Mary Cogbill said she had been waiting for what felt like “forever” for a house to go on the market in the Fairfax County community of Raymondale.

Cogbill, a retired college financial aid director living in Fort Smith, Ark., was in town visiting her adult daughter, who lives in Raymondale, when they noticed that a family living nearby was preparing to move.

Excited at the prospect of finally finding a house that would allow her to be closer to her four grandchildren, Cogbill decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I just went up to the house, knocked on the door and asked them if they were going to sell their house. We didn’t even get an agent and we closed in a month,” said Cogbill, who purchased the midcentury, five-bedroom, three-bathroom house about two years ago.

In addition to the opportunity to spend time with her children and grandchildren, Cogbill said she found an “unbelievable, old-fashioned neighborhood where everybody is supportive of each other.”


Nature within the Beltway: Surrounded by woods and parkland, Raymondale is an inside-the-Beltway community of 144 homes built mostly in the mid-1950s, said Peggy Yee, a broker with Frankly Realtors.

Many potential home buyers are drawn to Raymondale’s abundance of nature, which offers what feels like a hideaway compared to busier neighborhoods nearby, Yee said.

Sanny Wroblewski and her husband, a Foreign Service officer, were living in Turkey several years ago when they began planning their return to the United States.

Wroblewski, who had previously lived in Alexandria, said she felt so sure about moving to Raymondale that she purchased her modern midcentury, 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home without setting foot in the neighborhood.

Thanks to relatives who provided details gleaned during visits to Raymondale and images from Google Earth, she said she knew she’d found not only the right house for her family, but the perfect neighborhood, too.

While some of the houses are older and smaller, the payoff for residents is a quality of life that’s not easily matched, Wroblewski said.

“We have foxes, deer, wild turkeys and owls out back,” she said. “It’s really kind of odd to be within the Beltway and have this much nature.”

Best of friends: Chris Keefer rented a home about a mile outside Raymondale but routinely dreamed about living there during walks to Luria Park, which borders the neighborhood.

He said he found Raymondale particularly attractive because it’s centrally located to nearby amenities and was a short bus ride to the East Falls Church Metro station. So when a house came on the market, Keefer, who has children in the third and fifth grades, said he didn’t waste any time putting in an offer.

“An added bonus is that there are a lot of young families and there seem to be more and more moving in,” said Keefer, who moved into a 1957, 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom house with “a lot of natural light” a little more than a year ago.


Holmes Run Stream Valley Park runs adjacent to the Raymondale neighborhood. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)

Beth Fedorko was house hunting in the Broyhill Park neighborhood in the winter of 1993, when through bare trees a group of midcentury homes across the woods in Raymondale caught her eye.

Fedorko said she turned to her agent and said, “Hey, how do we get over there?”

They toured several open houses, and Fedorko quickly settled on a 1,700-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom midcentury house.

“It’s been 23 wonderful years,” she said. “We’ve had neighbors come and go and made the best of friends. There have been a lot of babies born in this neighborhood,” Fedorko said with a chuckle. “We always joke about there being something in the water in Raymondale.”

Living there: The neighborhood is bounded by Brad Street to the north, Carol Lane to the east, Annandale Road to the south and Fallowfield Drive to the west.

In the past 12 months, five properties have sold in Raymondale, ranging from a 1,430-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom rambler for $448,000 to a 2,033-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary house for $655,000, said Yee, the broker with Frankly Realtors.


Andy O'Meara, 24, and Shannon Deegan, 25, relax on the front porch of a home in the Raymondale neighborhood. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)

There are two houses for sale in Raymondale: a four-level, three-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary house for $609,995 and a 4,175-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bathroom Colonial for $899,000, Yee said.

Schools: Westlawn Elementary, Luther Jackson Middle and Falls Church High.

Transit: Raymondale is about a 10-minute drive from the East Falls Church, West Falls Church and Dunn Loring-Merrifield stations on Metro’s Orange Line. Metrobus’s 3A line also serves the neighborhood.