UPDATED MARCH 9, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
These are the various Fairlington association web sites:
- Fairlington Villages
- Fairlington Arbor (old site, new site)
- Fairlington Commons
- Fairlington Glen
- Fairlington Green
- Fairlington Meadows
- Fairlington Mews
What’s Nearby Fairlington
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.
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.
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
From March 2017 to February 2018, there have been 229 closed sales. That’s how they break down by unit type:
|Unit Type||Units Sold||Average Price
||Average Days on Market|
Over the past 12 months prices have held stable. One-bedroom, one-bath units have outperformed at 4.5% average appreciation. Two-bedroom, two-bath units are also showing decent gains at 3.3%.
During that same period, there have been 170 closed rentals. That’s how they break down by unit type:
|Unit Type||Units Rented||Average Rent||Average Days on Market|
Rental levels have kept constant over the past 12 months.
Here are two more nearby communities you may be interested in: