Reston Real Estate

Reston's Changing Landscape

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.

Take a Trip Down Lawyers Road in South Reston

November Lane, Lawyers RoadMany of the street names in Reston seem odd until you know why they got that name. Temporary Road cracks people up (it was, literally, a dirt road connecting North shore and Reston Avenue, but the locals used it and it became permanent). Lawyers Road is one of those street names. So I thought I’d let you in on how it got that name. Way back when, there was one road that led from the Northwestern county towns to the Fairfax County Courthouse. Every day, the lawyers would travel down that winding road to go to court. Hence, Lawyers Road. That is your fun Reston fact for the day.

I imagine Lawyers Road looks much the same today as it did 100 years ago. This twisting, winding, hilly and tree-lined state road embodies the beauty of Northern Virginia. As do the single family homes with a Lawyers Road address—you will see large lots that sit well of the street, surrounded by woods (and the occasional horse paddock).

There are several charming streets that house tight-knit communities of people who take pride in their neighborhood — such as November Lane, Steeplechase, Myrtle Lane, Charlestown, and more. Each street has it’s own style and community feel and range from small “starter” homes to larger estates. What they all have in common is natural beauty and friendly neighbors. Each neighborhood has easy access to Reston’s walking paths — making it perfect for families that enjoy the outdoors.

Lawyers Road is still the fastest way to get to old town Vienna, where you can visit antique shops and enjoy fine dining.

But that’s only if you choose to leave Reston. Lawyers Road intersects with Twin Branches, making it a quick jaunt to Lake Audubon, Lake Thoreau, and South Lakes Village Center. Or jump on Soapstone for a quick trip to the Walker Nature Education Center and South Lakes High School. It also ends at Reston Parkway at Fox Mill Center.

If you’re looking for a community of single-family homes that is in Reston, but slightly removed from the hustle and bustle, look at the areas surrounding Lawyers Road.

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. 

Experience a Bonner Home in Reston

Reston architectural aficionados know that Reston architect Ken Bonner built the first house in Reston--a detached single-family house on Stirrup Road in South Reston. In a Fairfax Times article, Bonner recalls having to transport a portable generator to the building site because there were no power lines yet. This was back in 1964.

Integrating a human living space into nature in an environmentally sensitive way was Bonner's passion, and a trademark of any Bonner home is using natural sunlight and preserving trees. Ken built about 65 homes, including my first home in Reston on Buttermilk Lane in the Uplands neighborhood of North Reston. It backed up to beautiful, treed lot with a creek at the bottom of the backyard. It was a fantastic place to raise our family.

What is lesser known in Reston is that Ken also designed townhome communities. Among them, Colts Neck Cluster. This community is comprised of 60 townhouses in South Reston, near the intersection of Colts Neck Road and South Lakes Drive. Escalante Court is off South Lakes Drive and next to the South Lakes Drive Park. Greywing Court is off Colts Neck Road.

Built in 1972-1973, these contemporary townhomes are three levels with cedar siding exteriors. The 1,600 to 2,000 square feet homes feel much larger because of Ken's attention to every detail.

The Colts Neck community is close to the Reston National Golf Course and the Hunters Woods Village Center Shopping Center. It is also within two miles of the Reston East Metro station.

These lovely homes are not only perfect for anyone looking for well-designed, contemporary architecture in a close-knit, townhome community, they represent a piece of what makes Reston such a great place to live.

Heather Knoll Cluster, North Reston

 

Heather Knoll Cluster in Reston, VA. Photo courtesy of Heather Knoll Cluster. Heather Knoll Cluster in Reston, VA.
Photo courtesy of Heather Knoll Cluster.

Heather Knoll Cluster in Reston, VA. Photo courtesy of Heather Knoll Cluster.

 

The North Point area of Reston was the last place fully developed in Reston, and the homes are modern, clean, and beautiful. Heather Knoll Cluster is no exception. Built in the early 1990's, Heather Knoll Cluster is a small community of 52 townhouses distributed among 13 buildings. These homes are perfect for young families as they're situated on a charming cul de sac--providing children with a safe place to play.

Designed by Berry & Co., each home has a traditional brick front with fine detailing, classic cedar siding and elegant trim. They also each have a one-car garage--a bonus for Reston townhomes--and privacy fences separating the yards. They are all two levels with a basement, three bedrooms, and two and half bath. And they have fireplaces! The homes come in three different styles, with variations in room sizes and overall square footage.

Healther Knoll Cluster is located on Woodbrook Court off of Woodbrook Lane and Wiehle Avenue--with close proximity to the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 7. The surrounding area has wonderful walking paths and plenty of trees and nature.

This is the perfect neighborhood for anyone who wants something slightly off the beaten path, but still wants to have all the amenities of Reston easily accessible.

Vantage Hill, North Reston

Most of the Reston condominiums built in the 1970's look nondescript from the outside. There is no way around it--they are boxy and plain. But if you take the time to go inside, you will be pleasantly surprised. Vantage Hill is a wonderful example of this.

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 4,000 square feet per unit.

And then there are the spacious interiors. These may be condominiums, but that doesn't mean you have to give up space. The units are generally 2 or 3 bedrooms with generous floor plans, ample closets and spacious kitchens. One of the beautiful things about these older condominiums is that most of them have been updated--new kitchens, new bathrooms, and new flooring. It's the best of both worlds--the solid construction and beautiful landscape of the 70's with the beautiful interiors and modern designs of today.

Utilities are included in the condo fees. Vantage Hill is located between Reston Town Center and Lake Anne Village Center, with an easy walk to either. It's about a five-minute walk to Lake Anne Elementary School. Older children attend Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lake High School.

Orchard Green Cluster, Reston, VA

Orchard Green Cluster RestonWhen developing the "last remaining parcel of land in the prestigious Reston community of Lake Anne," the plans had better be great. Designed by Berkus Group Architects, a company well known for producing environmentally sensitive designs, and developed by Miller & Smith, Orchard Green Cluster Reston VA is, indeed, a great design.

Backing into the trails that lead to Lake Anne and situated across the street from the Hook Road recreational area, Orchard Green Cluster is in prime spot for active Restonians. Built in 1983, these 50 townhomes come in four floor plans. They range in size from 1,900 square feet to 2,700 square. Some of the homes have garages, while other have carports and some have fireplaces (which are great on cold winter nights). All are well designed with ample space to grow and change as needed.

While Orchard Green Reston VA is walking distance to Lake Anne and Reston Town Center, it is also accessible to all the major roadways that take you wherever you want to go. Children attend Lake Anne Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School, South Lakes High School.

Hickory Cluster, Reston, VA

Beautiful, clean modern architecture is a hallmark of Reston neighborhoods, and Hickory Cluster exemplifies all that is unique about our community. It was the first development in Reston, and world-renowned architect Charles Goodman designed it. But that's not why it is a highly sought-after Reston neighborhood today. People want to live in Hickory Cluster because the homes are well designed, it is close to everything in Reston, and the community is tight knit.

Architectural historian Elizabeth Jo Lample said "[Goodman's] dwellings feel like highly livable works of art, glazed conduits to the natural world" (Housing Washington)

One of the most striking features are the large windows--think walls, not windows! Despite the vast amounts of windows, the homes still feel private since they are nestled in a heavily wooded area. The Hickory Cluster townhomes come in a variety of designs with 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, rooftop terraces, balconies, playrooms, private studies, family rooms and recreation rooms. There is underground garage parking or carports for many of the homes, keeping the common areas from feeling like a car park.

Hickory Cluster backs up to Reston Association paths and is just a short walk to Lake Anne plaza, Reston Town Center, and Lake Anne Elementary School. The Reston Station, Silver Line Metrorail, is a five minute drive and Dulles International Airport is within 15 minutes by car.

If you are looking for a unique, modern home that is central to everything in Reston, Hickory Cluster is your neighborhood.

Edgewater Cluster, Reston, VA

 

Edgewater Cluster Edgewater Cluster in the Spring. Photo courtesy of the Edgewater Condo Association photo gallery.

Edgewater Cluster in the Spring. Photo courtesy of the Edgewater Condo Association photo gallery.

 

Condo living in Reston is perfect for young professionals starting out, empty nesters who are downsizing, or really anyone who wants to live in a lovely, low-maintenance community. Edgewater Cluster in North Reston is a great example. Located at the intersection of Baron Cameron and Town Center Parkway, these condos offer easy access to major roads, shopping (right across the street from Trader Joe's), and entertainment. While they are in walking distance to Reston Town Center, they're a little bit removed from the hustle and bustle--perfect for people who want a quieter environment.

Built between 1992 and 1995, this low-rise condominium complex features primarily two-bedroom units with 1 ½ or 2 baths ranging in size from 801 to 1224 sq ft. In addition to the two-bedroom condos, you can find studios and one-bedroom units as well. Every unit has a balcony, and the upper units have a lovely loft.

Many of the condos face a large pond, which is a perfect place to walk your dog or just hang out on a lovely evening. What's especially nice about Edgewater is that the complex is divided into small clusters, which lends to a tighter community feel. The complex also has it's own pool, tennis facilities, and clubhouse--providing ample places for residents to hang out and have some fun.

Edgewater is walking distance to Reston Town Center, the library and the Reston Hospital Center too. Being located between the Fairfax County Parkway and Reston Parkway, residents have easy access to any place they need to go--the Dulles Toll Road and Route 7 are within a few miles.

If you want access to all the Reston Town Center and Reston have to offer at an affordable price, Edgewater Cluster is a great value.

Golf Course Island Cluster, Reston, VA

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 reasons the community won an architectural design award when it was built in the late 60s.

There is a lot going on in Golf Course Island Cluster right now. Over the last five years, the original owners have been moving out and young families and young professionals 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 are a well-designed space that flows, large closets, and privacy. Yes, privacy in a town house. The cluster is designed so that every home feels private and secluded--you won't hear your neighbors through the walls.

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. The common spaces are beautifully maintained. For the children, there is a new 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 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 mid-400s. Check out this beautiful and friendly cluster.

Comments

  1. Mohamed on

    It got me thinking, what's in a name? More scaiifcpelly, why do we use the nicknames we use? As I was thinking of a name for my first ship in EVE, I blogged that the hardest part of playing a video game (particularly an MMORPG) is coming up with a character name. It has to be catchy, clever, and something that won't embarass you. I eventually settled on the name Broken Butterfly for my ship. Again, I was proud of yet another clever name. The Broken Butterfly is my favorite weapon from Resident Evil 4, the .45 revolver that packed quite a wallop. Yet the butterfly is a nimble creature. So my ship, nimble yet potent, was aptly named.