Vienna History: the spy living amongst us

Northern Virginia and Fairfax County have produced a long list of famous and successful people. We have also have our share of infamous ones. One of those infamous people would be Robert Hanssen. Hanssen was a Special Agent of the FBI with a long career in counter intelligence. Most will probably remember him as that smiling guy […]

Top 6 things to do with your kids that won’t break the bank!

Living in Fairfax County has many advantages. One is the great schools – another all the great and affordable activities for your preschool children. Here are some great activities for you to try. 1) Feel a Roaring Jet Engine (Free) Not in Fairfax County but probably close enough for most… Kids of all ages enjoy […]

Falls Church history – Iroquois Indians, The Falls Church and Little Falls

Image from around 1907 taken at intersection of Broad Street and Washington Street. (Source: Mary Riley Styles Public Library)

Where does the name Falls Church come from? Taking its name from The Falls Church, an 18th-century Anglican parish, Falls Church gained township status within Fairfax County in 1875. In 1948, it was incorporated as the City of Falls Church, an independent city with county-level governance status. It is also referred to as Falls Church […]

Investor ratios and why they matter

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“One important thing to be on the watch for when looking at condominiums is something called the investor ratio. The investor ratio is the ratio of owner occupied unit vs rented out units (also called investor units.) If this ratio is too high (typically above 50%), you will not be able to qualify for a […]

The best schools in Tysons Corner?

So, I got a surprise when I woke up the other day and saw that George C Marshall High School had turned into an average school overnight (the GreatSchools rating dropped from a stellar 9 to an average 7.) At first I wasn’t sure what had happened – did they fire a bunch of teachers […]

Using the condo docs to cancel purchase in Virginia?

In Virginia, a purchaser of a home in a condominium (or a homeowner association) has a right to review certain documents pertaining to the home. A purchaser also has a right to cancel the contract within a given time frame if those documents are not satisfactory to them. The disclosure package typically includes the rules […]

Build – Don’t Buy!

What to do if you like a particular area but like none of the homes available on the market? For many, the answer is to purchase a lot and then have a builder put together a home. The options range from fully custom (expensive) to a spec home with few or no structural options (less […]

Get A Backyard for Your Condo!

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If you like condo living but miss growing your own vegetables, there is a tried and true solution for you!  While it may seem like something from the 40′s and their “Victory Gardens”, the idea of community gardening is still strong in Fairfax County!  There are more than 650 garden plots available in nine different locations. […]

Bargain Hunting at the Courthouse Steps!

I regularly get emails from prospects and clients about great foreclosure deals they would like me to help them with (you can easily find listings like that on sites like Zillow and RealtyTrac.) Often, the list prices quoted are fantastic and at a significant discount from comparable homes. After all, if a home is listed […]

Time the Real Estate Market!

“When is the best time to purchase a home” and ”when is the best time to sell a home” are  questions we get all the time here at Soldsense. Homes are in short supply in this area with stable prices and few foreclosures and short-sales. With all the development in the area and resulting jobs, more and […]

Ash Grove Historic Site and park in Tysons Corner

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After writing about the old graveyard on Colonel Lindsay’s old estate in the Idylwood area I thought of another interesting local site in Tysons Corner. That is the 12.3 acre Ash Grove historic Site in Tysons Corner. The original home on Ash Grove was built about 1790 by Bryan Fairfax for his son Thomas Fairfax […]

What Condos in Fairfax County Are FHA Approved?

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FHA financing is a popular type of financing in Fairfax County these days. From being unable to compete with the 0% down loans back in 2005 and 2006, they are now a part of over 20% of the purchases in the area. The 3.5% down payment required is very competitive with the 10% minimum required from most […]