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Best of Del Ray: Where to Live

From historic bungalows and brick Colonials to stylish apartments and lofts, Alexandria's Del Ray has got you covered.

The new apartments at Del Ray Central have nine-foot ceilings and open floor plans.

When Amy and Justin Kim were ready to buy their first home, they came up with a list of what they wanted: a two-bedroom close to the Metro with a back yard for Twiggy, their chihuahua. Their price target of about $500,000 led them to Del Ray.

Bounded by Braddock Road, Route 1, Glebe Road, and Russell Road, Del Ray started out 100 years ago as a community of railroad workers from nearby Potomac Yard—then one of the biggest railroad yards on the East Coast. Today Del Ray is an artsy enclave of working professionals drawn by proximity to the Metro and Old Town; affordable, charming homes; and the sense of community.

It took the Kims several months to find their dream home: an updated two-bedroom, two-bath duplex, steps to the neighborhood’s main commercial district and a 20-minute walk—or a five-minute bike ride—to the Braddock Road Metro. “It had just been listed when my husband spotted it,” says Amy Kim. “We put an offer in that night—we learned from experience that duplexes this nice go quickly.”

Though most homes in Del Ray are resales, a handful are new developments. The apartments at Del Ray Central (3051 Mount Vernon Ave.; 866-841-3737; delrayapts.com) opened this year. All 141 units have open kitchens with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Rents start at $1,745 a month for one-bedrooms, $2,060 for one-bedrooms with dens, and $2,399 for two-bedrooms.

The Lofts of Del Ray (2709–2731 Mount Vernon Ave.; 703-836-5209; theloftsofdelray.com) will be a nine-unit mixed-use development when it opens next June. The three-bedroom, two-bath loft spaces will be situated in four new townhouses. Available for sale or rent, they can be used as homes or offices.

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