Oct. 11, 2017
Hello readers! Today, we're featuring a guest post from Jennifer Riner, over at Trulia. This article talks about some great areas to keep in mind if you are thinking of buying a Northern Virginia home.
By Jennifer Riner, Trulia
Finding an affordable home under today’s tight market conditions is challenging. In most major metros, truncated starter home inventory breeds high competition within the first-time home buyer segment. Many entry-level house hunters feel they must compromise on must-haves like school ratings and local attractions to find a reasonable house.
To help pinpoint communities where affordability and livability coexist, Trulia compiled a list of value neighborhoods near the nation’s 100 biggest metros using their housing data along with data provided by their partners Great Schools, Yelp, SpotCrime.com, and CrimeReports.com. The following NoVa communities are ranked by Trulia’s neighborhood value score, an aggregate based on median list price, entry-level affordability, school district information, crime statistics, commute times and nearby amenities. Keep in mind, these are not necessarily the cheapest neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, but rather areas where your dollar goes farthest.
The median home value in Fairlington-Shirlington, a community within Arlington, is currently $408,376. Apart from being reasonably-priced, the joint neighborhoods score best for school districts (8 out of 10). The area also offers low crime rates and a somewhat leisurely commute. Although farther from the urban core, restaurants in Fairlington-Shirlington are considered a highpoint.
Located just 12 miles southwest of Alexandria, Fort Belvoir is a small community named after its historical and distinguished military base. Fort Belvoir scores highest in low crime rates (10 out of 10), but also ranks well in terms of nearby schools. Fort Belvoir is also one of the most affordable communities in NoVa with a median home value of $403,821. One possible drawback to living here is the lack of local amenities – the community scores a mere 1 out of 10 for proximity to restaurants.
Thanks to low crime rates and strong schools, North Springfield is an appealing area for first-time home buyers in Northern Virginia. Plus, the median home value is $462,533, catering to the local entry-level market. North Springfield has opportunities for entry-level buyers without compromising other must-haves, including reasonable commute times. Like Fort Belvoir, neighborhood amenities like restaurants aren’t as frequent in North Springfield, which is something for buyers who dine out often to consider.
If exceedingly low crime rates and top-rated schools are important to you, Groveton should be part of your Northern Virginia home search. The median home value is $443,506, bringing the neighborhood’s affordability score to an impressive 6 out of 10. Although prices are low, commutes are manageable and restaurant proximity is decent.
Pimmit Hills, Falls Church
Tying for the sixth-best value neighborhood in the D.C. metro alongside Groveton is Pimmit Hills, a large town-like neighborhood with a population of 6,094 residents. The median home value is higher at $523,434, but Pimmit Hills is far from unaffordable when compared to D.C. neighborhoods. For contrast, Hill East real estate offers a steep median home value at $830,000. Pimmit Hills stands out because of the area’s low crime rates (9 out of 10) and decent commute times (6 out of 10). Schools aren’t as enticing, but restaurant accessibility is superior compared to other budget-friendly NoVa neighborhoods.
Before you begin narrowing neighborhoods based on their value rankings, use Trulia’s home affordability calculator to outline a reasonable budget. Planning in advance keeps expectations practical and allows for a more efficient search experience.
To learn more about buying your first home, reach out to North Virginia real estate agent Darren Robertson today.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Trulia, based on their research and 3rd party data, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Darren Robertson or the Northern Virginia Home Pro website.