This summer, as the world begins to open up again with a deepened appreciation for family, we invite you to be together as a part of ours at The Kensington Reston.

Here, that means companionship at your fingertips, new friends to share in conversation, a warm welcome when families come to dine, special-interest activities to enjoy with fellow residents, and of course, care and service that reflects our uncompromising regard for excellence.

We invite you to join and celebrate with us! Every Saturday in June, we will be hosting a complimentary summer concert with refreshments in the courtyard at The Kensington Reston. Please note that we are meeting all recommended safety precautions to keep our residents, staff and guests safe.

  • Saturday, June 12, 4-6 p.m.: Just Four Grins Barbershop Quartet and enjoy an ice cream float
  • Saturday, June 19, 4-6 p.m.: Caribbean Vibe Steel Drums and enjoy shaved ice and fruit bars
  • Saturday, June 26, 4-6 p.m.: The Classics with Samy Youssef and enjoy Italian ice

RSVP by calling 703-559-8294 or email Alexandra Ramsey at [email protected].

To learn more about The Kensington Reston, visit us at www.KensingtonReston.com.

If you’re looking to rent in Reston, there are currently 79 homes available, according to Homesnap.

These range wildly — from a luxury three-bedroom condo for $5,200/month to a 6 BD/3 BA single-family home for $3,475/month.

Below are a few recently listed rentals worth checking out:

In the market? Check out the latest in Reston real estate.

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Paint is the most inexpensive way to transform your home — it makes an incredible impact. As a former interior designer, I’ve seen many houses look radically different with just a simple coat of paint in a new color.

Let’s face it: We’ve been spending a lot of time in our houses because of COVID. Instead of renovating, try paint as an inexpensive alternative!

Choose high-quality paints like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. They apply easily without any streaks and contain 40% more pigment than paints from the big box stores so you can paint fewer coats. This saves time and money (and a lot of aggravation!). Down the road, cleaning up small scratches and marks is easier if better paint is used.

My favorite neutral colors this year are City Loft by Sherwin Williams and Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore. I love using those colors on the walls and ceilings instead of using traditional white ceiling paint.

Photo (center) via House Beautiful

Bold colors are also trending now, like a green library/home office (Soft Spruce by Benjamin Moore). If this is too much color for you, consider painting a bold color to just one wall. A condo I recently sold in North Reston was all white with one black wall (Seal Skin by Sherwin Williams), and it was stunning!

Go beyond just walls — consider painting your kitchen/bath cabinets, front door and window sashes or freshen up old furniture with a funky paint color to add punch to your space.

Painting just a little bit can make a huge impact on the way your space looks and feels. It’s amazing how color can impact our emotions, and the way our home makes us feel. The colors you choose creates the foundation of your home’s personality and reflects your own!

Lynn Cooper is a licensed REALTOR in Virginia with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Whether buying or selling, Lynn is 100% committed to her clients before, during, and after the transaction. Connect with Lynn at 202-489-7894, [email protected] or @lynncooperrealestate.

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At The Kensington Reston, we are proud to partner with Inova Health to support you and your loved one on your caregiver journey and offer an Ask the Expert virtual discussion on Boosting Brain Health Through Engagement.

This interactive presentation is moderated by Angela Bailey, Executive Director of The Kensington Reston; Dr. Hillary Goetz, Neuropsychologist with Inova; Dr. James M. Ecklund, Chairman of Neuroscience, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus; and Dr. Dan Larriviere, System Division Chief of Neurology in the Inova Service Line of Inova Health System. They will introduce and delve into the ways we can all boost our brain health through engagement and provide an overview of future brain health initiatives within the Inova Brain Health Program.

The event takes place on Wednesday, June 2, 6-7:15 p.m. Click here to register.

To learn more about The Kensington Reston, please reach out to Karen Carter at [email protected] or 571-356-9052.

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

As we move forward, employers in the United States will likely be able to require that employees entering the physical workplace be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in guidance issued this past Friday.

Updated EEOC Guidance

The EEOC issued updated guidance stating that federal laws do not prevent an employer from requiring workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As with everything, there are some exceptions. In some situations, laws may require that an employer provide reasonable accommodations to employees who, because of a disability or a religious belief, cannot be vaccinated.

As an example of this, the EEOC said, as a reasonable accommodation, an unvaccinated employee entering the workplace might potentially wear a mask, work at a social distance or be given the opportunity to telework. There is also the possibility that other federal, state and local laws could be factored into such decisions as we move ahead.

According to the EEOC, if employers choose to obtain vaccination information from their employees, they must keep such information confidential under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Vaccination Incentives

The EEOC also indicated that vaccination incentives could be an option for employers to consider, so long as they are not deemed coercive. As the EEOC stated: “Because vaccinations require employees to answer pre-vaccination disability-related screening questions, a very large incentive could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information.”

In sum, it is very likely that employers will be able to require that in-house employees be vaccinated from COVID-19 prior to entering the workplace. Many of the details will eventually be worked out, but this seems to be the clear direction that the country is heading toward.

Contact Us

If you are in need of employment law legal representation or advice, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Plain and simple: Bathroom renovations can be daunting.

It’s not uncommon for a renovation to cost more than $15,000. (Yes, even for such a small space.)

But D.C.-based company remodelmate will help you design your dream bathroom for a fraction of the price — and without stress or headaches.

Here’s how remodelmate works:

  • Get a free estimate online. It takes one minute.
  • Speak with a design consultant to refine the details of your estimate.
  • Pair up with two professional interior designers to create your new bathroom. You can get a 3D look before moving forward.
  • Next, your dedicated project concierge takes over, handling all of the material sourcing and ordering. Don’t worry — they’ll stick to your budget, and you can keep tabs on everything through your online dashboard. (See? No headaches.)
  • Licensed and insured contractors, who are vetted through a rigorous screening process, carry out all the hard work.
  • Enjoy your beautiful new bathroom!

With remodelmate, you’ll pay a $100 booking fee, but otherwise there’s no down payment. You’ll simply make “milestone payments” as you approve each completed phase of the work.

To get started, get a free online estimate in one minute or less.

The Kensington Reston is proud to partner with Insight Memory Care Center and introduce our early-stage engagement program on site at our community this summer for individuals who have mild cognitive impairment or who are in the early stages of dementia.

Together with professional staff, a small group of club members will participate in recreational activities with the opportunity for peer support and socialization in a safe, non-judgmental setting. Program activities will champion cognitive engagement, creative expression, movement and social engagement.

The Kensington Day Club will take place June 8 to July 29. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be in person from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Kensington Reston. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, virtual programming will be held 10-11 a.m.

Space is limited. Reserve Your Spot Today!

You are also invited to join The Kensington Reston along with the INOVA Department of Neurosciences, virtually, to learn about Boosting Brain Health Through Engagement. Register for this complimentary event today.

To learn more, please reach out to Karen Carter at [email protected] or 571-356-9052.

Meet Reston’s latest Pet of the Week, Robbie. He had a tough past, but, even so, this sweet boy is trusting and is ready to make new friends (human and dog!).

Here’s what Robbie’s friends at NOVA Pets Alive! had to say about him:

Everyone loves Rob, and Rob loves everyone!

This sweet boy’s story will break your heart. He was tied outside to starve with several other dogs, some of which sadly didn’t make it. When we first met Rob he was skin and bones. It was hard to believe such a neglected dog could still be so trusting and sweet after all he was put through.

We sent Rob to an amazing foster family who nursed him back to health, and they have nothing but love for their sweet hound dog. Rob is housebroken, good with other dogs, good with kids, and loves going for a nice long walk.

Rob’s foster mom says: “He is a darling dog, super friendly with everyone. He’s made several people and doggie friends in the neighborhood and would do great with kids and a dog buddy. Rob is an absolute delight of a dog and whoever adopts him will be sooooooo lucky!”

Are you and Robbie the perfect match?

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If you’re in the market to buy a house, you’ve got options.

According to Homesnap, there are 167 homes currently for sale in Reston — 98 condos, 27 detached homes and 42 townhomes. Additionally, as of May 16, there have been 67 new listings in the past four weeks, up since last week.

This weekend, you’ll find a number of open houses across Reston, including:

Photo via James Lee on Unsplash

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The Kensington Reston is proud to partner with Insight Memory Care Center and introduce our early-stage engagement program on site at our community this summer for individuals who have mild cognitive impairment or who are in the early stages of dementia.

This eight-week summer day club will be hosted in-person Tuesdays and Thursdays at our Kensington Reston community and virtually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Together with professional staff, a small group of club members will participate in recreational activities with the opportunity for peer support and socialization in a safe, non-judgmental setting. Program activities will champion cognitive engagement, creative expression, movement and social engagement.

The Kensington Day Club will take place June 8 to July 29. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be in person from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Kensington Reston. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, virtual programming will be held 10-11 a.m.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today.

To learn more, please reach out to Alexandra Ramsey at [email protected] or call 703-559-8294.

Tell any well-meaning friend or relative that you’re buying a home and be prepared for a ton of advice. Some of it may be good, but the old thinking that you need 20% down to buy a home simply isn’t true.

Susan Ciapparelli, Senior Loan Officer at American Security Mortgage, states: “Only 1 in 4 of my clients are putting 20% or more down when home buying.”

Why? There are many loan programs available to assist buyers in obtaining the American dream without completely depleting their savings.

For example, FHA loans only require a 3.5% down payment, and the lending guidelines are less stringent than with conventional loans. So, if your credit score is less than ideal, you can still qualify for a mortgage. Additionally, FHA loans may be assumable, so when it comes time to sell, a buyer could assume your interest rate making your home much more attractive to purchase, especially given the historically low interest rates we’re seeing today. Loans issued by the Veterans Administration require 0% down and may also be assumable. (Of course, you need to be a U.S. veteran to qualify.) On a conventional loan, you can put down as little as 3%, so for example, on a $565,000 sales price you can put down as little as $16,950.

Let’s also talk about mortgage insurance, also known as PMI (private mortgage insurance). Many buyers fear mortgage insurance simply because they don’t understand it. With conventional loans, your lender will require this insurance if you’re putting less than 20% down to protect themselves if you stop paying the mortgage. Mortgage insurance is based on your credit score and a few other factors. If you have great credit, your monthly PMI could be very low, freeing up your money to make improvements to your new home. Additionally, PMI can be paid in one lump sum at closing; financed in some cases or credited, instead of having monthly payments.

My advice? Have a loan officer run different scenarios using a variety of loan programs to determine the best down payment option for you; each person’s scenario can be drastically different.

Lynn Cooper is a licensed REALTOR in Virginia with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Whether buying or selling, Lynn is 100% committed to her clients before, during, and after the transaction. Connect with Lynn at 202-489-7894, [email protected] or @lynncooperrealestate.

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Meet Reston’s latest Pet of the Week, Shadow. This week girl is gentle, calm and affectionate.

See what her friends at Fancy Cats Rescue Team had to say about her:

Shadow is an affectionate cat any household would be lucky to have. She is very sweet, in a gentle and calm sort of way. True to her name, she will follow you around wherever you go, asking for attention. Shadow is not a clingy or up-in-your-face snuggler, though. She will sit beside you on the floor and occasionally the couch or chair and just ask for neck scratches.

One of Shadow’s favorite things to do is lay her head on your foot while you sit and just fall asleep, comforted by your touch. Shadow does like to play, but it isn’t usually for very long. She will not demand to play or to receive love and has a quiet, peaceful presence.

Shadow will greet you with a meow whenever you enter the door, a warm welcome and some affection. She will purr even before you touch her and soaks in all of the attention given. Shadow would do well in a less chaotic, quieter home where she can receive attention but will do fine being left alone for a few hours.

Are you and Shadow the perfect match?

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This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Holding or applying for a security clearance and maintaining significant investments in marijuana businesses can be a problem. We have been advising clients about this issue since some states began to legalize marijuana around 2010. Owning an investment in a marijuana company (e.g., stock, equity) (or working for a marijuana enterprise) is a reportable clearance activity for security clearance holders and applicants and can lead to the loss of a security clearance or problems in obtaining one. Investments in marijuana-related companies may constitute involvement in illegal drug activities under existing government guidelines.

This can potentially be the case even where the clearance holder or applicant does not directly choose their individual stocks. It also makes no difference if the state that the investment is located in has legalized marijuana businesses. The federal government’s current view is that an individual has a duty to know about their investments and to be knowledgeable about federal drug laws.

Federal Directives on Marijuana Usage and Investment

While there has not been new major guidance in the area of investment, Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD) 4, effective June of 2017, provides the current basis for not granting or revoking a security clearance based on drug involvement, including investments in marijuana under Guideline H:

25. Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

. . .

(c) illegal possession of a controlled substance, including cultivation, processing, manufacture, purchase, sale, or distribution; or possession of drug paraphernalia;

. . . .

If an issue were to arise, an investment in marijuana businesses could feasibly fall under a number of the security concerns in Paragraph 25 (c) of SEAD 4.

Marijuana investments have been referred to as the new Tesla or other growth industry, according to the news; the urge is to invest now. However, the problem is that until the federal government changes federal drug laws or creates an exception for marijuana businesses or investment, individuals that invest or otherwise become involved in marijuana investments can put their security clearance (and career) in danger. While investments in marijuana businesses are likely less of a red flag than usage of marijuana for a clearance holder, the best advice is to avoid marijuana investments.

We have continued to see significant confusion on this issue since 2010 when a number of states started legalizing the use of marijuana. It is advisable that individuals seeking to hold or to obtain a security clearance refrain from investing in marijuana stocks until federal law or policy changes. Looking at the current standards, the biggest risk is likely knowing that you are investing directly in a marijuana business (or direct ownership), as opposed to investing in a mutual fund where a person might be unaware of such investments. The federal government will eventually change their position on marijuana, but for the moment investing in companies or stocks that are involved in the sale of marijuana could cause security clearance problems.

Conclusion

If an employee needs assistance with security clearance issues, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or visit our website to schedule a consultation. Please also like us on Facebook or connect with us on Twitter.

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If you’re in the market to buy a house, you’ve got options.

According to Homesnap, there are 163 homes currently for sale in Reston — 95 condos, 31 detached homes and 37 townhomes. Additionally, as of May 9, there have been 61 new listings in the past four weeks.

This weekend, you’ll find a number of open houses across Reston, including:

Photo via James Lee on Unsplash

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