Moving to Arlington VA: 10 Tips from Locals

Explore the benefits of relocating to Arlington, VA—vibrant communities, job opportunities, and a guide to housing, transport, and lifestyle.

Moving to Arlington, Virginia, is an exciting step for anyone. Located just outside Washington, D.C., Arlington is known for its lively neighborhoods, good job opportunities, and strong community feel. Whether you’re moving for work, family, or just for a change of scenery, it’s a great place to call home.

But like moving to any new place, it can come with its challenges. There’s a lot to think about, from finding the right place to live to getting around town, and settling into the local lifestyle. These practical pointers will help you get set up and settled in, so you can start enjoying life in Arlington as soon as you arrive. From housing advice to getting to know your new neighborhood, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Arlington’s Housing Market

Navigating the housing market in Arlington requires an understanding of its competitive nature and diverse offerings. The market here features a range of options, from luxury high-rise apartments in vibrant neighborhoods like Ballston and Clarendon to quaint single-family homes in quieter areas such as Shirlington and Westover. Prices can vary significantly based on location, with proximity to the Metro stations often commanding a premium due to the ease of commuting to downtown D.C. It’s advisable to research the market thoroughly or work with a local real estate agent to find a home that aligns with both your lifestyle preferences and budget.

Transportation Options in Arlington

Arlington’s transportation system is a key aspect of its appeal, especially for those commuting to Washington D.C. The Metro, which includes several stops in Arlington, is a popular option for daily commuters. Additionally, Arlington’s bus system, ART (Arlington Transit), provides convenient local and regional connections. For those who prefer biking, the county boasts extensive bike trails and bike-share programs. Understanding these transportation options will not only affect your daily commute but also where in Arlington you might choose to live.

Exploring Arlington’s Neighborhoods

Each neighborhood in Arlington has its own charm and character. Areas like Ballston and Clarendon are known for their lively atmosphere, bustling with restaurants, shops, and nightlife, and are popular among young professionals. On the other hand, neighborhoods like Shirlington and Westover offer a more suburban feel, with a strong sense of community, making them ideal for families. Spend time exploring different areas to get a true feel for what each has to offer and where you might see yourself fitting in.
Vehicle Registration and ParkingFor those bringing a vehicle to Arlington, it’s important to promptly register it with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. In many parts of Arlington, especially denser neighborhoods, residential parking permits are required. Be sure to check the specific parking regulations and permit requirements for your neighborhood to avoid any hassles.

Setting Up Utilities in Your New Home

Before your move, ensure that all necessary utilities are set up and ready. In Arlington, this includes electricity, water, and internet services. The county offers a variety of providers, so it’s beneficial to compare rates and services to find the best fit for your new home. Setting these up in advance will ensure a smooth transition into your new residence.

Schools in Arlington

For families relocating to Arlington with children, the quality and choice of schools are often top priorities. Arlington’s public school system is renowned for its excellence, consistently ranking among the best in Virginia and nationally. The county offers a diverse range of educational options, from elementary through high school, each with distinctive programs and strengths. For instance, schools like Jamestown Elementary are known for their innovative curriculum, while Washington-Liberty High School boasts strong Advanced Placement programs and extracurriculars.

When selecting a school, consider the specific needs and interests of your children. Some schools may have specialized programs, such as language immersion at Key Elementary or science and technology focus at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Additionally, Arlington’s school district offers various alternative and magnet programs that cater to different learning styles and interests.Local Amenities and RecreationArlington is home to numerous parks, community centers, libraries, and recreational facilities. From the walking trails of Theodore Roosevelt Island to the interactive classes at Arlington’s community centers, these amenities enhance the living experience. Taking time to explore these local resources can greatly contribute to your overall quality of life in Arlington.

Community Engagement

Immersing yourself in Arlington’s community life is a rewarding way to establish roots in your new home. This vibrant area is brimming with opportunities for social, cultural, and recreational involvement, catering to a wide array of interests and lifestyles. One of the best ways to start is by exploring Arlington’s rich calendar of community events. Seasonal festivals like the Arlington County Fair or the Rosslyn Jazz Fest offer a fun and engaging atmosphere to meet locals and experience the area’s cultural diversity.

Arlington also boasts numerous clubs and organizations that foster community engagement. For example, outdoor enthusiasts might be interested in joining the Arlington Outdoor Lab, which offers programs and activities centered around environmental education and outdoor experiences. If you have a penchant for arts and culture, consider getting involved with the Arlington Arts Center or local theater groups like the Signature Theatre, which offer workshops, exhibitions, and performances.

The county’s community centers are also hubs of activity, offering classes and events ranging from fitness and sports to arts and crafts. These centers are great places to meet people from your neighborhood while participating in activities you enjoy. Additionally, Arlington hosts various farmers’ markets and community gardening projects, like those at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, which are perfect for those interested in sustainable living and organic produce.

Familiarizing with Local Government Services

Getting to know the services provided by Arlington County, such as trash and recycling collection schedules, public safety initiatives, and community development plans, is important. The county’s official website is a comprehensive resource for new residents, offering information on everything from public services to local government initiatives.Embracing Arlington’s CultureFinally, immerse yourself in the rich cultural and historical tapestry that Arlington offers. The area is steeped in history, from landmarks like Arlington National Cemetery to the Pentagon. The local dining scene in neighborhoods like Clarendon and Crystal City offers a diverse array of culinary experiences. Additionally, the county’s proximity to D.C. means that world-class museums, theaters, and cultural events are just a Metro ride away.

ONE Street Can Help

As you embark on your journey to find a home in Arlington, the expertise and detailed local knowledge of ONE Street agents can be your most valuable resource. Our agents, with their deep understanding of Arlington’s diverse neighborhoods, schools, and community dynamics, are perfectly positioned to help you navigate the complexities of the local real estate market. They can provide tailored advice that aligns with your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that you find not just any home, but the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle.



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