Okay, I admit getting emotionally attached to a house is not a great thing for a builder. Let me just lay out other perfectly logical reasons for keeping it.
Looking at this home from an investment perspective, we should keep it. Columbia Pike is undergoing some very serious changes as we speak. We talked about some of this in a previous post http://arlingtonpassivehouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/barcroft-and-columbia-pike/. Changes are already underway, the Columbia Pike Documentary Project http://cpdpcolumbiapike.blogspot.com/ has been doing a great job documenting the changes along the corridor for years. We think that recent developments will really add to the value of properties in the area.
During the early hours of July 24, after a marathon of a board meeting, the Arlington County Board approved two very important initiatives. First, the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan http://www.columbiapikeva.us/revitalization-story/columbia-pike-land-use-housing-study/ and second, the County accepted a modern fixed-rail street car as the preferred mode of public transportation through the Pike Transit Initiative http://www.piketransit.com/. Revitalization of the area has been underway for quite some time and there are already several large scale mixed-use developments along the pike. However, without an adequate public transportation system and a good plan designed for transit-oriented growth, I feared that the Pike was just going to be a congested road with expensive stores on the two sides. With these two initiatives in place, the future of Columbia Pike is bright. The Neighborhood plan would allow for higher-density development along the corridor while the street car system will give this corridor an opportunity to enjoy “smart growth” development, creating walkable mixed-use neighborhoods. I think that is very smart and have faith in what is to come on the corridor.
The Arlington Passivhaus benefits by being only four blocks away from the pike, giving whoever lives here the connectivity to all the good things a mixed-used community has to offer while still enjoy the single family home, the 2-car garage, the garden and the immediate neighborhood.
More to Learn
In the past two years, we learned so much from designing and building of this home. It’s really only been operational for a little more than a month. There is still a lot to learn about this house as an operating home. I think anyone who has built or lived in a PH can tell you, it just behaves so differently from a typical home. I believe there are plenty of things to improve upon for our next project but we need more information. Short of moving in ourselves, leasing it out to a family of four is the next best thing for us to know how the home functions. We’ll also be able to visit our baby from time to time.
We officially took the home off the market on Friday and signed a leasing contract with a very nice family of four.
Signing off for now…
Here’s a video that takes the project from the beginning to end, a sort of birthing story of this brand new home that we hope will be here for a long long time.