privacy in a townhouse. The cluster is designed so that every home feels private and secluded—you won’t hear your neighbors through the walls. 

Golf Course Much of the cluster backs Hidden Creek Country Club’s golf course, and the main living areas open to the common areas and green space. While it appears likely that the private golf course is likely to be redeveloped, the plans we’ve seen so far call for a 100+ acre public amenity in the form of a park and recreational facilities. 

The common spaces of Golf Course Island are beautifully maintained. For the children, there is a great playground with wonderful slides in block 12 (there are 12 blocks in the cluster). The children love it. On most nice afternoons, you will see the neighborhood families sitting on the bench while the children run around the quad in delight. For those with dogs, there are many paths through the neighborhood, and plenty of squirrels to chase.

Each townhome is assigned one carport space, and there is ample open parking for every unit to have a second car. For visitors, there is parking on Links Drive and North Shore Drive. Golf Course Island is about one mile from the Reston Metro, Reston Town Center, and Lake Anne Plaza. And there is easy access to the Reston Association pools and other recreation areas.

Prices are ranging here depending on the condition of the home, but for the most part are in the upper-400s to upper 500s. Check out this beautiful and friendly cluster.

The Best Holiday Light Shows in NoVA

Photo: Bull Run Festival of Lights, photo by Linda M. Toki

One of my favorite things about this time of year are all the lights everywhere. It is so cheerful and festive! Of course Lake Anne and Reston Town Center put out the lights, and it’s lovely. But there is nothing like a lights show to really make you smile. We are lucky to have three great ones nearby, and each is worth the trip. I suggest [...]

What is my home worth right now?

home worth

home worthIt’s almost that time of year when the county sends around tax assessments, which gets homeowners wondering what their house is worth today. This is when I start getting calls from clients and friends asking for my opinion—an opinion I am always happy to provide.

I was thinking about this when I came across an article on Realtor.com (How Much Is My House Worth? Tools to Help You Determine Your Sale Price).

The article outlines a few ways to assess your home value:

1. Comps for the area. What similar homes have sold for is a good indication of what your home is worth. Realtor.com’s Just Sold feature is a great place to start. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code, and click "Search." A list of recently sold homes in your area will pop up, along with their sale price. The thing to remember is this may or may not be an accurate reflection of your home’s value: home improvements, mortgage rates, the economy can all factor into your selling price. But comps will give you an idea.

2. Home improvements. Things like an updated kitchen and bathrooms impact price. For example, if you are likely to get 66% return on investment from a bathroom remodel (spend $10,000 and add $6,600 to your list price). But will that be the tipping point to make a buyer choose your home over another? Who knows. And will you get the same return from a new deck or replacing the windows? Not necessarily. Those things will definitely improve marketability, but may not translate into dollars. Does that mean you shouldn’t bother? No. Make improvements that will make you happy while you live in the home. Just know you may not recoup the cost when you sell.

If you want to list your home, the best thing to do is call your realtor and set up a meeting to discuss your strategy—anything you need to do to improve marketability, timing, and listing price.

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 [...]

Waterfront like along a lake