June 7, 2017 at 7:00 AM
by Harriet Edleson
Jon McAvoy and his wife, Katie, first saw their farmhouse-style home with its big front porch in the spring of 2016, made an offer that wasn't accepted, and kept looking.
When someone else's offer on the same house fell through, the couple were able to buy the house in the winter of 2017 at a lower price because the owners had already moved out of it and wanted to sell quickly.
The five-bedroom house in Arlington County's Lyon Village, built in 2011, met all their needs. They were able to move right in rather than build a new house or renovate one. They'd been living in a nearby townhouse for five years, and they wanted a back yard and a house with space more suitable for young children.
"It was ready to go," said Jon McAvoy, 39, who works in capital markets and asset management for P.N. Hoffman. His wife was days away from giving birth to their second child, Avery, now two months old, and son, Jackson, 3, was already in tow, so it was easier to move in rather than deal with construction.
Lyon Village was their first choice for a neighborhood because they liked the schools, the proximity to supermarkets and other stores, and the easy 15-minute commute in traffic to his office.
Walkable community: Close to both the Clarendon and Court House Metro stops on the Orange and Silver lines, LyonVillage is the kind of neighborhood where families know their neighbors, children play and parents can walk almost everywhere.
"It's the location that people really like, the neighborhood feel," said John Carten, twice past president of the Lyon Village Citizens' Association, and a member-at-large of the association's executive committee.
He and his wife, Gail, bought a house in Lyon Village in 1984, raised four children there, and have lived there ever since. Residents can walk to the Whole Foods Market, the Trader Joe's, restaurants and nightlife near the Clarendon Metro stop. In Market Common, a mixed-use development, Barnes & Noble and Apple are among the retailers.
"It's a choice to get in the car," McAvoy said. "It's not a necessity. It's a pedestrian-centric environment."
Lyon Village was originally part of a 163-acre property that Robert Cruit purchased in 1846 as a retreat from his home in the District, according to the National Register of Historic Places, on which it is listed. The first part of the neighborhood platted as Lyon Village had tree-lined streets, traffic circles and an "intricate system of curvilinear roads that complemented the less-than-one-acre housing lots," it said. Frank Lyon, who purchased the property from Cruit's heirs, platted the area in 1923. Lyon Village was enlarged when adjacent blocks were platted with a more grid-like pattern from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Spaghetti dinners, picnics: Architectural styles vary, ranging from brick Colonial Revival to bungalows. Other styles include what the Register called "modest examples of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Tudor Revival, Classical Revival and Spanish Mission Revival."
Among the biggest changes Carten has seen during his years in Lyon Village has been the additions built onto houses during the 1980s and '90s. Residents often added a family room and a bedroom and enlarged their kitchens. In the past 10 years, residents or developers have sold houses that were then torn down to make way for a larger house. Sometimes a house is partially torn down, then enlarged, preserving some of the original house.
Lyon Village has approximately 800 single-family houses and townhouses, and a few apartments.
The neighborhood has its own Community House, built in 1949, where monthly association meetings take place, as well as a benefit spaghetti dinner in the fall, among other events. Next door are two tennis courts, a playground and a park. The playground is home to the annual Fourth of July Picnic and Parade.
Living there: Lyon Village is bounded roughly by Lee Highway (U.S. Route 29) to the north, North Veitch Street to the east, Wilson Boulevard to the south and North Kirkwood Road to the west.
In the past year, according to Ruth Boyer O'Dea, an agent with TTR Sotheby's International Realty in Arlington, 24 single-family houses, five townhouses and two condominiums sold in Lyon Village. They ranged from a 1924 three-bedroom, one-bath bungalow for $685,000 to a 2006 Craftsman-style five-bedroom, six-bath home for $2.4 million.
There are seven properties on the market, ranging from a two-bedroom, two-bath Cape Cod for $999,000 to a yet-to-be-built five-bedroom, five-bath contemporary farmhouse-style home for $2.195 million.
Schools: Key Elementary, Arlington Science Focus, Taylor Elementary, Swanson Middle, Gunston Middle (for Spanish immersion) and Washington-Lee High.
Transit: Depending on where they live, residents can walk to either the Clarendon or Court House Metro stations on the Orange and Silver lines. The 38B Metro bus runs along Lee Highway. Arlington Transit buses include the 42, 45, 55, 62 and 77.
Crime: According to NexisLexis Community Crime Map, in the past year, there were three aggravated assaults, eight burglaries, three robberies and 34 thefts reported by the Arlington County Police.