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Renter's Guide to Alexandria
Alexandria is situated in Northern Virginia on the western bank of the Potomac River. The independent city of Alexandria is 15.5 square miles, less than half the size of Washington, DC
At its closest point, Alexandria is 7 miles, or about a 25 minute drive, from Washington, DC. Alexandria is 2.5 hours from Richmond, VA and 1.5 hours from Baltimore, MD. Alexandria is less than 5 miles, or a 10-15 minute drive, from Ronald Reagan National Airport.
Weather in Alexandria, VA is typical of the mid-Atlantic region. July is the hottest month, with an average high temperature of 89°F, and January the coldest, averaging a low of 24°F. Summers in Alexandria are humid and hot, and the city averages 7 inches of snow in the winter months, which is below the national average.
Alexandria commonly ranks on lists of the best places to live in America, and took the #3 spot on the Niche.com ranking of the Top 100 Cities in the US. Among its other rankings, Alexandria has been recognized among the Top 50 Cities for Entrepreneurs and the Top 10 Best Downtowns by Livability.com, and the Best Cities for Teleworking and Healthiest Cities by Sperling’s Best Places.
Alexandria, VA Demographics
- Total Population154,710
Female 74,501Male 80,209
- Median Age36.4
Cost of Living in Alexandria, VA
Four metrorail stations on the Washington, DC metro area subway system’s yellow and blue lines service the city, and both Amtrak and the Virginia Railway Express provide regional rail service from Alexandria Union Station. The Alexandria city government also operates a bus system called DASH to connect local attractions with rail stations. Standard metro fare ranges between $1.75 and $5.90, depending on the length of the trip taken. Many Alexandria residents—especially those who live in suburban areas—own or lease cars, and bicycle sharing is also common.
The average commute time for Alexandria County is 29 minutes, which is slightly higher than the national average of 25.4 minutes.
A meal for two in a mid-range Alexandria restaurant may cost anywhere between $60 and $80, and a regular cappuccino goes for about $4.
For a 915-square-foot apartment, Alexandria, VA, residents pay on average $115 for utilities (such as electricity, heating, water, or garbage removal), which is lower than the national average of $147 in monthly utility expenses.
Average Rent in Alexandria, VA
- Alexandria, VA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,752 /mo
Alexandria, VA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00022%
Alexandria, VA Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Alexandria, VA
Like any other city, living in Alexandria has its pros and cons. It’s not hard to see why Alexandria is such a popular place to live: its close proximity to Washington, DC, its mix of urban and suburban housing options, and its many leisure attractions are all draws. On the flip side, a longer-than-average commute and the high cost of living in the DC metropolitan area can be negative considerations for prospective Alexandria residents.
Things to do in Alexandria
With the Washington, DC, monuments, museums, and attractions right at their fingertips, residents have no shortage of things to do, but there is plenty to see in Alexandria, too! Old Town Alexandria, recognized as one of the best downtown areas in the country, is a historic and beautiful area with lovely views of the Potomac River.
One of the city’s top attractions is the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, a museum, research center, performing arts venue, premier event space and meeting site, offering unparalleled DC views. Gadsby’s Tavern, an 18th century hotel and restaurant, was once patronized by prominent guests including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Today, it is a historical museum and tavern restaurant serving traditional fare. A variety of organized walking tours of Alexandria covering specific aspects of the city’s history are also offered, including Civil War tours and historical home tours.
Families with kids will find a wealth of activities in Alexandria. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is a popular attraction with a hands-on lab where archaeologists uncover the city’s history. Cameron Run Regional Park offers plenty of fun outdoor options for Alexandria families, including waterslides, pools, batting cages, and miniature golf. The National Inventors Hall of Fame is another fun attraction for families to visit in Alexandria.
For couples, a stroll throughout Old Town’s quaint residential streets of colorful row houses and along the waterfront through Founders Park makes for a romantic day or evening activity.
Many of Alexandria’s most popular restaurants are in Old Town or along the waterfront, and seafood is popular in the area. Warehouse Bar & Grill, The Wharf Restaurant, and Chart House are among local favorites.
The Torpedo Factor Art Center is a cultural gem in Alexandria. With 82 artist studios and 6 public art galleries, visitors can meet and chat with artists working in a wide variety of traditional and experimental mediums and purchase original art. The Little Theatre of Alexandria, a community theater, is another popular attraction and presents classic musicals and shows at an affordable price. The Alexandria Lyceum serves as the city’s historical museum, offering rotating exhibits and public events.
Employment and Economy
Alexandria is a hub for government and national defense work, which is reflected by the county’s largest employers. The city’s top public sector employers include: the United States Department of Commerce, The United States Department of Defense, the City of Alexandria, and the Alexandria Public Schools. In the private sector, Inova Health System, ABM Janitorial Services, the Institute for Defense Analyses, and Grant Thornton LLP are among the largest employers of Alexandria residents.
Alexandria, VA Households
- Total Number of Households68,663
Family 33,164Non-family 35,499
Children 15,676No Children 52,987
- Average People Per Household2.23
- Median Household Income$93,370
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,792
Education in Alexandria
The Alexandria, VA, public school system serves over 14,000 K-12 students in its 13 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 1 high school, and T.C. Williams High School, which consists of a 9th grade center and a school for grades 10-12. There are also several private and religiously affiliated schools in Alexandria, including St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School and Episcopal High School.
Northern Virginia Community College has an Alexandria campus, and the largest Episcopal seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary, is based in Alexandria. Several large area universities also have branches in Alexandria, including Virginia Tech’s Architecture Center, Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work, and some professional education programs of The George Washington University.
Alexandria, VA Education Statistics
- No High School5%
- Some High School17%
- Some College16%
- Associate Degree4%
- Bachelor Degree28%
- Graduate Degree30%
Tips for Renting in Alexandria
Alexandria County’s Landlord-Tenant Relations Board is a great resource for prospective and current renters in Alexandria, VA. The Virginia Landlord-Tenant Act details the legal rights and responsibilities of Alexandria tenants and landlords, and Alexandria renters should be vigilant about the terms of their lease. Under the Landlord-Tenant Act, no lease should include clauses that require tenants to waive their rights under the Act or waive the right to make claims for damage to person or property that are caused by the landlord. Tenants cannot legally use their security deposit for their final month’s rent, and security deposits cannot exceed two months’ rent. If the landlord plans to withhold the security deposit at the conclusion of a lease, the renter must be notified within 30 days; otherwise, the security deposit should be returned to the tenant within 45 days with an itemized list of any deductions or charges.
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