Photo by Heather Whitfield
Newcomers to Alexandria, Virginia, often envision the colonial homes found in Old Town, as what they’ll find if moving to the area The charming rows of houses are what we see in tourist marketing and TV shows, after all! Old Town does have many lovely Federal and Georgian style homes with history to spare, but these really only begin to showcase the diversity of housing throughout Alexandria City, and Alexandria, Fairfax County.
Alexandria is so large that you’ll find most styles of living, built during many time periods, even within the same neighborhood. Remember, Alexandria is older than the U.S. itself, and its population created homes reflecting each time frame, even up until now. The ages of the homes are also the reason that home buyers and renters come across plenty of options that are in need of updates-- cosmetic and otherwise.
The good news is that the housing market in Alexandria offers several choices beyond a standard single family home. The trick is to stay on top of the inventory, because the most desirable properties move very quickly and at prices that will likely be at, or beyond BAH rates, especially for rental homes.
Townhouses and Condos
If you’ve never lived near a major metropolitan area like Washington, D.C., one of the first things you’ll notice is the abundance of housing choices that aren’t single family living housing. Land is very expensive and space is exceptionally limited, so the natural answer to these restrictions is to build vertically and in close proximity.
Photo by christian koch on Unsplash
Public transportation is an important part of life in Alexandria and the perpetual demand for housing near Metro stops also fuels the growth for alternatives to single family homes.
For first-timers who haven’t lived in a townhome or condo before, the lifestyle can take some getting used to, especially when it comes to the lack of privacy and available outdoor space. But, both condos and townhomes have advantages. For buyers, they are often a bit more affordable and amenity filled, to include a precious parking space or two. And, for those who prefer low maintenance living, one of these could be your solution.
For reference, the availability of townhomes and condos in MilitaryByOwner’s inventory show there are hundreds listed for sale and for rent. The current range varies greatly, depending which part of Alexandria the home is located and the size of the property.
- Highest Sale Price: $769,000, 4 Bed, 4.5 Bath
- Lowest Sale Price : $345,000, 2 Bed, 1 Bath
- Rental Prices$1,000-$4,800
- Highest Sale Price: $590,000, 3 Bed, 2.5 Bath
- Lowest Sale Price: $169,000, 1 Bed, 1 Bath
- Rental Prices $1,200- $3,300
Single Family Homes
If a single family home is the solution to your housing need, you’ll quickly become familiar with listing descriptions that refer to the home style known as colonial. It’s the dominant style throughout the D.C. Metro area. A colonial is known for its simple two story box shape with a centered door which is surrounded by rectangular windows. Plenty of variations of the main footprint exist, to include the often maligned split level entry.
Photo by Heather Whitfield
A good majority of single family homes in Alexandria get their look from a traditional colonial build, especially after their re-emergence back in the 1990s when the McMansion trend took off. But, this is not to say that other styles don’t exist. They do, and are found in pockets throughout the city. Neighborhoods of bungalows, post-war, and mid-century moderns are easy to find if you search.
California Bungalow Style home in Alexandria from Wikimedia Photo
Single family homes for sale and rent make up the majority of the homes available in MilitaryByOwner’s Alexandria inventory. Homes located near desirable schools and with proximity to the Potomac River garner higher asking prices.
Alexandria Single Family Homes
- Highest Sale Price: $1,249,000, 4 Bed, 3.5 Bath
- Lowest Sale Price: $389,000, 3 Bed, 2 Bath
- Rental Prices: $2,350-5,500
Apartments and Rooms for Rent
It's not unusual for a geo-bachelor to call Alexandria home, especially if commuting to the Pentagon or Fort Belvoir. Short-term assignments and military schools often separate families, leaving the service member to seek a smaller, more affordable, and temporary living solution.
Some people just prefer the convenience and savings that apartment living offers. Traditional apartment complexes are available, but you won’t find them as sprawling as in other cities, simply because the space is lacking. The further west in Alexandria you travel, the better the opportunity to find more space and newer apartment housing.
Rooms for rent in single family homes are also a popular solution for temporary living. Veteran service members often become landlords in Alexandria and have a natural preference to rent to fellow military members. Sometimes a room for rent is exactly that, a single room availability within a home and roommates are expected. Or, the single family home stands separated from the tenant and the space available for rent is a guest house or basement apartment.
Take a look at:
One of the advantages of moving to Alexandria is the option to explore different housing styles than you’re used to. Choosing your main priorities, whether they include, commute, schools, or affordability, is the best way to determine which style of home suits your needs. After making a priority list, continue to monitor MilitaryByOwner’s inventory to select availabilities. When PCS season approaches, there will be even more to choose from!