Relocation 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.
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
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 at 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.