Living in Lake Barcroft
Lake Barcroft is a neighborhood in Falls Church with over 1000 homes. One out of four of these homes are actually on the lake. The lake used to be a reservoir for the City of Alexandria but was converted into a freshwater recreational lake. Lake Barcroft is a CDP (Census Designated Place) and was developed in the 1950’s by the mid-century Architect Walter Gropius. He wanted to create a “nursery for children” with gorgeous landscaping and front yard barbeque pits.
Because of the access to water, the prices here can get well into the $2M’s. But you can find homes a couple streets off the water in the $800,000’s – under $1M. Lake Barcroft is exclusively single family, detached homes. The architectural styles vary but mostly consist of Mid Century homes, split level homes, contemporary homes, and rambler or ranch style homes. There are so many gorgeous homes on and off the lake, so even if a lakefront home is not in your budget, you can still take full advantage of the lake lifestyle and own a home here.
The one thing to be prepared for as a buyer in this community are the varying levels of renovation and condition of the homes. Many of the homes we see hit the market in Lake Barcroft are dated and in need of a partial or full renovation. Many of the homeowners have lived in this neighborhood for decades and their homes can be time capsules of the original house. Depending on condition and your personal style, many homes may need moderate to extensive renovations if you want a home with more up to date features. You will need to be prepared to take on a project or be ready for a smaller inventory pool to choose from during your search. No matter what, you will find a really cool home that will suit your needs.
Lake Barcroft is more dependent on Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads for restaurants and grocery shopping. Because of its proximity to Falls Church City, Arlington, Annandale and Tysons, there are many more options if you are okay with driving out of the immediate area. Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads offer a wide variety of cuisines and restaurants so you will definitely not have to eat the same thing every night or every week. The restaurants and eateries range from deli counters inside of markets to stand alone restaurants, both family owned and large chains.
Grocery stores in this area include Trader Joes, Giant, Safeway and other smaller markets like the German Grocer, which is an awesome German gourmet market, the amazing Eden Center, and the Good Fortune Supermarket.
Two of our favorite places to eat in the area are Little Saigon and The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill.
Lake Barcroft has five private beaches where you can swim or use various watercraft. The association has an annual fee of $495/year for use of the amenities. When the community was originally developed, you could opt out of the membership. But, once you’re out, getting back in takes an act of Lake Barcroft, which is harder to achieve than an act of Congress. So make sure if you buy here that your house is included in the association. And beware, if you don’t live in Lake Barcroft, you are trespassing and can be fined by the Fairfax County Police.
The sense of community here is very inclusive. The Lake Barcroft Association hosts many events throughout the year to include Art League’s “Art, Music & Food Festival,” the Fourth of July Fireworks, Music on the Lake, Ice Cream Socials parades, Easter Egg Hunts. If you are a newcomer to the neighborhood, they have the Newcomers Group which hosts events to help newcomers get to know the neighborhood and their new neighbors. If you don’t have a boat, there is the Lake Barcroft Boat Sharing Program. It helps to facilitate boat sharing among neighbors in the community and serves as a great social club with fellow boaters.
Residents of Lake Barcroft will send their children to one of the three elementary schools based on where they live. Sleepy Hollow Elementary is a K-5 Title 1 School that offers advanced Fairfax County’s Level 4 academics, which is advanced classes in the 4 core subjects, starting with 3rd grade.
Bailey’s Elementary School is split into 2 schools – one is Kindergarten through 2nd grade and the Upper School is for grades 3-5. Both Bailey’s schools are Title 1 and offer Advanced Academics at the schools as well as dual language immersion.
Belvedere Elementary serves Pre-K to 5th and is also a Title 1 and Level 4 Advanced Academics school.
Glasgow Middle School covers grades 6-8 and has Level 4 Advanced Academics and also offers International Baccalaureate for middle years.
Justice High School is grades 9-12 and also continues the International Baccalaureate program.
If you are looking for a neighborhood that isn’t cookie cutter and is close to everything, then Lake Barcroft is definitely a must add to your search. This is an incredibly unique community in the heart of Northern Virginia that gives you a vacation lifestyle without the travel!