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Town Square | Bethesda condos to have Miami vibe

(Courtesy of Quarry Springs)

Miami-based architect Robert Swedroe is bringing his contemporary style to Quarry Springs, a high-end development at 8101 River Rd. in Bethesda where the condos are priced at $1.8 million and above.

The sales center recently opened and 25 percent of the 50 units are already sold. The two buildings under construction are expected to be topped out by the end of the year, with residents ready to move in during the fourth quarter of 2015. A model home and clubhouse will open in the spring of 2015.

Nestled within the former Stoneyhurst Quarry, the community will include winding walking trails and a 50-foot, three-tiered waterfall with a stream. The 13-acre site will also have a resort-style outdoor swimming pool, a clubhouse with a library, a grand salon for formal events, a catering kitchen, a game room and a full bar and lounge for casual gatherings. It will also have a fitness center with a yoga studio and a spa with a steam room and sauna; concierge services; valet parking; and a full-time guard.

An unusual feature at Quarry Springs is a private elevator delivering residents directly from the garage into their private foyer. The residences have open floor plans with 2,200 to 4,500 square feet, front-to-back views through large windows, 10-foot-high ceilings, wide plank hardwood flooring, gas fireplaces with stone hearths, luxurious baths with Waterworks fixtures and gourmet kitchens.

Each unit will have a wraparound outdoor terrace that can be enhanced with a wet bar and outdoor gas fireplace.

Quarry Springs is under development by 1788 Holdings and IHP Capital Partners. For more information, go to or contact Christine Basso, a realty agent with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, at 202-302-2508.

Program trains military veterans to become real estate agents

Long & Foster Real Estate and the Alexandria Veterans Business Enterprise Center (AVBEC) are establishing a program to recruit and train military veterans for careers in residential real estate.

The program will supplement traditional residential real estate licensing classes with a mentoring program and special training sessions led by veteran entrepreneurs and local business leaders who are focused on principles of business, customer service and finance.

P. Wesley (Wes) Foster, founder and CEO of Long & Foster and a veteran U.S. Army field artillery officer, has committed $25,000 to the new program, the largest corporate partnership so far for AVBEC.

The partnership expands on the P. Wesley Foster Military Service Scholarship, which pays for real estate licensing tuition for U.S. military veterans, active duty personnel and their spouses and children. The program will begin in 2015. For more information, go to .

Green townhouses for sale in Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria, best known for its restored colonial-era homes, is the site of a development featuring five new townhouses with cutting-edge environmentally friendly construction and high-tech features.

Cromley Row at 317 to 325 North Columbus St., developed by Cromley Row LLC, combine the historic Old Town tradition of handcrafted construction with contemporary design features such as floor-to-ceiling windows, custom-designed cabinets and hand-forged steel and glass stair rails.

Each four-level unit has four bedrooms and five bathrooms over 3,350 square feet. The first floor has a living and dining area, a powder room and a kitchen with soapstone counters. The second level has a master suite and a second room for use as a home office or bedroom, while the third level has two additional bedrooms with full baths. The lower level has a two-car garage, a family room and a laundry room.

Green features include high-efficiency lighting and appliances, geothermal heating and cooling, locally sourced building materials and landscaping with native plants. Each unit is LEED for Homes rated.

The two remaining units available for sale in Cromley Row are $1.725 million and $1.665 million.

For more information, go to or call Long & Foster agents Martine Irmer and Alex Irmer at 703-346-7283

Analysis documents challenges faced by self-employed borrowers

Self-employed borrowers say they have a harder time getting a home loan approval because of the difficulty in proving their income and because business expenses often cut into the income reported on their tax returns.

Now a Zillow Mortgages analysis shows that self-employed borrowers on average who make a mortgage request on Zillow have a higher household income than non-self-employed borrowers ($145,000 compared with $80,000) and make a larger down payment (15.3 percent compared with 14.6 for non-self-employed borrowers).

Nevertheless, self-employed borrowers receive 40 percent fewer purchase loan quotes on Zillow when they make a request for a mortgage. Zillow’s analysis shows that 47 percent of self-employed applicants reported a credit score below 720 and 28 percent reported a credit score below 680. This compares to 23 percent of non-self-employed borrowers reporting a credit score below 720 and just 14 percent of those borrowers reporting a score of less than 680.

Zillow vice president of mortgages Erin Lantz acknowledges that some lenders avoid self-employed borrowers because of the added paperwork required to prove their income, but she says lower credit scores also make these borrowers less attractive to lenders.

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.