Rents are climbing in the DMV area. Part of that might be that more companies are asking employees to come back into the office at least a few days a week, so more people want to find a rental that makes a commute easy. Part of that is also likely because potential home buyers gave up during the recent crazy seller’s market, according to Allison Baker with Key Home Sales & Management.
“The past two years, we’ve seen demand for rentals go up,” she says. “But in general, many buyers just couldn’t compete in the recently hot seller’s market and they decided to go back to renting. In general, condos typically take longer to rent, but now that rents seem to be rising everywhere, the rental market is very competitive.”
In Northern Virginia, the hottest neighborhoods to rent in vary depending on the type of renter, whether they’re young professionals or a family. Families want to rent in areas with parks and good schools; young professionals want social amenities like proximity to fun bars and restaurants, and both types of renters want a convenient commute, so access to highway or the Metro are key.
Here are the top neighborhoods to rent in right now in Northern Virginia.
Ballston has lots of amenities that are great for young professionals and families: shopping, dining (including more than 50 restaurants in a five-block radius), hotels (for visitors), proximity to a mall, and easy access to the Ballston Metro station in the center of the neighborhood.
“This neighborhood consists of high-rise buildings with lots of unique amenities, like rooftop terraces with grills and lounge areas, or roof-top pools, fitness centers, convenience stores or even laundromats,” says Mariah Hoffman, an agent with Nesbitt Real Estate. “Many have great views of Arlington and DC, as well, since Ballston is about 15 minutes outside of DC.”
Renters looking for proximity to DC definitely get it in Rosslyn in Arlington: a 10-minute walk over the Key Bridge, and you’re in Georgetown. Three Metro lines run through the Rosslyn station (Silver, Blue, and Orange) and there is easy access to routes 495 and 66. Not only are there several sit-down and fast-food restaurants in Rosslyn but there are great parks, as well. The large Gateway Park is dog-friendly and kid-friendly. It has the largest sandbox in Arlington, an amphitheater, and an ornamental garden. Nearby Rosslyn Highland Park features exercise equipment, grills, picnic tables, and a playground.
Fairlington and Shirlington
These two neighborhoods cover several parts of Arlington and Alexandria and border each other. “Fairlington is a calm and inviting area filled with parks and beautiful landscaping,” Hoffman says. “Shirlington is a perfect strolling neighborhood, and is very pet-friendly, including its Shirlington Dog Park.”
Both neighborhoods have easy access to Interstate 395, as well as other highway connections and Alexandria and Arlington, along with a wide variety of restaurants and shopping. Fairlington also boasts a community center (which hosts a farmers market weekly) as well as tennis courts, basketball courts, and trails.
Kingstowne’s proximity to Mount Vernon and Fort Belvoir has advantages for renters in the military. “Kingstowne is always popular,” says Baker. “It’s a cute community and has a town center with shopping and restaurants, and it’s close to mass transit roadways, great for those commuting into the city or other Virginia towns.”
Del Ray, a neighborhood in Alexandria, is nicknamed “the wellness district” because it’s home to several top-rated health and wellness centers and professionals in the area. The entertainment in this neighborhood abounds, with several festivals, farmers markets, and activities on the lakefront, along with playgrounds, restaurants, and shopping. There’s also Metro access at Braddock Road and connections to the major highways. Renters in this neighborhood have their pick of condos, single family homes, and townhomes.
The Springfield area, as well as West Springfield and even as far west as Burke “have always been popular,” Baker says. “These areas are convenient to live in and still have access to 395 and 495, and the Metro isn’t very far.” She adds that Burke has its own town center, and all three areas are part of Fairfax County’s great school system.
Loudoun County is also known for good schools, parks, and having lots of things to do, but the community of Ashburn is also a popular place for renters because the Silver Line will extend to there when the newest stations open, data centers are there, and there are also a fair amount of condo and apartment buildings in addition to single family homes and townhomes.
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