Home on Valentine’s Day

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There it is. That lovely saying…Home is where the heart is.

Long before I became a realtor, I loved houses….no, that’s not really correct…I loved homes. A home is a place for people to live whether it’s already been lived in or will be soon. A house…well a house can be any structure. As a realtor, I don’t know if I am unique in this..but every home I go into has a feeling to it. Sometimes it’s a happy home, and sometimes it’s not. I can walk into a home and say to myself…”divorce”, or “having a baby”, or something else. I generally keep these thoughts to myself as “knowing” the reason for the sale seems presumptuous even to me. Almost without exception I’m right. I don’t know if it’s a sixth sense or it’s a vibe a house puts out that most people just don’t pay attention to. But..for me, it’s always there.

I think a home absorbs the energy of the person(s) living there and even if the furnishing are long gone…something of the people who lived there gets left behind.

So, on Valentine’s Day, I am sending wishes and hopes that your home is filled with laughter, good friends, great loves, warm tidings and chocolate (dark for me but if you really think that milk chocolate is chocolate…well, it’s all yours).

And, if you haven’t found the home that you can fill with all the good energy you have coming to you…here’s a list of open houses today. If you would like some help falling in love with your new home, just give me a shout. 571-228-5656. janejensen@comcast.net. And, don’t forget to click the subscribe button at the top of the page to keep up on all the latest real estate news.

http://mrislistings.mris.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?ID=66877663728


Arlington Board to Review Affordable Housing

Press Release from Arlington county:

County Board to Discuss Affordable Housing Master Plan, Implementation Framework in Work Session

Board to hold public hearing, vote on plan in September
Plan addresses affordable housing distribution
The Arlington County Board tonight will discuss recent staff updates to the Affordable Housing Master Plan and Implementation Framework. The purpose of the work session is to address remaining Board member questions in advance of the County Board’s September 19 meeting to consider adoption of the Plan.

The County is seeking a 25-year Plan that will guide the next generation of affordable housing investment in Arlington because providing a range of housing options affordable to persons of all income levels and needs throughout the County supports our people, improves our neighborhoods and strengthens our economy.

“The Plan our community has worked on for nearly three years is a great step forward from where we are today,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “We all share the same goals for Arlington: we all want high-quality neighborhoods and schools, we all want housing to be accessible and fairly distributed, and we all want a sustainable, strong economy. To support these goals, the Board is considering and addressing a wide range of factors related to our mix of housing. When all is said and done, following the Board’s final consideration in September, this Plan will be an important road map for preserving and expanding the supply of affordable housing across Arlington.”

In June, the County Board voted to set September public hearings and requested the County Manager to collect more community feedback on key issues such as geographic distribution of affordable housing. As a result, a number of changes have been made to the draft plan.

Affordable Housing Master Plan clearly addresses distribution

The plan addresses geographic distribution with a three-tiered solution grounded in Arlington’s long-held transit-oriented development policies.

Preserving existing affordable units. Preservation of committed affordable housing units and market rate affordable housing unites means that existing housing, such as Arlington’s historic garden apartments, will be preserved.
Locating affordable housing close to transit corridors, including bus routes. Pairing housing units with reliable transportation options is a sustainable way to reduce traffic, allow easy access to jobs and services and promote a walkable community.
Flexible land use and zoning policies. Adjusting land use and zoning policies to allow a variety of housing types beyond urban corridors. High housing costs and changing family structures can mean that existing homes don’t always meet the needs of Arlington residents. This would allow single-family neighborhoods to provide quality, affordable choices for multi-generational households, older individuals living on their own, young working people and others. Further study will investigate what changes could maintain neighborhood character while allowing housing choices to evolve.
Building off of – and moving beyond – existing sector plans, specific transportation corridors are identified and goals for the number of affordable housing units for those corridors are proposed. The Plan, when implemented, would strive to ensure that about 17.7% of Arlington’s housing stock (down from 25% in 2000) is affordable to those making 60% of area median income.

Implementation Framework includes existing and potential tools

Arlington has a track record of successfully investing in affordable housing development and tools. The proposed Implementation Framework is a tool kit of new and existing strategies that could be used separately or in combination to achieve the goals of the plan. Tools outlined in the framework include:
Financial assistance to support the construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable housing
Land use regulations and incentives that leverage private development activities to increase the supply of affordable housing
Programs designed to help low-income and at-risk populations find and maintain safe and affordable housing.
Some new tools would require additional Board action or could involve working with the General Assembly.

Near-term priorities in the implementation plan are budget-conscious, and focus on revisiting planning and zoning tools before financing tools.

Staff will develop a monitoring and evaluation plan that annually reports and tracks the County’s progress toward goals and objectives. Staff anticipates this report to be ready by the end of 2016.

About the Affordable Housing Study

The County Board initiated the Affordable Housing Study in 2012 to evaluate existing policies; assess current programs and resources; and identify needs and gaps in provisions for affordable housing.

The County Manager appointed a 19-member Affordable Housing Study Working Group to shape the community’s affordable housing vision. Together with County staff, the group drafted the Affordable Housing Master Plan, to be included as an element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

By 2040, 17.7 percent of Arlington’s households are projected to be low-income — at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Sixty percent of AMI today is $64,480 for a household of four.

Recommendations in the proposed Affordable Housing Master Plan were based on research, athorough needs analysis, in-depth forecasting, surveys, working group meetings and community workshops. The plan proposes three goals that focus on housing supply, access and sustainability. The Implementation Framework proposes modifications to existing tools and potential new tools in the areas of financing, land use and services.

View the Draft Affordable Housing Master Plan.

View the Draft Implementation Framework.

To learn more about the Affordable Housing Study, visit the County website.

Media Contact: Jessica Margarit, 703-228-3551.


Arlington, Va cited as one of the most livable cities in the US

A article in the May issue of AARP named the most livable places at 50+. The catagories for determing the most livable places included housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity. They ranked the top 10 in Large (500,000+), Medium (100,000-50,000) and Small (25,000-100,000) cities. Arlington ranks in the medium category and came in at #6. The comment for Arlington was that the Bikeometer in Rosslyn averages almost 4500 clicks a day. I know I’ve contributed to that. I guess that falls under almost all the categories except maybe housing…unless you live near the bike path (which I do), so I guess it can include housing too. As of yesterday 101,632 bike passes were logged for this year.

The Arlington Bikometer, located in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington

The Arlington Bikometer, located in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington

Location of the Arlington, Va Bikometer

Location of the Arlington, Va Bikometer

Click the link for a copy of the AARP article:

Most Livable Cities


I love biking in Arlington, Va.

I love to bike. I rediscovered biking two years ago when I got on a road bike instead of my hybrid. Love at first pedal. Fortunately, Northern Virginia offers some of the best biking options around including the Arlington Loop:

The Arlington Bike loop showing many of  the popular starts and stops

The Arlington Bike loop showing many of the popular starts and stops

During the nice weather months I bike the loop 3-4 times a week. For me it’s a 20 mile ride door to door.

It’s a pretty interesting ride. Here are some photos from some recent rides.

Bluemont is neighborhood in Arlington. It was a railroad junction and there is a stop along the trail that tells you all about it, along with a railroad car you can check out.

Bluemont is neighborhood in Arlington. It was a railroad junction and there is a stop along the trail that tells you all about it, along with a railroad car you can check out.

The railroad car at Blumont Junction

The railroad car at Blumont Junction

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In Bluemont Park you can always see a ball game, or watch a tennis match.

In Bluemont Park you can always see a ball game, or watch a tennis match.

Here is a stop about 3 miles into my ride. It's a man made wetland where you can see turtles, frogs and an occasional heron.

Here is a stop about 3 miles into my ride. It’s a man made wetland where you can see turtles, frogs and an occasional heron.

Some information about the wetlands

Some information about the wetlands

Riding along the river. Do we live in a great place or what?

Riding along the river. Do we live in a great place or what?

Near the airport

Near the airport

I always like to stop at Gravelly point and watch a few planes land right over my head. Check it out:

I just liked these trees. Not too far from Shirlington.

I just liked these trees. Not too far from Shirlington.

Rounding back to the W&OD trail head.

Rounding back to the W&OD trail head.

Capital Bike share bikes and Shirlington Crest townhomes in background. This is a great neighborhood where I have helped people buy and sell townhomes. Questions? Just ask.

Capital Bike share bikes and Shirlington Crest townhomes in background. This is a great neighborhood where I have helped people buy and sell townhomes. Questions? Just ask.

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The Nauck neighborhood was the original name for the area surrounding the trail head of the W&OD.

The Nauck neighborhood was the original name for the area surrounding the trail head of the W&OD.

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Information on the W&OD which you can ride all the way west to Purceville. We'll do photos of that one another time.

Information on the W&OD which you can ride all the way west to Purceville. We’ll do photos of that one another time.

I would love to hear about your great rides. Comment below. Let’s ride!


A walk around Arlington, Va.

I am loving this great weather we’ve had the last few days. Did my first Arlington Loop (W&OD to Custis, back to W&OD..around 20 miles…and yes, I’m a tad sore..you know where) bike ride of the season. I love riding along the river and through the parks. Yesterday I took a 3 mile walk through the Overlee Knolls, Berkshire Oakwood, Crescent Hills neighborhoods. People take such pride in their gardening skills. I just love checking out all the flowers and new growth..and who doesn’t love the smell of fresh mulch in the morning?

Here are some scenes from my walkabout

When I first moved here over 20 years ago, I had never seen a black squirrel. When I saw my first one i was so excited. I thought it was some kind of mutant squirrel. Now I know better. They are still my favorites.

When I first moved here over 20 years ago, I had never seen a black squirrel. When I saw my first one I was so excited. I thought it was some kind of mutant squirrel. Now I know better. They are still my favorites.

I lovet these multicolored daffodils.

I love these multicolored daffodils.

Tulip Trees

Tulip Trees

More flowers!

More flowers!

Tulips

Tulips

School zone. Lots of young ones walking to school on these beautiful mornings

School zone. Lots of young ones walking to school on these beautiful mornings

And some of them riding their bikes.

And some of them riding their bikes.


Westover Village in Arlington, Va.-My “walk to” neighborhood

I just posted a link to an article talking about how Arlington is one of the most walkable cities. I live near the East Falls Church Metro and my “walk to” neighborhood is Westover Village. The commercial area of Westover is located on Washington Blvd between N. Mckinley Rd. and Longfellow Streets. The businesses here and the the library provide a modern urban feel to this neighborhood. Residents in this area also have easy (healthy walk, or metro bus) access to the East Falls Church Metro.

In Recent Years, the Westover Beer Garden has provided a neighborhood gathering place. On warmer evenings you can find gatherings of friends and families listening to music and sampling some excellent craft beers. The beer garden also now has an indoor bar and restaurant. The adjacent grocery has a decent stock of must haves.

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Ayers General store has pretty much everything you need. All kinds of hardware, gardening supplies and that birthday gift for the childrens party this afternoon that you forgot about until just now. Here is a photo I just took in front of Ayers….ready to start gardening?
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After you load up your car with all your Garden supplies don’t forget to stop into Toby’s for an ice cream or latte. YumIMG_4671

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Lost Dog Pizza and The Stray Cat are right across the street. Here are my two favorite dishes from Lost Dog

Lost Dog Waffle Fries. The favorite of Waffle Fry afficianados everywhere.

Lost Dog Waffle Fries. The favorite of Waffle Fry afficianados everywhere.

Lost Dog Three Cheese Pizza

Lost Dog Three Cheese Pizza


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Here are a few more of the local establishments along with the wonderful Westover Library. Who wouldn’t want to live around here!IMG_4658

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And we are all waiting with the greatest of anticipation for the Grand Opening of our very own world (well at least the great Washington, DC area) famous Italian store
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Stay tuned for a review of that….I’ll be one of the first in line.


Bid on this Impeccable home in the heart of Washington DC

Bidding on this terrific historic home in the heart of Washington, DC starts at $1.00 with no reserve. Unlike many historic homes in our area George Washington did not actually sleep here. However, he was involved in the original plans for this home. This home has only had one owner but has been occupied by multiple tenants over the years.

This home boasts 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators. It’s hard to find a home this spacious in the heart of the city. Do you love to entertain. The dining room can accomodate up to 140 guests.

Additional amenities include a basketball court:
basketball-court-2007

A tennis court:
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A media room:
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And even a bowling alley:
bowling-alley-2008

Here is an photo of this incredible home. Hurry….this will go quick!
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April fools from Your Arlington Home Pro!

Contact me for real homes for sale in Arlington, Va and surrounding areas.

Jane Jensen
571-228-5656
janejensen@comcast.net.