The Mantua Report
from your Mantua Neighborhood Realtors
We're real estate specialists in properties
located in the desirable Fairfax community of Mantua. We live in
and have firsthand knowledge about the friendly neighbors, great amenities,
top-rated schools, and the wonderful homes that make Mantua such a popular
place to live.
Dear Mantua and Ridgelea Hills Neighbors,
The Northern Virginia Board of Realtors has published its end of year statistics for 2020 and report an average increase of 8.85% over the previous year. The average house price was $667,516 and includes all types of homes including condos. It took an average of 21 days to get a contract in 2020. In October 2020, Northern Virginia saw the highest number of home sales for October in the last16 years. Economists are predicting another similar brisk market in 2021.
In Mantua, 84 homes sold—an unusually high number—with an average price of $864,833. The average days on market was 16. This average sales price is 8.5% more than last year, when 61 homes sold and the average price was $797,105.
Only two homes appeared on the market this year and sold in Ridgelea Hills for an average of $937,500.
Following the usual active Spring market, the demand for housing continued to outpace the supply, even though we saw a record number of homes change hands in 2020. There was a shortage of inventory compared to previous years. Of the people who decided to go ahead and list their homes despite Covid-19, many were amazed to get multiple offers and a ratified contract within days. The interest rates continued to drop throughout 2020 and often there were 5 or more competing offers on each listing, and in some cases buyers were escalating well over list price. We know that several companies are moving into the Washington area and Google plans to double the size of its Reston office. This is good for the local economy and further increases the demand for housing in Northern Virginia
This is NOT a normal year with many people working from home and children not in school. Thirty-two percent of the buyers this year, who had not planned on moving pre-Covid-19, decided to relocate from the city to the suburbs. Statistics show that 75% of buyers reported they wanted space for a home office. Some people sold their primary residence and moved into their vacation homes. Forty percent moved within 100 miles. While 57% of buyers were looking for more square footage—to allow for social distancing, online working, etc.—45% cited wanting more outdoor, recreational space and 44% were looking for larger and updated kitchens.
The real estate industry coped well with the new regime, putting many safety precautions in place to protect the health of both buyers and sellers. There were fewer open houses and home showings were staggered with people wearing masks, shoe coverings and gloves.
We were very grateful that our industry remained healthy. We helped 36 sellers and 16 buyers in 2020, and continue to be the top selling agents in the Vienna Long and Foster office. More so than other years, we sponsored and contributed to our local schools, charities and food banks: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Life with Cancer, Food for Others, Toys for Tots, The Lamb Center, NAMI and others.
Thank you to everyone who used our services for the first time this year and our many repeat clients. We also appreciate your referrals. We hope you will call us if you have any questions related to real estate, need the names of reliable contractors, or advice about selling your home in the upcoming years.
In the meantime, we send our best wishes to you and your family and hope 2021 will bring peace and Covid relief both here and abroad.
Anne and Sarah
Mantua was built on parkland in the 1960’s. The builder did not tear down many trees or change any of the natural landscape, so there are still large oak trees and hills and streams running naturally through the neighborhood. The neighborhood is made up of several legal subdivisions: Mantua, Mantua Hills, Ridgelea Woods, Ridgelea Estates, Langhorne Acres, Sunny Hills, Skybrook, Stockbridge, and Westchester. People are drawn to the the neighborhood’s excellent schools and convenient location just outside the beltway at the Rte 50 AND the Rte 236 exits. There are several commuting options for people traveling downtown during rush hour: I-66, Rte 50, Rte 29, I-395.
Houses currently run from $650,000 - $1,500,000. Occasionally a builder will construct a new house that will sell for $1,300,000 - $1,500,000. Most of the homes are built on half acre lots, but there are also some quarter acre lots and a few larger lots on acreages of between 1/2 and 1. Houses range in style from the traditional colonial and split level homes to split foyers, ramblers, raised ramblers, and bi-levels. There are several contemporaries, that are quite large and all brick. These are called the Phoenix models and they vary in size, from 3 to 5 bedrooms with partial or full basements. Other contemporaries built of wood can be found along Prince William Drive and Coronado that were designed by the well known architect, Ken Freeman. These houses are also flat roof homes and considered to be more of a “California contemporary” style. Another style of contemporary, of a good size, with 3 floors, can be found on Amberley Lane and Mantua Drive. Several homes in the neighborhood have their own swimming pools.
Being part of the Fairfax County Public School system, we have an excellent elementary school within the boundaries of the neighborhood, safely nestled on a private cul de sac. Frost Middle and Woodson High are considered to be excellent schools also and among the top schools State wide. Frost is one of the few middle schools in the area that has a 10 out of 10 rating. Woodson has been listed in Newsweek magazine several years in a row among the top 100-150 high schools nationwide. In 2014 WT Woodson was listed as #128 out of awarded a Gold Medal. (see http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/national-rankings/page+6 to view the entire article). This survey focused on the importance of students being ready for college. The criteria of the study mainly looked at how many advanced placement courses and exams are completed at the school in relation to how many students are enrolled in the entire school. Woodson has just undergone an expansion and renovation that was very successful, giving the school, in addition to its great academic reputation, updated facilities, science labs, a new auditorium, and a renovated gymnasium. Read more about W.T.Woodson in the New York Times.
PARKS AND TRAILS
The neighborhood also has two county and city parks attached. One is a Fairfax City ball field for little leagues, Thaiss Park. The other is a family park, Eakin Park I, with a baseball field, playground and two public tennis courts. There is also a trail going through the neighborhood that is part of the Accotink trail. This trail goes all the way to Accotink Lake and is paved for almost the entire way.
There are many options for grocery shopping in the area. Shopper’s Food Warehouse has recently renovated up at Pickett Shopping Center, providing us with a reasonably priced food store. Trader Joe’s is also very good value and is located in Pickett Road Shopping Center. Here here are many organic and healthy food options and a reasonably priced, good wine selection too. A large Safeway is located on the way to Vienna Metro at Pan Am shopping center. Mantua is also not very far from Wegman’s at Fairfax Corner and Whole Foods in Vienna. The Korean supermarkets at Merrifield and on Rte 50 West provide excellent places to purchase good quality produce, especially vegetables and fish, at reasonable prices.
Fairfax County Recreation Centers are located at Providence Rec Center – just inside the beltway on Rte 50 and also Wakefield Recreation Center, which is on Braddock Road. Both have large indoor pool facilities and gyms and offer many classes and monthly passes. Classes are for pre-school age children through seniors.
George Mason University is nearby, providing a good venue for concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment at the Patriot Center.
There are all types of restaurants in the area—many different ethnic restaurants and some American restaurants too. Some of the local favorites are Artie’s and Sweetwater (Great American Restaurants group), 2941 (more upscale), Jaipur, The Wine House, to name just a few. Mosaic Center at Merrifield was completed in 2013 and it offers many great dining options, a new Target, boutiques and Angelika Movie Theatre. Restaurants include, True Food, Ted’s Bulletin, Matchbox and Gipsy Soul. The Dunn Loring metro is just around the corner and this has also developed a great shopping area with more restaurants and a Harris Teeter in 2014-2015.
Tysons Corner and Fair Oaks Shopping Centers are approximately 15 minutes drive.
AND TENNIS CLUB
Mantua has its own Swim and Tennis Club, with 2 pools, a baby pool and 4 lit tennis courts. There is a gazebo at the tennis courts for outdoor entertaining and the clubhouse at the pool can be rented out for larger indoor parties. The social committee holds a few parties a year at the clubhouse—including a holiday party, newcomer’s dinner, block captain’s luncheon. There is an active swim team, dive team and tennis team for kids. We have a tennis pro who manages the children’s lessons and matches in the area with other tennis teams. There is a very active women's, men's singles and doubles program here too for adults, and a Friday evening social tennis season during the summer months. All this is very affordable (Approx $60 per summer for each child playing tennis, swim team membership is about the same, pool membership is a one time membership fee $1,400 plus a $100 transfer fee plus $525 annual dues).
|There is an approximately three year waiting list, unlike surrounding neighborhoods, to become a member of Mantua Swim and Tennis Club. It is important to try and buy the membership with the house if you want to use the pool immediately. Although, almost everyone who has wanted to rent a membership while they are waiting to purchase one has been able to over the last few years. Rental memberships run at $700 per season.
There is a strong sense of community, which is one of the attributes this neighborhood is known for, as well as its geographical and physical traits. There are lots of different types of people in our neighborhood from various backgrounds and who have diverse interests. There are many clubs open to all neighbors. We get together for an annual parade/picnic and a few other community events. There are lots of parties in the neighborhood organized by the Swim and Tennis social committee as well as the Mantua Citizen’s Organization. Parties are diverse in theme, ranging from Crab Feasts and Dog Days of Summer parties during the time the pool is open, to Casino night, Band evenings. There is always a winter holiday party at the clubhouse to which all are welcome, and sometimes an Oktoberfest gathering too.
The Mantua Citizens’ Association offers an online monthly newsletter to all homes within the development. There is also a Mantua Directory that is printed every 2 years. Dues are only $20 per year to cover the costs of these publications and a few other expenses, including the picnic and parade and other social events. The MCA organizes a Newcomers’ Dinner in the Spring as well as a Block Captain’s and Neighborhood Watch and other Volunteers’ Luncheon.
People have different reasons for wanting to live in Mantua. In summary, some of the reasons they choose our neighborhood:
- Top Fairfax County Schools
- Great sense of community with elementary school within neighborhood
- Swim and Tennis Club, annual parties and neighborhood parade and events
- Large wooded lots with mature trees, azaleas and other plantings
- Great location just outside the beltway-very easy to get to most areas for commuters
- Abundant parkland, woods and trails; feeling of being close to nature
- Good selection of restaurants, shops, recreation areas and amenities nearby
- Easy commuting and many road options to downtown DC, Alexandria, Dulles Toll road
- Both Vienna and Dunn Loring Metros 10 minutes drive away
- Tysons Corner and Fair Oaks Mall both within 15 minutes drive
- 20-25 minutes to both Dulles International and Reagan National Airports, 1 hr to BWI
- Fairfax Hospital just 2 miles
- Housing holds its value in this sought after neighborhood and school district
errors and omissions without notice
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