When someone asks me for my professional real estate opinion about where is the best place to live in the DC area, I never hesitate to tell them the unrefuted truth: It Depends.
Truthfully, "best" is subjective. I'll leave the rankings up to the professional statisticians who do that sort of thing. For my part, I can only report on what I know based on experience, or the experiences of those that I have worked with or who have been my clients.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my own neighborhood of West Springfield, Virginia as one of the best places to live in Northern Virginia.
West Springfield started to be developed in the late 1950s. Springfield, Virginia grew out of growing demand from Soldiers assigned to nearby Fort Belvoir, and "beltway bandits" wanting to get away from the city.
In 1854, the recently completed Orange and Alexandria rail station at Backlick Road was named Springfield. It was named as such because there were numerous natural springs around the station. The population started to grow slightly, but students in Springfield still went to school in Alexandria until about 1911, when the first school opened there.
Springfield was not developed until the 1950s and 1960s, when demand for housing from GIs and government workers began to grow after WWII.
In the early 1950s, Burke, just west of Springfield was earmarked to be the site of a new airport. However, citizens united and in the end, the airport was built in Chantilly (now Dulles airport.)
In 1947, Vernon Lynch created the subdivision of Springvale. That same year, Edward Carr built Lynbrook and Yates Village. Several builders came into the area in the 50s and 60s and built homes in these "bedroom communities" about 12 miles southwest of the District.
West Springfield was built up during the 1960s. The houses were somewhat larger than the original homes built in Springfield. These communities included pools and other family-related amenities.
Today, West Springfield is a bustling suburb. The schools are top-rated. There are a variety of shops and restaurants to enjoy like The Burger Joint, Austin Grill, and The Afghan. There is of course a Starbucks, Einstein Bagels, and Panera Bread.
We have Whole Foods, Giant, and a variety of fast food as well.
West Springfield has its own Government Center, located at 6140 Rolling Road. It houses the offices of the Springfield District Superviser as well as police, fire and rescue.
There are numerous parks to enjoy, including Hidden Pond Park, which has a small museum and activities for kids, Pohick Stream Valley Park, and Lake Accotink Park, which has miniature golf, paddle boats, and a carousel. Several miles of the Fairfax County Trail runs through a great portion of West Springfield.
The newest addition to West Springfield is the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency offices, built on the old Ft. Belvoir Engineering Proving Ground, now known as Ft. Belvoir North. This development has secured West Springfield as a premiere neighborhood in Northern Virginia and in the DC Metro region.
Homes in West Springfield range from one bedroom condos starting at $125,000 to townhomes in the $200-300,000 range, to a six bedroom new construction for $1.1 million. There is a home for any one with any budget.
If a move to Fort Belvoir, the Pentagon, or NGA is in your future, please do not hesitate to give me a call!