Stafford County is located in Northern Virginia just 40 miles south of Washington D.C. The Stafford County real estate market is the perfect place to look if you are seeking a quiet home life and friendly neighborhoods. Houses for sale in Stafford, VA, are nestled between vibrant D.C. and Fredericksburg's rolling countryside, with easy access to I-95, park and ride lots, and the Metro line. When you buy a home in Stafford County, you truly get the best of both worlds with easy access to the city and the ability to come home to the peace and quiet of one of its lovely suburbs. Stafford homes are very popular, and Stafford has become one of the fastest-growing counties in the USA. It is also one of the highest income areas, coming in at number 6 on the Census Bureau report.
Stafford County has a long and vibrant history, including being home to a variety of indigenous people for more than 1,000 years. When the English started to colonize the area in 1608, there were 32 American Indian tribes living along what is today the Tidewater area of Stafford. One of the more famous English settlements was Jamestown, run by John Smith. This is also where the story of Pocahontas was born.
Stafford County was established in 1664, getting its name from the town of Staffordshire in England. The area of Stafford County was a much larger area than it is today. As the population grew in Stafford, new counties were born, including Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties, and the City of Alexandria.
George Washington spent a good part of his childhood at his home in Ferry Farm, which was also the source of the famous “Cherry Tree” story. His father, Augustine Washington, had the Colonial Forge High School built during this time. The famous Aquia Church, which was built in 1757, is still running today and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
During the time of the Revolutionary War, arms were furnished for colonial rebels by Stafford ironworks. The sandstone quarries from Government Island were used in the construction of both the White House and the United States Capitol building.
Stafford County was also home to battlegrounds in the Civil War and was repeatedly occupied by more than 100,000 troops. In 1862, it was the area where thousands of African-American slaves made an exodus, known as the Trail of Freedom, over the Rappahannock River to reach Union lines and their freedom.
Another famous area is Aquia Harbour, which both Confederate and Union soldiers struggled to keep control of during the Civil War, with Potomac Creek Bridge being a highly strategic area. During the late 19th century, Gari Melchers, a famous Impressionist artist, lived in the area. Belmont House still stands today as a historical place. Over time, Stafford County has grown and become one of D.C. and Northern Virginia's core counties.
Not only is this area the seat of government, but also it is home to several big defense installations, including the Quantico Marine Corps Base, the national laboratory and academy of the FBI, and NCIS Headquarters. The county is home to many who commute to D.C. for work, as well as home to military households. Over the past few years, Stafford County real estate has seen major growth, suburbanization, and retail and housing projects.
Stafford County is listed at number 9 as the best place to live for young professionals and number 11 as the best place for outdoor activities. It is home to an abundance of performing arts and fine arts resources, as well as being close to both Richmond and D.C.’s arts and culture resources.
The eastern border of Stafford County is the Potomac River, and the southern border is the Rappahannock River, giving Stafford County a shoreline of more than 50 miles to enjoy. Its numerous lakes and waterways provide a variety of water sports, fishing and access to the Chesapeake Bay. The well-known Government Island is home to a natural park and archaeological site with interpretive signs and winding trails. There are 11 public parks in the county, as well as athletic and sports programs for all ages. Many events and services are available to those who make their homes in Stafford County, including dance, music, cultural arts, workshops, special interest groups, and self-improvement classes.
There are also many historical landmarks that are still operating today, like Aquia Church. You can also find unique artisans in the area and many shops are locally owned. Another area to enjoy if you purchase a home in Stafford County is the Potomac Point Vineyard, which is pet-friendly.
The cost of land and houses for sale in Stafford County are significantly lower than many other Northern Virginia communities. It's a place where county amenities are abundant and property taxes are low. You can find starter homes, gated communities, apartments, cluster houses, and townhomes throughout the Stafford County real estate market, some of which are waterfront and golf communities. Nearly 80 percent of the homes in Stafford County are owned.
The Stafford County real estate market is home to 15 neighborhoods. Nearly half of the homes in Stafford County were built between 1970 and 1999. Twenty-five percent of Stafford homes were built after 2000, and you can also find some homes that were built in the 1930s or earlier. It's common to see large lots, 3- to 4-bedroom single-family homes, and 4-story townhouses for sale in Stafford County.
If you love water sports, you'll find plenty to do in Stafford. Fishing, waterskiing and boating are common due to its promixity to the Potomac River and Rappahannock River, and access to Chesapeake Bay. Fishing enthusiasts will be happy to hear you can catch croakers, catfish and bass in these waters.
Another perk of the Stafford County real estate market is its availability of many large single-family homes at much lower prices than you will find in other areas close to D.C. There are houses for sale in Stafford County to fit a range of budgets. From riverfront properties to single-family homes hidden within quiet suburban neighborhoods, there is a home here for everyone.
In some communities with low property taxes, it seems that amenities and upkeep are sacrificed. This isn't the case with real estate in Stafford, where residents are able to enjoy parks with trails for walking and biking, public libraries, well-kept playgrounds, sports complexes, and two public swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor.
Stafford County residents love the close proximity to the Marine Base Quantico, a top employer for the region for more than 100 years. Quantico employs around 28,000 civilian and military personnel, and many choose homes in Stafford County for their affordability and easier commute outside the city.
Did you know that Stafford County supports entrepreneurship and encourages small businesses? The county provides assistance to small businesses, such as offering tax advantages, fast-tracking permits for insurance, and finding development opportunities and grants. Stafford County real estate is a good option if you have a small business that requires access to D.C. and the surrounding areas.
Stafford County has easy access to Interstate 95, which runs through the county and provides many exits onto other major roads, such as Route 1. There are two lines of the Virginia Railway Express, which runs all the way to D.C. and connects with other trains, like Amtrak. There is also the new regional airport. You may want to own a vehicle in order to get around, but there are public transportation options. The Fred bus makes stops on I-95 between exits 126 to 140, along with a few east and west lines. You also have access to taxi services and Greyhound buses.
If you live in a Stafford home and work in downtown D.C. or other areas in Northern Virginia, there are metro stations along the yellow and blue lines you can use, with park and ride lots for the Metro's southernmost stops. The Blue Line runs into Alexandria and the Yellow Line runs into Huntington.
The Stafford real estate market is home to many lovely neighborhoods and communities. Whether you want a home that is closer to the city, a home that is a bit more rural, or a home in between, you will definitely be able to find a house for sale in Stafford County that you will love.
Stafford Courthouse is a small town just 10 miles north of Fredericksburg and about 40 miles south of D.C. Quantico is just north of this community. Stafford Courthouse has 15 neighborhoods, including Hampton Oaks; Park Ridge; Austin Ridge, which is the more expensive area; and Greenridge, which is the most affordable area. Homes for sale in Stafford Courthouse range from single-family detached homes with 3 to 4 bedrooms to terraced homes and townhomes.
This town is considered to be a military town, with 13.3 percent of the workforce in the armed forces. The local economy here is also focused on construction and public service. It has a higher level of education, a good job economy, and affordable homes, which is why so many will sacrifice the 30 minutes or so it can take to commute to work. The town is ethnically diverse and the ancestry of the residents includes English, Irish, German, Italian and Romanian.
Aquia Harbour is 13 miles north of Fredericksburg and home to historical sites such as Aquia Church, which was built in 1757. It's one of the most popular neighborhoods for Stafford County real estate and is home to gated waterfront golf communities. It allows for access to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, and residents can enjoy the walking trails, playgrounds, parks, and driving ranges. It offers a bit of the bustling city and the comfort of a quiet and friendly place to live.
Brooke sits near Crow's Nest Natural Preserve and on the Historic Places register. It features many mid-sized single-family homes that are affordable. The community is well-established and began in 2006. It includes the smaller community of Brooke Ridge, known for its reasonably priced expansive homes. The community has been developing since 1998. The Fredericksburg train line serves the area and connects with other major roadways, making this a great option within the Stafford County real estate market for those who have to commute to D.C.
Widewater sits on the banks of the Potomac River and features large 3- to 4-bedroom single-family homes that are quite affordable. The community here is well-established and consists of Widewater Village and Widewater Beach, which offers competitively priced mid-sized homes. Most of the homes here were built between 1970 and 1999 and range from medium-sized 3- to 4-bedroom homes to larger single-family homes of 4 to 5 bedrooms. If you buy a Stafford home in this area you will be close to the Potomac Point Winery and Vineyard, which is pet-friendly.
Boswell's Corner is situated just along Route 1 and outside of Quantico's boundary line. Homes in this area of the Stafford County real estate market are a bit more expensive, consisting of 3- to 4-bedroom mid-sized single-family homes, smaller 2-bedroom homes, studios, townhouses and mobile homes. Residents are a mix of owners and renters, and homes here were mostly built between 1970 to 1999, with a few being constructed after 2000. Many of the residents here work actively with the military and government. Part of the charm of this neighborhood is its attached and row houses, which you will find in abundance in Boswell's Corner. It's also a very diverse neighborhood, and many people with Jamaican ancestry reside here.
This is another community within the Stafford real estate market that served as off-base housing for those stationed at Quantico. Part of this neighborhood was a smaller subdivision called Midway Island, but this was torn down and is now home to Midway Research Center. Aquia is a bit more expensive but still affordable, with medium-sized to larger single-family homes and mobile homes for sale in Stafford County. The homes here were mostly built from 1970 to 1999. The government and military are one of the major employers in this area. One thing you will notice about this neighborhood is that it has a lot of 4- to 5-bedroom homes or homes that have had additions put on them. It also has a population of college students.
Right now, Stafford County real estate is considered to be a hot seller's market. In the last 12 months, home appreciation has risen by 3.3 percent, making it a good time to invest. Homes are getting multiple offers, so you'll have to be quick if you see houses for sale in Stafford County. Some homes are selling a bit above their asking price, so make sure you put in a competitive bid.
Stafford County consists of 31 public schools serving almost 28,000 students. The schools here have either met or exceeded the standards of learning tests. It's Virginia's largest division and all of the schools in the county are accredited. It also offers higher education options, such as the University of Mary Washington and the Marine Corps University. You can also find many private, specialized and undergraduate training institutions nearby if you live in a Stafford home.
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The Stafford County real estate market offers a variety of amenities, from top restaurants to its many parks and historical sites. In fact, it has one of the highest concentrations of historical sites and museums. Aquia Church is one of the area's oldest colonial churches that is still running today. There's also the Stafford Civil War Park, with its historic markers, trails and picnic area. You can visit Government Island, a 17-acre site that is known for its sandstone quarry, which was used in building the White House. Or, you can enjoy its many scenic trails and boardwalks.
Stafford homes for sale are also very close to several beautiful national parks with amazing trails that range from easy to challenging. One of these is Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve. This spawning, nursery and feeding ground is home to 49 fish species, shellfish and mussels, and is also a nesting habitat for the bald eagle. Covering 3,055 acres of protected land, it is also a habitat for nearly 60 species of songbirds, and there are areas that played a large part in historical moments, like the Colonial, Native American, and Civil Wars.
Stretched over 42 acres of land, this park is known for its role in the Potomac Winter Encampment of 1863. You can explore three of its earthen artillery fortifications, several of the winter hut/holes used by soldiers, and a Colonial bridge. Follow trails that take you past old colonial canons and stop to have a picnic at its many designated picnic stops.
When you live in a Stafford home, you can visit many great cafes to catch up with a friend over coffee or enjoy fine dining in the many local restaurants. Try the Agora Downtown Coffee Shop and Roastery for lunch, or the Mason-Dixon Cafe if you want some traditional local comfort food. Basilico is another gem, with its New York deli theme and tasty Italian meals. You will definitely find something for everyone if you choose a home in Stafford County.
The property taxes in Northern Virginia will vary depending on where you live. In some instances, you may pay both city and county taxes. Property taxes tend to fall around the national average of 1.08 percent, and Stafford County real estate is known as having low taxes.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can enjoy when you buy a home in Stafford County. With lower taxes that don't sacrifice amenities, affordable housing, and a mix of civilian and military households, you'll find the perfect area for you. You will have access to some of the top-rated public schools for K-12, as well as community colleges, tech schools and universities.
If you want to find the right home in Stafford, give our real estate team a call. We have a lot of experience within the Stafford County real estate market and will help you find your perfect forever home.