A Focused House Hunt is What Gets Results
Working with buyers I have learned one thing: a focused house hunt is what gets results. If everything is an option, you will never find what you are looking for. Why? YOU don't even know what you want if your parameters are so broad that hundreds of homes fit the profile.
House hunting is all about elimination. You need to be able to eliminate types of homes and locations. Maybe you really need a garage, so a home without one is not what you want. Maybe you want a specific location, so everything in a particular county is not going to work. Need two bathrooms? Why include homes with only one?
Saying, "Anything in Fairfax County near a highway under X dollars," is an option is a recipe for having hundreds of homes to parse through. It's just not a focused enough search.
Don't be afraid of narrowing done your list of must haves or wants. You will have fewer options, but you'll be far more likely to be in a position to act on what you want when it hits the market. You don't want the home of your dreams to be lost in a lengthy list of homes for sale that you have to peruse every evening. Northern Virginia is experiencing a seller's market so having a super focused home search is going to yield the best result.