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Everything you need to know when choosing between Fairfax and Arlington

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Choosing between Arlington and Fairfax can be difficult. It’s critical to recognize the distinctions between these areas since they each offer special advantages that suit various lifestyles. Knowing what each place has to offer will help you make an informed choice, whether you’re moving for employment, looking for better schools, or just wanting a change. In this post, we’ll look at important elements such as the cost of living, transportation, and job prospects. We will also discuss the real estate market, leisure, and safety. By the end, you’ll know for sure which area best meets your demands. Finally, finding trustworthy movers Fairfax VA locals trust will be crucial once you decide to move. Working with genuine professionals always guarantees a seamless transition and a stress-free start at your new home.

Geographic and demographic overview

These are two different areas in Northern Virginia with distinctive features and ways of life. Making an informed choice requires having a thorough understanding of their demographic and geographic characteristics.

Fairfax – suburban, family-friendly community

The population of Fairfax is about 25,000. The locals are very friendly and welcoming. You will soon feel like a part of their community. The city boasts an enjoyable yet energetic living atmosphere and is well-known for its gorgeous downtown area and rich history. Families, young professionals, and seniors all come here because of the perfect blend of old-world charm and contemporary conveniences.

Arlington – urban, vibrant, well-connected

On the other hand, Arlington has a more urban atmosphere. It is located over the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and is home to about 230,000 people. Because of its vibrant social scene and proximity to the country’s capital, this neighborhood attracts young professionals. This is a lively, fast-paced community with a lot of cultural activities and entertainment possibilities. Securing trusted movers Arlington VA locals recommend when planning your move can simplify the transition and help you quickly adjust to this busy and dynamic city.

Cost of living

When choosing between these two areas, the cost of living is a significant factor. You need to make a detailed comparison of housing costs, general living expenses, and local taxes in both areas before you contact long distance movers Northern Virginia residents usually rely on. 

A person using a calculator to find out the cost of living before choosing between Arlington and Fairfax.
When choosing between Arlington and Fairfax, consider the cost of living.

Choosing Fairfax or Arlington: housing costs

The cost of housing can vary greatly in Fairfax. The average monthly cost of renting an apartment with one bedroom is about $1,700, but the average cost of purchasing a home is about $760,000. It is reasonably priced in comparison to other Northern Virginia areas, with reasonable utility and transportation costs for its people.
But Arlington is usually more expensive. A similar one-bedroom apartment would cost you approximately $2,200 a month in rent. This area’s prime location and facilities are reflected in the average real estate price, which is above $813,000. Arlington residents may pay more for groceries and dining out in addition to their home, but expenses for transportation are still similar to those in Fairfax.

General Living Expenses

Local and property taxes are other factors that affect living expenses. For homeowners, Fairfax’s marginally lower property taxes may be a decisive factor. Despite being higher, Arlington’s taxes support well-funded public amenities and services. While groceries and utilities are comparable in both locations, dining out is typically more expensive in Arlington because of its upscale dining options and exciting nightlife.

Transportation and commute

Transportation and commute options can greatly influence your daily life. Here are public transportation options, average commute times, and accessibility to major highways and airports in both Fairfax and Arlington.

Public Transportation

The CUE Bus system and the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station on the Orange Line are only two of the public transit choices available in Fairfax. Depending on traffic, You will need a 30- to 40-minute drive or use of public transportation from Fairfax to major employment centers like Washington, D.C. Access to the surrounding areas is made easier by major routes like I-66 and Route 50. Hiring professional movers Vienna VA residents speak highly of may help ensure a pleasant move and enable you to take advantage of Fairfax’s first-rate transportation system as soon as possible if you’re relocating to the area.

Arlington has first-rate public transit. The region is served by the Blue, Orange, Silver, and Yellow Lines of the Metro, providing easy access to Washington, D.C., and other locations. By Metro, Arlington to the Capitol takes about 20 minutes on average. Arlington’s pedestrian-friendly streets and ample bike lanes make it simple to get around without a car.

The underground.
Both locations offer excellent transportation options, with one providing convenient highway access and train services, and the other offering superior public transit, train access, and bike lanes.

Commute times – Differences when choosing between Fairfax and Arlington

Choosing between these two locations often hinges on your transportation needs and commuting preferences. Fairfax suits those who prefer driving or need access to multiple transit options, while Arlington is ideal for those who prioritize quick commutes and urban convenience. Additionally, Arlington’s proximity to major highways like I-395 makes it accessible for those who drive, despite its strong public transit system.

Education and schools

For families and individuals alike, the quality of education is a key consideration. Compare the public and private school systems, as well as higher education opportunities before you make the final choice.

Public schools

The highly regarded Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) system serves Fairfax City and is one of the best in the country. Great educational possibilities from elementary to high school are available in this area because of the many top-performing schools. There are also several private schools there that serve different needs and ideologies in education.

But Arlington Public Schools (APS) are likewise known for their superiority. APS is smaller than FCPS but yet maintains excellent academic standards and a more personal learning environment. To ensure that families can discover the best match for their children, the private schools in this urban region provide even more educational possibilities.

Children and a teacher in the classroom as education is one of the key factors to consider when choosing between Fairfax and Arlington.
Both locations offer excellent transportation options, with one providing convenient highway access and train services, and the other offering superior public transit, train access, and bike lanes.

Choosing Fairfax or Arlington: higher education

Higher education is available at nearby, reputable universities in both areas. Located close to Fairfax, George Mason University offers a broad selection of undergraduate and graduate programs. Due to its close proximity to Washington, D.C., Arlington makes Georgetown, George Washington, American University, and other universities conveniently accessible.

Employment opportunities

The job market plays a big role in choosing a place to live. Although there are plenty of career prospects in both places, the sectors and work conditions are different. Luckily, reputable moving companies Great Falls residents opt for frequently individuals contemplating a move for work-related reasons. You may concentrate on negotiating the job market and adjusting to your new professional setting while expert movers take care of the logistics.

Major industries and employers

Retail, healthcare, and education are just a few of the industries that call Fairfax home. Along with the government offices in Fairfax County and City, George Mason University is a significant employer. This area’s work market benefits from being close to Washington, D.C., which provides a wide range of opportunities across multiple industries.

Arlington boasts a dynamic and diverse job market. The Pentagon and other federal agencies are present, which leads to a robust labor market in the government and defense industries. Additionally, a lot of startups and IT companies are drawn to this urban hub, which promotes an inventive business atmosphere. Economic growth and job opportunities have been further enhanced by Amazon’s HQ2 in neighboring Crystal City.

A handshake.
Both areas offer diverse job markets, with one strong in education and healthcare, and the other thriving in defense, government, and tech industries.

Consider job market trends when choosing Fairfax or Arlington

Remote work opportunities have increased in both regions, offering flexibility for those who prefer working from home. Deciding between these two areas depends on your career field and work style preferences. Fairfax may appeal to those in education, healthcare, and government, while Arlington suits professionals in government, defense, and emerging industries.

Recreation and amenities

Amenities and recreational opportunities greatly improve your quality of life and free time. The two cities offer different possibilities, but they have different priorities. Hiring movers Burke VA residents like working can make moving easier when you want to take advantage of these benefits. With their experience, you may rapidly become accustomed to your new city and begin taking advantage of its recreational offerings.

Parks and outdoor spaces: choosing between Fairfax and Arlington

There are plenty of parks and outdoor areas in Fairfax. With playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails, Van Dyck Park and Daniels Run Park offer many recreational opportunities. In addition to promoting community interaction, the historic downtown area conducts festivals and other events.

Despite its diminutive size, Arlington’s cultural and entertainment offerings are rather powerful. Rich historical and cultural experiences may be found at the Pentagon Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and other museums. There are a lot of restaurants, entertainment venues, and nightclubs in the region, which contribute to the lively social scene.

Community events and activities

When deciding between these two locations, consider your recreational preferences. Fairfax offers abundant outdoor activities, whereas Arlington provides a rich cultural and entertainment scene. If you enjoy nature and family activities, Fairfax might be the better choice. If cultural events and urban activities excite you, Arlington stands out.

Safety and healthcare

When choosing a place to reside, safety and access to healthcare services are absolutely essential. While these elements are prioritized in both locations, there are some notable distinctions. While the metropolitan region has state-of-the-art medical facilities and emergency services, the suburban location offers a more peaceful environment with lower crime rates. You may decide which setting best fits your requirements and lifestyle by weighing these criteria.

Consider crime rates and safety when choosing Fairfax or Arlington

Fairfax is known for being a safe and family-friendly place because of its relatively low crime rate. Programs like neighborhood watch and community policing improve security and provide citizens with a sense of security. This area’s general safety is additionally enhanced by its suburban setting.

Arlington also maintains low crime rates, with a focus on urban safety measures. The proximity to federal institutions enhances security measures, providing an added layer of protection. Both regions prioritize public safety, but the urban nature of Arlington necessitates a different approach compared to suburban Fairfax.

Healthcare facilities

Both locations have excellent healthcare facilities. Inova Fairfax Hospital, one of the biggest and most complete medical institutions in the area, is located in Fairfax. Many clinics and specialist facilities offer a wide range of medical services. A wide range of medical services, including specialist treatments and primary care, are provided to residents.

Arlington has its own extensive healthcare network in addition to being conveniently accessible to Washington, D.C.’s medical institutions. High-quality treatment is provided by Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, and a variety of specialty clinics address a range of medical requirements. Arlington is a dependable option for people because of its extensive and convenient healthcare offerings.

The word healthcare created in a game of scribble as this is one of the factors to consider when choosing between Fairfax and Arlington.
Each location offers excellent healthcare facilities, including major hospitals and numerous clinics.

Real estate market

The health of the real estate market has a significant impact on your choice. Making a wise investment will be aided by your knowledge of the housing trends and varieties that are offered in these two places. Using the services of reputable moving companies Centreville VA locals book will help to guarantee an efficient and problem-free relocation if you’re preparing to move. You may then concentrate on locating the ideal home and selecting the wisest course of action for your investment.

Choosing between Fairfax and Arlington: current trends

With a variety of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments, Fairfax has a diversified real estate market. The market has grown steadily, and the value of properties has increased over time. Families and people seeking roomy living quarters are drawn to this location by its suburban charm. Growing inclination toward suburban life is driving demand for bigger homes with lots of outside space, according to recent trends.

Despite being more costly, Arlington’s real estate market is reflective of its excellent location and metropolitan amenities. There are many different housing possibilities in the neighborhood, ranging from ancient homes to high-rise flats. This urban area’s market is still competitive, with robust property values and promising investment opportunities. Demand in Arlington is still being driven by continuing construction projects and an inflow of enterprises, particularly with the opening of Amazon’s HQ2.

A modern detached house.
Deciding between these areas involves considering one’s diverse, suburban real estate market and the other’s competitive, urban housing options.

Types of housing available

Choosing Fairfax or Arlington involves weighing the type of housing you prefer and the investment potential. Each area offers distinct advantages, with Fairfax providing more affordable and spacious options, and Arlington offering urban living with premium amenities. Below are examples of the types of housing available in each location:


  • Larger lots
  • Detached single-family homes
  • Townhouses
  • Family-oriented neighborhoods


  • Modern apartments
  • High-rise condos
  • Mixed-use developments
  • Urban amenities

Final thoughts on choosing between Fairfax and Arlington

Your lifestyle requirements and personal preferences will determine the final decision when choosing between Fairfax or Arlington. Fairfax provides a family-friendly suburban setting with top-notch schools and recreational opportunities. Arlington offers a vibrant, metropolitan environment with plenty of job options and cultural attractions. When making your choice, take your spending limit, commute, work, and leisure activities into account. You are guaranteed to locate the ideal spot to call home because both regions have special benefits.

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