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Old 09-15-2011, 08:42 PM
 
90 posts, read 164,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
$700K zoned for Yorktown won't buy you much (welcome to Arlington!). You really can't go wrong in any of the Arlington high schools (Washington Lee, Wakefield), but judging from your description you will probably be more comfortable in W-L. We just moved into Glen Carlin and love it. This is the oldest historic neighborhood in Arlington, built on land that was owned by George Washington. We are zoned for W-L, have our own neighborhood library, are surrounded by a park with a nature center. Homes here run between $500-$650K. Otherwise there are many other homes in your price range in N. Arlington.

If you work near Capitol Hill and Union Station, they you'll want to live near the Orange Line in Arlington. Your commute will be around 30 minutes, depending on which stop you're near.

Downsides: There are no real downsides to living in Arlington. Some complain about the cost of living, but once you factor in commuting costs and time, it's actually cheaper to live closer in.
Thanks. Do you have experience with W-L high school? I have a 10th and 7th grader.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtownorbust View Post
Yes. But I find the worst traffic is on the Georgetown Pike getting out of Great Falls -- it's even worse since flooding washed out several of the bridges.
dont take GW, cross the river, take canal rd.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:47 PM
 
227 posts, read 345,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanca29 View Post
te=RUSDC;20898809]2hrs from great falls to dc? I go from Herndon to downtown in one hour
Are you taking gw parkway?
how do you do that? I'm in Vienna, work in DC and can't make it home in less than 1.25-1.5 hours if I leave between 5 - 5:30 pm[/quote]

I leave DC at 4pm

By 4:30 I am near Tysons, and in another 15 minutes or so I am near Reston/Herndon area

I can make it to Ashburn by 5:10ish or so.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:04 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,980,272 times
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How did I not see this post yet?!

I've lived in N. Arlington since 2002, in four different neighborhoods.

To get to Capitol Hill, your best bet will be 395 via Washington Boulevard--and that means the closest neighborhood will be Lyon Park. It does have a very "neighborhoody" feel--I have a relative who's lived there for years--and it's just close enough to Clarendon to be convenient but just far enough to be tranquil. Ashton Heights (next door to the west) is arguably even more picturesque, with more and larger trees.

That said, other neighborhoods will be almost as good commute-wise, so long as you're within a few blocks of Washington Blvd. (I myself drive down WB every morning from Harrison to Kirkwood, and it takes me about 5-7 minutes. The 395 exit would be I'd say another five minutes.)

We have a neighbor who works on the Hill, and he doesn't seem to mind the drive. (We live in 22205, between Ballston and East Falls Church.) Sometimes he even rides his bike on the bike path, but that's pretty arduous.

As an alternative to 395, if you can find someone to commute with you so that you can take the I-66 HOV lanes, you could take 66 into DC and then Constitution all the way to the Hill--which is trafficky but not immobile, as far as I recall.

Schools: You may already know this, but everyone in N. Arl. (that is, north of Route 50) is in Wash-Lee or Yorktown, and S. Arl. all goes to Wakefield. Yorktown is regarded as the best of the high schools, but I suspect it's not really better than Washington-Lee, even though its average SAT score is the highest. Washington-Lee also draws from very affluent areas--and in fact, Yorktown does include one or two lower-income areas, believe it or not. We have neighbors whose kids go to Wash-Lee, and they're all smart, well-behaved kids.

Other neighborhoods: There are so many great ones. Basically, I'd suggest you just drive around and look and see what appeals to you. We lived in Waverly Hills, which has huge old trees and is super convenient to everything, but prices have gone way up, and the number of even moderately sized houses seems to dwindle by the day as more McMansions go up.

Politics: It's very diverse in most places. Arlington trends Dem, but I've never lived on a street that didn't have a mix. There is absolutely a strong sense of community, despite the "churn." Hard to say why. Our street has lots of little kids, so I think that brings all the parents together. But also there are a lot of federal employees, so that's one thing a lot have in common.

The only downsides of N. Arl. are the expense, McMansionization, and possibly noise, if you live very near a Metro (like within a quarter-mile). But most of it is very quiet. Taxes are high by NOVA standards but still way less than MD or DC. With rare exceptions (like bank robberies and the odd burglary), the only crime is within a few blocks of the Metro stops.

Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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395 is actually a better option I think.

Const. Ave is undergoing major facelift, they are pretty much redoing the whole street, sidewalk to sidewalk...
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:48 AM
 
2,675 posts, read 4,539,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
$700K zoned for Yorktown won't buy you much (welcome to Arlington!).

...We are zoned for W-L, have our own neighborhood library, are surrounded by a park with a nature center. Homes here run between $500-$650K. Otherwise there are many other homes in your price range in N. Arlington.
I just did a search of my favorite real estate database (which rules prevent my linking), and I think your neighborhood on average is a bit more expensive than you think, if you're referring only to SFHs (vs. townhouses). For active listings of single family homes, the evidence supports your first statement, but not so much the second, at least not for current home shoppers (maybe the homes on the mkt are not representative of the costs in all neighborhoods).

In ALL of zip 22203 (not just Glen Carlin/Carlyn), there are only 11 active listings $500K - $650K, all but two are $575K+, and all look small and in need of a lot of work/$. Most of GC is in So. Arl., of course, which is lower priced.

Another 6 SFHs in 22203 are actively listed at over $650K.

So you may have gotten a great deal!
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,980,272 times
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I've seen several SFHs in the Country Club area of 22207 for under 650. That's Yorktown.

Here's one there with 4BR/2.5BA, for 575K--hideous bathrooms, but retiling and some new fixtures shouldn't cost much.

Is 2516 N. Florida St. still for sale? It was on sale for some crazy price (725K, I think?), then the sellers finally went into foreclosure, after which they bank renovated it and put it on sale for 630K.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 09-16-2011 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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gtownorbust, I this provides some insight:

I went to W-L about 10 years ago and had a great experience there. 22207, 22205, and other N Arlington zips are split between Yorktown and W-L. Most N Arlington W-L students come from Swanson Middle school in Westover. And the Swanson-->W-L, or the Swanson-->Yorktown and Williamsburg-->Yorktown "pyramids" are the most popular in N Arlington. The other middle schools have specialized programs like a language immersion program, an arts/communications program, etc. that might appeal to your younger kid. Swanson and Williamsburg are fairly traditional middle schools.

There is a competitive atmosphere at both Yorktown and W-L when it comes to academics, and both schools have a similar number of Natl Merit Semifinalists and finalists every year. Very affluent areas feed into both high schools. W-L has more ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, as its boundaries stretch well into South Arlington, although that may change because of overcrowding in the popular N Arlington feeder schools, which is causing the high school population to grow. W-L is over 2,000 students and Yorktown will reach that point soon as well. Yorktown is more universally upper-middle class, like Whitman in Bethesda, but without the Jewish population, and with a little more diversity. Reflecting its demographic makeup, Yorktown's SAT scores are higher, and W-L's, while lower are good as well.

Crew is the largest sport at both schools, and both programs are strong with huge alumni endowments. W-L has the oldest high school crew program in the DC area; it dates to 1949. Yorktown's Coach Hanson is the winningest football coach in the history of Northern Region football.

In terms of pedagogy, Yorktown is a bit more liberal, and W-L more traditional. Yorktown eliminated summer homework a couple years ago. W-L has always had a “traditional” or “conservative” reputation with regard to academics, perhaps in part because it is the county’s oldest school and steeped in tradition--it’s close to 90 years old. Both schools have strong AP programs and W-L also has IB for interested students.

The facilities at both schools are literally brand new. The new Yorktown campus will be complete in just over a year. The central feature at the new Yorktown will be a terraced, landscaped, grassy, interior courtyard for informal learning and relaxation, in line with the school's more liberal teaching philosophy. The completed portion of the new Yorktown campus has common areas central to small classroom "neighborhoods," again to facilitate informal learning and social interaction. W-L's campus is designed around more traditional learning styles, with the typical "double-loaded corridors" i.e. classrooms along long hallways. W-L's new facility has the largest auditorium, gym, and swimming pool of Arlington’s three high schools because of the school's central location. W-L also has the largest enrollment of the county's three high schools.

Arlington has a high school to fit just about anyone's preferences. Parental support through the PTA and boosters is very high at both N Arlington schools, and the principals of both schools are well-liked. Students at both schools often brag that their school is the "best" for different reasons. There is definitely a healthy rivalry between the schools, and not spiteful like other rivalries (McLean/Langley for example). Most Arlington kids grew up together, through sports leagues, feeder schools, etc. even though they may attend different high schools.

In sum, you can't go wrong with either school, but there are differences that might tip the balance in favor of one or the other for your family. Good luck finding a house. Arlington is a great place to live, and your kids should adjust well.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:59 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,644,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irvine View Post
There is definitely a healthy rivalry between the schools, and not spiteful like other rivalries (McLean/Langley for example).
The rivalry between McLean and Langley isn't really spiteful, although there is occasionally some regrettable behavior. The most recent example was a bunch of Langley students making rude comments to a step team from McLean that included some minority students and damaging bleachers at a basketball game at McLean last year. It was unfortunate, but didn't escalate or result in any "retaliation." Langley students hold almost all of their fundraisers in downtown McLean (which is zoned for McLean), without any incident. Several of the elementary schools in the area (Spring Hill, Colvin Run, Franklin Shreman) split between the two schools, and students in the GT/AAP program at Longfellow MS end up at both Langley and McLean (as well as TJ), so a lot of the students know each other.

To the extent there's an edge to the rivalry that arguably goes beyond the typical rivalry between neighboring schools, it's probably a product of Langley serving more affluent neighborhoods than McLean does. The difference between Yorktown and W-L, however, is more noticeable than the difference between Langley and McLean. This year's SAT scores bring that home - the difference between Langley and McLean was 47 points, while the difference between Yorktown and W-L was 115 points. It's essentially the same dynamic as exists between McLean and Langley, ratcheted up slightly. But at the end of the day, these rivalries are not much different than those between Chantilly and Westfield, Lake Braddock and Robinson, or Stuart and Falls Church.

The issue in Arlington that I've actually understood to prompt more discussion is whether portions of the current W-L attendance area will get rezoned to Wakefield when that school is renovated. Right now, the enrollment at W-L is growing, and the enrollment at Wakefield is considerably smaller than the enrollment at either Yorktown or W-L.

Last edited by JD984; 09-16-2011 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,980,272 times
Reputation: 3858
Here's the Arlington HS Boundary Map. It's hard to see, but it's a tiny portion of the W-L district that dips down below Route 50 on the SW side; I believe that's Glencarlyn. (The big W-L chunk on the right side of the map is where the Pentagon is. There's a tiny area next to it that is in S. Arl. but has residences in the W-L zone.)
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