Leasing is now underway for 137 apartments in Cathedral Commons, a mixed-use development at 3401 Idaho Ave. NW in Washington scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.

The building will offer a hotel-style lobby, 24-hour concierge services, a fitness center, a library, a resident lounge, community social functions, courtyards and a rooftop deck.

Rent for the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will vary from $2,300 to $7,699 per month. The bathrooms include contemporary chrome LED track lighting and porcelain tile floors and showers and custom-designed square sinks.

Each kitchen has quartz counters, custom-designed oak flat-panel cabinets, white beveled subway-tile backsplashes and upgraded stainless steel appliances.

Eight townhouses, with prices as yet to be established, will go on the market early in 2015 and are anticipated to be complete in the spring of 2015.

In addition to a Giant Food and a CVS Pharmacy that are already open, the complex will include two banks, two fitness centers, specialty stores and three restaurants — Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar, Raku and the Grilled Oyster Company.

Cathedral Commons is a joint venture of the Bozzuto Group, Ahold USA, parent company of Giant, and Southside Investment Partners.

For more information, go to www.cathedralcommons.com.

Real Living At Home expands into Virginia

Real Living At Home, a franchise owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is quickly expanding its presence in the Washington area.

The residential real estate brokerage, which already has offices in Dupont Circle in D.C. and in Chevy Chase, Md., recently acquired Arbour Realty, a boutique firm in Arlington.

Adam Gallegos, broker and owner of Arbour Realty, plans to stay on with the new company and focus on clients while turning over management and administrative duties to Real Living.

Gallegos, who founded the firm in 2008, says the Arbour team of agents will stay together under the new name. He says they will benefit from the cutting edge technology and services of Real Living, including an in-house staff of public relations, marketing, photography, videography and technology professionals to support the agents.

For more information, go to www.rlathome.com or http://arbourrealty.com.

Comstock Homes expands into Stafford County

Comstock Homes recently started sales at the Estates at Leeland in Fredericksburg, Va., within Stafford County limits, the first time the company has extended its homebuilding into this Northern Virginia county.

The company acquired 24 building lots and has designed new single-family houses specifically for the community, which is located approximately one mile from the Virginia Railway Express Commuter Station on Leeland Road.

Comstock said it decided to enter this market because of the potential for growth in the area for commuters along Interstate 95 and Route 1 and the presence of regional employment centers in Stafford and neighboring Prince William County.

The houses will have 2,200 to 3,500 square feet and are set on quarter-acre sites. Priced from the low $300,000s, the homes have three to five bedrooms, two to five full baths and a powder room, and a two- or three-car garage.

Each house has a main level guest suite with a full bath or a family office located off the kitchen. Each dining room includes a window seat and a butler’s pantry and each kitchen has birch cabinets, a pantry, recessed lighting and an oversized island. Other standard features include hardwood flooring in the foyer and powder room, nine-foot-high ceilings, crown moldings, gas heat and a master bath with ceramic tile flooring, an oversized shower and a separate soaking tub.

For more information, go to www.comstockhomes.com.

Buying beats renting in the D.C. area, Zillow study says

Zillow recently crunched the numbers for renters and homeowners in the D.C. area and found that homeowners here can expect to spend 18.1 percent of their income on a house, while renters can expect to spend 27.1 percent of their monthly income on their rent.

Zillow’s study of third quarter 2014 income, rents and mortgage payments found that renting is 67.6 percent more expensive now than the historical norms established before the housing bubble while buying is 18.3 percent less expensive than the historical norm.

Even though house prices have risen in recent years, first-time buyers should find homes more affordable in this area than before the crash of the real estate market, in part because of low mortgage rates.

According to Zillow’s analysis, first-time buyers in this area can expect to pay 24 percent of their incomes on a mortgage payment compared to 27.7 percent historically.

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