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by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm 4 Comments

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

Reston is one of those places where people buy a home and then live in it for 50 years.

While many houses on the market in Reston have been renovated, at least in the last 15 years, chances are you’ll fall in love with a home that needs some work. Since fixer uppers tend to sell for less than a renovated home, the thought of buying one is attractive.

I help clients work through the pros and cons of buying a fixer upper every day, and here’s what I tell them.

Buying a fixer upper

First, you need to be honest about how much of a project you can take on. If you really don’t have the time or desire to do the work yourself, don’t buy a house based on doing the work yourself. That’s a good way to end up living another 15 years with a kitchen from 1970.

Before you buy, try to get an estimate of how much the renovations will cost you. Talk to friends who have done similar renovations. Or try this free estimator (it’s basic, but it’s a place to start). You may find that they add up to the difference between the fixer upper and a renovated home. Of course, for someone who’d like to have work done exactly how they’d like it, that might not matter.

When to consider a fixer upper

  • You’ve always wanted a specific type of kitchen, bathroom, deck, etc. (maybe you dream of Viking appliances and granite counters). This is a great opportunity to spend a little less on the purchase of your home and funnel that extra money into getting what you really want.
  • When the repairs are actually very superficial. It can be hard to imagine how wonderful your living room is if it’s painted a color you hate or has unappealing wall paper. But paint is a simple fix and it will change the look of your whole house.
  • When the structure is good, and things just need an overhaul. If the kitchen layout works for you and the cabinets are in good condition, getting new appliances, counters and painting is easy… and well worth the effort to freshen the house.
  • If this is your dream house in your dream neighborhood. If you really love this house, then you should live in it!

Know when to walk away (or at least consider it)

There are some fixer upper scenarios that you really shouldn’t take on.

  • A bad roof or ancient heating/air conditioning systems: Both of these are very expensive repairs. If the house you want needs a new ones, negotiate that into your price.
  • Foundation issues:If you’ve got a bad foundation, it is very time consuming to fix it. Your home inspection will turn up any problems and if it does, consider very carefully if you love the house enough to deal with the headache.
  • Old electrical systems: Older homes can have faulty wiring and electrical panels that could pose a risk of electrical fire. Your home inspection will reveal whether this is an issue to consider.

My advice: avoid structural issues that will cause you headaches for years — and may make it difficult to sell your house later. But other than that, if you really are handy or you have a great contractor, fixer uppers are a great investment.

See more at: http://allrestonrealestate.com/blog/#sthash.7Gi37GGz.dpuf

by Fatimah Waseem February 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm 13 Comments

Local police responded to two robberies at gas stations on Monday. In both cases, the suspect was described as a black man wearing dark clothing, police said.

An armed man robbed the Shell gas station on 12219 Leesburg Pike around 10:20 p.m. No one was injured in the incident, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

In a separate incident, an armed man robbed the Sunoco gas station at 1496 North Point Village Center around 11:05 p.m. The man displayed a handgun and took cash and other property from the business.

In another incident, local police continue to investigate the robbery of a Sunoco gas station in South Lakes. As we reported last week, An armed man robbed the gas station on 11190 South Lakes Drive last Tuesday.

Local police also arrested a juvenile for making an electronic threat against a police officer this month. The threat was made through social media on February 2, according to the police department. The department released no further information and a spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

The police department reported the following incidents:

LARCENIES: 

1300 block of Cassia Street, property from residence

1600 block of Fieldthorn Drive, property from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES: 

2100 block of Astoria Circle, 2002 Honda Accord

Herndon’s police department is investigating two robberies over the last week.

On Friday at around 10 p.m., a man armed with a gun demanded money from the cashier of a business on the 600 block of Elden Street.

He left with an undisclosed amount of money and several cigarette packs. The suspect is described as a white made of “average height and build.” He was wearing black clothing and a black ski mask, police said. The investigation is ongoing and police are investigating possible connections with other robberies being handled by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Fairfax County Police Department.

In a separate incident on Sunday, two suspects approached a victim in the lobby of a restaurant on the 13000 block of Worldgate Drive. The suspects took him outside, assaulted him and grabbed his sneakers.

Police located the suspects and transported them to the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center, where they were held for robbery, abduction and malicious wounding.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

by Anna Merod February 20, 2018 at 12:30 pm 1 Comment

Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” will be gracing the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage from March 9 through 24.

The play, performed by the Reston Community Players, tells the story of Brick Pollitt, an alcoholic and former high school football player, and his wife Maggie. When the two join the rest of the Pollitt family for Big Daddy’s 65th birthday, a story of survival and family dysfunction emerges at the Southern plantation.

“Cat is one of my favorite stage productions, and it is an honor to bring these characters to life at Reston,” said Sharon Veselic, who directs the show, in a press release. “While the story takes place in the 1950s, many of the dynamics of the personalities portrayed on stage are still relevant today. It’s a true classic.”

The show is presented through an arrangement with Dramatists Play Service on behalf of the Sewanee: The University of the South.

Tickets are $23. To purchase, contact the box office at 703-476-4500 or go online. The play is recommended for ages 16 and older for adult themes and brief nudity.

by RestonNow.com February 20, 2018 at 10:15 am 5 Comments

Last week, four South Lakes High School student-athletes formalized their commitments with Division I colleges.

Bardia Kimiavi, a varsity starter throughout his high school career and a three-time captain, will play soccer at Northwestern University. He was named a two-time Virginia State Cup Champion and U.S. Youth Soccer National Champion.

Fellow classmate Kahlil Dover, who we wrote about earlier this month, signed to play soccer for Virginia Tech.

Spencer Alston, a four-year varsity starter on the school’s football and lacrosse teams, will play football for Yale University.  He is a member of the school’s Executive Leadership Council and was selected to attend the 2017 Virginia Boys State Conference at Radford University. He has received individual honors, including conference offensive player of the year and regional offensive player of the year.

Meanwhile, Evan Matthes, a diver and an Eagle Scout, committed to play football for West Virginia University. He received awards like first team all-district punter, first team all-region punter and the player of the year at SLHS last year.

Submitted photo

by Fatimah Waseem February 20, 2018 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Body Cameras Go Live This Week— Police officers in the Reston police district will be equipped with body cameras beginning this week. During the six-month pilot program, cameras will record anytime officers respond to a scene and during routine traffic stops. [NBC 4]

Maame Biney Looks Forward to Beijing 2022 — Over the weekend, Biney finished last in the 1,500-meter short-track speedskating heat. She also finished fourth in the quarterfinals for the 500-meter race.  The 18-year-old made history by becoming the first black woman to make the U.S. Olympic speedskating team. [The Washington Post]

Meet Reston Association Board Candidates — There are four open seats on RA’s board of directors. E-meet the 13 candidates who are running by watching their online videos. [RA]

Hiccups on the Metro Line This Morning — Metro trains did not share a track on the Blue and Silver lines this morning. Backups were caused by a report of smoke. [The Washington Post]

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

by RestonNow.com February 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm 1 Comment

Since our launch in 2013, Reston Now has been focused on serving our readers and bringing you the local news you need to know about your community.

Last week, we took another step forward by adding a new morning newsletter to our email subscription options.

Supplementing our Afternoon Update, which links to stories published within the past 24 hours, Reston Now AM (example) is a hand-crafted, concise wrap-up of everything you need to know about what’s going on in Reston to start your day.

Designed with busy people in mind, Reston Now AM gets you briefed on your local news, traffic, weather, business openings and events in Reston — plus some other fun things in between — in just a couple of minutes.

At a time when you’re less and less likely to get a complete picture of local happenings from social media, our email subscription ensures that you don’t miss a local headline.

Sign up for free below, or use this link if you’re having difficulty using the form. If you only want to receive one email per day, you can opt out of the morning or afternoon emails.

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by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm 1 Comment

This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact Anna at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and follow her work on HouzzPinterestFacebook and Twitter.

Did you know that February is not only the month of love but National Family Baking Month? What a fun way to spend the last two of the coldest months of winter, in your house with the sweet aromas of cinnamon rolls in the air.

We have compiled a list of the top 3 essentials to help get you and your family baking together without breaking the bank. And we also found a fantastic recipe link to how to make your version of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls at the end of the article.

Mixing Bowls — An essential to baking is the correct mixing bowls. Mixing bowls come in a variety of materials, such as glass, ceramic, copper, plastic and stainless steel.

Glass and ceramic bowls can be pretty and double as serving dishes, but they are easily breakable. Copper is the most beautiful, but usually the most expensive. Plastic is durable but tends to absorb odors. Stainless steel is the most durable and cost-effective. We love Cuisinart and suggest Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, Set of 3.

Rolling Pins — What is it about a rolling pin, that brings back happy memories of someone baking during your childhood? Of course, like mixing bowls, there is more than one type.

The first rolling pin we think of is the traditional wood rolling pin, as it is the most commonly known. The second rolling pin is the marble rolling pin; these are great for thinning out doughs that usually break easily with a wood rolling pin.

The third type of well-known rolling pin is the french rolling pin. Unlike the traditional and marble rolling pin, they do not have the wood panels connected to them. These are great for your little ones as they do not have to grasp the sides of rolling pin, but can use the bottom of their hands to glide the rolling pin across the dough.

One of our favorites is Sugar Maple French Style Rolling Pin: Tapered Solid Wood Design. Hand Crafted in the USA. By Top Notch Kitchenware!

Hand Mixers — If your family is new to baking, starting out with a high-end top stand mixer may not be the best place to start on your mixing journey.

So, instead, we recommend starting with something that will get the job done, a hand mixer. Hand mixers like stand mixers can come in a variety of different styles for different types of mixing. For instance, hand mixers can come with beaters, whisks or dough hooks.

You can get hand mixers with just the beaters or with all three. We recommend the VonShef 250W 6 Speed Hand Mixer with Stand and 5 Accessories Includes 2 Dough Hooks, 2 Beaters & 1 Whisk plus Turbo Function and Handy Stand — stylish red design that has everything to start your baking journey.

Now for the best part of this article, how to make your own Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. It’s called the Clone of a Cinnabon and it’s from one of our favorite sites Allrecipes.com. Happy Baking!

(This content uses referral links.)

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm 0

Before we head off into Presidents Day weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. We’ll resume our regular publication schedule on Tuesday, barring any breaking news.

  1. &pizza is Opening This Fall in Reston Town Center
  2. Crime Roundup: Herndon Man Arrested In Connection with CVS Pharmacy Robbery in Reston Town Center
  3. Armed Man Robs 7-11 in Herndon
  4. Fairfax Police: Parts Taken From More Than a Dozen Vehicles
  5. Police Investigate Robbery at Sunoco Gas Station in South Lakes

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. Have a great weekend.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm 9 Comments

A four-story hotel could replace surface parking in Lake Fairfax Business Park.

TH Holding Company is seeking to build a 98,500 square foot hotel with 138 rooms next to the headquarters of Thompson Hospitality (1741 Business Center Drive), its retail food and facilities management company.

Reston’s Planning and Zoning Committee will vote on the proposal on Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The plan outlines 299 parking spaces, including 149 spots for hotel guests and employees. An outdoor terrace will sit next to the hotel’s main entrance and towards the neighboring office building.

The plan is designed to transition into a future street that would connect Business Center Drive to Michael Faraday Drive. Reston’s comprehensive plan proposes a local street running along the southwest border of the site.

Although redevelopment does not require this additional step, the company is designing the south side of the site in order to “easily integrate into the ultimate grid of streets,” according to the proposal.

The proposed development is expected to generate 775 weekday daily trips and 929 daily trips.

A map showing the location of Thompson Hospitality and the adjacent parking lot is below:

Photo via handout

by Anna Merod February 16, 2018 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Watch the Basketball District Finals at South Lakes High School on Friday. The women’s game will feature Langley High School vs. South Lakes at 5:45 p.m. The men’s game will feature Washington Lee High School vs. South Lakes at 7:30 p.m.
  • Join Stanley Whitaker for an evening of live guitar music at Tavern64 on Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Take a dip in the pool with the family for The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center at RCC Hunters Woods. The event is Friday from 7-9 p.m. and entry costs $13 for Reston residents and $23 for non-Reston groups.
  • Learn how to break a board (or five) at Life Champ Martial Arts of Reston. The event is on Friday 7:15-8 p.m. and costs $20.
  • Call yourself a punk? Then you might enjoy the local punk coverband Poprocks who are performing at the Crafthouse Friday from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Jam out and skate during the “Rock N Skate” event at the Ice Skating Pavillion Friday from 8-10 p.m. There will be a live DJ and music, prizes and games.
  • Take an exploratory hike, have some outdoor fun or participate in an indoor Nature House program as a part of the “Great Backyard Bird Count: eBird Workshop.” The free program runs on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Walker Nature Center.
  • Share the ice with classic, beloved cartoon characters such as Scooby Doo and Cat in the Hat at Ice Skating Pavillion on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Need a little practice reading or just love dogs? Have your child read to a therapy dog at the Kingstowne Library. The event is for ages 5-12 and will run from 12:30-1 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Learn more about the opioid crisis in the country in a lecture by a representative of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. The lecture will take place at the Kings Park Library in the Kings Park Meeting Room on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
  • Historian Gregg D. Kimball of the Library of Virginia will trace the Prohibition musical legacy through spoken narrative, period images and live and recorded music. The event is from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chantilly Meeting Room in the Chantilly Regional Library.
  • Don’t miss the free Paulina Peavy exhibit at the Greater Reston Arts Center, which ends Saturday at 5 p.m. Peavy’s work reflects her “personal ontology and the meaning of life,” according to Reston Town Center. Her work includes paper, paintings, films, texts and masks.
  • Tag along as beginner or expert bird finder on a bird walk of Reston Lakes and waterfowl tour. The free bird walk will meet at Lake Newport Tennis and will run from 8-11 a.m. Sunday.
  • Come listen to the Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo play traditional African American folk music. The performance will be at the Reston Meeting Room 1 and 2 at the Reston Regional Library from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Watch the one man show of Mark Brutsché perform Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the CenterStage RCC Hunter Woods at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and $10 for non-Residents.

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 10:15 am 22 Comments

Relief could be on the way soon for drivers who frequent Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

Last night, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved long awaited plans to tackle traffic backups by realigning Sunset Hills Road to Crowell Road.

The plan also includes adding a roundabout as an intersection control. Hunter Mill Road would become a four-lane road between the intersection of Crowell Road and Sunset Hills Road to the Dulles Toll Road’s westbound ramps.

John Carter, the Hunter Mill District’s planning commissioner, compared the new plan to George Washington Parkway. Conceding the comparison was imperfect, he said the changes feature sweeping curves, major setbacks of 400 feet from houses to the road and a commitment to preserve a pond and a forested resource protection area.

The plan passed by the commission includes several amendments to address concerns raised by the Hunter Mill Defense League and the Hunting Crest Homeowners Association. Changes include:

  • Beginning realignment to the east of the Edlin School and extending no farther than Crowell Road
  • Maximizing the distance between the realigned road and the Hunting Crest community
  • The inclusion of a roundabout as a preferred alternative
  • Modifying transportation maps to include a cul-de-sac on Hunter Mill Road

The county’s Board of Supervisors will hear public comment on the plan on March 6 at around 4 p.m.

Since 2014, the county held several community meetings to lay out traffic management alternatives. The latest plan is a mix of several options, but departs from previously discussed plans, which the county indicated no longer work.

Carter said the county’s studies clearly indicate the current plan is the “better method to calm traffic in this area.”

Photo via handout

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 9:00 am 22 Comments


Let your imagination run wild – Today is the last day an art proposal in response to the prompt, “If you could do anything, what would it be?” Greater Reston Arts Center will select five artists to participate in the Mary B. Howard invitational later this year. [GRACE]

Delays on Metro This Weekend — The Silver, Orange and Blue Lines are scheduled to run every 24 minutes, thanks to weekend track work. [WTOP]

A new home for OVHcloud – The global cloud provider opened its headquarters in Reston. The company’s CEO Russ Reeder said he’s glad to be back in the region. [OVHcloud]

Discussion on Russia’s foreign policy today — Watch a segment of the “Great Decisions” documentary and delve into a roundtable discussion at Reston Regional Library from 2-4:15 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Empty office space woes – Near Silver Line stations, millions of square feet of office space is available. Some developers and brokers are struggling to court good tenants. [Bisnow]

Body Found in Early February Outside Reston Town Center High Rise – On Feb. 2, a woman’s body was found in a driveway outside condominiums in Reston. Police investigated the incident as a possible suicide.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

by Fatimah Waseem February 15, 2018 at 3:30 pm 52 Comments

Public forums to engage with the 13 candidates vying for seats on Reston Association’s Board of Directors are slated for the end of the month.

There are 11 candidates are running for three at-large board seats and two candidates are running for the South Lakes District seat in an election that could dramatically alter the makeup of the board.

The at-large candidates’ forum for candidates seeking a three-year term is set for Monday, Feb. 26 from 7-9 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The forum for South Lakes candidates and at-large candidates seeking a one-year term is set for the next day at the same time and place. A tentative rain date is set for March 1.

The breakdown of candidates is as follows:

  • Two at-large seats (three-year term): Aaron Webb, Colin Meade, Derrick Watkins, John Pinkman, Sridhar Ganesan, Travis G. Johnson and Ven Iyer
  • At-large seat (one-year term): Andy Sigle, David Ballard, John Bowman, Ray Wedell
  • South Lakes District seat (three-year term): Tammi Petrine and Julie Bitzer

The voting period for the election is March 5 through April 2. Results will be announced on April 10 at the annual members’ meeting at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for candidate profiles on Reston Now in the coming weeks. Information on each candidate is available on RA’s website.

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem February 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm 4 Comments

Elementary schools in Reston often give students in need food for the weekend.

But that resource largely ends in middle school, adding to challenge of adjusting to the unfamiliar and sometimes daunting environment of middle school.

When school counselors at Langston Hughes Middle School realized this was the case, they partnered with two non-profit organizations to create a food pantry for students who need meals over the weekend. Since the program launched this year, 20 students have signed on.

The list is growing. Roughly 35 percent of all students receive free or reduced meals at the school, down from nearly 40 percent in the 2014-2015 academic year, according to county data.

“This is run by the community. We want to support all the kids in our building over the weekend so they can be ready for school,” said Marissa Brooks, a counselor at the school.

To jumpstart the program, the school received a grant from Britepaths, a nonprofit organization that offers healthy meals, drinks and snacks over the weekend. Another nonprofit, Blessings in a Backpack, has also committed to providing bagged items through the end of the academic year.

The school has an Amazon wishlist and accepts donations from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.  Accepted donations include dried fruit, snack packs, pasta, sauce and breakfast bars.

Other local schools like Hunters Woods Elementary School and South Lakes High School also offer similar programs.

Photo by Susie Finotti

by Anna Merod February 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm 5 Comments

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum will host a panel tonight exploring whether Reston is living up to founder Bob Simon’s goal of being a diverse place.

The panel of speakers will include residents who have lived in Reston for different periods of time. Panelists are Beverly Cosham, Victoria Cosham-Rivera, Omer Gorashi, Gerald Zavala and Anthony Zavala.

The event is free and will run from 7-9 p.m. at the JoAnn Rose Gallery at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

One of Simon’s goals was to ensure individual dignity was the focal point of all planning.

“We are interested in not only the experiences of the early pioneers, but also the experiences of those who grew up in Reston, those who came later and their children’s experiences, and the impressions and experiences of those who are the more recent members of our community,” organizers said in an Facebook event page.

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