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Fairfax, Loudoun County Virginia -Residential Real Estate Market Blog

Keep yourself up to date with the Northern Virginia Real Estate market and other local Northern Virginia information. Have a question or thinking about buying or selling home call Ritu Desai at Samson Properties at 703-625-4949 or email me at



  • Northern Virginia -Fairfax, Loudoun, Alexandria, Arlington & Prince William Blog, real estate Market condition written by Ritu Desai at Samson Properties.


Update Kitchen Appliances or Give Credit to Buyer? What is Smart Strategy?

Zillion of times as a Northern Virginia Realtor, I have shown homes where the appliances are stuck in time. It may be as old as 70's to early 2000. When buyers walk in the home they immediate think about expenses that, they may have to incur to update the kitchen, which is heart and soul of the home.

So here is a million dollar question: As a  Northern Virginia home sellers should go out and spend money to update the kitchen appliances or just sell AS IS or give credit to the buyers?

Answer will depend on your age of the home. If you home is built is 90s you have updated the flooring, counter tops but just have dated appliances it may be worth to update it. That will uplift the entire kitchen look and give you an advantage in the real estate market.

If you home is entire stuck in the 80s then you would be better off pricing your home reflecting the updates the buyer may have to spend.  One of the other strategy would be to check out the competition in the area. If there are ample of homes with all the bells and whistles of updates, you may not have much choice but to update or discount the list price.

OR say your home faces competition from new construction in area (example homes in Ashburn Loudoun County). You will have to either update or go low on the price or have something more to offer to withstand the competition in the area.

Remember if you home is targeted to first time home buyers they may not know how much it will cost to update the kitchen, or have funds to update or biggest challenge we have is TIME! They may discount heavy for their inconvenience.

Best way to approach this would be to budget how much funds you have to update, time needed and the local market condition. Discuss with your local Northern Virginia home Realtor to help you navigate this decision.



Formal Dining Rooms: Are They Dead or Just Changing in the Northern Virginia Residential Real Estate Industy?

Just like in the commercials, people are still enjoying family dinners together, but chances are they’re not taking place in those formal dining rooms of years gone by.

Instead, you’re likely to find families eating at large kitchen islands, desks in multi-functioning offices, on terraces, or in outdoor kitchens. In fact, anyplace equipped with a table and chairs (or bench) can host dinnertime. Think wingback chairs around a marble table in the living room.

So where are dining rooms? Don’t feel sorry for them – they haven’t completely been abandoned. They’re just being used for other purposes, as described in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Homeowners in pursuit of useful square footage are turning dining rooms into living areas or workspaces, particularly in metropolitan, square-footage challenged homes, and luxury properties, WSJ says.

In fact, formal dining rooms are reincarnating architecturally; interior designers are turning existing dining rooms into multi-function rooms, like lounges or pantry/mudroom combinations.

For their part, builders, architects, and contractors are creating rooms that can quickly be “flipped” into dining areas, like offices where desks or shelving unit components fold down into dining tables. Or living rooms where the coffee table extends and rises to seat six or more people in total comfort.

The traditional dining room may be gone, but it’s been reborn as a space where people can tailor their homes to their lifestyles. And maybe, like the kitchen that returned to its roots as the heart of the home, it’s an idea whose time has come.

So what are you thoughts about dining room in your home or the home you will purchase next?

Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Selling Your Northern Virginia Home with Young Children - 10 HOT Survival TIPS

Many home owners do not know the stress of selling their home untill they go through the process. Many of my clients in Northern Virginia decide to move up from a town home to a single family once the family grows or a big change in lifestyle occurs.


Here are tips on how to survive the selling process with young kids at home in the Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Place:


1. Prepping your Home- You know your children & family needs prepping your home will cut your stress while selling your home. If they are not going to play or need toys, clothing or things like winter boots may be put away in storage or pack away. The less is on display it will be easier for you to clean and manage. This prep needs to be done prior to putting the home on the market.

2. Depersonalize your home - Remove your kids and family pictures, their display of names, awards & posters that your teenager might love to have it on the wall. There are 2 reasons, one of them is in this day of internet you never know what the intent of the person is when they walk into your home and second the buyer wants to connect with your home and not see/feel your family in the home.

3. Grag & Go bag- I think this is a top of the list advice for all my clients irrespective age of the kids they have. Create a bag that is grab and go bag. In this bag, put items that you will think you will need if there is a short notice showing or you have to stay back later while some one is previewing your home. Essential items like diaper, wipes, food, extra pair of clothing, toys or books, blanket, cash and so on. You can leave this bag in your car or near the door. Please do replenish as soon as you use something.

4. Hide Away Baskets- Place mid size basket or containers where you can throw things as you go see in each room. That way the room cleaning will not take long and you can find things in one place. You can hide these basket if you don't want it to be floating around either under the bed or in closet space and in short period you will have clean room ready to show!

5. Staging Baskets- I learned this tip from one of my seller client. They had 3 young kids and a dog. Whenever they got a showing call, she would pull out the staging basket that holds candles, white clean luxurious looking bath towels, nick nags, table place mats and so on. Within few minutes, she would swap the things in the each room and the home looked like professional staged.

6. Showings Notices- You can definitely request showings by appointment only. If you know your toddler sleeps from 1-2 PM let your Realtor know ahead of the time. We can input in internal remarks to respect showings schedule but be reasonable at the same time. Too many restrictions may turn off the buyers.

7.  Meals- Create a meal plan and if possible keep it ready to go. Discuss with your local Realtor about a slow day and/or may be prepare few meals prior to going on the market. That way your home will not smell and you will have homemade food for whole family.

8. Check the toilets- OK as a Realtor with over 11 year in industry I have seen many things, including little one went poo and did not flush. Worst the toilet lid was open...buyers don't want that smell or site!

9. Odor Free- As much as it is important to declutter and clean up, it is far more important not to smell your home with diapers and kids fragrances. Please do not over power your homes with strong fragrances by buying plugins. Spray products similar to Freebze, leave a box of baking soda or if time permit throw some cookies in the oven.

10. Plan out place to go: Being out of the house for few hours and keeping the kids (and yourself) calm may be a challenge. It will be wise for you to research some of the activities or places you can take your kids. Example, I had a parent who would take her kids to library for daytime showings, at the mall/playground during evening showings or over a weekend family decided to go camping while the home was on the market the first weekend.  One other client of mine had a good friend down the street whenever we had a showing schedule she would go over there and hangout with her friend.


Bottom line: You are doing everything for your ultimate goal to move to your next step in your life. So team up with your local Virginia Realtor to get the job done!

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Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Northern Virginia Seller Tips- Yes, Buyers are NOT Visual!!

Working over a decade in real esatate industry with many of the Northern Virginia first time home buyers to a buyers who have upgraded/downgraded into larger home,  every time we work together it amazes me how these buyers lack vision.

They lack the talent what we as a Realtor have and/or the Seller of the home has...

What the hack it means??????

If you have old & filthy dirty home- Buyers cannot visualize clean & how beautiful the home can look.

If your home is cluttered- Buyer cannot visualize the potential of the space the home has.

If your Home has too much furniture or decoration- They cannot visualize how their furniture or style may fit into the home.

If your home has Bad Internet pictures- Buyers cannot visualize how your home can shine like they saw on HGTV or other network.


So what do you do as a Northern Virginia seller of the home???

There are ample of blogs on what do to...however best way to handle would be to hire a professional Realtor who will guide you through the process and visualize your home as if you are going to buy that home!!!!


Related reads:

Northern Virginia Seller-Getting your Home Ready for Pictures/Photo Shoot

 Northern Virginia Home Seller- Top Mistakes 10 Mistakes to Avoid!

Selling your 1st Home in Northern Virginia ? 5 Must Read Tips for every First Time Home Sellers

Northern Virginia Home Seller -10 Tips to Spruce your home in 15 Minutes!!

"Ehhhh That Ugly Wall Paper" - Seller Tips When selling your home.

10 Simple Yet Very Effective Last minute Home Sellers tips for open house

Northern Virginia Home Seller Tips - 7 Pro advise to Dress your home to sell in Fall Market


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Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Selling your Home in Northern Virginia Area- Should as a Home Seller be present for Home Inspection?
Question: We say, "Seller knows their home the best" Do you think they should be present to answer any unknown or concerns or questions that may pop during the inspection?

Answer: Well it is true; seller has first hand knowledge of the property being a home owner.

Here is a biggest drawback why the listing agent would not encourage the home seller to be present at while buyer is conducting home inspection: Seller has vested interest in the property. If or what ever the home inspector or buyer may say that could offend the seller. Sometimes, seller share more information than needed.

However there are situation where somethings are unique to the home. Example Solar Panels- If seller was present they can demonstrate how it works. Or how does the door lock.  OR wood stove fire place works.

To help out buyer understand some unique feature, it would be advisable to create a document and email listing agent ahead of the time to be forward to the buyers. So when they are at the home inspection they will have information on hand. Or leave the document for buyer. If there is a light switch, which would be hard to figure how what it does...stick note on it.

Speak to your listing agent and figure out what is the best solution.

Bottom line: Stay out of the home inspection. It is an opportunity to for the buyer to learn any or everything about their biggest investment!

Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Do Swimming Pool add value to your Backyard?Northern Virginia Real Estate

Swimming pool, is becoming a new trend in the Northern Virginia area. Many of the luxury home buyers/owners are wanting or adding pool in their backyard.

However ,does pool add value to your home price?

Yes & No!


Yes- because it comes very convenient to have one in your backyard and dive right in. It adds to the status of having pool in the backyard you the WOW factor. If your community does not have a pool that could be a perk for a home buyer.

No- because, it does reduces the buyer pool due to added cost to maintain, liability and insurance expenses that buyers may not want to be part of the home ownership cost.

Bottom line - If you are planning to add do consider that it does not eat up most of your yard. Buyers still want entertainment and landscaping space around the pool. You will not get the return of your investment like upgrading kitchen & bath but you should consider the perks of enjoying something you love and work so hard for!

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Northern Virginia Home Seller-Thinking of Selling your Home within Next Year-What Can You Do NOW!

However, if you are like many of the sellers plan ahead of the time their move out of the home (we do have some exception) but majority of the listing appointment I meet my Northern Virginia home sellers are atleast year to six month ahead.

Here is a check list I tell them to go through and start planning now:

1. Declutter- If you are going to list in spring, plan ahead and put away winter coats, boots and stuff you don't need. Holidays may be a good time when work is slow to organize the closets and cabinets. Create a donation spot or area. This will help you with moving with essential stuff you need to move with. Remove the worn out furniture or things you do not plan to move with you.

2. Paint- This is least expensive way to spruce up your home without spending a lot. If you are considering painting the house, do consider ceiling painting. It will help you to brighten up the home.

3. Big/Small Upgrades-Is your home stuck in its era?  Or do you have flooring that is peeling, deck has broken board, exterior wood is rotting etc start working slowing to make repairs. This will help you budget the time and money efficiently. Update the old stale look of the kitchen by buying appliances, add a back splash or re-finish the cabinets.

4. Fresh up/Brighten Up- Get those exterior windows, sliding, deck & patio power wash. It will be fresh-up the exterior look and clean windows will bring extra light to your home.  Plants some trees or shrubs, bulbs that will bloom around the time when the home will go on the market.

5. Don't know what to do or where to start? I had clients who have lived in the home for 3 decades and did not know where to start to get their home ready. If you are unsure, get a friend or a Realtor to help you with the process. Take one step at a time.

Relocating- SELL or RENT your Northern Virginia Home- 10 Questions to Help you Make a Decision

Life is full of surprises. You may be riding sweet ride of home ownership and suddenly you are given an opportunity to move out of the area. The biggest concern the Northern Virginian home owner has is what to do with their existing home. Whether to rent their home or sell their home?

Here are questions you will need to evaluate to help you make a decision:

1. Are you going to be moving back? If you plan to move in an area you are unsure you will stay for a long term if may be a good idea to rent your current home that why you can move back once you are back in the area.

2. Do you break even if you rent your home with your mortgage? There are various online calculators or your local Realtor can you help you do the math. If you don't break even between what you pay for mortgage to what you will receive for rent you may reconsider the renting option.

3. How strong is the real estate market outlook for your current property?  If you have lived in the area for a period you will have a gist of the local economy. That will help you determine whether it will be worth for you to rent out or sell your current home.

4. The place you are relocating to, do you need funds to buy in the area? If you are sure about purchasing a home in next few years where you are relocating it would be wise to have cash in hand and move on with life rather than taking chance on the real estate market.

5. The cost to repair or fix once the tenants move out, do you have resources?  Whenever there is a turnover in a home, you will have to repair, fix or spend some money. Do you have resources to handle this cost?

6. If you are moving to an expensive area, can you afford 2 payments (mortgage + rental of new place)?

If not then you know what your decision should be. However if you can afford it then you should also take into considering the break even point of rent= mortgage, maintenance expenses, vacancy expenses or unknown expenses before you make a decision.

7. What happens if your home is vacant for a longer period, can you afford vacancy cost + new place rental? Tenants are unpredictable; they may have to relocate or decide to move out while breaking lease middle of the term or winter. Do you have financial resources if unexpected situation occurs?

8. Do you have an adjustable mortgage, if so when it reset do you break even with the rental?

If you have an ARM loan where interest rate will reset, what will be the new interest rate while your renting the property. OR if you have to refinance the cost of refinancing is worth over selling you're home?

9. If you sell in current market, do you break even with your loan balance + selling expense?

Do you have equity in the home? If you sell do you break even with the expenses if not do you want to consider short sale if rental is not an answer. Work with your local Realtor and if necessary with your mortgage lender about your situation.

10. Last & most important question, if you do decide to rent how long you plan to rent out? Determine the cost of renting plus the time line you want to be a landlord. Sometimes it is not worth renting a property for a short term period.


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Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Northern Virginia Home Buyers-Summer 2014 Real Estate Market is DOWN & HOT for you!

Whether you are considering to move up or buy your first home or an investment property in Fairfax or Loudoun county of Northern Virginia news can get better. The first half of 2014 Northern Virginia real estate market has been nothing but a slow. We had a small spike in the market during 2014 spring but market have cooled off significantly since then.

Yes, it does sound no brainer if you are a Northern Virginia home buyer who is considering to purchase should take advantage.

You may question what happens if the real estate market drops further. Well there is never a perfect time you have to work with your current situation especially your fiancing and see if this is a right time for you.

With ample of inventory for you to choose from, low interest rate & power of negotiation why not take advantage of the real estate market. You never know when the shift will happen and you will feel been pressured to make a decision within 24 hours home was on the market.




Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 7:21 AM by Ritu Desai | 0 Comments
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Ready to Move in*Town Home for Rent in Lowes Island/Cascades Sterling VA 20165

Ritu Desai & Samson Properties Presents New Listing...

MLS # LO8401443


Year Built: 2008

List Price: $2495

HOA: Cascades/Lowes Island


Elementary School -Lowes Island
Middle School -Senaca Ridge
High School -Dominion High School.

   Special Features

* 6 year old town home
* On a no outlet/dead end street.
* Backs to common area and Adjacent to Trump Golf Course.
* 3 Finished Levels
* Immaculate and sun filled home.
* 2 Story Foyer Entrance
* Gourmet Kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, raised maple cabinets, wine rack, large pantry, recesses lights and so a huge center island.
* Open and Spacious Living & Dining room combo. Dining room with shadow boxes and elegant light fixture.
* Off Kitchen space for table and family room.
* Deck with common area view.
* Convenient powder room on main level
* Master suite with vaulted ceilings, his and her closet spaces, luxurious master bath with soaking tub, separate shower, private toilet room and dual sink.
* Much desired washer and dryer on bedroom level.
* Over sized secondary bedrooms with recesses lights.
* Spacious open recreation room, gas burning fire place and half bath.
* Walk out level
* Large garage with storage area.
* Pre-wired for Verizon FIOS.
* Community Amenities include:

Community Amenities includes: Bike Trail, Club House, Common Grounds, Community Center, Jog/walk Path, Meeting Room, Pool-Outdoor, Tennis Courts and Tot Lots/Plygrd.

Location, Location, Location! Loudoun Commuter Park & Ride, Reston, Herndon, Tyson's Corner, Loudoun One, Route 7100, 28, Dulles Toll Road, Dulles Shopping Mall and much more.   





For more information contact Ritu Desai @ Samson Properties -703-625-4949 or Email at



Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

This Weekend August 1st -3rd 2014-Tax Free Weekend for Back to School Shopping for Virginia Residents

Kids would hate to read this blog (I doubt they read my blog :-)) but the fact is summer holidays are moving faster than we had expected. Already stores are going through summer clearances while making room for back to school supplies.

In Virginia we have three days to purchase the school supplies starting 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 1, 2014 and end at midnight on Sunday, August 3, 2014 tax free!!  

Items like clothing, footwear (under $100), book bags, note books and all the basic accessories are included. No computers are included. For complete list & information please visit Virginia Taxation site.
Do remember not all the store participate you may want to check with the store you shop for the supplies if they do participate in the no tax weekend.

Northern Virginia Home buyer-Beware of SCAMS after Closing on your Home

The thrill of the closing day can be truly felt by the glow on the home buyers face in that conference room.  However once you buy a home beware of the following scam that has been ongoing and targets newly home owners in the Northern Virginia area.

After you sign the closing documents the deed and the note is recorded at the court house. This becomes a public record which includes your name, lien holders name, purchase price and the loan amount.

Now here is where the scam happens:

Very legitimate letter you'll get  saying your loan has been transferred to another bank, and that you should start sending your payments to the new bank instead. Many times the lender you got your loan from may sell your loan after closing.

How to do you check if it is a scam or not?

Now, your loan might really be transferred to a new bank, but don't take the letter's word for it.  Call your bank using the phone number on your loan documents (NOT the number on any letter you receive about the transfer!), and ask them to confirm that your loan was really transferred to who the letter says it was transferred to. If you don't have it handy reach out to the loan officer who helped you with the loan process. They should be able to confirm if and whom your loan has been sold to.


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Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

25 Reasons Why your Home is Still on the Market.



Every home seller wants to be in and out of the market place. However there are many times we come across a home that has been on the market XXX number of days. While making scratch their heads why their home has not sold. 

Here are 25 reasons why your home did not sell in the real estate marketplace. There are some reasons that are well within your control while others may be beyond.


1. Over priced home.

2. Mess & Clutter.

3. Bad pictures on internet.

4. Dark & Gloomy home.

5. Lack of Maintenance.

6. MOLD!

7. Stinky & smelly.

8. Restrictive showings.

9. Being a Helicopter seller- Hanging around when showing home.

10. Smokers.

11. Pets & pet odor.

12. Your home is stuck in its era.

13. Emotionally attached seller.

14.  Very personalized home.

15. Selling home AS IS

16. Competing with new construction.

17. Bugs and Critters.

18. Wall paper.

19. No curb appeal.

20. Time of the year you are selling your home.

21. Bad location of your home site.

22. Non competitive buyer agent compensation.

23. Rental property.

24. Layout of your home.

25. High inventory in the  area.


From the above list most of them can be over come by working with your professional local Realtor, stagger & contractors.

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Posted by

Associate Broker
EcoBroker, ABR, ePRO
NVAR, Life Time Top Producer
NVAR,Multiple Million Dollar Sales Club Member
Samson Properties
Cell - 703-625-4949
Email -

Does Refinancing Your Home Makes Sense? 3 Questions That will Help U

With the drop in the interest rate many of my past clients will touch base with me to ask either what the current value of their home is or if it is worth for them to refinance. I am not a lender or a financial adviser so seek professional help. I am a home owner and the way I look into making this decision whether to refinance or not is below:

1. How many years I do plan to stay in the home-  If for more than 5 years reconsider refinancing your home may make sense.

2. Cost Associate to Refinancing versus savings- Remember there is no such as zero cost refinance. Speak to your lender to under where the hidden cost of refinancing is. If you are investing in refinancing learn how long it will take you to break even the saving compared to expenses to refinance your home.

3. Goals to Refinance- This is far more important than the above reasons. Many home owners refinance either to cash out, consolidate debts, drop PMI, ARM to fix mortgage etc. What ever your reasons or goals are compare your current monthly payments and lifestyle to what you are targeting yourself for.


Little Extra - Use online calculator to help you figure how much you will safe if you refinance over keeping current mortgage scenario. If you are still confused meet with a local lender who can schedule a face to face meeting to help you understand your choices.
2014 Must Visit Water Parks in The Northern Virginia Area-Things to do with Kids in Virginia


Bring on the summer heat .....And soak, splash and slid

e in the cool water.

Don't have to spend time flying or driving around this summer...Northern Virginia has 6 fun local water parks that will keep everyone happy and biggest thing kids won't say "I am bored."


1. Atlantis Water park: You don't have to fly to Bahamas for this fun filled park. Located in Fairfax county, Centreville Virginia. The park offers fun activities for all ages including my favorite big bucket with 1000 gallons of water drop.
Address: 7700 Bull Run Drive Centreville, VA

2. Great Waves Waterpark: Located in heart of Alexandria, Virginia. Big and fast slides to body surfing in wave pool plus a separate section for the little munchies to have hours of fun in the water. 
Address: 4001 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA

3. Volcano Water Park:
Sterling & Loudoun County residence don't have to travel too far fun is right in the backyard. Volcano Island water park has twin 140 feet long slide plus shallow pool with plenty of activities to spend in summer.

Address:47701 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA

4. Water Mine Family Swimmin' HoleThis is a small and unique park more geared towards younger kids about elementary age group kids. However the park is situated near Lake and other activities that older siblings can enjoy. Located in Fairfax County Reston area.

Address:1400 Lake Fairfax Dr, Reston  VA

5. Ida Lee Water Park: Just want to relax...board on a raft and float on 600 ft long lazy river. This fun outdoor section of the Ida Lee park open couple years back and it has been a big attraction for not just Loudoun resident but in and around Northern Virginia.

Address: 60 Ida Lee Drive Northwest Leesburg, VA 

6. Splash Down Water Park: Few minutes from historic Manassas this park offers what you don't want to drive far for...a beach in the city!!Splash Down has been the most attractive water park for years in our family. It is a largest of all the water parks in the area. From lazy river, twister slides to cannon ball will be fun filled afternoon.

Address:7500 Ben Lomond Park Drive, Manassas

Local Insider tip:
To avoid standing in lines to purchase tickets now you can purchase a summer pass or individual park tickets for your family at NVRP site. It is not only cheaper but you can purchase multiple access entrance pass and enjoy access to so many parks in the Northern Virginia area. And passess are valid for one year!

Apart from the online pass I have seen local Groupon and Living Social deals for the park entrance.


If you are relocating or buying or selling team up with a Local Realtor Ritu Desai at Samson Properties, who knows the market and the Northern Virginia area!

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