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Blog :: 04-2020

Where are we, now?

Kelly Gaitten Hamilton Va Real Estate Image1

 

If someone would have told me in January that we would be living in the world as it is now, I would not have believed them.  In 6 short weeks our entire world has turned upside down and sideways.  As a Real Estate Professional, my day to day practices have certainly changed. I still get up and get dressed for work each day but, now I’m on Face time or Zoom calls with clients or my office.  If I’m meeting you in person, I’m wearing a mask and gloves.  The work is the same, I just added some PPE, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes to the mix.  Luckily, the real estate market in our area has continued to be busy. All things considered, I am happy to be busy and happy to be here, ready and able to help my clients, especially during this time.

How do we cope with where we are? Honestly, there is not much we can do right? I don’t agree. I can’t change it, but I can try manage how I feel about it.  I’ve stuck to my routine and my diet (low carb, no sugar).  I still exercise 4-5 times per week in our basement gym.  I just feel I must always be prepared for a buyer or seller to call me who needs my energy and attention to solve a problem, show a home or get their home ready for the market.  I need to maintain my brain power and exercise helps me more than anything.  Sleep is the other must have. I am usually in bed early and up with “the chickens” as Mom would say. I can’t help it.  The sun makes me hop out of bed and it says “don’t let the day get away from you”.

One of my other daily good habits is walking. I walk my dogs every morning, very early.  We rarely miss a day if we can help it.  We leave the house around 6:15 am.  About 2 years ago, I noticed the light was so good and the scenery so inspiring, I started taking photos on my walk.  I usually post them to Facebook and have developed a little following.  Taking and sharing my photos is therapeutic for me.  I get inspiration from them each day.  I love that someone else may also get something from them too.  I listen to music along my walk which is about 2.5 miles and takes 40 minutes.  There’s the 1 more mile to coffee up the big hill, and then back home to start the day.  Breakfast, shower, dress, to my desk to assess the calendar and email.  Even if I don’t have pressing calls or meetings, I’m at my desk working on something by 8 am. There is always something to do. I love to be busy. Bring it on.

I’ve had ups and I’ve had downs during this thing. It’s hard to say out loud “I’m not ok” right now,  but who can be ok with any of this?

I wanted to share this photo for inspiration and say if you are not ok,  you are not alone.  Tomorrow and the next tomorrow are coming and this will be in the rear view mirror eventually. Hang in.

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Top 10 Things That are Great About Living in Farmington On The Green

Coming Soon on Curtis Court in Farmington On The Green

Farmington On The Green is a great neighborhood and homes here only become available once in awhile. Here’s your latest opportunity to join one of Purcellville’s most in-demand communities. Offered at $765,00, this home features 4 bedrooms, 3|1 baths on 1.95 acres.

Front Close Up of 36782 Curtis Court in Farmington On The Green

Farmington On The Green is a neighborhood of about 75 homes near the Town of Purcellville in Northern, Virginia. The name, “On The Green” refers to the community’s proximity to Loudoun Golf & Country Club. The back nine of Loudoun Golf & Country Club runs along the eastern border of the neighborhood. A number of homes back directly to holes #12, #13 and #14.

Kelly Gaitten Hamilton Va Real Estate Farmington On The Green

For many years, Farmington On The Green, known as “the FOG” by locals, has been one of the most in-demand neighborhoods in the county. Why? What’s so great about life in “the FOG”? Here’s a Top Ten to help you understand why those of us who live here love it so much…


#1 – Living on the Golf Course

 

An aerial overhead photo of the club house and putting green at Loudoun Golf & Country Club
The clubhouse and practice putting green.

Loudoun Golf & Country Club is one of the best kept secrets in golf here in Northern Virginia. Built in 1927, the 18 hole course offers a unique layout. It’s playable for golfers at any level, but infinitely challenging even for more talented players. Over the past several years, LGCC has been in the midst of a major renovation of the golf course. The result is 18 impeccably maintained greens in a natural setting, that’s very walkable. “The Club” is not affiliated with the neighborhood in any official way, but 30-50% of neighborhood residents are members.

Loudoun Golf & Country Club is a unique community unto itself. It’s unassuming, uniformly friendly and welcoming. Membership dues are among the lowest in the Washington DC region. The saying goes, “We put the COUNTRY in country club.” This isn’t a hoidy-toidy, richy-rich club of snobs. This is a club your whole family belongs to, taking advantage of the swimming pool, an active tennis community and simply one of the best golf courses in the area. There are tournaments and events throughout the year, and the club house is a place where friends gather for good food, drink and merriment. A typical Friday evening will find you and about 50 of your neighbors on the patio, enjoying dinner, watching golfers come up the 9th fairway, with live local music. Residents of Farmington On The Green can walk home, or take a golf cart for safety or convenience.


#2 – Living Next Door to Franklin Park

 

On the western side of the neighborhood is Franklin Park, a regional park in the western portion of Loudoun County. The 200 acre park includes:

  • 3.5 mile walking / horseback riding trail
  • Outdoor pool and “Sprayground”
  • Playground
  • 2 Lighted Tennis Courts
  • Beach Volleyball Court
  • Rugby / Football / Soccer / Lacrosse fields
  • An 18 hole Disc Golf Course
  • Baseball / Softball Fields
  • Equestrian Ring & Corrals
  • In-line Hockey Rink
  • Fishing – Catch & Release Pond

Programs & special events include:

  • Dog Swim
  • Trout Fishing Derby
  • 4th of July Fireworks – One of the best displays in the county
  • Summer Camps

Also on the property is the Franklin Park Performing & Visual Arts Center, a venue for live music and other entertainment.

Franklin Park is just a tremendous resource, a place where any kid could grow up, never running out of things to do. The park grounds are immaculate with no litter. It’s a safe and family friendly environment.

A picture of the public swimming pool at Franklin Park in Purcellville.
The swimming pool at Franklin Park.

#3 Close to the Town of Purcellville

 

Purcellville is simply a classic American small town. It used to be one of the last stops on the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad. In the 19th & 20th century, families would escape the heat of summer in Washington D.C., by heading west to rural Loudoun County. Purcellville was a farming community. The town has preserved that feeling of quaint simplicity, despite it’s growth as a suburb of the District.

A picture of a man crossing N. 21st Street in
N. 21st in “Downtown” Purcellville

Purcellville still isn’t quite big enough that we have a Home Depot (go to Nichol’s Hardware instead) or a Walmart (go to Leesburg). But we have great local restaurants like Magnolia’s at the Mill or Finn Thai, as well as many local wineries, breweries and distilleries.

Purcellville conducts a number of parades through the year and in the fall, the entire town becomes a giant flea market during the annual Purcellville Tag Sale.


#4 Not in the Town of Purcellville

 

Although it’s great to live close to Purcellville, there are a couple of big benefits to being outside the town limits. We don’t pay any extra town taxes, and we don’t pay for town water and sewer. The savings is significant!


#5 High Speed Internet is Available in Farmington On The Green

 

Unlike some other rural communities in Western Loudoun, all the major carriers are here, including Verizon FIOS and Comcast. This makes working from home a lot easier.


#6 Places to Walk Your Dog (or Yourself) or Run or Bicycle

 

If you’re a walker, runner or cyclist you’ll be thrilled with many options on paths. Many of us walk on the golf course when the golfers aren’t out there. Franklin Park has a 3.5 mile perimeter trail that includes some challenging hills. The neighborhood itself offers ~5 miles of beautifully paved roads.   To the south, along Tranquility Road, an old gravel road winds past Otium Cellar Winery and Tranquilty Farm back through hundreds of acres of farmland. You can truly go as far as your legs will take you.

Picture of a Belgian Sheepdog named Tegan walking on a golf course.
The 12th green at Loudoun Golf & Country Club.

#7 – Wildlife

 

Between the golf course, the park, common areas throughout the neighborhood and adjacent farmland, there’s quite a bit of open space that provides habitat for all manner of wildlife. Deer are  abundant in the neighborhood. Rabbits, raccoons, possum, skunk and snakes are all quite common. Wild turkeys and foxes can be seen throughout the neighborhood. This black bear came up on our deck for the bird feeder suet.  Bird seed is ok but suet will attract the bears. Better to leave that down.

Comparison of Black Bear to Homeowner
Our Nest cam spotted this bear on the back deck in October 2018. Steve in this frame doing a bear reenactment.

#8 – Natural Beauty

 

Farmington On The Green was built starting back in the 1980s. Even from the earliest days, homeowner’s planted flowering trees, Cleveland Pears, Kwanzan Cherry’s, Flowering Crab Apples, Star Magnolias. In Spring when these trees are in bloom the neighborhood seems frosted in cotton candy. The community was built around open spaces that have been preserved as meadows. In the summer a slight breeze makes waves across fields of waist high grass.

Wide Aerial View of Farmington On The Green
Wide Aerial View of Farmington On The Green in Early Spring
Steve & Kelly's House on Pinehurst Court in Spring
Steve & Kelly’s House on Pinehurst Court in Spring

#9 – Community – The People of Farmington On The Green

 

For many years there has been a great sense of community here. People look out for one another and go the extra mile to be a good neighbor. Folks come out to help when there’s a tree down after a storm. We share tools and equipment. We find lost dogs and check on each other. There’s a very active Facebook page where people share information and connect with each other. The people here are just wonderful and go out of their way to welcome new neighbors.


#10 – We Like to Party!

 

There are two big events throughout the year, attended by most of the neighborhood. Oktoberfest is the Fall potluck. At Christmas time, an annual party is hosted, usually at the same home each year. Throughout the year, smaller informal gatherings are conducted.

COVID-19 Update — How Real Estate Keeps Moving

First of all. I hope this post finds you well.  People have asked me recently “how is the housing market”?  My answer depends on the day.   As the pandemic hit and schools closed, then businesses closed, then restaurants and shops closed it was all very unsettling to say the least.  But, as of February 29th the housing market was great.

Kelly Gaitten Hamilton Va Real Estate Covid Update Realtor Berkshire Hathaway PenfedLoudoun County’s Spring housing market was already off to a great start.  Housing inventory has been at an all time low for the past 3 years and buyer activity was very good. Some locations were seeing multiple offers. It was looking like the best Spring Market in quite some time.

In early March, everything changed. Stay at home orders went out nationwide for all non-essential workers. Essential workers were told to work as safely as possible.  In Virginia, real estate brokers and agents are deemed “essential” because there are always housing needs. This is one pillar still holding up our economy! Even right now, sellers who sold their house last month will still need a place to live. We had many  contracts in place with scheduled closings that need to move forward. Here’s what I am doing to make sure you are safe.

Court houses are closed to the public but they still have staff there to record deeds. Our title companies have all turned to “E” recording which seems to be working out well.  Our lenders have continued their processes and will send a Notary to your home if needed for you to sign your closing papers. We have kept all of our closings on track thus far. Everyone is learning how to function with a “new normal”.

Yes, I am open for business. I typically work from home anyway so this is no change for me. I’m setup to take calls, write contracts, send offers, write presentations, look up listings and negotiate for you, from home. Our physical office in Hamilton is not currently open but we are all in and out of the office several times per week and we maintain weekly meetings virtually with our broker. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty is in constant contact with all of us. The support we have is incredible.

Listing appointments. I would be happy to meet with you via Facetime, Zoom, phone call or in person. If I am meeting you in person, I will be wearing  gloves, mask and shoe covers. If you are healthy and feeling well, I’m happy to come see you.

Side note: I take my temperature daily. If I am at all under the weather, I do not go out of the house for meetings.

Showing homes to buyers: I am working with a few buyers who were already looking for a house for the last few months. These buyers have already spoken with a lender and are pre-qualified for a mortgage. All we need to do is find the right home.

When showing homes to buyers, we should all take precautions of wearing gloves, masks and shoe covers when going in the home. I ask ahead of our showing that the sellers please turn on all lights and open closet doors for us. That way we don’t have to touch much of anything except a door going in and a door going out.

If you are a buyer in need of finding a home, do not hesitate to call me. I can get you started on the process of lender pre-qualification. I can start an MLS search for you and send you house listings daily. I encourage buyers to “drive by” listings when they can, just to be sure they like the location and look of the home from the outside. When we go out to see a home, I will drive separately and meet you there.

I’m working hard to adapt to our changing world and I am right here to help you. Stay safe!

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