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Old 07-16-2017, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,152,538 times
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I'm looking at a potential home purchase close to OTF (among other places). How valuable do you see being in walking distance of the old town in the future? Currently, I would like having the library, De Clieu, and some of the restaurants close by. Although I'm curious about how locals see the area changing in the next 5 years.

Also, how is Old Down Fairfax viewed in comparison to Merrifield (Mosaic District) or Falls Church City? OTF is considerably cheaper, and is further from the beltway obviously, but is it in the "path of progress?"

Last edited by destinedtodave; 07-16-2017 at 09:28 PM..
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:52 AM
 
945 posts, read 661,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destinedtodave View Post
I'm looking at a potential home purchase close to OTF (among other places). How valuable do you see being in walking distance of the old town in the future? Currently, I would like having the library, De Clieu, and some of the restaurants close by. Although I'm curious about how locals see the area changing in the next 5 years.

Also, how is Old Down Fairfax viewed in comparison to Merrifield (Mosaic District) or Falls Church City? OTF is considerably cheaper, and is further from the beltway obviously, but is it in the "path of progress?"
Since I am exactly where you are talking about (walking distance to all those things). I have a rather rosy picture of where things are going. We moved in November and have adored access to downtown. We often walk over for dinner, lunch, or Rock the Block.

There is a house about to be listed on Redfin at the corner of Berritt and Sideburn Dr. you are already seeing some tear downs but mostly people renovating what is there either by adding stories, extensions, or doing updating improvements.

Fairfax City also has a 2-year interest free loan up to $250k that can go towards needed home improvements. I've seen many in my beighborhood taking advantage of this program.

Versus Mosaic- we spend a lot of time at Mosaic actually. I use that Target and get groceries at that Mom's. We often go there for meals and their farmers market on the weekend. As a community though, Mosaic can feel rather sterile. It's definitely more 30-something and single crowd. Old Town Fairfax is more family oriented with lots of community events. We go to the splash pad or Rock The Block and see at least 4 people we known. We go to the July 4th parade and know many of the people in the parade and the audience. And that's only from being here 6 months.

I could go on and on really.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:08 PM
 
136 posts, read 190,729 times
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I think ffx city is on the rise. There's a lot of new residences and retail coming in. For example, ffx circle is finally being updated as is the old strip mall on 50 just west of 123. Paul VI high school is moving to Loudoun and there is a proposal to convert that land into a mixed residential/retail spot as well. One thing I've noticed is the increasing price of housing in the city. I know of at least four new to newish townhouse communities that are commanding 800k. I think that would have been unheard of even five years ago. So it's obvious that housing in the city is in demand.

Falls church city has a much better location than ffx city. That's its main advantage. It also has a very highly rated school system that's separate from FCPS. But it's also much more expensive than ffx city.

I think Merrifield attracts a slightly different crowd. It's a little younger with mostly singles or families with very young children. I think many people move out of that area when their kids get a bit older because they want a single family home and they're skeptical about falls church high school. It's a great area though and not too far from ffx city.

As for being able to walk to old town, I think it depends on your preference. It's obviously a plus but only you can put a value on it. One thing to note is that I find old town to be very friendly for people driving in because there is so much free parking in that area. I live less than a mile away but with young kids we usuallly drive in and park.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
30 posts, read 35,226 times
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I'm probably a rarity, but as a GMU grad student I loved my time in Old Town Fairfax. I thought it had a small town feel with just the right amount of divey bars and restaurants (Old Firestation, Auld Shebeen, Buffalo Wing University (RIP)) in walking distance. The Fairfax Fall Festival and Rock The Block are great, too.

I just wish the college had more connection to Old Town Fairfax, but it seems the students want nothing to do with it, and vice-versa. Oh well, maybe it's for the better.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:00 PM
 
945 posts, read 661,412 times
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Originally Posted by mryan13 View Post
I'm probably a rarity, but as a GMU grad student I loved my time in Old Town Fairfax. I thought it had a small town feel with just the right amount of divey bars and restaurants (Old Firestation, Auld Shebeen, Buffalo Wing University (RIP)) in walking distance. The Fairfax Fall Festival and Rock The Block are great, too.

I just wish the college had more connection to Old Town Fairfax, but it seems the students want nothing to do with it, and vice-versa. Oh well, maybe it's for the better.
I would agree that there aren't strong ties between students and Town. I have lots of professor friends from there but the only times I see the students are college nights at Auld Shabeen. It's kind of amazing to me that there is such a huge University right there, and I barely see the students except walking sometimes to Safeway or TJ Maxx.

It's nice and quiet though. My neighborhood touches the campus and we have no problems with party houses, fraternities, or noise at all. Even during graduation, it was super quiet.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:04 PM
 
945 posts, read 661,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC Merrifield View Post
I think ffx city is on the rise. There's a lot of new residences and retail coming in. For example, ffx circle is finally being updated as is the old strip mall on 50 just west of 123. Paul VI high school is moving to Loudoun and there is a proposal to convert that land into a mixed residential/retail spot as well. One thing I've noticed is the increasing price of housing in the city. I know of at least four new to newish townhouse communities that are commanding 800k. I think that would have been unheard of even five years ago. So it's obvious that housing in the city is in demand.

Falls church city has a much better location than ffx city. That's its main advantage. It also has a very highly rated school system that's separate from FCPS. But it's also much more expensive than ffx city.

I think Merrifield attracts a slightly different crowd. It's a little younger with mostly singles or families with very young children. I think many people move out of that area when their kids get a bit older because they want a single family home and they're skeptical about falls church high school. It's a great area though and not too far from ffx city.

As for being able to walk to old town, I think it depends on your preference. It's obviously a plus but only you can put a value on it. One thing to note is that I find old town to be very friendly for people driving in because there is so much free parking in that area. I live less than a mile away but with young kids we usuallly drive in and park.
I love that I'm able to park so easily any time of day whether I need to pick up a cake from Victoria's Cakery or use the splash pad or run to the library. I'm pretty lazy about walking, especially in summer, but it's a breeze to walk in and always pleasant with clearly marketed sidewalks and crosswalks and such.

It's amazing how much more houses are in Falls Church City. My friends bought a tiny, barely updated 1950 home for over $650k. The same thing wouldn't break $450k in Ffx.
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
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I think it is a great area and when I was looking it was on my radar.

I think the location is good and depending on where you commute to traffic is better than Tysons on out.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:33 AM
 
136 posts, read 190,729 times
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Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
I would agree that there aren't strong ties between students and Town. I have lots of professor friends from there but the only times I see the students are college nights at Auld Shabeen. It's kind of amazing to me that there is such a huge University right there, and I barely see the students except walking sometimes to Safeway or TJ Maxx.

It's nice and quiet though. My neighborhood touches the campus and we have no problems with party houses, fraternities, or noise at all. Even during graduation, it was super quiet.
I think that both the city and GMU are trying to establish a connection. It's one of the main reasons why they renovated University Drive to include bike paths and make it more pedestrian friendly. Of course it's debatable whether this is meeting a demand or trying to create one that's just not there. I see more students at the bars and restaurants at University Mall.

GMU is often overlooked as an asset to ffx city, although it's technically located just outside the city. Ten to fifteen years ago, it was a commuter school with some grad programs for working professionals. Since then, the school's reputation has increased dramatically and nicer facilities and amenities have followed.

I agree about walking around in old town. There's a nice mix of various kinds of food and price points. And it's convenient to grab lunch or dinner at a place like sisters Thai and then walk across the street to de clieu or woodys for dessert. Now if only they would make the strip mall with Safeway right behind the library a bit nicer.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:10 PM
 
945 posts, read 661,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC Merrifield View Post
I think that both the city and GMU are trying to establish a connection. It's one of the main reasons why they renovated University Drive to include bike paths and make it more pedestrian friendly. Of course it's debatable whether this is meeting a demand or trying to create one that's just not there. I see more students at the bars and restaurants at University Mall.

GMU is often overlooked as an asset to ffx city, although it's technically located just outside the city. Ten to fifteen years ago, it was a commuter school with some grad programs for working professionals. Since then, the school's reputation has increased dramatically and nicer facilities and amenities have followed.

I agree about walking around in old town. There's a nice mix of various kinds of food and price points. And it's convenient to grab lunch or dinner at a place like sisters Thai and then walk across the street to de clieu or woodys for dessert. Now if only they would make the strip mall with Safeway right behind the library a bit nicer.
The Safeway strip mall is in the planning stages of getting rehabbed. I think it will be more of a facelift than an overhaul, anything helps.

Thank goodness Northfax is getting redone.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:13 AM
 
136 posts, read 190,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
The Safeway strip mall is in the planning stages of getting rehabbed. I think it will be more of a facelift than an overhaul, anything helps.

Thank goodness Northfax is getting redone.
What have you heard about the old Safeway strip mall? My understanding is that the same developer own ffx circle so that will come first. Speaking of which, any updates on scout on the circle? Are they still looking for an anchor grocery store?

I drive by Northfax every day so I'm anxious for them to hurry up and finish the construction at 123 and 50. But it looks like Whole Foods 365 is coming to the old hooters strip mall that's being demolished. That should be a nice development along with whatever happens at the current Paul VI location. Maybe this is why Scout on the Circle is having such a hard time getting a grocery store. It seems like there's already one of every brand within 5 miles of that location.
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