Situated just across the Potomac River from Maryland and adjacent to Washington, DC’s northern line, Northern Virginia is known for its upscale suburban lifestyles, stunning homes and diverse communities. It is home to several counties that offer a taste of suburbia in metropolitan settings: Fairfax, Arlington and Loudon.
Fairfax County is one of the five richest counties in the United States in respect to income levels, and home prices tend to range on the high end as they pertain to the Washington DC metropolitan housing market. Here, you’ll find a variety of home styles and lifestyles, including single-family homes (colonial, contemporary, rambler, foyer and split-level), townhome living as well as mid and high-rise condominium residential options. Below is an overview of some of Fairfax County’s most popular communities.
Alexandria. Located just a few miles from Washington, DC, Alexandria is one of Washington metropolitan’s most popular suburban communities. In 2019, the city was named one of the top three small cities in the United States. Established in 1749, Alexandria offers a quaint historic feel with homes that feature 18th– and 19th-century architectural features while other sections of the city provide contemporary housing options perfect for today’s millennial workforce. For history buffs, Alexandria delivers outstanding value—particularly in Old Town Alexandria, considered by many as the jewel of the city. For seekers of the metropolitan lifestyle, Alexandria offers awesome amenities, including a variety of retail outlets, award-winning restaurants, access to DC’s robust public transportation system, and exciting cultural and entertainment venues. For busy travelers, Alexandria is just a stone’s throw away from DC’s Reagan National Airport.
The City of Fairfax. Located about 20 minutes outside Washington, DC, the quaint City of Fairfax offers the amenities of a vibrant urban area, including a mix of commercial, office, retail and residential communities. Home to George Mason University, Fairfax has the feel of a small college town while offering residents big city amenities such as access to the Virginia Rail Express (VRE), which delivers travelers directly to downtown Washington, DC.
Kingstowne. Located on the outskirts of Alexandria is Kingstowne, a culturally and ethnically-diverse community that is home to middle-class families as well as single professionals. Known for its thriving communities, Kingstowne offers everything from plush apartment living to contemporary townhomes to spacious single-family homes.
Vienna. Vienna is home to Northern Virginia’s leading retail district, Tyson’s Corner, which is undoubtedly Fairfax County’s premier shopping destination. Here, you can literally shop until you drop at Tysons I and Tysons II—a spectacular retail experience for shoppers seeking high-end apparel, electronics, and other goods. In addition to a vibrant retail district, Vienna offers great residential options for single professionals as well as families with middle- and high-income levels, including tree -lined neighborhoods, high-rise condos, and upscale townhome communities. For frequent travelers, Vienna offers quick access to Dulles International Airport.
McLean. If want to explore the great outdoors while enjoying a metropolitan lifestyle, McLean is just the residential area for you. This family-oriented community has no shortage of outdoor attractions that gets you close to nature, but in an urban setting. For instance, Turkey Run Park lets you explore nature’s treasures while Great Falls National Park allows you to experience Mother Nature’s pristine scenic views. Moreover, this well-situated area of metropolitan DC offers easy access to both Dulles Airport and DC’s Reagan National Airport.
Known to many as the home of the Pentagon, Arlington County is more than a residential option for members of the U.S. military. The county is also a huge draw to government and corporate employees. Its proximity to Washington, DC along with metropolitan style amenities offered by it most popular residential areas—Arlington, Rosslyn, Ballston, and Crystal City—are magnets for corporations and small businesses establishing a presence in the area. Consequently, this county offers individuals and families the best of both worlds: a variety of contemporary living options, seamless access to downtown Washington, DC, and family-friendly amenities such great public schools, safe neighborhoods, and a plethora of retail outlets.
Ballston. Ballston is clearly a millennial’s dream! Located on the western end of Rosslyn, 75 percent of Ballston’s residents are under the age of 45. These young professionals set the pace, and the tone, for residential living in Ballston. Considered a walkable neighborhood, this well-planned community offers more than 50 restaurants in a five-block radius, a variety retail options for the sophisticated shopper, and has become a hub of innovation and technological research in the Washington, DC Metro area. Ballston’s high-rise condominium living are totally in sync with busy millennials while turn of the century style homes are favorites for family-oriented homebuyers.
Rosslyn. Boasting a true metropolitan feel, Rosslyn is the closet Virginia town to Washington, DC. Featuring high-rise buildings-both commercial and residential—this area is perfect for those who love the city feel but yearn for a bit of suburbia. Located just across from DC’s Georgetown (via the Key Bridge), Rosslyn offers some of the region’s most contemporary housing options as well as easy access to downtown DC via metro rail, including, the Rosslyn and Clarendon stations.
Crystal City. Largely occupied by commercial, professional buildings and retail outlets, Crystal City is home to some 22,000 residents. It is a prime location for mid to high income earners who prefer living in an urban setting. Its residential options mostly include high and mid-rise condominiums, townhomes and apartment complexes, although neighborhoods of single-family homes line the city’s outer perimeter. Located just south of Washington. DC, this urban village has its own Metro rail station and is located next to Reagan National Airport—a bonus for frequent business travelers. For military and civilian employees, the Pentagon sits close by making the drive to work short and almost seamless. Chosen as the location of Amazon’s second headquarters, Crystal City has become a major draw for homebuyers relocating to the area.
Individuals who like having access to a metropolitan area but prefer not to live in an urban setting would find Loudon County to be the perfect choice. The largely rural county is located about 36 miles outside of Washington, DC but offers quick access to the city via Rt 66. Loudon County offers residents a more laid-back living experience that is ideal for raising a family or enjoy retirement after a long career. The home of Dulles International Airport, the county is experiencing phenomenal growth and has caught the eye of entrepreneurs and business owners relocating to the Washington, DC region, particularly those in the field of Information Technology.
As such, Loudon county has evolved into a sought-after location for individuals who want to do business, work and entertain in Washington, DC, while enjoying a rural residential experience outside the DC metropolitan area.
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