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Old 06-19-2017, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
4,826 posts, read 2,876,130 times
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Annandale would be a good area for price vs value but in 3-5 years there is no guarantee that the market there will be hotter. I will say that the Inova Fairfax campus looks promising for the area. The Lake Barcroft area may be more fruitfull for resale and I believe you can still get fixer uppers for less than $800, maybe even on half an acre?

When I was looking a few years ago I came across a home between Ridge RD and Crystal City in Arlington for 600K. The home was HUGE and had a stand alone garage. It had great bones and was just waiting for an upgrade but would not be livable until some work was done.

I kind of regret not buying it. The only negative besides the fact that it needed a lot of work was that the lot was odd shaped. But there may be more like that out there.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,082 posts, read 5,346,651 times
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The Rosemont/Beverly Hills/Del Ray areas of Alexandria are worth a look (zips 22301, 22302, 22305). The homes in this area are pretty stable in value, and I've noticed that listings sell relatively quickly hinting that it's a desirable area.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:21 AM
 
1,326 posts, read 2,687,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohana Mom View Post
You mention we should consider "north" - which neighborhood/city would you recommend? I am not familiar with the areas so appreciate your input.
North, as in North of the area your office will be in. Are you going to be in Rosslyn or Crystal city etc.

The idea is to put yourself in a reverse commute if possible. If you are in Mt Vernon area, you are going with the mass flow - those heading across the bridge, to the pentagon, Old town etc. So if you are heading all the way to Rosslyn, you are in heavy traffic daily. If you look north of Rosslyn, you will hit your destination first. Does that make sense. Put as few 'destinations" between your house and your work as possible. Depending on where your office is, that could be east of your office etc. Avoid any road that is also an taking people to DC.

I'm not as familiar with the houses in that part of Arlington, so others might be able to help with that. I do know that the closer you get to McLean the more $$$ a SFH will run. Crystal City is pretty much a concrete jungle, though there are some nice homes in Delray and off of Glebe that might work for you.

You will also find that Town house living is quite common here, even with dogs. Lot more bang for your buck.

Other than the need for a SFH, what about the surrounding area? You might find Arlington itself to be a little more urban (busy) than you might want. There are lots of parks etc, but walking around your neighborhood might not be that easy. There are pockets of homes surrounded by busy roads, which some prefer.

What about access to restaurants, shopping etc? If you are used to a quick trip to the grocery store or Lowes, you might be in for a surprise as to how much time it can take inside the beltway. If more suburban is your cup of tea, I would suggest Kingstowne and Island Creek area Zip 22315. Or West Springfield. These provide you access to 395 and metro/bus routes. So you can vary your transportation. Unlike Mt Vernon where you are limited to driving (or driving to metro, which will add time to your commute).
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:25 AM
 
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OP, if you think there is a moderate or higher probability of moving in 3-5 years, it would be very risky to buy, given the high home prices and corresponding transaction costs. You would likely be better off looking for a nice rental home.

For most areas near your work location neighborhoods did not skyrocket during the bubble, but they also didn't drop precipitously afterward, and prices have crept up slowly since then. If we expect 0-2% per year annual increases in these home prices, that would likely mean that you would at best break even if you bought and sold during a short time, and could easily lose money.

Another option would be to take a chance on the Arlandria area south of Arlington Ridge, or some riskier parts of 22204 or 22206. The locations for you are excellent but home values are not as high for a variety of reasons. You could definitely get an SFH in your price range. No guarantee of appreciation. OTOH, I knew someone who bought and refurbished rowhouses in Logan Circle in the early 2000s, and many thought he was nuts then. He had the last laugh.

In between the extremes, there are some very nice, stable, but more expensive areas in 22204 and 22206 (for example, Alcova Heights). You might find exactly what you want there.

Last edited by ACWhite; 06-19-2017 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:27 AM
 
2,670 posts, read 4,519,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
The Rosemont/Beverly Hills/Del Ray areas of Alexandria are worth a look (zips 22301, 22302, 22305). The homes in this area are pretty stable in value, and I've noticed that listings sell relatively quickly hinting that it's a desirable area.
I think those neighborhoods may be a bit pricier than OP is seeking unless s/he is not including a renovation budget in the $800k estimate.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:29 AM
 
2,670 posts, read 4,519,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slduvall View Post
North, as in North of the area your office will be in. Are you going to be in Rosslyn or Crystal city etc.

The idea is to put yourself in a reverse commute if possible. If you are in Mt Vernon area, you are going with the mass flow - those heading across the bridge, to the pentagon, Old town etc. So if you are heading all the way to Rosslyn, you are in heavy traffic daily. If you look north of Rosslyn, you will hit your destination first. Does that make sense. Put as few 'destinations" between your house and your work as possible. Depending on where your office is, that could be east of your office etc. Avoid any road that is also an taking people to DC.

I'm not as familiar with the houses in that part of Arlington, so others might be able to help with that. I do know that the closer you get to McLean the more $$$ a SFH will run. Crystal City is pretty much a concrete jungle, though there are some nice homes in Delray and off of Glebe that might work for you.

You will also find that Town house living is quite common here, even with dogs. Lot more bang for your buck.

Other than the need for a SFH, what about the surrounding area? You might find Arlington itself to be a little more urban (busy) than you might want. There are lots of parks etc, but walking around your neighborhood might not be that easy. There are pockets of homes surrounded by busy roads, which some prefer.

What about access to restaurants, shopping etc? If you are used to a quick trip to the grocery store or Lowes, you might be in for a surprise as to how much time it can take inside the beltway. If more suburban is your cup of tea, I would suggest Kingstowne and Island Creek area Zip 22315. Or West Springfield. These provide you access to 395 and metro/bus routes. So you can vary your transportation. Unlike Mt Vernon where you are limited to driving (or driving to metro, which will add time to your commute).
The Crystal City area has several SFH neighborhoods west of Rte 1. However it will be hard to find a good sized house and yard in the $800k range unless it needs a lot of work. There are smaller homes in that range.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
4,826 posts, read 2,876,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
The Rosemont/Beverly Hills/Del Ray areas of Alexandria are worth a look (zips 22301, 22302, 22305). The homes in this area are pretty stable in value, and I've noticed that listings sell relatively quickly hinting that it's a desirable area.
I had a friend that lived in Beverly Hills. It is a really nice and convenient area but does not get as much press as Del Rey. I like the area very much.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:32 AM
 
1,326 posts, read 2,687,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
The Crystal City area has several SFH neighborhoods west of Rte 1. However it will be hard to find a good sized house and yard in the $800k range unless it needs a lot of work. There are smaller homes in that range.
A co worker grew up in one over off Hayes, and lived there during the week (we worked in CC) went over one day and was shocked at how much they were going for. That was in 2002. She was holding on to it to make some serious money. I don't think they were really affected by the down turn, due to their location. If it is updated and has parking it is going to be way over the OP budget. The best thing about that neighborhood is that there always seemed to be pride in ownership.

I think that people that are moving to NOVA from elsewhere (unless maybe CA) are shocked at what their $$ won't buy! If OP is liking Mt Vernon, not sure if Aurora Highlands will appeal to them. Until they drive to work and are stuck in traffic
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:43 AM
 
2,670 posts, read 4,519,607 times
Reputation: 2117
Quote:
Originally Posted by slduvall View Post
A co worker grew up in one over off Hayes, and lived there during the week (we worked in CC) went over one day and was shocked at how much they were going for. That was in 2002. She was holding on to it to make some serious money. I don't think they were really affected by the down turn, due to their location. If it is updated and has parking it is going to be way over the OP budget. The best thing about that neighborhood is that there always seemed to be pride in ownership.

I think that people that are moving to NOVA from elsewhere (unless maybe CA) are shocked at what their $$ won't buy! If OP is liking Mt Vernon, not sure if Aurora Highlands will appeal to them. Until they drive to work and are stuck in traffic
Yes, that's another good reason to rent--to see if what you think are your priorities (size of house and yard, short commute, price and condition) might need to change.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:24 PM
 
386 posts, read 520,840 times
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Default New Alexandria

Near my daughter's home is New Alexandria/also shown as Belle View on some maps. This is really perfectly situated for what you're looking for I think. Blocks from George Washington Parkway. Minutes to Old Town Alexandria.

Walk to the marina at Dyke Marsh and rent a kayak to paddle on the Potomac and look for the bald eagles fishing. Lots of parkland. The Belle View Shopping Center is decent. Grocery, couple of restaurants, all the little stuff (no big box stores) - highly recommend Dishes of India restaurant for their lunch buffet and Primo Restaurant for their Lemon Chicken soup.

A block from Belle View Shopping Center is Martha Washington library which was recently refurbished, and next door is Mount Vernon rec center which has an ice skating rink, pool, fitness equipment and various fitness classes. There is a long woodland park trail that heads into the woods from the parking lot of the rec center. Mount Vernon Park. The local elementary school is across the street from the library.

The homes here are not new but they are full of character and really well cared for. The housing crash barely dropped prices here and there is no subsequent rebound, just a gradual appreciation in value. The location in my opinion is awesome. (My daughter needs to be close to the Huntington Metro station for her work commute, but her family is down here all the time going to the library, ballet class, martial arts, ice skating, swimming, etc.) You, however, will have a driving commute, right?

Here is a house under your $800,000 limit that just went under contract. It is located between the GW Parkway and the shopping center. Just for comparison...

6419 11th St, Alexandria, VA 22307 - realtor.com®

My two cents. Good luck.
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