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A Little Help: Moving to VA

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by lump, Apr 20, 2006.


  1. lump

    lump

    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Hey, fellers. Finally moving back to the states after 6 years overseas--it's time. Anyhoo, it would be nice to have a place to live once I get there. I'm gonna be working in Crystal City, and will need a place in somewhere in northern VA somewhere. MD is pretty much out--I tried that once, and wasn't a big fan ("hon"). ;)

    Here's the dilemma. I'm looking to rent because I don't know how long I'll be there. Do I go affordable and live out in BFE but commute 3 hrs a day, or empty my wallet and live closer by? QoL seems to be better out in the sticks, but I hate the thought of spending all that time commuting. I'm from So Cal and have already spent enough of my life sitting in traffic. I'm told it's better to live off 66 somewhere (Centreville, Chantilly, etc.) rather than the 95. However, there are some very nice places down by Quantico (Montclair, etc.) that are within budget ($2,100/mo. before coming out of pocket). Is one direction better than the other?

    Anyway, I know there are a bunch of you from the DC area, and am just looking for input from "normal" people, and you guys are at least close. :smug: With a daughter going to college I'm thinking I'm probably going to have to suck up the commute, but if you have any advice, I'm all ears. :)
     
  2. As you may know, this area has the worst traffic in the country short of possibly LA. As long as you're renting, though, see what you can stomach, because it depends on your preference. Me, I'd much rather have less money and a short commute.
     
  3. DougP

    DougP

    Sep 4, 2001
    do you know where you are going to be working yet?
    i would consider living near where you work. gas prices and commute time can be rough if you have to drive a long ways.

    66 is much better than 95. Though i think they both have the same number of inconsiderate and/or obnoxious drivers.
     
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Traffic is horrible. There's no good way to commute except carpooling (HOV) or Metro. I moved from Centreville (30 miles out 66) to Ashburn (35 miles out Dulles Toll Road) a couple years ago and the Ashburn commute is much better than the Centreville one. The 66 corridor used to be better than 95, but I thin it's as bad as 95 now I think, it's horrible coming in on 66. And to make matters worse, HOV means virtually nothing outside the Beltway except a few convenient exits.

    Herndon/Reston is a good option (nice place to live), and there are good transportation options from there. A bus runs from the Herndon Monroe Park and Ride to L'Enfent Plaza, where you'd be looking at a very short Metro trip to Crystal City.

    I have no idea what the prices are, but Alexandria has lots of very nice places where your commute would be Metro or negligible.
     
  5. lump

    lump

    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Crystal City. Somewhere. Next to "Bed Bath and Beyond," I think.

    Townsburgville?? Please tell me you're making that up. :eek:

    Phil,

    Alexandria is my first choice. I need a 4-bedroom though. Townhouses start at about $15K/mo. ;)
     
  6. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Good luck, man. There's no way to beat traffic, unless you lay down the cash to be close to work/metro. You can buy decent places further out for not quite as much (although the inflated prices are rapidly spreading outwards too), but then your commute is atrocious.

    This place is my own personal version of hell, and I haven't found the right midpoint between money and commute yet. Good luck to you.
     
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    No info on Virginia for you, but I did want to chime in on the commute subject. I've lived close to my job, and far from my job. I'd pay the extra cash for the shorter commute any day. It really is lame to get off work at 4PM, but not get home until 6PM.

    -Mike
     
  8. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Welcome to VA!

    Anyway, I chose to move closer in. I came to the realization that time is something that is irreplaceable, while money is. I can make more money, but I can't make more time. I can make my money back, but time spent is gone forever.
    I just moved to Alexandria from Fairfax, and even though I added a whopping 5 mins to my daily work commute, I saved about an hour and a half commute to my shop. I also am walking distance to alot of amenities and public transportation like the Birchmere theatre, metro station, Dash bus, old town, etc. With the cost of fuel prices and traffic, Pub Trans makes things a little better.

    But if I'm not mistaken, your last station was in Korea. The traffic is bad around here, but nothing like the traffic in Seoul. The traffic is cakewalk in comparison. Just as well, whatever Korean you have picked up will still come in handy in Northern Virginia.

    On a side note, a thing to consider is the age of your children. If you have school age kids, then Fairfax county is a great place to live. They have the best public schools in the country, regardless of the fact that DanceHallClasher teaches in one of them.:D The truth is that most of Northern Virginia has the best public schools in the country. Your kids will get a great education in Loudon, Manassas, etc.

    BTW, there is a killer bass shop that's about 5-10 minutes from Crystal City. ;) You should check it out.
     
  9. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Notice that Jive didn't offer to rent you a couple of
    mattresses in the back of the Bass shop. Apparently
    whatever apparatus he keeps there is TOP SECRET.

    Welcome back to the USA.
     
  10. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    What size place are you looking for? i.e. how many bedrooms, do you need a garage, etc. I live in north Arlington and work in Old Town Alexandria. The commute is actually pretty good at under 20 minutes and the area I live in (Ballston) is very lively and probably unbeatable for a young 24 year old like me. But it ain't cheap. 1br apartments start at around $1500/month. I couldn't imagine living outside of the beltway but then again I don't have a family.
     
  11. Hay my klass is the pinochle of edgukashun.
     
  12. lump

    lump

    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    This explains so much. :smug: I think Fairfax Co. is still my best bet though. Screw my kids. ;)

    DougP,

    I saw somewhere that you're at NGA; I'm that other ~INT. Office is in Crystal City, but I'll be on the road to "The Fort" quite a bit. Another reason to stay closer to the VA/MD border.

    Jive,

    I got your PM; you got a listing? Feel free to shoot a link my way. And I'll definitely be stopping by the shop.

    Phat,

    Need a 4 bedroom, prefer at least a small yard, and would like a garage. Have a small dog and getting a new car delivered. So yeah, I'm pretty much screwed. :meh:
     
  13. I think there is a metro stop near crystal city. If so, moving in near any metro station would be a good idea if you want to avoid hellacious traffic. 66 isn't an option unless you're carpooling - The East-bound part of the highway is HOV-2 durring morning rushhour, and it is tightly enforced.

    Keep in mind that if you live farther out west, you'll be able to live in a bigger/better house for the money you have to work with, but the commute will be longer.
     
  14. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Sorry I can't help Lump -- I'm in southern VA (Hampton Roads.) Just wanted to chime in and say, "Welcome back!" Boy, from the ROK to DC -- that's going to be major culture shock! Maybe after you get settled in we can meet in Richmond sometime. There's a music store there I've been wanting to visit. And it goes without saying, thanks for your continued service and sacrifice. We appreciate it!
     
  15. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    Only the part of 66 inside the beltway is HOV-2 during rush hour, and it's both directions. East bound in the morning and west bound in the evening.

    Thanks you captain obvious :p
     
  16. lump

    lump

    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Thanks, man! Glad to see you're still lurking out there. :bag:

    Looks like my wife nailed a very nice 4BR townhouse in Springfield next to Lake Braddock. The owners are retired military and only want first month's rent plus a $1K deposit. Considering some place want first & last plus deposit (upwards of $6K just to move in) we jumped all over it. Schools look good, and the commute is reasonable. The only bummer is there is no garage and I'm having a new car delivered. Can't have it all, I guess. :meh:

    Many thanks to all for your input. Very much appreciated.:cool:
     
  17. DougP

    DougP

    Sep 4, 2001
    Sorry i missed out on parts of this thread.

    Lump, Yes i live on Avenue Boulevard in Townsburgville. ;)
    actually i live in Reston with a 2 miles commute.

    Springfield seems decent to me for living, lots of traffic in that area and the clusterf*** that is the "mixing bowl". but on the bright side you are closer to several "Forts" being over there than by being on the 66 side.

    Good luck and welcome back.
     
  18. One more thing: Five Guys. If you're in Springfield, you will understand. (Burger joint, independently owned, one of the best on the planet.)
     
  19. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    "Centreville! A real nice place to raise your kids up!"
    (Zappa - 200 Motels) :p

    Welcome back to the good ole US of A!
    So, what's the price of gas in Korea?
     
  20. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    lump-
    Welcome to the Commonwealth of VA!


    ...you(soon-to-be) poor bastid!


    ;)
     

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