What to consider There are a few items you will want to have on hand when you are searching for a rental or home you'd like to buy. First of all, the easiest way to navigate this path is through an agent or a realtor, local to the area, who is both professional and very familiar with the process. Be advised to have a list of your needs ready (a list on your iPhone or Android is perfect and you aren't likely to forget to bring that) when it comes to what you want in a home. Be sure to consider important factors like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, if you’d like a yard, the longest you’re willing to commute, if the apartment is pet-friendly, and which amenities you absolutely cannot live without (did I hear someone mention in-unit washer and dryer?).
What to bring You’ll want to be ready with all your paperwork when you visit a potential home, or you run the risk of another renter fulling a fast one and ending up in your ideal pad! To be on the safe side, bring first and last months' security deposit and the application fee (cashier's check is best), a pet deposit (if applicable), work and personal references, credit check fee (again, cashier's check is best), your ID, and patience--above all, bring your patience because it might take a little time to find the place just for you!
City Center: This neighborhood is mainly comprised of adorable row houses or attached homes. The ambiance and charm of these homes calls to those who love having a sense of community and close-knit neighbors who watch out for one another. The City Center neighborhood of Manassas is moderately upscale, which puts it into that slightly-above average-niche that speaks of well-tended streets, clean buildings and a fun place to raise a family. _
Yorkshire: This upscale neighborhood is quite diverse and full of ethnic flavors for dining, art and places for meeting new and interesting friends. One thing to note is that if you have to commute for work, you will be looking at close to an hour each way during the work week. That downside however, is the only one you will find when looking in this area! A bonus to the commute is that you live out in gorgeous country, surrounded by nature, peace and quiet. Carpooling might be the way to go (save on gas + get to know your co-workers = win/win) if you decide to move into this neighborhood!
Sudley: The Sudley neighborhood has a median home price that might have you fanning yourself momentarily, but rest assured, you will not pass out from shock. If you're looking for a three- to four-bedroom home, this is the place to put down roots. It also has a variety of culture and an amazing foodie scene. Sudley is a college-friendly area, with many businesses catering to students, undergrads and, of course, military personnel. Most people still carpool or drive to get to and from work, but there are plenty of walkable areas in this neighborhood as well.
Ravenwood: Ravenwood is a neighborhood that caters to medium and large-sized single-family homes and townhomes. The median home price here is, well, let's just say it's upwards of keeping-up-with-the-Joneses! So is the average rental price per month. Seriously, living here means living in the middle of one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country. The homes, streets, businesses and parks are all exquisitely maintained and manicured. It's posh, it's chic, it's THE place to live if your lifestyle demands the best!
Buckhall: Two things to note about this neighborhood are the large percentage of military families living here and the fact that real estate is exquisitely maintained and tends to keep its value over time. That is great news if you have to move time and again for your profession! Strange but true... and that being said, this is an incredibly safe neighborhood to live in!
Bull Run: Most places in Bull Run are renter-occupied and are comprised of small- to medium-sized apartments, condos and townhomes that offer studios to four-bedroom units. You will need to have a car if you live here for commuting to and from work, as most find that walking just doesn't cut it. Part of the charm of Bull Run is its row houses and attached homes.
Longview: Longview is a very family-oriented neighborhood comprised of medium to large-sized single-family homes and town homes that range from two to five bedrooms on average. If you enjoy living the good life as much as your neighbors, consider this your prime area for beginning your new life in your new neighborhood. However, if you are trying to rent here, this is a predominantly homeowner-type neighborhood. Finding a rental might be next to impossible, unless of course, you have an amazing agent who knows how to network!
Independent Hill: The streets, houses and parks in this neighborhood are vibrant and very well-maintained. That seems to be a theme in Manassas! A notable quality about this area is how much people love their cars. Some families have as many as five, yes five, and that is not an uncommon number. Talk about nice toys! Rental prices are, unsurprisingly, quite high when compared to the rest of the city. This neighborhood is not inexpensive, but it is wonderful for families, full of charm and history.
Loch Lomond: This urban neighborhood is more middle of the road, with real estate prices designed to put a smile on your face and rentals that appropriately follow suit! There are plenty of parks to frequent, excellent restaurants to dine at and a neighborhood steeped in history. Loch Lomond is a wonderful area to move to if you are just starting out and still want to be close to the action.
West Gate: A bike lover's dream neighborhood, this area is populated with a large number of workers who commute via bicycle each day. This very pedestrian-friendly neighborhood is populated with shops, coffee bars and grocery stores. So, pretty much everything you need is within walking or cycling distance... pedestrians rejoice! The predominant language spoken is Spanish, so brush up on your skills and expect neighborly smiles and delicious restaurants around every corner!
Manassas, Virginia, is a growing, thriving city that is extremely cold in the winter months. Most importantly, do not forget your jackets, boots and a love for snow and all that comes with living in an area of the country that truly knows what winter means! Come visit, come stay and come grow old with us, and create new generations of Virginians who learn to love and respect this part of the country.