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Old 02-01-2014, 01:02 PM
 
10 posts, read 15,451 times
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All,

We're looking at relocating to Arlington this summer from further out in FFX County.

We are looking for a walkable neighborhood (walk to a few shops/non-fast food restaurants, etc.) preferably near-ish to Metro (could live w/ other decent transit like bus/streetcar). Near one of the bike paths a plus. I work near Courthouse. We'd like to be at $750K or below, but could go a little higher if needed.

SFH or TH would be ok, but SFH preferred (kids play multiple instruments, some of them pretty loud). We don't want/need anything huge, and prefer a small yard to a large one.

We'll have a middle schooler and a high schooler next fall. Both are in FFX AAP programs, so we'd want schools that have good support for them. TBH, this looks to me like pretty much all of the Arlington schools.

So far Westover seems like it has most of what we're looking for, but I am wondering if there are other neighborhoods we should be looking at. Lyon Village would be great, but probably out of reach $-wise. Thoughts on up-and-coming areas in S. Arlington? What's going on w/ the street car? We definitely want to be in Arlington - not FFX. We have looked in Alexandria, but the Arlington schools seem a better fit for us.

This thread (//www.city-data.com/forum/north...hborhoods.html) had some good ideas, but with suggestions spread all over NoVA. We're trying to focus on being close-in, which means Arlington.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:33 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,759 posts, read 10,653,546 times
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Westover, maybe Cherrydale, Lyon Park, Waverly Hills, or Maywood would fulfill your criteria. Most of S. Arlington (other than Glen Carlyn) is zoned for Wakefield HS, which is low-performing. There's a very nice (tiny) neighborhood of SFHs near Court House, just off Veitch (immediately south of Lee Highway), but they probably cost closer to $1M each, I would guess.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:20 PM
 
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Just to clarify, Wakefield has a much higher proportion of students who receive lunch assistance or speak English as a second language than do the other high schools. That is reflected in scores that are used to judge "performance" of schools.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:26 AM
 
1,741 posts, read 2,356,290 times
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DC - You need to be flexible and fast. Arlington houses don't linger around waiting for buyers unless something is drastically wrong. Expand your options by considering a cheaper house that needs some improvement$.

Today, for example, check out AR8213545 5176 11TH ST S, ARLINGTON, VA 22204. It's smaller 4 bedroom but within half a mile of lots of amenities on South Jefferson. It's not that far from the Four Miles Run trail. It's in the Columbia Forest neighborhood and has a yard. It's also been listed as a rental so may need a bit more updating. The 75 Shirlington bus goes right by it. This property has been on the market for three months so there's probably a catch there, but you may want to check it out.

AR8261054 804 HIGHLAND ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22204 just came on the market this week, located in the very convenient Arlington Heights neighborhood. That will go fast, I think. If you have a somewhat higher budget you can work with, also look for properties Under Contract with Kick Out. Those are conditional contracts saddled with contingencies. If you have a good agent, you may be able to walk in and snatch them up if you can counter offer with an uncomplicated sale.

Last edited by ersatz; 02-04-2014 at 12:38 AM.. Reason: more info
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:59 PM
 
67 posts, read 103,513 times
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In addition to Westover, don't forget the surrounding neighborhoods like Dominion Hills and Madison Manor. Right in your price point, walking distance to Westover. Near the metro and a busline runs straight to Ballston.

School pyramids depending on which zone are McKinley/Swanson/Yorktown or Ashlawn/Swanson/W-L.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:58 PM
 
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In my opinion, you'd get the best bang for your buck in neighborhoods like Fairlington, Douglas Park or Green Valley/Nauck, which are all well below the prices of Lyon Village and even Westover, and are all within walking distance of the beautiful new shopping district in Shirlington. Most of that area is zoned for Wakefield, but don't let that steer you away from it. Wakefield is the lowest performing high school in Arlington, but talking about the worst high school in Arlington is like talking about the warmest weather in Antarctica. You really can't go wrong at any school level in Arlington.

If you're truly unsure about the high schools/middle schools, go on one of the many tours offered by those schools for prospective parents and see for yourself. You will surely find that your concerns are more geared towards housing prices and walkability than towards school zoning.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:36 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 4,489,080 times
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Problem with Shirlington is that it's not metro accessible.

I'd rather live off of Columbia Pike or near 23rd Street South around Crystal City, the 16-series Metro buses run every 10 minutes and IMO are as good as the outdoor Metro stations.

If OP works near Courthouse, you'll be getting a TH for 750k near(ish) to Metro. You might luck out and get a smaller but renovated house near Route 29.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
Problem with Shirlington is that it's not metro accessible.

I'd rather live off of Columbia Pike or near 23rd Street South around Crystal City, the 16-series Metro buses run every 10 minutes and IMO are as good as the outdoor Metro stations.

If OP works near Courthouse, you'll be getting a TH for 750k near(ish) to Metro. You might luck out and get a smaller but renovated house near Route 29.
The problem is that for "near 23rd St S." there are few SFHs that come on the market in that price range, and very few THs in any price range, in the entire zip code, due to land costs. $750K will get you about a 1300-1500 (above ground) square foot 1940s SFH that is only partially renovated. You might find one lower than that that needs more work (a very run down house on a semi-busy street in that size range recently sold in the mid 600s). People who live near 23rd St. S can walk less than a mile to the metro (two metros, in some locations (Blue & Yellow), so that keeps the prices higher than if you HAD to take a bus to the metro.

My guess is that, *IF* things play out as the planners hope, SFHs in good locations near Columbia Pike and close in will soon escalate in value. Right now I agree with you that it is an option to be considered because the prices are still lower than in other places named in this thread, but if things DON'T play out as hoped, the values may not go up as much as elsewhere or may go down. So it is riskier.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:51 PM
 
10 posts, read 15,451 times
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Some good advice - thanks!

We drove around a bit in Westover, Shirlington, Fairlington and Nauck today. The "Villages at Shirlington" shopping area we saw felt very plastic (a lot like Reston Town Center out near me). That's not a terrible thing, but I prefer the "feel" of Westover.

I think S. Arlington might still be doable, I'd just have to drive to work (it'd be a lot better than my current commute), but mostly I think we'll be looking hard at Westover & surrounding (Dominion Hills, Leeway, Leeway Heights, etc.).

Thanks again!
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:36 PM
 
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
9,267 posts, read 5,055,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
Problem with Shirlington is that it's not metro accessible.

I'd rather live off of Columbia Pike or near 23rd Street South around Crystal City, the 16-series Metro buses run every 10 minutes and IMO are as good as the outdoor Metro stations.

If OP works near Courthouse, you'll be getting a TH for 750k near(ish) to Metro. You might luck out and get a smaller but renovated house near Route 29.
The OP said "nearish METRO". Not everyone needs public trans on a regular basis.
Shirlington/Green Valley is being transformed on a large scale. Look at this area on a map, and you'll see
what a great location it is.

Urban lot sizes, so less yard work than Fairfax or Springfield.
Great restaurants and foot traffic on streets at night. 20-minutes to the Warner Theater, and 20-minutes to Tysons.
One of many good areas in Northern Virginia. Just a suggestion.
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