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Old 08-26-2010, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Fort Dupont Park
4 posts, read 6,525 times
Reputation: 10

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Good Morning All,

I'm a newbie here. I been lurking awhile and decided to join so I can get some advice. To give you some background Im a 26 yr old single parent moving from a really bad apt building back to my mom's. Im doing this for the sake of saving money with my new promotion, in hopes of affording a decent neighborhood in the near future.

My biggest concern is finding something a 2 br (or even a 1 br plus den) thats affordable for me in a neighborhood with a good elementary school for my daughter. She will be attending pre-k next fall. What neighborhoods should I look in? I would love to stay in the northern arlington, falls church or even Alexandria area because I work in Skyline, and currently commute by bus. My price range would be no more than $1750. I'm open to apt buildings as well as renting condos or townhouses. Thanks for any advice given.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,876,107 times
Reputation: 869
Crime, not really a problem anywhere, but there's a higher risk in South Arlington, Bailey's Crossroads, Seven Corners and Culmore than points further north.

Be sure to consider the entire pyramid, use greatschools to get a decent overview and make sure you're not getting a "bad feeder to a great HS" situation. I am just going off of high schools here since this post has to be kinda short.

If you can luck out and get something in the Yorktown, George Mason (*), Oakton (**), Madison (**), or McLean zones, by all means do that.

You can probably get something in the Woodson (**), Marshall, Fairfax (**), or Washington-Lee zones and all are very good schools, although not as "fashionable" as the four I list above.

The Stuart, Falls Church, and TC Williams (*) zones are probably not as good (by Northern VA standards).

Good luck.

Side notes:
(*) Anywhere in Falls Church City gets you George Mason HS. Anywhere in Alexandria City gets you TC Williams HS. Cities in VA have separate school boards, schools, everything, except Fairfax City, which pays Fairfax County to run the schools within city limits. Anywhere in Town of Vienna gets you Madison HS and Thoreau MS, although the elementary schools can vary.
(**) I'd check to see if you're cool with the commute before considering points in/around Vienna/Fairfax, especially the west side of town. I'm seeing 3BR condos in the Flint Hill/Thoreau/Madison pyramid going for the low 200s and a condo fee of $250/month.
(***) I just using buying as an easy benchmark. If buying is coming out under your price limit, I'm pretty sure renting is.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Fort Dupont Park
4 posts, read 6,525 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you so much for your quick reply :-)

Question, what do you mean when you say not as "fashionable"?
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:05 PM
 
7,970 posts, read 18,098,030 times
Reputation: 2597
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemiya View Post
Question, what do you mean when you say not as "fashionable"?
stpickrell probably means "sought-after". Those "fashionable" high school pyramids are pretty consistently mentioned on the forum as the most desired in Fairfax County. Not surprisingly, this raises the relative cost of housing in an already expensive area. So, depending on where you choose, it may be a choice between the smallest/least desirable apartment in a "top" school pyramid or a larger/comfortable apartment in a more moderately-rated pyramid.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Fort Dupont Park
4 posts, read 6,525 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for your feedback. My daughter is only 2 so I have awhile before I have to worry about high school. But it's good to know how each school feeds to the others. I'm not concerned about her getting into the very top school, just somewhere I know she will get a good education.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:53 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,134,903 times
Reputation: 1264
If you are renting, and your daughter is only two, who do you need to worry about elementary school now? Wouldn't it be more important to be close to work and close to good daycare?
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Fort Dupont Park
4 posts, read 6,525 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
If you are renting, and your daughter is only two, who do you need to worry about elementary school now? Wouldn't it be more important to be close to work and close to good daycare?
My daughter will be three at the beginning of the year. According to Arlington County public schools, they have some programs that start at that age. If I do move into a neighborhood that doesn't accept her in that age, I will leave her with her grandmother for an extra year. But I still plan on moving somewhere long-term, so I would like to go somewhere with a good elementary school.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,876,107 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
stpickrell probably means "sought-after". Those "fashionable" high school pyramids are pretty consistently mentioned on the forum as the most desired in Fairfax County. Not surprisingly, this raises the relative cost of housing in an already expensive area. So, depending on where you choose, it may be a choice between the smallest/least desirable apartment in a "top" school pyramid or a larger/comfortable apartment in a more moderately-rated pyramid.
Pretty much what you said. And yeah, no point in moving twice in two years if you can avoid it -- I'd suspect that good daycare would follow good elementary schools, but I could be wrong.
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