correction: An earlier version of the story incorrected identified the middle school in Claremont. It’s Gunston, not Dunstan.
In the quiet community of Claremont in southwest Arlington, Va., there is little turnover in homes — one of many indications of how much residents love living there.
“A lot of sales are by owner, and they go quickly,” said Gabe Snow, who has lived there since 2011 with his wife, Ryan, and two girls, 6 and 4. “Sometimes people buy a second house, upgrade it, move into it, then sell their first house.”
“Sometimes people buy from someone else in the neighborhood,” said Emily Schwartz Greco. Sellers can also locate buyers through the neighborhood Listserv, occasionally within a few hours of their posting.
“It’s a hot neighborhood,” said Beth Wolfe. She and her husband, Jim Norton, and their daughter, Ruby, 11, moved there in 2012.
Diana and Roy Markon have lived there for decades. “We moved in 1961 when our five children were young. It’s a pleasant neighborhood, and we decided to stay put,” Diana Markon said. “After our children and the others nearby grew up it got quiet. Now there are many children again. It happens in all neighborhoods. It’s kind of like a circle.”
Creative decorations: The community evolved in the post World War II era. Between 1946 and 1949, many Cape Cod and Colonial-style homes were built. Then in the early 1950s red brick ramblers went up followed by one small street. There are also a couple of streets with split-levels. Most of the 500 or so houses are modest one- and two-stories, but some have been renovated and enlarged.
“A lot of porches, extensions out back and dormer windows have been added,” Wolfe said.
“People have made modifications but they’ve retained the original character of the house and streets. We don’t have McMansions,” said Snow, who is president of the Claremont Citizens Association.
“We have a few teardowns, but they didn’t start a trend,” said Schwartz Greco, who has lived in Claremont since 2013 with her husband, Tommy Greco, and children, Lucy, 12, and Ray, 10.
“Some people around here have gotten pretty creative with their properties,” she said. “The prior owner of our house turned the back yard into a terraced Japanese garden with a Koi pond, waterfall and cherry trees.”
The front yard of one house is decorated with dozens of pastel Easter eggs, and another house is framed with a pink fence. Most houses don’t have garages; the majority have driveways. There are sidewalks and many cul-de-sacs.
“Claremont is a great place to raise a family, and it’s the kind of neighborhood where you get to know your neighbors,” Gate Snow said.
What to do: Wakefield Aquatic Center, which has two pools, is in Wakefield High School and is open to the public.
“Claremont Mini Park is the social focal point for neighborly and kid gatherings when the weather is nice,” said Gabe Snow.
Barcroft Park covers 65 acres and offers ball courts and fields, fishing in Four Mile Run Stream, biking, picnicking and grilling.
A lady in a purple puff coat walked a collie in Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park on a recent Sunday morning. Beginning at the corner of Shirlington Road and South Four Mile Run, the park is actually a 45-mile-long, narrow paved trail perfect for cycling, jogging or pushing a stroller. It ends in Purcellville and offers many points you can get on, off and/or park your car.
Allie S. Freed Park comprises five acres of grassy fields, a paved path and benches. It borders Four Mile Run Stream and connects with the Lucky Run Trail and Four Mile Run Trail.
Shirlington Dog Park is very popular. “Some people drive there with their dogs from out of our neighborhood,” Wolfe said. “Claremont has the charm of Arlington and the convenience of Fairfax County.”
Shopping: Virginia Route 7 is a busy commercial corridor loaded with retail, restaurants and service-centered outlets, including Target, Giant, Safeway, Best Buy and Dicks Sporting Goods.
The Village at Shirlington is home to Harris Teeter, Busboys & Poets, Signature Theater, a movie theater, Shirlington Branch Library, a post office, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and other shops.
Living there: Claremont in Arlington County, Zip code 22206, is about eight miles from the White House. It’s roughly bounded by South Four Mile Run Drive on the north, South Walter Reed Drive on the east, Virginia Route 7/King Street on the south and South George Mason Drive on the west.
According to Eli Tucker, an agent with Eli Residential Group of RLAH Real Estate, no homes are for sale or under contract. “I think Claremont is a hidden gem in Arlington,” he said.
In the past year, 11 single-family houses sold, ranging from an as-is four-bedroom, two-bathroom for $553,000 to a renovated and expanded four-bedroom, four-bathroom for $799,000.
Schools: Abingdon Elementary, Gunston Middle, Wakefield High.
Transit: “We’re not a Metro neighborhood, but that’s what keeps prices affordable,” said Ryan Snow. Pentagon Sstation and Pentagon City station on the Blue and Yellow lines are closest. Metrobuses and Arlington Rapid Transit buses transport commuters to them. Virginia Route 7 and Interstate 395 are nearby.
Crime: According to the Arlington County police, there were no crimes in the past year.