How can homes in Fairfax County be listed as Alexandria when they are outside of the City lines?

Asked by Shaunna, Washington, DC Sun Mar 10, 2013

I'm seeing homes that are clearly outside of the city of Alexandria included in my searches. How are sellers (or their agents) able to list these properties without giving an accurate location of the home?

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Will Nesbitt’s answer
Will Nesbitt, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Sun Mar 10, 2013
I've written a concise explanation of the differences between the City of Alexandria, Alexandria postal address and Lower Alexandria on my website at the reference below. The short story is that the City of Alexandria is a "county", just like Fairfax County is a county. Properties in the City of Alexandria are not in Fairfax County and properties in Fairfax County are not in the City of Alexandria. However, every address has a post office and your post office isn't necessarily in the same county. Therefore, homes in Franconia, Lee District, Fort Hunt and Mount Vernon District all have an Alexandria post office but are in Fairfax County.
1 vote
Karen Hall, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Sun Mar 10, 2013
It can be a little confusing. We have "Alexandria" in the City of Alexandria and "Alexandria" in Fairfax County. Once you are working with a Realtor, they can send you listings by email automatically as soon as one is listed or modified--that search can specify if you only want to see homes in the actual city or consider homes in the County as well (which tend to offer a little more house for the money if it works for your lifestyle). You can still search all of Alexandria, and then an easy way to tell whether a property is in the city or not is the MLS ID #. it will begin with "FX" or "AX". Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance. Always happy to help!
Karen Hall, Principal Broker
@home | real estate lounge & design center
Alexandria, VA 22314
1 vote
Robert Lepel…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Sun Mar 10, 2013
Dear Shaunna:

The original City of Alexandria was smaller than today. It extended all the way to Quaker Lane. At the beginning of the last Century, the Virginia created sovereign independent Cities that were not associated with any County. When Alexandria became an independent City, the County of Alexandria became the County of Arlington (Named after Robert E. Lee's former residence The Arlington House at the now Arlington National Cemetery.) In fact the City annexed the Town of Potomac where the Potomac Yards is located.

Needing room to grow, the independent City of Alexandria used its powers to annex parts of Fairfax County until a truce was called between Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria.

Between the continued annexation and the desire for the more prestigious "Alexandria" address, the US Postal Service imposed the 223XX ZIP codes for Fairfax County between the City of Alexandria, and Mount Vernon.

In our REALTOR MLS system called MRIS, the agents and other know when they spot a listing beginning with the prefix FX, we know that it is located in Fairfax County.

Please let me know if I am able to help you with your important real estate questions.

Sincerely yours - Bob Lepelletier - Broker - Associate - Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria/Kingstowne Office (703) 310-7880 or
1 vote
Lisa Smith, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Sun Mar 10, 2013
The listing must state the County or City that it is located. Narrow your search to only the City of Alexandria.
1 vote
Lisa Smith, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Sun Mar 10, 2013
There is a large portion of Alexandria, outside the City of Alexandria, that is located in Fairfax County, i.e. Kingstowne, Pinecrest, Mt. Vernon, etc.
1 vote
Brian Block, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Tue Mar 12, 2013

As others have mentioned, there's independent cities and counties in Virginia. There are Alexandria addresses that are part of Fairfax County, same goes for Falls Church, there's Falls Church City and there's Falls Church addresses that are part of Fairfax County.

I published a blog article that explains all this a while back. See the link below.
0 votes
Shaunna, Home Buyer, Washington, DC
Sun Mar 10, 2013
Thanks, everyone! I was really confused.

I'll make sure to narrow my search to the City of Alexandria, if possible.
0 votes
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