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Nov 24 2009
8:52 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Sweet Deal

Loan Information

McLean-based Mars candy manufacturer is in the bidding for the well-known British candy company, Cadbury.  According to Business Week, in addition to Mars, Cadbury is being wooed by Hershey, Kraft, and Nestle, among others.

After purchasing Wrigley last year for $23 billion, Mars is now the leading global confectionery company, followed by Cadbury.  If Mars is able to succeed in purchasing Cadbury, that would make the McLean company in a league by their own.

M&M Mars Merger McLean, VA Tysons Corner Craig Richardson

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Nov 23 2009
4:21 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Fannie and Freddie Forecast Modest Declines In Housing Prices for 2010

Real Estate Market News

Freddie Mac estimates that housing prices will continue to decline in 2010 by 1.5% while Fannie Mae pegs the retreat at 1.7%, according to Bloomberg News.  One expert predicts in the article that Washington will be one of the cities with the greatest chances of home-price growth over the next 5 years.  Other cities cited included Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco.

Obviously housing prices are a "local" phenomenon, and you can even experience a wide varience in a particular market.  However you slice it, though, it seems like the current market with all its warts will be here for some time to come.

Freddie MAC Fannie Mae Tysons Corner McLean, VA Craig Richardson

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Nov 22 2009
9:07 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Great Falls Residents Vow to Fight Route 7 Expansion

Fairfax County News

Not everyone is happy with the construction plans for the Tysons Corner area.  Residents who live near Georgetown Pike in Great Falls are vowing to stop plans to widen Route 7, according to the Fairfax Times.

"While the $37 million project has some support from Reston residents and other east-west commuters, people who live off of Georgetown Pike believe the improvements will attract more cut-through traffic to the Pike."  The project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

 

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Nov 20 2009
2:38 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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COG Seeks Public Comment on 2050 Growth Plan for the Region

Miscellaneous

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Government, a regional organization of D.C.-area local governments, has just released a comprehensive plan for growth and development over the next 40 years for the area.  COG is seeking public comment on the document, titled Region Forward, through November 20, 2009.

The 64-page document identifies "10 Big Moves," or goals for the region, which include:

Pursue transit oriented development Leverage emerging sustainable technologies Emphasize green economic development Develop greater Washington as a knowledge hub Strengthen regionalism Use financial innovations Ensure availability of moderate and low-cost housing Focus on quality of life ... Read Full Post →

Nov 19 2009
9:35 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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McLean's Weather: A Real Selling Point

McLean Community

Weather is one topic everyone loves to discuss.  And while it's not as interesting as the weather in New England, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, one of the real selling points of the Metropolitan-D.C. area is the weather.  We still have four distinct seasons, and each one is beautiful in its own right - well maybe not the dead of winter or the swamp-like conditions of August, but without the extreme heat or cold you can't appreciate the rest of the year. 

Below is a graph over the average temperatures in McLean, Virginia, courtesy of www.weather.com.  Precipitation is interesting as well.  While we tend to go through feast or famine when it comes to rainfall, it seems to average it...

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Nov 17 2009
2:26 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Non-Profit Health Research Institute Chooses Tysons Corner

Tysons Corner

Ignite Institute, a non-profit health research organization, will "set up shop" in Tysons Corner, according to the Loudoun Independent, beating out Loudon County as a possible location.  Adds the article, the Institutes's Tyson's office will "employ as many as 415 scientists and health professionals specializing in personalized medicine, or where a patient's genetic makeup is studied so doctors can tailor treatments for conditions like cancer and Alzheimer's."

Ignite is just one of a number of companies making the move to Tysons Corner recently. "In 2008, Volkswagen of America moved its headquarters from Michigan to near Herndon, while this year, Hilton Hotels and consulting company SAIC...

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Nov 14 2009
2:34 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Freddie Mac Keeps Loan Limits in Place for 2010

Loan Information

Freddie Mac issued a statement on Thursday indicating the loan limits currently in place for 2009 will remain unchanged in 2010.  The information, distribute through PRNewswire, said "the loan limits set the maximum original loan amounts allowed on single-family conventional mortgages Freddie Mac can purchase except in high cost areas.  The loan limits for first mortgages are: 

$417,000 for mortgages secured by one-unit properties; $533,850 for mortgages secured by two-unit properties; $645,300 for mortgages secured by three-unit properties; and $801,950 for mortgages secured by four-unit properties."

Also included in the statement was a downloadable spreadsheet that included ...

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Nov 11 2009
4:37 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Tysons Corner Planners Wrestle With Density Issues

Tysons Corner

The Planning Commission responsible for overseeing the Tysons Corner development project is working on a blueprint that will address key aspects of the Tysons Corner project, according to the Fairfax Times.  The two central questions that still need to be settled are "How much development will be allowed, and when?"

The debate still rages about appropriate density levels for the area, a battle that pits  "county land-use planners" against "members of the Tysons Land Use Task Force...The task force, which developed the vision plan for the area, says higher densities are needed to encourage the type of development the task force advocates," according to the Times.

Stay tuned!    

Tysons Corner Density McLean, VA Craig Richardson

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Nov 10 2009
3:37 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Fairfax County School Bond Passes Easily In Last Week's Elections

Fairfax County News

In addition to voting for a governor, a lieutenant governor, an a local delegate, Fairfax County voters also had a chance to weigh-in on a $232 million public school bond when they went to the polls last week.  The bond passed with 70% of the voters supporting taking on the new debt.

According to the McLean Connection, the money will be used to pay for construction and renovation projects.  "The renovation of the Marshall High School ($101.8 million) is the most expensive project listed amongst those the 2009 bond would fund. Another high-dollar item that is supposed to be funded through the bond is the new South County Middle School ($50 million)."

Interestingly, the 70% approval for t...

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Nov 9 2009
7:40 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Fannie Mae: Those in Foreclosure Can Lease Back Their Homes

Real Estate Market News

Fannie  Mae announced last week that homeowners facing foreclosure can now lease back their homes at market value for up to a year, according to the Los Angeles Times.  The move was done in part to help the company manage the next wave of foreclosures.

Not surprisingly, Fannie Mae is reeling because of the amount of foreclosures it has on in its books, and, as a result have had to once again turn to the U.S. Treasury for additional funds.  Last Thursday, they requested another $15 Billion from the Feds, the 4th request they've made since being taken over completely by the government, the Times reported.

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Nov 7 2009
7:07 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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McLean Mustangs Enter Final Stretch

McLean Sports

The McLean Mustangs season is now in its final stage, the post season.  Since August 10th, when players first showed up for 5-nights-a-week practices, coaches, players, Team Moms, and other volunteers have worked hard to make this a great season.

Six of the Mustangs 20 teams made the playoffs, with one of them going undefeated.  Playoff teams will play the opening rounds this weekend with the winners advancing to the County Championship next weekend.  In addition, the Mustangs will host their annual McLean Bowl later today at McLean High School for seven teams not making the post season.  Finally, 3 of the Mustang teams will play in away Bowl Games today.

Congratulations to all 380 play...

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Nov 6 2009
10:26 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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McLean Single Family Median Sold Price Skyrockets in October 2009

McLean Real Estate Market

In October 2009, 24 single family homes closed in McLean, with a median list price of nearly $1.6 million and a median sold price of $1.47 million.  Both the median list and sold prices are significantly higher than October 2008, where more homes sold (30), but at a significantly lower price ($912,000 and $865,000, respectively). 

The median DOMP was more than double in October 2009 than in the two previous Octobers, and more than 4 times higher than in October 2006.  This is most likely due to the fact that the homes that sold in October 2009 were much more expensive than the three previous Octobers, which typically take longer to sell.  The entry level homes for McLean sold significant...

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Nov 3 2009
6:11 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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McLean Bowl 2009 Slate Set

McLean Sports

The McLean Mustangs will host the 2009 McLean Bowl this Saturday, November 7th at McLean High School's Stadium Field.  The slate is now set with seven games beginning at 9:00 a.m.  All participants will receive a tee shirt and an offensive and defensive Player of the Game will be selected for each team by the opposing coach.  Here is the schedule of games: 

Time

McLean Mustangs Team

          Opponent

9:00 a.m.

Ankle Biter1 - Chung

       Vienna -  Rhodes

10:30 a.m.

Ankle Biter 3- O'Connor

       Ft. Hunt - Reynolds

12:00 Noon

75American - Hetzer

       Alexandria. - Richardson

1:30 p.m.

95 Nat'l.1- ...

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Oct 31 2009
8:07 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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The Roots of All Hallows' Eve

Miscellaneous

The Catholic Church has celebrated All Hallow's Eve as the night before All Saints Day since the 300s, when the vigil was first initiated to remember the early Martyrs of the Church and then later included a commemoration of all the Saints.  Today, the Church celebrates not only the Saints who have made it to Heaven with All Saints Day on November 1, but also remembers those who have died and are in purgatory with the commemoration of All Souls Day on November 2nd.  Historically, this time of year also coincided with various cultures remembering some of their pagan gods.

As a country of immigrants, it's not surprising that the American celebration now known as Halloween has morphed into ...

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Oct 30 2009
8:42 am

Posted By Craig Richardson
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MCC to Hold Children's Flea Market on November 7th

McLean Community

Tired of continually walking around those "things" in your basement from an era long ago when your had small children?  Need to purchase kid's item at a significantly reduced price? The McLean Community Center (MCC) is offering an opportunity to do both!

Next Saturday, November 7th, the MCC is holding a Children's Flea Market from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Booth registration for those wishing to sell items is $55 ($45 for McLean district residents).  Admission is free for those wishing to buy.

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Oct 29 2009
6:03 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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Fairfax County Unemployment Ticks Up In September

Fairfax County News

The unemployment rate in Fairfax County rose slightly in September to 4.7% from the August rate of 4.5%, according to the Sun Gazette.  Still, the unemployment rate in Fairfax County is below the statewide average of 6.6% for September and well below the national average of 9.5%.  Northern Virginia's unemployment rate was the lowest among all metropolitan areas in Virginia, the article noted.

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Oct 27 2009
4:22 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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National Effort Launched to Alert Homeowners About Loan Modification Scams

Miscellaneous

Sadly, the rise of foreclosures and the number of families finding it hard to make their mortgage payments has spawned an effort by scam artists to pray on individuals in this situation.  According to InjuryBoard.com, "Most of these scams ask homeowners for an upfront fee in order to start a loan modification program. At best, the homeowners may end up paying for work that is completed by the group asking for the money, however, it's work that likely could have been done for free through other non-profit organizations or loan-modification assistance programs...At worst, the homeowners pay for work that isn't done at all."

The good news is that a national effort is now underway to address...

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Oct 22 2009
3:49 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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McLean High End Home Market Stabilizes

McLean Real Estate Market

With the downturn in the real estate market and the worsening economy last year, not surprisingly, the homes which tended to do the best were the entry level price points.  This was true in McLean as it was everywhere in Fairfax County.  Homes on the upper end tended to sit for longer periods of time and less sold as consumers, many first time home buyers, focused on the more affordably priced properties.

An examination of homes sold in McLean priced at $1,000,000 and more show a strong return of this market after a dip last fall.  While the median home prices fluctuated over the last 14 months, with February 2009 at the highest ($1,900,000) and August 2009 the lowest median sold price (...

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Oct 21 2009
5:16 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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FCPA Proposes 20 New Athletic Fields for the Tysons Corner Area

Tysons Corner

As the Commissioner of the McLean Mustangs youth football program, the primary issue of concern for our organization, as well as other sports in the area, is field access.  We are overcrowded right now, and as we speak, I have 20 football teams practicing on 4 fields.

The proposed expansion of Tysons Corner, with experts predicting up to 100,000 new residents moving into the area, with certainly have an impact.  The stress on existing field space in McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, and Reston is going to be tremendous.  Coalition groups have been meeting with the project planners for months and field access as well as indoor sports facilities has been a major topic of discussion.

I receive...

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Oct 20 2009
6:41 pm

Posted By Craig Richardson
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New Bus Service Offered Linking Tysons Corner and Woodbridge

Tysons Corner

In an effort to ease traffic along the Capital Beltway, the Commonwealth of Virginia is paying $4 million for a new bus service that will run from Woodbridge to Tysons Corner.  According to InsideNOVA.com, the new bus line is slated to begin service on November 9th and will be administered by The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC).  Best of all, the new bus service will offer WiFI and will be free for the first few weeks.

The Beltway, while always a traffic snarl, is particularly difficult south of Tysons Corner these days with all the new construction.


Source: Flickr.com

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