City vs County: Falls Church City, Alexandria City, and Fairfax City

December 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

j0305741Learning a new city or county can be overwhelming enough, but to add insult to injury, here in Northern Virginia we have:

  • Falls Church City AND Falls Church in Fairfax County
  • Alexandria City AND Alexandria in Fairfax County
  • Fairfax City AND Fairfax County

It’s critical to know which area you’re talking about — services and schools are provided by the jurisdiction and can vary widely! Falls Church City, for example, has its own school district.  But you could have a mailing address of Falls Church and instead be part of Fairfax County, and part of their school district.  Even within the “Falls Church” portion of Fairfax County, the high school district might be Marshall, McLean, Stuart, or something else!  (And to make it even more confusing for out-of-towners, the East Falls Church metro stop is actually in Arlington County!)

Similarly, there is a portion of Fairfax County that has a mailing address of “Alexandria” which is a different jurisdiction from the “Alexandria” that is actually Alexandria City.  And again, with “Fairfax” in Fairfax County vs “Fairfax City” (at least they use “city” to help us out on that one.)

With all this confusion, it’s no wonder that many agents in their real estate listings don’t enter the school pyramids in the listings.  Even if they do, it’s best to check the address using the individual jurisdictions’ school boundary locators on their websites (see right hand side bar).

When looking through our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a home, you can tell the jurisdiction by the MLS code, which is a two letter code followed by 7 digits.

AR = Arlington County

AX = Alexandria City

FA = Falls Church City

FC = Fairfax City

FX = Fairfax County

So read carefully!  And when someone asks whether you’re interested in “Falls Church” or “Fairfax” or “Alexandria,” ask them “Which one?!”

For help with your real estate search in Northern Virginia, please contact us!


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