There are many things to be taken into consideration when moving or relocating to a new area. If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to move to Fairfax County. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Fairfax County is a very transient place with thousands of people relocating to the area every year. Most people come here because they’re either relocating for a job or searching for better work opportunities.
As for my family, we fall in the latter category. When we moved to Fairfax County in 2013, my wife and I had fallen in love with the area just after a few visits.
So, what are the top reasons to live in Fairfax County?
#1: Fairfax County Employment Opportunities
As mentioned, the number one reason to move to Fairfax County is the employment opportunities that the area has to offer. The job market in Fairfax County is amazing all the time as well.
Being the first county in the United States to reach a six-figure median household income, Fairfax County is home to 11 of the 17 companies based in the Washington D.C. region and has more Fortune 500 headquarters than 35 states and the District of Columbia.
With the military and the federal government being Fairfax County’s largest employer, the D.C. metro area is full of military bases. We have Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, The Pentagon in Arlington County, Quantico in southern Prince William County, and bases located in Maryland.
The pre-COVID unemployment rate in Fairfax County was just about 2.3%, which is 1.4% lower than the national average. On top of that, Fairfax County’s prime location gives college graduates various employment opportunities to choose from.
If we move away from the military side of things, almost every type of industry has a presence in the D.C, area. There’s technology, manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and more.
Additionally, Amazon announced Arlington County, which is Fairfax County’s neighboring county to the north, as the location of its second headquarters in 2019. Note that Arlington is not that large of an area, which means a lot of Amazon HQ2 employees are most likely going to live in Fairfax County.
#2: Fairfax County Public Schools
Next up, the second reason to live in Fairfax County is its highly-rated public schools. The student-teacher ratio in Fairfax County averages around 14:1, which is lower than the national average of 16:1.
Fairfax County is home to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which is the only Magnet School in the county and was named the number one high school in the entire country for two consecutive years now.
Realistically, Thomas Jefferson High is a great school, but it’s not for everyone since it’s very challenging to get in. Nonetheless, there are still some top-rated public schools in the Fairfax County area.
The top-rated schools in Fairfax County have Advanced Placement programs that are available at most schools beginning at the elementary school level. Certain schools even offer full-time or level four Advanced Placement programs while others only offer part-time level two or level three.
#3: Fairfax County Location & Proximity
Fairfax County’s location and proximity to so many attractions is the third reason why you want to live here. Let’s take a look at the cities that are just a few miles away from the area.
For starters, you can visit three major cities for the day and return home before dark. First off, Washington D.C. is just less than 30 minutes away depending on where you are in Fairfax County. Then, there’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is only a two-hour drive.
Also, you can get from your front door to Baltimore, Maryland Inner Harbor in just about an hour and some change. If you do swing by this place, you can check out Blue Moon Cafe that serves a delicious signature toast called Captain Crunch French Toast.
Blue Moon Cafe
Address: 1621 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
Phone: +1 410-522-3940
Now that we’ve covered the cities you can get to, let’s talk about the beaches that are within driving distance of Fairfax County. The area is just a few hours from a number of beaches including Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Maryland, and Dover, Delaware.
As for people who are into outdoor activities, it takes about 75 minutes to travel to Shenandoah, while the Blue Ridge Mountains is two to three hours away. As far as hiking is concerned, there are local attractions that are only 5, 10, 20, or 30 minutes away from your home.
My family and I are big into hiking and taking walks, and you can check out our walking tour videos playlist here.
#4: Fairfax County Weather
As someone originally from New Orleans who’s used to having only two seasons, the fourth reason being the weather or seasons in Northern Virginia is a little special to me.
Honestly, one of the things that amaze me the most about living in Fairfax County is its beautiful fall weather. I can fully understand why there are many songs related to seasons changing because fall here is so lovely.
During the fall season, you can witness the beauty of the leaves changing along with the vibrant colors that the season brings. It’s like a beautiful performance by nature that you don’t have to pay to see, which is one of the perks of living in Fairfax County.
When it comes to people who like the winter season, it only sometimes snows in the area. There is an occurrence of a major snowstorm every 10 years or so but other than that, there are just a few sprinkles of snow here and there.
Since Fairfax County residents are not accustomed to snow, the entire area tends to get shut down when there are sprinkles of snow because people aren’t really used to driving in snow. Needless to say, schools are getting closed as well.
Keep in mind that traffic is going to be horrendous when it snows, but that’s just the way it is in Fairfax County. Despite the lack of snow during winter, it still does get kind of cold in the area.
In order to combat the elements of winter effectively, you need to be well-prepared in terms of gearing up for the all-around chill that the season brings. When moving to Fairfax County, buying a winter coat, which is not to be confused with a fall jacket, would be best.
Now, the season that I prefer the least here would be around the summer. Yes, summer in Northern Virginia is nothing to play with. It could get scorching hot and humid at the same time.
Nevertheless, there are four seasons in Northern Virginia, so no season lasts a long time. You’re only probably looking at a month and a half of hot days in the summer.
Just think of it this way, before summertime, you get to experience the cool breeze of spring where leaves all come back, and all the colors that come with the season are a sight to behold.
#5: Fairfax County Low Crime Rate
The fifth reason to live in the suburbs of Fairfax County is its lower crime rate. The crime rate in Fairfax County is relatively lower compared to the nearest major city, which is Washington D.C.
Moreover, Fairfax County’s crime rate is also lower than its neighbors to the north, in Arlington County, and to the east, in the city of Alexandria.
According to BestPlaces.net, the violent crime rate in Fairfax County is at 11.2, while the property crime rate is at 26.3. Each of which is about 10% lower than the national average.
Coming from New Orleans, which at one time was the murder capital of the world, I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to Fairfax County where the crime is low, which is a good sign for anyone thinking of living here.
#6: Fairfax County Entertainment Options
The sixth reason would be the various entertainment options available in Fairfax County. There is just so much to do here, which has so much to do with its close proximity to Washington D.C.
Fairfax County is only miles away from Washington D.C. and all it has to offer among its world-class free and paid museums, national monuments, the Kennedy Center, three professional sports teams, and the NRA National Firearms Museum.
Speaking of museums, one Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is located on the western side of Fairfax County in Centerville. Note that while Smithsonian museums are advertised as free, you will have to pay a $15 fee for parking if you plan to visit this museum.
There’s also the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, which is located in Vienna, Fairfax County. This is a great place to catch live music and entertainment from all genres and different types of artists.
#7: Fairfax County Parks
Now, the second to the last or seventh reason to live in Fairfax County has to do with recreation. Fairfax County alone is home to 10 regional parks inside of its borders, not to mention the numerous national parks in the area.
In my personal opinion, Fairfax County has one of the best park systems in the country with miles and miles of hiking trails. Many parks also include sports courts to play tennis, volleyball, soccer, and disc golf.
My favorite national park would have to be Great Falls Park, which is a perfect spot for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and more. There’s really something for everyone that enjoys the outdoors in Fairfax County.
#8: Fairfax County Real Estate
Lastly, the final reason to move to or live in Fairfax County is the area’s real estate. This is because Fairfax County offers a wide variety of housing options to choose from.
Most of Fairfax County consists of townhomes with a healthy mix of single-family homes, but there are not that many condos in the area. Fairfax County is more of a bedroom community that services the larger employers in the area.
In addition to finding a large variety of home styles, there are also several different types of architecture available in Fairfax County. There are colonials, split-levels, ranches, contemporary houses, and more.
Now, you may have heard that the price of homes is higher in the Fairfax County area, which is true. Generally, starter homes here are half a million dollars. The median sales price in the last year was $580,000.
The price of homes may be higher but Fairfax County has great public schools, which lessen the chances of you having to put your kids into private schools. This makes living in Fairfax County a little bit cheaper than some areas in the country with a high cost of living.
So, if you can get past that sticker shock, buying a home in Fairfax County is relatively on par with areas that have a high cost of living since you’re also most likely to get a pay increase when you move here.
Just keep in mind that although Fairfax County has a high home sales price, the price per square foot here is still lower than in Washington D.C.
All in all, when deciding where to live in the Northern Virginia areas such as Fairfax County, Arlington, D.C., or Maryland, you’re really just balancing out the price of the homes, the type of school system, and the kind of lifestyle these areas have to offer.
Hopefully, when you’re searching for properties online, you’re using our website as well.
If you’re interested in working with us, fill out our Perfect Home Questionnaire, and we’ll schedule a time to meet online and answer any questions that you have about moving to the Fairfax County area.
Overall, you have learned about some of the top reasons to live in Fairfax County.
Which reasons do you agree with?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.