- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2008

First-time home buyers watching as home prices in the Washington area stabilize or decline might be tempted to buy but sometimes are held back by prices that remain out of reach. One solution that remains affordable is the conversion of former rental communities into condominiums.

Buyers of conversion properties have the advantage of owning a home that is essentially new, usually including new kitchens and new baths, new flooring, fresh paint and new heating and air conditioning systems.

The exterior features of these communities usually are updated and upgraded along with the interiors, yet because the buildings already are in place, home prices can be more affordable.

At Madison Ridge in Centreville, Wesley Madison Ridge Corp. has converted 118 garden-style apartments into condominiums priced from the upper $100,000s to the low $200,000s.

Madison Ridge is at 14807 Rydell Road, close to U.S. Route 29, Va. Route 28 and Interstate 66, and also is within walking distance of the Stone Road Park and Ride, a stop for a direct bus line to the Vienna Metro station.

In addition to quick access to commuter routes, Madison Ridge is within a few minutes of five shopping centers or malls.

Residents can enjoy a clubhouse with a multipurpose room, an outdoor covered seating area, a pool house, two swimming pools, two tennis courts, two tot lots, a dog park, picnic areas and trails.

The Cub Run Stream Valley Trail and Bull Run Regional Park are not far away from Madison Ridge. Community parks and playgrounds with picnic areas also are nearby.

Building exteriors at Madison Ridge have brick veneer and new vinyl siding and shutters, double-pane windows, a new roof, new gutters and downspouts and fresh paint on the exterior doors and trim.

The community has new landscaping, a resurfaced and re-striped parking lot with individually assigned parking spaces and a car care area.

Each home has a balcony or patio. Standard interior features include all-new paint and trim, carpeting and padding, horizontal window blinds, light fixtures, six-panel interior doors, a dining room ceiling fan with a light, a water heater, heating and air conditioning system and a full-size washer and dryer.

Each bathroom has a new mirror, new vinyl tile flooring, new light fixtures and brushed-nickel faucets and accessories. The kitchens have been upgraded with granite counters, a stainless steel sink, new cabinet doors, vinyl flooring, brushed-nickel faucets and new stainless steel appliances, including a dishwasher, a built-in microwave oven, a range, a dishwasher and a refrigerator with an ice maker.

The Monroe model, with 728 square feet, is a one-bedroom home priced from $189,900. This home has a monthly condominium association fee of $166. The Monroe has a closet off the foyer and a combined living and dining room. The laundry room is at the end of the kitchen.

The bedroom has two double-door closets and a door to the patio or balcony. Another closet and a full bath are adjacent to the bedroom.

The Jefferson model, with 968 square feet, is a two-bedroom, two-bath home priced from $229,900. This home has a monthly condominium association fee of $214.

The Jefferson has a closet off the foyer and a combined living and dining room with an adjacent kitchen. This model has a closet with the washer and dryer off the hall. One bedroom has two closets with double doors, a private door to the full hall bath and a door to the patio or balcony. The second bedroom has a walk-in closet and a private full bath.

For information or directions to Madison Ridge, contact sales manager Gwenn Minton at 703/830-9104 or visit www.madisonridge condos.com.

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