Tag Archives: Bristow VA

Hiking Day Trips

Hiking Day Trips

The greatest part of living in the Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow area is being so close to picturesque mountain hikes. We are no more than an hour or two away from some amazing hiking trails where you can unplug, relax, commune with nature and catch sight of Virginia’s native wildlife and plants. Here are some of our favorite hiking day trips. Continue reading

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How to Buy a Historic Home in Virginia

How to Buy a Historic Home in Virginia

One of the great things about Northern VirginiaOne of the great things about Northern Virginia and specifically Manassas, Haymarket, and Bristow is that all of these towns have rich histories, particularly from the Civil War era. If history interests you and you love architecture from days gone by, and if you go in with a clear understanding of the related expenses, a historic home may be for you.
The National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register were established in 1966 and are managed by the National Park Service and the Department of Historic Resources, respectively. Virginia has approximately 3,000 registered historic properties. You can visit the state and national registers online to learn more about these properties, updates, and educational programs.

Here are some tips for buying a historic home:

  • First, you need to understand whether you are buying a historic home that is registered in the National Register of Historic Places or buying a home that is in a historic district but not in the registry yet. Each scenario has different tax credits and benefits, which you should discuss with your CPA before signing a sale contract.
  • Once you have identified the property, have a home inspection contingency in the sale contract as a condition of the sale before closing. Choose an inspector who specializes in older homes and hire a structural engineer to fully assess the repairs and restoration.
  • Older homes can contain asbestos, radon, and lead paint, so make sure your sales contract allows for additional tests, and know that all results pass safety and health standards.
  • Know your budget for purchasing and renovating your home up front so you can choose the right home. Armed with the information from your home inspections, get price estimates from contractors to see how much the repairs and improvements will cost.
  • There are local and state laws that govern the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Be very familiar with these laws to make sure you’re able to fulfill your obligation to properly remodel the property.
  • Understand that the goal of renovating a historic home is to preserve the original structure as much as possible, so certain renovations are off limits.
  • Check out the last year’s utility bills if the property is functional. It may cost you a pretty penny to heat and cool an older home, so learn the facts before you purchase.
  • Get an estimate on homeowner’s insurance. Make sure you can get replacement cost coverage to receive the highest protection.
  • Check the tax rate for the historic district you’re shopping in. Sometimes there is a special tax associated with living in that area.
  • Virginia has a program that offers special tax credits to certified historic structures, so choosing a historic home may have some attractive financial benefits. Ask your realtor for a CPA referral if you don’t already have one.

Historic homes are not for everyone, but if you feel passionate about purchasing an older home that has a classic American look and feel, we can help you find just the right home, as well as help with your homework. At Jacobson Realty and Home Staging, we know the historic areas and the market. Let us help you find the home of your dreams! Contact us today.

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Farmers Markets in Haymarket, Gainesville, Bristow and Manassas, Virginia

Farmers Markets in Haymarket, Gainesville, Bristow and Manassas, Virginia

Warm weather is finally here!

Warm weather is finally here! With springtime renewal comes the return of many options for purchasing fresh, local produce, meats, honey and more from area farmers. When you purchase food from farmers markets, not only are you getting fresher, better-quality whole foods, but you’re putting money back into our communities by supporting local businesses. Here are some options for fresh food shopping in Haymarket, Gainesville, Bristow and Manassas, Virginia.

Haymarket Farmers Market – This market runs on Saturdays from April through October. You can purchase local fruits, veggies, fresh flowers, bedding plants and decorative items. The market is located in the Town Hall parking lot at 15000 Washington Street. All vendors sell only Virginia grown products, so you can rest assured your money is going back into the local community.

Haymarket Thursday Afternoon Market – Every Thursday from May through October, you can find this farmers market open from 2:30-6:30 p.m. They have tons of fresh produce, meats, honey, baked goods and more. The market is located at 16015 John Marshal Hwy in Broad Run, VA.

Gainesville Farmers Market – Every Thursday from 2 until 6 p.m., from May through September, you can shop this seasonal farmers market. It is located at 13550 Heathcote Blvd., Gainesville, VA.

Smart Market – Located in Bristow, VA, Smart Market is open year-round on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They have a wide variety of local vendors who provide the community with fresh produce, meats, baked goods and more. Some of their vendors include Granted! Artisanal Bakery, Great Harvest Bread Company, Heritage Kettle Corn, Holly Brook Farm Meats and Dairy, Ignacio’s Produce, Little Green Farm, Real Country Sausage, Sweet Nuna, Tyson Farms and Orchards and Warhorse BBQ. This market is located at 8301 Linton Hall Rd., Bristow, VA.

City of Manassas Farmers Market – This farmers market was voted one of the best by Prince William Living Magazine. Starting in April, the farmers market is open on Thursdays in Harris Pavilion in Historic Downtown Manassas. Saturdays the market is located in parking lot B behind the Harris Pavilion from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here at Jacobson Realty and Home Staging, we love our local farmers markets, not just for the health and economic benefits, but for the community aspect. When you go to a farmers market, you can meet the folks who actually produce your food. You get to talk to neighbors, as well as people you might not have met before. You get a sense of what is happening in the area. And of course, you get to enjoy the great outdoors with people who appreciate some of the things you do.

If you would like more information about our community, contact Jacobson Realty and Home Staging. We’d love to talk to you about this place we call home!

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Western Prince William County Attractions for All Ages!

Western Prince William County Attractions for All Ages!

Part of the beauty of living

Part of the beauty of living in the Gainesville, Haymarket, and Bristow Virginia area is that you don’t have to go far when you’re looking for attractions and entertainment. We have so many options for leisure right in our area. Here are just a few area attractions you can enjoy the next time you’re looking for a date night, ladies’ night out, place to celebrate or an everyday excursion.

Entertainment and Culture

Hylton Performing Arts Center – Get a dose of culture in this Manassas arts center. Whether you’re looking for ballet, theatrical performances, symphony orchestras, choral ensembles, children’s theater or art exhibits, you can find an event to suit your taste here. Some of the great shows include Art Garfunkel on March 31, 2016!  Tonight is the Manassas Chorale Voices United, a celebration of sacred music.

Jiffy Lube Live – This Bristow amphitheater hosts shows from international music sensations like Dave Matthews Band, Weezer, Luke Bryan and more. With seating price options to fit every budget, you’ll enjoy rocking to your favorite bands. And because of the way the amphitheater is designed, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Book early.

History

The Manassas Museum – With a permanent exhibit spanning from the Native American through the 20th century periods, with an emphasis on the Civil War, you can learn all about regional history in this museum. There are 7 nearby historic sites that accompany your museum learning experience.

Ben Lomond Manor House and Old Rose Garden – This historic site in Manassas offers inexpensive tours of the house and the grounds. This was once a plantation owned by Robert Carter III. It was inherited by Benjamin Tasker Chinn who used the plantation to farm corn and wheat to care for the 500 Merion sheep on the property. After the battle of 1st Manassas, it was converted to a Confederate field hospital. You can still read writing on the walls from Civil War soldiers.

Wine and Beer

The Winery at La Grange – This Haymarket winery has an 18th century mansion with views of 8 acres of rolling hills and vineyards. They style their wines to have the refinement of European wines with subdued fruit-forward characteristics. Enjoy your day here with a tour of the winery, taste some samples and choose your favorite to purchase and enjoy on site or at home.

Heritage Brewing Company – If you’re a beer lover and a patriot, this Manassas brewery is for you. This veteran-owned brewery runs an organic and sustainable operation, creating tasty brews and giving back a percentage of all their sales to charity. You can sample beers in their tap room and enjoy a pint of your favorite.

Just for Fun

Burnside Farms – This farm in Haymarket has been in the flower business for 3 generations. They hold special pick-your-own flower events. They are open year-round with different seasonal offerings. Burnside holds a Festival of Spring, Summer of Sunflowers, fall market and Christmas tree shop.

Splash Down Waterpark – This Manassas water park has fun for the whole family. Big kids (and grown-ups) will enjoy two, 4-story water slides. You can test your balance skills on the Lilly Pad and Log Walk. Little kids will enjoy bubblers and spray fountains in the Sandcastle Kids Kove, along with interactive slides and their own play area.

These are just a few of the fun options our area in Western Prince William County offers. There’s also shopping, dining, golf, nature…you name it! If you would like to know more about this place we call home, contact Jacobson Realty and Home Staging. We’d be happy to show you around!

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Active Adult Communities in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow, and Surrounding Area of Virginia

Active Adult Communities in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow, and Surrounding Area of Virginia

55 is the new 45

You may have heard that 55 is the new 45. Builders are keeping this youthful spirit in mind when designing their active adult communities. These communities aren’t a place where you just play shuffleboard and grab the early bird special at 4. They are planned with active adults in mind. These builders realize that people are retiring later (and often are still commuting to jobs) and want engaging amenities conveniently located close to home. There are many communities in the Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow areas that cater to the next generation of (soon-to-be) retirees. Check out these beautiful communities:

· Heritage Hunt in Gainesville – If you love to golf, this Lennar community is for you. Built around a championship 18-hole golf course, you can roll out of bed in the morning and tee off practically in your backyard, or find easy access to RT 66 for commuters. This gated community also brings you luxurious, country club living with dozens of amenities. Between them, three clubhouses offer a grand ballroom, activity rooms, a golf pro shop, fine dining, billiards and much more. This community offers maintenance-free living with accessible floor plans. You can choose from a luxury elevator condominium, low-maintenance duplex, villas, or a main-level living single-family home. If you love nature, you can enjoy the long walking paths throughout the community and absorb the scenic views of the Bull Run Mountain!

· Regency at Dominion Valley in Haymarket – Another golfer’s paradise, this Toll Brother’s community also boasts a terrific executive golf course and provides access to the standard Dominion Valley golf course. This upscale community also has condominium, attached and detached homes, so you can find the space that truly suits you. There are plenty of community activities. To stay fit and active, they have indoor and outdoor pools as well as a fitness center with an aerobics studio, a yoga room and a spin class. If you enjoy outdoor activities, there are many parks and on-site trails to explore. And you won’t have to worry about maintaining your yard here. They offer lawn and exterior care and snow removal as a few of the many community perks.

· Dunbarton in Bristow – Part of the larger Braemar community built by Brookfield Homes, this gated community has almost 500 single-family and attached home residences. It boasts many recreational activities and resort-style amenities, like a 21,000 square foot clubhouse, a library, a billiards parlor, a ballroom, an indoor and outdoor pools and a fitness center. Close to D.C., this is a great location if you have to commute to the city for work. It’s also close enough to the countryside, mountains and fabulous golf courses to be an ideal spot for retirement.

· NEW – Regency at Catharpin Creek in nearby Catharpin – This 125- acre active adult community by Toll Brothers is currently under construction. Infrastructure should be completed by the fall, with the possibility of pre-sales starting at that time. It will have the same Toll Brothers quality of construction and include a gated entrance, clubhouse, pools and walking trails, but it will not have a golf course. Phase one has been approved by Prince William County for 79 single-family units.

Jacobson Realty and Home Staging knows this area well and has worked with home sellers and home buyers in different phases of life. You can rest easy knowing that when you work with us, you are getting expert advice from professionals who live in the area and know the communities. If you or someone you know would like more information on communities in Gainesville, Haymarket, Bristow or surrounding areas of Virginia, we’re here. Give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to guide you to your next home purchase.

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Super Shopping Destinations in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow, VA

Super Shopping Destinations in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow, VA

perfect outfit

Maybe you need to run out for the perfect outfit for that big job interview, supplies for your son’s last-minute science project or just a little retail therapy. From antiques and home décor to cruise attire or the next business suit, you can find just about anything you need in the many stores located Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow, VA. Here are a few of our favorite shopping destinations in the area:

· Francesca’s – If you’re shopping for youthful trendy clothing and gifts, you can get the boutique experience at the Virginia Promenade in Gainesville. It’s hip, it’s fun, it’s trendy and it’s a place that you can get in and out of quickly because it just isn’t that big.

· White House Black Market – This Gainesville shop offers stylish contemporary daywear wear with classic lines for all ages. If personalized service is what you want, you can get it here.

· J. Crew and Loft – J. Crew is the newest boutique to open in Gainesville’s Virginia Promenade. It provides youthful sportswear and career choices for the gal who is transitioning to upscale career and daywear. Loft provide a similar quality and line of clothing.

· Chico’s – January through March is the perfect time of year to book a cruise and beat the winter chill. Chico’s has “all hands on deck” to help you get to your destination. The upscale ladies boutique on Atlas Walk in Gainesville has fabulous sportswear for vacation and business travel. Everything packs easily, and no ironing is required. Who can ask for more?

· Jo Bank – Let’s not forget the man who is moving up the cooperate ladder or simply wants to look good at the next social or golf event. Jo Bank in Gainesville has personalized service and quality merchandize that your peers will remember.

· The Very Thing for Her – This Gainesville upscale ladies and children’s consignment shop carries designer clothes, handbags and fine jewelry. If you’re looking for unique, vintage finds or upscale brands and low prices, this shop is the place to go.

· The Running Store – If you’re a seasoned marathoner or training for your first 5k, the shoes you wear will make a world of difference. This Gainesville store caters to all levels of runners (and walkers), offering gear you need to get fit and hit the pavement. They will assess your stride and find the perfect shoes for your next jog, race, or breast cancer walk!

· IT’SUGAR This unique shop is more than a candy store! Looking for sweet delights or novelty gifts? You can find both at IT’S SUGAR, and it’s located just down from the Regal Movie Theaters in Gainesville!

· Comics and Gaming – For the Dungeons & Dragons or Marvel lover in your life, you can find games, comics and collectibles in this Gainesville store. They have a “subscribe and save” program that offers 10 percent off comic titles when you reserve your copy at the store.

· Super Target – If you’re looking for new throw pillows or you need to pick up ingredients for dinner tonight, you can find just about anything you’re looking for (and maybe some things you weren’t looking for) at Gainesville’s Super Target.

· Details for the Home – This charming shop located in a historic home in Haymarket has all sorts of gifts, from trendy jewelry, to bags to decorative items for your home. And don’t miss the large Pandora jewelry collection on display. Give yourself time to wander around every nook and cranny.

· Needles in the Haymarket – If you love to knit or crochet, you’ll be in yarn heaven at this Haymarket shop. They have many varieties of quality yarn for you to use in your creations. If you want to brush up on your knitting or crocheting skills, they even offer classes and workshops.

· The White Elephant Antiques – If you love antiquing, this historical Bristow home turned antique shop is for you. This place is jam-packed with great finds, and you can put your money back into the community by supporting a local small business.

There are hosts of other stores in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow, of course. And what’s nice is, they are all so conveniently located. Plus, you don’t have to go to a mall to fulfill your shopping desires and needs. It’s all right here in your own back yard! If you would like more information, feel free to contact Jacobson Realty and Home Staging. We’d love to give you a tour of the area!

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Why Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow Virginia Schools Are the Best

Why Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow Virginia Schools Are the Best

Kids are the future

Kids are the future, so we want to make sure they shine by providing the best possible education. Many families relocate to Gainesville, Haymarket or Bristow for the top-notch education the area provides. With all of the acclaim area schools have received lately, it’s no mystery why parents would be flocking to these school districts. Add winning sports records, high test scores and great facilities and you have a formula for a well-rounded education. Check out why so many parents are interested in moving to the area.

· Highly ranked schools – U.S. News and World Report ranks some of the area schools very high on national, state and local levels. Battlefield High in Haymarket ranked first out of 11 Prince William County schools and 23rd in the entire state. Prince William County had 34 schools receive the School of Excellence Distinction Award for the 2014-2015 school year.

· High test scores – Test scores aren’t everything, but they can be a good indicator of the quality of education children are receiving. Prince William County Schools scored higher than most schools in the state on reading and writing SOLs. They had a 90 percent pass rate on high school reading SOLS. They outperformed other schools in the state on eight different tests in this subject matter.

· Winning sports and extracurricular teams – Education is important, but to be well-balanced, kids need great after-school activities too. If they’re into clubs, sports, music or art, they can find the club or team to suit their taste and maybe even bring home an award or two. Battlefield High School had a great year in sports in the 2014-2015 school year. Their girls’ soccer team brought home a state title, and the wrestling team brought home a regional title. Brentsville District boys cross country team won a state title as well. The robotics team from Battlefield High also won 1st place at the Battle of Baltimore Competition, while the Marching Bobats won Class AAAA Champions and Highest Scores in Visual and General Effect at the Stafford Marching Invitational.

· Top elementary education – Of the top 10 elementary schools (as ranked byCruvita), six are located in either Haymarket or Bristow. You can rest easy knowing your kids are getting the best education as soon as they enter Kindergarten in these amazing schools.

· State of the art facilities and equipment – From planetariums to iPad and laptop access for most classrooms, Prince William County has fantastic facilities and technology to help your child learn how to navigate the technological world. Children learn how to type, use different types of software and the Internet at an early age. They play learning games that make homework fun at school or on websites where they can log in from home.

· Easy access – Like the rest of these bustling communities, the schools are conveniently located, especially for working parents who need to drop kids off on their way to the morning commute to DC. These communities all give easy access to I-66 and I-95.

Jacobson Realty and Home Staging prides itself on knowing this community inside and out. We interact with residents all the time. We live here. And we love where we live. This is our community of choice. If you would like to know more about this place we call home, contact us today.

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Your 2016 Home Selling Checklist

Your 2016 Home Selling Checklist

sell their homes

In the Gainesville, Bristow and Haymarket Virginia area, many people wait to sell their homes in the spring or summer. But that doesn’t mean you should wait on preparing. To obtain the best price for your home, you need two main components: a realtor who will go the distance to get you the best deal and a home that is well-prepped. Get ready to list your home by checking off the items below.

· Get a home inspection prior to listing your home. Show buyers that you’re proactive about getting repairs done and giving them the best possible value when they purchase your home. Once the home inspection is done, you’ll know which repairs are important for you to tackle right away.

· Get rid of clutter. When people view your home, they want to see the potential for their family in the house, not your collection of National Geographic Magazine from 1987 to the present. Pre-pack or throw away items you don’t regularly use. Organize the items that are left and clean your house from top to bottom. Buyers want storage room, so show them how much room you have by keeping your storage spaces uncluttered.

· Make sure your flooring is up-to-date. Buyers don’t want to tackle replacing all the flooring after they move in. If your current flooring is dirty, worn or dated, you may want to consider updating it prior to putting your home on the market.

· Create curb appeal. Your home’s curb appeal gives buyers their first impression. You want this to be a positive experience so they remember your home and want to buy it. Keep your yard weed-free. Add greenery as the season permits.

· Create a neutral color palate inside. Buyers don’t want a long list of improvements to make after they move in. Help attract buyers with a fresh coat of paint or two. Neutral colors and clean walls with no holes will attract buyers.

· Depersonalize your home. Even though you may love your hometown football team, you never know what will be a turn-off for potential buyers. Try to take as many personal decorative items out of your home while its on the market to avoid alienating any customers. Allow them to see themselves living in your home by removing family photos and memorabilia.

· Anticipate your buyers’ needs. Your buyers already have a list of what they want. Racking up items, no matter how small, on their future to-do list is a quick way to lose a buyer. Help them check off items on their wish list instead of creating their to-do list.

· Make your home move-in ready. Once you’ve had your inspection and prioritized your to-do list, create a budget and a timeline to make your home move-in ready. Maybe you need to replace a few windows, apply a few coats of fresh paint or spackle all the places where your photos hung. Set yourself up for success by getting your home move-in ready before it even hits the market.

· Stage to sell. A well-staged home can make the buyer feel at home. Make sure you have good lighting and properly placed furniture for showings.

If you are looking for a professional opinion on your home as you prepare it for selling, Jacobson Realty and Home Staging is there to help. We can walk you through every step of the process to make sure your home is ready to sell at the time you want to sell it. Contact us today!

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Belinda’s Picks: 12 Best Restaurants in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow Virginia

Belinda’s Picks: 12 Best Restaurants in Gainesville, Haymarket and Bristow Virginia

One of which is the plethora of amazing restaurants!

Living in the Gainesville, Virginia area has many perks, one of which is the plethora of amazing restaurants! Purely in the interest of research (haha!) we’ve checked out dozens of Western Prince William County restaurants. While we have not found a bad one yet, here are some eateries that definitely stand out.

Gainesville

· Best Mexican food – El Tio’s(7527 Linton Hall Rd., Gainesville, VA 20155) Enjoy fresh, authentic, tableside-prepared guacamole inside their dining room or outside on the patio.

· Best new wine and coffee bar – Trummer’s Coffee and Wine Bar (14013 Promenade Commons, Gainesville, VA 20155) This is yet another family-owned business with a friendly attitude from the Trummer family (they also own Trummer’s On Main in Clifton). They offer outstanding coffee — the Italian latte is my favorite! Splurge on homemade pastries and paninis — you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy a glass of wine or homemade sangria after work at the bar.

· Best happy hour hors d’oeuvres – Firebirds (14020 Promenade Commons Street, Virginia Gateway, Gainesville, VA 20155) Wind down after work with some top-quality appetizers, offered in the lounge area and bar until 7 p.m. My top picks are mini maui-maui tacos, Cajun shrimp, grilled chicken strips with signature dipping sauce and ahi tuna (just to name a few delicious options).

· Best crowd-pleasing bar – Bar Louie (14081 Promenade Commons St., Gainesville, VA 20155) is loud and lively with great drink selections. See your friends and enjoy the scene.

· Best Sunday (and all-day) breakfast – Eggspectation (8058 Crescent Park Dr., Gainesville, VA 20155) has a large menu with eggs anyway you like them. They also have the best variety of homemade bloody Marys I’ve ever seen, with and without alcohol!

· Best quality, affordable, quick food – Afghan Famous Kabob (14702 Lee Hwy., Gainesville, VA 20155) has ethnic cuisine at its best, with may appetizers to choose from. My favorite to-go selections are chicken kebobs, homemade bread and hummus.

· Best new affordable, family-style dining – Nando’s Peri-Peri (1400 Promenade Commons St., Gainesville, VA 20155) is a Portuguese restaurant where you can get flamed grilled chicken in flavorful Peri-Peri sauce. You place your order, decide the level of spice or heat, and enjoy a glass of wine or beer if the mood is right. I recommend the fresh spinach and sweet potato salad with grilled Peri – Peri chicken on top – big and delicious! Upbeat, fun décor helps make for a kid-friendly experience without breaking the budget!

Haymarket

· Best pizza – It’s a tie for this title, and both restaurants are in the same town.Tony’s New York Pizza (5361 Merchants View Square, Haymarket, VA 20169) andGiuseppe’s (15120 Washington St., Haymarket, VA 20169) both have amazing pizza selections! Watch Tony’s Pizza hand-craft your pizza while you wait. With outstanding crust and flavor, there are no disappointments at Tony’s. Giuseppe’s is a family-owned business that offers large bread-crusted pizza in the dining room, bar area or back porch, with free entertainment on most weekends. They can also accommodate larger parties upstairs.

· Best crowd-pleasing bar – It was a toss-up for my favorite, and I just couldn’t exclude Lion and Bull, a great bar with live entertainment most weekends.

Bristow

· Best new bagel shop – Tom and Suzie’s (9110 Devlin Rd., Bristow, VA 20136) Savor the taste of Long Island bagels — large, light and packed with flavor. Grab one of their outstanding bagel sandwiches in this family-owned and operated shop. The secret to their bagels is dough fresh from Long Island. The owner, Suzie, says their bagels are so tasty because, “It’s all about the water!”

· Best Asian food – Asian Garden (12857 Braemar Village Plaza, Bristow, VA 20136) has a big selection of food including Chinese, Thai and Japanese sushi. It’s always clean and inviting with a friendly staff to complete your dining experience.

We think one of the most important things a realtor should have is first-hand knowledge about the areas they serve. We are more than just realtors. We’re residents. If you would like to know more about our communities and what they have to offer, contact me, Belinda Jacobson-Loehle. We’d love to show you around!

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