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7 Best Restaurants in Arlington, VA

7 Best Restaurants in Arlington, VA

Hi! It’s known that I am a total Foodie, love to eat out and also to cook in – and bake, even wedding cakes. So, it is with great pleasure that I am taking Frivolous Friday to talk about my favorite restaurants in Arlington, VA!

Delicious Food

Delicious Food

Here we go – not in any particular order:

1. Rus Uz serves up a delicious and unique blend of Russian and Uzbekistan cuisine. From the borsch to the plov (traditional rice dish), everything that I have tried is great.

2. Lyon Hall is a modern bistro whipping up commodities that are hard to find in the DC area. It serves Alsatian-inspired fare, including an extensive selection of sausages, house-made charcuterie and cheeses.

3. Mele Bistro – formerly Village Bistro – has been a stand-by of mine since I met the owners decades ago. Serving French and Italian fare, I have particularly always liked their fish dishes!For the steak-lover, they are spectacular on that account also. They use grass-fed beef.

4. Taylor Gourmet! Delicious, fast and affordable. Great especially for lunch. I particularly like the seasonal salads and add grilled chicken to them.

5. Willow – it rocks! Enough said. Well, ok…the food is incredible, the staff attentive and the space is very nice. Known to be the “best” or one of the best restaurants in Arlington. Spend more, get great quality.

6. Westover Market Beer Garden – The best beer haus fare I have ever had. Creative and delicious! Pair your dish with a beer on tap. They even serve breakfast / brunch! In my own neighborhood – Westover. Our neighborhood is soon to host the newest location of the Italian Store.

7. Thai Noy – From the ultra-friendly staff and the owner, Kot, to the out-of-this-world Thai food that is served up hot and incredibly delicious, this is my most-frequented restaurant in Arlington, and is the best of the restaurants that are in my neighborhood of Westover. A few of my favorites are the Emerald Curry, Chicken Basil and the Fresh Spring Roll.

I hope you enjoyed my up-to-date list of 7 favorite restaurants in Arlington. Check back for updates, as I eat out ALL the time. Have a super weekend – go get some chow!

Cheers,
Ken

Coming Soon in Alexandria, VA, in Stonegate – Stunning Townhome

Coming Soon in Alexandria, VA, in Stonegate – Stunning Townhome

Hi! Next week, we will be placing our client’s stunning and completely renovated home on the market for sale.
It’s simply stunning. From the soothing paint palette to the new open kitchen to the spa master bath, you will be wrapped in luxury each day as the new owner of this home. Pricing it now. A few quick non-professional pics to whet your appetite!

Stately colonial townhome

Stately colonial townhome

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Convenient to commute to Arlington, other areas of NOVA and to MD. Right by 395.

Please contact us to see it at a convenient time for you!

Cheers,
Ken

The Top 2 Costs of Homeownership in Arlington, VA, and Elsewhere – Part Two of Two

The Top 2 Costs of Homeownership in Arlington, VA, and Elsewhere – Part Two of Two

HI! Ready for the second part of last week Wednesday’s post of the top 2 cost categories of homeownership?

The second cost category is ongoing expenses. Here are my top 5.
1. Exterior maintenance – If you have other than a condo that has no exterior maintenance done by the owner, you will have maintenance costs on the outside of your home. Big ticket items are roof, driveway, windows, painting and septic and well maintenance, if your home does not have public sewer and water.

"Exterior maintenance is crucial to your home's health." Ken Courtade

“Exterior maintenance is crucial to your home’s health.” Ken Courtade

2. Interior maintenance – You will need to maintain in great working order all appliances, flooring, walls, and electrical and plumbing systems, to name a few items. The latter two are the most costly. Keeping up on their ongoing care, by-the-way, is less costly than an eventual repair or replacement! So, my advice is to put the care in your calendar – one item is to simply replace the HVAC filter regularly.

3. Utilities – If you are buying a house, ask your agent to acquire from the seller their ongoing utility costs. This will give you a good idea of what yours might be, for budgeting purposes.

4. Homeowner (HOA) association or condo association fees – These may be due monthly, quarterly or yearly. Condo fees are typically monthly and HOA fee schedules vary by association. When preparing to buy, ask what the fees cover – some cover little; others cover even water, etc.

5. And the BIG one: Principal, interest, taxes and insurance – known, affectionately, as PITI – If you have a fixed rate mortgage, your payment will remain the same each month, while taxes and insurance may increase. When your property value is assessed by the jurisdiction you live in, as it is in Arlington County, if your tax assessment increases and your lender is escrowing taxes to pay them for you and the full yearly amount is spread over each month, your monthly outlay increases.

I hope this was helpful. Especially if you are a first time home buyer, please look to an expert who will help you to forsee and plan for your costs. A little bit of planning can even help you to reduce some of the costs. Please call on me with questions, or post them here.

Have a great day!

Cheers,
Ken

The 2 Top Costs of Home Ownership in Arlington, VA, and Elsewhere – Part One of Two

The 2 Top Costs of Home Ownership in Arlington, VA, and Elsewhere – Part One of Two

HI! I hope this finds you well, and staying warm and dry in the weather we have been getting.

I am the excited recipient of great questions from my buyers and I help educate them in the costs of homeownership. This is especially important for first time home buyers, whose specific needs are a specialty of mine to care for. When one has not experienced owning a home, there is just more of a learning curve to knowing a home’s care.

Here are two top categories of costs associated with owning a home: one-time or updating expenses and ongoing expenses. In this post, we will talk about the one-time or updating expenses, and in my post next week, we will talk about the ongoing expense category.

One-time or updating expenses
1. Remodeling / updating. This may be as simple as painting or as in-depth as a front elevation / facade (exterior) of the house re-do. Homeowners can sometime underestimate costs themselves, so it is best to get an estimate from several contractors. Enlist the experts! I recommend that when my clients are thinking of buying a house that needs updating, they talk with a minimum of three contractors and get pricing prior to their purchasing the home. Get something from a professional that is a more solid number than your or someone else’s guesstimate.

Kitchen Appliances can add up in cost

Kitchen Appliances can add up in cost

2. Appliances. They add up in cost quickly. Pay particular attention to two appliances that the general public is usually not aware are considered appliances – the H2O heater and the HVAC. These are the two most costly in the home.

3. Furniture. When you are trading up into more space or perhaps a “nicer” home, you may need more furniture. Depending on the level / quality of the furniture, this can add a lot of cost to your move.

I hope that you found this helpful. I look forward to my post next week to cover the second category – ongoing expenses!

Cheers,
Ken

The 5 Top Upgrades to Sell Your Home

Hi! I hope you are keeping warm in our arctic chill and bracing yourself for our snow tonight. A shout out to my two families, clients, who are moving into rentals right now. Be careful and stay warm.

Westover's Captivating Colonial The 5 Top Upgrades to Sell Your Home

So, you are thinking of selling your home and are wondering what the top items are to do to get it looking best and to get it SOLD. Here is my list, culled in my work of over a decade in Arlington.

1. De-Clutter and De-Personalize. We all have items that we need to take “out of the picture” so that prospective buyers can see the bones of the home and think about how they would live there. Too much and too personal = distraction to buyers = not as likely to make an offer on your home.

2. Paint. Inside and Out. Fresh sells – enough said!

3. Stage your home. Have it showing so that it doesn’t look like you live there – instead, so that it looks like the prospective buyers who are looking at it COULD live there!

4. Kitchens sell the house. Do some minor upgrades if you have not done them in 5-10 years. Such as new nobs on the cabinets, or painting or using wood polish on them. New counters, perhaps?!

5. Have your home’s front entrance be warm and inviting. Paint the door – red or black – two top choices. Put a coordinating wreath on the door. A flower pot, if you have an outside entrance (not as in many condos), with sprightly flowers in it, to one side of the door, is cheery. Something to look at for the buyer while their agent opens the door.

I hope this is helpful! Please call on me for more items or post any of yours here! Stay warm!

Cheers,
Ken

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