Arlington VA Townhomes
Guide to Arlington VA Townhomes
As population growth in the DC area exploded over the past fifty years, Arlington County Virginia has transformed from a sleepy Washington suburb to a more urban alternative to the heavily developed counties to its west and south. This has put an enormous premium on the price of real estate in the county and created a heavy demand for denser housing. For people that are looking the outdoor space and private entrances that often aren't available in vertical style residences, but prefer not to have the maintenance requirements that come with buying a single-family home, townhomes can be a great option.
Townhomes, sometimes referred to as "Attached Homes", typically have one of two kinds of ownership: fee simple or condominium. With fee simple, the purchaser takes ownership of the property in the same fashion they would with a single-family home. This is the highest level of ownership interest possible and is the most common form of ownership for Town Houses in Arlington, VA. Alternatively, some townhomes are purchased with condominium ownership. In these instances, the purchaser takes sole ownership of the specific unit along with joint ownership of common areas. In practical terms the biggest difference here tends to be in the monthly fees that are paid to the association or condominium boards. Condo owners tend to pay higher monthly fees, but often times are responsible for fewer maintenance costs such as roofs and in some cases windows.
Types of Townhomes
Attached homes come in all shapes and sizes, but for the sake of simplicity, we are going to break the variation of townhouses that are found in Arlington into three categories: vertically stacked, non-garage, front-load garage, rear-load garage townhomes, and communal-garage townhomes.
Vertically stacked townhomes normally have condominium ownership and often times are built on a slight grade so that the homes have private entrances on opposing sides of the home. The townhome communities Barton Place and Ballston Place are laid out like this with one-level homes on the lower floor with two or three level living homes above. Dundree Hill and Chelsea Place feature two-level homes vertically adjacent to one another with the lower level boasting patios and the top level featuring decks.
Non-garage townhomes are also dotted throughout Arlington. Rosslyn Mews, a single-row of homes in Rosslyn, across from the Atrium condominium, is one of the more contemporary looking neighborhoods in Arlington. A number of different style non-garage townhomes can be found in Ballston Area Towns, some with a "normal" front door and patio out back design. Some of the homes in the community are built with a piggyback design where homes are attached from both a side-to-side and back-to-back perspective.
Front-load garage townhomes tend to offer the most from an amenity perspective as their traditional floorplans allow for one or two car garages to be entered from the front of the home, leaving room in the rear for a patio and/ or an elevated deck. Rear-load garage homes typically cannot have patios because the garage takes up that space, but some neighborhoods were developed with small, elevated rear decks and/ or rooftop terraces. With communal-garage townhomes, residents enter through a common exterior door that they share with their neighbors and then pull into a dedicated garage to park their car.
Locations in Arlington, VA
Rosslyn, the first Virginia stop of the metro heading west from DC and right across the Key Bridge from Georgetown, is home to a wide variety of townhomes, many of which are at the high-end of the market. Highgate and Palisades Park, which were developed eight or so years apart and offer a mixture of one and two-car front-load garage homes along with slightly less expensive rear-load (Palisades Park) and communal-garage style townhomes. Monument Place is home to stately four & five level rear-load garage homes with rooftop terraces immediately overlooking the Iwo Jima memorial and out across the National Mall.
Courthouse, the Arlington urban village that's home to the amazing Arlington's amazing Farmer's Market, offers a couple of great options. Bromptons at Courthouse / Rosslyn and Courthouse Hill both feature rear-load garage homes, Hillcrest has two-car front-load garage models, many of which back to wooded parkland and the Vista at Courthouse features both vertically-stacked and communal-garage homes.
Many are surprised to discover that Arlington's "Downtown", Clarendon has a couple of townhomes right off of the bustling commercial avenues Wilson Boulevard and Clarendon Boulevard. One of the better-known townhome developments, Clarendon Park, was built by EYA Associates and is situated adjacent to the Clarendon Market Common. Most of these rear-garage homes boast rooftop terraces and/or overlook picturesque parks and manicured patios. On the opposite side of Arlington's most sought-after neighborhood is the four-level, all-brick community Bromptons at Clarendon. These townhomes rise impressively above Kirkwood St and are a short stroll to all of the top hotspots that make up the popular Clarendon neighborhood.
At the end of the Arlington metro line are the Virginia Square and Ballston neighborhoods, which are surrounded by a variety of small clusters of townhomes. The most exclusive of these are the Bromptons at Ballston, which like their other counterparts are designed in the more contemporary rear-load garage style. On the southwest outskirts of Ballston, Cathcart Springs is a collection of non-garage townhouses in a park-like setting and Buckingham Commons are some of the newest townhomes in Arlington, built with a rear-load garage design.
Moving away from the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Southampton is a really popular metro-accessible neighborhood of townhome style condos across from Pentagon City. This neighborhood includes a pool, plus a location close to the action of Pentagon City. There are also a number of non-metro accessible townhomes found throughout the Northern VA county, particularly in and around the Shirlington neighborhood. Homes in Shirlington Crest are built with rear-load garages and West Village at Shirlington, The Arlington and Fairlington, which straddles the City of Alexandria line, are each a variation of the vertically stacked designs.
Townhomes are Here to Stay
Both fee simple and condominium ownership townhomes have continued to emerge throughout Arlington, which is a housing trend that is bound to stick around in for years to come. These homes are ideal for those looking for more space than a traditional condominium, but are not ready to move away from bustling neighborhoods of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and even up and coming neighborhoods like Shirlington and Columbia Pike. Stay tuned for new townhome developments throughout Arlington, as the Northern VA town continues to be a hotspot in the Washington DC metro area.
Creative Cauldron and Pizzeria Orso
A great evening out for us is to have dinner at Pizzeria Orso then walk one block to see a performance at Creative Cauldron. You have to try the Brussels Chips for an appetizer then move on to the Butternut Squash Pansotti. If you want a pie, they make authentic Neapolitan Pizza. And Creative Cauldron plays range from children's presentation like Pinocchio to more adult plays like the world premiere of The Monsters of the Villa Diodati. Every year they do at least one production (often more) that get nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. By the way, parking is free!