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Old 05-15-2008, 10:26 PM
ilm ilm started this thread
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Will be moving to NOVA in the summer. We have decided on North Arlington but we don't know where. We are looking for a neighborhood where we can:
  • Walk to a good elementary school
  • Walk to resturants/coffee shops....
  • Walk to a Metro stop
  • Family friendly/parks
What are your favorites..... Thanks for all the help.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:38 AM
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There are many nice Arlington neighborhoods that have most but not all the items on your wish list. Westover, for example, has a nice shopping area, with a post office, general/hardware store, ice cream shop, grocery store, library, etc. but it's not QUITE walkable to the elementary school. The East Falls Church metro is also just out of reasonable walking distance for daily commuting purposes.

I used to live in a neighborhood within walking distance of Tuckahoe Elementary (and O'Connell HS), the EFC metro, and two small shopping centers with 7-11, barber shop, Chinese restaurant, CVS, etc. I think that the official name was Berkshire Oakwood or something along those lines, but no one but real estate agents ever used that name.

Another possibility are the neighborhoods along Lee Highway near the intersection with Harrison Street, in the Nottingham Elementary district. You could walk to the Harrison Street shopping center (Harris-Teeter, Starbucks, Chesapeake Bagel, great wood-fired pizza restaurant, etc.) and a great playground for small children further down Harrison. But you can't really walk to the Metro from there.

Cherrydale, further along Lee Highway, has quaint homes and a nice little shopping area, but not close to the Metro and not sure about the elementary school.

Get an ADC map of Northern Virginia, circle the metro stations, elementary schools, and shopping centers, and see what pops up.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:43 AM
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My son is relocating to the Arlington area. He and his wife have one child with another on the way. I am not familiar with the area; but I hear that it is very expensive. Are there any areas that are nice and and family oriented; yet not so expensive? How is the housing market right now?
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:25 AM
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It depends upon what you mean by "not so expensive." You can expect to pay at least $500K for a house in reasonable condition in most North Arlington neighborhoods. Many people coming from other parts of the country are dismayed by the high prices for what appears to be dinky little houses with 3BR, small kitchens, no master bath, no garage, and a small yard. If the house has been updated, remodeled, or expanded, the price can go well above $1 million. You are paying for the extremely convenient location and excellent schools.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:35 AM
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The best, fastest site I have found for making a quick check of housing prices is franklymls.com. This is the only site that I ever saw on the web that lists prices in a spreadsheet format, and it is FAST! (BTW, I'm NOT a realtor or in any way affiliated with that site!) But, if you go there and search 22209, 22201, 22203, 22205, and 22213 (one at a time), in a few seconds you'll have all the Arlington listings that generally follow the Northern VA Metro route, starting close in, and progressing outward. Generally, a lot of places in these zip codes will hit all of your requirements because the shops are mostly along the Metro corridor or major east/west roads, and good schools and parks are everywhere. If you see relatively lower prices in your searching, they generally will correspond to older apartment condos, or houses that need a lot of work or are tiny. In general, 22209 is the most densely populated zone, being closest into the city. Also, check out zip 22207. It's the most expensive on average, and most of it is more than a mile from Metro, but it's the zone with the lowest density (i.e. larger lot sizes on average). In 22207 stay close to Lee Highway and you'll have your shops, and the southern edge isn't too far from Metro either. The franklymls.com site works for most of the metro DC area too, so you can use it to quickly check out other areas of interest. It doesn't sound like you are price-driven, but if you are, pricing is better in MD than in DC or VA for comparable property. If you are OK with a gentrified transitional area on the upswing, there are some relatively inexpensive places near metro like Hyattsville and Tacoma Park that will become increasingly desirable over the next few years. Arlington is well beyond that point of development in its Metro corridor. Falls Church may be a little less so, but not by much.

Last edited by arlcova; 05-17-2008 at 01:46 AM..
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