Some of us are old enough to remember maps, the free ones that you picked up at the gas station and opened up wide on the kitchen table to plan out your vacation. The fun was watching your parents trying to refold them and stuff them in the glove compartment. Today most people bypass the old fashion map for on-line for directions and often overlook the fact that a map only contains a small amount of the information you need to know about an area.
For someone getting ready to relocate to Northern Virginia checking out the map can give you a sense of where you are going and put locations in perspective. You can get an idea of distance and learn the names of the local towns but a map can't take you to the next level. A map doesn't know the difference between neighborhoods or the best commuter routes. A map doesn't know where the shopping centers are or help you research schools for your children. This is where a knowledgeable local Realtor® comes into play.
A recent call from a family getting ready for a move to Fort Belvoir put this in perspective. The family had been looking at listings on line and felt they had narrowed down the areas they were interested in. Their requirements were specific and the areas they selected made sense to a point. When we started talking in more detail it became clear though that studying the the map and knowing the areas they were considering as the top places to live didn't match reality. In fact some of the neighborhoods they had eliminated from their list based on where they were on the map were the ones I would have suggested they consider first.
After talking for awhile they began to understand that 45 miles on a Northern Virginia map didn't mean a 20 minute commute. That more expensive didn't necessarily mean better value and I-95 wasn't the only way to commute to Fort Belvoir or to DC. So they put the map away and decided they would trust the advice of a "local" and though we will look at their top choices, we will also look at some of my suggested neighborhoods as well.
So when you pull out your map to make a decision about your upcoming move to Northern Virginia, pair it with the knowledge Realtor® and you may find that the two of us make a great combination.
©2008. Cindy Jones ""Maps are Great for Directions-Not for Home Buying Decisions" All Rights Reserved