Market Watch & Musings

January 11, 2023
One of the most highly anticipated food-related programs in the region, Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week showcases the region's best known chefs, restauranteurs and rising culinary stars. Take this opportunity to try new restaurants, cuisines or check out new neighborhoods. Over 170 restaurants throughout DC, VA and MD are participaing.
January 16-22. $25 Brunch | $25 Lunch | $40 & $50 Dinner

Enjoy special three-course meals at participating restaurants!
Link to participating restaurants:

December 12, 2022


Growing up my family always went out to the same classic Italian restaurant on Christmas Eve, then we drove around looking at the lights in the neighborhood. It was festive and fun. If you are looking for a lovely holiday dinner this year for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, here is a list of restaurants that have special menus. Washington, Virginia and Maryland have been decorated since before Thanksgiving - make sure you enjoy the lights before or after, its never too late to start a new tradition. 

1. Brasserie Liberte - 3251 Prospect St, NW, Washington

Located in the heart of Georgetown, this modern French restaurant is casual and laid back. They have a special menu for the 24th & 25th.

2. Dolce Vita - 1610 14th St, NW, Washington

Opened just a month ago in trendy Logan Circle. This restaurant melds the cuisines of Italy, Morocco, Spain and Greece and will be open the 24th & 25th.

3. Sababa - 3311 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington 

For the third consecutive year, this Cleveland Park restaurant will offer its Middle Eastern-influenced Chinese menu it has dubbed “Jew-ish Christmas.” Only offered on the 24th. PRO TIP: Check out the lights at the zoo.

4. L'Auberge Chez Francois - 332 Springvale Rd, Great Falls

This classic French inn is decorated to the hilt. Enjoy a seven-course dinner with three seatings on Christmas Eve. PRO TIP: Pere Noel makes an appearance at every seating.

5.  Roberto's Ristorante Italiano - 144 Church St. NW, Vienna

Visit renowned chef, Roberto Donna 's famed Italian restaurant to experience an authentic Feast of the Seven Fishes on the 24th.

6. The Red Fox Inn and Tavern - 2 East Washington St, Middleburg

This 18th century inn will host a five-course “game & seafood dinner” on the 24th. PRO TIP: try the wine pairings.

7. The Chart House - 1 Cameron St, Alexandria

Located on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront, this traditional seafood restaurant has a special menu on the 25th and is perfect for large gatherings.

8. Kings Contrivance - 10150 Shaker Drive, Columbia

This restaurant is considered Howard County's finest restaurant. It is housed inside a stately Federal style mansion on a 360-acre farm and is decorated top to bottom and left to right. PRO TIP: wine list is outstanding. 

9. La Ferme - 7101 Brookville Dr, Chevy Chase

Cozy French restaurant located in the heart of Chevy Chase Village, is serving a fixe prix dinner on Christmas Eve with an abundance of choices. PRO TIP: ask to be seated near the huge stone fireplace or heated, covered patio. If there are just 2 of you - the Juliette balcony is very romantic.

If you have visited any of these restaurants or have your own personal favorite - we would love to hear from you. Personal recommendations are the best - and its great getting pro tips! 

December 1, 2022

How do you really stage your home?

Staging a home is a proven way to help earn top dollar and get your home sold in the shortest amount of time. The Ana and Melissa Team hire a stager to assist us in preparing a home for sale – to make your home clear, open, inviting, and neutral for potential buyers. When we stage a home, we are working to make it as visually appealing for pictures – buyers ‘shop’ on-line and selling your home begins with the listing photos. But, as a homeowner, knowing exactly what to do—and what not to do—isn’t always obvious: It’s easy to go overboard on staging. Here are some tips to get your home ready for staging. 

1. Curb Appeal

Cohesive landscaping with fresh plants and gleaming new paint will not only look great in the listing photos, but entice buyers to want to walk in when they drive up. 

We suggest removing or trimming plants, mulching, repairing any wood rot, painting trim and front door, removing cobwebs, and hiding trash cans. Just as you would clean the inside of your house – you should pressure wash the outside and clean the windows. You can go a step further and even stage an area with a fire pit or party lights so buyers can envision spending time outside in the yard.

2. Depersonalize

You’ve likely heard this one before, but it can’t be overstated: Staging a home means making it appear neutral and inviting to any buyer. That means removing those items that make it obvious that it currently belongs to a specific family.

With that in mind, be sure to remove family photos, wedding invites from the fridge, children’s artwork, evidence of pets, and the like.

3. Remove Rugs

Rugs can unify a space and add pops of color, but they can also make a room feel cramped and small. They can also be a trip hazard for some. Hardwood floors are a feature that buyers covet – so show them off. 

4. Add Mirrors

Got a cramped room? Move a mirror, or add one. They work in most spaces and can create the illusion of more space and light.

5. Remove Clutter

As you clean and depersonalize your home, you’ll want to also remove clutter. Books and knickknacks – anything smaller than a grapefruit looks visually cluttered in pictures. We suggest taking pictures of your rooms and see what stands out to you. 

6. Add Fresh Fruit or Flowers

Once you’ve decluttered and removed personal items and decor that may not appeal to buyers, your home may feel pretty sparse – adding fresh flowers and fruit smell good and look even better. They bring life to a space.

7. Replace Air Filters

If you’ve lived in your home for years, you probably can’t smell that unique scent the place has taken on as you’ve lived there. Perfumes, cooking fumes, and pet odors might not matter to an owner, but a buyer will notice. To mitigate this, be sure to replace the air filters in your home.

8. Hire a Professional Cleaner

A clean home is key. Keeping your space virtually spotless can make a difference in how much time your home spends on the market and even what offers come in. Presenting a thoroughly clean space can do a lot for your selling prospects, even if you don’t have the means to implement other home staging tips. If you’re able to, get professional cleaners to do the dirty work. Dust all ceiling fans, clean inside the refrigerator, oven and cabinets, clean glass and windows.

9. Disconnect from the Process

Selling your home can be a difficult process emotionally, especially as you drastically overhaul the look and feel of your home to impress strangers. The more you can detach yourself from that process, the easier it will be. 

Staging your home is vastly different from decorating it. Staging involves depersonalizing and neutralizing each space. Chances are likely that our stager will want to put pieces in your home and arrange things that you would never want. Let them.

November 22, 2022

Need a last minute Thanksgiving recipe for those sweet potatoes?  

In the spirit of keeping this food tradition alive but adding a tweak - here's a sweet potato recipe that Ana's family has been incorporating into their Thanksgiving menu for years - but, fair warning - there is not a marshmallow to be found! Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweet Potatoes and Onions with Rosemary and Parmesan.

This goes perfectly with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and the acidity from a little sprinkle of Balsamic vinegar on top, make it even more divine. And I thank Bon Appetit for introducing me to this yummy dish 20 years ago!

2 3/4 pounds tan-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

8 tablespoons olive oil or butter (that’s my switch to keep the Thanksgiving same fat theme)

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds red onions (about 3 medium), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

November 15, 2022
New Rules on Texting
What’s Your Texting Etiquette?
We recently saw an article on texting etiquette in the Washington Post by Lizzie Post, Emily Post’s great-great granddaughter. The Post women are the undisputed queens of all things etiquette – so, of course, we had to examine our texting etiquette and see if we agree with their rules. How about you – do you agree?

RULE 1: Think of a group text like a dinner party - Don’t text to a group without introducing everyone; don’t invite everyone to an event that may put someone in an awkward position; and don’t get into a hot back-and-forth with one participant in front of the other texters. Just as at a dinner party or any group activity, leave the room and discuss an issue in private with another person. It’s awkward to air your grievances in front of everyone. But if you are aspiring to be on one of the Housewives shows and love involving people in your drama – go at it. But know that we and Ms. Post would not approve. Don’t want to be involved in your drama – we have enough of our own.

RULE 2: Capital letters and punctuation – that ship has sailed - This writing style has fallen by the wayside while texting. However, we are old school and sticklers about complete sentences – even while texting. Would never want to mistake “Let’s eat, Grandma” with “Let’s eat Grandma”!!

RULE 3: Responses aren’t mandatory, but it is nice - Texting has really increased in the last few years and sometimes texts can get buried in a minute, hour or day when getting so many from different sender. How do you end a texting conversation without an abrupt silence? We hate to be left hanging – so a quick ‘thumbs up’ or liking the last text is always the way to go for us.

RULE 4: No Scary Mysteries - The “hey can we talk” or “do you have a minute” leaves us wondering what we did and unprepared for a conversation that sounds like it’s going to be dead serious. Hate it – give a clue to what you want to discuss. Should we find a private place when we call you, sit down, pull over, etc – don’t make us guess.

RULE 5: It’s okay to get serious - So, it’s still definitely NOT OK to break up with someone or tell them that a loved one died over text. But Lizzie suggests that you can still have serious discussions over text – but getting the tone right is key. Call us immature, but we agree that if we were teenagers we would take the easy way out and break up with someone over text. Ouch.

RULE 6: Workplace texting boundaries – There should be an established, agreed upon rule on how you communicate with colleagues and bosses, and also boundaries on which hours of the day can you answer texts in each workplace. We say, ‘yes, yes, yes and yes.’

RULE 7: Don’t text during important real-world moments – Put your phone away when it counts – meals, movies, performances and conversations with anyone you value. We agree 100% and then some – but one of us has a much harder time of this than the other. One of these days we are going to have a contest to see who can go longer without their phone. You should probably not put your money on anyone who’s name rhymes with BANANA. Just sayin’…..
June 28, 2022
When you browse thru kitchen trends, you can begin imagining how they might appear to your kitchen. But as you quickly begin to fall in love with a color or style, you once in a while understand that it’s not trending. Out with the old, in with the new, update the heart of your house accurately with the aid of using noting those waning kitchen trends.

Kitchen layout trends, now no longer in contrast to style trends. And much like a number of the extra everlasting ones, a few live longer than the others. To help, four top designers are sharing the kitchen traits that must be retired immediately—further to what to replace it with instead.

Read more. 4 Kitchen Trends That Need to Be Retired ASAP, According to Designers
June 28, 2022

The Ana & Melissa Team is proud to announce that Washingtonian Magazine has named them Top Realtors 5 years in a row by Washingtonian Magazine. Every 18 to 24 months, Washingtonian Magazine asks hundreds of people who work in the local real estate industry whom they would trust with listing their home, whether its home selling or home buying. The Top REALTORS list includes professionals who received the strongest recommendations.

We couldn't do it without our amazing and supportive clients, friends and colleagues. THANK YOU!
June 2, 2022
We are honored to have been named Chairman of the Board by Weichert for the 5th year in a row.

Thanks to all our partners and clients! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Ana and Melissa Are Here to Help
Don't hesitate to call us for home valuations, mortgage questions, buying in another state.  Just pick up the phone and we will help you, your friend and family.  That's what we love to do! Here's how to reach us! 
Ana 703.772.3526 
Melissa 703.407.5847
Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
March 29, 2022

Having a garden is both visually appealing and can provide you some utility! Let’s help you get some great ideas for your home garden!

 Why do you need a home garden?
It’s peaceful and relaxing to have a lovely outdoor setting to enjoy and it also adds value to your home! Nicely landscaped and hardscaped homes can increase the purchase price of your home. 

Utilize whatever open areas you can find in limited spaces.
Owners of small houses and studio apartments may find it challenging to create home gardens. Here are some great ideas to maximize the limited space you have for a garden –

You can create small vegetables gardens like this one.

Create a cluster of beautiful pots that grow your favorite herbs!

There are also bungalow gardens or little porch compartment gardens if you have a small area outside your home.

Hanging baskets are always aesthetically pleasing as well!

Pay attention to the direction of your home garden
Consider the East side of your house while planning your garden, where the plants will receive enough of sunshine from morning to dusk.

Pick native plants and succulents alongside vegetative assortments
Always consider native plants, succulents, and rock gardens which are excellent air purifiers and circulators.

Ana and Melissa Are Here to Help
Don't hesitate to call us for home valuations, mortgage questions, buying in another state.  Just pick up the phone and we will help you, your friend and family.  That's what we love to do! Here's how to reach us! 
Ana 703.772.3526 
Melissa 703.407.5847
Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



March 25, 2022
We #justsold! This newly updated 1 bedroom/1 bath townhome is move-in ready with luxurious features. The kitchen was updated in 2021 and features a brand new $4k ILVE imported Italian stove, Italian Carrara marble backsplash, designer porcelain tiles, and large windows with warm morning light. An attached spacious outdoor deck is perfect for a morning cup of coffee or al fresco dinners. The newly renovated 2019 bathroom also makes a statement, with Carrara marble floor and wall tiles, a modern glass shower, and a barn door entrance.

In the evenings, the spacious bedroom glows with gentle golden hues from the western windows and recently refinished original hardwood floors. It also features two generous closets and is large enough to comfortably accommodate both a workstation and a king-sized bed.

The Condo Association maintains the exterior of the building, as well as the landscaped gardens and lush grounds. The home features a private entrance, a newly replaced HVAC system (2019), and a Nest thermostat to monitor your carbon footprint… and your bank account.

Situated in the historic community of Arlington Village, which backs up onto the Army Navy Country Club. The amenities include tennis and basketball courts, a pool, nature walk and community center, as well as Sunday farmers markets, local coffee shops, and boutique restaurants all within walking distance. This unique property offers all the benefits of suburban and city living at an affordable price point. And! It has TWO parking spaces!
Please contact us today, at 703.772.2536 or via email: