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Old 06-16-2012, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,303,379 times
Reputation: 6922

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
I'm glad that this thread popped up as I was just wondering about Alexandria. Does anyone know about the schools there?
Maybe you can type "Alexandria schools" into the search and a more relevant and recent one will pop up. Better yet just read it first without posting as I'm sure there's already enough general info on here about them. If you have more specific questions start a new thread.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:31 AM
 
165 posts, read 202,874 times
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My search of CD didn't come up with much. Does anyone know much about TC Williams? I am looking at Alexandria because I'd like to get closer to work. I have children and am also concerned about crime.

If you'd like for me to stay on topic, the area seems pricey for the small amount of square feet that you'd get. Also, traffic is aggressive and parking would have to be difficult even if you had a local permit. This is definitely one of my concerns. Does anyone know if there are many houses that offer parking, especially for two cars?
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,303,379 times
Reputation: 6922
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
My search of CD didn't come up with much. Does anyone know much about TC Williams? I am looking at Alexandria because I'd like to get closer to work. I have children and am also concerned about crime.

If you'd like for me to stay on topic, the area seems pricey for the small amount of square feet that you'd get. Also, traffic is aggressive and parking would have to be difficult even if you had a local permit. This is definitely one of my concerns. Does anyone know if there are many houses that offer parking, especially for two cars?
Crime's not really an issue in NoVA. What's your income and housing budget and what type of house are you looking for?
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:29 AM
 
165 posts, read 202,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Crime's not really an issue in NoVA. What's your income and housing budget and what type of house are you looking for?
This thread mentioned something about housing projects so that might be a crime concern. Some areas do look pretty rough.

I'd like to keep payments around $3000 per month, so that's about $500,000 for a house. I'd like a stand alone SFH if possible. I'd like for it to be within walking distance of at least a convenience store but ideally restaurants and other attractions. Will have two cars that will need to get parked. Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:06 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 5,594,556 times
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There is indeed a truly nasty looking housing project on the northern end of old town. It affects a couple of nearby streets as well, and is probably the main reason why the northeast quadrant of old town is cheaper than the rest of old town. Nevertheless, the crime rate is actually low even in that area (though I probably wouldn't feel comfortable walking at night there, while I did feel comfortable at all hours in the southeast quadrant). Also, you can literally see an occasional Rolls Royce parked in front of the new townhomes across the street from the project.

Anyway, different strokes, different folks....I absolutely loved my 4 years in Old Town in spite of the tiny apartment we lived in, the rodent problems, the noisy neighbors, etc. I wish we could afford to live there now, but we have a kid and that would also mean paying for private school since I don't like any Alexandria schools. I would probably consider the high school depending on the child, but not the elementary schools.

On the other hand, I felt the same as the OP when I lived in OT back in my 20's. Funny how things changed. I also lived in Kingstowne about 10 years ago and absolutely hated it, but I can see that many people here like it. A post just saying you hate a place isn't that helpful - better to give the specific features that you don't like. I didn't like the monotony of the homes in Kingstowne and the fact that Van Dorn is such an unattractive road. There was nowhere to take a pretty walk.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:12 AM
 
8,987 posts, read 21,202,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
I'm glad that this thread popped up as I was just wondering about Alexandria. Does anyone know about the schools there?
Schools in Alexandria often hold their own against those in other county school districts. It is at the high school level where some become concerned. There is only one high school - TC Williams - which serves the full socioeconomic spectrum of the city. Some parents embrace the opportunity for diversity while others choose to send their kids to private school or relocate further out. As has been shared on this forum, motivated kids can get a quality education at TC Williams.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:29 AM
 
8,987 posts, read 21,202,563 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
This thread mentioned something about housing projects so that might be a crime concern. Some areas do look pretty rough.

I'd like to keep payments around $3000 per month, so that's about $500,000 for a house. I'd like a stand alone SFH if possible. I'd like for it to be within walking distance of at least a convenience store but ideally restaurants and other attractions. Will have two cars that will need to get parked. Thanks.
Since this thread started two years ago, things have changed with lower/working-class level housing in Alexandria.

As stated, the subsidized housing in North Old Town is starting to be replaced by market-rate townhouses and apartments. In the Arlandria neighborhood (north of Del Ray and bordering Arlington), working-class apartments are being replaced by upscale condos. And in the Beauregard Street corridor of the West End, working-class apartments are being razed for upscale housing as part of a larger gentrification plan. Feelings about these plans are mixed and have caused more than a little contention at City Hall. I believe one City Council candidate ran (and barely lost) on the issue of staunching the loss of affordable housing in the city.


Based on your preferred range, you may have an easier time renting in the city than buying. $500K will often get you a decent TH, a smaller rambler, or an SFH in need of TLC.

Your housing budget might be better satisfied in "south" Alexandria below the city line in Fairfax County. Look at neighborhoods east of Route 1/Richmond Highway. The homes won't all be in your range but some will. Route 1 will have most of your usual midscale retail and restaurants although the traffic can be a bear. Unless you're within a few blocks of Route 1, the ability to walk to a convenience store may be a challenge. Old Town Alexandria is just up the road via Route 1 or the rather attractive George Washington Parkway. Some of the most exclusive housing in the area is located here as well as, ironically, some of the more affordable close-in garden apartment complexes. The schools are fine; socioeconomic diversity/international students can pull down standardized test scores at West Potomac and Mount Vernon High Schools compared to other clusters. The "best" high schools in Fairfax County are surrounded by SFHs whose average value may far exceed your housing budget.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,303,379 times
Reputation: 6922
There aren't a whole lot of SFHs in the City of Alexandria in that price range. As Tone mentioned you should look South to Fairfax County. You can buy a nice older home in a good neighborhood for $500K. My kids went to both of the high schools mentioned and had no problems getting into and doing well in college. The schools are actually performing better now I think than they were then.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:37 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,105,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
Schools in Alexandria often hold their own against those in other county school districts. It is at the high school level where some become concerned. There is only one high school - TC Williams - which serves the full socioeconomic spectrum of the city. Some parents embrace the opportunity for diversity while others choose to send their kids to private school or relocate further out. As has been shared on this forum, motivated kids can get a quality education at TC Williams.
It's my sense that the parents who have an issue with ACPS typically either go private or pull their kids out after elementary school. There are only two middle schools and, if a kid does OK at Hammond or George Washington, each of which also serves a wide socio-economic spectrum of students, parents likely will be reasonably confident about his or her ability to navigate TC.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 31,303,379 times
Reputation: 6922
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
It's my sense that the parents who have an issue with ACPS typically either go private or pull their kids out after elementary school. There are only two middle schools and, if a kid does OK at Hammond or George Washington, each of which also serves a wide socio-economic spectrum of students, parents likely will be reasonably confident about his or her ability to navigate TC.
So where do all these disadvantaged kids come from in Alexandria? The Berg's not that big and all I ever see on here is how expensive it is to live in the city. How do their family's afford it? One might start to think there's a lot of subsidized housing or DC like rent control. Are there a lot more low cost housing options (perhaps out West off Duke St.) people should be informed about when asking where to live around there?
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