It's not like trying to crack a secret code. The housing market in McLean is much easier to maneuver through than nearby Washington D.C., but it still has some unique aspects that must be studied before searching for a house or apartment rental here. If you don't do your research, you could become puzzled. When you're puzzled, your mind will feel as if all its capabilities have been vacuumed out of it and sent somewhere else. Don't worry. That is truly an empty warning. This won't happen as long as you take time to learn the necessary things. Bear down and learn the information. You can get back to watching "Homeland" soon.
Houses Take the Throne
Prior to your big move, you want to get a good idea of what sort of housing you have here. Houses sit in the president's chair, and nothing will be voting them out anytime soon. One-unit, detached houses account for nearly 84 percent of the units in the city. If you are searching for houses or townhouses for rent in McLean, this is wonderful news. If you are browsing for rental condos or apartments, you may have a little more work cut out for you, but that's no reason not to look. If you decide to go hunting for a house, though, you will discover more options and have less roadblocks.
You Can Always Get What You Want
It's been established that rental houses are easy to find in McLean. Rental apartments aren't so much. If you don't come prepared, you could be left scratching your head, searching for answers. Before you go and listen to that Rolling Stones song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want," realize that a little effort can almost solve everything. A mixture of luck and good planning makes the process smoother. Apartment complexes account for about 6 percent of the housing units in McLean and there are usually openings. Note that the key word is usually, not always. The good thing is that there are great complexes for you to inquire with about apartment openings. Ovation at Park Crest and The Commons of McLean, for example, are two managed apartment communities in town. Play your hand right and you won't encounter any obstacles. You'll find that you can always get what you want.
Be Patient and Don't Sleep
In some towns and cities, you only need a few days to get everything handled for a place. It's feasible in McLean only if you are flat-out lucky. And if you get that lucky, you should probably go to a casino and see how much more luck you have. To put it plainly, you will probably need more time to find a rental. Don't get frustrated. Time will set everything right. It's advised to give yourself up to one month to get a place. Due to McLean's location near D.C., the housing market here is quite crowded and many places are snatched up as soon as they are listed. Properties in McLean are mostly owner-occupied and the rental market is therefore competitive. Moreover, the population has been growing. If you decide to sleep on it at the Fairfax County Public Library, you may find that your little snooze session can cost you a nice pad. Yes, it can happen that fast. If you are pretty sure about an apartment or house rental, don't go and take a nap. Pretty sure has to equal 100 percent sure here.
Inspect Before You Sign
A lot of the properties here are older, but that absolutely does not mean they are run-down or in bad condition. The high majority have aged quite nicely and possess a distinct Virginian charm. Over 46 percent of houses were constructed before 1970, which means homes here are older than the country's average. So you still should be a little cautious. Inspect everything from how well the heating system runs to whether or not the dishwasher leaks. The worst possible thing you can do is sign the rental contract before you actually check the appliances and structure. Okay, maybe it's not the worst thing, but you could get blamed for something you didn't do. That's not fun.
Preparation for Closing the Deal
The process in McLean is a little different than D.C. because you typically deal with individual owners and not a management staff (unless you live at an apartment complex and not a house). Hence, it's hard to say how things may work as landlords' requirements differ. For this reason, it's recommended to prepare everything. This includes the first month's rent, applicable realtor fees, security deposit, a list of your rental history, proof of income, and references from previous landlords. Other things to inquire about include what utilities are included and what appliances and furniture come with the place. This helps you better prepare for your move-in day. You must be clear on the lease term, what you can do with the house in terms of decorating and pet policies as well.
McLean occupies nearly 25 square miles, so it's not small. The city is picturesque. Expect to be immersed in natural beauty. The real question is this: how close do you want to live to the CIA? Take a few moments to ponder that question over. There's even more that should go into your decision, such as how close you want to be to public transit or major roads. Do you want to be near a park? There's a lot to consider. McLean is a good place to tell jokes, but picking a place to live is no joke. Ask yourself: would the CIA joke about this?
Langley: Right smack dab near the Central Intelligence Agency. The neighborhood is quite nice as it is near the Potomac River and boasts Langley Oaks Park, McLean Central Park and Scotts Run Nature Preserve. The neighborhood is not short on green space.
Bellview: Homes and more homes here. The neighborhood features Great Falls Park.
Swinks Mill Road/Old Dominion Drive: Near the Capital Beltway and Timberly Park, this neighborhood is mostly houses and green area.
Tysons Corner: The name has nothing to do with Mike Tyson. This is the section of town known for shopping and classic Virginian homes. Tysons Galleria and Tysons Corner Center are the shopping highlights.
Potomac Hills: It's mostly just houses here. However, if you like exploring you're in the right spot; you'll be close to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Dolley Madison Boulevard.
Chesterbrook: You have Chesterbrook Shopping Center, lots of eateries and bus stops. This is one of the more convenient neighborhoods.
Town Center: Proximity to shops and major roads makes this area very convenient as well. The Langley Shopping Center and Lewinsville Park are two bustling places.
When folks aren't worried about their phones, you'll see that McLean is a very lively place to be. Remember that it was just a joke about the phones. Part of the activeness is due to neighboring D.C.'s influence, but the main reason is that a storied history and a promising tomorrow breathe life into the city. At any moment you'll spot folks waiting for the bus, stopping for a red light at an intersection or biking on the side of the street. People are on the move and it's not because the CIA is chasing them. Yet the town does have a softer side. On any day locals are gathering at the Capital Grille to dine, relaxing at Kent Gardens Park or shopping at Tysons Galleria. What's nice about McLean is its versatility. It can be a big city or a small town depending on how you play it. Retreat to Claude Moore Memorial Farm when you want room to stretch or take on Washington D.C. when you want concrete. McLean is what you want it to be and nobody is stopping you, not even the CIA!