When house hunters encounter the Glebewood neighborhood in Arlington County, they tend to express admiration for its location, schools, amenities and transportation.
That the townhouses, duplexes, apartments and some single-family homes are reasonably priced for North Arlington only adds to the appeal.
"Twenty years ago, we were just looking for what amounts to a good location, good schools, amenities," said Steve Karlin. Glebewood had the "right scale, the right location, friendly neighbors and was located on good transportation," he said. So he and his wife, Cynthia Hoftiezer, bought a duplex.
Glebewood is dense with townhouses built in the late 1930s and duplexes built in the 1960s. "It means you have a very eclectic neighborhood," Karlin said. "A different set of homes."
Indeed, Glebewood, situated on what once was farmland, has a mix of housing and people at different ages and stages of life as well as different backgrounds, neighbors say, and they like it that way.
Initially, the couple thought they'd found a good "starter home," but they realized it was a good place to live anytime. With their two teenage daughters, Hannah, 17, and Claire, 15, the family found their three-bedroom, four-bath duplex meant "a lot of home, what we needed and wanted," Karlin said.
Helping one another: Glebewood once had a wooded area adjacent to it that has since been developed. Though it is near the intersection of two major arteries, Glebewood feels as if it's tucked away because there is little, if any, through traffic on its cul-de-sacs and relatively narrow streets. "Our houses are close together," Karlin said. "There are a lot of walkers. Neighbors help one another, especially when it snows," he said. They tend to recognize and chat with one another, residents said.
Terri Delaney, who has lived in Glebewood since 1996, knew the neighborhood because she had friends who lived there. Since she used to house-sit for them, she knew she would feel comfortable in Glebewood.
"I loved the idea of being able to walk to restaurants and grocery stores," she said. "It feels homey, but you have access to all these wonderful things." Typically, she drives to work in Old Town Alexandria or takes Metro from Rosslyn or Ballston, connecting by bus. Glebewood has easy access to Route 66 and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
The mix of houses means a range of sizes. "It's ideal for somebody who just wants a small house," said Laura Johnson, president of the Glebewood Civic Association, who has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years. The townhouses on North Brandywine Street have small plots of land in front and back. "There's just enough gardening to keep me happy," she said.
The civic association is one of several neighborhood associations in the Lee Highway Alliance, founded in 2013. The aim is to improve the Lee Highway corridor in ways that help the neighborhood and its businesses.
Walking in Glebewood on an October morning means hearing the sound of chirping birds. "There are a lot of bird feeders," Johnson said.
Easily reachable on foot are the Lee Heights Shops at 4500-4550 Lee Hwy., and for those who like a considerable walk, the Lee Harrison Shopping Center at 2425 N. Harrison St., with a Harris Teeter and a nearby Safeway. Others shop at the Whole Foods or Trader Joe's in Clarendon.
For many, Glebewood is a car-oriented neighborhood. The only downside residents mention is that street parking can be a challenge, because the townhouses don't have garages.
Adjacent to the area are two Arlington County parks. Slater Park consists of three acres with a playground, picnic tables, charcoal grills and a path that connects to Glebewood at North Brandywine Street. Langston-Brown Community & Senior Center and Park is near the northern end of the neighborhood.
Living there: The boundaries for Glebewood are Lee Highway (Route 29) to the north, North Glebe Road (Route 120) to the east, 20th Street North to the south and North Brandywine Street to the west.
In the past year, according to Kristin Francis, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties, 12 residential properties sold in Glebewood, ranging from a two-bedroom, two-bath Cape Cod-style 1938 townhouse for $490,000 to a four-bedroom, four-bath traditional townhouse for $810,500.
There are no properties on the market. A two-bedroom, two-bath 1938 Colonial-style single-family home is available to rent for $2,750 per month.
Schools: Glebe Elementary, Williamsburg Middle, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, Yorktown High.
Transit: Ballston on the Orange and Silver lines is the closest Metro station, and it is roughly a 20- to 25-minute walk from the neighborhood. Residents can use the 23A and 23T Metro buses to reach the Ballston Metro. Commuters can ride the 3Y Metro bus that stops along Lee Highway during rush hour and runs to McPherson Square. In addition, the 55 Arlington Transit Bus runs along Lee Highway to the Rosslyn Metro station.
Crime: According to the LexisNexis Community Crime Map, in the past year, no crime was reported in Glebewood.