Top 12 Condos in Clarendon / Courthouse / Ballston

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Top 12 Condos on the Orange Line Metro in Arlington VA

Have you ever tried to come up with a top 5, top 10 or top 25 list?  It’s brutal!#!#[email protected]!  It will drive you crazy   I can assure you.  Once you have your picks for whatever list you are constructing you then have to rank them and you go through through the mental triathlon again.  At the end of each year it seems like lots of lists come out that use the formula “Top 10 Xs of 2007” or the “Funniest Yx of 2007” or the “Worst 10 Zs of 2007”.  And once in awhile you hear about the “Greatest 100 Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs of All Time”.  Whoever has time to rank those 100 songs must have a boring life to say the least.  I can hardly rank my top 5 movies.

I’m finding so little time to blog anymore so that I’m going to break this into 2 posts.   The top 6 newer condos on the orange line and the top 6 older condos on the orange line corridor.  The benefit of the older buildings is the same locations but for much less money 



Before elaborating on my top 12 condos in the Clarendon, Courthouse & Ballston areas I do want to point out a couple of real estate truths.  There are good condos all over Arlington.  There are good condos on the orange line and good condos on Columbia Pike and in Pentagon City.  I know the orange line corridor best and most people contact me interested in buying a home (I’m a realtor) in the Clarendon area.  So this list is not to steer anybody to this area, but merely to inform those already interested in living on the orange line….What’s pathetic is that I even need to mention that in our litigious society.  Enough said let the games begin! 

[Insert–After reading the article feel free to view the current active listings in our area for these “hot searches”–and you’ll find the other articles in the overpriced category to be much more humorous and biting so check out the menu bar to the left to access those other posts on overpriced listings:]


New Construction Condos in Arlington


This is exactly what I’m talking about.  Odyssey was my favorite condo, and then I switched to Station Square.  Now I’ve changed back to Odyssey.  Let me explain.

1. Odyssey Condo

The Odyssey is my favorite condo on the orange for several reasons.  It’s a cool looking building and has modern features.  The flooring–I wish I had photos or an exact description–in the lobby of the building and in many of the bathrooms is this slick looking grey stone.  Many units have floor to ceiling windows with Mechoshade window treatments and Viking ovens.


The amenities at Odyssey condo are the best that I’ve ever seen in Arlington.  There is a rooftop pool and deck that is quite large with panoramic views of DC metro and dead on views of the monuments.  And the exercise room overlooks the National Cathedral from the 17th floor.  The cardio machines have their own TVs and the views while working out are spectacular.  The building is just so classy and modern!  2001 15th St N



2. Residences at Station Square (aka Station Square)

The Residences at Station Square has the supreme location of being a block away from the Clarendon Metro.  It has 3 buildings so each building feels exclusive as there are not that many units in any of them compared to other condos.  The amenities are great with a 2 level waterfall type of pool that is relaxing to listen to.  I’ve even seen one person swimming laps against the built in jet that pushes water over the edge into the lower pool.  The exercise & community rooms are also superb.  It is surrounded by restaurants, etc. as are several of my picks.   The members have a discount membership at Gold’s Gym in the main building for just $29/month.
1205 N Garfield St



3. Clarendon 1021

Clarendon 1021 represents the peak of the frenzied condo market back in 2005.  There were hundreds and hundreds of people lined up to get into the first information meetings to get spots on the sales lists.  There have been several foreclosures in the building this year which is sad.  The condo is also megaconvenient within 2 blocks of the Clarendon metro and nightlife.  It also has a nice rooftop pool that is not as nice or large as the Odyssey condo.  The exercise room is large with great equipment but is on the basement level so it’s not as inspiring as the top floor fitness center of Odyssey.  The concierge is 24 hours I believe as it may be at Odyssey.  A resident will have to tell us in the comments section.

My negative on the building is that is feels dormy sometimes, and there are a lot of investors in the building who are renting out their units. Address is 1021 N Garfield St.

4. Continental

The Continental at Ballston [community site] was one of the earlier (2003) condos that helped kick off the new construction multiple offer phase of our marketplace.  Representing buyers for those years was challenging to say the least.  The reason being you were always competing against several other offers.  So you had to write a ton of contracts since often people wouldn’t take the advice you gave them.  After losing a contract or two the client would get a clue that I knew what I was talking about when I said the value of a home was 37,000 higher than the list price which was a cruel trick played on us all by aggressive listing agents.  Of course I did the same thing when I was representing sellers.


The Continental is a classy building.  It goes up 20+ floors and also boasts a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the area.  Many units due to the location of the building have unobstructed balcony views for miles and miles.   There is also a concierge service for much of the day.  The building seems very solid and it is so convenient to the Ballston metro.  That’s one of its main selling points, but being right next to the Ballston Mall with restaurants such as Chevy’s, Macaroni Grill, etc. and a movie theater is a huge plus.  It’s also one block to highway 66 and just a few minutes to drive down to Clarendon & Courthouse.  The Continental is a great building.  And it costs less for a great building with good amenities than similar in Clarendon.  Address is 851 N Glebe Rd.

5. 1800 Wilson

When I got word of the 1800 Wilson condo I immediately wrote an article on it that has been viewed 7500 times: 1800 Wilson Condo Bomb Hits Arlington VA Real Estate.  As you can imagine it received lots of comments/attention.  The main point it made was that it was a great condo that was being offered at prices lower than most of the surrounding recently constructed condos even though it was brand new.  This shook up the marketplace and others had to bring prices down.


The building is 2 or 3 extra blocks out from metros and restaurants compared with others on the list.  But it is also a smaller building that feels more private.  The courtyard has been planted with trees and what not that will make it a peaceful place to unwind after work.  And for now the center of the courtyard is going to be used a fire pit during the colder months.  Who doesn’t like looking at a fire to relax–practically hypnotizing. That sounds pretty corny, eh?  But it works for me.


Unlike other buildings such as Park at Courthouse which keeps postponing delivery and will be followed by the Vista at Courthouse across the street in 2008, the 1800 Wilson condo is sold out except for maybe a couple of their largest models.  Even those may be sold now…not sure at time of this post.  The point is that it is a delivered building with almost no units left.  The value is established and less expensive than other new buildings while maintaining a great ambiance and lots of class.

6. The Hartford (condo)

The Hartford Condominium at 1200 N Hartford is the closest to the metro of all.  You can practically do a long jump and land on the Clarendon Metro.


The Hartford is very classy–I know I’m overusing that word.  Send me some synonyms in the comments section.  As soon as you step in you know it’s quality construction.  Many units have floor to ceiling windows and the building seemed to lead the way with that trend.  It adjoins a dog park on one side and is steps to restaurants and nightlife.  A controversial building is being across the street that involves some sort of a mixed use building with some units for low income housing.  It’s either going to  be built into or on top of the church or the church is being razed for a new building.  I’m sure you visit the neighborhood you’ll see some signs about it so you can google it for more info.  It was/is definitely controversial to the current residents in the single family home side of the neighborhood.  I believe the building is going to be higher than the church by several stories and that is ruffling feathers.


One thing I’ve noticed is that many units there are overpriced when their time comes for resale.  They last one netted $520,000 but there are 2 listings there for $549,000 and $589,000.  Go figure.  2005 was the year The Hartford was built which was the peak of the market.  Perhaps some owners are upside down depending on when they purchased.  It’s a great building though, but the amenities are limited.  Of course you’re right next to almost anything you could ever want except for a pool.

Other Arlington Condos Such as Mercer & Wooster Lofts & Lyon Hill

(to be continued)



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