Sarah and Jeff Bogdanovich bought their house without ever having set foot in it. They looked at 20 houses before making a final decision to move to a 1939 house in the Waverly Hills neighborhood of Arlington.
“We bought it sight unseen,” said Sarah Bogdanovich, 38. “The Realtor walked through with FaceTime. We FaceTimed a lot.”
The couple is used to moving. Sarah Bogdanovich and her husband, Jeff, 39, a Coast Guard pilot, have moved six times since they were married 11 years ago.
When they were relocating to the Washington area two years ago, they had an inside edge. Sarah Bogdanovich had spent childhood summers in Waverly Hills when her father was based here. “It had to be this neighborhood,” she said. “I had wonderful memories of being here.”
Besides, she said, she “loves old homes,” and this one would meet the needs of their family, including sons Matthew 9, and William, 7.
An easy commute: Located not far from the Ballston station on Metro’s Orange and Silver lines, Waverly Hills is a community of 1,700 households.
“We fell in love with this neighborhood for what it provides,” said Sarah Bogdanovich. Children walk themselves to school. There’s a lot of tree cover. “It’s very storybook.”
Sarah Bogdanovich, who is from Mobile, Ala., said Waverly Hills is a good place to raise children. It’s also an easy commute in a lot of directions. They are a single-income family, so Jeff Bogdanovich’s commute was an important factor in their decision. He wanted to be able to get to work without a car, and he bikes or rides Metro. He can walk to the Ballston station from their house.
Many of the original houses in Waverly Hills are brick Colonials dating to 1938. Some have additions while others have been torn down and replaced with larger, more expensive homes. “There is a mix of big houses and small houses, old and new, torn-down and new houses,” said Don Partlan, a landscape architect and secretary of the civic association, who bought his home in 1998.
The area was originally farmland. A building at 4527 North 17th St., the Glebe of Fairfax Parish, was part of a 500-acre farm where the rector of Fairfax Parish lived. According to the Arlington Historical Society website, the original Glebe House, built in 1775, burned in 1808 and was rebuilt in 1820 as a hunting lodge. Around 1850, an octagonal wing was added. The structure, an Arlington County landmark, also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Among the previous residents were the Rev. Bryan Fairfax (the 8th Lord Fairfax); John Peter Van Ness, the District’s 10th mayor; Clark Mills, a sculptor; and Caleb Cushing, the first U.S. ambassador to China.
Strong sense of community: The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, a nonprofit housing developer, includes affordable rental communities within the civic association boundaries, according to Paul Holland, president of the Waverly Hills Civic Association and an APAH board member.
Those who have lived in Waverly Hills for many years continue to enjoy the neighborhood. George and Ellen Keating bought their house in 1984, after renting in the area for 2½ years. They raised their two sons in the neighborhood. They had been living in the Buckingham apartments when a family in their babysitting co-op told them about Waverly Hills. The Keatings, who met at Georgetown University and are now in their 60s, say they like the convenience of the neighborhood. They can walk to the Lee Heights Shops. “We don’t have to cross any streets to get to it,” Ellen Keating said. The shopping center includes restaurants, a pastry shop and a needlepoint shop, among other retailers.
The neighborhood has Woodstock Park at 2049 Woodstock St., which includes a playground and a basketball court and covers slightly more than an acre.
“There’s a really strong sense of community here,” Holland said. “We’re small geographically, but we have some density here.”
One concern in the area is the safety of children crossing Glebe Road to reach Glebe Elementary School and, otherwise calming traffic in the neighborhood. Adding traffic circles on the eastern border along North Utah Street has been part of the solution to slow traffic.
Living there: Waverly Hills is roughly bounded by Old Dominion Drive (Lee Highway) to the north, North Utah Street to the east, Interstate 66 to the south and North Glebe Road to the west.
According to Billy Buck, a real estate agent at Buck & Associates, 14 properties sold in the past year, ranging from a three-bedroom, one-bath brick rambler for $655,000 to a newly built Craftsman-style house with five bedrooms and five baths for $1.386 million. One property is for sale, a five-bedroom, five-bath Craftsman house built in 2016, listed for $1.599 million.
Schools: Glebe Elementary, Swanson Middle, Washington-Lee High, Yorktown High. (To pinpoint your school, visit http://gis.arlingtonva.us/mapapps/schools/ .)
Transit: The Ballston station on the Orange and Silver lines is the closest Metro stop; there are both Metro and Arlington County Transit (ART) buses. The 3Y Metrobus stops in Lee Heights en route to the McPherson Square Metro station Monday through Friday during rush hour, serving commuters to the District.
Crime: According to Arlington County police, in the past 12 months, there were three aggravated assaults, one robbery and two burglaries in the Waverly Hill Civic Association neighborhood.