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Old 05-12-2007, 06:41 AM
 
12 posts, read 49,643 times
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We are looking to move to the Arlington area from Farmington Connecticut for proximity to my husbands job as a cardiologist at Wash Hosp Ctr. I am totally confused about South Arlington.....is this a safe place to raise children?? I hear raves about Arlington...particularly North....which is very expensive. Could somebody please give me some insight into the Barcroft neighborhood??? I'd really appreciate it!
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:08 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,053,303 times
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North Arlington generally means north of Route 50, but the nicest parts are north of Lee Highway closer to McLean. The houses are larger and newer (though still mostly 40 years old or more) than South Arlington. There are fewer pockets of lower-income housing in North Arlington, which translates into higher test scores for the schools, and further fuels the higher property values there. Many South Arlington neighborhoods are filled with relatively small houses and apartment complexes, and the area has become a magnet for immigrants (though more of them are moving further out as gentrification eliminates the affordable housing options).
There are some nice areas in South Arlington, including Barcroft, but they tend to be enclaves surrounded by more diverse neighborhoods. Some people like that diversity. But the market works pretty well, so if a house in Barcroft is considerably less expensive than a comparable house in North Arlington, there is a reason for that. There IS more crime in South Arlington, though it's not by any means a dangerous place.
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:33 AM
 
518 posts, read 1,294,988 times
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Default North vs South Arlington, breakdown by neighborhood

There are a few affordable (relatively speaking) pockets of housing in popular/established North Arlington neighborhoods:

There are a number of small WWII era cape cod style houses in the Westover area along Washington Blvd that may still sell for somewhat less than the avg for a single family home. The neighborhood is home to a five and dime, post office, library, small eateries, and a popular junior high (Swanson).

Some neighborhoods along Wilson Blvd west of the Ballston orange line stop may have similarly more affordable homes.

If you're you're willing to spend a bit more, I'd say look at Lyon Park (near Clarendon Metro), Yorktown, Williamsburg, Maywood, Cherrydale. You might find a fixer upper, but unfortunately many of the smaller homes are tear-down properties and have fallen prey to "mansionization."

The most expensive (old money, FFV--i.e. First Families of Virginia) neighborhoods include Lyon Village (Clarendon Metro), Woodmont, Riverwood, Belleview Forest, Tara-Leeway, Country Club Hills, and Chain Bridge. These neighborhoods resemble the old money neighborhoods in DC, like Cleveland Park, Chevy Chase, and Spring Valley.

Good family-oriented South Arlington neighborhoods, in my opinion include Barcroft, Arlington Ridge, Alcova Heights.

The public schools are better in North Arlington in terms of test scores. All schools regardless of location (unless its a focus/magnet school) all offer the same courses, curriculum, pedagogy. One exception: Barcroft Elementary is a very good South Arlington neighborhood school, but it's also the county's only year-round elementary school. Both North Arlington high schools have been awarded the Dept of Education's Blue Ribbon Award.
The neighborhood high school for South Arlington was one of three in the nation to recieve the College Board's Inspiration Award. All three county high school facilities are currently being rebuilt.

The big difference: I'd feel safe letting kids walk around most North Arlington neighborhoods unsupervised, but I might have concerns about certain commercial/residential areas in South Arlington.

If your curious I helped create this local history website back in high school:
http://www.washlee.arlington.k12.va.us/school_info/history/?rn=7847884 (broken link)

hope this helps!
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:39 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,369,573 times
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I've been in this area since 1969. From that perspective, it seems to me that North Arlington has always been nice, and that South Arlington used to be considerably worse than what it is today. That said, I'd heed ClareMarie's words well. There may be a premium for purchasing in North Arlington, but you will very probably get what you pay for. Barcroft itself is just across the street from Arlington Forest. There are some nice areas in both. Barcroft tends to get a little dicier as you go further south towards George Mason and Four Mile Run. You can get a lot of info from the Barcroft neighborhood website...

Barcroft Neighborhood Home Page
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,148 posts, read 37,454,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
I've been in this area since 1969. From that perspective, it seems to me that North Arlington has always been nice, and that South Arlington used to be considerably worse than what it is today. That said, I'd heed ClareMarie's words well. There may be a premium for purchasing in North Arlington, but you will very probably get what you pay for. Barcroft itself is just across the street from Arlington Forest. There are some nice areas in both. Barcroft tends to get a little dicier as you go further south towards George Mason and Four Mile Run. You can get a lot of info from the Barcroft neighborhood website...

Barcroft Neighborhood Home Page
I lived in N Arlington from 1969-78 then left for Calif/Az (me and 4 season weather do not get along).

So saganista's info still sounds accurate

The one truly rough enclave was Hall's Hill (official name Highview Park) along Lee Hwy about 3 blocks west of Glebe Rd.

Again; my first hand info is almost 30 years old.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Winchester VA
59 posts, read 370,006 times
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I was born and raised in Arlington. My dad, husband and I all graduated from Washington-Lee High School and we went on to local colleges in the area (George Washington University and George Mason University. The city has changed a lot since I grew up there but some areas remain virtually unchanged.

Great site you've created, irvine! Very well-written descriptions and great recommendations for areas in Arlington.

nomasamee, if you are looking at houses on realtor.com, you can safely look at homes in zip codes 22201, 22205, 22207-13. Zip code 22203 is around the Balston area; some of those homes are nice but a lot are being torn down to be replaced with high-rise buildings. All of these zip codes are in North Arlington.

Arlington Schools are outstanding! Many areas in Arlington are within walking distance of the Metro system with access to many places in DC and MD.

Good luck with your search; I hope you find a great place to live.
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