Fairfax

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

Summer on the Green. // Photo courtesy of the Town of Vienna, Photo by Adam Kincaid

Farifax East

Town of Vienna

The Town of Vienna entices buyers with excellent schools and, for many residents, the ability to walk to restaurants and shops on Maple Avenue. “In the past, buyers wanted to move to Great Falls and to Oakton for big houses with a lot of land, but now they’re more attracted by the idea of being able to walk places,” says Lex Lianos, a Realtor with Weichert Realtors in Vienna.

Vienna is known for its annual Halloween Parade, block parties, a Fourth of July parade and free summertime concerts, all of which build a strong sense of community among neighbors.

People who want to live in McLean, North Arlington or Falls Church but find those areas too pricey like Vienna, because the houses cost 10 to 15 percent less than in those areas.
In the Vienna Woods section of the Town of Vienna, Lianos says there have been many teardowns. If you can find an older rambler or small single-family home, you might find one priced in the $600,000s, he says, but most of the newer single-family homes are priced from $1.1 to $1.9 million.

For commuters, Vienna offers quick access to commuter routes and to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield and Vienna Metro stations for Orange Line service.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $139,201
Average Commute Time: 27 minutes
Schools: Vienna Elementary, Thoreau Middle, James Madison High
Zillow Forecast: Up 1.4 percent in 2018

Mantua

A sense of community is essential to many buyers today, says Morgan Knull, an associate broker with RE/MAX Gateway which is why bidding wars have broken out for houses in Mantua, a neighborhood between Route 50 and Little River Turnpike. Knull says this neighborhood of single-family homes has always been popular for its sense of identity and midcentury architecture.

“It’s an older suburb where everyone knows their neighbors,” says Knull. “There’s a private pool club in the community that many people join.”

The Mantua Swim and Tennis Club is a center for neighborhood gatherings and many neighbors also join the civic association, which produces a monthly newsletter to keep residents connected. Eakin Community Park offers picnic areas, playgrounds and access to walking trails.

In addition, it’s location just outside the Beltway and close to I-66 makes it ideal for commuters.

Perhaps even more essential for families are the schools, which have an excellent reputation within the already highly praised Fairfax County School system.
Houses in Mantua are priced from the $800,000s and up depending on their condition and size. Unlike some communities where the homes are homogeneous, Mantua has a mix of ramblers, split-levels, colonials and modern homes, most on large lots.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $105,297
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: Mantua Elementary, Frost Middle, W.T. Woodson High
Zillow Forecast: Up 2.1 percent in 2018

Kent Gardens

While most prestigious neighborhoods in McLean command home prices in the millions, Kent Gardens—an older neighborhood that backs to Kirby Road and Westmoreland Road—offers great schools, a strong sense of community and home prices that are a little more affordable than adjacent neighborhoods, says Scott Avery, president of AveryHess, Realtors in Tysons Corner.

“You can still find some homes in Kent Gardens priced in the low $700,000s,” says Avery. “Those tend to be older Cape Cod-style homes and ramblers, but they’re on nice lots. A lot of homes in the neighborhood have been remodeled or are teardowns, which are priced from $1.2 to $1.4 million.”

While that’s certainly pricey, Avery says that’s a better deal than the prices for houses on the south side of Kirby Road, where prices start at $1.1 million or more and climb quickly to as much as $3.5 million.

The big draw for this family-oriented neighborhood is Kent Gardens Elementary School, which has a French immersion program and a reputation as an excellent school. The Kent Gardens Recreation Club, open since 1957, offers swimming and diving lessons and teams, along with social activities in the summer months. The 26-acre Kent Gardens Park features hiking trails and a playground.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $186,962
Average Commute Time: 27 minutes
Schools: Kent Gardens Elementary, Longfellow Middle, McLean High
Zillow Forecast: Up 2.2 percent in 2018

fairfax-west
Photo courtesy of Fair Oaks Mall

Fairfax West

Country Club Hills

Affordability is the draw, particularly for first-time buyers, for the single-family homes in Fairfax City’s Country Club Hills neighborhood. “Buyers can find a similar house in Vienna, but it would cost $75,000 to $100,000 more,” says Robyn Burdett, an associate broker with Re/Max Living in Fairfax. “The property taxes are lower because the city is separate from Fairfax County, but you get the same level of resources and services, such as road maintenance and snowplows.”

The neighborhood has dog parks and big trees, with single-family homes typically built on one-fourth-acre lots. The commons parkland in the neighborhood backs to Accotink Creek. The Army Navy Country Club and a swimming pool are also within walking distance. Residents can walk to Fairfax Circle, an area which is about to be redeveloped, according to Burdett. Residents are also close to Fairfax City, which has a regional library that opened in 2008 as well as shops and restaurants.

Rambler-style homes with 1,300 square feet can be found for around $500,000, says Burdett.

The Country Club Hills Civic Association has been active since 1954 and the community brings residents together for barbecues and ice cream socials or just casual meet-ups in the park.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $105,297
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: Daniels Run Elementary, Lanier Middle, Fairfax High
Zillow Forecast: Up 1.6 percent in 2018

Greenbriar

To some people, the Greenbriar neighborhood in Fairfax may seem like quintessential suburbia, but Burdett says the secret to this community is that the schools are sought-after and the area is surprisingly walkable. Residents can walk to schools and to the Greenbriar Town Center, which has numerous shops and restaurants. Nearby are the Chantilly Regional Library, Fair Lakes Shopping Center, Fair Oaks Mall and Fairfax Corner.
The single-family homes, built in the 1970s, are priced in the $400,000s and $500,000s, says Burdett, typically without a basement but including a garage.

She says there’s a strong sense of community among neighbors, particularly because there’s a community pool to join and a small-town feel to the area.

Kids can walk to either of the two nearby elementary schools and to Rocky Run Middle School, which keeps the neighborhood active during the school year, while the pool acts as the central meeting place in the summer.

There’s an active civic association in Greenbriar and a community center that can be rented for private activities. Greenbriar Park has athletic fields as well as open space. The Rocky Run Stream Valley Park runs through the community and has miles of walking trails. Commuters have quick access to the Fairfax County Parkway, Route 50 and I-66.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $105,297
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: Greenbriar East or Greenbriar West Elementary, Rocky Run Middle, Chantilly High
Zillow Forecast: Up 1.7 percent in 2018

Mosby Woods

The single-family homes in Mosby Woods—priced in the upper-$400,000s to the mid-$500,000s, according to Burdett—appeal to first-time buyers because of the affordability. The first homeowners moved into the community in the early 1960s and in some ways the neighborhood still has an old-fashioned vibe.

“It feels like a small town, with community events all year like a Halloween party and an Easter Egg hunt,” says Burdett. “They have fireworks and a big community gathering on the Fourth of July, too.”

Like Country Club Hills, Mosby Woods is in Fairfax City, which means residents don’t pay county taxes.

While not as walkable as some other neighborhoods such as Country Club Hills, the houses and yards are a little bigger even though the residences are relatively affordable. The Vienna and Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro stations are within a short drive of the community.
The schools are a big attraction, too, with Mosby Woods Elementary School earning high ratings. The community has a 50-year old swimming center that was recently renovated, including a 25-meter, eight-lane pool and a designated area for parties. The community association, in operation for 55 years, keeps neighbors informed about local news and activities.

Stats:

Median Household Income: $105,297
Average Commute Time: 29 minutes
Schools: Mosby Woods Elementary School, Lanier Middle, Fairfax High
Zillow Forecast: Up 1.6 percent in 2018

(Best NoVA NeighborhoodsMarch 2018)

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