Undertanding Northern Virginia Can Be Confusing At First

Reston Town Center in Fairfax County VARelocation is always stressful.  It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve made a move the minute you get the word to pack your bags you need to learn the “language” of a new area.

In Northern Virginia part of that new language is deciphering the difference between our cities and our counties.  Northern Virginia has a mixture that often leads to confusion.  For example we have:

Fairfax County and Fairfax City
Alexandria City and Alexandria (postal address) in Fairfax County
Falls Church City and Falls Church (postal address) in Fairfax County

Once you have figured that out then you need to realize that the schools may be different depending on whether you live in a city of county.  Falls Church City runs its own school district.  But if your mailing address is Falls Church it doesn’t mean your children will attend a Falls Church City school.  Using the school boundary locator provided by the various counties and cities will help you sort it all out as you look for a place to live.

Alexandria City Schools Schools
Fairfax County Schools
Falls Church City Schools


As you search through the MLS for potential places to live you will notice a code in front of all of the letters.  Each of those codes can also help you decipher where a home is located.  FA is Falls Church City, FX is Fairfax County, AX is Alexandria City and FC is Fairfax City.

Each locale may also offer a different set of services for their residents and have different tax requirements as well.  In Fairfax City for example the city offers curbside leaf pickup for residents but in Fairfax County you will need to bag and dispose of your leaves through your own trash service.  Fairfax City has it’s own CUE bus service that takes residents to the metro, George Mason University and various points in the Fairfax City area.  Fairfax County offers the Connector bus which has different bus routes that run throughout the county and Alexandria has the Dash bus which runs through Alexandria City.

When you get ready to plan your house hunting trip to Northern Virginia remember that the area has some of its own language when it comes to understanding where you might be living.  Oh and don’t forget we also have slugs which have nothing to do with slimy garden pests.

If you are relocating to Northern Virginia in 2010 give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call 703-346-2213.  As a native of the area and a survivor of many relocation moves,  I can help you understand our language and help you find the best home to meet your needs while living in the area.


                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

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.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

Military Relocation Professional

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

Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia



Comment balloon 2 commentsCindy Jones • February 06 2012 09:57AM


As someone who lived more than half her life in Fairfax City, I can tell you that the CUE bus is a great amenity.  I think the taxes are a tad higher in the city vs. Fairfax County as well.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 7 years ago

Cindy: Ditto in the Pacific Northwest, except the naming conventions are a little different... Ex: You can live in Renton, but make sure you know if that's Renton proper, or actually unincorporated (King Co). It makes a difference in your taxes and schools. We lived in unincorporated King Co with a Renton address and the school district was Issaquah. Actually that was the best of 3 worlds for us. I think we have at least 3 names for every neighborhood area. Just depends how long you've lived here!

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) about 7 years ago

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