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Townhomes in Fairfax VA: Your Guide For Buying

Fairfax VA Townhomes

If you are searching for townhomes for sale in Fairfax, VA, congratulations. In my opinion you are making a great decision. Now you are trying to separate out your options. What style townhomes are for sale in Fairfax? What location do I choose? And why is Fairfax confusingly seem to be named for a mailing address, city and county?

I am hoping to give some quick answers (and some long answers) to these questions! And after that, with this post I will cover some information about the areas of Fairfax VA and townhomes in each area. To see all townhomes currently for sale in Fairfax, Follow this link.

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. There are townhomes in all 3 areas (and all homes of course, but townhomes are our favorite and what we specialize in). The best way to show you Fairfax County is simply to show you, so check out the Google Map and prepare to be amazed.

As you can see, Fairfax County townhomes would include 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, according to wikipedia. The map above gives an outline of where it is exactly.

Do you see the random “hole” in the outline above? That is Fairfax City. It is one of a few smaller cities in Northern VA that have their own governing bodies. So if you own a home in Fairfax City, you will pay taxes to Fairfax City while everyone else will pay to Fairfax County.

So what area am I talking about when I say “Townhomes in Fairfax VA?” I am talking about all townhomes that have a mailing address of Fairfax, VA. This is not fully shown in the above map. If you look at the map below, you can see the edges of where Fairfax VA lies. This includes Fairfax City, but also townhomes outside of Fairfax City that are actually in Fairfax County.

Fairfax City Townhomes

Fairfax City has a good mix of Townhomes. Most of them are built along Main St, 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 even newer 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. One reason: closer access 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.

Townhomes Sold in Fairfax City, each marker represents a townhome that was sold.
Townhomes sold in Fairfax City. Gives you a good idea of where these communities are located. Look at the map above for townhomes currently for sale.

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 where there are the most buyers when you to resell.

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.

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, this is likely where you should be looking.

Fairfax VA Townhomes 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 me and I can give you 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 newer community on the east side of 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. They have 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 the area 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.

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. The price per square foot, depending on updates, is generally lower in these townhomes. Prices are higher 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.

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 me and I can set one up for you, or go to our home search and create an account.

Because I watch the market everyday for townhomes that are “coming soon” I can let you know what is going to be for sale before it is anywhere online.

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. In case you have not noticed, I am an expert in townhomes in Fairfax County, Prince William and Loudon County. I have sold everything from townhomes that need extensive work, to brand new construction and everything in between.

If you have a townhome to sell, I am going to soon have some guides related to selling also. In the meantime, reach out to me if you have any questions. Get in touch if would also like a free home value report/market analysis for you neighborhood.

I hope that one day, I will get to meet you on your home search and help you find your next home.

Will Rodgers

Will is an award winning real estate agent, author and high tech marketing expert. Adopting a consultative approach he has helped hundreds of clients meet their real estate goals in the Northern VA real estate market.

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