How the Fairfax County suburbs are different than city neighborhoods

Some years ago, I moved to San Francisco.  When I was shopping for an apartment there, I learned that neighborhoods seemed to be very important for people’s identity. For example, some people identified themselves with living in The Haight-Ashbury, others to The Castro, and the “hip, techie” people were proud of living in Noe Valley.

The Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco has a unique personality

The Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco has a unique personality

The neighborhood where one lived seemed to be very important for society. To my surprise, I used to get comments like:  “Ooh, you’re looking in The Haight-Ashbury? Wow!”

Fairfax County isn’t a city, it’s a suburb Continue Reading…

3 Reasons why Fairfax Schools are better than Loudoun Schools

October, 2014 EDIT

Due to the recent changes implemented at Fairfax County Public Schools, we have added 2 reasons why Fairfax Schools are catching up with some of Loudoun Schools’ strenghths:

  • Full Day Mondays, and
  • Later start times for High Schools

Read more about Full Day Mondays at FCPS and later start times for High Schools coming in 2015.


On a previous post, we covered 3 Ways How Loudoun schools are better than Fairfax County schools.

The Grass is Greener on This Side

The Grass is Greener on This Side

After the post was published, I got several emails from Fairfax County Schools lovers who were hoping I leveled the playing field by writing about how Fairfax schools are better than Loudoun’s.

To their credit, it’s only fair to also highlight 3 ways in which Fairfax County Schools are better than Loudoun County Schools.

3 Reasons why Fairfax schools are better than Loudoun schools Continue Reading…

3 Reasons why Loudoun Schools are better than Fairfax Schools

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying:

Is the grass greener in Loudoun?

Is the grass greener in Loudoun vs. Fairfax?

“The grass is greener on the other side of the fence”.

The other day, I was taking to newcomers to our area about the pros and cons of living in Fairfax County vs. Loudoun County.  Aside from real estate specific reasons, for example, location and affordability of homes, they were very interested in comparing the two school districts.

To answer their question, I called a recent client, Molly, whose family had just been through a similar adventure and had selected to live in Loudoun County.

Molly’s family chose Loudoun Schools vs. Fairfax Schools

Molly said that her family had three main school-based reasons that nudged them toward choosing to live in Loudoun vs Fairfax:

1. Newer Facilities

2. Length of school day, and

3. Mondays

I asked her to elaborate on each of the points: Continue Reading…

3 Tips for Competing in a Multiple Offer Situation

Spring is coming, and, like many homebuyers in the D.C. area, Dee and Henry are looking to purchase their first home.

This Townhome had multiple offers

Dee and Henry’s favorite Townhome had multiple offers

We’ve already been out looking for homes for a couple of weekends, and finally, they have found a cute town home that they really, really like, plus it’s in their ideal school boundary.

As we’re getting ready to make an offer, the listing agent informs us that there are a couple of other offers coming in as well, so it’s a multiple offer situation.

Dee and Henry really want to buy this home

The issue is that they are now in a competitive situation so they need to make their offer as strong as possible.

One way to make the offer better, of course, is to offer more money.  But that’s not always the best approach (although it never hurts…).

Sometimes, even when offering more money, another contract wins out because it represents less risk to the seller.

How to minimize risk to the seller (while making sure you’re protected) Continue Reading…

Top 9 Cities in Fairfax County

According to Movoto, a California-based real estate blog, these are the top 9 cities in Virginia. Interestingly, all of these 9 cities / towns / Census Designated Places (CDPs) are here, in Fairfax County.

Top 9 Cities in Fairfax County

Top 9 Cities in Fairfax County (click for larger image)

To come up with its ranking, the California-based blog crunched some data and came up with their ideal mix of factors to rank each city such as crime rate, median household income, high school degree attainment rate and “number of Southern food restaurants”…, among others.*

This is their list of Top 9 Cities in Virginia Continue Reading…

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