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Old 08-23-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Hi all, I hope you can steer me in the right direction. My husband has been offered a job in Crystal City and we are planning to relocate from Salt Lake City although we are both from the Los Angeles area. We plan to rent for the first couple of years and don't want to spend more than $3,000. I have been looking in Arlington and Alexandria and wanted to get opinions on neighborhoods. We are a little unusual in that we are in our forties but have a 7 month old. I will not be working. We are open to either nice areas that are walkable or areas that are a little more suburban but are close enough in that we don't always have to get in the car. Also, we'd love to keep my husbands commute under an hour. A couple of areas that I keep seeing on the rentals are "Beverly Hills" and North Arlington. I would also love to be able to meet some other moms that are a little older, maybe had careers as I did. I would appreciate any ideas!
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:22 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
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Do you want a SFH, townhouse, or are you ok with a condo/apartment?

I'd recommend living in Crystal City itself. Oakridge Elementary is fine if you pick a good part of the area (I'd avoid the condos along South Glebe/395 from personal experience, but the areas along Arlington Ridge Road/23rd Street South and the high-rises near Crystal City Metro are nice.) Beverly Hills is in Alexandria City and isn't, IMO, very walkable to much and I just don't see a compelling reason to live there instead of Crystal City, all else being equal.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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We'd prefer a SFH or a townhouse. Can you tell me what Crystal City is like? For some reason I get the impression it is a bunch of townhouses and apartments but not "real" neighborhoody.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:51 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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beverly hills is very neighborhoody, and while its not urban like Crystal City, I bet you will see a fair number of walkers - the streets all have sidewalks, and its got kind of an "uptown" feel. Plus there are a few folks who walk on saturday to Agudas Achim synagogue. Its possible to walk to Braddock metro, though its not close, and to the shopping by Fairlington on Quaker Lane, or to Shirlington.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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How far is it driving distance to shopping areas/parks/Old Town? I really appreciate all of your help!
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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Also, any other nice neighborhoods in Alexandria? If any of you know LA we are from Santa Monica originally and while you can't really walk anywhere we were close to some outdoor malls, different parks and within a 5 minute drive to the grocery store etc. When we moved to Salt Lake City, we moved to the mountains and it is a 20 minute drive one way to anywhere. This is a huge pain with a new baby.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinks5 View Post
How far is it driving distance to shopping areas/parks/Old Town? I really appreciate all of your help!

its only a couple of miles to old town. A bit far to walk, but a short drive, bike ride, or ride on Alexandria's Dash bus.

Most of North Alexandria is kind of like that. Arlandria is more poorly maintained low rise apts with some gang issues, IIUC, though. And the Park Center area west of Fairlington is more developed with high rises. But the whole Rosemont/BH area, the area near Bradlee shopping center, the areas along seminary Rd, Timber Branch, etc, are all nice.

There are also some nice areas in West Alex but Landmark is mainly high rises (1960/70s vintage and too poorly laid out for good walkability, so less desirable area)
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Great info! How far would my husbands commute to Crystal City be? Any thoughts on Arlington neighborhoods?
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Post Arlington & Alexandria

For $3K I think you can find a SFH to rent in either Arlington or (city of) Alexandria.

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Last edited by FindingZen; 08-24-2011 at 05:03 PM.. Reason: Please re-read the Terms of Service regarding realtor participation
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Re: SFHs

Beverley Hills is very similar to Aurora Hills and Arlington Ridge, near Crystal City. I live near all three. They fit your criteria (if by walkable you mean amenable to neighborhood walks) and would give your husband a commute much shorter than one hour--more like 5-15 minutes, depending on exactly where the rental is located and where your husband's work is located. Aurora Hills is a long walk (but still walkable) to many shops, including the Pentagon City Mall. It is near two metro stops, whereas Beverley Hills and Arl. Ridge are a bit farther from a metro stop, shops, etc. BH is beautiful neighborhood with lots of well-kept 40s-era homes, and mature trees, and somewhat bigger lots than AH/AR (generally speaking).

Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

You can find information by zip code and neighborhood here on City-Data.com.

You may also want to look at the civil association newsletters--Arlington's are linked here:

http://www.arlingtonva.us/Department.../org/civic.asp

You could also consider Addison Heights--it will have more rentals available, but it's a little less well-maintained than the other neighborhoods, houses/lots are smaller, and it appeals to a somewhat younger crowd.

I think the key question for you is how large of a house and yard do you want, relative to the commute? My guess (because I have not been in the rental market for a long time) is that you would find small houses in the neighborhoods you mentioned, in your price range, but if you want something like 2000 square feet, and updated, you would need to look farther west and/or south of Crystal City.

You might also like Del Ray (Alexandria) which due south of Aurora Hills (rather than southwest, a la Beverley Hills). It has lots of walkable shops and is somewhat close to Old Town.

Last edited by Yac; 11-08-2011 at 06:40 AM..
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