In 2017, Gallup published its most recent iteration of its State of the American Workplace report stating that more than 75% of Americans work remotely at least once a week, 43% work remotely at least half time, and 20% work remotely full time.

Up until 2020, those numbers seemed to be on a slow and steady rise. Then in March of 2020, those numbers started to skyrocket due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Before working from home was a realistic, long-term option, home buyers and renters often wanted to live reasonably close to their offices in order to avoid long commutes—and in the D.C.-met, those long commutes were often unavoidable either way. As companies around the world start to recognize the long-term benefits of a remote workforce, and with public schools in Loudoun County introducing distance learning as the primary form of education for the time being, the needs of American home buyers continue to evolve. 

Dedicated office space

One of the major benefits of working from home is the opportunity for better work-life balance. However, without dedicated office spaces, work life often bleeds into home life. As more companies commit to at least partial remote work policies long term, buyers are looking for homes with dedicated office spaces where they can focus on work during working hours then physically leave work behind to spend time with their families. Even if you don’t have a traditional office space at home, there are ways to get creative with your interior design to utilize unconventional spaces as dedicated working areas.

Large outdoor space

A major concern from working from home is not spending enough time outdoors, so, now more than ever, home buyers are interested in houses with large, usable, outdoor spaces. Fenced yards to allow kids and pets to play without needing 100% adult supervision, covered decks where you can get some fresh air during the work day while limiting the glare off your computer screen, and patios where you can barbecue with family and friends in the evening and on the weekends are great features to help you spend more time outdoors. Additionally, houses near parks, recreation areas, and walking and hiking trails offer home buyers alternative and convenient outdoor spaces.

Updated, functional kitchens

The American kitchen is one of the most popular entertaining spaces for family and friends, so wanting an updated kitchen is nothing new. However, as restrictions on restaurants continue and with the additional time remote workers save by not having a commute, cooking at home has become more popular, so more than simply wanting an updated looking kitchen, home buyers are looking for more functional kitchens, including state-of-the-art appliances and creative storage options. 

Moving to the suburbs

When searching for more functional space—both indoors and out—the Loudoun County suburbs become an obvious choice. Even as growth continues, Loudoun maintains an excellent amount of green space with larger houses and larger lots than city living often allows for. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or stay put in Northern Virginia, 15 West Homes is here to help you make your house a home.

How have your home needs changed since schooling and working from home? Let us know on Facebook!

… and there’s no better time to answer

As “Zoom towns” boom in popularity, we are starting a new series intended to help you stay informed and aware of the ever-changing world in these unprecedented times. We hope you enjoy it!

Location, location, location: the motto of the real estate agent. And despite being a trope, it’s not wrong. When you consider where you’re going to set down stakes and live, you should always consider how close you are to everything that matters. Make sure you’re near good schools. That it’s only a quick jaunt to handy shopping and delicious dining. And that your job commute is short and sweet.

Under that criteria, it’s hard to find any sort of ideal location, location, location these days in the DC area. Any native can tell you, no matter where you live, it’ll take you at least 30 minutes to get ANYWHERE. And you’ll be paying for the convenience of a 30-minute commute with a hefty house price, crowds, and a lot less house. On the other hand, not sitting in an hour of beltway traffic on a hot Friday afternoon is worth it, right?

Except. Now you don’t have to.

Everyone says “Covid-19 has changed everything,” and that’s no less true than with real estate. Schools are online. Groceries and dinners are delivered. And most offices are embracing the idea of giving up the expense of brick and mortar real estate to become remote. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 minutes or three hours from the office—your cute Zoom meeting background won’t change. So why pay the hefty house price for the convenient commute that you’re not making?

And for these reasons, there has been a significant upswing in people migrating to “Zoom towns,” which are noted for offering a casual, more picturesque, and less expensive options—but because school and work are all online, they don’t come with a long commute to where the jobs are.

As Fannie Mae recently noted, “we are seeing some early signs of shifting buyer preference to locate to lower density areas.” And Redfin agrees: “there’s more demand—and less supply—for rural and suburban neighborhoods than cities as the pandemic influences homebuyer preferences.” But that doesn’t mean there are no options.

Over the course of this series, we’ll explore some of the “Zoom towns” around here.

Why Not Get More for Your Money?

Here are six out-there, but not-too-out there, neighborhoods where you can enjoy the gorgeous beauty of landscapes, the quiet peace of nature, and much more house for your money. Each of these communities are a perfect mix of the rural, scenic west, and the vibrant, urban east of Loudoun County.

  • Selma Estates—with quiet streets, sweeping meadows, and a Target and Starbucks a mere six miles away, this lovely neighborhood has the best of both worlds. 250 estates provide a small community feeling but with lots that range from half an acre to ten and views of mountains and sunsets, you won’t feel crowded.
  • Raspberry Falls—built around one of the most acclaimed golf courses in the country, which this community of 200 single family homes run between four and six bedrooms and includes neighborhood swimming and tennis amenities, parks and trails, and you can find both small town charm plus big-name retail and dining a short drive away.
  • Rokeby Farms—this great single-family residential community is just 3 miles down the road from historic Downtown Leesburg VA and features 4-6 bedroom homes, with up to 5300+ square feet of living space. Residents are surrounded by lots of activities and opportunity for adventure.
  • Tavistock Farms—350 single family homes and 213 townhomes makeup this community right in the heart of Northern Virginia – prime horse & wine country. A community farmhouse, a pool, tennis courts and playgrounds make it a perfect place for your family to grow and thrive.
  • Woodlea Manor—nestled between the historic charm of downtown Leesburg and the beauty of the Catoctin Mountains, this community of 467 single-family homes is a hop, skip, and jump away from history, nature, and all of life’s conveniences.
  • Meadowbrook—a brand new community just south of historic downtown Leesburg. With 400 single family homes that reflect the comfort and charm of small-town America, these spacious homes are inspired by the architectural legacy of rural Virginia, with homes offering up to six bedrooms and up to 4,000+ square ft of open floor plans.

Need to Escape?

One of the best parts of living in Northern VA is when you do feel like a commute, the ocean, the mountains, the nation’s capital, parks and lakes, wineries, and more are all about within a few short and easy hours away—as is Dulles International Airport in case you’d like to go just a little further.

In fact, within the immediate area, you can explore acres of natural beauty and real-life history with Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park—offering tours, living history events, trails, and outdoor programs. Other local parks provide waterslide and pool adventures, camping and cabins along the Potomac, and miles of natural trails for walking, hiking, and biking.

And, not so far away is the vibrant and growing Downtown Leesburg area that offers the quaint and quiet charm of your favorite small-town with independently owned shops, bars, and restaurants. Yet within a few miles down Rt. 7 either direction, you can find outdoor plazas boasting Wegmans, movie theaters, commercial retail, bowling alleys, world-class hospitals and schools, and anything else you need now—but that takes you half an hour or more to reach.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned as we continue uncover other hidden gems and “Zoom towns” as well as all the amazing things you can do in this area. If you’d like more details on any of the communities highlighted in this article, please reach out—I live, breathe, and love it here!

Maggie Hatfield
15 West Homes
703-531-7363
[email protected]

I’m venturing a guess that I’m not the only one drinking more coffee these days! There’s just something about spending more time in my home office environment that has me making more trips to the kitchen to refill my mug! 

I’ve always started the day with a cup of green tea, and up until recently, my afternoon dose of caffeine came from a half-caf latte I make with our Nespresso machine. But ever since my husband learned about the local Loud’n Roasted Coffee Roasters coffee about a year ago, he’s been raving about it. So eventually I decided to give it a try. 

Loud'n-Roasted-Coffee-Roasters

 

I’m not usually a fan of regular brewed coffee. A typical mug actually has more caffeine than the small espresso shot I use in a latte, and it usually turns my stomach in knots and/or makes me jittery. But Loud’n Roasted coffee is different. 

This is no ordinary coffee, and now you could safely say I’m addicted. While I still enjoy my lattes, most days my husband and I just brew a big pot of Loud’n Roasted coffee — and fight about each getting our fair share as it dwindles later in the day! 

What Makes Loud’n Roasted Coffee Better Than Your Typical Coffee

Because it’s FRESH roasted, on demand, it tastes better. Once you place an order on their website or by phone at 703-957-0595, your order will be roasted to order. You can get it delivered or pick it up — with a promise of a 24-hour turnaround. There have been times we’ve picked it up, and the beans were still slightly warm from the roasting process. Now that’s fresh! 

Their other secret — which may be why Loud’n Roasted coffee agrees with me more than typical coffee — is that they roast the coffee beans using hot air, so there’s no hydrogen sulfide from a traditional steel drum method of roasting. (Hydrogen sulfide brings added acidity, which can do a number on your stomach.) It’s also the cleanest roasting method (for you and the environment) and results in evenly and consistently roasted beans and clean, bright flavors. 

Plenty of Blends to Choose From

They currently offer 12 different blends, ranging from the Light Guatemalan Roast to the Extra Dark Sumatra and South Wild’n Roasts. My hands-down personal favorite is the Guatemalan Roast, which surprises me. I typically like a more full-bodied coffee taste, but the Guatemalan has a great flavor and seems to agree with me. I have a cup or two most afternoons now, and it never bothers my stomach or makes me feel jacked-up on caffeine. Like I said, we’re usually turning the coffee pot over at the end of the afternoon, hoping another ounce or two might magically appear!

Loud'n-Roasted-Guatemala-Blend

You can get the Loud’n Roasted coffee blends either as whole beans or ground — typically available in either a 12 oz or 16 oz size. There’s even a “subscription” plan available so you can replenish your supply weekly, every 2 weeks, every 3 weeks, or monthly. 

If you’re a K-cup guy or gal, there are 7 varieties of those to choose from. And if you’d like to try their freshly roasted coffee before buying the beans or K-cups, you can visit them inside the Megabytes Eatery in Chantilly, where they also serve nitro cold brew, lattes, and cappuccinos using Loud’n Roasted beans. 

I’ll agree with Loud’n Roasted that “Coffee is always a good idea, and life is just too short for mediocre coffee.” Give it a try yourself…visit their website for more details and ordering info.