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Old 06-05-2009, 11:49 AM
 
3 posts, read 7,468 times
Reputation: 10
Default Is this area safe and nice?(22303, ford drive, alexandria)

anybody familiar with this area: fort drive alexandria 22303? We found a single detached house for rent here, we noticed that the house is on the market for 77 days already. and when I called the agent asking about the area, she wouldn't tell me if it's safe or not. we are a family of 4, 2 young children, and I am stay at home mom. We will spend of lot of time in the house and would like to have grocery, library, recreation facilities not too far.

Can anybody give us some idea if it's a nice neighbor to live?

Thanks a lot!

Last edited by fastrunner; 06-05-2009 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,697 posts, read 11,329,859 times
Reputation: 2190
Perhaps you mean Ford Drive? You would be in a fairly convenient neighborhood. The things you would want to be close to aren't walkable but would be a relatively short drive away (10-15 minutes). Nearby ccess to the Metrorail is always a plus.

The bad news is there's probably a reason that the home has been on the market for a while as Huntington is not among the most desired neighborhoods in that area. The Richmond Highway (Route 1) area is still shedding a bad reputation. Despite the development of midscale retail and restaurants over the past few years, there is a perception, not altogether untrue, that the attitudes of some residents leave something to be desired. That said, you may find more of a comfort level for your family east of route 1 in neighborhoods like Belle View and Hollin Hall. A bit west of 22303 are the communities of Franconia and Rose Hill which feature comfortable if older homes. If you want newish housing and are open to townhomes, check out Kingstowne, a "totally" safe if IMO sterile community with even more retail conveniences than the Route 1 corridor.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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Hii, Tone509

Thank you so much for your reply!!

Back here in Canada where we current live, We usually bike (with trailor for kids to sit in) for daily errands. Could you advise us whether the roads in that area are bikable(paveway both sides of the road etc)?

Another thing is when you mentioned bad reputation. What specific concerns? and how bad is it?

Appreciate a lot!
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,697 posts, read 11,329,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastrunner View Post
Hii, Tone509

Thank you so much for your reply!!

Back here in Canada where we current live, We usually bike (with trailor for kids to sit in) for daily errands. Could you advise us whether the roads in that area are bikable(paveway both sides of the road etc)?

Another thing is when you mentioned bad reputation. What specific concerns? and how bad is it?

Appreciate a lot!
All the areas I mention have paved sidewalks. Main streets may be a little tough to cross with a bike and trailer due to traffic. A car and stroller(s) will definitely be useful.

Right around the Route 1 area, there can be small-to-moderate issues with crime (mostly theft but occasionally assault and robbery) that may intimidate those looking for "typical" middle-class suburbia. There are worse neighborhoods but there are also better ones as well. Generally speaking, the residents in the low-rise apartment buildings there could have better attitudes and motivation. There are worse neighborhoods but there are also better ones as well.

You are more likely to find more walkable/bikeable, family-oriented, and affordable communities out in Loudoun County towns such as Ashburn and Sterling... but it would not be a convenient commute to Alexandria/Arlington/DC, to say the least.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Denver--->Atlanta--->DC
569 posts, read 1,567,043 times
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the huntington area's not bad by any means, definitely better than where i grew up. i mean it's not sparkling and new and beautiful and of course you'll get your car broken into if you leave stuff in it (like any other area) but i don't feel unsafe and i lived by myself for awhile before getting a roommate. i know exactly which street you're talking about, it's extremely close to the metro. one thing to think about though...the closer you are to the metro, the closer the people riding the metro are to you.
my apartment was also on the market for about that long and i got them to drop the price $50/month
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 2,119,458 times
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If you're a cyclist, you would HATE, I mean absolutely HATE, Huntington. I'm a cyclist who's had to put up with the area for the past two years. There are absolutely no businesses you can bike to around here that aren't icky places you wouldn't want to go to anyway - and almost no normal businesses in general (I mean, even if you felt like driving down Rte. 1, where the crime actually gets worse).

There's a strip mall with a 7-11 where people have gotten mugged quite a few times in the recent past. The only other business of note in the mall is a Salvadoran restaurant that looks like a front for a drug dealership (it has no windows, for one thing). Across the street is another strip mall with a 'paydal loan' place, a dirty-looking laundromat, and a place to get your nails done. It's a very rundown area, thefts are pretty common, and there's absolutely NO community feel, from what I've been able to discern. The lawns of many of the homes (rundown duplexes) are filled with trash. It's really a depressing area - living there feels like living on a desert island. You're sort of hemmed in from any "normal" areas (e.g., Old Town Alexandria) by monstrously busy roads (like the Beltway, Rte. 1, etc.).

Yes, the Mount Vernon Trail is nearby, but YOU CANNOT GET THERE ON YOUR BIKE. There's an obnoxious miles-long golf course (to understand why a golf course would be so near such a sketchy area is a subject I'd be more than happy to go into in another thread.. but in short, it has to do with various weirdnesses of the D.C. area) blocking access to the trail. You have to go on a three-mile ride around the golf course (where traffic is, needless to say, beyond horrendous) to get to the trail. Oh, and then you have to sprint madly across the George Washington Parkway, and there's absolutely no crosswalk/overpass/etc.

So, I implore you, if you value your sanity, DO NOT MOVE TO HUNTINGTON.

Sorry if I offended anyone with this post. I'm just speaking from my own personal experience.

Last edited by Alicia Bradley; 06-05-2009 at 04:20 PM..
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:08 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,468 times
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wow, thank you all for your responses! It's really helpful!

I think "safety","bad or good" are all relative and rather subjective, some people could feel it safe and comfortable there but some would not, that's why I wouldn't cross off a place from my list just because the place has some sort of "bad" reputation, but I have to admit that the post from Alicia was a turn off for us, I totally see what she means, and she's talking facts (biking trail conditions). My husband is a cyclist and we try to do most our family activities by bike too. We decided to forget about this house and now are looking at a property in 22202. Hopefully we can get it this weekend.

poof, finding a place from a distance ain't easy!! especially when you have a young family and tight budget. Wish me good luck!
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
57 posts, read 96,850 times
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I lived in the Belle Haven apartments on Route 1 - only a stones throw away from your neighborhood of inquiry. I lived in Huntington for two years (stayed there for easy access to the Metro). Frankly, the only good thing about that location is the proximity to the yellow line of Metro. From where you will live, you will be able to bike to the Metro and have access to the decent subway/rail system. Other than that, this area is not bike friendly. It is very sketchy and that particular neighborhood near the post office is very run down and ugly. I'm guessing housing prices there are rock bottom compared to the rest of NoVA.

I saw a couple broken car windows at my apartment but never experienced any real crime (partly because I didn't walk around the neighborhood and minded my Ps and Qs). Additonally, there are homeless/vagrants who congregate at the local gas station/McDonalds and the grocery store. Sometimes they ask for change.

For a single person who wants access to Metro and just needs a cheap place to sleep, Huntington is not the worst - but I wouldn't want to raise a family there.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:57 AM
 
1 posts, read 502 times
Reputation: 15
Default Huntington :)

Greetings - I've lived in the Huntington area for six years now. The area has improved over time and will only get better due to its proximity to the metro. I live within walking distance to the metro & love the convenience. Another poster mentioned (written in 2009) that he/she couldn't bike to the Mount Vernon Trail. I bike into work to DC, and we have at least three ways to get to that trail. The new Eisenhower overpass takes you directly into Old Town (can walk that overpass, too). Developers plan to tear down the Fast Eddie's shopping strip and build an upscale commercial/residential mix-use space. Plans are in the works for the strip mall where the post office is located to be redeveloped. Crime: I feel safe walking around during the day/evening. Late at night, near the metro or closer to Route 1, you have to be careful. For the six years I've been here, I haven't had any of my cars vandalized nor my house broken into. No HOA, I have a driveway, a yard, walk to the metro, bike to Mt Vernon Trail, walk to Old Town, I love it!
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:30 AM
 
260 posts, read 211,524 times
Reputation: 220
Default On the upswing

My daughter and her family live in this area and it's only gotten better in the 3 years she's lived there. You really have to see the neighborhood and see if the vibe feels good for you. But I second the opinion that Huntington is on the upswing.
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