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Blog :: 02-2016

Should You Buy or Sell in 2016?

It’s been cold and snowy the last few weeks, and that seems to make people consider buying or selling their home (it must be all the hours logged on Zillow). Now is a good time to think of that — Spring really isn’t that far away, and it is traditionally the season of selling. I was thinking about that as I came across an article on the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® website — Factors That Could Shape Nova's Next Real Estate Cycle by David Versel. Versel looked at five trends that will shape our very unique Northern Virginia real estate market over the next decade. Here are three (in a very abbreviated format) that I think will particularly affect Reston, VA. 

1. The 2016 election
It hasn’t even happened yet, and already the election is impacting everything! People in our region get nervous around election time, believing that all the transferring in and out of government employees is what drive s the market. But not so. Versel says regional employment statistics show that Northern Virginia is less impacted by government change than ever before. That said, the federal government is the largest employer in the region. Will the new administration want to shrink the government? This election could produce a new political order that could dramatically impact the regional economy and housing market.

2. What the Baby Boomers will do
The Baby Boomers are aging — the oldest are officially senior citizens. Why does that matter. Well, believe it or not, the area’s potential home inventory will remain unavailable until they decide to sell their single-family homes (they own nearly half of them in the region). In addition, many boomers are opting to age-in-place (meaning they stay in their home). This is wonderful for the boomers, but as a result, the supply of affordable housing for most entry-level homebuyers is very limited.

3. Local land use and development policies
Ah land. Even in Reston, which is pretty well fully developed, land use and development policies have an impact. Will the Reston National Golf Course be developed? Will high-density housing come to Tall Oaks or Lake Anne? Whichever way future development goes, it will impact the housing market in our area. I, for one, am very curious to see what happens with the myriad development plans floating around — both for a residential and commercial property.

So, all of this is to say that things are always changing. I think that’s what I like about real estate — it is never boring. So should you buy or sell in 2016? Why not? Many of these trends won’t play out for a year, so now may be the best time to make a move. 

Chatham Colony Cluster, Lake Anne Reston

Chatham Colony CourtIf you are looking for a charming, friendly neighborhood, Chatham Colony Cluster in the Lake Anne area of Reston is a perfect fit. It is the kind of neighborhood where neighbors know each other and children wander freely in and out of each other homes.

This is a small cluster of about 45 Colonial style townhomes. These townhomes have brick exteriors, shuttered windows, two designated parking spaces and wooded backyards. Like many Reston homes built in the 1970’s, each has beautiful hardwood floors and large windows. With three bedrooms and full basements, each home offers plenty of space for growing families and empty nesters alike.

Perhaps one of the best features is that this neighborhood sits right off Moorings and North Shore Drive, just a five-minute walk to Lake Anne Village and a five minute drive to the Reston Metro station. Although not on Lake Anne, the Cluster does have a private dock for those with canoes, kayaks or small sail boats. The Cluster also offers easy access to the Reston Association pathway that circles Lake Anne, making walks around the picturesque lake easy.

Children attend Forrest Edge Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School, and South Lakes High School. The North Shore Pool is an easy walk across Lake Anne Plaza, and the sprinkler park is practically in the neighborhood’s backyard.

South Reston and Lake Audubon Terrace

South Reston is simply gorgeous. Two lakes, a nature preserve, and miles of walking paths make the area an outdoor lover’s paradise. Living on one of the lakes is the epitome of the Reston lifestyle. Located near the intersection of Twin Branches and Glade in South Reston, Lake Audubon Terrace is a great neighborhood to look at since approximately half of the townhomes are direct lakefront property. The Cluster was built between 1983 and 1988, and is located on Thrush Ridge Road and Glade Court.

All of these townhomes have 3 or 4 bedrooms. They are 3-level homes and feature brick and siding, and some of the units have one-car garages. No garage with your unit? No worries. They all have assigned parking spaces with plenty of visitor parking available.

But it’s really all about the lake. Residents have lake access, complete with a private dock. You can launch your canoe or kayak, or just sit on the dock and enjoy the view.

Have a dog? The neighborhood mutts love walking on the Turquoise Trail, which passes by the neighborhood. And they like the award-winning Walker Nature Education Center, which is just down the street. Here you’re just minutes away from nature and all that the Reston Association trails have to offer.

Students attend Reston's Sunset Hills Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. And South Lakes Village Center with its grocery store and restaurants is an easy walk. 

European Flair North Reston Style

Why are European's so fit? In part, because they walk everywhere. Reston in general was model off of that European idea, and is a pedestrian-friendly place. The West Market community in North Reston is the perfect example with grocery stores, restaurants, a movie theater, and anything else you could need just steps from the front door (even Target is walking distance).

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

Five different 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 club house, which includes a main hall and kitchen for meetings and gatherings, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool.

This neighborhood was built in the late 1990's just a few steps from Reston Town Center. That means dozens of restaurants, shops, and entertainment are next door. In addition, Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter are close by, and the W&OD trail and YMCA are practically in the backyard. You don't need a car to live here, but if you do have one it is a quick hop onto Fairfax County Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road.

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

Waterfront like along a lake