The good news is, Annandale is the sort of place that welcomes new faces, so there aren'tany major hoops or hurdles to get through if you’re planning to relocate. Its the kind of place where well, lets be honest, you can expect people at the grocery store to recognize you, and maybe even call you by name, which is rather nice in this day and age. It’s also the kind of place where people may wave when you walk past their yard, even if they dont know you. If you’re a big city type, dont let this behavior alarm you; it’s simply small-town Southern hospitality, which actually does still exist outside of period films.
In spite of this uber-friendly vibe, youll still need to be professional in your dealings, so make sure to get together all of the info youll need to rent your apartment. This includes bank statements, employment records and references and, if youre relocating because of a new job, make sure to bring a letter from your new employer as proof of your employment. To avoid headaches, it helps to keep all this annoying but necessary stuff in a notebook so that you can bring it out right away when you need it which you will. Once you’ve gotten organized, its time to go apartment hunting.
Annandale has a great selection of apartments, but be prepared for sticker shock. If you’re scratching your head over the seemingly-inflated rent prices, then remember that Annandale is only 13 miles from Washington, DC, where rents are, frankly, through the roof. While you’re still reeling from these prices, just remember that, by driving an extra 24 minutes away from downtown Washington, you’re potentially saving hundreds of dollars every month.
Annandale’s neighborhoods largely consist of attractive suburban developments, townhouse complexes and a wide-ranging selection of rental properties (including high-rise apartments), and there’s a large inexpensive housing community as well. Here’s a look at some of the more popular neighborhoods in the area:
The Wedgewood:Designated as the largest inexpensive housing complex in Fairfax County, The Wedgewood offers 670 garden-style apartments and caters to households with an income below 60 percent of the area’s median. This centrally-located 35-acre development has an excellent location and while some online reviewers complain that it can get a bit noisy sometimes, overall reviews are positive about living there.
Holmes Run Acres:This being Virginia, it’s impossible to go far without finding a historic neighborhood somewhere nearby, so its no surprise that pre-Revolutionary War Annandale has a neighborhood that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Holmes Run Acres is as picturesque as it sounds, but don’t expect colonial or antebellum mansions. Rather, it’s chock-full of quaint but funky mid-20th century wood ranch-style houses.
Ravensworth-Bristow:Ravensworth-Bristow may sound right out of Merrie Olde England, but its actually a 50-year-old development that boasts period homes right out of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Best of all, theres a main shopping drag that’s right out of Mayberry, with cool local grocery stores where you’re sure to meet the same people every day. If youre looking to find an apartment, you’ll find prices to be about on par with the rest of the area.
Broyhill Crest:One of the area’s newest neighborhoods is Broyhill Crest and you can expect the population to spike even more here in the coming years. This mecca also has a popular community center with fun activities such as regular swim meets but in this day and age, living the American Dream doesn't come at a low cost, so be prepared to pay for this suburban paradise.
The Parliaments:As the largest apartment building in Annandale (750 units), The Parliaments is considered to be a neighborhood unto itself. Its central location means that you can opt for exercising your feet instead of filling your gas tank, thanks to the close proximity of grocery stores and shops that are literally just down the street.
Annendale is the perfect place for people who don’t feel the need to live with mega mall or sports complex just around the corner. There’s a certain feeling of timelessness and security in its suburban streets and urban America commercial districts. However, there’s also a surprising amount of diversity.
As for weather, Annandale gets 43.6 inches of rain and 7.2 inches of snow a year. In July, the average highs are 89 and lows are 68, while in January the average highs are 43 and the average lows are 25, so its still a fairly temperate climate compared to cities further north.
The biggest complaint that locals seem to have is about Annandale is that too many people want to live there, and the population boom has caused traffic to increase substantially over the last several years. Speaking of traffic, you can always help ease congestion by taking the bus, courtesy of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates bus routes throughout Annandale. In addition, these lines connect with the areas extensive Metrorail system, which carries passengers all the way into Washington, DC. When given the chance to avoid driving in traffic, why pass it up?
As for everyday amenities, Annandale has a wealth of restaurants for every taste. Once you’ve settled in and are ready to join community life, you’ll also find a treasure trove of arts and craft shows, festivals and other local community events. For example, there’s the Annandale Fall Festival and Parade, an annual celebration that includes 25 food booths and two stages with everything from swing and country to jazz, bluegrass and Top Forty faves.
Why live in Annandale? There are lots of reasons, especially if you love the idea of living on the cusp of Washington, DC. All the amenities of our nation’s capital are less than a half hour away, yet you’re paying a fraction (at least, relatively speaking) of the rent. You’re also just that much further away from, the problems that come with life in the big city. If you still want to be where the action is, that’s okay too, because whether it’s a midnight Congressional vote, a sold-out concert or a hot new nightclub opening, the action is just 24 minutes away. Last, but not least, if you’re a sucker for smaller-sized towns, then Annandale’s close-knit community vibe will melt your heart. In today’s paradoxical world, old-fashioned small town living comes with modern-day prices, but if youre willing to pay for a bit of peace and quiet, then Annandale just might be the place for you.