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Where? Oh Where? Where in Northern Virginia Should You Go to Purchase a $500,000 Home?

$500,000 in Northern Virginia Real EstateLast month, the average sales price of a home in Northern Virginia was $470,882.  For our purposes, let's round that up to an even $500K or half a million bucks.

So, let's say you've got good credit, a decent downpayment, and the wherewithal to handle a mortgage of this size.  It's time to go shopping for a house.  Where? Oh where in Northern Virginia should you go to purchase the $500,000 home that your friendly mortgage professional approved you to buy?

The answer (as all good answers involving real estate and law should be) is: Depends!

It depends on what you want. 

  • Do you want a single family home in a tree-lined neighborhood on a third of an acre? 

 

  • Are you willing to purchase an older home that's closer to downtown D.C.? 

 

  • What about a shiny new condo right near the Metro? 

 

  • What do you expect for your money?

Let's explore what $500,000 will buy in some of the different areas of Northern Virginia.  To determine this, we'll look at the $450,000 to $550,000 price range in each area and discuss the average home you could get for that money.

Alexandria:

The average listing price of home in Alexandria is about $550,900.  Of the homes on the market, 59% are priced below $500,000.  There are 71 Alexandria homes in the $450,000-$550,000 price range.

In Alexandria, your $500,000 can buy you:

  • a single-family home built in 1949 on a .20 acre lot with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths; or
  • a townhouse built in 1971 with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms; or
  • a condominium builit in 1986 with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

More than likely you'll be buying a townhouse in Alexandria: more than half the available choices in this price range in Alexandria are townhomes.

Arlington:

The average listing price of homes in Arlington is $636,055.  51% of the homes in Arlington are on the market for under $500,000.  There are about 87 homes in the $450,000-$550,000 price range.

In Arlington, your $500,000 can buy you:

  • a single-family home built in 1948 on a .18 acre lot with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms; or
  • a townhouse built in 1985 with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms; or
  • a condominium built in 1993 with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

Available choices in Arlington are almost evenly split between the older single-family homes and the newer condos.  Townhouses only make up 20% of your choices.  Thus, you'll need to decide whether you'll take the older home or the newer Arlington condo.

Fairfax County:

Fairfax County is the largest geographic area of the Northern Virginia region and thus has the most available inventory of homes.

The average listing price of a home in Fairfax County is $687,358, but over 55% of homes in Fairfax County are priced under $500,000.  There are about 450 homes on the market in the $450,000 to $550,000 price range.

In Fairfax County, with $500,000 you can afford:

  • a single-family home built in 1971 on a .35 acre lot with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms; or
  • a townhouse built in 1995 with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms; or
  • a condo built in 1994 with 2 bedroom and 2 bathrooms

In Fairfax County, the overwhelming majority, nearly 75% of homes in this price range are single-family homes, with very few condos (a mere 14).  So, of all areas, you're most likely to spend your $500,000 on a single-family home in Fairfax County.   

Falls Church City:

Falls Church City is tiny and thus has an extremely limited inventory of homes.  In fact, currently only 4 homes are in the $450K-$550K price range.

In Falls Church City your $500K will buy you:

  • a single-family home built in 1942 on .30 acre with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom; or
  • a townhouse built in 1978 with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms; or
  • a condo built in 2007 with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

McLean:

McLean Virginia is the highest priced area in Northern Virginia.  The average listing price in McLean is $1,648,276.  Less than 12% of the available homes in McLean are priced below $500,000 and they're almost all condos.  There's only 7 properties in the $450,000 to $550,000 price range.

In McLean for $500,000 you can get:

  • a single-family home built in 1952 on .19 acre with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom; or
  • a condo built in 1988 with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

So, now you know the facts and the inventory of homes. 

Where will you go to purchase your $500,000 home?

 

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Comment balloon 5 commentsBrian Block • November 15 2010 03:46PM
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