The dynamics of the neighborhood – There is a hidden jewel neighborhood in Reston, Virginia, one in which the surrounding homes have seen values suffer from an unnecessary fear over the impact on property values should Northwest Mutual Insurance (NWM), majority owner of the course, succeed in its outrageous effort to overrule long-standing and logical Fairfax County Zoning regulations designating this as permanent open space. As a Board Member at Rescue Reston, a citizen organization which has vigorously opposed the deep-pocket interests of NWM, I welcome any communication from people on this subject.
The Summary Impact on the Neighborhood – Golf Course Cluster is perfectly situated minutes from the new Metro Silver Line, and will be a similar distance to the upcoming extension of that line into Reston Town Center. Many of the townhouses back directly onto the Reston National Golf Course, and the others to open space close to the golf course. Trails meander through the community, there is a Reston tennis facility and pool for community use. Golf Course Cluster, in summary, captures the original essence of the Reston life style and philosophy: “Live, Work, and Play” in Reston.
Property values have been rising over the past few years, and in some cases rising smartly, as some residents who understood their property values yet needed to sell, worked with savvier agents who could put this fact in front of more potential buyers. Unfortunately, the combination of a slower overall real estate market in the second half of 2014, concern over NWM’s resurfacing the “re-zoning” question, and an anxiety and fear of the immediate future crippled sales in the second half of 2014 (there weren’t any). This is creating a potential one-time buying opportunity for buyers in the neighborhood, as recent listings have offered valuable homes at prices which would assume that the golf course will be re-zoned into a non-Restonian monstrosity. This is the type of pricing activity which one finds at significant market bottom, not excessive market tops. I remind you that “f-e-a-r” stands for “false evidence appearing real,” and there will be no redevelopment of any kind on the golf course for many years, even in a worst-case scenario. And that scenario is very unlikely to happen.
A positive outcome and clarification is likely in days, not months – For potential sellers and buyers, many of the concerns will be lifted shortly. The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) is announcing its decision on the status of the Reston National Golf Course zoning on April 15, 2015. I consider it unlikely that the BZA will overturn its own long-standing Zoning Commission reports. A positive outcome will have the immediate short-term impact of rising prices in Golf Course Cluster. A less-than-positive outcome will send this into the legal appeal process, meaning that nothing can happen on the land for many years anyway, and the court system would likely overturn the BZA re-zoning and revert the land to golf course use and/or open space. In any event, the outlook for future pricing and values in Golf Course Cluster is positive, perhaps extremely positive.
Obvious Positives Will Become More Apparent to Prospective Residents – We are coming off an excruciating winter, and this is about to change. The flowers will be in bloom, trees flourishing, local wildlife back in full, and the fairways will be verdant. This should correspond to the approximate date of the BZA ruling: perfect timing.
At that point, the shifting focus will be on buyers purchasing quality homes in great locations with access to premier amenities and transportation. Low interest rates, with a slight rumbling that they may soon rise, should provide added incentives for buyers to “step up” and buy this spring. And why not? The opportunity to buy into Golf Course Cluster at these lower price levels will soon be a figment of the past. And as for housing in the area, Will Rogers once said about land, “They ain’t making any more of it.” Future development in Reston will not be of this type nor have this setting; the market mentality will be one of shortage of this type of housing, not fear that an insurance company will enter with one swathe and remove your paradise.
2112 Golf Course Drive; Example of a Captivating Home Soon to be Listed in the Community – As much as people love their homes and communities, it can become necessary to sell one’s home and move to another area. The sadness a seller feels should be matched by the joy of a buyer suddenly able to own a pristine gem in an exceptional neighborhood. Such will soon be the case at 2112 Golf Course Drive.
Recent home offerings in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods have gone under contract quickly. This is an indication of a shift in buyer sentiment, as buyers are beginning to understand what I presented in previous paragraphs regarding price/value on Golf Course Drive. The demand for 2112 Golf Course Drive will be extremely strong.
Some Features of the Home – Without providing a full blown listing at the time with proper photography and video, let’s nonetheless provide a summary of this special home:
- The second level deck (trek decking) and lower level finished patio (covered paver) provide a perfect entrance to the overwhelming nature and landscaping of the golf course and the best of Reston. Very few homes have this in quite the same glory.
- The home is incredibly upgraded throughout, and in pristine condition.
- Maple cabinets and milestone counters add touches of luxury beyond what one would normally experience.
- Stainless appliances.
- Hardwood on two levels.
- Finished 400 square foot lower level/rec room with walk out to the patio and golf course.
3 bed room/ 3.5 bath.
Contact me for details on this home, this community, or significant events affecting property values in Reston – I am a Board member at Rescue Reston, http://www.rescuereston.org, and passionate about Reston’s open spaces and their preservation. I am also recently elected as an At-Large Board member of the Reston Association: http://www.reston.org. I work closely in the community and have intimate familiarity with the area and the overall real estate market. Please feel free to visit my informational site (which some call a “web site”), and I look forward to hearing from you.
Ray Wedell, Realtor
Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA
See “The 4 1/2% Solution” on my home page.