What Exactly Does It Mean to Be a "Planned Community"?
For starters, you won't find too many rental houses that date back any earlier than the 1990's. In fact, over 91% of housing units were built after 1990. This means pads are in move-in condition. If you want something with a bit of character, though, don't worry. This doesn't mean that Cascades lacks the architectural charm for which much of the surrounding area is known. Built in impressive colonial style, Cascades offers both nice townhouses for rent as well as house rentals. Among the benefits offered by a planned community is a neighborhood with an intuitive road system that provides easy access to shopping, eateries and entertainment venues. Hiking trails, bike paths and running corridors fit seamlessly into the layout of Cascades. This neighborhood might just be the perfect integration of suburban amenities and natural environs.
Expect a Competitive Rental Market
There's no doubt that Cascades is a thriving community and a beautiful place to live. Conveniently located just north of Route 7, Cascades offers proximity to Sterling, the Dulles Airport and the Dulles Corridor region. Yet such a prime location comes at a price: you won't be the only one looking for rental housing in Cascades. Plan roughly one to two months ahead and consider working with a realtor that knows the real estate market here. Only 21.5% of the community's properties are being leased, which means your search won't be without some difficulty. Also, note that coming in the summer offers you the most selection, but there still aren't tons of openings. Hence, now is not the time to be fussy about asking for help. While Cascades isn't the most competitive rental market, it is a community on the rise. Treat your search seriously and you'll come out a winner.
Are You Looking for a Closet to Call Your Home?
You may have to search quite hard. Concrete apartment buildings with studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for rent aren't too common on the housing menu here. There isn't much that's quaint or homespun about concrete. With that said, if you want a 1 bedroom apartment or condo, you can get it; roughly 4.2% of units are one bedroom homes. However, spacious town homes with multiple rooms and lots of light are you best option.
Get Ready for the Contract
Be ready for a credit and background check. Make copies of your ID and provide your social security number. Provide landlord references. Write a check for two months' rent. Put down a deposit. Now, you know: this process is thorough. Once you finish it, sign the contract. The place is yours.
Get Ready for the Amenities
The Cascades Community Association offers a variety of extras beloved by the residents of Cascades. They maintain 15 tennis courts, 10 multipurpose courts, a separate bocce court and a soccer field. There are also five pools! You see. Cascades is your place to dabble in all sorts of sports and fitness activities.
If you want to get technical, Cascades itself is one large neighborhood. Within this 2,500 acre community, there exists some important landmarks and stores. What kind of lifestyle you seek should play a significant role in where you choose to live. Do you want to socialize with the butterflies or chill with the flowers?
Community Center: Near Cascades' center, you'll find the Cascades Marketplace here. This marketplace boasts a variety of chain stores. You may have to look hard for home grown or local shops, but you won't have to look twice for a Starbucks. Head east, and you'll find the the Great Falls Plaza, a commercial and retail center only a bit smaller than the Cascades Marketplace. Obviously, living near here puts you within walking distance of many necessary retailers.
Potomac Lakes: Not to be confused with Potomac, Virginia, the Potomac Lakes neighborhood could be also be called Loudon County's urban center. Centrally located in terms of both hotels and fine dining, this is the place to go if you're looking for a posh urban atmosphere close to home. It's also home to the Potomac Lakes Sports Complex. There's some debate about whether Potomac Lakes is a subdivision of Cascades or a neighborhood in its own right. Locals generally speak of Potomac Lakes and Cascades as separate neighborhoods. So once you move, ignore the census and go with the locals.
There's a refrain that you'll hear from residents throughout the Cascades community: Cascades offers the perfect middle ground between the rural beauty of Loudon County and the metropolitan glitz of nearby Washington, DC. It's this happy middle that inspires newcomers and Virginia locals to make their home in Cascades. Neighbors take their community spirit seriously here. They aren't nosy and they don't pry, but they will want to get to know your interests and persuasions. Both friendly and considerate, Cascades boasts a tightly-knit community of folks that loves to have fun. Go and be a part of it by visiting the Heritage Farm Museum, shopping at the Dulles Town Center Mall, and seeing The Enchanted Forest. The Algonkian Regional Park is the local spot for golfing, boating on the Potomac River, and fishing. If you want more, go play tourist in DC. Cascades will be waiting for you when you get back.