I’ll try to make what is a long drawn out story as short as I can.

The 2 BIG reasons we decided to move from College Park, MD to Northern VA

  1. The Schools.  Hollywood Elementary was absolutely wonderful.  We loved it.  But in the time we lived there – Hollywood cut back to just K-5, and the Middle Schools in the area didn’t look very promising.  For example – an excerpt from greatschools.org :

    This school is mediocre, the teachers put forth minimal effort in educating the students.The teachers seem to be more focused on discipline rather than education.


    the behavior is out of control but i think the local bucklodge students can stop the fighting and violence

    With Sophia in the 5th grade, Middle School was all of a sudden upon us!

  2. The Chance to build a house. Do I need to say more? Since I was 12, I’ve been drawing little floor plans and elevations, building LEGO houses, stick houses, gingerbread houses, you name it. When my mentor/2nd Father/baseball coach/friend Steve Loveless moved back up to DC from FL and started prodding us to build something…we jumped on board! Steve has been a builder FOREVER. And I think one of his strongest talents his is design sense AS a builder. Having gone to architecture school at University of MD, and has designed everything he has built, he has the knowledge and eye to make this house REAL!

And so the search for a place to build back in October of 2013 began. Can we find a lot that accommodates all of the various pieces of our family? Safe neighborhood, accessible commute, good schools, close to activities, etc…but, most importantly – when you’re searching in the Northern VA area for either an empty lot or a tear down – the most limiting factor is PRICE! With tiny tear downs in Vienna going for $650,000 – trying to find a lot closer to $200k was a CHALLENGE! Just try it – go to Trulia – set your map to Fairfax County – plug in LOT/LAND for < $300,000 and today….I found 2 – but both were foreclosures and not even a lot – they were apartments! haha.  Check it out:



When we finally found one – again a long story – It turned out to be a total scam – It was a cute little lot near Tyson’s Corner – would have been a GREAT location to commute, etc…It was a narrow lot which would have pushed us to be creative – We were very excited to try it out.  Until we received the SURVEYED Plat (which they originally told us they didn’t have) – and the lot was even HALF what we were originally thinking!  Mostly disappointed that we had wasted 2 months working on getting that lot and playing around with some designs that could fit….could have been cool!



VIENNA_1stave VIENNA_1stave2 VIENNA_1stave3

So – back to the search.  Which – luckily ended up not taking very long.  Visited a few additional lots – but didn’t find one we loved until early February we put an offer on 3141 Searsmont Pl….our FUTURE HOME!