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Old 02-22-2009, 05:48 PM
ske ske started this thread
 
3 posts, read 8,919 times
Reputation: 10

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I recently moved to Northern Virginia to work at Fort Belvoir where I am a civil servant. I am staying with a friend in Lorton while I begin my home search. I would like to stay at or below $350k. I am interested in both townhomes and single family homes (preference is SFH). Some considerations I have for my future home are as follows:

- I will likely change jobs in 3-5 years and it could possibly be elsewhere in the metro area. Convenience to mass transit would make future job prospects more flexible.
- I absolutely hate driving in traffic, so I would prefer a commute to work to Fort Belvoir of 20 minutes or less and also 20 minues or less to mass transit in case of a job change.
- Good school district
- I would prefer a middle class neighborhood mostly of homeowner families
- lack of heavy interstate noise
- I am single now, but would like a home that I can grow into should I start a family in the years to come

The areas I have keyed in on are 22315 (Kingstowne and surrounds), 22310 (Franconia/Virginia Hills/Rose Hill), and 22150/22152 (Springfield).
I dropped areas around Route 1 out of my search because I did not feel comfortable about the neighborhoods and the schools. I find that Kingstowne is stubbornly pricey, but I like the convenience, though I find it a bit sterile in character. Virginia Hills seems like a nice area, but all I have seen are ramblers which are less than 1000 s.f. minus the basement. I was wondering about West Springfield off of Old Keene Mill Road - I haven't been down that way yet, but I don't know what the traffic is like along that road.

Any comments/advice/suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
32 posts, read 94,223 times
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I would suggest you look at Mt. Air, Hayfield, Newberry Station, etc. All are just off of Telegraph Road near Fort Belvoir gates and are excellent neighborhoods. It has a 22079 zip code but is adjacent to the two areas you are looking at.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:21 AM
 
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The 22152/22153 area is definitely worth checking out. In terms of transit options, remember to check Metrobus and Fairfax Connector routes. For instance, if your commute were to change so that you're heading toward the Pentagon/DC, there's a terrific opportunity to slug from the park & ride at Rolling Valley Mall (near Old Keene Mill & Shiplett). There's another slug line at Sydenstricker and the Ffx Co Parkway. And Metrobus runs the #18 express bus routes up to the Pentagon. There also are buses to Springfield Metro that run along Old Keene Mill.

22152 and 22153 put you in the West Springfield or Lake Braddock pyramid, so you'll get better schools than you would if you were in the Lee pyramid.

I don't know what the SFHs are going for, but at this point, you should be able to find a really nice TH in your price range in 22152. A lot of the THs in our area were built in the '70s so they're big and wide, which makes them feel more like a SFH.

Traffic on Old Keene Mill only gets bad going past Irving Middle School in the morning (at drop-off time) and in the evening (about 6, it's pretty slow). Going to Ft Belvoir from 22152, I'd be more concerned about Rolling Rd and the potential effects of the Parkway completion and construction at the Engineer Proving Ground.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
615 posts, read 1,054,405 times
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We live in 22152 and my husband works on Belvoir. He just goes down Old Keene Mill and gets on 95S. It's not a bad commute at all because everyone else is going north on 95. 22152 is a nice area and we've been very happy here.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:57 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,617,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSpring View Post

22152 and 22153 put you in the West Springfield or Lake Braddock pyramid, so you'll get better schools than you would if you were in the Lee pyramid.
I'm not personally familiar with what's happening at Lee these days, but did recently see some statistics suggesting that a fair number of students in the Lee district "pupil place" to Edison, Lake Braddock and West Springfield. There are some also students in the West Springfield district who choose to attend Lee, but the numbers mostly run in the other direction.

For those who are interested, here's what the transfer numbers look like for the Fairfax high schools for the 2008-09 year:

Schools that had more students transferring in than out:

Lake Braddock +56
West Potomac +55
Oakton +53
Madison +49
Marshall +43
Robinson +39
Edison +36
West Springfield +34
McLean +29
Stuart +28
Woodson +21
Westfield +5

Schools that had more students transferring out than in:

Chantilly -2
Langley -14
Herndon -23
Centreville -39
Fairfax -30
Hayfield -33
Annandale -34
South County -37
Mount Vernon -41
Lee -54
Falls Church -68
South Lakes -85

There are a number of different factors that influence these numbers, including restrictions that the School Board imposes on the ability to transfer to certain schools, but not others, as well as the type of academic programs offered at the different schools.

I see the OP indicated that he doesn't have a family yet, but some take the position that the perceived quality of the local schools also affects housing values.

Last edited by JD984; 02-23-2009 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:45 PM
ske ske started this thread
 
3 posts, read 8,919 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the input. I will definitely take a look at those neighborhoods down Telegraph Road: Mt. Air, Hayfield, Newberry Station
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
380 posts, read 951,685 times
Reputation: 254
Okay, here is my suggestion for you since you work at Fort Belvior, but want a quieter neighborhood-try the following: 1. Burke Centre 2. Orange Hunt 3.Cherry Run 4. Kings Park West 5. Cardinal Forest 6. Rutherford 7. Canterbury Woods 8. Middle Ridge
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
300 posts, read 1,111,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpotater58 View Post
Okay, here is my suggestion for you since you work at Fort Belvior, but want a quieter neighborhood-try the following: 1. Burke Centre 2. Orange Hunt 3.Cherry Run 4. Kings Park West 5. Cardinal Forest 6. Rutherford 7. Canterbury Woods 8. Middle Ridge
Are these neighborhoods in a certain city?
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