Ever been to a city with 100 streets of the same name? The cititzens of Burke love their founding father, Lt. Col. Silas Burkeso much that over 100 streets, parks, and establishments are named after him -- and the list is still growing.
Burke is a mid-sized town in Fairfax County in northeastern Virgina. Just 15 miles southwest of Washington, DC, it has 41,055 residents, making it a densely populated suburban community. The nightlife here is about as exciting as sliced bread, but what it lacks in big city glitz, it more than makes up for in a significantly higher quality of life. There are plenty of recreational facilities and medical care is far better than the country's average. With an unemployment stat that's less than half of the national level, this predominantly white-collar town is almost perfect. Almost. The cost of living here is a whopping 36% higher. But if this is just a small bump on your road to suburban Utopia--and if having military personnel (employed by nearby Pentagon) as likely neighbors doesn't make you nervous--then let's find you an apartment.
Moving to Burke
Get ready to raid your piggybank, because Burke is one of the most expensive places to rent not only in Fairfax County, but also in America. Most of the residences are single family homes, and only 3% are apartment buildings.
Tornado activity in Burke is significantly greater than the state average, and 60% higher than the US average. Before moving into an apartment or house, thoroughly check the place for damage. The basement should serve as a stronghold in case of extreme weather.
Also, the property market in Burke is pretty tight. Demand is rising and house values are appreciating. Only 13% of occupied homes are leased out, and unfortunately less than 1% of vacant housing units are for rent. Be a hawk and start hunting as soon as you can, preferably months ahead.
If you want to rent an apartment in Burke, present credit and character references, including contact details of your employers and landlords, and a security deposit that's equivalent to one month's or a maximum of two months rent.
The town is a collection of pretty much homogenous, well-organized, and picturesque suburbs. Oh, happy days.
Burke Centre: An award-winning community in the northeastern part of Burke, the 1,700-acre planned residential community consists of 5,862 homes clustered into 5 neighborhoods. Managed by a home owners association, it has been ranked by CNNMoney.com as the 9th "best place to live," where there's plenty of open spaces, bike paths, ponds, wooded areas, and even a lake. Residents of this community have access to several classes, such as yoga, ballroom dancing, karate, and even dog obedience. Now that it has a designated Amtrak stop, living in this area has become even more desirable. Surprisingly, its one of the least expensive areas in town to rent.Huzzah!
Burke Lake Meadow: Bound by Fairfax County Parkway and Burke Lake Road, this west-side community consists of single family homes. Its across the 888-acre Burke Lake Park, a favorite place for fishing, hiking, camping, and golfing, both 18-hole and miniature.
Edgewater: Adjacent to Burke Lake Meadow, it was developed in the early 1990s and features mostly traditional colonial houses on sites as large as three-fourth acres to more than one acre.
Cherry Run: This peaceful tree-lined neighborhood in Five Forks is bound by Fairfax Country Parkway, Lee Chapel Road, and Old Keene Mill Road. Burke Lake Park is just a short drive away.
Burke Station Square: About 500 homes with 1200 to 1700 square feet of ample living spaces are set in in this northeastern part of town. To de-stress, do a few laps at the Burke Station Swim Club, where water aerobics classes and annual family luaus are also held, or hit the trails at the Burke Station Park.
Lakepointe: This northern community near the intersection of Burke Road and Guinea Road is just south of Royal Lake Park, a frequent venue for concerts. On your days off, relax with a picnic at the park.
Signal Hill: All residences in this area have to conform with the home associations strict architectural guidelines. Its no wonder the houses have plenty of curb appeal. The Virginia Railway Express runs on the southern edge.
Amherst Old Mill: Centrally located in town, the Cloverdale Court townhouses are conveniently near Burke Town Plaza and the Rolling Valley Mall Shopping Center. A subdivision with, as they say, none of the "cookie-cutter" look.$$
Lake Braddock: A 27-acre lake lends its name to this community, bordered by forested areas and populated by large single family homes and townhouses in colonial and contemporary styles. Swimming pools, tennis courts, walking paths, and a farmer's pond are some of the amenities.
Keene Mill Woods: Charming garden-style condominiums east of Shiplett Boulevard and minutes away from Rolling Valley Mall and Rolling Valley West Park.
Living in Burke
A cool head behind the wheel is needed if you move to Burke, as the average commute here is over 35 minutes, which is higher than the nation's average. Most Burke residents drive their own cars, since public transportation is sparse. The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) cuts across the northern section of the town, with stops at Burke Centre and Rolling Road. The Metrobus system shuttles employees to and from the Pentagon and Springfield metro stations during rush hour only.
Even though people drive and don't walk, youve got no reason to slouch off in this town, when most locals enjoy an active lifestyle centered on community centers and parks. The sprawling Burke Lake Park, with its man-made lake, is a favorite site for joggers, golfers, and campers. When hit by the small-town blues, residents just get on the VRE or Amtrak for a weekend in Boston or New York.