I believe that community is more than simply a group of people sharing the same geographical space; it is also a feeling of fellowship with others and a responsibility to care for one another. I believe in the power of community, and I am committed to investing in ours.
I live in the Fairfax Station community of Crosspointe with my husband, Neal and our two sons, James (8) and Cameron (7). I volunteer as a member of the PTO board at our community elementary school, leading the school’s committee dedicated to advocating for children with special needs (like my James). I serve Crosspointe as the chairperson of the community’s Communications Committee and an active member of the Social Committee. On the side, I also host activities for our women’s group and local business roundtable, and I administer multiple Facebook groups that enable the community to connect on the subjects most important to them.
I enjoyed a successful first career as an civilian financial & contracts analyst for the U.S. Navy. After having children, I felt less invested in that work and less connected to the Navy Yard as a community. It was time to pursue a new career, and my true calling has always been real estate.
We built our first home straight out of college, and the experience was intoxicating to me. It was a gutsy move in an area outside of Fredericksburg that was surrounded by farmland. After a boom of new development that I anticipated, it turned out to be a great investment. We bought 3 more times in Northern Virginia, learning more about the nuances of the sale and purchase processes each time. I have a knack for spotting where the best values are, and which neighborhoods to avoid. I know exactly how to stage a home so that it appeals specifically to people house hunting in that neighborhood. And thanks to years of working with contracts and technical writing, I am a masterful negotiator. When it was time for me to make a career change, there was no question where I belonged. It was a time to follow my dream of helping others achieve their own real estate goals. I am thrilled to do what I love every day!
Real estate is more than just a sale and you are more than just a client. I understand what an upheaval moving can mean, and I am here to recognize the bumps in the road before you reach them. I will help guide you through the process, making recommendations along the way that will minimize your stress and inconvenience and maximize value to your family. I know that value is not just about dollars and cents, nor is always about the commute, the school district or the color of the siding. I work with clients who believe in the importance of home and the power of community. I can’t wait to meet you and get started!
Get to know me:
My all-time favorite restaurant:That’s easy! Slightly North of Broad, in Charleston, SC. SNOB, as it’s fondly called, always makes me feel special. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have a bit of a “cooking crush” on the chef, Frank Lee. Lee didn’t attend cooking school, but instead earned all his experience behind a stove. He believed in cooking local foods before it was cool, and he sourced sustainable ingredients before it was sexy. Further, it’s well known that chef Lee has mentored many chefs now in command of kitchens across the country, but Lee has stated that he’s “worked to develop that small army of people into human beings who are kind and generous to others and who know how to focus on their work. They just happen to also become fine chefs.” Charleston is my absolute favorite getaway place, and I dream of retiring there.
I wish I had more time to: volunteer at school. I can think of no better place to invest time or money! And no matter how I’m feeling when I walk in, I always walk out with a smile.
Most people don’t know:why I’m named Mary Van. My father’s name is Vann Johnson, and he was named after an old movie star of the same name. Dad wanted me to have his name, so I was named Mary Vanessa and called Mary Van. As a child I disliked it, but it grew on me.
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon: In pajamas well past noon, and then soaking in the bath until time to cook a leisurely dinner for my family. I love all kinds of homes, and can see amazing potential in even the most neglected ones! I am definitely a sucker for a covered front porch with rocking chairs (and a view).