Finding land was difficult - we wanted at least a half acre and we only wanted to spend about $200K, and there were not a lot of options meeting those criteria in Fairfax County (or at least, there weren't a lot of options that met those criteria that didn't have major issues or were considered unbuildable). You can easily spend over $1M for less than an acre in places like McLean - it's kind of crazy to me that people spend that much and don't even get a house included! After a couple of months of searching, we found a spot we fell in love with that was right by the water. We signed a contract and started moving forward - then discovered that it had major soil problems. The cost to remediate the issue depended on what the county would require but could have been a huge amount of money, well over $100K. Luckily, this was discovered before we went to settlement, so we ended up backing down from that lot and starting over at square 1.
After another month or so, we found another lot. It's not overlooking the bay, but it's a five minute walk to a huge park with a big lake and lots of trails. It's also a much more convenient location for us, so we're happy with the way it worked out. The address number also happens to be our wedding date - 8.8.09 - so that's got to be good luck, right?
This is the path across the front yard: