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13 Best Places to Live in Northern Virginia

Arlington financial district
Northern Virginia provides its residents with an outstanding quality of life, convenient access to Washington, D.C., and has plenty of high-ranking schools, as well as world-class attractions.  In all of its neighborhoods in Fairfax, Arlington, Falls Church, and Loudoun, there are wonderful properties, ranging from historic homes to modern constructions and everything in between. Here, buyers can find a home in an area that’s set in beautiful natural surroundings, steeped in history, and yet enjoys all the benefits of luxury modern amenities. For many it’s the ideal place to make a home. 

This blog explores the best places to live in Northern Virginia and what potential buyers need to know about them. However, before we go through the best neighborhoods in Northern Virginia in Northern Virginia, here’s a little information about the region and it’s housing market. 

Northern Virginia in a Snapshot

Northern Virginia is a widespread region with over 3.1 million residents, accounting for 37% of Virginia’s total population. It measures roughly 4,411.45 square miles and includes the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Fredericksburg, as well as the counties of Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford. 

Northern Virginia is the highest-income region in the state and is home to three of the nation’s most affluent counties. A 2021 Forbes survey named Loudoun and Fairfax the two wealthiest countries in the state.

Northern Virginia Real Estate

Homes in Northern Virginia sell at a median price of around $650,000, however, buyers should note that there will be considerable variation in prices depending on which county and neighborhood they are looking to invest in.  

Northern Virginia’s housing market showed 2,200 active listings in October 2022. This includes single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes, ranches, luxury estates, and new construction properties. In the same month, about 1,275 units were sold. On average, properties stayed on the market for 25 days.

The most common type of property available in Northern Viginia are single family homes however, there in more urbanized areas, there are also plenty of condominiums and townhomes on the market.

While properties in Northern Virginia have a median price that puts them at the upper end of the housing market, they are still very much acquirable. Virginia has a number of buyer assistance programs, such as the Virginia Conventional Home Loan Program, which assists buyers put down a 3% down payment. The Downpayment Assistance Grant can subsidize up to 2.5% of a down payment.

Read more: Investing in Virginia’s Luxury Real Estate Market

The Best Neighborhoods in Northern Virginia

autumn in virginia


One of the most affluent counties in the United States, Arlington County is an urban region in Virginia comprising about 60 neighborhoods. As the home of the Pentagon, Arlington draws plenty of military personnel and government staff. However, its population is diverse and includes young professionals, corporate employees, and families.

The average Arlington home typically fetches $709,000, but entry-level units can be found valued at $75,000. Higher-priced properties can reach over $7 million. 

Those looking for a budget-friendly option should start their search in the neighborhoods of Radnor-Fort Myer Heights or Ballston-Virginia Square. For a more luxurious homes, look at Lyon Village and East Falls Church.

  • Radnor-Fort Myer Heights 
  • Radnor-Fort Myer Heights is a neighborhood with a population of about 11,900. It’s ranked by as one of the best places to live in Arlington and the best neighborhood for young professionals. 

    Perhaps the most affordable locale in the county, Radnor-Fort Myer Heights has a median home price of $350,000. Renting here is equally budget-friendly, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 per month. The most common property type, by and large, are single-family homes – there are over 2,000 currently on the market. Lot sizes range from 1,500 square feet to 3,500 square feet, affording residents plenty of space to achieve their ideal lifestyle.

  • Lyon Village 
  • Luxury homebuyers flock to Lyon Village to find some of the best properties in the area. One of the most affluent communities in Arlington, home prices are higher than most other neighborhoods in the U.S. Entry-level homes are valued at $450,000 while higher-end properties stand at $3.9 million. The median asking price is $2.2 million as of November 2022.

    Properties in Lyon Village vary in age, with many adding to the area’s historic character. Plenty of well-established homes built within 1940s and the 1960s can be found on the market. Far from being antiquated, however, most of these homes have been upgraded and remodeled to suit modern lifestyles. Amenities such as private balconies, roomy wine cellars, and contemporary kitchen appliances are available, and there are plenty of properties that provide the opportunity to entertain guests by the fireplace, music room, or patio.

  • East Falls Church
  • A quiet neighborhood in western Arlington, East Falls Church is ideal for anyone looking to get away from the non-stop activity of an urban community. Still, the area has convenient access to the Metrorail, making it easy to head into busier areas and back again.

    According to, East Falls Church is one of the top ten best neighborhoods in Arlington to raise a family. The highest priced homes stand at about $2 million; they typically have five to six bedrooms and around 5,000 to 6,000 square feet. Entry-level homes are valued at $450,000.

Falls Church

Also known as the Little City, Falls Church offers a small-town atmosphere with modern conveniences. It has some 14,600 residents and is officially part of the Washington metropolitan area. 

Homes in Falls Church vary in terms of age, architectural style, size, and value, affording would-be buyers plenty of flexibility in choosing a home and lifestyle. Prices range from $180,000 for a 1-bedroom condo to $2 million for a sprawling luxury estate.

Falls Church is both owner and renter friendly; 59% of residents own their homes with 41% renting. As of November 2022, there were over 400 rental properties available on the market with monthly costs ranging from $900 to $7,400. 

Common features of luxury homes in Falls Church include:

  • Meticulous landscaping and mature trees
  • Sprawling outdoor living spaces
  • Gourmet kitchens with state-of-the-art appliances
  • Spacious master bedrooms with impressive views

The best neighborhoods to live in Falls Church are:

  • Fowler’s Addition
  • Fowler’s Addition is a tranquil neighborhood made up of mostly single-family homes. In terms of size, properties here can range from 2,500 to 7,000 square feet. Most homes follow an open floor plan with generous living spaces, large bedrooms, high ceilings, and great windows that let in plenty of natural light.

  • Broadmont
  • Residents of this idyllic suburb are treated to plenty of nature views and mature trees. Plenty of homes take advantage of this by incorporating outdoor living areas like patios, porches, and backyards that provide front-row seats to Northern Virginia’s beautiful landscape.

    Architecture is heavily influenced by Colonial and Cape Cod styles, adding character to the neighborhood. You can buy a 4-bedroom for $700,000 or a 3,000-square foot mansion for $2 million.


Fairfax rates as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the whole of the US. Apart from its deep history, it is also known for having some of the highest-rated public schools in the state.

Luxury buyers have a wealth of options with high-value properties varying in architecture, lot size, amenities, and location. Multimillion-dollar estates with acreage are common, allowing residents to enjoy the utmost privacy and seclusion even in the county’s more populous communities.

As you would expect, these luxury homes have an abundance of amenities, including private pools, finished basements, polished driveways, and deluxe kitchens. What’s more, they often include guest rooms and outdoor living spaces, making them ideal for hosting and entertaining guests. 

There are some wonderful properties in Fairfax, and it’s not rare to find 19th century homes near modern glass-and-steel buildings. Popular influences include Colonial, Contemporary, Split Level, and Ranch.

The best neighborhoods in Fairfax are:

  • Oakton
  • Oakton is a census-designated place with a population of over 37,000. It’s a suburb that enjoys breathtaking views, laid-back atmosphere, and proximity to Washington, D.C. Houses in Oakton can range from $200,000 to $6M in price; with most being single-family homes, although townhomes and condos are also available. 

    Secluded and scenic, luxury homes in Oakton are perfect for those who value privacy without compromising convenience. A lineup of shopping districts, top-rated restaurants, and education centers are nearby, making it a well-rounded neighborhood.

  • McLean
  • McLean is consistently named one of the best places to live in Northern Virginia. Many politicians, diplomats, and military officials live here because of its closeness to the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency. That being said, anyone can put down roots here. A family-friendly community at its core, McLean has consistently attracted individuals from all walks of life. 

    Properties have an average asking price of $1.7 million. Higher-priced homes can reach over $20 million, and often include luxury features like infinity pools, custom chandeliers, smart home appliances, and home theaters.

Loudoun County

Located a mere 25 miles from Washington, D.C., Loudoun County has the claim of being the most affluent county in the US. It’s a bustling urban region that is home to more than 310,000 residents who enjoy a superb quality of life. Apart from being an established technology and transportation hub, it’s set in and surrounded by natural beauty.

Loudoun has a diverse housing market. Entry-level home prices typically start at $250,000 for a two-bedroom and go up to the $7 million mark for an 8–10-bedroom house. The luxury market has a mix of historic 18th century homes and modern builds.

The top neighborhoods in Loudoun County include:

  • Broadlands
  • Anyone in search of a family-friendly neighborhood should consider moving to Broadlands. A master-planned community of roughly 14,000 residents, Broadlands is widely regarded as one of the best places to live in Loudoun. It has a sparse suburban feel and has some of the highest-rated public schools in the region, including Briar Woods High School and Broad Run High School. 

    Properties here don’t come cheap – the median asking price stands a little over $725,000 – but the lifestyle afforded to residents make the Broadlands a coveted neighborhood. Some features of high-end homes include spacious living rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, gourmet kitchens with the latest appliances, well-manicured gardens, and fenced-in backyards.

  • Stone Ridge
  • Stone Ridge is a peaceful suburb of about 15,000 people. Among this number, 87% are homeowners.  

    Locals have access to a variety of dining and shopping options, and parents can send their children to top-ranking schools, making it an excellent place to raise a family.

    The Stone Ridge housing market is mainly composed of townhouses, condos, and single-family homes, with prices hovering around $600,000 for an average-sized property. Condos are more affordable, with entry-level prices beginning at $320,000 for a 2-bedroom.

Work with Suzanne Hairston

When it comes to Northern Virginia real estate, Suzanne Hairston’s market knowledge is unmatched. With over 20 years of experience, almost all of those recognized as a top producer, Suzanne has helped countless buyers find their dream homes in the neighborhoods of Fairfax, Falls Church, McLean, Oakton, and the surrounding areas. 

Discreet and fully trustworthy when it comes to her clients’ confidentiality, yet a formidable negotiator on her clients behalf, Suzanne provides her clients with the optimal chance of securing a property not only in one of the best places to live in Northern Virginia, but in the whole of the US. 

Get in touch with Suzanne at 703.596.5288 or send an email

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