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Virginia - where to move? (1 Viewer)

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
We currently live in Silver Spring, MD. Due to the increasing taxes in Maryland and the declining school system in our area we are strong considering a move to VA.

The woman I am related to by marriage works in DC and can't/doesn't want to change jobs.

My work is flexible. I can even change careers making less if somebody needs to be home early n late to handle the kid/school comings and goings.

We are weighing the options of living in the sticks and commuting. Keep in mind we think anyplace with cornfields is country to us. I'm at the point now where I wouldn't mind an extra hour a day as long as my kids are in good schools and housing is cheap-er ( compared to Montgomery county MD).

Any recommendations or knowledge of done good areas to start looking? We aren't in a rush so we have time to check out the landscape.....

 
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I have some friends in Oakton and Burke, and they seem to like it out there. Vienna's a good town too. Definitely cheaper than living inside the Beltway.

I would not want to do the Leesburg/Lovettsville commute to DC every day. But I hate commuting, in general, which is why I live closer in in Alexandria.

 
I have some friends in Oakton and Burke, and they seem to like it out there. Vienna's a good town too. Definitely cheaper than living inside the Beltway.

I would not want to do the Leesburg/Lovettsville commute to DC every day. But I hate commuting, in general, which is why I live closer in in Alexandria.
theres actually a marc train in Brunswick ( 5 minutes ) from Lovettsville. could take that to union station

 
I have some friends in Oakton and Burke, and they seem to like it out there. Vienna's a good town too. Definitely cheaper than living inside the Beltway.

I would not want to do the Leesburg/Lovettsville commute to DC every day. But I hate commuting, in general, which is why I live closer in in Alexandria.
theres actually a marc train in Brunswick ( 5 minutes ) from Lovettsville. could take that to union station
Yeah, but it takes 90 minutes each way, just on MARC, and then have to deal with Metro to office.

(I used to live in Brunswick when I worked in Leesburg briefly; I like the area, I just would not want to live there while commuting to DC.)

 
Commute from Leesburg isn't horrible if you don't mind paying an arm and a leg for the Dulles toll road. It will be worse if you live south have to take rt. 50.

 
I have some friends in Oakton and Burke, and they seem to like it out there. Vienna's a good town too. Definitely cheaper than living inside the Beltway.

I would not want to do the Leesburg/Lovettsville commute to DC every day. But I hate commuting, in general, which is why I live closer in in Alexandria.
theres actually a marc train in Brunswick ( 5 minutes ) from Lovettsville. could take that to union station
Yeah, but it takes 90 minutes each way, just on MARC, and then have to deal with Metro to office.

(I used to live in Brunswick when I worked in Leesburg briefly; I like the area, I just would not want to live there while commuting to DC.)
good to know.. ive been considering applying for a dc job

 
Commute from Leesburg isn't horrible if you don't mind paying an arm and a leg for the Dulles toll road. It will be worse if you live south have to take rt. 50.
Once the Rt 50 widening project is done it should be okay. Right now it would be faster to ride a bike to work.

 
I have some friends in Oakton and Burke, and they seem to like it out there. Vienna's a good town too. Definitely cheaper than living inside the Beltway.

I would not want to do the Leesburg/Lovettsville commute to DC every day. But I hate commuting, in general, which is why I live closer in in Alexandria.
My wife and I just went through a crash course on all these exact decisions. Here's the TL;DR version of where we landed:

If you want to stay in close to DC Falls Church is a good option. And the schools in the more expensive parts of Falls Church roll up into really good Fairfax County high schools. Unfortunately those areas came with a price tag we weren't willing to pay.

Vienna is a good compromise between great schools and decent home value where you still have access to Metro. But you'll give up a bit of home quality compared to further out areas of FFX Co. Possibly a lot.

In the end we ended up focusing on West Springfield. In exchange for eating a bad commute you get great school districts (some of the best public schools in the country) and a much nicer house for the $$. Having lived within a few blocks of a Metro station for almost all of the last 25 years this was a painful decision.

And somewhat offsetting the bad commute is that there are three Virginia Railway Express commuter rail stations near us (Burke, Rolling Road, Backlick Road) which have you at L'enfant Plaza in 30-40 minutes, and there are buses that run to Springfield Metro and (IIRC) direct to the Pentagon. So at least it can be a relatively lower-stress commute than being in your car. Until something goes wrong anyhow.

We didn't like the schools in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax (south of Alexandria, around Mount Vernon), but the bang for the housing buck is excellent and the commute seemed like it would be a little better. Can't help with anything in western Fairfax though.

 
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I love raising kids in Alexandria. Schools are good; neighbors are nice; place is safe; commute to DC is easy. Plus, you'd have the added benefit of being able to hang with ol' Sweet J on the weekends.

 
No matter what, the worst commute is coming up the 95 corridor from Woodbridge/Dale City/ and Fredericksburg area. A few posts up mentioned West Springfield and that's okay. I live near Leesburg and the toll road makes it pretty easy but my schedule allows flexibility to get around traffic. If you're more than 10-15 miles from DC, your wife will sit in traffic.

 
No matter what, the worst commute is coming up the 95 corridor from Woodbridge/Dale City/ and Fredericksburg area. A few posts up mentioned West Springfield and that's okay. I live near Leesburg and the toll road makes it pretty easy but my schedule allows flexibility to get around traffic. If you're more than 10-15 miles from DC, your wife will sit in traffic.
Exactly the reason I haven't been pimping my area even though I have some friends that do this and seem fine with it.

If they dropped a bomb on 95 it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit in this area.

 
Living in Leesburg sucks if you're working in DC btw, especially with One Loudon on the way. I would make Ashburn about the furthest out I would go.

Herndon isn't bad either, it has kind of a stingma of being mostly Hispanic but that's not entirely true.

Also, the Cascades in Sterling is very nice.

 
Living in Leesburg sucks if you're working in DC btw, especially with One Loudon on the way. I would make Ashburn about the furthest out I would go.

Herndon isn't bad either, it has kind of a stingma of being mostly Hispanic but that's not entirely true.

Also, the Cascades in Sterling is very nice.
:goodposting: Leesburg is awesome if you work in Falls Church area, etc...it's too far if you have to go all the way into DC.

I agree with AZ Ron that I wouldn't go further out than Ashburn if you have to go into DC every day, and even that's a long commute by car. Is Metro an option for her commute? If so, I'd just find a place near Metro as far out as she's willing to ride and be done with it.

 
I love raising kids in Alexandria. Schools are good; neighbors are nice; place is safe; commute to DC is easy. Plus, you'd have the added benefit of being able to hang with ol' Sweet J on the weekends.
I wasn't sure how much Alexandria would save on money versus Silver Spring (so, I primarily mentioned other areas in my reply), but I'm pretty happy in Alexandria too. It is not too crazy expensive as long as you don't want to live in Old Town. Where I live, it's pretty easy to zip onto 395, and I only really have to deal with 14th Street bridge traffic.

 
Living in Leesburg sucks if you're working in DC btw, especially with One Loudon on the way. I would make Ashburn about the furthest out I would go.

Herndon isn't bad either, it has kind of a stingma of being mostly Hispanic but that's not entirely true.

Also, the Cascades in Sterling is very nice.
:goodposting: Leesburg is awesome if you work in Falls Church area, etc...it's too far if you have to go all the way into DC.

I agree with AZ Ron that I wouldn't go further out than Ashburn if you have to go into DC every day, and even that's a long commute by car. Is Metro an option for her commute? If so, I'd just find a place near Metro as far out as she's willing to ride and be done with it.
I should have included this in the OP but - she needs to be 2 blocks from the Capital by 8:30AM.

What time would she have to leave the house to hit the metro AND be there by 8:30.

 
I love raising kids in Alexandria. Schools are good; neighbors are nice; place is safe; commute to DC is easy. Plus, you'd have the added benefit of being able to hang with ol' Sweet J on the weekends.
I wasn't sure how much Alexandria would save on money versus Silver Spring (so, I primarily mentioned other areas in my reply), but I'm pretty happy in Alexandria too. It is not too crazy expensive as long as you don't want to live in Old Town. Where I live, it's pretty easy to zip onto 395, and I only really have to deal with 14th Street bridge traffic.
Alexandria is an option. Her sister lives there and it's all of 25 minutes from our house now ( with normal traffic).

A back up option is Something north of Olney, MD. Again , not perfect but :shrug:

 
Thank you very much for all the replies guys. Very much appreciated. Sharing this info with the woman I am related to by marriage tonight .

:thumbup:

 
Living in Leesburg sucks if you're working in DC btw, especially with One Loudon on the way. I would make Ashburn about the furthest out I would go.

Herndon isn't bad either, it has kind of a stingma of being mostly Hispanic but that's not entirely true.

Also, the Cascades in Sterling is very nice.
:goodposting: Leesburg is awesome if you work in Falls Church area, etc...it's too far if you have to go all the way into DC.

I agree with AZ Ron that I wouldn't go further out than Ashburn if you have to go into DC every day, and even that's a long commute by car. Is Metro an option for her commute? If so, I'd just find a place near Metro as far out as she's willing to ride and be done with it.
I should have included this in the OP but - she needs to be 2 blocks from the Capital by 8:30AM.

What time would she have to leave the house to hit the metro AND be there by 8:30.
From Loudon County (no Metro, park & ride), 7:00 am or From Fairfax County, 7:30ish

 
Living in Leesburg sucks if you're working in DC btw, especially with One Loudon on the way. I would make Ashburn about the furthest out I would go.

Herndon isn't bad either, it has kind of a stingma of being mostly Hispanic but that's not entirely true.

Also, the Cascades in Sterling is very nice.
:goodposting: Leesburg is awesome if you work in Falls Church area, etc...it's too far if you have to go all the way into DC.

I agree with AZ Ron that I wouldn't go further out than Ashburn if you have to go into DC every day, and even that's a long commute by car. Is Metro an option for her commute? If so, I'd just find a place near Metro as far out as she's willing to ride and be done with it.
I should have included this in the OP but - she needs to be 2 blocks from the Capital by 8:30AM.

What time would she have to leave the house to hit the metro AND be there by 8:30.
As others have said, Alexandria is a good close in option. We looked there (wife's best friend lives there too), we just decided to go a little further out for more house.

Also, keep the VRE accessible areas in mind too given your wife's destination. It goes to L'enfant Plaza (two stops from Capital South), and also runs straight to Union Station if she's on the other side.

 
Arlington and Alexandria are both solid options. Anything further and you're sacrificing too much commute time IMO.

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.

 
Commuter buses in the suburbs are decent, but not great. If the woman you are related to by marriage is willing to do the bus-to-metro thing, I'd suggest looking at houses within walking distance (or a couple minute drive) from a park and ride lot. Several park and ride lots have two bus lines serving them, giving you more frequent options. Fairfax Connector serves most of Fairfax County. Cue Bus serves Fairfax City and RIBS (?) serves Reston. Check their sites for good spots near multiple commuter bus lines. I switched to the bus/metro thing earlier this year and my commute would be so much better if I lived closer to multiple bus lines.

Also mentioned earlier was the Pentagon buses. Tons of buses in the West Springfield and Annandale areas go to the Pentagon. Lots of people ride those buses (many of which use the express lanes on 395 and make a quick trip) and then hop on Metro. Again, check out areas that might have multiple bus lines running nearby to the Pentagon.

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
There are 20 stops between Reston and Capital South planned.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMATA_Silver_Line_proposed_map.png

 
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Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
I'm curious to know what happens when the Silver dumps into the Orange line at Falls Church. By the time the Orange Line trains get to Court House they're already jam packed today, and the backups getting through the tunnel to Rosslyn where the Blue Line merges in can be long too.

Add another god knows how many people tranferring on to the track from the Silver Line and I don't get how it's going to go.

 
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Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
PROOF!

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
I'm curious to know what happens when the Silver dumps into the Orange lines at Falls Church. By the time those trains get to Court House they're already jam packed today, and the backups getting through the tunnel to Rosslyn can be long today. Add another god knows how many people tranferring on to the track from the Silver Line and I don't get how it's going to function.
The Silver Line will obviously increase ridership, but many of those people already ride Metro. They typically board at West Falls Church. Tons of buses currently serve WFC from Reston/Herndon. Those buses will now go to Wiehle now.

And no need for them to transfer. Silver Line will run all the way to Largo with Blue Line trains. The Orange Line will lose a few trains every hour to make room for Silver Line trains. And, Blue Line trains will continue to get screwed (as they were with Rush Plus taking Blue Line trains up the Yellow Line). A separate Blue Line tunnel from Rosslyn to Georgetown is way too far in the future. Need to fast-track that somehow.

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
I'm curious to know what happens when the Silver dumps into the Orange lines at Falls Church. By the time those trains get to Court House they're already jam packed today, and the backups getting through the tunnel to Rosslyn can be long today. Add another god knows how many people tranferring on to the track from the Silver Line and I don't get how it's going to function.
The Silver Line will obviously increase ridership, but many of those people already ride Metro. They typically board at West Falls Church. Tons of buses currently serve WFC from Reston/Herndon. Those buses will now go to Wiehle now.And no need for them to transfer. Silver Line will run all the way to Largo with Blue Line trains. The Orange Line will lose a few trains every hour to make room for Silver Line trains. And, Blue Line trains will continue to get screwed (as they were with Rush Plus taking Blue Line trains up the Yellow Line). A separate Blue Line tunnel from Rosslyn to Georgetown is way too far in the future. Need to fast-track that somehow.
I fear that he's right that it will be harder to board a train in Arlington going into the city because the orange/silver lines will already he jammed packed from people who live out in the sticks. Orange is already the most miserably full line during rush hour. Blue trains are never full - that's still one of the better metro commutes into and out of the city.

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
PROOF!
Look again, 4 stops in Tysons. It's going to be a cluster#### to get downtown from Reston/Herndon area.

http://www.dullesmetro.com/pdfs/DCP-New-Stations-Map_04-08-13.pdf

 
Living in Leesburg sucks if you're working in DC btw, especially with One Loudon on the way. I would make Ashburn about the furthest out I would go.

Herndon isn't bad either, it has kind of a stingma of being mostly Hispanic but that's not entirely true.

Also, the Cascades in Sterling is very nice.
:goodposting: Leesburg is awesome if you work in Falls Church area, etc...it's too far if you have to go all the way into DC.

I agree with AZ Ron that I wouldn't go further out than Ashburn if you have to go into DC every day, and even that's a long commute by car. Is Metro an option for her commute? If so, I'd just find a place near Metro as far out as she's willing to ride and be done with it.
The Metro will be coming to Ashburn in a few years. Eventually I think it will go all the way to Leesburg, but that will be many years down the road.

 
just food for thought it takes me 40 mins in rush hour to get from Lovettsville to Herndon. so yeah dc would be too much of a commute. Maybe look into mcclean

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
I live in Leesburg. Love it. Great place for kids. Great schools. The Silverline (DC Metro) will make it to Dulles soon. The other option for getting into DC is the bus service. It is faster than driving, because it has the ability on 267 to get on the inbound Access Road to miss traffic. Here is the Link for info. I will be willing to bet that they will have a bus that will run to the Metro when it opens too. (Just guessing tho.)

 
Vienna to Capitol South is about 40 minutes. The new Wiehle Avenue stop opening in Reston early next year will probably be about 50 minutes.

VRE stops at L'Enfant. Probably looking at no more than 10 minutes, including transfer time to Metro, to Capitol South from there.
D, did you see the full plan for the Silverline? I think 50 mins is only if they have express lines - there's 4 stops in Tysons!!!
PROOF!
Look again, 4 stops in Tysons. It's going to be a cluster#### to get downtown from Reston/Herndon area.

http://www.dullesmetro.com/pdfs/DCP-New-Stations-Map_04-08-13.pdf
My wife works in Tysons. She despises the construction of the Metro. When it is over it is going to be fine. for the last year of so, they have been tearing apart Route 7 and building the metro above the road, causing the road to have to weave back and forth around the poles. Nasty!

 
Commuting from Maryland is significantly less stressful, having done both after growing up in VA. There are more options via public transit and roads. No bottlenecks at the Potomac.

That said, VA was a nicer place to live. Leesburg is great but too far for DC. Your roommate will make you move again after doing that slog for a few months. Stick around Reston/Vienna/Falls Church if possible.

 

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