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Old 09-08-2008, 03:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,125 times
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My husband is considering a job offer in Falls Church. If it pans out, we would be moving to NOVA from the Savannah, GA area in January. I'm interested in the locals' opinions on the best places to live. We have two children (ages 10 and 7), so elementary and middle schools are of vital importance. We are looking to purchase either a townhouse or a single family home with a small lawn (we've done the big yard thing and, quite frankly, are looking forward to not spending all day every Saturday doing yard work) - preferably under $350k. We want to have a small-town atmosphere, but we still need to be within a reasonable commuting distance (45 minutes, tops). I know it's a quite a wish list (especially the price range and commuting time), but I'd appreciate any suggestions anyone may have. Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Maine
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"Best" means different things to different folks here in northern Virginia!

If you are committed to buying and keeping the house for 4+ years, then given your budget you might want to look in the West Springfield area. There are some single family homes and townhouses in your price range in the 22152 zip code that would be in safe, friendly neighborhoods, close to shopping, and have respected public schools.

The closer you get to DC, the more expensive things get and the more hit-or-miss the neighborhoods are (with respect to crime, family-friendly environments, etc.).
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
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For $350K you should be able to get a nice townhome in Ashburn...a little drive for your husband, but excellent schools.
Cascades/Lowes Island is a little closer to Great Falls and you could find a decent townhome there but not sure how big it will be for $350K. And I don't know how great the schools are. (We didn't move there b/c we were told the schools were not that good, but I am sure others on here would argue that point)
Good luck. I don't think you will find anything in Great Falls for that price point, but you never know.!
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Virginia
5,328 posts, read 6,906,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
For $350K you should be able to get a nice townhome in Ashburn...a little drive for your husband, but excellent schools.
Cascades/Lowes Island is a little closer to Great Falls and you could find a decent townhome there but not sure how big it will be for $350K. And I don't know how great the schools are. (We didn't move there b/c we were told the schools were not that good, but I am sure others on here would argue that point)
Good luck. I don't think you will find anything in Great Falls for that price point, but you never know.!
Falls Church is where the job is, not Great Falls. We don't want to confuse anyone.

Last edited by tgbwc; 09-08-2008 at 05:56 PM.. Reason: edited text
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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I live in Falls Church, and that price range I think is kind of tough. Maybe Pimmit Hills, but I'm not sure. We ended up buying a condo since we couldn't afford a house in Falls Church. We might be able to move up to a TH or SFH in the next year or two, and we expect to pay $550k or more. But if you want to stick with your target price range, then Ashburn or South Riding, but they are a bit of a drive.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Pimmit is hit or miss. Your house may end up being in the Jackson/Marshall district, which isn't good, or the Longfellow/McLean district, which is the best.

I'd recommend an older home in West Falls church. There, you can aim for Kent Gardens/Haycock-Longfellow-McLean.

Consider also Vienna. Vienna woods has older homes and the schools are pretty good and Vienna is very convenient to Falls Church and your husband can get there by avoiding Chain Bridge Road, the major road connecting Vienna through Tysons to McLean.
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Originally Posted by walkingnoelle View Post
"Best" means different things to different folks here in northern Virginia!

If you are committed to buying and keeping the house for 4+ years, then given your budget you might want to look in the West Springfield area. There are some single family homes and townhouses in your price range in the 22152 zip code that would be in safe, friendly neighborhoods, close to shopping, and have respected public schools.

The closer you get to DC, the more expensive things get and the more hit-or-miss the neighborhoods are (with respect to crime, family-friendly environments, etc.).
Yes, West Springfield might be a good option, especially since she said the commute can be up to 45 minutes. How long would it take to get to Falls Church from there? Surely less than 45 minutes.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:16 PM
 
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The commute will depend on just where in "Falls Church" the job is. There is a rather large area that is not a part of Falls Church City at all, but that still has a Falls Church mailing address. If you knew a nearby intersection, that might help pin things down.

Otherwise, there are at least townhouses in certainly nice enough areas in excellent school districts that are in your price range and still offer a reasonable commute to at least some if not all parts of Falls Church. 45 minutes should be a doable thing, as despite the awful traffic in the area, the average commute time is still only about a half hour. Throw out the basically work-at-home people, and 45 minutes still isn't anything unheard of...
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:53 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 20,218,026 times
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Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
Pimmit is hit or miss. Your house may end up being in the Jackson/Marshall district, which isn't good, or the Longfellow/McLean district, which is the best.
There are some great bargains to be had in Pimmit Hills. Mostly small, sturdy, older homes, but many on surprisingly sizable pieces of land, and it's hard to beat the location. The neighborhood has definitely moved up over the past decade or two to the point where it's one of the more desirable starter-home areas around. And plenty of people will tell you that once they moved in, they never did find a reason to "move up", so they're still there and loving it. Still, I don't know what part would be in the McLean HS district. The McLean/Marshall dividing line runs right along Pimmit Run, and that's the neighborhood boundary also. Virtually all (if not actually all) of the Hills goes to Marshall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
I'd recommend an older home in West Falls church. There, you can aim for Kent Gardens/Haycock-Longfellow-McLean.
I don't think you can get into the Kent Gardens area for $350K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
Consider also Vienna. Vienna woods has older homes and the schools are pretty good and Vienna is very convenient to Falls Church and your husband can get there by avoiding Chain Bridge Road, the major road connecting Vienna through Tysons to McLean.
Vienna Woods (basically the SW quadrant of the town of Vienna) is almost all SFH's and it would be the rare one that would go for $350K or less. Better luck perhaps in (also all SFH) Dunn Loring Woods across the way, but you'd likely be taking a step down in terms of schools. Areas beyond Vienna including Cyrandall Valley and Mosby's Landing would be in the mix, at least as far as townhomes go. They'd still be within easy reach of much of Falls Church.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:02 PM
 
206 posts, read 449,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
There are some great bargains to be had in Pimmit Hills. Mostly small, sturdy, older homes, but many on surprisingly sizable pieces of land, and it's hard to beat the location. The neighborhood has definitely moved up over the past decade or two to the point where it's one of the more desirable starter-home areas around. And plenty of people will tell you that once they moved in, they never did find a reason to "move up", so they're still there and loving it. Still, I don't know what part would be in the McLean HS district. The McLean/Marshall dividing line runs right along Pimmit Run, and that's the neighborhood boundary also. Virtually all (if not actually all) of the Hills goes to Marshall.


I don't think you can get into the Kent Gardens area for $350K.


Vienna Woods (basically the SW quadrant of the town of Vienna) is almost all SFH's and it would be the rare one that would go for $350K or less. Better luck perhaps in (also all SFH) Dunn Loring Woods across the way, but you'd likely be taking a step down in terms of schools. Areas beyond Vienna including Cyrandall Valley and Mosby's Landing would be in the mix, at least as far as townhomes go. They'd still be within easy reach of much of Falls Church.
A small section of Pimmit Hills is within McLean HS's boundary. Also, a small section of generally lower priced homes west of Broad Street near Timber Lane ES also feed into Longfellow and McLean.

http://www.fcps.edu/images/boundarymaps/mcleanhs.pdf
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