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Old 01-03-2008, 02:26 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,255 times
Reputation: 10

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My two friends and I will be graduating from college soon and will be relocating to Northern VA. We will be working in Reston, Mclean, and Manassas(sic?).

We are getting a head start and looking for some good areas to move to. Fairfax was pretty central to all three of our jobs so we wanted to start looking there.

I was wondering what are some areas in Fairfax (or somewhere relatively close) that would fit these preferences:
-close to train/metro for easy access to D.C. during evenings/nights
-area with young professionals (rather that dense family neighborhoods)
-convenient as far as shopping centers/restaurants
-accessibility in terms of major highway/not too crowded roads

We are all from Atlanta and traffic was definitely an issue. Can someone familiar with both areas provide a general comparison?

We are looking to rent either condo/apt/townhome/house.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
352 posts, read 1,440,374 times
Reputation: 85
You're right, Fairfax/Fairfax City is quite central to those locations, although anyway you cut it, your friend who works in Manassas will have an easier go of it because he/she will be reverse commuting.

Before I bought, I rented a townhouse from Fairfax Square in Fairfax City, and had a very good experience there. They're older apartments and townhomes (late 60's construction) but they've been rehabbed and are pretty spacious. It, or anywhere in Fairfax City generally, is about a 10 minute drive to the Vienna/Fairfax Metro station - although with your jobs in Reston, McLean and Manassas, it's pretty doubtful that you'll be using Metro to get to work, as none of those three towns presently is close to Metro.

I normally suggest a couple other towns that would work well, but for Reston, McLean AND Manassas, well, I'd really stick with Fairfax. It's convenient, it's very local to George Mason so - inasmuch as anywhere in NoVA does - it does retain a little bit of college feel when you're close to campus - and it's reasonably affordable.

For commute, your friend commuting to Manassas should be there in 20-30 minutes, each way. Reston, 30-45 minutes. McLean, closer to 45 minutes, but if you start looking any closer to McLean/Tysons, the price skyrockets as the areas surrounding McLean are the most affluent in the region.

Welcome to Northern Virginia!
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:17 PM
 
280 posts, read 968,954 times
Reputation: 105
When I was in my very early 20s and in a group house, we lived in that exact area - my boyfriend at the time lived in Fairfax Square, and I rented a townhouse technically in Annandale, but it was right behind Fairfax Hospital in the area around Gallows Road. I would recommend that area. I always felt like we were 15 min to everything - close to bars like Greveys and Sign of the Whale (are they still around?), pretty close to Old Town Alexandria, where we liked to go out, or Tysons for night life, and close to the Dunn Loring Metro if we wanted to go out in DC. I commuted to DC and my friends worked in NOVA and the location was ideal really.

Now this location would be a great commute for your friend working in McLean, but a little longer for the Manassas and Reston commutes, but definately not more than 30 min.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:20 PM
 
280 posts, read 968,954 times
Reputation: 105
Oh - should add one more point...if you are coming from Atlanta, I'm not sure if you are used to new construction or not. The areas in Fairfax/Annandale/vienna are getting on the older side - lots of 70s and 80s construction. I'm sure by now there are places for rent that have been pretty nicely renovated. If not, it may not suit your tastes.

In my mid 20s I ended up moving to the Fairlakes area because the apartments were newer and more suiting of my personal taste, it may be something for you to also consider. There is a new Fairfax towne center that is pretty awesome...and it is really not that far from vienna metro. Also a pretty good commute spot for everyone, equally.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:03 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,042,957 times
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There is a major mixed-used redevelopment project at Merrifield, along Gallows Road near the Dunn Loring Metro. Mosaic at Merrifield by Edens & Avant
It might be worth looking at this area. There are already a number of high-rise residential developments located adjacent to the metro, and based on what I've observed driving by on my way to Home Depot, there seem to be lots of young professionals.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
87 posts, read 97,701 times
Reputation: 24
Default Live in Manassas?

The cheapest place to live will be Manassas, but that unfortunately is not near the bus line. You will find the traffic in all three locations to be awful. Be prepared for long commutes.

Last edited by ggjacobsen; 01-04-2008 at 11:14 AM.. Reason: add headline
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