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Living Inside or Outside the Beltway-What's the Difference in NoVa?

Buyers moving to Northern Virginia often see the phrase "inside" or "outside" the beltway in MLS descriptions and wonder where are these locations on the map.  For those who have lived in the Northern Virginia most of our lives we have watched "outside" the beltway on the Virginia side expand far west and south of DC.

Just as the term "slugging" started as a phrase to describe riders using counterfeit tokens, the term inside or outside the beltway started with a different meaning in our area as well. The phrase was originally used politically to describe the fact that most of the power in the DC area was located inside the beltway where the Federal Government is located.

The first written reference to the term is found with the Warren Commission Report about Watergate printed in 1975:

"In the White House of Richard M. Nixon, it was said that Watergate would become serious only if it "got outside the Washington Beltway." Guess we know how that turned out!

Neighborhoods in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and McLean are some examples of neighborhoods inside the beltway in Northern Virginia. Neighborhoods inside the beltway used to lean towards smaller older homes on tree lined lots however there has been a boom of condo developments inside the beltway. With the metro and buses within walking distance, many of the newer neighborhoods quickly gained popularity with buyers wanting to ditch their car for their daily commute.

Map of Inside or Outside the Beltway in NoVA

 

Outside the beltway has expanded significantly over the past 10 years and some might say that it extends all the way to the Shenandoah Valley where you can find commuter lots for van pools to DC. The selection of neighborhoods outside the beltway is generally more diverse if for no other reason than the space constraints of trying to squeeze homes within a smaller geographic area has been removed. There has been significant new home development outside the beltway in recent years in the western part of Fairfax County, Prince William County and Loudoun County.

So another mystery of local terminology is revealed. If you want to know more about living either inside or outside the beltway give me a call at 703-346-2213. I've got a few other localisms I can clue you into as well!





 

 

 

 

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If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.

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Comment balloon 14 commentsCindy Jones • January 20 2012 08:23AM

Comments

Cindy

I have heard the term inside and outside beltway for years for explaining it.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 6 years ago

Cindy,

When I first moved down here from Joisey, Inner Loop and Outer Loop confused me too.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Lou-funny how local sayings can end up with national significance.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Rich-Inner Loop and Outerloop still confuse me and I'm a a native of the area.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Very detailed informative peice

Posted by N/A N/A (N/A) over 6 years ago

It is rare that I get "inside the beltway" these days.  But with so much being built outside the beltway, sometimes there just isn't a need.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 6 years ago

Cindy, gee, I've never lived outside the Beltway before.  Maybe this is the year to try it!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Aubrey-thank you fro stopping by.  Are you related to Will?

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Chris Ann-I have a house that I'm trying to get ready to put on the market "inside" the beltway.  Great neighborhood in McLean HS district.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Pat-I look forward to you & Dick joining the outside the beltway lifestyle in the near future.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Inside the beltway, outside the beltway........while it is beautiful up there and I LOVE visiting, there is way too much traffic for me to deal with on a daily basis! I don't know how you do it!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 6 years ago

Barbara Jo-I had to go "inside" the beltway today to check on a rental property I own.  With all of the construction on the roads here it seems traffic is becoming a 24 x 7 issue.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Cindy it reminds me of living in the the NYC area in New Jersey. If you said you were going to "the city" everyone knew what you meant.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 6 years ago

Connie-for locals it's easy to figure out.  For anyone moving to the area it's quite confusing.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

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