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Old 05-09-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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Wondering the pro and cons of each. Married with a kid on the way and really like both of these areas of NOVA as both seem to have a real main street and its own unique vibe. I know its been mentioned that Del Ray has a lot of families and kids, but Falls Church City seems a little more polished.

To me, Del Ray area seems like a cool place since it roots are working class and coming from a blue collared family, I tend to appreciate that even if I do work in a white collared environment. Only major concern would eventually be the schools. i know everyone knocks Alexandria's public schools, so I am ready to hear it.

Falls Church City seems to be pretty well-heeled, and maybe a little more yuppie-ish than Del Ray, but I know the school system is pretty good.

Sort of torn because I like Alexandria, Old Town, and the up and coming, working class feel of Del Ray, but the school system in Falls Church City is a draw.

Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Because of being situated between North Arlington and McLean, plus the school system, the homes in Falls Church will probably hold a higher value over the long run than Del Ray, everything else being equal. With Del Ray sandwiched between Arlandria and Potomac Yard, the homes there will have more upside value in the next boom but also have a greater chance of a bigger drop if housing values fall out.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:23 PM
 
Location: San Francisco/East Bay and Los Angeles, formerly DC and Boston
2,146 posts, read 3,433,863 times
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Falls Church all the way - what I like about the re-development there is that it's being done in a real, store-by-store way, and doesn't look as fake and chained out as Clarendon or Reston
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,223 posts, read 67,365,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseGoTo11 View Post
Falls Church all the way - what I like about the re-development there is that it's being done in a real, store-by-store way, and doesn't look as fake and chained out as Clarendon or Reston
Reston and fake in the same sentence, you say? I like you already!
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:24 PM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,089,252 times
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It depends on what environment you're looking for and, to a degree, where you're working.

Del Ray may have working-class roots but it has morphed into a mildly bohemian enclave that is popular with young families and others who enjoy the mostly local retail and restaurants. Mount Vernon Elementary School has a lot of involved parents and there's a lot of synergy with Duncan Library next door. Eventually all kids go to the only high school, TC Williams, which has received mixed reviews in part because the diverse socioeconomic representation there. There's a farmer's market on warmer Saturdays and community festivals throughout the year.

I have to say that I don't know a whole heckuva lot about Falls Church except to say it's a comfortable, laid-back area that is convenient to a lot of job centers. The schools are well-regarded too, from what I understand. Some on the forum have suggested there is a difference in the unincorporated county section of Falls Church, at least in terms of the quality of schools in the immediate area.

EDIT: I should say that most of Fairfax County - not to mention much of Loudoun County - will seem well-heeled to varying degrees; Falls Church may lie somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I believe the city's positive reputation and convenience feed off each other.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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That is what I am looking for, a place where there are a lot of young families. My only concern would be the schools, and I would hope that over time they would improve as the neighborhood continues to reinvent itself.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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TC Williams has had loads of time to improve..... don't count on it
Check out greatschools.net
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
It depends on what environment you're looking for and, to a degree, where you're working.

Del Ray may have working-class roots but it has morphed into a mildly bohemian enclave that is popular with young families and others who enjoy the mostly local retail and restaurants. Mount Vernon Elementary School has a lot of involved parents and there's a lot of synergy with Duncan Library next door. Eventually all kids go to the only high school, TC Williams, which has received mixed reviews in part because the diverse socioeconomic representation there. There's a farmer's market on warmer Saturdays and community festivals throughout the year.

I have to say that I don't know a whole heckuva lot about Falls Church except to say it's a comfortable, laid-back area that is convenient to a lot of job centers. The schools are well-regarded too, from what I understand. Some on the forum have suggested there is a difference in the unincorporated county section of Falls Church, at least in terms of the quality of schools in the immediate area.

EDIT: I should say that most of Fairfax County - not to mention much of Loudoun County - will seem well-heeled to varying degrees; Falls Church may lie somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I believe the city's positive reputation and convenience feed off each other.
In the City of Alexandria, many of the children who attend the local public elementary schools switch to private schools beginning in middle school, to a considerably greater degree than in Arlington, Fairfax or Loudoun Counties or the City of Falls Church. This has been the case for many years. That doesn't mean motivated students can't get a good education at GW Middle or TC Willliams High, but it does tell you that a fair number of parents who move into Alexandria thinking they'll send their kids to the public schools change their mind at some point. Of course, I guess it also means that they like the convenience of Alexandria, if they stay and opt for private schools rather than move elsewhere.

The City of Falls Church is less diverse than Fairfax County as a whole, and some parts of unincorporated Fairfax County with Falls Church addresses in particular. However, the schools in the county with Falls Church addresses that are closest to the City of Falls Church (i.e., those in the McLean and Marshall HS pyramids) are generally comparable to the City of Falls Church schools. Some may have seen last month's edition of Washingtonian Magazine, which focused on local real estate and recommended the 22043 zip code of Falls Church - including neighborhoods that attend Haycock and Shrevewood Elementaries - as a less expensive alternative to McLean.

However, compared to the county neighborhoods, the City of Falls Church is a bit more walkable, as it's close to shopping on Broad Street (Route 7) and the homes are a mix of older and newer homes on smaller lots. In that regard, it is similar to Del Ray, though not as quasi-bohemian.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:08 PM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,089,252 times
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Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
In the City of Alexandria, many of the children who attend the local public elementary schools switch to private schools beginning in middle school, to a considerably greater degree than in Arlington, Fairfax or Loudoun Counties or the City of Falls Church. This has been the case for many years. That doesn't mean motivated students can't get a good education at GW Middle or TC Willliams High, but it does tell you that a fair number of parents who move into Alexandria thinking they'll send their kids to the public schools change their mind at some point. Of course, I guess it also means that they like the convenience of Alexandria, if they stay and opt for private schools rather than move elsewhere.

The City of Falls Church is less diverse than Fairfax County as a whole, and some parts of unincorporated Fairfax County with Falls Church addresses in particular. However, the schools in the county with Falls Church addresses that are closest to the City of Falls Church (i.e., those in the McLean and Marshall HS pyramids) are generally comparable to the City of Falls Church schools. Some may have seen last month's edition of Washingtonian Magazine, which focused on local real estate and recommended the 22043 zip code of Falls Church - including neighborhoods that attend Haycock and Shrevewood Elementaries - as a less expensive alternative to McLean.

However, compared to the county neighborhoods, the City of Falls Church is a bit more walkable, as it's close to shopping on Broad Street (Route 7) and the homes are a mix of older and newer homes on smaller lots. In that regard, it is similar to Del Ray, though not as quasi-bohemian.
Thanks for your perspective, particularly regarding Falls Church. Others here have said that there are parts of unincorporated Falls Church that weren't so desirable. But I wouldn't know from experience so I appreciate you sharing yours.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:34 AM
 
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Here are my thoughts for Del Ray and Falls Church City - I like both and think they both have lots to offer.

FCC:
-Excellent schools. They give many schools in Fairfax a "run for their money".
-A commercial sector on Broad Street that continues to develop - mostly smart growth
-Easy access to the WFC and EFC Metros from most sections
-W&OD Trail cuts right through offering great biking/running opportunities
-Lots of traffic on Route 7/Broad Street and multiple times of the day.

Del Ray:
-GREAT restaurants on Mount Vernon Avenue - hands down in this regard better than FCC
-Funky bohemian atmosphere - really the only of its kind in conservative, suburban Northern VA
-Close to Old Town, DC, Pentagon City, etc.
-Close to Braddock Road Metro from some parts, otherwise good bus service

Personally, I would choose Del Ray. I just like that vibe I get walking along Mount Vernon Avenue more than the one I get walking along Broad Street. The weather is so nice, maybe you and your wife could walk the strip along Mount Vernon Avenue and then again on Broad Street and just make comparisons while on your own pace. You see more walking than driving sometimes.

Good luck.
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