Northern Virginia / MD / DC people please chime in

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
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If I were looking to move there, what suburban area would be the best? Name some counties and even towns please. I don't know what the avg home price is there (too many cities to search and I don't know where to begin) but what can $400k get us? What can $700k get us? We're looking at 4 bedrooms at least. We have twins coming so schools are important too.

We'd also like to be within an hour drive of a nicely populated city (DC I presume is the place to be for that?) We're looking for a similar experience to Long Island, but just a change of scenery. Thanks.
 

FoBoT

No Lifer
Apr 30, 2001
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fobot.com
my brother in law's family lives in Purcellville, VA , it is about 50 miles northwest of DC
it is a nice little town, not too far away, but away from the bad stuff etc while still close enough to the city stuff when they want to go in for that
 

glenn beck

Platinum Member
Oct 6, 2004
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Look to Germantown or Urbana(if looking to the MD side), both have upscale quiet neighborhoods and are about an hour away from DC
 

dbk

Lifer
Apr 23, 2004
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You want to stay in Fairfax County for the schools. How about Centreville? It's close enough for everything but far enough so the traffic isn't "that" bad. Btw, there are Asians everywhere. I should know. As far as housing prices. My parents bought our house near Fair Lakes Shopping Centre for around $250,000 in 2003, then sold it in 2006 for almost double. We sold year or so before the decline in the housing market so you should probably find a home at your price range. Our house had 4 rooms, basement and 3 baths and a sizable back yard. My parents since moved way away to Woodbridge area and I really don't know the specifics about the area anymore.

As far as MD, I hear Silver Springs..Ellicott City.
 

Taejin

Moderator<br>Love & Relationships
Aug 29, 2004
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montgomery county

best/richest county in MD afaik, close to DC

If you're looking at nice places to live I'd suggest areas around like... Potomac, Bethesda. I live in Spencerville, which is caught in transition between hicksville (big houses) and getting some development. It's pretty nice right now, actually.

For high schools I know Wootton, Walt Whitman, Churchill are supposed to be good. I came from Montgomery Blair myself (from the magnet program).

The entire area is like 30-1hr away from DC.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
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Honestly your answer will be largely determined by where your job will be located. If your job is in downtown DC you will want to be someplace where public transit or carpooling is available otherwise you will want to be in the same state within 20 miles of the work location. You definitely do not want to be commuting from a home in Maryland to a job in Virginia or vice versa.
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
52,800
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Thx for all the answers so far. Keep em coming.

About job location - I would be working from home - same company, so it's not really a factor. My wife would need a sys admin tech job though but in suburbia that may not be that difficult right?
 

dbk

Lifer
Apr 23, 2004
17,683
7
81
Originally posted by: rh71
Thx for all the answers so far. Keep em coming.

About job location - I would be working from home - same company, so it's not really a factor. My wife would need a sys admin tech job though but in suburbia that may not be that difficult right?
Maybe Reston/Herndon? There are a lot of "tech" companies in that area. If she wants to work in DC or near DC then you would have to move close enough to catch the Metro. You do not want to bother with the atrocity known as the beltway in the morning.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,392
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400-500K will get you 4 bedrooms, around 2500-3000 square foot house out my way. Prices go up pretty quickly the closer in to DC you get. Generally taxes in Maryland are higher than Virginia, the schools in Montgomery County MD and Fairfax County VA are the best in the area. Prince Georges County MD and DC schools both have lots of issues so you would probably want to avoid them.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
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I've lived in Fairfax County (Northern VA) for my entire life (I'm 20), and I don't know many details about the others, so everything here applies to Fairfax County alone. Also, this is just my common knowledge. I'm in no way a professional on anything here...

As far as houses go, 400k won't get you anything special. You could probably get one of the older homes in the more mature neighborhoods, which are actually pretty nice IMO depending on how many people you're living with. Said houses are decently sized (although it'd be difficult to find on with 4 bedrooms IMO), and said neighborhoods tend to have nice mature trees, bigger lawns, quieter streets, etc. A decent number of these houses have also been remodeled by the owners, although I don't know how many of those would be up for sale.

700K gets you into the low-high-end. You'd get one of the big, modern, cathedral ceiling houses. Unfortunately, the developers went fricken ape-shit into building these things, and some of these houses are literally 10 ft away from a heavy traffic 4 lane road. They also have no trees to speak of and much smaller lots (generally speaking). The houses themselves are pretty sweet though.

Most of the other houses are 1 mil+

As for neighborhoods, generally speaking, the further west you go, the better/more affluent the people get. Despite being the richest (average income/household) county in the country, there are still plenty of low-income areas you want to avoid. Most of said areas are in the east, but there are a few scattered out west (ie: around South Lakes High School). That said, crime/violence is defiantly low, especially in the west. I've lived here my entire life and I've only had 1 dangerous encounter. The main problem is Hispanic gangs, which are, one again, generally in the east.

As for within an hour of DC? Hahaha that depends on when you leave and the type of transportation. The DC metro system extends into much of Fairfax County (as far as Vienna currently, they're considering an extension to Dulles). It can get you to DC in 45 minutes or so, assuming you live in Vienna or don't mind driving/parking at the station. My dad drives to the Vienna station, take the metro into DC every morning. Works for him.
http://www.wmata.com/maps/metrorail_street_map.cfm

If you decide to drive, then I suggest you leave no later than 2 pm or no earlier than 7 pm if you want to get there in an hour. Rush hour's a bitch. Can't really avoid morning rush hour, unless you have a flexible job.

That said, everything you need will probably be within a 10-20 minute drive (depending on traffic). I have about 20 restaurants (from McDonalds to Olive Garden to McCormick and Shmit's (really nice expensive seafood place) (sp?)), 3 movie theaters, 4 grocery stores, 3 soccer fields, a hospital, a veterinarian's office, a Home Depot, an international Airport, a Bed Bath and Beyond and loads of other stuff within said drive.

While there aren't many "cities", there are Town centers which are the local hubs of activity
ie: Reston Town Center:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=...1646,0.020084&t=h&z=16 (These pics are old. Most of the construction you see has been built up)

There are also plenty of large malls (Tyson's, Fair Oaks, etc)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=...3306,0.040169&t=h&z=15

If you have kids and are looking at schools, there's currently a zoning war going on, so I'd wait until the dust settles there. Suffice to say I went through the public schooling system. It's the best in the nation, and it does deserve it. That said, some schools are fine, some are absolute ghetto trash (as in areas of the school owned by gangs after hours). Hence the reason for the current zone war (demographic distribution). However, I do know that schools I went to (Crossfield elementary, Rachel Carson Middle, Oakton High School) were and still are some of the best as far as public schools go. Chantilly high, Florence (sp?) elementary, and Madison High are also quality. Of course, we also have TJ (Thomas Jefferson High), the uber magnet private school, commonly rated as the best in the nation, despite the fact that Oakton, Chantilly, and Herndon IIRC actually competed in National robotics competitions (FIRST. Google it), when TJ did nothing of the sort. (Yeah, we all hate TJ :) )

We also have a shitload of running/bike trails if you're into that. Most are scenic (through woods/trees, etc), and if the weather's nice they're highly enjoyable if you're into that. I cycled down the Fairfax County Parkway almost every day during the Spring/Summer.
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nmtc/maps.html

Oh, BTW, I live here, in case you're curious:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=...84&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr

That's everything off the top of my head. Hope I helped.
 

KB

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 1999
5,313
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I would choose VA because of less taxes. Maryland is quickly becoming the Tax and fee state.
 

Suture

Senior member
Sep 17, 2003
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Keep proximity to a Metro station in mind if you plan on using it on a regular basis. I was commuting from Springfield to work every day (about 45 minutes) and it drove me nuts. Last June, I finally decided to buy something closer to work, 5 minutes away, be exact. I bought a brand new condo near the Herndon/Reston border. Lots of technology companies in this area, 5 minutes to Dulles airport, about 45 mins to an hour to DC.

I used to live in Alexandria; I loved it, but hated the traffic.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,392
78
91
Originally posted by: Suture
Keep proximity to a Metro station in mind if you plan on using it on a regular basis. I was commuting from Springfield to work every day (about 45 minutes) and it drove me nuts. Last June, I finally decided to buy something closer to work, 5 minutes away, be exact. I bought a brand new condo near the Herndon/Reston border. Lots of technology companies in this area, 5 minutes to Dulles airport, about 45 mins to an hour to DC.

I used to live in Alexandria; I loved it, but hated the traffic.
I spent part of my childhood (1st-6th grade) in Alexandria but this was back before it became the expensive yuppie haven it is today. It was a great place to be a kid since there were still woods and undeveloped areas and of course endless amounts of history. It is truly amazing how much a place can change over the years. We moved from Alexandria to Springfield and it was like being out in the sticks. Now Springfield is a traffic infested hell as well.
 

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