A night at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va.

Last month Conde Nast listed Washington, DC as the best music city. In the 23 years I have lived here, this area has become a mecca of great venues for music. Take that NYC, and Seattle and well….the rest of you.

Here’s what they said:

“Despite its staid reputation—or maybe because of it—the nation’s capital has fostered thriving underground music scenes for decades, including go-go (the funky genre’s driving force, Chuck Brown, was from D.C.) and hardcore, led by bands like Bad Brains and Fugazi. Today there are plenty of places to see live music in D.C., including legendary venues like Bohemian Caverns, where Miles Davis and John Coltrane once played; the 9:30 Club has hosted everyone from Arcade Fire to Rob Zombie. D.C.’s museums are also filled with music history: The National Museum of American History, for instance, has old cassettes and other pop-culture ephemera in its collection”

One of my favorite music venues in this area is the The Birchmere located at 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria VA 22305.


Not every one loves the seating arrangement they have implemented over the last several years. The box office opens at 5:00 and it’s a first come first served on getting a seating #. When the music area opens at 6:00 everyone is let in in the order of their #. Some folks don’t like it, but I think it has made things more orderly. If you want to get there at 5:00 they have a bar and some limited food items and lots of seating where you can hang out with your friends for an hour.


In the photo above I am standing in line waiting for my Blue Moon draft. Took awhile to get to the front of the line but since there wasn’t anywhere else to get to…it didn’t really matter.

What I like most about the the venue is that it is so intimate and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. The acoustics are suprisingly good.  The Birchmere has never been known for their fabulous food.. but alot of it has actually gotten “ok” over the years. $15.00 is alot for an “ok” spinach salad but if don’t mind the carbs their flatbreads are actually pretty good.

Recently some friends said they were getting tickets to Three Dog Night. Even though they are a little piece of life starting in my preteen years.. the $69.00+ fees price tagged seemed pretty high for a bunch of old guys. Well…shame on me for my ageism. Those guys totally rocked. Unfortunately they very recently lost their original keyboardist (he was living in Potomac, Md) but his replacement didn’t miss a beat.

Here’s an early version of Shambala and a snippet from last night. I think they acquittted themselves very well.

And yes….I did sing along to Jeremiah was a Bullfrog.

See you next time at the Birchmere

February Real Estate Statistics for Zip code 22207 in Arlington, Va.

In 22207 total volume was down 33% year over year. However, the average sold price continues to go up as well as an increase in the Median sold price. These two numbers are a direct reflection of the limited inventory in this coveted N. Arlington zip code. The Average sold price topped the $1M mark in February 2015. For a variety of reasons 22207 is one of the more expensive zip codes to live in Arlington. Unlike some other zip codes the average days on market dropped year over year from 51 to 48. Increases in inventory tend to create more competition for buyers and you can see that there has been an increase in active listings and new listings year over year. This is a warning to sellers to not get too complacent about the increase in average sold price and that they should be wary of assuming they can get more then comparable properties selling in the last 30 days. That’s not to say you won’t, it’s just something to put in your big bag of variables when deciding how to price your home.


New Arlington, Va listings

These homes were listed in Arlington, Va over the weekend. 13 new listings in a wide variety of price ranges. If you want/need more information on any of these you can always contact me at janejensen@comcast.net or 571-228-5656

Click the following link to view the listings:

Mortgages are getting easier to obtain

Lending guidelines have loosened up since the huge tightening of lending after the mortgage disaster.
You’ll still decent credit and some money down (well….usually) but you may be surprised at how accessible home ownership may be.
Rates were up a bit again last week but still so very historically low. Believe it or not my first home purchase had a interest rate of around 11%. To give you some idea of the difference in spending power of now vs. then:
If I purchased a $300000 home with a 80% mortgage, my monthly (without taxes and insurance) would have been $2571.27 at 11% and $1289.02 at 4%. Holy smokies. What a difference. Makes the buy vs. rent decision alot easier….and, it’s unlikely you’ll be paying 4%.
Here’s some current local rates:
30yr fixed to $417,000 = 3.75%
15 yr fixed to $417,000 = 2.99%

30yr fixed to $625,500 = 3.95%
15yr fixed to $615,500 = 3.125%

30yr VA = 3.45%

Here’s a video that discusses the loosening up of mortgage guidelines. For more info on what you qualify for, send me an email or give me a call. janejensen@comcast.net 571-228-5656