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Old 02-17-2012, 09:15 AM
 
23 posts, read 14,620 times
Reputation: 36

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Hi everyone!
Hoping to get some suggestions and insights to the various neighborhoods in Arlington.
My husband and I (40something and 50) are thinking about downsizing our house to fit our changing lifestyle better. Our youngest heads out to college this year and it feels right to make a move in the next 12-18months.
We are currently in West Springfield/Burke area.
We hope to find a location that has a little more of an urban vibe – being relatively young and soon-to-be-empty nesting couple, we have lots of energy and feel a sense of “freedom” coming over us at the thought of sending our beloved youngest packing for college!
The main bread winner of our household works in DC (L’Enfant Plaza). We will be looking for:
-A new place with easier commute than our current 45mins (bus and metro)
-We also hope to get rid of all but one of our vehicles, so a walkable location that is close to public transport would be fantastic.
-We like eclectic, interesting, diverse people and same goes for restaurants. We also like friendly neighbors. Our current area is full of elderly retired or families with gossipy moms – conversations limited to lawn maintenance and children get tiresome fast.
-Prefer a small detached house with a small yard for growing a few tomato and pepper plants. We are not keen on either townhomes or condos.
-We like to bike and hike, so anything to facilitate these activities would be a plus.
-Older house is okay as my husband and I are somewhat handy in home renovations and improvements.
-Our current house is valued around $550k. We can push the budget to max 850k but wouldn’t feel very comfortable doing that.
-Our youngest will attend a Virginia state school, so we will want to stay in Virginia.
Suggestions? I like Lyons Village, but, of course, houses there are WAY out of our price range. How does Shirlington compare to East Falls Church?
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:33 AM
 
294 posts, read 363,575 times
Reputation: 139
I realize you mentioned you would prefer a SFH but you can find a town home in Old Town within your budget with excellent walkability. Here's an example: 421 Franklin Street, Alexandria VA | MLS# AX7686070 - Trulia
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Taxmanistan
4,288 posts, read 4,110,042 times
Reputation: 2082
Keep looking in North Arlington; you can find small SFHs on occasion there for that price range. Here's one... that just got snapped up.

Great to hear from someone who wants to buy a small house in Arlington and not tear it down!

Last edited by Tone509; 02-17-2012 at 11:23 AM.. Reason: sorry, only generic MLS sites (not realtor-driven) can be referenced
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,527 posts, read 2,040,859 times
Reputation: 482
I second the suggestion for Old Town. Some friends in our neighborhood made a similar move last year (from Annandale to Old Town with their dog and without their college student) and they love it.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:58 AM
 
23 posts, read 14,620 times
Reputation: 36
That little house with the small yard is EXACTLY the kind of house we will want! I have absolutely no desire for a big house - if my husband would let go of privacy issues, we'd be considering a townhouse....but it's the ONLY requirement on his list, so have to give in on that one.

A few people in the forum mentioned that it would be wise to stay in North Arlington...what is the issue with South of I-66?
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:14 AM
 
1,747 posts, read 1,318,865 times
Reputation: 679
yea i dont think arlington is for you. old town would be right up your alley
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:24 AM
 
23 posts, read 14,620 times
Reputation: 36
Thanks everyone, for your replies. Old Town is nice but houses there seem out of our range. Maybe I need to make another trip to Old Town and look around a bit more.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:27 AM
 
2,107 posts, read 1,897,086 times
Reputation: 4329
If not Old Town, try Del Ray. A little funkier but still with what you're looking for, and more detached smaller SFH available.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,795 posts, read 12,065,599 times
Reputation: 2272
Quote:
Originally Posted by indiko View Post
That little house with the small yard is EXACTLY the kind of house we will want! I have absolutely no desire for a big house - if my husband would let go of privacy issues, we'd be considering a townhouse....but it's the ONLY requirement on his list, so have to give in on that one.

A few people in the forum mentioned that it would be wise to stay in North Arlington...what is the issue with South of I-66?
South Arlington is more socioeconomically diverse than North Arlington...but there are still plenty of great neighborhoods. I'll defer to others more knowledgeable about which ones would fit the bill (although some areas in/near Crystal City seem fine.) It's been said on the forum that once you get somewhat north of the Orange Line, it's like living in an upscale suburb (which I guess Arlington is, since it's technically a county).
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,795 posts, read 12,065,599 times
Reputation: 2272
Old Town is great but it might be tough to find the husband's requirement for a SFH as it's primarily (neo)-historical THs there.

I second the Del Ray suggestion! It's got its own vibe yet close enough to Old Town for other after-hours pursuits.
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