The time comes sadly, when I hear “we are thinking about leaving Arlington” and exploring options like Falls Church, McLean, even…dare I say it, Vienna (outside the beltway? the horror!) I’m kidding. But truthfully, location determines how much house you can afford in our area drastically. The price of a newer 2 bedroom condo in Arlington could afford you a 4 bedroom home with 2-car garage in Vienna. Eventually, I think most people start to evaluate their housing situation and needs. Whether you have a growing family, downsizing, job relocation, new wants/needs, most people no longer stay in 1 house for 20+ years. I always use my parents as an example, they’ve been in my childhood home in Upstate NY for 30 years. That just rarely happens anymore.
With that said, let’s consider the factors when relocating:
- Price. Obviously.
- Size/Condition. Do you want a bigger house? New house? Bigger yard? Garage? Walking distance to things of interest (restaurants, schools, grocery store, metro).
- Commute. Orange line, green line, blue line, Loudoun Commuter bus, Silver line, HOV, so many options. Where are you trying to go and what is your pain threshold for traveling?
- Schools. Comparing the Arlington schools against other potentials. I recommend using GreatSchools.org to help with that.
- Lifestyle. This might be one of the hardest ones if you’ve been a long time Arlington resident. Friends, groups, your children’s friends, their schools, hobbies, those are usually tied to where you live. Will you be OK having to drive to these events?
I’m happy to help you walk through the options. I did it myself after my oldest son was born and it was an awfully difficult decision to make. It helps to have a 3rd party (not a spouse! or parents) to bounce ideas off of. I can also show you what you can afford to buy in the different areas. If you’re selling your home, I can also walk you through the process to help make it easier and show you what your home is worth.