Fairlington Condos: Community Profile & Video

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

About Fairlington

Fairlington is a large planned neighborhood in Arlington, VA (though a small part of it is actually in Alexandria City). It’s bound by Route 7, Quaker Lane and Walter Reed Dr. It’s notionally divided in South and North Fairlington by I-395.

There are seven condo associations within the neighborhood. Each has its own condo board and assesses its own condo fee. You’ll often hear these referred to as villages. The map below shows their names and boundaries:

The Fairlington Citizen Association represents all seven communities in local and county matters. There is also the Fairlington Historical Society looking after historical preservation. So any changes to the neighborhood will have to go through many discussions and approvals.

Fairlington probably won’t be the forever home for most people. However, it serves well a wide variety of buyers. First-time homebuyers, young families, investors, and people looking to downsize could all appreciate what the neighborhood has to offer.

Brief History

Fairlington (originally Seminary Heights) was constructed by the US government to house civilian and military personnel during World War II. The site is only a few miles from The Pentagon which was probably one of the deciding factors in its selection.

In 1947 the property was sold to private interests and became rental apartments. In 1972 Fairlington was converted to condos and the units sold to the general public. The asking prices? Between $19,000 and $45,000. If only I had a time machine 🙂

As the surrounding areas developed, Fairlington became a popular neighborhood. The real-estate market there is very active with numerous sale and rental listings. And you still see plenty of military families.

Community Video Tour

Here’s a one-minute video tour of the community and surrounding areas. Because who has time for 10-minute videos!

Details and Floorplans

There are 3,439 units spread across 322 acres. You’ll have over two dozen floorplans to choose from. These range from one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom townhomes on three levels.

The architectural style is Colonial Revival (see the Photo Gallery farther down). Meandering streets and mature trees give the neighborhood a very idyllic, residential feel.

Since these are all condo units, you don’t have to worry about maintaining the roof, siding or foundation. However, windows are the owner’s responsibility (fairly typical with condos). So are the HVAC and water heater, so make sure to check the age on these.

Sidewalks everywhere make jogging a breeze. Pets are allowed. In fact, you’ll see (and hear) lots of them around the community.

The layouts do show the community’s age. You won’t see any powder rooms on the main level of townhomes. There is also just one bathroom on the bedroom level.

One thing to look out for: one-bedroom units masquerading as two-bedroom ones. Usually the second so-called bedroom is in the basement. Functionally it can serve as such, but legally it’s not. That’s because it lacks an adequate second exit (door or window) in case of fire. If you aren’t sure about a listing, send it over to me and I’ll take a look.

The only utilities included in the condo fee are water and sewer plus snow and trash removal. This is fairly standard.

Heating and hot water are all electric. If gas cooking is a must-have, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Parking

There is only surface parking at Fairlington. Most buildings have their own parking lot. Generous street parking makes it easy for visitors. Keep in mind that some streets require permits during the day.

Fairlington: Photo Gallery

Fairlington FairlingtonFairlington Fairlington

Community Amenities at Fairlington

There aren’t a ton of amenities at Fairlington, just the standard fare. But this also helps to keep the condo dues lower.

Each condo association maintains its own pool and tennis court. Fairlington Villages (aka North Fairlington) has 6 pools and 13 tennis courts. The other villages have one pool and between one and three tennis courts.

Fairlington FairlingtonFairlington

These are the various Fairlington association web sites:

What’s Nearby Fairlington

Recreation

In South Fairlington, you have the Fairlington Community Center & Park. It offers multi-purposes rooms, playgrounds and additional fields. The parking lot hosts the seasonal Fairlington farmers market on Sundays.

Within walking distance there is also Utah Park. It features a baseball field, BBQ grills and a dog park.

Another option is the Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center which is 5 minutes away by car.

There is a huge 24/7 fitness center across Route 7: XSport Fitness.

Fairlington FairlingtonFairlington FairlingtonFairlington Fairlington

Retail

There are numerous retail options nearby. One is the Bradlee Shopping Center (Safeway, Starbucks, etc.). It’s right across Route 7 from South Fairlington.

Then there is the Villages at Shirlington. It has plenty of shops and restaurants plus a movie theater, a real theater and a library. You could walk there in 10-15 minutes or just hop in the car.

A little farther out is the Bailey’s Crossroads shopping center. And of course the Pentagon City Mall.

West Village of Shirlington West Village of Shirlington

Here’s a map with most of the current places of interest in the vicinity.

Transportation near Fairlington

You won’t be walking to many places from the community. The Walk Score is 61. However, driving should be pretty quick (as long as the infamous DC traffic cooperates). Most likely you’ll be using I-395 for the majority of your trips. You can also jump on the HOV lanes (to DC) from Shirlington Rd.

Dupont Circle is about 20 minutes away. Same for Tysons Corner. Dulles Airport is 35 minutes away. Reagan National and The Pentagon – 10.

Public transportation is limited to bus only. There are several bus routes going through the neighborhood. These will take you to Shirlington, Pengaton City, Ballston and, Alexandria. Shirlington Station is close-by. It will provide access to even more destinations.

What Does It Cost to Buy or Rent at Fairlington

Sales

From September 2016 to August 2017, there have been 226 closed sales. That’s how they break down by unit type:

Unit Type Units Sold Average Price
Average Days on Market
1BR, 1BA 28 $269,000 21
1BR, 2BA 35 $389,000 17
2BR, 1BA 20 $349,450 31
2BR, 2BA 124 $453,700 7
3BR, 2BA+ 19 $599,000 6

 

Over the past 12 months the 3BR units have been the champs in terms of price appreciation: 16.3%! Granted, this is based on a smaller number of sales and could change in the future. 1BR, 1BA units have gone up 6.1% in the same period. And 2BR, 1BA units – 4.1%. The other layouts are seeing more tepid growth around 2%.

Rentals

During that same period, there have been 156 closed rentals. That’s how they break down by unit type:

Unit Type Units Rented Average Rent Average Days on Market
1BR, 1BA 33 $1,500 15
1BR, 2BA 13 $2,000 14
2BR, 1BA 31 $1,895 31
2BR, 2BA 74 $2,250 21
3BR, 2BA+ 5 $2,800 14

 

We’re finally seeing some growth in the rental levels in Fairlington. 3BR units are again the leaders at 8.7% increase over the past 12 months. And 1BR, 1BA units have gone up 3.45%. The other layouts hover around 2%.

Next Steps

Here are two more nearby communities you may be interested in:

Be sure to check out my posts about The First Steps to Buying a House and why the agent at an open house isn’t your friend.

If you have any questions about Fairlington or similar communities, don’t hesitate to contact me below:

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