Alexandria has played a vital role in military history. Dating back to the 1750s, it was a staging area for British soldiers during the French and Indian War. It then functioned as an important supply center for Union troops during the Civil War. Today, Alexandria remains a gracious home to many of our nation’s servicemembers and their families.

Located in the northeastern tip of Northern Virginia, Alexandria is just across the Potomac River from DC and Maryland. Because of the easy access to the District, Route 1, Interstate 395, the 495 Beltway, and the George Washington Parkway, this area is a popular choice for many military families commuting to most of the region’s installations. The City of Alexandria includes Old Town, Del Ray, Beverly Hills and smaller neighborhoods inside the 495 Beltway. The more suburban areas of Alexandria are located outside the Beltway and are sometimes referred to as South Alexandria or Lower Alexandria.


Once home to George Washington and Robert E. Lee, Alexandria is a popular choice for military families and federal employees. Many large corporations, non profits and national organizations have office headquarters in Alexandria and employees stay close by if they can. Most of the professional and commercial focus is in the City of Alexandria, while the suburbs to the south are primarily residential. The residents are active and there are always people taking advantage of the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River. Your neighbors are likely to work in every conceivable corner of the DC Metro area.

Neighborhood Feel

Colonial era architecture, cobblestone streets, waterfront dining, and a steady stream of tourists paint the backdrop for life in Old Town. Historic row houses line busy streets and the abundant green spaces are filled with young residents. Del Ray and Beverly Hills boast more of a small town vibe, with their own funky flair.

South Alexandria is a suburban haven. Families love the larger homes, big yards, and active communities. The subdivisions have a distinct 70s and 80s style. Most homes are split level and typically have basements. Children congregate on mature, well maintained lawns after a swim in the neighborhood pool.

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Neighborhood Info

Alexandria - JB Anacostia Bolling & Pentagon - Washington D.C. -

City of Alexandria  

In the City of Alexandria, you’ll find young couples, small families, retirees, and a lot of singles. Fantastic restaurants, a sophisticated nightlife, cultural events, walkable shopping, and an energetic vibe are all found in Old Town. Your neighbors will work all over, and you’ll occasionally bump into your military kin. Tourists adore the area for its history, old world elegance, and the respite it offers from the hustle of DC.

Del Ray is a destination in and of itself. Quirky restaurants and shops, a small town feel, and the absence of chain establishments attracts the groovy, artistic souls. The homes are bursting with charm and the residents rave about their commutes. Home values here are high, so military families you’ll encounter are either dual income or sacrificing on space for the quaint, eclectic vibe. This is an idyllic spot for brunch, a stroll down the darling “main” street, window shopping, and a stop for frozen custard.


Home Size in City of Alexandria


Home size is definitely going to be your sacrifice here. The most common dwellings, especially in Old Town, are townhomes and condos. Del Ray has some smaller bungalow style homes, but a larger, 4 bedroom can definitely cause sticker shock.

Home Prices in City of Alexandria


Location here is the key. With its proximity to the District, you’re going to pay a premium per square foot. The median home value for all homes in The City of Alexandria is $492,800, according to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI). A single family home will run you closer to $500-600K, but that’s for a relatively small place. According to the Zillow Rental Index, the median rental rate for all rentals, ranging from small apartments to single family homes, is $2,475.

Commuting from City of Alexandria


Commuting to Fort Belvoir from the city is considered a reverse commute, and you’ll be on the scenic George Washington Parkway, so enjoy the ride! Old Town to DC is not a great distance, but there is typically a lot of congestion going back and forth, so be aware of that especially if you’re going north in the morning. The Pentagon and Crystal City are very close, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is also an easy trip from here. We’ve even heard of people kayaking across the Potomac River to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on pleasant days. The Yellow and Blue Metro lines service Alexandria.   

Fort Hunt / Mt. Vernon

If you’re looking for the Mayberry feel, follow the Potomac River south to the Fort Hunt and Mount Vernon areas. This residential bubble was once one of George Washington’s farms, and his neighboring estate is a thriving tourist attraction. Military families are common, but by no means the norm. DC commuters like it here and getting to Maryland is just a bridge away. Dual income families (often with au pairs) are common in this affluent suburb.


Home Size in Fort Hunt / Mt. Vernon


For the most part, you can easily find single family homes here that are around 3,000 to 4,000+ square feet, for a price. Most of the homes are 1970s style split-levels, with a few variations on facades. Basements are very common, and yards are sizable. As with most of the region, homes move quickly and often by word-of-mouth. Sight unseen rentals are common and you’re definitely paying for location. You can find some small condos in Mt. Vernon, but for the most part you’ll find single family home subdivisions in both areas.

Home Prices in Fort Hunt / Mt. Vernon

The homes here are larger, and you’ll be spending a significant portion (if not more than) your BAH for the perks of scenic commutes and tight knit suburban communities.

The median home value for single family homes in Fort Hunt is $536,000 according to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI). The ZHVI for single family homes in Mt. Vernon is $510,300. According to the Zillow Rental Index, the median rental rate for single family homes in Fort Hunt and Mt. Vernon are $3,100 and $2,537 respectively.

Commuting from Fort Hunt / Mt. Vernon

The commute to Fort Belvoir from this area can’t be beat. You can go door-to-door in 15 minutes on the George Washington Parkway, and the only traffic you’ll encounter is at the gate. Both Highway 1 (more congested, but not as bad as the Interstates) and the George Washington Parkway feed traffic directly into Crystal City, The Pentagon, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Avoiding the Interstate adds an element of predictability to your commute. If you’re headed north, getting through Old Town will be your biggest hurdle. There’s traffic from DC, area businesses, and generously placed traffic lights that all contribute to heavy congestion during peak hours.

The Yellow Metro Line terminates at the Huntington station and it’s only a 5 to 10 minute drive from Fort Hunt. From here, the train takes 12 minutes to arrive at The Pentagon. This line also continues all the way into DC for excursions! Neighborhoods have local and express bus lines and it’s also not unheard of to bike up the Parkway to work.   


Kingstowne is a planned urban community established in the 1980s and is still expanding. Homes of all sizes and styles are available, all brilliantly situated amongst grocery stores, shops, restaurants, gas stations, and a movie theater. Residing in Kingstowne also allows you access to the many community pools, parks, fitness centers, and community centers.

A lot of military families choose Kingstowne because of the convenient shopping and amenities, proximity to Interstate 395 and the 495 Beltway, the community vibe, and affordable prices.


Home Size in Kingstowne

Kingstowne homes vary widely in size and there is something to suit just about every budget. There are apartments, townhomes, and large single family homes to choose from.

Home Prices in Kingstowne

The median home value for homes in Kingstowne is $536,000 according to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI). According to the Zillow Rental Index, the median rental rate for all homes in Kingstowne is $3,100.

Commuting from Kingstowne

Kingstowne lies outside the 495 Beltway, but still allows easy access to both 495 and Interstate 395. The Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Metro stops in Kingstowne. Neighborhood carpools are popular to many of the nearby installations and buses also operate within most neighborhoods.

Points of Interest

Old Town Alexandria – Historic District and Waterfront.

Mount Vernon Trail

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington’s Grist Mill

George Washington’s Masonic National Memorial

Carlisle House – 18th Century Manor and Gardens

Jones Point Park and Lighthouse

Cameron Run Regional Park – Mini-golf, a water park, and batting cages.

Big Plus

Alexandria is close enough to DC to still be a reasonable trip/commute, but you can also live a suburban life with ease. The farther south you go, the more space you can find and most of Alexandria is out of the way of a lot of the commuter traffic. You’ll still find congestion on the larger roads (like Highway 1), but you can navigate around it if you try.

Maryland’s National Harbor is just across the Potomac and there you can find outlet shopping, restaurants, and family attractions. They host summer movies on the beach and the Capital Wheel, a 180-foot-high ferris wheel, is a favorite for both the young and young-at-heart! The bridge to Maryland also makes it possible to commute to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling or Joint Base Andrews from Alexandria.

Commuting on the George Washington Parkway is a real treat. You can go south to Fort Belvoir or north to The Pentagon, Crystal City, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, and even into DC. Following the river is a tranquil change of pace from the Interstate traffic. Need a dose of patriotism along with your morning coffee? Look up and see if you can spot one of the parkway’s nesting bald eagles soaring overhead.

Things to Consider

Home values are high here, and you sacrifice space as you get closer to the District. Though you can find much larger homes farther south in Alexandria, don’t expect them to be fully renovated or updated. Homes from the 1970s and 1980s have a very distinct retro style, and finding a modern “open floor plan” or a new build will be a challenge.

A lot of the families we spoke with freely admitted that in order to get a home they wanted here, they were willing to go over BAH for housing costs. The perks of convenient commutes, proximity to the District, great schools, and tight-knit communities were enough to make the sacrifice worthwhile.

Alexandria City Schools are not zoned to Fairfax County Public Schools. Just be aware of that when looking at schools in Old Town or Del Ray.

How’s the Market?

The median home value in the City of Alexandria is $493,400 according to the Zillow Home Value Index. Single family homes in the South Alexandria are more typically $500,000 to $650,000 and can easily soar into the $800,000 to $900,000 range depending on age and size.

Home Values are forecasted to increase by 1.4% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single-family homes in Alexandria is $3,085.

The market in Alexandria, as in most of the DC Metro area, is hyper-competitive and bidding wars are common. We recommend that you stalk the market and be positioned to move quickly. An experienced real estate agent is worth their weight in gold in this region!

School Scoop

The City of Alexandria has 28 schools. One of the best schools is Lyles-Crouch Elementary, which has a rating of 9, according to The Alexandria City Public School district has an overall rating of 4. For comparison, Fairfax County Public Schools have an overall rating of 7. The schools in the City of Alexandria are in their own district and not zoned to the Fairfax County Public School District. Take care to do your research if schools are a factor when moving to the City of Alexandria. The schools in Fairfax County are more favorable according to the spouses we’ve spoken to.

In Alexandria City Public Schools, all students must register in their home school even if you plan to use the transfer program offered by the district to opt into one of three specialty schools: Jefferson-Houston School’s K-8 Program, Mount Vernon Community School’s Dual Language Program/John Adams Elementary School’s Dual Language Program, or Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School’s Modified Calendar Program. These schools are only open to transfers based on capacity limits.

In Fort Hunt, Mt. Vernon and Kingstowne, the schools are zoned to Fairfax County Schools. Foreign language immersion programs are popular and currently there are a dozen schools in Fairfax County that offer five different world language programs starting in kindergarten or first grade. County-wide Lottery Schools are open to all Fairfax County residents through a lottery process. School-Based Lottery Schools are only open to residents who live within the boundaries of these schools.

Virginia does not follow Common Core standards, so you will want to be acquainted with the Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning (SOLs) to be sure that your student is prepared, especially when transferring from a Common Core state.

Highlighted Areas

Del Ray

Beverly Hills

Old Town


Riverside Gardens

Stratford Landing


Kingstowne and its many subdivisions