Planning a move to Fairfax Virginia is made simpler and more accessible when utilizing free online resources. Whether you want to buy in Fairfax, or rent in Fairfax, critical information is now at our fingertips that affords more informed choices. You just need to know the right places to look.

Knowing exactly which schools are assigned to an address, the nearest police and fire stations, and the nearest hospital and urgent care facility. Beyond these essentials, it’s helpful to know where the local library is, parks and trails, and the post office. Once you’ve settled on a location, there are other housing specific tools that help with the economics of the buying or renting decisions. Plus, efficiently managing the existing transportation alternatives can make life more enjoyable and productive. There’s tools for all of this.

Fairfax County - My Neighborhood

Fairfax County offers a phenomenal resource called My Neighborhood. You simply enter your Fairfax County address and press search. It instantly provides a comprehensive list of current resources, together with an interactive map that any resident will find helpful.

On the left of screen you will see the information that you need to make the best decisions about moving to Fairfax Virginia. It begins with property tax records, planning information, and development proposals. Just in case a warehouse is proposed for your neighborhood, it’s important to be aware of this before you commit to any real estate purchase.

The voting district is displayed, along with your nearest poling station. Following this is a comprehensive list of all elected representatives, including local, state, federal, and school board members.

Perhaps the most sought after information from this resource are the specific schools assigned to the address you have entered. Many real estate aggregation sites such as ZillowTrulia, or Homes won’t have the latest information as this is dynamic and difficult to stay current on. It’s ultimately up to the home owner or renter to ensure the desired schools are in fact available for any given address. My Neighborhood gives you that information in Fairfax County.

Public libraries, parks and recreation facilities, and even post offices are displayed here. This all helps to orientate incoming residents and helps you make informed decisions when planning a move to Fairfax Virginia.

Fairfax Virginia rents can give incoming residents a surprise by the lofty monthly price tag. Rent in Fairfax Virginia is driven by the tight supply of available units, and the strong demand of incoming residents looking for housing. Fairfax owner occupancy is around 70% which leaves a limited supply of units available for rent, relative to the United States average.

What is a fair market rent in Fairfax Virginia? This is a question asked by both prospective renters and property investors.

Rentometer is a free resource that takes the guesswork out of rent valuations. Simply enter the address in question and ask Rentometer to do the analysis. Within seconds you will see how the proposed rent compares to surrounding rentals. This tool gives everyone the information they need to see exactly where the market is positioned, and empowers better decision making for Fairfax Virginia.

This tool is critical for incoming renters as it instantly displays how rent compares to similar properties close by, and can prompt further investigation. A rent at the high end of the market zone may be for a newly renovated property. Expensive rent for a home in disrepair may be out of line with the market. You now have this information, without visiting 25 properties.

Similarly, investors will find this tool invaluable. A military family, for example, moving into the area for a tour of 2–3 years may want to know what market rents are so they can plan their mortgage. This will help to establish a positive cash flow investment when they move on and rent the property, depending on the financial goals.

Basic Allowance For Housing (BAH) Calculator

Fairfax Virgina is a popular destination for military families each summer as service members attach to the many commands we have here in Northern Virginia. The Department of Defense has a well utilized tool for service members and is critical for household budgeting — the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Calculator.

From the Defense Travel Management Office:

The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance prescribed by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides uniformed Service members equitable housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets within the United States when government quarters are not provided.

This is a critical planning tool for incoming renters and property investors. Incoming service members can select a property based on their allowance and preferences. They can choose a more comfortable property and pay a little out of pocket over and above BAH, or choose a budget option and save some of their BAH each month depending on their financial goals.

Fairfax Virginia property owners and investors can use the BAH calculator to see where the broad market rent is. This helps when determining where to set rent and ensure that you are making your property affordable to the majority of the market. Pricing rent too far above BAH levels will quickly limit your market and risk having the property remain vacant.

DC Metro APP

Fairfax Virgina transportation can be challenging as this is the most populous county in the Commonwealth. Despite the vast networks of roads and the rail, being able to use it all efficiently is key to moving around with the highest satisfaction.

There’s an APP for that! The DC Metro App is one of the better free apps that will help you plan your trips and efficiently navigate the DC Metro System.

Simply download this free app for your mobile device, and let it know where you want to go. It instantly gives you a realistic door to door estimate of travel time based on mode of travel from your location. It will even tell you which Metro station to begin your journey and the time your train is departing, and even allows for walking time from your destination metro stop. It’s a great tool that will help you navigate Fairfax throughout the DC Metro area.

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