August 16, 2018 at 7:30 AM
Ed McCarthy said he knew he had found the perfect neighborhood when he decided to take an impromptu drive, a few years ago, down a tree-lined street in the Fairfax County neighborhood of Pimmit Hills.
The sound of birds chirping, and absolutely nothing else, he said, was such “sweet music” to his ears that he made up his mind on the spot and couldn’t wait to tell his real estate agent to place an offer on the 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom, single-family house he and his wife had contemplated buying.
“We were living in Arlington near a pretty high-traffic area,” McCarthy said. “We could feel the house shake whenever a bus would go by. We also have two young children, and all the traffic in the neighborhood was becoming too much.”
In Pimmit Hills, McCarthy said, the family found a tidy community of established homes and far less traffic than in their old neighborhood.
“It’s so quiet here,” said McCarthy, who moved to the neighborhood three years ago.
Founded in 1950 as a community for veterans returning home from the Korean War, Pimmit Hills has grown into a place where million-dollar home sales are normal and teardown construction is blossoming, said Tom Francis, an agent with Keller Williams Realty.
“The fact that Pimmit Hills is so close to Tysons Corner and the Silver Line and is walkable has helped to make it one of the fastest-growing places inside the Capital Beltway,” Francis said. “The writing is on the wall, and the growth in Pimmit Hills over the next couple years will be through the roof.”
Eclectic housing: Matt Rzepkowski, president of MR Project Management, said he was drawn to Pimmit Hills precisely because of the growth potential. Rzepkowski, who has built houses in Fairfax County for a decade, said an analysis he conducted of growth trends in the area led him to focus more on Pimmit Hills.
“Real estate in Fairfax County can be pricey. Pimmit Hills is right on the cusp, and it’s still a place with substantial lot sizes where you can get a reasonable deal.”
While the community represents a steal to some, others have mixed feelings about the skyrocketing home values.
“The neighborhood is changing rapidly,” said Yvette Theis, who has lived in Pimmit Hills for about nine years. “It went from what I’d call affordable, in air quotes, because nothing in this area is ever truly affordable, to less affordable. Even the small houses” are expensive, she said.
Theis said the community is “bustling with full playgrounds and lots of foot traffic,” but she’s afraid that as values continue to climb, more and more families of modest means will find themselves priced out of Pimmit Hills.
“People who live here are pretty attached to the neighborhood,” said Theis, who lives in a 1,600-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom rambler.
Scott Moore, who has lived in Pimmit Hills since 2003, said he was drawn to the neighborhood’s eclectic mix of housing types and by the diversity among its residents. The fact that the community afforded easy access to major roadways and public transportation, he said, was an added bonus.
“You can be on a highway, headed in any one of five directions, in minutes,” said Moore, who lives in a 3,400-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom rambler. “It’s not great getting around during rush hour, but that’s the case no matter where you live.”
Living there: Pimmit Hills is bordered by the Dulles Toll Road to the northeast, Magarity Road to the northwest, Leesburg Pike to the southwest and Custis Memorial Parkway to the southeast.
In the past 12 months, 59 properties have sold in Pimmit Hills, ranging from a 1,956-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom rambler for $472,000 to a 6,400-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-bathroom Colonial for $1,390,000, Francis said.
There are 16 homes for sale in Pimmit Hills, ranging from an 884-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom rambler for $485,000 to a 6,380-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-bathroom Craftsman-style house for $1,400,000.
Schools: Westgate Elementary, Kilmer Middle and Marshall High.
Transit: Metro’s 3T bus route serves Pimmit Hills. The neighborhood is about a mile from the McLean Station on Metro’s Silver Line and less than three miles from the West Falls Church-VT/UVA station on Metro’s Orange Line.
Crime: Since February, there have been 33 burglaries, 26 vehicle thefts and seven robberies reported in the service area that covers Pimmit Hills, according to Fairfax County police.