By Eve Thompson
Chanukah begins today, and Christmas is approaching right on its heels with New Years around the corner. With everything going on this time of year, many sellers opt to wait until well into the new year to list their home. Some believe summer is the best time to sell, and others simply don’t want to interrupt their favorite holiday traditions. Should you sell your home now?
Selling at this time of year can actually be very beneficial to the seller. I recently came across an article on Realtor.com that discussed 10 reasons why you can sell your home during the holidays. There are three points in particular that I like.
- More international buyers
The number of home buyers from other countries has increased dramatically—especially in Reston. These buyers don’t observe the same calendar of events as most Americans.
- Seller competition is lighter during the holidays
There are plenty of buyers out there right now. But with sellers reluctant to list their homes during the holidays, there is a shortage of inventory. Take advantage of that.
- You don’t have to forgo holiday decorating or take phone calls during the holiday feast.
You can set boundaries about when you show your house (and even set up black out dates), and decorations don’t turn off most buyers. But having your house listed means it will be on the website, and during the holidays the number of online searches soars. This means your house will be viewed virtually, and that’s a good thing.
Read the article for more insights as to why this is a great time of year to sell your home. Or call me and I can help you get ready.
By Eve Thompson
Lawyers Road, Reston VA.
When you’re driving down Lawyers Road in Reston, VA, it is easy to forget that you are in the midst of a thriving and crowded metropolis. This twisting, winding, hilly and tree-lined state road embodies the beauty of Northern Virginia. The few homes with a Lawyers Road address 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
Not too many years ago, Lawyers Road was the primary way to get from Reston to Vienna and Fairfax—in fact the road leads straight to the county courthouse (which may give you a clue to how it got its name). It’s still the fastest and—if you enjoy driving—the most fun way to get to old town Vienna.
But that’s only if you choose to leave Reston. Lawyers 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.
By Eve Thompson
I love Thanksgiving. Spending time with my family always fills with me with joy. And then the immediate consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday kind of sully that good feeling. Not that I don’t love a good deal, but wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the gratitude and good will of Thanksgiving a little longer? Now that those two shopping days are behind us, we can get back into the holiday spirit with #GivingTuesday.
#GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back, and it’s today. Today charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
How can you participate? Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Below is a list of some of the more than worthy organizations in Reston and Fairfax County. Choose the one(s) you want to support, then tell everyone about how you are giving—this is where that hashtag thing really works. Use #GivingTuesday.
- Cornerstones: Cornerstones promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services.
- Let’s Give Back: Let’s Give Back provides GiveBackPacks™ that contain items people may need when their child is admitted to the pediatric ICU. Receiving a GiveBackPack is comforting and helpful to the family in need.
- Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter: More than 5,000 animals, including cats, dogs, small mammals, reptiles and livestock, come to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter each year. The shelter opens its doors — and its heart — to care for each and every animal. But, the shelter can’t do it alone. Through donor and volunteer support, the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter provides medical care, food, supplies and so much more to help the shelter care for these loving animals.
- Friends of Reston: Friends of Reston supports Reston Association in performing charitable, educational and scientific projects. In addition to raising $1.5M to help fund the Nature House, organization has an RA Camps Scholarship Program and has organized the Re-energize Reston challenge with Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP).
These are just four of my favorites, but there are hundreds of charities in the area that could use your help. The Great Nonprofits website also lists some lesser known charities in the area.
By Eve Thompson
Happy Thanksgiving from some real turkeys (who, no lie, showed up at my friend’s house on Thanksgiving day!)
I love Thanksgiving weekend—there is so much to do and so much fun to be had. I wish it could last longer. If you’re new to Reston, or just want some new ideas about what to do this weekend, here are some of my favorites.
Donate Food to Those in Need
Before the weekend, consider donating food to Cornerstones—a fabulous Reston-based organization that makes a real difference in people’s lives. The Reston Community Center, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and Cornerstones have joined to collect food. You can drop off non-perishable food and other items from November 1 – 24 at the Reston Community Center’s Hunters Woods and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community. Visit the web page for a list of items they really need.
If you don’t feel like cooking this Thanksgiving, I suggest visiting Vinifera at the Westin Reston. They are offering a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday buffet for a reasonable price: $49 per adult; $20 per child ages 5-12; and $7 per child ages 5 and under. They’re located at 11750 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA (703) 234-3550. Call for reservations. Or if you have a hankering for something else, check out this list of Northern VA restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner.
Reston Holiday Parade
An annual tradition on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Reston Holiday Parade has grown in every way. Macy’s-style balloons, musicians and marching bands, dancers, antique cars, community groups, and more make up this one-of-a-kind, one-hour procession welcoming the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus for the season. The 2014 Parade Theme — “Home for the Holidays” — invites adults and kids alike to join the fun to celebrate home, family, and freedom! Come early to get your free sleigh bells. The fun starts at 11:00 a.m. at Reston Town Center.
Tree Lighting and Sing Along
After you’ve warmed up from your morning at the Holiday Parade, come back to the Reston Town Center for the annual tree lighting and sing along at 6:00pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage to magically light up the huge Christmas tree in Fountain Square. After that is a traditional holiday sing along led by The Reston Chorale and brass quintet. From 6:30 until 10 pm, horse-drawn carriage rides are available, embarking from outside of Talbots on Market Street. All proceeds benefit local charities.
Shop for Gifts from the Heart
Shop at the annual “Gifts from the HeART” from December 1 to January 5 to benefit Cornerstones. Sales of original works of two- and three- dimensional art in many mediums including watercolor, oil, acrylic, clay, mixed media, photography, and fiber are available—and make great gifts. Come to the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne and find the perfect gift!
That should do it—after all, you need plenty of time to lounge around and visit with your family and friends!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
By Eve Thompson
Photo courtesy of the Reston Museum.
Urban planning and architectural students study Reston, VA for a reason—some of Reston’s early designs were groundbreaking. Hickory Cluster, the first development in Reston, is one. Designed by the famous architect Charles Goodman, they represent why Goodman’s early designs changed the way developments were planned.
Architectural historian Elizabeth Jo Lample noted in Housing Washington: ” … The appeal of living in a Goodman house is enormous to those who share his avant-garde spirit, plus his ideals for openness, engagement with nature, and liberal social values. … To those who are fortunate enough to obtain them, his dwellings feel like highly livable works of art, glazed conduits to the natural world.”
One of Goodman’s trademarks is the way he used the land. In Hickory Cluster, he arranged groups of townhouses around intricately paved terraces, which in turn are leveled into a wooded hilltop. Overlooking Lake Anne Village Center, the Hickory Cluster townhomes features sharp changes in the rooflines, varying sizes, and contrasting textures. The homes come in a variety of designs with 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, rooftop terraces, balconies, playrooms, private studies, family rooms and recreation rooms.
Parking is ample: there is underground garage parking or carports for some models and large parking areas for others. The cluster backs up to Reston Association path and is just a short walk to Lake Anne, Reston Town Center, and Lake Anne Elementary School. The new Reston Station, Silver Line Metrorail, is a five minute drive and Dulles International Airport is within 15 minutes by car.
Visit the Hickory Cluster website to learn more about this historic, and beautiful, Reston community.
By Eve Thompson
Sipping a glass of wine from the Wine Cabinet is one of life’s many pleasures.
Is there any better way to spend a crisp fall evening than out on the deck, sipping a lovely glass of wine (or craft beer)? Most Restonians don’t think so. And neither does Rande Jenus, owner of the Wine Cabinet specialty wine and gourmet store in Reston’s North Point Village Center. That’s why he sells the perfect wines for any occasion—whether you’re enjoying an evening on the deck or hosting a special dinner party.
Rande believes there is a place between the big “box stores” and the small wine shops where good value, excellent knowledge, and discerning selection meet with professional business management to create shops of extraordinary taste and ambiance. The Wine Cabinet is proof of this.
Everyone at the Wine Cabinet is committed to creating a comfortable experience for every customer. You don’t need to know anything about wines to come out with the perfect bottle—the knowledgeable staff enjoys helping you find the right wine for your event (and budget). And if wine isn’t what you want, the craft beer selection should do the trick. The Wine Cabinet’s customer contract says it all: We place great value in the selection of wines, food and giftware and have a good wine at the right price for every budget and every palate.
The Wine Cabinet has become a gathering place for people who love fine wines, craft beers, cooking demonstrations, and culinary tools. There is always some fun event happening—all the more reason to come back time and again! You will see Rande and his staff out in the community too—they are a small, local business completely committed to the Reston/Fairfax community.
Whether you are a wine lover or not, stop into the Wine Cabinet. It is always an enjoyable experience…and you’ll always find some treasure to bring home.
1416 Northpoint Village Ctr
Reston, VA 20194
Hours of operation
Mon – Sat: 10AM – 8PM
Sunday: 12PM – 5PM