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Leewood Homeowners Association

October 2000 Newsletter

Assessments were due 1 October!!!!

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 Real Estate Sales  President's Notes  Privacy Issues
 Cable Upgrade  Cable Problems Sump Pumps

Big Real Estate Sales (By Pam Stover)

We have had quite a year! Here is a list of sold real estate for this calendar year. You can see the trend in the prices - we hit the market just right with our efforts to get the neighborhood in shape. It is paying off - everyone is benefiting from our efforts. As of 9/11/00, closed sales include:



List Price 

Sales Price 

1/00  5254 Bradgen Ct.  $175,000  $175,000 
1/00  5261 Bradgen Ct.  $186,500  $180,000 
3/00  5282 Bradgen Ct.  $164,000  $161,200 
3/00  7083 Leestone St.  $184,888  $183,000 
3/00  5284 Bradgen Ct.  $182,000  $180,000 
4/00  5270 Bradgen Ct.  $192,000  $192,000 
5/00  7042 Leestone St.  $189,000  $189,000 
6/00  5266 Leestone Ct.  $185,000  $182,500 
6/00  7064 Leebrad St.  $196,000  $197,000 
6/00  7030 Leebrad St.  $185,000  $186,500 
6/00  7019 Leestone St.  $189,500  $187,000 
7/00  7044 Leebrad St.  $196,000  $196,000 
7/00  7037 Leestone St.  $198,500  $198,500 
8/00  5253 Leestone Ct.  $182,500  $181,500 
8/00  7043 Leebrad St.  $195,000  $195,000 
8/00  7004 Leebrad St.  $194,999  $195,000 
9/00  7010 Bradwood Ct.  $197,500  $200,000 

We still have a few more closings to go - but list prices on the following were:
5273 Bradgen Ct. $189,900 under contract
7074 Leestone St. $202,900 under contract
7004 Leebrad St. $190,500 under contract
7008 Leebrad St. $198,000 under contract

I'll try to report these sale prices to you in the next issue of the newsletter. I know we have closed one over $200,000 -so we are on our way.

It has paid off to take care of our neighborhood and our homes. Be sure to welcome our new neighbors to the area. I understand we have some very nice new neighbors and we want them to enjoy the neighborhood as we all do. Enjoy!

President's Notes (by Judy Currier)

It has been a relatively quiet month in Leewood, except for the sound of moving vans going through our neighborhood! In this newsletter there is an update for the directory. It lists all of our new neighbors since the publication of the directory on 11/30/99. I counted 31 changes! If you are not listed, your name is wrong, or something else is amiss, please contact me. Also, do remember we will list the names of children, so the younger Leewood set can get in touch with each other and remember names also. If you wish to add a child's name, again, contact me.

At our last board meeting it appeared that a lot of people were having trouble with their cable system. I put a little poll on the website, and over 60% of the people responding had difficulty within the last couple of months. We then received a notification from Cox Cable that they were going to upgrade the service in Leewood (see article later in this newsletter). Hopefully that will take care of the problems that people have been experiencing, in addition to giving us new services. I have emailed them asking whether this will help out on the cable problems our residents are having.

The street sealing of Leestone went without a hitch. Thanks to all of you for your cooperation. There was one car that we thought we would have to tow, but they made it out before the tow truck arrived. It turns out there was a huge accident on the beltway, and the tow company decided to go there instead of to Leewood.

While trying to find out the owner of the car, however, I did meet someone on Leestone that I had not talked to before. They were wonderful people, and had the most gorgeous back yard! It really inspired me. Unfortunately the newsletter is not in color, so part of the effect of the yard would not be visible if we put a picture in the newsletter. Then I got one of my brilliant (?) ideas. Why not have a virtual garden tour of Leewood on our web site? This sounds like so much fun, and CommunityPath is supposed to be making it easier for us to put up pictures on the site. Even if you do not have a computer, you could include your backyard in our virtual tour. Please look around for pictures and contact me with them. I can scan them in and give them back to you. Some of us (read me) are just not real clever in putting together plants and it would really help us to see what others have done with similar spaces. When it is all up and running I will announce it and those without computers could check it out at the library if they wished.

Talking about our website, the ARC standards are now fully hyperlinked so you can zip around to the parts you wish to see much easier. They are also far more attractive than they had been, and include the illustrations. I put up a link to the site that posts the community association news put out by Fairfax. They send us a booklet of articles for the newsletter, but there are some things in there that we never get around to publishing. Do check it out, as it has very interesting information in it this time. Then, recently, I was looking around on the site and saw a new button, "RealFamily, RealFun". It has recipes, craft ideas, etc. for family fun. Some of the recipes sound like you should first wrap the kid in saran wrap, but perhaps I have a weak heart! They have also stuck in a search engine for the web. Getting to it is very speedy, and it makes it more reasonable to have that as your home page.

As visitors to the site know, I have been posting changes to the site at the urgent message location. This is difficult as if something urgent really comes up, or something else new happens, given the word length of messages, the old has to get tossed. I am now trying just putting a date on the old and leaving it on the message board. That way, if you have been out of town and not visited for a while, you can check out the changes that have happened while you were gone.

By the way, when playing around with the illustrations in the ARC manual, I realized that they were pretty rough looking. The company that did them for us just cut and pasted them in. I then scanned them into the document. They are not complex, but beyond my drafting capability. Does anyone out there have the time to re-do them for us? There would be no rush to it, but the next time the manual got published it would certainly look nicer if we had some better drawings. Perhaps even a student could do this. Please volunteer, I don't know which of you are artistically inclined, and it would be nice to have the manual look a bit classier.

Activist of the month award goes to Larry Porter. He noticed street lights not working properly on Backlick and Leestone and emailed Virginia Power about them. They fixed one in one day and ordered a part for the other. Great response from Virginia Power, and kudos to Larry for seeing something that could be dangerous for the kids getting on school busses there and taking action.

Privacy Issues (by Judy Currier)

From time to time privacy issues do arise in the association, and we try to confront them by respecting everyone's right to privacy. With the website now being up and running I have been thinking about privacy issues once again.

The directory on the website lists Committees and Board members' email addresses. Somehow, even though our website is more private than most, I was concerned about listing telephone numbers on the web. Is this reasonable? Perhaps not. If you are listed in the telephone book, already people can obtain your telephone number from any number of sites on the web. Putting those telephone numbers up on our website, then, just may make them more convenient for Leewood. The same would go for our community directory - should it be put on the site? I personally have an unpublished number. I list my number in the newsletter and in our directory and I have not had any problems here as the distribution is so limited and Leewood consists of good people, right? Somehow putting the number on the web seems far more public. It has been suggested that we put our directory on the web. We would never do that until we gave everyone a chance to "opt out" of their number being listed there. We may ask you next time we do a directory - so do start thinking about it. Meanwhile, I will probably post the update to the directory there, but without telephone numbers.

It was suggested after the articles I wrote on abandoned cars that we let people register their cars with the association, and to have a form on the website for doing this. I started working on such a form. There were some technical problems (we could only get the information to one email address and that wasn't mine), but from doing the testing we wondered whether we really should be communicating through email people's names, addresses, telephone numbers and car license tags. Emails are not secure, and do we want all that information in one place for them? We could just list the license plates of registered vehicles on the site, so people could check whether the car they are worrying about is registered, and only have the other information in a more secure environment. Again, what do you think? Would the convenience factor outweigh the other for you?

We have already confronted the problem about privacy in our minutes and newsletter somewhat. The newsletter posted on the site does not contain telephone numbers. Similarly, although we might talk about particular problems at our open board meetings, such as "so and so dumped tree limbs in the common area", that seems far different to us than publishing that information on the web site or in the newsletter, for that matter. The audience is smaller, and it is composed of people interested in Leewood. There doesn't seem to be any reason to broadcast it to the world.

And you thought we just relaxed and collected assessments! These issues are important for other reasons than the site. Virginia is more and more for "sunshine" in association business. Although the desire is laudable, at times it seems to run right up against people's right to privacy. For example, there are those that have wanted to see who of their neighbors owe money to the association. Arguably they have a right to know this according to Virginia law. My question is why should they know it? I understand the absolute right (in my opinion) to know the status of the homeowner accounts, but should that status be linked to particular people? For one thing, mistakes happen, so there may be some reason that someone shows as delinquent (e.g. check lost in the mail, inaccurate logging of the check). Even if there is not a legitimate excuse, we don't know that immediately. Why should people know which neighbors are delinquent? Are they just being nosy?

Well, that is enough for now. Do think about it and tell me your opinions!  

Cox Cable Plans Upgrade of Leewood Infrastructure

We got a notice from Cox Cable that they are planning on upgrading our cable system so that there will be an increase in system performance and reliability, plus bringing digital cable, digital telephone and high-speed cable modem Internet service to our homes. We responded to a questionnaire by them, and in theory they will submit articles for our newsletter and website so that we can keep you informed of the progress. We have also contacted them to see exactly what they mean by "construction" - are they planning on tearing up our streets, common area, or what? We will keep you informed of what we know. Obviously the website will have the information before the newsletter, in general.

They plan on hanging things on your doorknob before they come to your area, so you will have some warning about what is going on.

Having Cable Problems??? (By Pam Stover)

Some of you may have noticed that your cable TV (if you have Cox Cable) is not always working properly. Do some of your channels blink on and off - especially the cable channels that are in the higher numbers. We have been having some problems in the neighborhood and some neighbors have called Cox to complain. Some workmen did come out and do some work - but now it is happening again. Two things you can do - keep calling Cox Cable to complain (Service repair number is 703-378-8440). The other thing you can do is ask them to give you a credit on your bill for inadequate service. Why should you pay for cable TV when you are not getting good reception? Call Cox and complain and tell them you want a credit until you get the service you are paying for. Maybe then they will fix the entire neighborhood and we will all get the service we are paying for.

It's rainy season!! Got a sump pump? (By Pam Stover)

If you have a sump pump, you may want to check your home insurance and see if your insurance will cover if the electricity fails and you get water in the house. You may need to get a "sump pump rider" attached to your policy for a small fee. It would be worth the money - I got a sewer rider attached to my policy when I refinished my basement in case the drain in my laundry room ever backs up - It is about $9.00 per year - and gives me the peace of mind that all my new carpeting will be replaced if there is a problem. Talk to your insurance agent to check this out.

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