Townhomes in Fairfax VA: Your Guide For Buying

Townhomes are a great option as they provide ample space and also are less maintenance than a single family home.

Townhomes in Virginia are generally 2-3 level homes built side by side, sharing exterior walls with the next home. End units of a row of townhomes have only 1 shared wall.

It is a very popular home style the DMV, along with condos and single family detached homes.

This post will explore the Fairfax area, give a rundown on some top neighborhoods for townhomes and more community info.

Fairfax, VA…Where is it?

Let me clarify for you what I mean when I talk about the townhomes in Fairfax.

In Northern VA, “Fairfax” could mean one of 3 different areas. Fairfax County, Fairfax City and also the area that includes all Fairfax, VA (mailing address, some of which is in the County and some in The City).

There are townhomes in all 3 areas discussed above.

Fairfax City map, with some surrounding towns seen such as Burke. Fairfax County includes a large number of towns within Northern VA. ©OpenStreetMap Contributors.

As you can see, Fairfax County includes all of these areas, and also more towns than I am going to list here.

The county stretches to Reston, Chantilly and South to Alexandria. Fairfax County is the largest county per populous in VA.

In the middle of Fairfax County, is also Fairfax City. This is an independent city that has its own governing body, collects tax, maintains the area, etc.

Fairfax County does support the area with some services, but for the most part Fairfax City is independent.

When you are looking for townhomes in Fairfax, you could be referring to any one of these areas.

This is not fully shown in the above map.

Fairfax extends to the west of Fairfax City, often known as the Fair Lakes area, and the Fair Oaks area. And to the East are sections of Fairfax that lie outside the City close to Vienna Metro.

Fairfax City Townhomes

Fairfax City has a good mix of Townhomes.

Most of them are built along Main St (Rt. 236), and if you use our home search tool above you will see that many of them are very large, open concept and mostly updated.

Many of these communities that were built in the 1990s and beyond will also have garages.

There are also luxury developments in Fairfax City such as Mayfair on Main.

Fairfax City itself is an older historical area, that has a really quaint Old Town area with rich history and great walkable place to have lunch, dinner or grab some ice cream.

It is also next to the Fairfax Courthouse which is convenient.

These townhomes in Fairfax City usually are priced higher (on average) than those townhomes to the west. However, this will depend on the age of the home, size of the home, amenities of the community and other variables.

One of the reasons Fairfax City is sought after is proximity to “the beltway” or 495. This main highway in Northern VA is crucial for getting around from town to town, and even into DC and Maryland.

There are also some communities that are older, such as The Assembly, Comstock and The Old Courthouse Square.

These neighborhoods are built circa 1970s, and have a more traditional layout with defined rooms and no garages.

However, the older townhomes make great homes because they are at a lower price point than something new, and still offer good space compared to a condo.

When you go to resell, these 1970s era townhomes have a large pool of buyers in many neighborhoods.

Most townhomes in Northern VA, including Fairfax City, have a basement. Some basements are dug out in the back with their own exit, while some do not have another entrance (all below ground).

Fairfax City is a great place to call home. If you want a well established area that has quicker access to 495 and Old Town charm for a night out, this is likely where you should be looking.

Outside Fairfax City

There are a lot of townhome communities that are in Fairfax, but outside of the City of Fairfax.

If you look at the map above, you see highlighted the clusters of townhomes and a snapshot of the market activity at the time.

Of course, the market is always changing so if you want to know what is going on now you can message us for an update.

East of Fairfax City there is opportunity to own a relatively newer luxury townhome, many which were built in the late 2010s.

This section of Fairfax has townhome communities that are the most pricy relative to townhomes to the west or south.

Metro Row, being sold in 2018.

Why? It is all about being close to Vienna metro.

It also helps that it is closer to DC on route 66. Metro Row is a great example of a community on the east side of Fairfax. MetroWest is another community walkable to Vienna Metro in Fairfax.

Built by NV Homes, the community was finished in 2019 and has 4 levels, large garages and many have outdoor patio areas.

If you are looking for townhomes in Fairfax close to the metro it is worth it to check out Covington Townhomes. It is a unique community with a lot of different models.

They were built in the 1970s however many of these units have been remodeled. Covington has also historically gone up in value quite well compared to the overall Fairfax County market.

Mosaic & East Fairfax

The Mosaic District is the furthest east Fairfax Townhomes you can find. These are for the people who like to live in the middle of everything.

The homes are just steps away from shops, restaurants and an active nightlife.

To the south, near George Mason University are some more options for townhomes. As George Mason expands and gets bigger and better, these communities have also seen an increase in popularity.

There are some larger townhouse communities with garages that are incredibly close to George Mason.

Kings Park West also has a section of townhomes that are walkable to campus, making them a great long term investment.

Mosaic district is nearby many townhome communities in Fairfax VA.

A bit farther south just on the edge of Burke, VA are a few townhome clusters that are near the corner of Guinea Rd and Roberts Rd.

These communities have less traffic than the bustling area at the eastern side of Fairfax. The townhomes are also built very near to Lake Royal.

This area has a great trail around the lake. This gives the community a peaceful feel that only water seems to be able to add.

Lake Royal has a similar feel to the other communities built in the 1970s and 1980s, with traditional layouts, many with brick exteriors and finished basements with mostly walkouts to the yard.

If you keep a careful eye out, you can even get a townhome with a lake view, which is a rare find in Fairfax VA. (Although Fairfax County VA has other townhomes and communities with lake views)

To the west of Fairfax City, there is a section of Fairfax that is distinctly different than the other parts.

If you want lots of convenience and a huge selection of places to shop, hang out and eat, then this section is where you will want to look first.

It has a more suburban feel, with slightly less traffic (at times) than the sections closer to metro and 495.

A great community in this section is Penderbrook, an amenity filled golf course community very close to multiple town centers and a shopping mall.

Fair Lakes is another large shopping center, that much of west Fairfax was built near.

The townhomes in Fair Lakes are mostly built in the 1980s- early 2000s, and many of them have the open concept feel that became popular during that time.

The price per square foot, depending on updates, is generally lower in these townhomes than in the townhomes in Fairfax City and to the east.

Cedar Lakes, Fair Ridge and Birch Pond are great examples of communities to pursue if you are looking at this area.

Fair Lakes is another large shopping center, that much of west Fairfax was built around.

The townhomes in the area are mostly built in the 1980s- early 2000s. Many of them have the open concept feel that became popular during that time.

In the beginning of your search, finding the right area is as much about eliminating communities as it is about finding the perfect spot.

This includes townhomes outside of Fairfax. If you go to see a community, and it just is not for you, great!

That means you are one step closer to where you want to be. Fairfax has a wide range of models and homes, and Fairfax County and beyond has even more options.

So where do you start on the quest for you home? Well, the first step is to make sure that a townhome is right for you. There are many times that is a great option.

Other scenarios, you should either be looking for a condo or a single family home. If you need some help with your goals, feel free to get in touch with me.

If you are sure you are going to look in Fairfax for your townhome, then I recommend looking at all the areas. Start near George Mason, then near Vienna metro.

Also, in Fairfax City and west in the Fair Oaks/Fair Lakes area. Your budget will determine what type and to some degree the area you are looking.

For example, if you want to be close to Vienna/Fairfax metro but do not want to spend at the top of the market, start with Covington.

If you want a large luxury townhome and want to be a bit further west in Fairfax, Birch Pond is a good option. You will be able to find the right community fairly quickly once you start to search and narrow your focus.

Looking For A Specific Townhome

Some of our clients come to us and have already narrowed down one townhome community.

Others have a couple of communities in mind.

If you have seen a home at an open house, have a friend that lives in the community or know the neighborhood some other way then you may be set on that specific spot.

You may be able to wait it out until your townhome comes on the market. However, in a crunch, you may have to be flexible with what neighborhood you buy in.

There are usually a few communities that are similar. And some communities have lots of homes so they have townhomes coming up for sale quite often.

If you do have your heart set on one location, or even one model of townhome there are things that you can do to make sure you get the townhome you want.

This is especially important when there are not many homes for sale. In those seller markets the good ones sell quick.

The first step is to make sure that you are set up on an email alert for a certain area. Contact us and I can set one up for you, or go to our home search and create an account.

Our search also features “coming soon” properties.

This can give you a big advantage in beating others to the right townhome. Sometimes, homes that are not yet on the market have restrictions on showing the home to the public.

However, depending on the situation, you may be able to write an offer still on the home.

Get in touch if you want to talk about that further, because the rules are always changing.

Next Steps

Another option is to hire us to begin to market directly to the neighborhood.

In a competitive market, a competitive neighborhood (or both) this can make the difference between getting the townhome you want and missing out.

Alternately, you could have continued frustration at missing opportunities to others.

There have been several cases where we found a seller in a specific neighborhood that matched up with our client. It is a proactive style of real estate, which is what we are all about!

I am really grateful for you taking the time to read this guide. The different areas in Fairfax all offer something unique.

I hope it is helpful to give you some idea on where to look.

We are experts in townhomes in the DMV, and we can guide you through the process.

If you have a townhome to sell, check out this helpful guide on selling a home. In the meantime, reach out to us if you have any questions.

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Will Rodgers

Will Rodgers is a real estate expert, creator of this site and partner at the Alper Real Estate Group. Will has been sought after by many major publications for his expertise and creates sought after content for buyers, sellers and investors.