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Old 02-12-2007, 11:17 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,346,916 times
Reputation: 1792


After reading another thread (which was not the first) where this was presented as an issue, I decided to post a general thread about a phenomenon that many people looking at moving to Virginia, particularly Northern Virginia, may be unaware of that is somewhat unique to the area. Much of Northern Virginia is made up of unincorporated communities. These are communities with loose borders, no town halls, no police departments, no town taxes, etc. that do not lie within the borders of any specific city. As such, many of these communities are lumped in with neighboring cities when they are marketed for selling, and their postal addresses are for the nearest actual city which may be several miles away, and oftentimes whose character differs greatly from the city that is masquerading as a part of. Examples of this in Northern Virginia include Falls Church, Alexandria, Fairfax and Herndon. All of these communities are actual cities with defined boundaries, however there are multiple surrounding communities that the post office and realtors lump in with them. The city of Falls Church for example, is a tiny, self-contained community, extremely safe, expensive, with a good selection of old homes, a small walkable downtown and some of the best schools in the state. Surrounding communities outside of the Falls Church city limits include places like Seven Corners and Bailey's Crossroads, grittier suburbs with higher crime (albeit, still low as that is a relative term in Northern Virginia), generally poorer performing schools, smaller older homes, strip malls galore and just in general an entirely different character. These communities are routinely referred to as Falls Church. The same goes for Alexandria. The Route 1 corridor of Fairfax County, south of the city of Alexandria, is generally regarded as the worst part of Fairfax County yet is referred to as Alexandria, even at points some 10 miles south of the actual city. And in the case of Herndon and Fairfax, oftentimes the opposite holds true where those areas outside of the town but with a postal code, are much nicer than the town's reputation. The whole thing can be very misleading, so I encourage people when looking to move to the DC area in particular, to not rely exclusively on city names. Use mapquest, look at the surrounding community names and research those as they can be far different from the community you think they are in.
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:40 AM
213 posts, read 917,661 times
Reputation: 69
zip codes, therefore the mailing "city" is assigned by the post office. much of Virginia is in counties, not cities. the mailing address has nothing to do with the legal jusrisdiction.

where I am a Williamsburg mailing address can ve in any of: the City of Williamsburg, Charles City Coubty, James City County or York County.

This is not unique to Virginia.

I have homes in SC, all with a Charlestonb mailing address, none in the City of Charleston. I have a home in Fl that is the county.

again, this is not unique to Va and zip codes are post office distinctions.
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