Blog :: 04-2016

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group is Northern Virgina's most trusted local, independent resource for real estate news and insight. Our team has its finger on the pulse of the real estate market in Alexandria and the surrounding counties. Here you'll find the latest market updates, local news, and tips for buyers and sellers.

4 Movies Filmed In & Around Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is one of the most beautiful places in the Commonwealth and it's easy to see why. But we're not the only ones who appreciate NOVA's beauty. Filmmakers from all across the globe come here to film movies and television shows and capture many the area's gorgeous landscapes. And with notable landmarks including the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency, Arlington National Cemetery and Colonial Williamsburg, Northern Virginia is home to many historical monuments. Keep reading to learn which famous movies are filmed in and around Northern Virginia.

Rules of Engagement – 2000

Rules of Engagement is a famous Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson movie that was filmed in Manassas and Alexandria. This film portrays Samuel L. Jackson as a Marine veteran that has been put on trial for a mission that didn't go so well. Tommy Lee Jones is the attorney that defends him. This thriller/drama is one of the best war films from the early 2000s and beautiful NOVA can be recognized in many scenes.

Cold Mountain – 2003

Movies Filmed in Northern VirginiaCold Mountain is a dramatic romance film that takes place during the American Civil War. Featuring famous actors Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renee Zellweger, this film is about an injured Confederate soldier making his way down South to return to his wife. A large portion of this movie was filmed in Williamsburg and Carter's Grove Plantation, making the perfect setting for the time period.

No Way Out - 1987

No Way Out is a political thriller film featuring Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young and Will Patton. Filmed in Alexandria and Arlington, VA, this movie is about a love triangle that results with two men as suspects in the murder of the woman. Released in 1987, No Way Out chose beautiful locations including American Horticultural Society and 20th Street South in Arlington.

Gods and Generals – 2003

The Gods and Generals film was led by famous actors Jeff Daniels, Robert Duvall and Stephen Lang, and was created as a prequel to the popular movie, Gettysburg. This movie examines the motivations of soldiers, particularly Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, and the lives of their wives and families at home. Gods and Generals was captured in beautiful Leesburg and released in February of 2003.

As you can tell, Northern Virginia is home to many movies centered around Civil War and political themes. With our gorgeous landscapes and climate, we are lucky to call these places home.

Do you have any favorite movies or television shows that are filmed in Northern Virginia? Comment below and let us know!

Are you ready to begin your NOVA real estate search? Contact us to get started!


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    Spotlight on Cameron Station 22304

    Cameron Station is located off Duke Street in the west end of Alexandria. Composed of single family, townhomes, and condominiums the community was designed with an old fashioned American small town feel and 18th/19th century style architecture.

    Cameron Station homes were built between 1998 and 2003 and many of the homes have brick exteriors. Known for its prime location and charming atmosphere, the neighborhood is highly sought after and has an old town ambiance. You will often see residents out walking their pets, riding bikes, or stopping by the retail areas in the community.

    In Cameron Station, there's a coffee shop, pizzeria, dry cleaners, salon/spa, and small market. And a free shuttle transports residents to Van Dorn metro station (blue line) during morning and evening rush hour. Neighborhood amenities include an outdoor pool, exercise room, and clubhouse and there's also a park adjacent to the neighborhood with walking paths, winding around a lake, dog park, ball fields and picnic area.

    Cameron Station Real Estate Market Update

    The following is a review of activity in Cameron Station since March 2015:

    • Number of Sales: 161
    • Highest Priced Sale: $999,990
    • Lowest Priced Sale: $264,000
    • Median Sales Price: $580,000
    • Median Days on Market: 29
    • Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 98.11%


    Cameron Station homes for saleCurrently, there are 24 homes for sale in the Cameron Station neighborhood. The current active homes for sale range from a 1 bedroom/1 bath condo listed at $312,900, up to a 4 bedroom/3.5 bath single family home, listed at $999,000. If you're considering buying a home in the neighborhood and would like to learn more about the area, contact me to discuss how I can help you. I am always available to answer questions and am well versed in the Alexandria real estate market.


    Send me a message online for a free market analysis or to ask questions you have about selling your Cameron Station home. I stand ready to assist - from preparing your home for the market to managing each step through closing, I welcome the opportunity to work for you and exceed your expectations.


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      Top 5 Kitchen Design Trends for 2016

      Kitchen Design Trends 2016

      Interior design is like artwork – personal. And there's not really a right or wrong way to decorate your own home. There are certainly trends and recommendations that experts recommend you to follow and perhaps there are suggestions that designers and real estate agents might pass along with resale value in mind. But we like to give information about what's trending for 2016 and let you make your own decision. And because kitchens are often a selling feature in a home, we're going to give you the top 5 kitchen design trends for 2016.

      1. Muted Colors

      Kitchen Design Trends 2016White and neutral colors for large spaces are always recommended but they're particularly encouraged for 2016. Light colors make a room feel larger and bright, while darker colors can make a room more intimate and gloomy. 2016 is seeing a steady growth in lighter tones. This includes paint, cabinets and appliances. Even wood tones are getting lighter. Opt for light grays, tinted whites and pale blues, such as Robin's Egg.

      2. Efficiency and Functionality

      This kitchen design trend will be sticking around for a long time. Cabinets and storage spaces are being designed with efficiency in mind so you'll have room to put away everyday items that are displayed. And you'll love that many kitchens are being created with charging stations for your most beloved phones and tablets. Additionally, drawers rather than cupboards are being used to maximize storage.

      3. Mixed metals

      Mixing metals in the kitchen became popular in 2015 and it's here to stay for 2016. Warm metals, including copper and bronze, really complement stainless steel sinks. Or consider adding an oversized brass item to a mostly stainless kitchen. Be careful to pair a light metal with a darker one. And don't mix more than two to three metals at most.

      Kitchen Trends 20164. Bold Fixtures

      If you're thinking your kitchen looks a bit boring with its neutral color palette, consider adding a bold and bright fixture to liven it up. Oversized light fixtures give a room a bit of depth and drama and you'll love the pop of color. Some fixtures even offer interchangeable shades, allowing you to change it once you've tired of the same color.

      5. Commercial Grade and Automation

      Convenience is everything in newer kitchens. From hands free faucets to sensor-activated lights to meat thermometers that simply text you when your food is complete, there's nothing these appliances can't do. And commercial grade fridges, stoves and dishwashers are extremely popular. Never worry about food going cold again – with these industrial sized appliances, you'll be able to cook everything at once.

      However you design your kitchen and home, make sure it reflects your personal style. Redecorating can be quite an investment, so you'll want to make sure you make it something you love.

      Do you have a favorite kitchen design trend that you don't see listed? Comment below and let us know!

      Get in touch with the Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group if you'd like to begin your Northern Virginia real estate search today!



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        Kingstowne Market Report March 2016 Alexandria VA

        Real Estate market data provided by Amanda Davidson of Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group.

        Monthly sales comparison 2015 vs. 2016

        *Data for zip code 22315
        Kingstowne Real Estate Market Report

        Single Family Home Sales in Kingstowne March 2016:

        • Number of Sales: 8 (decrease from 10 in February)
        • Highest Priced Sale: $760,000
        • Lowest Priced Sale: $441,000
        • Median Sale Price: $527,000 (decrease from $625,000)
        • Median Days on Market: 15 (decrease from 43)
        • Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 95.58% (decrease from 96.88%)

        Kingstowne in Alexandria Real Estate Market Report 2016The number of detached homes sold in Kingstowne saw a slight decrease from February to March. Median sale price decreased but, the numbers don't tell the full story behind the decrease. A bank owned and smaller rambler home impacted the median price. Without their sales factored in the median sale price experienced very little change. Days on the market saw the biggest impact this month. The low number is very telling of the seller's market Kingstowne is experiencing. There are currently 21 single family homes for sale in Kingstowne.

        March 2015 vs. March 2016

        Reviewing the same time period last year, there were 7 single family homes sold. Median sale price was higher this year by $17,000. Days on the market were lower this year – 30 in 2015, compared to 15 this year.

        Townhouse Sales in Kingstowne March 2016:

        • Number of Sales: 23 (increase from 14 in February)
        • Highest Priced Sale: $572,500
        • Lowest Priced Sale: $275,000
        • Median Sale Price: $467,000 (increase from $442,500)
        • Median Days on Market: 23 (increase from 19)
        • Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.94% (increase from 97.35%)

        Townhome sales increased from February to March in Kingstowne. The median sale price saw a healthy increase and the days on the market saw very little change. Sellers are enjoying a strong sale to list price ratio and inventory has decreased since March. There are currently 41 townhomes for sale in Kingstowne making it a seller's market.

        March 2015 vs. March 2016

        There were two more townhomes sold last March than in 2016. Median sale price remained consistent, a decrease this year by just $1,000 and sale to list price ratio was also a little higher last year 98.69% in 2015 vs. 97.94% this year. Sellers saw longer days on the market this year; 23 vs. 7 last year.

        Buyers: Contact me today to find out how to start your home search or for more information on homes available for sale in Kingstowne. Let's team up and find your new home for the best price and best terms possible. If you have questions don't' hesitate to contact me, I stand ready to assist.

        Sellers: The Spring market is hot in Kingstowne and now is a prime time to list! Contact me for a free market analysis. My marketing has a proven successful track record, I'm a great listener, and welcome the opportunity to learn more about your home and help you achieve a successful sale.

        For a complete list of homes for sale in Kingstowne, visit the link or contact me to have a custom listing alert setup to be notified when new homes enter the market.


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          Staging Your Northern Virginia Home

          Real estate agents know better than anyone that presentation and pricing is everything. Other than pricing your home competitively, how can you sell your home quickly? Staging your home and making it presentable can significantly impact how long your home will stay on the market. So if you're hoping to sell your property quickly and seamlessly, try these fool-proof tricks and tips and let your real estate agent worry about the rest.

          Say Goodbye to Clutter

          Don't be offended if your real estate agent suggests removing your family photos, children's artwork or your collectable knick-knacks. Potential buyers want to imagine their pictures and items in your home, and a cluttered room can make doing this difficult. A crowded home can also be off-putting, so become a temporary minimalist, depersonalize rooms, and put your personal items away.

          Brighten It Up

          If you're having an open house or professional photos taken, you'll want to make the home as bright as possible. Open the blinds, replace the lightbulbs and turn the lights on. A bright and luminous home is appealing and buyers will feel welcome. Additionally, it will be easier for viewers to see the positive selling features your home has to offer.

          Paint by Numbers

          An inexpensive way to groom your home is to slab a fresh coat of paint on your walls. Stay away from bright, harsh and dark colors. Opt instead for neutrals such as beige, honey, light gray and white, especially in large rooms. If you insist on having a touch of color, consider painting a bathroom or adding in accent colors through pillows, lamps, etc. Your real estate agent will know that homes with neutral colors are more likely to sell and receive offers.

          Spruce It Up

          Staging Your HomeWhen you're selling your home, try to imagine what you'd like to see. Fresh flowers are a great way to add a pop of color and cheer to a room. In the Spring, consider peonies and blush tones. In the Fall, you might want to try orange and red flowers. Adding fresh flowers is one of the most inexpensive ways to liven your home and if you want, you can simply raid your own yard.

          Bedrooms are Important, Too

          While kitchens and bathrooms are one of the more weighted rooms homebuyers look at, bedrooms are important, as well. Make sure the bedroom is tidy, bed is made and closets are clean. Try to use neutral patterned bedding and an elegant bedframe. This will make the room feel appealing and welcoming.

          Sell From the Outside In

          Curb appeal is also so important when it comes to selling your home. The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers see, and even though judging a home by the outside is discouraged, it's a natural part of the process. Do some light landscaping, add mulch to dirt areas, pressure-clean your driveway and clear your lawn of toys and debris. Spending a few hours tidying your yard can make all the difference.

          Sellers should really consider what it was that made them buy their house and what they're searching for in their next house. If there are certain factors that are appealing to you when you're buying a home, you should try to appeal these same qualities to other buyers. Chances are, a buyer will have the same preferences and your home will sell before you know it.

          Do you have any other home-staging tricks? Let us know your tips by commenting below. Or contact the Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group to learn more about selling your home in Northern Virginia.


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            Your Alexandria Real Estate Market Report for March 2016

            Alexandria home sales experienced another increase in sales from February to March. Days on the market saw a large decrease and the median sale price remained fairly consistent, increasing by a little over $2,000. The Alexandria real estate market is seeing a lot of activity and it's a great time for buyers and sellers to accomplish their real estate goals.

            Let's Look at the Numbers

            • Number of Sales: 418 (increase from 295 in February)
            • Highest Priced Sale: $1,800,000
            • Lowest Priced Sale: $92,925
            • Median Sales Price: $439,500 (increase from $437,300 in February)
            • Median Days on Market: 22 (decrease from 41 in February)
            • Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.31% (increase from 96.69% in February)

            Alexandria Real Estate Market - March 2015 vs. March 2016

            The market is very similar compared to the same time period last year. There were 411 homes sold in March 2015 and the median sale price was higher last year by $3,500. The median sale to list price ratio remained consistent, 97.60% in 2015 vs. 97.31% in 2016. Median days on the market also remained consistent– 20 in 2015 and 22 in 2016.

            Alexandria Market Report March 2016

            Whose Market Is It?

            The Alexandria market shifted from a stable market into a seller's market during the month of March. The spring market is in full swing and while it's a seller's market, buyers continue to enjoy low interest rates. The homes that are moving quickly and receiving multiple offers in Alexandria have similar characteristics; they show well, are priced according to the market, and are easy for agents to bring their buyers to for a tour. Buyers need to be prepared to act in the current market – getting pre-approved in advance is imperative.

            Hiring an agent that can promptly show you homes is also imperative to be successful in the current Alexandria market conditions. Whether you're buying or selling, hiring a local agent that knows the area and the current market conditions is an important component of a successful transaction.

            Buyers: To see homes for sale in Alexandria, please visit the link. I am always available to answer questions about your home search and welcome the opportunity to put my expertise to work for you.

            Sellers: Now is a great time to list in Alexandria. I'm an excellent negotiator and my marketing has a proven successful track record. Contact me for more information and let's team up to accomplish your selling goals.


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              Top 5 Best Restaurants in Northern Virginia

              The Northern Virginia dining scene is quickly growing and with it, the decision on where to eat is getting both easier AND harder. And because contemporary restaurants have started incorporating eclectic dishes into their menus, these eateries are also innovating and combining unique flavors to offer something a bit different from their competition next door. So if you're not sure where to head to dinner tonight, you can choose from some of the top rated restaurants in Northern Virginia below.

              Restaurant Eve

              Northern Virginia best restaurantsLocated off South Pitt Street in Alexandria, Restaurant Eve takes great care to only use herbs and fruits from their own magnificent garden. Applicable ingredients are hand-fed and organically grown, so you know you're receiving quality dishes. Example menu items include fresh sea scallops with artichokes, and Perigord truffles and pasture raised beef tartare with Worcestershire emulsion and rye bread. These dishes are delectable and the restaurant's ambiance appeals to diners searching for a romantic dinner date.

              Trummer's On Main

              If you're searching for exquisite food that you think can only be found in big cities, you'll love Trummer's on Main. This restaurant combines large city creativity with small town charm and superb service, offering you the best of both worlds. You'll find the quaint eatery in Clifton, VA and can dine for brunch, lunch or dinner. Or simply head there to taste their delicious signature drink, the Titanic. Menu items include delicacies such as hazelnut and truffle glazed foie gras torchon and Border Springs spicy lamb burger.


              This Falls Church restaurant is one of the most recognized eateries in the area. A French-American inspired menu includes items such and crispy pork belly with a mustard-apricot chutney and braised octopus and goat cheese risotto. For the less adventurous palate, you might prefer the roasted chicken breast or the bacon and mushroom grilled ribeye. You'll also love the floor to ceiling windows, outdoor pond and interior décor.


              best northern virginia restaurantsHead to Vienna for the best American cuisine you've ever tasted, with a twist. Clarity's menu is constantly evolving and changing and will appeal to every type of foodie. Previous dishes have included Wagyu Coulotte steak and eggplant tikka masala. Or if you'd like try a bit of everything, you might consider opting for the five course tasting menu. And you can watch the chefs create their masterpieces because the kitchen is open for all to view!


              Brabo offers a matchless revelation on Belgian fare and is one of the more popular restaurants in Old Town Alexandria. The award winning chefs take pride in the relationships they've built with local farmers to create their unforgettable dishes. They focus on using seasonal ingredients in every dish and have created interesting options such as porcini-chestnut soup, Chesapeake oyster stew, and spring truffle carbonara. This restaurant's atmosphere and menu will keep you coming back for years.

              The dining scene in Northern Virginia will only continue to expand and with many top chefs moving towards the Washington, DC area, top-rated restaurants will become even more common. Don't see your favorite restaurant in Northern Virginia on this list? Comment below to let us know where you like to eat!

              Contact the Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group to learn more about real estate near your favorite Northern Virginia restaurants.


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