Kathy was moving her family back to Fairfax VA after a few years abroad. The first thing she did was to research the public school options. She found that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) were very good. She short-listed a few favorites and focused on her husband’s daily commute. Once she settled on a few key areas, she checked the cost of housing for each.
Fairfax County VA is a big county with many housing choices
With so many choices, it’s important to start the search with the most important criteria first: Schools, Transportation, and Cost
Fairfax County Schools
Most parents are concerned with sending their children to the best schools possible. The good news is that public schools in Fairfax VA are highly ranked. Aside from rankings, some parents want their kids to attend a school that offers a specific program such as advanced academics, an extra-curricular activity, or special education.
Once you have a short list of Fairfax County schools you like, it’s time to figure out your transportation options.
How will you get to work? Traffic in Fairfax VA can be a challenge and many prefer to take public transportation to work – especially if their place of work is in Washington, DC or in Arlington County.
Public transportation includes rail options such as the Metro and the VRE (Virginia Railway Express), as well as a comprehensive schedule of bus routes.
When you have narrowed down the areas where you have a favorite Fairfax school and the transportation options are appropriate for your needs, you’ll want to know how much it will cost to buy a home there.
Just like in most major US cities, the cost of housing in the Washington D.C. area is not to be underestimated. The areas further west or south (away from DC) are usually more affordable, and so are locations not within walking distance to rail stations.
What if you have other important criteria?
These three points are certainly not the only ones to consider. They are simply a place to start. Once you are familiar with Fairfax County schools, the available transportation and the cost of certain areas, you can add your own criteria to the mix to find the right home for your family.
Kathy’s Top 3 Criteria
Kathy wasn’t too focused on selecting the right school based on rankings since Fairfax County Schools are generally highly ranked, so she focused on a couple of schools that offered a special academic program that would be a good fit for her kids.
Kathy’s next point was to ensure that her husband’s commute to DC was manageable through the use of public transportation.
Lastly, she made sure that she could afford the kind of house that she wanted for her family in her desired Fairfax school district.
Finding a house in Fairfax VA doesn’t have to be a daunting task. To make your decision easier, focus your search on the top 3 criteria:
- Fairfax County schools,
- transportation, and
If you need further help with selecting the Right Schools for your kids, don’t miss the next article: Why your home address determines your Fairfax County schools assignment