Your 2024 Fort Belvoir PCS Guide

Starting a new chapter by PCSing to Fort Belvoir? If you’re gearing up for your next military assignment in Northern Virginia, you’re in for an adventure. We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of settling into your new surroundings. From navigating the commuter routes to understanding the financial landscape, delving into the unique character of the counties that encompass Northern Virginia, and finding the perfect place to call home, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s embark on this journey together and find your ideal home base.

Living in Northern Virginia

First things first, let’s get to know the area you’re moving into. Northern Virginia is known for several things, making it a sought-after place to live in or visit.

It has such a diverse business landscape that’s led by technology-based companies and government contractors, and it’s headquartered by big-named companies like Freddie Mac, Capital One, and Northrop Grumman.

Plus, Northern Virginia is home to some of the top-ranked schools nationally, be it public or private. Based on Scholaroo’s data, which ranked each state’s public schools based on student success, student safety, and school quality, Virginia ranks 10th for the best public schools in the country. Most of these schools are located in Northern Virginia.

Combining both its strong economy and excellent schools, Northern Virginia is also known for its highly educated, high-income workforce.

When it comes to recreation and entertainment, there are plenty to choose from here. From horseback riding and exploring vineyards in rural NoVA’s rolling hills to shopping til you drop and tasting cuisines from all around the world in the many vibrant urban hotspots, there’s something that suits everyone’s preferences here. Practice your swing at many of the premier golf courses in the area, go rock climbing or whitewater rafting on the Potomac River, hike an endless network of trails, and appreciate a bit of history with the many historical landmarks dotted throughout Northern Virginia.

This is just a glimpse of what you can expect from living here because we’ll get into more detail in the next section.

Overview of the Regions of Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is made up of several counties and we’ll give you a quick overview of each below, along with some popular cities worth mentioning.

Arlington County

Arlington is the county located immediately south of the nation’s capital. Known for its great neighborhoods, excellent workforce, vibrant art and culture, and energetic urban vibe, this is an excellent place to work and live.

Home to the Pentagon, Fortune 500 companies, high-tech companies, and startup companies, especially in Clarendon, the diverse job market here is why Arlington’s population swells to around 279,100 people during the day and why it’s one of the richest counties in the country. And when it’s time to have fun, you’ve got numerous shopping options, a great nightlife, and tons of restaurants, bars, and bakeries, that boast flavors from around the world with a local flare.

For its top-notch education, nightlife, family-friendly amenities, outdoor activities, commute, and diversity, Niche rated Arlington the second-best city to live in America, although it’s really a county rather than a city.

Fairfax County

Bordering Arlington to its northwest and southwest is Virginia’s most populous county, Fairfax County. To me, this is the land of extremes here because of the sheer wealth of history, dining and shopping options, and more that it has to offer.

It’s well known that Virginia has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s, but Fairfax County’s goes way before that as it was formed in 1742 which was 30 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The county has seen numerous historical events and is home to 455 historical markers, such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Despite that, the county’s sophisticated urban vibe is one of its strengths. It’s home to some of the best public and private schools in the nation, such as Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, one of the best high schools in the nation.

Fairfax County also boasts one of the highest densities of technology jobs among all major markets in the United States. Plus, it’s headquartered by 11 Fortune 500 companies, some of which are Capital One and Booz Allen Hamilton, both of which are in the Tysons Corner area, home to the largest shopping mall in the Baltimore-Washington area. With large immigrant populations, Fairfax County features a lively and diverse culinary landscape, showcasing cuisines from around the world, especially Asian.

Now, it’s not all about urban convenience in Fairfax County. With some parts bordering the Potomac River and over 400 parks and open spaces here, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had.

Loudoun County

Northwest of Fairfax is Loudoun County. While it’s quite rural compared to the previous counties mentioned, Loudoun is still a well-visited place for a few reasons.

Loudoun has rich agricultural roots that remain strong today, despite the rapid urbanization of Northern Virginia. Farms are still a big contributor to its economy, fueling the local diverse culinary scene with locally sourced goods.

Loudoun’s agricultural industry is most known for its orchards and vineyards that sit on rural Virginia’s rolling hills, which brought about over 50 top-notch wineries that many come to visit. Thus, Loudoun is proudly called “DC’s Wine Country”, though it also has a wealth of breweries and distilleries dotted around the area.

Situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, Loudoun has the perfect setting for outdoor fun. Go hiking and find gorgeous views at scenic overlooks on the Appalachian Trail, go on an adventure and bike the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, zoom past trees as you zipline forest canopies, or paddle the Potomac River. With the county’s love for horses, it has the highest number of equines in the state, hosting large-scale equestrian events, and boasts premier competition venues.

On the flip side, the eastern part of Loudoun is also a suburban haven – master-planned communities like Brambleton, shopping centers like the Leesburg Premium Outlets, and the strong presence of tech in Ashburn, which is the largest and fastest-growing data center hub in the world.

Loudoun is pretty young, especially when it comes to homes, with a majority of them built after the 2000s, making it an excellent choice for those looking for new construction homes. It’s the fastest-growing county in the state, and there’s more to look forward to here as far as infrastructure and urbanization go.

Prince William County

Southwest of Fairfax lies Prince William County, known for its charming rural vibe, a collection of historic small towns, beautiful outdoors, and a growing arts and entertainment scene. Three significant national sites are located within the county – Manassas National Battlefield Park, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and the Prince William National Forest – giving you a glimpse of the rich history here.

Home to a portion of the Quantico base, a great chunk of the workforce here is employed by the military sector, followed by the government, given its proximity to the nation’s capital. Benefiting from a well-educated and proficient workforce, coupled with the rise of high-tech companies in the area, the technology sector has a strong presence in this locality.

When it comes to outdoor adventures, you’ve got plenty of options here no matter your preference. Boasting two national, 42 local, four regional, and one state park, along with a large lake and ponds throughout the county, Prince William has a spot for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and more.

Stafford County

The southernmost county in Northern Virginia, Stafford County is a delightful mix of historical charm, the great outdoors, and top-notch wineries and breweries. Historical sites dot Stafford, such as the Stafford Civil War Park, the Patawomeck Museum & Cultural Center, and the Chatham Manor. Home to five local breweries, vineyard tours, and tasting award-winning wines are an easy weekend getaway here.

Enjoying the natural beauty of Stafford is an easy task since it’s home to many parks and natural areas. Go hiking and enjoy the waterfront views at Government Island Park, head for some water fun and fishing at Rappahannock River, or take a dip and sunbathe at Aquia Beach Park.

A portion of the Quantico base is within this locality, making it another option for those working there.

Alexandria

Now, Alexandria isn’t a county but a city, situated just beside Arlington County and along the banks of the Potomac River, just across Washington. Old Town Alexandria, its historic center, is a lively hub of local stores, and excellent and award-winning restaurants situated within colonial-era architecture along cobblestone streets.

Alexandria boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, ranging from popular galleries like the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the Athenaeum to popular live entertainment hubs like Birchmere Music Hall and MetroStage.

Despite all the hustle and bustle in Alexandria, you’ve got spots for slow days too. Take in the views of the scenic waterfront, go on a picnic or dockside dining or cruise along the Potomac River.

About Fort Belvoir

Fort Belvoir is home to nine Army major commands, 16 Department of the Army agencies, 8 elements of the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard, and nine DOD agencies, all providing services to over 216,050 military, civilians, retirees, and families. Boasting double the number of employees (a population of 47,000) compared to The Pentagon, Fort Belvoir is the largest employer in Fairfax County, where it’s located.

In terms of quality of education, most places surrounding Fort Belvoir are a safe bet for families, should you choose to stay within the county. Fairfax County is known for its high-quality public, private, or charter schools.

The base has one on-post school, Fort Belvoir Elementary School, a highly-ranked, A- school on Niche. Should you live off the base, there’s Woodlawn Elementary School just outside the installation, Walt Whitman Middle School, and Mount Vernon High School.

If you’re moving with kids, naturally, you’d want to figure out your childcare options too. There are five on-post military child development centers in Fort Belvoir, offering childcare to infants up to school-aged kids. The programs they offer include full-day care, part-time daycare, and school-year care.

For your healthcare needs, you have the Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center, formerly known as the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, a world-class on-post military healthcare facility. The hospital provides comprehensive care ranging from primary to more specialized medical care and surgical services. 

Fort Belvoir features other base amenities. It has five Community Centers with free internet access, meeting and party facilities, and more. There’s a free community pool, fitness trails, basketball and volleyball courts, a dog park, and playgrounds for the kids. The base also boasts an 18-hole golf course, a marina, a bowling center, a movie theater, and a skate park, among others.

A lot of these amenities are within Fort Belvoir’s 15 different villages for on-base housing. Now why that’s an option, if you’re reading this article, you’re likely considering off-base housing. We’re going to talk about the best neighborhoods for you, but first, let’s talk about Fort Belvoir’s location.

Location of Fort Belvoir

Located in eastern Fairfax County, Fort Belvoir sits on 8,656 acres of land along the Potomac River. The base is off I-95 (exit 166), one of the most useful roads in Northern Virginia, from which you can hop on to head into Washington, D.C., just 20 miles north. 

Immediately accessible from Fort Belvoir are two roads: I-95 and Route 1, both of which are major north-south routes that can take you north to D.C. and the southernmost region of Northern Virginia, Stafford County. Here’s a quick guide to the major thoroughfares around Fort Belvoir that will be useful to you:

 

  • I-95: A north-south road interstate highway that runs through Virginia. Within I-495 (the Capital Beltway), I-95 is known as I-395.
  • I-395: Runs from US 50 (New York Avenue) in D.C. and on the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge, to Shirlington in Arlington, Lincolnia in Fairfax County, and ends at I-95/I-495 in Springfield in Fairfax County
  • US Route 1: A major north-south route that goes through Alexandria to Stafford County
  • I-495: Also called the Capital Beltway, this interstate connects with I-66 and several other smaller roads around Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County.
  • State Route 7: An east-west route that runs diagonally from Winchester to Washington Street in downtown Alexandria. This is a useful road for the western end of Northern Virginia, going through areas like Leesburg, Dulles, and Tysons.
  • I-66: Goes through Arlington, Oakton, Vienna, and Centreville in Fairfax County, going as far as Middletown; Intersects with 1-495 roughly at the Dunn Lorring-Merrifield Station.

 

 

 

From the map above, you can see some areas to look into if you’re settled on off-base housing. Some great options are Lorton, Springfield, Woodbridge, and even the city of Alexandria.

With the Northern Virginia traffic, sometimes, being located close to your workplace doesn’t mean that you’ll get there within a few short minutes. This is especially true for I-95, which was once hailed as the “worst traffic hotspot” in the country. And because this interstate is just outside Fort Belvoir, one of the only two major roads outside the base, you will hop on this road a lot.

Considering this, areas further away from Fort Belvoir may offer quicker commutes if you’re opting for public transportation instead of driving. Because of this, we’ll be tackling all your commuting options to the base in the next section.

Commuting to Fort Belvoir

Driving

Driving to Fort Belvoir is pretty straightforward since you’re goal is just to hop onto I-95 or Route 1. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll take you through how to reach the base from the north and the south.

From the north, you simply hop on I-95 South. Next, exit Fairfax County Parkway/Backlick Road (State Route 286) and exit 166A. Continue on Fairfax Count Parkway until you reach its end at Richmond Highway (Route 1). Now, turn left and hop on Route 1. At the first light on the right is the Tulley Gate on Fort Belvoir. This is the base’s main entrance and it’s open 24/7, even on weekends and holidays.

From the south, take I-95 North to Richmond Highway (Route 1). Then exit 161 N onto Fairfax County Parkway, and continue on this road until it ends at Route 1. Now, turn left at the traffic light onto Route 1. At the next light, you’ll have the Tulley Gate entrance on your right.

Now, that’s pretty easy to follow, right? But driving on these roads on the way to work can be a daily battle because Northern Virginia is notorious for traffic. Much of it is along I-95, which, as we mentioned earlier, had the title of the worst traffic “hotspot” in the US. A stretch of this interstate sees an average of 23 traffic jams in a day.

Generally, most major thoroughfares in Northern Virginia are congested, especially during rush hour, which is between 8 AM to 10 AM and 4 PM to 6 PM. The busiest ones even get weekend traffic.

We’re focusing on I-95 though, because it’s the most useful road when heading into Fort Belvoir.

Think about this: this interstate is one of the only two major roads connecting the northern portion of Northern Virginia to its southern portion. You’re not only on the road with people heading into the base, but you’re also driving with people driving to the major employment hubs such as Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County – that’s a lot of people.

So you can’t fully rely on the estimated time Google Maps gives you on your drive to work. Having a good cushion time on your travel and hopping on the road early is the norm for most people in Northern Virginia. And if you don’t want to get behind the wheel and deal with all of that, you have public transportation options.

Metro

Washington’s Metrorail is the second busiest busiest system in the country, offering reliable transit for over 600,000 customers daily and servicing 98 stations in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. This service is useful if you’re planning to live somewhere north of Fort Belvoir because that’s where the metro lines stop.

The Metrorail has six color-coded rail lines: Red, Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow, and Green. The system’s design allows for travel between any two stations with only a single transfer at most – take a look at this system map below.

 

  • Red Line: The Red Line is the oldest and busiest line. It consists of 27 stations spread across Montgomery County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., and is the only line that doesn’t share tracks with any other Metrorail line.

 

  • Orange Line: The Orange Line consists of 26 stations in Fairfax County, Arlington, District of Columbia, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. It runs from Vienna, Virginia to New Carrollton, Maryland. This line shares half of its stations with the Blue Line and two-thirds of it with the Silver Line.

 

  • Silver Line: The Silver Line consists of 34 stations spread across Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington County, Washington D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland.

 

  • Blue Line: The Blue Line consists of 28 stations located in Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, Washington D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland. It shares tracks with the Orange Line, Silver Line, and Yellow Line, with only three stations exclusive to the Blue Line.

 

  • Yellow Line: The Yellow Line is the shortest in the system, consisting of 13 stations in Fairfax County, Alexandria County, Arlington County, and Washington, D.C. This is the only line in the system that doesn’t enter Maryland.
  • Green Line: The Green Line consists of 21 stations in Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, unlike the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir has no metro stations. The closest one would be the Franconia-Springfield Station on the Blue Line, which is around 7 miles away from Fort Belvoir. Covering the remaining miles to the base are a few bus services, which we’ll be discussing soon.

If the Metro’s Yellow Line is more accessible to you, you can also opt for either King St – Old Town Station, Eisenhower Avenue Station, or Huntington Station. They’re 14 miles, 13.5 miles, and 11 miles from Fort Belvoir, respectively, and all three stations also offer bus services directly to the base.

With that in mind, you can head to the base without getting behind the wheel if you live close to any of these stations. If not, you can at least drive to these stations, park your car, and take the metro and the bus for the rest of your trip.

Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

If you’re going to Fort Belvoir from the south, instead of the Metro, you have the VRE. This service is also an alternative to the Metro if you’re from the north. There is no VRE station in the immediate vicinity or within Fort Belvoir too, but the VRE places you close to the base already. Here’s a system map so you can visualize the VRE lines.

The VRE is the state’s commuter rail system, connecting Northern Virginia suburbs and the Washington, D.C. area through rail services along the I-66 and I-95. The VRE has two lines: the 60-mile Fredericksburg Line and the 35-mile Manassas Line.

Now, Fort Belvoir is somewhere between the Franconia-Springfield and Lorton Stations, so the Fredericksburg Line is most useful here.

The Lorton Station is where you’d want to stop if you’re heading to the base from the south and is the closest station to Fort Belvoir, only 5 miles away from the base. The Franconia-Springfield VRE Station, which is just across the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, is also nearby, just 7 miles away from the base. While the Alexandria Station is around 14 miles away, it can also be a useful option if you’re heading to the base from the north.

All three of these VRE stations offer bus services to Fort Belvoir, both Fairfax Connector Routes and the REX bus service, so no need to drive to get to the base.

Bus

Along with a comprehensive metro and train system, Northern Virginia also has a variety of bus lines. WMATA offers bus services all over the region, while each county, and some cities like Alexandria and Fairfax, have their own bus system for local travel. Bus routes have stops on Metro or VRE stations, which is why we went through those first so you have an idea of where to get a bus to the base.

For organization, we’ll divide bus services into two: those that connect you directly to Fort Belvoir, and those that are useful for commuting around Northern Virginia. In some places, you could use both in conjunction and you never have to drive.

Bus Services to Fort Belvoir

Now, we’re mentioning bus services last because the Metro and VRE stations also serve several bus services to Fort Belvoir. So in this section, not only are we highlighting bus routes into the base, but we’re also going to talk about the most useful stations, those that we’ve already mentioned above, for these bus routes.

First is the Franconia-Springfield, which has both Metro and VRE services just across from each other. This station offers bus services to Fort Belvoir through Fairfax Connector, which offers two routes to the base:

One is Route 335 “The Eagle”, which serves Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, Fort Belvoir, Fort Belvoir Hospital, and Lansdowne Centre. This runs during weekday rush hour service only.

The other is Route 334, which serves Franconia-Springfield Metro & VRE stations. This bus route serves the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which is already within Fort Belvoir.

King St- Old Town Station, Eisenhower Avenue Station, and Huntington Station all have the same bus service to Fort Belvoir: The Richmond Highway Express (REX), which is operated by WMATA. Here’s a map of the route below, see that red line running through the three stations and Fort Belvoir. That’s the REX bus route.

Just to reiterate a few key details about the stations, King St-Old Town is on both the Blue and Yellow lines, while Eisenhower Avenue and Huntington stations are on the Yellow Line. King St-Old Town has Metro and VRE services, with its Alexandria VRE Station just across the metro station.

The last station we’ll be highlighting is the Lorton VRE Station, which offers Fairfax Connector bus services to Fort Belvoir with the bus Route 171. This bus route serves the Huntington Metro Station as well and offers weekday, Saturday, and Sunday Services. Here’s a map of the route:

Other Bus Services

Several operators offer bus services for mass transportation in Northern Virginia, many of which are bound by their counties. We’ll give you an overview of each and link you to their websites so you’ll know more details about each one – schedules, routes, and every other relevant detail.

 

  • WMATA’s Metrobus: Metrobus operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing service to the nation’s capital with a fleet of 1,500 buses. These bus services have routes all over Northern Virginia.

 

  • Arlington Transit (ART): Arlington Transit complements Metrobus in Arlington County by offering cross-county routes and neighborhood connections to the Metrorail system. These bus services have extensive routes in and around Arlington – you can take a look at a route map here.

 

  • Fairfax Connector: Fairfax Connector stands as the largest local bus system in the Northern Virginia region, serving around 26,000 passengers across 93 routes daily. Here’s an extensive map of this operator’s bus routes, including several other details that may help your commute.

 

  • Alexandria Transit Company’s (ATC) DASH: The DASH system by the Alexandria Transit Company offers free local bus services within the City of Alexandria. It also links up with Metrobus, Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express, and other local bus systems. Take a look at their bus route and schedules here.

 

  • Loudoun County Transit: Loudoun County Transit offers public transportation services within Loudoun County and to specific commuting destinations. They offer bus services from Park and Ride lots located around the county to Rosslyn, Crystal City, the Pentagon, and D.C. Other services include local fixed routes and Metro Silver Line bus routes.

 

 

 

 

 

2024 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

Now, before you narrow your choices among the counties, let’s talk about housing expenses first because Northern Virginia’s real estate market is some of the most expensive in the county. And the closer you want to be to the city, the higher the price tags are.

First, let’s take a look at your BAH. The 2024 Fort Belvoir VA BAH rates have increased by 8.5 percent from 2023, and they are as follows:

Enlisted Rates

With Dependents Without Dependents
E1 $2,811.00 $2,169.00
E2 $2,811.00 $2,169.00
E3 $2,811.00 $2,169.00
E4 $2,811.00 $2,169.00
E5 $2,880.00 $2,538.00
E6 $3,360.00 $2,739.00
E7 $3,525.00 $2,808.00
E8 $3,705.00 $2,982.00
E9 $3,882.00 $3,120.00

Warrant Officer Rates

With Dependents Without Dependents
W1 $3,381.00 $2,799.00
W2 $3,600.00 $2,979.00
W3 $3,819.00 $3,138.00
W4 $3,909.00 $3,399.00
W5 $4,020.00 $3,564.00

Officer Rates

With Dependents Without Dependents
O1E $3,558.00 $2,877.00
O2E $3,786.00 $3,090.00
O3E $3,924.00 $3,354.00
O1 $2,943.00 $2,736.00
O2 $3,354.00 $2,859.00
O3 $3,813.00 $3,186.00
O4 $4,056.00 $3,534.00
O5 $4,224.00 $3,636.00
O6 $4,260.00 $3,798.00
O7 $4,293.00 $3,864.00

 

Other than your BAH, we also have to consider your VA entitlement for your VA loan. Now, because the Northern Virginia housing market is crazy, you’ll be able to borrow more in this region. Let’s talk about this a bit more in-depth in the next section.

VA Entitlement

For most places in the continental United States, the 2024 conforming loan limit is $766,550, even in Virginia. But for the northern region of the state, the limit can go as high as $1,149,825. According to Veterans United, here are some areas in Northern Virginia with the maximum VA loan limit:

County Loan Limit
Alexandria City $1,149,825
Arlington County $1,149,825
Clarke County $1,149,825
Culpeper County $1,149,825
Fairfax County $1,149,825
Fairfax City $1,149,825
Falls Church City $1,149,825
Fauquier County $1,149,825
Fredericksburg City $1,149,825
Loudoun County $1,149,825
Madison County $1,149,825
Manassas City $1,149,825
Manassas Park City $1,149,825
Prince William County $1,149,825
Rappahannock County $1,149,825
Spotsylvania County $1,149,825
Stafford County $1,149,825
Warren County $1,149,825
All other areas $766,550

Take note, the “limits” above or your “VA entitlement” are not the amount you can borrow, but the amount the government guarantees. 

Now that this is out of the way, we’ll tackle the other considerations of your VA loan limit. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, loan limits don’t apply to every veteran.

Those with a full entitlement don’t have limits for loans over $144,000. With this, you don’t need to shell out a downpayment and if you default on a loan that’s over $144,000, they’ll pay the lender up to 25% of the loan amount.

You have a full entitlement if you meet any one of these requirements:

  • You’ve never used your home loan benefit, or
  • You’ve paid a previous VA loan in full and sold the property (therefore your full entitlement is restored), or
  • You’ve used your home loan benefit but had a foreclosure or compromise claim (a.k.a. A short sale) that you’ve repaid in full

If you don’t fall under a full entitlement, you have what’s called a remaining entitlement if any of these apply to you:

  • You have an active VA loan you’re still paying back, or
  • You paid a previous VA loan in full and still own the home, or
  • You refinanced your VA loan into a non-VA loan and still own the home, or
  • You had a compromise claim (or short sale) on a previous VA loan and didn’t repay us in full, or
  • You had a deed in place of foreclosure on a previous VA loan (this means you transferred your home’s title to the bank that holds your mortgage to avoid foreclosure), or
  • You had a foreclosure on a previous VA loan and didn’t repay us in full

So if you have a remaining entitlement, you have a VA loan limit based on the table above.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Where to Live

Finances

When moving to a new place for work, naturally, you’d want to be as close to your workplace as possible. So when talking about the cost of living, we’ll start with regions closest to Fort Belvoir first. All the values we’ll be mentioning below are from the Economic Policy Institute.

Area Monthly Housing Cost Total Monthy Expenditure (including housing costs)
Fairfax County $1,975 $9,797
Alexandria $1,834 $9,055
Arlington County $2,068 $9,885
Prince William County $1,798 $9,221
Stafford County $1,623 $8,830
Loudoun County $1,963 $9,861

Now, these figures above should only act as a gauge for figuring out your expenses because these may be bare-bones numbers. Why do we say this? Let’s take a look at some BAH calculations for VA home loans in Northern Virginia below.

Sale Price Funding Fee Total Loan  P&I Taxes Insurance HOA PITI
US$ 250,000.00  US$ 5,750.00  US$ 255,750.00  US$ 1,512.86  US$ 250.00  US$ 39.38  US$ 100.00  US$ 1,902.23 
US$ 275,000.00  US$ 6,325.00  US$ 281,325.00  US$ 1,664.14  US$ 275.00  US$ 43.31  US$ 100.00  US$ 2,082.46 
US$ 300,000.00  US$ 6,900.00  US$ 306,900.00  US$ 1,815.43  US$ 300.00  US$ 47.25  US$ 100.00  US$ 2,262.68 
US$ 325,000.00  US$ 7,475.00  US$ 332,475.00  US$ 1,966.72  US$ 325.00  US$ 51.19  US$ 100.00  US$ 2,442.90 
US$ 350,000.00  US$ 8,050.00  US$ 358,050.00  US$ 2,118.00  US$ 350.00  US$ 55.13  US$ 100.00  US$ 2,623.13 
US$ 375,000.00  US$ 8,625.00  US$ 383,625.00  US$ 2,269.29  US$ 375.00  US$ 59.06  US$ 100.00  US$ 2,803.35 
US$ 400,000.00  US$ 9,200.00  US$ 409,200.00  US$ 2,420.57  US$ 400.00  US$ 63.00  US$ 100.00  US$ 2,983.57 
US$ 425,000.00  US$ 9,775.00  US$ 434,775.00  US$ 2,571.86  US$ 425.00  US$ 66.94  US$ 100.00  US$ 3,163.80 
US$ 450,000.00  US$ 10,350.00  US$ 460,350.00  US$ 2,723.14  US$ 450.00  US$ 70.88  US$ 100.00  US$ 3,344.02 
US$ 475,000.00  US$ 10,925.00  US$ 485,925.00  US$ 2,874.43  US$ 475.00  US$ 74.81  US$ 100.00  US$ 3,524.24 
US$ 500,000.00  US$ 11,500.00  US$ 511,500.00  US$ 3,025.72  US$ 500.00  US$ 78.75  US$ 100.00  US$ 3,704.47 
US$ 525,000.00  US$ 12,075.00  US$ 537,075.00  US$ 3,177.00  US$ 525.00  US$ 82.69  US$ 100.00  US$ 3,884.69 
US$ 550,000.00  US$ 12,650.00  US$ 562,650.00  US$ 3,328.29  US$ 550.00  US$ 86.63  US$ 100.00  US$ 4,064.91 
US$ 575,000.00  US$ 13,225.00  US$ 588,225.00  US$ 3,479.57  US$ 575.00  US$ 90.56  US$ 100.00  US$ 4,245.14 
US$ 600,000.00  US$ 13,800.00  US$ 613,800.00  US$ 3,630.86  US$ 600.00  US$ 94.50  US$ 100.00  US$ 4,425.36 
US$ 625,000.00  US$ 14,375.00  US$ 639,375.00  US$ 3,782.14  US$ 625.00  US$ 98.44  US$ 100.00  US$ 4,605.58 
US$ 650,000.00  US$ 14,950.00  US$ 664,950.00  US$ 3,933.43  US$ 650.00  US$ 102.38  US$ 100.00  US$ 4,785.81 
US$ 675,000.00  US$ 15,525.00  US$ 690,525.00  US$ 4,084.72  US$ 675.00  US$ 106.31  US$ 100.00  US$ 4,966.03 
US$ 700,000.00  US$ 16,100.00  US$ 716,100.00  US$ 4,236.00  US$ 700.00  US$ 110.25  US$ 100.00  US$ 5,146.25 
US$ 725,000.00  US$ 16,675.00  US$ 741,675.00  US$ 4,387.29  US$ 725.00  US$ 114.19  US$ 100.00  US$ 5,326.48 
US$ 750,000.00  US$ 17,250.00  US$ 767,250.00  US$ 4,724.09  US$ 750.00  US$ 118.13  US$ 100.00  US$ 5,692.22 
US$ 775,000.00  US$ 17,825.00  US$ 792,825.00  US$ 4,881.56  US$ 775.00  US$ 122.06  US$ 100.00  US$ 5,878.62 
US$ 800,000.00  US$ 18,400.00  US$ 818,400.00  US$ 5,039.03  US$ 800.00  US$ 126.00  US$ 100.00  US$ 6,065.03 
US$ 825,000.00  US$ 18,975.00  US$ 843,975.00  US$ 5,196.50  US$ 825.00  US$ 129.94  US$ 100.00  US$ 6,251.44 
US$ 850,000.00  US$ 19,550.00  US$ 869,550.00  US$ 5,353.97  US$ 850.00  US$ 133.88  US$ 100.00  US$ 6,437.84 
US$ 875,000.00  US$ 20,125.00  US$ 895,125.00  US$ 5,511.44  US$ 875.00  US$ 137.81  US$ 100.00  US$ 6,624.25 
US$ 900,000.00  US$ 20,700.00  US$ 920,700.00  US$ 5,668.91  US$ 900.00  US$ 141.75  US$ 100.00  US$ 6,810.66 

These calculations are based on an Interest Rate for a VA Loan of 5.875% and an Interest Rate VA High Balance of 6.25%. Simply put, a high balance mortgage allows you to go beyond the usual loan limitations so you can secure a home with a high market value.

Let’s talk about the terms used in this table:

  • Sale Price: the price you actually pay for the property.
  • Funding Fee: a fee the Department of Veteran Affairs requires you to pay for making a VA guaranteed loan. It’s added in with the loan and is used to support the VA home loan program.
  • Total Loan: the sum of the sale price and funding fee.
  • P&I (Principal and Interest): the periodic payment you’re required to repay your home loan that includes the interest charges for the period plus the amount applied to the amortization of the principal balance.
  • PITI (Principal, Interest, Tax, Insurance): the sum that represents the components of the total monthly mortgage payment. This figure helps you and the lender determine the affordability of your mortgage.

Because we’re trying to narrow down your options here, let’s take a look at the median sales price for each county, according to data from Redfin.

Area Median Sales Price
Arlington County $720,000
Alexandria $575,000
Fairfax County $658,500
Loudoun County $720,000
Prince William County $511,000
Stafford County $499,925

The most affordable county to buy a home in is Stafford County, with a median sales price of around $500,000. Considering the BAH calculations above, your monthly mortgage payment in the county would be $3,704.47.

Take these figures with a grain of salt because these calculations are on a case-by-case basis. We haven’t even factored property types yet, which can significantly change the sales price of a home even in counties with a higher market value. 

Property Types

Single-family homes are the most expensive property type there is. Northern Virginia has pretty much every type you can think of – from more expensive options like single-family homes, estate-type homes, and farmettes, to more affordable options like townhomes and condos.

Depending on the area though, there’s always going to be one or two that are more prevalent, driving the median home price up. For example, Great Falls in Fairfax County only has single-family homes, and because of that, the median sale price in this area is $2,052,000 as of the time of writing.

With this having a significant impact on your finances, let’s talk about the property types you’ll find in each county.

Arlington County

In Arlington, you’ll mostly find single-family homes with a mix of townhomes and condos. Last 2023, Arlington gave its approval to a new plan for more high-density living areas. This makes it easier to build townhouses, duplexes, and small buildings containing up to four, and even six, residential units on lots that were previously designated exclusively for single-family detached housing. The median sale price for homes in Arlington County is around $720,000.

Alexandria

Alexandria City is a mix of several choices, from single-family homes of various styles to more modern condos, beautiful row houses to charming waterfront homes. While colonial homes, remnants of the city’s rich history, are most popular here, especially in North Ridge, Rosemont, and the West End, Alexandria has a healthy mix of new construction homes too. And if you’re looking for townhomes, Delray is one of the most popular places to start looking. The median sales price for Alexandria is $575,000.

Fairfax County

Single-family homes, the most expensive property type, are the most common in Fairfax County. This is one of the main contributors to the high median sales price in the region, which is $658,500 as of the time of writing. Some areas, such as Tysons Corner, are dense with condos and other high-density living properties. Towns in eastern and southern Fairfax County tend to be more affordable too, like Springfield and Clifton.

Loudoun County

Loudoun County is predominantly single-family homes, especially on the western end, where you won’t find any other property type. Eastern Loudoun County has more variety and choices:  Flats in Sterling; estate-type homes and townhomes in Leesburg; courtyard homes and penthouse-style flats in Brambleton; luxury and garage condos, and villas in Aldie; and 55+ communities around Eastern Loudoun. This county is rapidly growing – most homes here were built after 2000 and there is a great stock of new construction homes here, which means easier maintenance with modern plumbing and appliances, among other benefits. Homes in Loudoun County have a median sale price of $720,000.

Prince William County

Prince William County is home to an incredible mix of homes – something for every taste and style. It features townhomes, condos, and single-family homes of various styles, from the classic rancher to elegant waterfront homes. Beyond the property type, there’s a great diversity of developments here too – active adult communities, golf course communities, and even urban communities boasting several conveniences, such as being close to stores, restaurants, and VRE stations. Prince William County is one of the more affordable regions, with a median sales price of $511,000, but it’s slowly catching up to its northern neighbors.

Stafford County

In Stafford County, there’s a good stock of both single-family homes and townhomes, with relatively fewer condo units. With a mix of starter homes, apartments, cluster homes, and gated communities like Aquia Harbour, there’s plenty to choose from here. Some properties here have beautiful waterfront locations or are golf communities, it’s easy to connect with neighbors or peers here. In this county, it’s typical to come across spacious lots, three to four-bedroom homes, and even four-story townhomes. The median sales price for Stafford County homes is $499,925.

Commute

Because Fort Belvoir is located within Fairfax County, it seems to be the easiest choice because you’d want to be as close to the base as possible, naturally. But keep in mind that Fairfax County is pretty big, so you have to pick areas surrounding the base.

For example, Lorton, in Fairfax County, is just 7 miles away from Fort Belvoir. Meanwhile, McLean is also within the county, but it’s around 20 miles north of the base.

Some areas outside Fairfax County are much closer to the base, like Woodbridge in Prince William County, which is 13 miles south of the base. Another bonus is that Prince William County is a more affordable region compared to Fairfax County.

Stafford County, the most affordable on the list, is the southernmost county in Northern Virginia, just after Prince William County. But take note, that even the northernmost area of Stafford County, Boswell’s Corner, is around 24 miles from Fort Belvoir.

We’re talking about proximity to Fort Belvoir because we’ll tackle commuting next, which is a big consideration in choosing where to live.

I know we’ve talked about commuting earlier in this section, but that one focused on how to get to Fort Belvoir. This time, we’ll look into each county– you’ll know how you’re gonna head in and out of each and other relevant details.

Driving 

Let’s take a look at some statistics first. Fort Belvoir is located in Fairfax County, but this county has the highest percentage of its roads either near or over capacity during the morning rush. This places it slightly ahead of Alexandria, which, surprisingly, has a lower proportion of lane-miles near capacity.

Now, there’s no use listing down Fort Belvoir’s distance to the counties in Northern Virginia because we’ve already established that some areas, despite being in Fairfax County, are further from the base compared to some areas outside the county.

Instead, we used a tool called INRIX DriveTime to determine your driving time to Fort Belvoir from areas in Northern Virginia within a certain timeframe and day.

The following criteria were used:

  • You’re driving to Fort Belvoir on a Tuesday
  • You want to reach Fort Belvoir by 8:30 AM
  • You want to get to Fort Belvoir within 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes

We’ll include a screenshot of a map for each timeframe.

Here are the areas you’d want to live in to reach Fort Belvoir within 15 minutes or so.

This area includes Pohick, Mount Vernon, the southern parts of Hybla Valley, and Newington, all of which are within Fairfax County.

If you want to arrive at Fort Belvoir within 30 minutes, here are the areas you want to live in.

We’ll just mention the areas that are on the boundaries of this highlighted area. So every other place that’s within the boundaries mentioned is a safe bet for this 30-minute timeframe.

The southern end of this boundary is Southbridge, which is on the eastern portion of Prince William County.

The eastern end of this boundary includes all areas between I-95 and I-395 and the Potomac River, such as Alexandria, Franconia, and Huntington.

The northern end consists of areas of Woodburn, Annandale, Lincolnia, Alexandria West, and Shirlington. This 30-minute region doesn’t include places like Pentagon City, Barcroft, West Falls Church, and Bailey’s Crossroads.

The western end of this boundary includes Woodburn, Wakefield, and Burke and doesn’t reach the areas of Mantua, Fairfax City, Kings Park West, and Fairfax Station.

Some areas within these boundaries include Woodbridge, Marusmsco, and Dale City to the south; the southern parts of Merrifield to the North; and South Run and Crosspointe to the southwest.

Here’s a map of the areas you can look into if you want to reach Fort Belvoir within 45 minutes.

The boundaries of this region are as follows:

The southern end is the areas of Garrisonville and Aquia Harbor in the northern part of Stafford County.

The western end includes Centreville, the eastern parts of Chantilly, and the southeastern parts of Reston.

The northern end consists of Arlington and the McLean and Tysons Corner area, just before Great Falls.

The eastern end is all the areas along the Potomac River parallel to I-95, with the northern boundary ending in Arlington and the southern boundary ending in Aquia Harbor in Stafford County.

Lastly, if you don’t mind driving an hour to get to work, here are the areas you can look into for a 60-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir.

This highlighted region includes the following areas as its boundaries:

The southern end is Stafford County, especially those close to I-95. It doesn’t include the community of Hartwood.

The eastern end is all of the eastern areas in Northern Virginia along the Potomac River.

The northern end includes all areas along the Potomac River to the north. It includes the areas of Potomac Falls, Lowes Island, Great Falls Arlington, and Alexandria.

The western end consists of the areas of Ashburn, Moorefield Station, the eastern half of Brambleton and South Riding, Gainesville, and Skidmore Corner.

Public Transportation

We’re not going to deny it, living close to the base is ideal. In Northern Virginia though, areas that areas that aren’t necessarily close to Fort Belvoir are still great options because of the well-connected public transportation system.

Above, we gave you an idea of the areas you can consider if you want to be a 15-minute drive away from Fort Belvoir – Pohick, Mount Vernon, the southern parts of Hybla Valley, and Newington – which are all within Fairfax County. If you live in these areas, you’re most likely to drive to the base because they don’t have a Metro or VRE station, and they don’t have the extensive bus network as in other areas within the county.

Areas within a 30-minute drive to Fort Belvoir are a great in-between, offering a relatively short drive time and multiple public transportation options. Ideally, you want to be close to Metro and VRE stations. This way, you can simply go to the station, and take a bus directly to Fort Belvoir. In some cases, you may have to drive to the station and park at a park and ride, though it’s just a short drive.

Here are some areas where this is possible:

 

 

  • Lorton: Not only is Lorton just outside the 15-minute drivetime region we highlighted previously, but it also has the Lorton VRE Station, which offers Fairfax Connector bus services to Fort Belvoir with the bus Route 171.

 

 

Going back to our short introduction to this section, sometimes, proximity to your workplace doesn’t matter here with the extensive public transportation system of Northern Virginia. So areas that are a 45 or 60-minute drive to Fort Belvoir are still great choices.

Let’s go back to this Metro system map.

When taking the Metro, as long as you live in areas along the Yellow Line, it’s safe to say that going to Fort Belvoir is relatively easy – just stop at King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, or Huntington, and you have REX bus services to take you to the base.

Even if you’re not near the Yellow Line, the Metro system has transfer stations.

Living along the Blue Line is the next best thing, in areas like Pentagon City and Crystal City. However, if you want more housing options, consider the areas to the west.

You could live in Loudoun County or northern regions of Fairfax County in areas like Ashburn and McLean, both of which are on the Silver Line. You have to transfer to the Blue Line before hopping on the Yellow Line though.

The Orange Line, which serves Fairfax County areas like Vienna and West Falls Church, needs more transfers, you have to go through the Silver and Blue Lines before reaching the Yellow Line, though it’s possible to drive from Vienna to the East Falls Church Station and park your car there so you can start at the Silver Line.

The same goes for the VRE, as long as you can reach either Franconia-Springfield or Lorton stations, you don’t have to drive on the rest of your trip to Fort Belvoir as both stations have bus services to the base.

Each county or city in Northern Virginia has a predominant property, has a common style, has a different feel, offers varying creature comforts, and varies in price ranges. So it’s good news that these options exist, because you’re not bound to look for homes in the immediate vicinity of Fort Belvoir. You have tons of options here so you can find a home and a place that suits your preference and lifestyle.

Because of this, we’ll be tackling the property types in each county next.

Where Should You Live?

Alright, you’ve got a glimpse of what it’s like to live and work in Northern Virginia, you’ve got an overview of its regions, and you now have a rough idea of the finances of buying a home here with our BAH calculations. The question now is, where should you live? While we can’t decide for you, we can suggest areas that you should start looking into, considering the price point and commuting to Fort Belvoir, below.

Consider Fairfax County

As we’ve mentioned, Fairfax County is quite large. Within it, you could be as short as a 15-minute drive to Fort Belvoir, or as long as a 60-minute drive to the base. Living here, you can either drive to the base or take public transportation, thanks to the extensive bus system of Fairfax Connector and the Metro System. In this section, we’ll tackle several areas within the county, from the closest ones to the base to the furthest ones.

Lorton – 22079

  • 15-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $619,990
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $4,569.47

This Lorton zip code includes the areas immediately to the west of Fort Belvoir, including Newington, Pohick, Lorton, Colchester, and Mason Neck. Abundant in natural wonders, this area is home to the Mason Neck State Park, Pohick Bay Regional Park, and the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, making it a great choice for those who enjoy the great outdoors. With the I-95 running through the area, it’s easy to get to D.C. from Lorton.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include:

  1. Belmont Park Estates
  2. Laurell Hill
  3. Pohick Estates
  4. Gunston Heights
  5. Gunston Corner

Alexandria Fairfax County – 22306

  • 15 to 30-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $575,492
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $4,248.68

Okay, here’s something we’d like to point out: Northern Virginia zip codes can be confusing. The City of Alexandria is not in Fairfax County, nor any county. But there’s a part of Alexandria that’s run by Fairfax County and is served by the Fairfax County Public Schools, located outside the I-495 beltway. This zip code is part of the Alexandria area, not the city.

The 22306 zip code consists of the Groveton and Hybla Valley Area, roughly just outside Fort Belvoir, so it’s pretty close to the base. It’s home to Huntley Meadows Park, which features forests and abundant wildlife and wetlands. 

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Groveton Heights
  2. The Grove at Huntley Meadows
  3. Colchester Towne
  4. Hybla Valley

For those of you who prefer new construction communities, North Hill by K. Hovnanian Homes is a top pick within this area. This community of contemporary townhomes is just 4 miles south of Old Town Alexandria, 11 miles south of D.C., and 10 miles north of Fort Belvoir. These townhomes are priced from the upper $ 600,000 to the upper $700,000s, ranging from 2,008 to 2,791 square feet, 3 to 4 beds, 2.5 to 3.5 baths, 3 to 4 stories, and all models feature a 2-car garage.

Springfield – 22153 

  • 30-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $686,766
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $5,050.85

Another area to the west of Fort Belvoir, the 22153 area of Springfield makes a great choice for easy access to the base. Within this zip code are Newington Forest and South Run. With parks like Middle Run Stream Valley Park, South Run Stream Valley Park, and Middle Run Park to the west and southwest of the area, and creature comforts to the east, Springfield offers the best of both worlds in terms of recreation.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Newington Heights
  2. Newington Commons
  3. Springfield Oaks
  4. Burgoyne Forest West
  5. Greenwood Estates

Annandale – 22003

  • 30 to 45-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $684,748
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $5,036.30

Another location that’s roughly half an hour’s drive to Fort Belvoir, with lower prices than Springfield, is Annandale. It’s located to the northwest of the base, close to other popular areas in Northern Virginia like McLean and Arlington County. It is a straight shot to Alexandria on Route 236, making it a well-connected place.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include:

  1. Ravensworth Grove/Ravensworth Park
  2. Ramblewood
  3. Annandale West
  4. Annandale Acres
  5. Crestwood Manor

For new construction communities in Annandale, you can consider the Townes at Little River Crossing, a community of 43 luxury townhomes with easy access to the I-495, I-395, and I-95, and is only 11 miles to Fort Belvoir. These townhomes range from 1,854 to 2,813 square feet, with 3 to 5 bedrooms and 3.5 to 4.5 bathrooms. The price range for these townhomes is between $800,000 to $900,000.

Fairfax – 22031 

  • 45-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $686,542
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $5,049.23

Located just beside the Annandale 22003 zip code is the Fairfax 22301 area. This zip code includes Mantua, some parts of the city of Fairfax, and is just beside Strathmede Springs. What makes this area an easy choice for commuters is that it’s located at the intersection of I-66 and I-495 and is just roughly 3 miles away from the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro Station on the Silver Line.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Mantua Hills
  2. Boulevard Estates
  3. Hideaway Park
  4. Briarwood Farms

Fairfax – 22030

  • 45 to 60-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $721,424
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $5,300.70

Within this zip code is Fairfax’s city center, along with areas like George Mason, Legato, Lewis Park, and Blevinstown. Just along I-66, with other major roads running through the area like Route 236 and Route 50, it’s easy to get in and out of this locality, especially when heading to the east of Northern Virginia.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Mosby Woods
  2. Fairfax Woods
  3. Fair Oaks
  4. Ardmore
  5. Warren Woods

Chantilly – 20151

  • 45 to 60-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $711,511
    • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $5,229.23

Further to the west of Fairfax County, already bordering Loudoun County, is Chantilly. Located just off I-66 with Route 50 running through town, Chantilly is still a great choice to live in as long as you don’t mind the nearly 60-minute drive to Fort Belvoir. Chantilly is in an interesting location, just beside the Dulles Airport and only minutes away from Dulles Town Center in Loudoun, while also being minutes away from the urban conveniences of Herndon and Reston in Fairfax County.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Meadows of Chantilly
  2. Chantilly Green
  3. Armfield Farms
  4. Cabells Mill
  5. Hawthorne Forest

A new construction community we’d like to recommend in Chantilly is The Boulevards at Westfields by K. Hovnanian Homes, which offers luxury townhomes and two-story condos in the heart of Chantilly for a price range between the upper $500,000s to the lower $900,000s – a great bang for your buck. They offer two 2-story condo models below $800,000, ranging from 1,621 to 2,474 square feet, with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a 1-car garage.

Also within that price range is the community of Stonebrook at Westfields by Stanley Martin Homes. They also have 2-level, 1-car garage condos in the same area with two models to choose from, ranging from 1,573 to 2,451 square feet. Some amenities for these models include 2 to 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an upper flex room, a rear balcony, and an optional rooftop terrace.

Consider Alexandria

Although Fort Belvoir is in Fairfax County, the City of Alexandria is closer to the base than most areas we’ve mentioned previously, making it an excellent choice if shorter commutes are your priority. The areas below are great choices for either driving to taking public transportation to work.

Alexandria – 22314

  • 30-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $788,413
  • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $5,978.63

If you want to live in Alexandria’s historic district and beloved Old Town that’s right on the waterfront of the Potomac River, look into this area. This area boasts centuries-old architecture, and brick-lined sidewalks, and is filled with historic attractions and local businesses. Now, while driving from here to Fort Belvoir takes just half an hour, you can always take a REX bus service from King St-Old Town station to head to the base.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Westover
  2. Eisenhower West
  3. Eisenhower East
  4. Harborside
  5. Fords Landing

What’s interesting about this area is that several new construction communities are the product of renovating and reusing older buildings.

801 North by Abramson Properties, for example, is transforming an old office building into a luxury condominium project that’s within walking distance of Old Town. It offers 54 one to two-bedroom units and penthouses featuring open floor plans and modern interiors. The price range for these units is between the lower $600,000 and upper $900,000.

Another option for new construction is Venue by Carr Properties, whose project is renovating and re-skinning the 13-story Crowne Plaza Hotel into a multifamily unit tower. With a beautiful view of the Potomac River and a glass-clad art space at the base of the tower, the Venue highlights the vibrant art scene and natural beauty of Alexandria. This community offers one, two, and three-bedroom units, ranging from $500,000 to $2,700,000.

Alexandria – 22301

  • 30-minute drive time to Fort Belvoir
  • Average home value: $960,418
  • Estimated monthly mortgage (based on our BAH calculations): $7,261.15

Just outside the boundaries of Old Town Alexandria to the west, this zip code consists of the areas of Del Ray and Potomac. With Route 1 running through this locality, it’s easy to drive to Fort Belvoir from here. But again, you can always take a REX Bus from the King St-Old Town station, which takes you directly to the base.

Some popular neighborhoods or communities in this area include

  1. Rosemont
  2. Rosecrest
  3. St. Elmo

We’re also going to suggest a new construction community here called Dylan at Potomac Yard. Dylan offers luxury one to three-bedroom units with spacious dens, and private outdoor balconies, along with community amenities –such as rooftop lounges and a fitness center – and concierge services. These units range from $579,900 – $698,900, starting at $579,900 for one-bedroom and den units.

Consider Prince William County

Prince William County is just south of the base, and in this county, you’re most likely going to drive to work for at least a part of it. You at least have to drive to a VRE station, park your car there, reach the Lorton Station, and then take the bus to Fort Belvoir if you want to cut your time behind the wheel.

Gainesville – 20155