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Helping first-time homebuyers navigate a tight market: 3 key steps from The Fauquier Bank

When it comes to purchasing a home, Mary Ann Andrews of The Fauquier Bank recommends buyers come in for a personal consultation, especially those who’ve never previously been through the complex process.

Buying a home can be daunting, between learning the lingo and understanding the financing. And given the current market conditions and limited housing inventory — which has sparked multiple offers and price bidding — it’s essential to know what you’re doing.

That’s where Andrews comes in.

“There’s so much you need to know,” says Andrews, NMLS # 482462, a TFB vice president and mortgage originator. “I like to sit down and explain how the process works.”

With first-time buyers, she adds, “I go over everything, just to get them comfortable with the language and the process.”

For tech-savvy potential buyers, it may seem tempting to do things online. But Andrews says there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

“You can understand their needs,” she explains. “You can give them so much more information and discuss so many more options.”

Andrews can meet potential buyers at any of TFB’s 11 branches in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

For first-time buyers, Andrews follows a specific process. First things first: do your homework.

“Do your research and check out the area where you’re looking,” she advises. “You need to get with a realtor. And you need to find out what the taxes are and find out what the HOA fees are.” 

First-time buyers should follow these three key steps:

1. Prepare Financially: Begin by checking your credit score, saving for a down payment and figuring out how much you can afford to spend. Then meet with a mortgage originator to get pre-approved.

2. Understand Mortgages: Evaluate the different types of mortgage loans that are available and which works best for your situation.

3. Start Shopping: Look for a house that fits your needs and budget, then put in an offer. Gather the necessary documents for the loan processing and closing process.

NMLS #462668

Join us for a First-Time Homebuyer Seminar at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at BadWolf Brewing Company, 9776 Center St. in Manassas. Our mortgage originators will be available to answer questions. RSVP at 540-349-0202.

River Crossing project starts late summer, will double I-95 capacity in Fredericksburg

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One arrested in Knollwood Court shooting

One man is under arrest charged in connection to a shooting on Knollwood Court in Stafford County on June 25. 

From Stafford sheriff’s office: 

Lea

Following a search warrant executed this morning in the City of Fredericksburg, Karsten Jermaine Lea, 24, of Stafford was arrested on outstanding warrants out of Stafford County including burglary while armed, conspiracy, and extortion. He is incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond. The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities have not released the condition of the victim. We’ll post more as we have it.

The $500,000 job to fix Bells Hill Road to begin

From VDOT: 

Motorists will observe visible construction work beginning this week on Bells Hill Road in Stafford County, where a portion of the road is closed to through traffic between Virginia Belle Drive and Belle Vine Lane.

Bells Hill Road has been closed to through traffic since June 4, 2018, after heavy rain caused a 250 ft. section of slope to fail. The failure also damaged a portion of the travel lanes.

The road is anticipated to remain closed to through traffic until mid-September 2018.

Starting this week, motorists and area residents should be alert for construction activity in the work zone. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews will begin early construction activities, including clearing brush and trees, removing guardrail and moving utilities.

Several contractors will be used to rebuild the slope and road.

By early August, a project contractor will mobilize in the work zone. Due to the steep terrain, the contractor will use a soil nail launcher to create a retaining wall. The soil nail launcher will drill holes beneath the road and insert steel rods into the ground. The rods are covered with a mesh wire net and anchored with bolts. The entire surface is then covered with a concrete material. This process will take around 30 days to complete. 

After the 250 ft. slope is stabilized, a second contractor and VDOT state forces will work together to excavate and rebuild the damaged portion of Bells Hill Road. Finally, a paving contractor or state forces will prepare the road for traffic by applying fresh asphalt and pavement markings. 

Pre-construction activities to re-open the road have been underway since June 4. VDOT staff worked to start obtaining necessary right-of-entry documents to private property to repair the slope and maneuver construction equipment into position. Staff also secured permits to relocate utilities and carried out several site visits with potential contractors to develop the project’s scope and cost, which is estimated to be $500,000. 

Enlarged prostate happens to every guy. There’s a new way to treat it at Sentara.

It’s one of the most common health issues for men as they grow older.

“As gentlemen age, the testosterone that’s in their body fuels the growth of their prostate so every guy that has testosterone and a prostate, it will eventually get larger. It happens in different rates in different people, but happens,” explains John B. Klein, M.D. of Potomac Urology.   

Even though it may not be commonly discussed, every day Dr. Klein sees patients suffering from an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH.)

Symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty starting and stopping urination, inability to completely empty the bladder and frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

“Urinary symptoms do not necessarily indicate prostate cancer, a majority of the time they’re from benign enlargement of the prostate. However, you can have prostate cancer and benign enlargement of the prostate –so it’s important to evaluate for both concurrently,” explains Dr. Klein.

Once the prostate screening comes back negative, there are a number of options to treat an enlarged prostate, everything from daily medications and in-office procedures to outpatient surgeries.

Dr. Klein was recently recognized as a Rezum Center of Excellence for his expertise in treating BPH. While pills to treat BPH have been around for years, Dr. Klein finds many of his patients discontinue taking those medicines because of side effects like dizziness and adverse effects to sexual function.

Rezum® is one of the minimally invasive procedures offered in office and takes just minutes to perform using steam to decrease the prostate. Laser enucleation of the prostate is another option.

Dr. Klein says this outpatient procedure has been offered at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center for the last 11 months and is ideal for patients with moderate and larger prostates. The newest option Sentara Northern Virginia is offering BPH patients is Aquablation, a surgery using water to resect the prostate.

The developments are exciting for Dr. Klein who looks forward to sharing the news with the community.

“This is one of the only centers in Northern Virginia that performs all three of these treatments options. It basically gives people a one-stop shop for their treatment, no matter size and shape of their prostate.”

More planes to use Stafford airport after $12 million expansion completed

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