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Old 03-09-2007, 10:21 AM
 
19,178 posts, read 19,943,189 times
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Originally Posted by LI_PWas View Post
As far as our budget, we are trying to find something for around $400-500K. I think that will only get us a townhouse in Fairfax Cty from some research that I've done so far. I was really surprised to see the housing prices so high in NoVa...
Housing prices have leveled off some the past year or so, but NoVa (particularly Arlington and eastern Fairfax counties) is an expensive area, there's no way around that. Still, there are (relative) bargains and good situations to be had in a $400-500K range. You just have to do a little homework to uncover them. The SFH with the lovely yard close to Metro might be out, but even then, not necessarily...
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:27 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 19,943,189 times
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Originally Posted by mroy View Post
You might want to check out Falls church. It is metro convenient and should get you there in 30 min. Also- Vienna by Dunn Loring metro. Homes will be older and smaller, but you should be able to get a pretty nice lot.
You'd have to get a little lucky. There is currently a perfectly nice 2BR TH for sale on Great Falls Street near Lee Highway in Falls Church for $510K. It'd be a 10-12 minute walk from there to the East Falls Church Metro (then 20 minutes to Metro Center). There's housing that is closer to the station, and it's quite nice, but the price for it is off the charts.

As for Dunn Loring (25 minutes to Metro Center), there are several condo-plexes directly across the street(s) from the Metro station there. Figure prices in the $475-525K range for those. They are all quite new and quite nice. As for an SFH, the nearest would be in Dunn Loring Woods, the eastern portion of which is quite walkable. There is currently a typical 3BR unit on the market in the western portion of DLW (not so walkable) for $585K. That would be near the bottom of the market. Even these days, you're not likely to see anything in there under $550K. That entire area was built in and around 1960, and most of the houses are on quarter-acre lots, but with trees.

If you were willing to get in the car, things would change. There isn't sufficient parking at East Falls Church (400+ spaces), for example, even to consider it. There are about 2,000 spaces at West Falls Church, 1,300 at Dunn Loring, and some 6,000 at Vienna. None of those is actually enough as the lots fill up every day, but at least you have a shot. For an extra dollar a day (i.e., for $4.75 a day), you can get a 'guaranteed' permit. A portion of the spaces is 'permit only' until 10:00 am, and if you have a permit, the chances of getting a spot up until that hour are maybe 99%.

Anyway, park-and-ride gives you tons of new range once you elect it. A fine place to see what you might be able to get where for your money is trulia.com. It's all written by realtors, so every house sounds like a perfect palace of dreams, but you can still get a good sense of what it will currently take to live where from that site.
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Old 03-11-2007, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
69 posts, read 258,315 times
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I live in Alexandria and it takes me about 40 minutes to get to DC. This includes an express bus that stops in front of my building and a train trip on the blue line. Public transportation is pretty reliable, and I wouldn't want to stress myself out driving in rush hour traffic even if I had paid parking in downtown DC.

For $400-500k you should have no trouble finding a nice place to live in Alexandria. There are a number of condo and townhome complexes close to the downtown area. There is also Cameron Station townhomes in the Landmark area, which are less than ten years old. If you prefer something in a detached home and more unique, the Del Ray neighborhood is lovely and has a lot of Craftsman style bungalows.

Alexandria is charming, historic and artsy. I don't know if I'm allowed to post the URL of my website, but I have a photoblog of Alexandria where I post a new photo every day. PM me if you'd like to check it out.
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:04 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 19,943,189 times
Reputation: 3906
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Originally Posted by Gypsy-Moth View Post
For $400-500k you should have no trouble finding a nice place to live in Alexandria. If you prefer something in a detached home and more unique, the Del Ray neighborhood is lovely and has a lot of Craftsman style bungalows.
Del Ray is a lovely little enclave indeed. Rather unique for the area. But I'd be surprised if you could lay your hands on as much a 1,000 sqaure feet of living space for $500K. I would think that better advice for those with an eye on Del Ray would be to get $850K lined up and be ready to strike the moment a property comes on the market...
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