Tags: business, city tavern club, dc preservation historic league, foggy bottom, historic home, historic site, preservation, urban, urban living living, washington dc
image: Cameron Station
Over in Arlington, Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Fairfax, PG County, MD - either has regulations already in the books or in the works - for infill development of McMansion or Super-sized homes. The amendments include: height, front setbacks, garages, floor area ration (FAR), tree coverage and teardowns on substandard lots.
Alexandria City recently passed three amendments to address the super-sized homes issues. Three amendments approved by the City Council, via Update (subscription-only):
1. For houses that are 'too big.'
- Alexandria imposes Floor area revisions (FAR) for both residential and commercial. Removes exclusion on areas under 7'6" ceiling heights. Attic under 5' excluded. Vaulted ceilings over 15' shall be counted twice, and those over 25' counted 3 times FAR.
2. For houses that are 'too tall.'
- Dwelling height calculation is set at the greater of 25 feet or average building ht on the blockface plus 20%. Special permit is needed if owners looking to build homes that exceed those requirements.
- Front threshold heights. It's a permanent approval given to interim regulations. It limits the front threshold and by extension the first floor height. The new limit is average of front threshold height on the blockface + 20%.
- Measuring building height. This is how Alex. City would measure it: Building height will be measured from the lower of the pre-construction grade or post-construction grade to prevent cheating (for lack of better word) when builders using dirt along the foundation that gives the impression of decreasing building height. Other def are added for mansard and gambrel roof types. (sample of restoration of a gambrel home in Virginia).
image: gambrel roof (via Wiki)
image: mansard roof (via Wiki)
3. Curbing the growth of out-of-character houses.
To preserve neighborhood characteristics, the City gives incentives for front porches, detached garages.
- Open porches up to 240 s.f. is excluded from FAR calculations.
- Rear yard garages will be excluded from FAR measurements. Garages can only be used for cars (no more junks store in the garages).
Posted at 08:08 AM in Alexandria Real Estate, Historic Home, Historic Preservation, Home buying & selling, New Community, New developments, New Townhomes, Pre-constructions, Real Estate, Real Estate Trends, Urban Living | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: alexandria city, arlington, cameron station, fairfax, FAR, infill development, luxury homes, mcmansions, new constructions, new homes, northern virginia, preconstructions, preservation, real estate, supersized homes
The Palladium condominium, McLean
* Loudoun County Supervisors Vote to Appeal Ruling on Transportation Taxes [DC Examiner]
"Loudoun County will take its fight over new transportation taxes to the state’s highest court after losing a bond validation suit last week in Arlington County Circuit Court."
* Meridian Hill Park Renovations [Columbia Heights News]
"Some of you may have noticed the pick up in construction activity at Meridian Hill Park in the past several months. The National Park Service has been renovating the park since 2003 and is expected to finish the renovations in Spring 2008. It is currently in the second phase of the two-phase renovation project."
* Wolf Trap Motel and Tequila Grande Sold for $17 Million [Historic Vienna]
"The Vienna Wolf Trap Motel and Tequila Grande restaurant were sold in July 2007 for $17 million total. Check out the two websites for those businesses. Do you think New Jersey based developers (the buyers) paid $17 MILLION for the cash flow that spins out from THOSE two businesses?"
* Fairfax Tops High-Income List [Fairfax Times]
"Fairfax County broke the $100,000 median household income threshold in 2006, the first time any county of its size has done so."
* Family Plans Retirement Community at Manor [Washington Post]
" The prominent Carroll family in Howard County wants to see a portion of its 892-acre estate developed into an expansive retirement community, and local officials hope that in return for their support, the family will not allow development of the remainder of the historic property."
* Fending Off the Mortgage Crunch [Washington Post]
"When Michael and Kimberly Walker wanted to buy a house three years ago, they had no money for a down payment, but that didn't matter. They took out two loans -- one for $167,000, the other for $40,000 -- and ended up with a three-bedroom townhouse in the Loudoun County town of Purcellville."
* Trolley System Splits County Board Candidates [Arlington Gazette]
" Is it an economic engine for South Arlington, or a choo-choo traveling down the tracks of fiscal irresponsibility?"
* D.C. Begins Subprime Mortgage Investigation [DCist]
"As the housing market continues its downward spiral, D.C. officials are getting on board to recognize there may be some kind of problem going on. WTOP reports that the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking has signed a contract with the D.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending."
Posted at 02:18 PM in Arlington Real Estate, Business, Current Affairs, Historic Home, Home buying & selling, Loudoun County Real Estate, Maryland Real Estate, Mortgage & Financing, Real Estate, Suburban Living, Transportation, Urban Living | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: columbia pike trolley, historic vienna, loudoun county supervisors, meridian hill park, mortgage, tax, tequila grande, transportation, wolf trap motel
TLC's hit show MOVING UP is looking for great families in MD/DC/VA to appear on the show.
TLC, the network that brought you Trading Spaces and While You Were Out, is now producing 13 fresh new episodes of their breakout home design hit, Moving UP. We are looking for people who are moving between July and August of 2007.
Each episode follows three families as they move into their new houses, while struggling to leave their old homes behind. We will watch as they each spend the next few months remodeling, decorating and transforming their new spaces into their own. Moving UP is ultimately about the choices we make to turn a house into a home. After a few months, we will bring the former owners back to see what they make of the new changes.
Trading Spaces designer Doug Wilson hosts Moving UP, guiding our homeowners through the moving and remodeling process. He will meet the families before they move, and visit over the next few months to observe how the renovations are coming along.
How it Works:
We will follow the 3 (A -> B -> C) families through these basic stages:
For more information on the program please visit our website at http://tlc.discovery.com/guides/property/moving-up/moving-up.html or contact our casting department directly via phone 212-974-9050 or email Tom Langan TLangan@bbcnyproduction.com, Nicole Ford NFord@bbcnyproduction.com, Sabrina Bove SBove@bbcnyproduction.com and Jessica Winton JWinton@bbcnyproduction.com. To apply for consideration to appear on the show please fill out our online application at http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/apply/getontlc.html.
Any realtor that helps us cast an episode will receive a text credit in the episode they help cast as well as $150 finders fee.
Posted at 01:01 PM in Alexandria Real Estate, Arlington Real Estate, Around Tysons Development, Beyond DC real estate, DC Real Estate, Fairfax Real Estate, Falls Church Urban Living , Falls Church, Fairfax Real Estate, Green Building, Green Living, Historic Home, Historic Preservation, Home buying & selling, Homes Sales, Living Style, Loft Living, Loudoun County Real Estate, Luxury Homes, Maryland Real Estate, Preservation, Prince William Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Investments, Real Estate Trends, Remodeling, Restoration, revitalization, Suburban Living, Urban Living, Urbanism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Casting, DC, Discovery Channel, Doug Wilson, MD, Moving Up, TLC, Trading Spaces, VA
In 2003, the Ashton Heights Historic District was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood is listed, because it has the variety of architectural style that extends from the period in early 1900 to the 1950's. The hood is one of Arlington County's historic neighborhoods.
This neighborhood is located in the heart of Arlington. In real estate terms: Close to everything. Clarendon. Ballston-Virginia Square. Clarendon amenities, like Wholefoods, restaurants and -- all the shops in the world. Next door to two metro stations: Virginia Square and Clarendon.
click image to (+)
According to Ashton Heights Style Guide, ".. the predominant styles are Bungalow and Colonial Revival, with Tudor Revival and American Four Square.."
image: Ashton Heights Style Guide
In addition to the other architectural styles, several homes in the neighborhood are mail-order-houses, i.e. Sears, or other vendors. And it has infill homes, too. Since the neighborhood is listed with Natl. Register of Historic Places, the homeowners have to follow the hood conservation program. The Ashton Heights Conservation Plan, updated in 2001, states as the first objective for residential development,
"Preserve the 'old' neighborhood feel of Ashton Heights by encouraging development of single family houses that are consistent architecturally with existing neighborhood homes."
via Neighborhood Preservation Plan for Ashton Heights
You like walking? Walk Arlington, has the downloadable map, video tour for the hood guided by Jay Fisette, Chairman of Arlington Board, in which you can see what his home looks like -- at 311 North Jackson Street. It's a cool 1.75 miles of neighborhood walk. And it's flat.
There are 12 homes on the market, priced from low $659,000 to high-$1.669 million. Four homes under contract. Absorption rate is 3 months -- a seller's market for this pocket of the county's neighborhoods! Two homes sold the past 30 days listed sold for $600,000 (with $8500 subsidy) and $819,900 (subsidy $9750). Some of the homes here have been on the market over two months, with only one new listing under a week. The average days on the market is 107! Data via MRIS.
Real estate marketing 101: If homes are "priced right" and have a good condition, in this market it .. will sell. The stats show that a couple of the homes that went under contract or sold recently, their days on the market were 'very' short (under 2 weeks). Because these homes were priced right.
A bonus -- if you rehab a historic home, you might qualify to receive tax credit.
Marina, Old Town
The City of Alexandria has 63 active listings of homes in the million dollar and above. Fourty-five of the homes are clustered around Old Town neighborhoods.
There are at least 63 homes on the market within the price range of $1 million plus in the City of Alexandria. The range goes from the low-$1 million to high-$5.8 million. Majority of these homes located in the most pricey zip code in the City, Old Town. At least 45 of the 63 homes is in zip code: 22314.
224 Lee St., Old Town
The most expensive home on the market is 224 Lee St., in Old Town. A few short blocks from the City Hall. It is a four-level historic home built in the 18th century. This house sits on two lots. It has five bedrooms, four and a half baths and basement. Total taxes $27,240. Get this. The number of fireplaces: Seven (7)! Wow.. that’s a lot of fireplaces for a 5304 s.f.
via Go Alexandria
Surprise, surprise. Even though Old Town considered as one of the neighborhoods where you can find Alexandria's luxury homes, it also has a mix of affordable condos. I say 'affordable' because, it is...Old Town! In this neighborhood, you can still find 1 BR condo in the $-200's level. Twenty-three condos from studios, 1 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms on the market for under $300,000. That is not bad. Some of the homes is the product of rentals-to-condos conversion.
It looks like condo conversion still coming on to the market, though not at a fast clip like before. This time is targeted for buyers who can spend up to $300k.
Cross link with Go Alexandria.
Posted at 12:18 PM in Alexandria Real Estate, Historic Home, Historic Preservation, Home buying & selling, Homes Sales, Living Style, Real Estate, Real Estate Trends, Urban Living, Urbanism | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: affordable, alexandria homes, city of alexandria, condo living, condominiums, historic homes, homes for sale, housing, luxury homes, real estate, waterfront
* US Program Maps Out Flood Coverage [WHG]
* MD has Edge on House Sales [WHG]
* Adjusting to Higher Loan Rate [WHG]
* Lessons Learned From Remodeling Project [Realty Times]
* U.S. 50 Debate: More Homes Cure Traffic? [Fairfax Times]
* 6,800-Home Plan Likely to be Denied [Gainsville Times]
* After the Boom.... [The Connection]
* Nosedive in Residential Condo Market Stalls F.C. City Center [Falls Church News-Press]
* Restoring Historic Homes: A Primer [Kiplinger]
* Fewer Houses, Fewer Builders [Kiplinger Forecast]
Speaking of long history, this house that is currently on the market has been on the same family since 1897, or passing through 19 presidents. Via Washington Post.
In 1897, 10 years before the foundation stone was laid for the Washington National Cathedral, Samuel Arthur Swindells (1868-1959) and his wife Margaret (1868-1938) bought land at 3426 Macomb St. NW in Cleveland Park.
The Swindells chose the then-bucolic community because they wanted to get out to the country and away from "the hustle and bustle of Georgetown," said Peter Swindells, their grandson.
In 1898, the young couple moved in, just around the corner from the former summer home of President Grover Cleveland. Their house has been in the same family ever since, through 19 U.S. presidents. Now it's up for sale for the first time.
The address is 3426 Macomb St., Cleveland Park. The property is listed for $1M.
* After 19 Presidents, A Change of Hands [Washington Post]
Brookside, a historic landmark property in the village of Millwood in Clarke County is for sale. Via Clarke Times-Courier.
The 1775 home was built by Col. Nathanial Burwell, who was one of the founders of the Burwell-Morgan Mill next door.
Burwell came to Clarke County from his aristocratic family’s home, Carter Grove, near Williamsburg. He was given 5,500 acres here from his great-grandfather, Robert “King” Carter, the fabulously successful colonial plantation baron of the Piedmont area of Virginia. Burwell started Millwood by first building Brookside, a lovely Georgian clapboard house, for his family to live in while their mansion at the nearby plantation, Carter Hall, was under construction.
The property includes three and a half outbuildings. Included in the parcel is the former slave quarters. According to the information, property has been completely renovated. It listed for $899,000.
* Historic Landmark For Sale [Clarke Times - Courier]
Two houses believed to have ties to George Washington, Robert E. Lee and William H. Fitzhugh, are on sale now. They're located in Annandale.
Via Washington Post.
The properties aren't officially linked by local or national historians. But the owner of the smaller house, Claudia Moose, a magazine writer, is convinced of the ties. She thinks the oldest portion of her red clapboard house, high on a hill at the corner of Old Well Road and Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, was home to slaves owned by the Fitzhugh family or to the slaves' overseers.
Moose, who has researched land records and spoken with former owners, said county records dating her house to 1925 probably reflect when it got public utilities and not its likely earlier use as an outbuilding for either the bigger house or a sister mansion, both built in the 1700s.
"Nobody really knows what this house was for," Moose said, but it still has an old well, later upgraded with an electric pump, in the basement. And she says a line of pine trees starting just outside her back door marks the old driveway that used to connect her home to the entrance of the mansion that's also for sale. (The well in her basement, she said, is not the well of Old Well Road. Developers in the 1960s named it after the Old Well at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.)
This house is listed for $895,000. The other one, Oak Hill mansion at 4716 Wakefield Chapel Road, is one of the only three grand buildings that survived with trace to William Fitzbugh, is on the market for $2.375M.
* A Piece of Annandale's Plotline [Washington Post]