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Archive for December, 2009

Holiday Tree Collection in Alexandria, VA

The City of Alexandria has set aside two days,  January 9 and January 15 for holiday tree collection.  The city then uses the trees to create wood mulch.

To prepare trees for collection, residents are reminded to:

City residents using a private collection service (like Park Fairfax residents) should check with their home owners association, resident manager or property manager.

Holiday Tree Collection in Alexandria, VA


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First Night Alexandria 2009 – It’s the Place to Be

First Night Alexandria 2009 is definitely the place to be as we head into  – can it really be true? – 2010.  Get an early start this afternoon at 2:30pm with the Fun Hunt (check out the great prizes) and then move on to over 19 indoor venues hosting some 100 performances.

Virginia Coalition is the big draw at the George Washington Masonic Temple along with tempting treats from our favorite Pork Barrel Barbeque.

Online ticket sales are closed but admission badges can be purchased at any of the following locations starting at 12 noon:

For complete details on First Night Alexandria 2009, click here.

See you there,


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Boys & Girls Club of Alexandria Celebrates Renovation with Neighborhood Gathering

The Dunbar Alexandria Olympic Boys and Girls Club recently celebrated the renovation of its seventy year old property with a grand neighborhood gathering including special guests U.S. Representative Jim Moran and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille.

Charlie Collum, Pandit Wright, Martin Alloy

Also on hand were Pandit Wright, the new CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington; Martin Alloy, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington; and Charlie Collum, Chair of the Board of Directors for Burke and Herbert Bank and co-chair of the capital campaign committee.

Last February we wrote about the bold decision of the BCGC board to undertake a major fundraising campaign in the middle of economic uncertainty because it was in the best interest of the children.

The BCGC headquarters at 401 North Payne St. in Alexandria was old, dark, and totally inadequate for any kind of meaningful programming.

Tammy Mujcia, Kyle Burner, Mary Burner, Michael Bergin

That bold decision paid off.  Twelve months later, with incredible support from the community, the renovated building is an absolute asset to Alexandria.

Architects Lucy Adams and Stephanie Dimond and general contractor Harry Braswell combined forces to work within defined areas while giving new space from every available nook and cranny.

Occupancy permits have just come through and we’ll be back in a few weeks to get a look at the club – and the kids –  in action.


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Alexandria and Northern Virginia Real Estate – Looking Forward to 2010

Now that we’re finishing up with the holidays and moving towards a new year, I wanted to share some thoughts about real estate in Alexandria and Northern Virginia and what you can look forward to in 2010.

The “time” is now.  If you are well into the process or just beginning to think about buying, call me at 703.927.4554 and let’s get started. What are you waiting for?


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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

With best wishes,


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Alexandria, VA Market Watch for Old Town, November 2009, Zip Code 22314

November home sales in Old Town Alexandria (zip code 2214)  show a 3.75 percent decrease in price from November 2008 but a whopping 40 percent increase in the number of homes sold.  This includes single family homes, townhouses, and duplexes but excludes condominium sales.

I wouldn’t read too much into the decrease in prices.  It has a lot to do with the number of homes on the market, including two listings for over a million.  One sold at 20 percent less than the asking price and the other came in at 7 percent less.

Overall the market is increasingly strong – remember that in October 2009 prices were up 8.8 percent over October 2008 – and the number of days on the market (DOM) decreased from 69 in November 2008 to 58 in November 2009.

For more details give me a call at 703.927.4554,


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Making My List and Checking It Twice – GIFT Books for Holiday Giving

Ok folks, we are down to the final ‘do or die’ days for holiday shopping.  So today I am making my list and checking it twice for GIFT books:

Herblock: The Life and Work of the Great Political Cartoonist by Haines Johnson  – With a career spanning 72 years and 13 American presidents, his cartoons made complex issues seem simple and moral choices clear.  An amazing work.

Boy Scouts of America, A Centennial History by Chuck Wills – The official and definitive history of one of our
nation’s most influential and cherished organizations, packed with
stories and images of service and heroism.

Read My Pins by Madeline Albright – This is a particular favorite of Virginia’s and and takes ‘dress for success’ to another level.   Albright used her famous collection of pins (most costume jewelry) to convey what she could not say publically, especially when dealing with the Middle East.

Polar Obsession by Paul Nicklen – An unprecedented, up-close documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales,walruses,  polar bears, bearded seals, and narwhals, all bathed in polar light.

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns – speaks for itself.   A companion to the Ken Burns PBS documentary, the book allows you to linger over the “great sections of our natural landscape . . . set aside, not for kings
or noblemen or the very rich, but for everyone, for all time.”

A Shadow Falls by Nick Brandt – This is one of the most stunning books of photography I have seen in recent years.  Fifty-eight images in stunning, oversize tritone plates (black and white) capture the natural grandeur of East Africa with wide-screen panoramas of animals and landscapes.  Truly magnificent.

Be sure and check out my post on biographies and history books too.

Happy Shopping,


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Mortgage Report for December 21, 2009

Our mortgage report for December 21 sees interest rates left unchanged by the Federal Reserve.  At the same time economic activity is picking up and the labor market is showing signs of recovery.

The next few months should see rates affected more by the market place than by government policies.  Bottom line, we are probably in the last few weeks of sub-5% rates for 30 year fixed mortgages.

For my complete report, click here.

Rob Clark, Preferred Mortgage

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19 Inches of Snow – December 09


19 inches of snow – December 09

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . . .

Starting late last night, Alexandria got hit with the first big snow storm of the season.  In fact, it’s been a good ten years since we’ve had this much snow.  (Last year it was just a ‘dusting’).  What can I say, growing up in Minnesota, New York and West Virginia is great preparation . . .

Neighbors, Sharon and Gabriel


A Realtor’s Work is Never Done

Picture Perfect

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .


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