Alexandria City

The top three neighborhoods area real estate agents say are the most sought-after in the county.

Photo by C. Davidson for Visit Alexandria

Del Ray

Del Ray is like a “beach town without a beach,” says Mary Ashley Rhule, a Realtor with McEnearney Associates in Alexandria. The neighborhood’s laid-back vibe primarily attracts families who love to walk to the mom-and-pop businesses such as The Dog Store or one of the many coffee shops, cafes and restaurants along Mount Vernon Avenue. The Diary Godmother, beloved by many families in and around Del Ray, has been serving frozen custard for 17 years. The neighborhood has a reputation for attracting artists and those who appreciate the free-spirit nature of the community. Annual community events include Art on the Avenue, which fills the streets of Del Ray with people shopping for arts and crafts every October.

The rest of the year, neighbors enjoy numerous playgrounds, dog parks and catching up with each other while strolling between errands.

Del Ray’s real estate consists mostly of single-family homes, with prices starting in the low- to mid-$800,000s for an older three-bedroom, one- or two-bathroom home that needs a little work. Some rowhouses are available in the $500,000 to $600,000 price range. Newer, large single-family homes in the neighborhood are priced as high as $1.8 million.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $89,134
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: Maury Elementary, George Washington Middle, T.C. Williams High
Zillow Forecast: Up 2.2 percent in 2018

Old Town Alexandria

Tourists flock to Old Town to absorb the colonial atmosphere among the historic homes and sites such as Christ Church—where they can sit in George Washington’s family pew—or enjoy a meal at Gadsby’s Tavern, which has been serving food since 1770. But real people live in Old Town, too. “People like the sophisticated city feel of living in Old Town, where they can walk to shops and restaurants and parks,” says Rhule.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center entices visitors away from nearby shops and restaurants and opens onto a marina filled with street performers and boats in sunny weather. Founders Park provides a quiet spot for strolling next to the Potomac.

Most people think of Old Town as historic rowhouses, but the neighborhood also has new high-end condos and townhouses as well. If you’re willing to spend $900,000 to $1 million, you can find a 2,200-square-foot rowhouse built within the last couple of decades, with three bedrooms and a two-car garage, says Rhule. But if you want to live in the sought-after Southeast quadrant, you’ll find only smaller townhouses with two bedrooms and no parking. She says the most expensive homes in Old Town are the historic properties.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $89,134
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: Lyles-Crouch Elementary, George Washington Middle, T.C. Williams High
Zillow Forecast: Up 1.6 percent in 2018

The Dairy Godmother. // Photo by C. Davidson for Visit Alexandria

Rosemont

West of Old Town and Del Ray is Rosemont, a neighborhood of older stately homes that offers a more sophisticated vibe than Del Ray, says Rhule. Instead of finding a lot of teardowns that have been replaced with McMansions, Rosemont has mostly renovated single-family homes that are priced in the upper $800,000s to $1 million and up. The neighborhood, named after Rosemont in Philadelphia, was originally developed in the early 1900s. Much of the community is part of a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While the neighborhood offers mature trees and a suburban feel, residents can still walk to the shops, cafes and restaurants on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray and quickly travel to Old Town, which appeals to families as well as young professionals and empty-nesters.
Residents of the southern part of Rosemont can walk to the King Street Metro station, while those who live in the northern part can walk to the Braddock Road Metro station. Commuters like the easy access to Old Town, downtown D.C. and to Routes 1 and 395 as well as the Beltway.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $89,134
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: George Mason Elementary, George Washington Middle, T.C. Williams High
Zillow Forecast: Up 0.8 percent in 2018

(Best NoVA NeighborhoodsMarch 2018)

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