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Where Should I Retire in Northern Virginia?

September 26th, 2023

By Sofia Alonso

3 min read


So, you've made the exciting decision to enjoy your retirement in Northern Virginia. But now comes the next question: how do you want to live your retirement? What kind of community suits your lifestyle and preferences? These questions can weigh heavily as you consider your retirement options.

Don't worry; we're here to help you navigate this important decision. At AV Architects + Builders, we have over 20 years of experience working with clients in Northern Virginia so we've gained valuable insights into the various housing options available and how to choose the right one for your lifestyle. 

In this article, we'll break down the options for retirement living in Northern Virginia, giving you a comprehensive view of what's available and what to consider. Whether you're leaning towards an active adult community, luxurious condo living, renovating your existing home, or even building a brand-new dream home, we've got you covered. We'll highlight the pros and cons of each option, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your retirement goals and lifestyle.

Northern Virginia offers a rich tapestry of possibilities for retirees, and we're here to unravel it for you. After all, it's been voted the best state to retire in the U.S., and we're about to show you why. 

What are the 4 Common Retirement Options in Northern Virginia:


1. 55+ or Active Adult Communities:

Northern Virginia offers active adult communities with various housing options from single-family homes to condos or townhomes. 


  • Provides an instant circle of community and connection
  • Regularly scheduled activities, classes, and events
  • People in your community are in a similar life-stage as you


  • Could have certain limitations on things like visiting hours or pets
  • You’re only around your own age group of people


2. Luxury Condo Communities:

Similar to the active adult communities, these high-end condos offer convenience and amenities, but are typically built in high-rise building.  like on-site doctors, gyms, and workshops. However, they come with a high price tag and limited space for visitors.


  • All essential amenities on-site like: doctors, gyms, pharmacy, grocery stores
  • No yard to maintain
  • Great security and peace of mind with only one door to lock to your home
  • Plenty of opportunities for hobbies, classes, workshops


  • Less space than a house, meaning less space for visitors. I.e. hosting your family or grandkids sleeping over
  • You have to take an elevator to get outdoors
  • Shared public spaces with other tenants
  • Waitlists of 1 year or more


3. Renovate Your Current Home:

If you really enjoy your current location, have friends in your neighborhood, or just love your community, renovating your existing home may be a good option for you.


  • You can stay in your own neighborhood 
  • If you have lived in your house for some time you probably already have invested equity in your home, adding to your asset
  • You don’t have to deal with moving
  • You know the neighborhood
  • You get to be around a variety of people of all ages
  • You enjoy your land and maintaining your garden 


  • Unless your home is a newer build, your primary bedroom is most likely on the second floor and your home is generally not accessible for aging
  • Your house is most likely larger than what you need, leaving many unused spaces
  • Your house is likely on the older side, meaning more upkeep and maintenance than a newer house
  • You will have to move out and move back in when the house if finished being renovated


4. Build a New Home:

If you think you would need to remodel more than your current home is worth, then building a new home may be the best option for you.


  • If your property is a candidate for teardown: you can teardown and build new on your own lot
  • You can stay in the same community
  • You can add views, more land, less land, by finding a new lot to build on
  • You can have all the customized spaces that you need to fun-size your retirement
  • You can design intentional spaces for the way you live 
  • In Northern Virginia, it’s a safe investment that you can pass down in your family


  • It can take 18 to 24 months from design to move-in
  • It will require owner involvement in the design process

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Should I Retire in Northern Virginia?

If you are thinking about your retirement and wondering where the best place to live is, look no further, as Northern Virginia has everything you need to live a comfortable and thriving retirement. You don't need to feel like Florida is the only option for your retirement. If you enjoy being close to an exciting city, while benefiting from the quiet serenity of nature, then Northern Virginia has everything you need. 

Now that you understand what makes Northern Virginia a fantastic place to retire, check out this helpful article about the Best Areas to Live in Northern Virginia to decide which is right for you. 



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Great Falls, VA 22066
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