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Best Cities To Reside In Northern Virginia (Ideas)  
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 926 posts, RR: 3
Posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3263 times:

I may be looking at a move to the Washington DC area with a company in Arlington, VA near DCA. I was curious if anyone is familiar with the area. What is the best place to reside as I am looking for a really good school system (if the kids come with me), halfway affordable housing/condos (I know it is very expensive there), nice and abundant restaurants/shoppes and not a concrete city so parks and such for recreation/workout. I appreciate any insight as I am not familiar at all with this area. Cheers!


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3302 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3253 times:
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I have close friends in Leesburg, VA. I visited a couple of months ago and I really liked the area. A little bit further than DC than I think you'll like, but worth a look. I don't know how Real Estate compares, however.

Why are you limiting yourself to VA and not MD?

TIS



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User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6177 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3241 times:
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Having lived in the area, I can tell you that anything up to and even further South of Tysons Corner is very expensive and that´s already kind of not close by to the DC area, although it's not too far from Arlington and the Public Tranportation System is excellent.

About the school system I really can´t help you there as I don´t have any kids, but I suppose that since the areas you have in mind are rather wealthy, the school districts must be good. Assuming that´s a valid correlation of course.

It´s a shame Charlottesville is too far for you as that town (city?) has pretty much all the things you´ve mentioned you are looking for. But it would be a 1 and 1/2 hour, one way drive. Look it up, anyway.



MGGS
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 926 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3236 times:

Thanks so far for this advice. No I am not tied to any area. The Metro is very close to the HDQ within a block (I am not familiar with this system) but it looks like it would work. I think CHO is just too far away as I do not want to "live" in the car. I've done the 2 hour commute one way for a two year period and it almost killed me (mentally)!


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1266 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
Why are you limiting yourself to VA and not MD?

The commute to Arlington from almost anywhere in Maryland is very unpleasant.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
I have close friends in Leesburg, VA. I visited a couple of months ago and I really liked the area. A little bit further than DC than I think you'll like, but worth a look.

Again, that's a really rough commute, on the order of 3 hours round trip if doing it at rush hour times.

Quoting globalflyer (Thread starter):
What is the best place to reside as I am looking for a really good school system (if the kids come with me), halfway affordable housing/condos (I know it is very expensive there), nice and abundant restaurants/shoppes and not a concrete city so parks and such for recreation/workout

Arlington itself fits everything but the affordable housing/condos. Even then, there are deals to be had in Arlington and Alexandria.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 3):
I think CHO is just too far away as I do not want to "live" in the car. I've done the 2 hour commute one way for a two year period and it almost killed me (mentally)!

It's definitely too far. 2:15 or a tad more is a typical drive to CHO from Arlington.

Shoot me a PM if you want to discuss. I grew up in Arlington and live there again now.


User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 926 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3222 times:

Thanks IADCA. Once I know if it works out I will let you know and contact you. Cheers!


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7773 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3216 times:

I think the question becomes how much money can you afford. My brother and sister-in-law lived there for 10+ years and threw in the towel for Denver. Too much congestion and poor infrastructure. Traffic is just bad pretty where ever you are in the DC metro area. You can choose to live where you do have good access to transit, but you'll most certainly pay a premium for it.

That said if you can overlook that I think it is a nice place to live. Depending on how important using transit is for you (by Arlington are we talking about the Crystal City area or further north along the US50/I66 area) can impact where you live. But living close to a metro, or within a reasonable drive will push prices up a lot. If you are willing to be further out you may want to consider living nearish to a VRE station. Again if you are working in the Crystal City area it would drop you right at your office door.

As for schools in Virginia the school districts are typically county wide affairs, with some exceptions for the independent cities (Alexandria and Falls Church in NoVA). So quality can vary widely across the district.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 2):
Public Tranportation System is excellent.

I do find this pretty laughable. While Metro rail itself is a model for the nation its coverage is still limited and still aimed at getting people into DC proper. Outside of some older areas of Alexandria or Arlington -- or areas that have been redeveloped since the Metro went in -- pretty everything is suburban sprawl designed around the car. Tyson's Corner is the perfect example of that type of planning.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1355 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

Quoting IADCA (Reply 4):

The commute to Arlington from almost anywhere in Maryland is very unpleasant.

I did it for three years from Bethesda & Silver Spring w/out issue. I will say I pretty much never drove though. Even from Silver Spring station, it really was never more than about an hour door to door. And (IMHO) commuting by rail isn't the same as in a car. I actually stuffed a lot of "me time" books, mp3s, etc., into my journeys.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
While Metro rail itself is a model for the nation its coverage is still limited and still aimed at getting people into DC proper.

It's the 2nd most extensive system in the country. And open almost 24hrs. It's hard to do much better, really. If you are meaning that it's centered around Metro Center & Gallery Place, I can see that, but there are still ways around all that that will get you where you're off to.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
Tyson's Corner is the perfect example of that type of planning.

It is. Same again with Vienna, Manasass & Centerville.


global, are you looking for something along the lines of a Single Family Home, or will a townhouse or Condo do as well? I personally liked my time in Bethesda, but places like Rockville or Gaithersburg are better if you looking for more space...



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3145 times:

Burke!

We really enjoyed living there.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7140 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3108 times:

D.C. is a great city and metro area. I enjoyed my time there in college. I can't really help with NOVA areas but two things to certainly keep in mind is the horrible rush hour traffic and trying to be close to a metro or at least a metro or regional line wheer you can park and ride. The traffic is just horrible in the D.C. area.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3098 times:

I lived in McLean for a few years as a kid. My dad was at the Australian embassy with the Navy. Nice area, but I guess it would be on the more expensive side.


When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39831 posts, RR: 74
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3094 times:

I used to work for a company based in McLean, Virginia.
The last time I was there was in 2001. I found the area to be poorly planned. Lot's of suburban expansion but the roads were still country roads that were not set up to deal with that amount of traffic. I remember spending 45 minutes just to make a U-turn and drive to a place across the road. I hope they've expanded the road network since then.
My suggestion would be to move as close as possible to the office and find the schools the 'inside the beltway politicians' send their children to.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineNoWorries From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3066 times:

I've lived in NoVa for 30+ years. Commuting into Arlington from outside the Beltway can be a real pain. I'd get as close to work as you can afford for the type of accommodations that you want for your family. If that means going outside the Beltway there are various options. If your employer allows you to shift your hours early or late that can make things a bit better (e.g. I-66 inside the Beltway is HOV only during rush hour). Telecommuting is definitely good if available. Being able to easily drive or walk to a metro station (e.g. along the Orange or Blue lines) is another option. Most of the school system in NoVa are pretty good -- I don't have any direct experience though because my kids all went to parochial schools. Long commutes on I-95 should generally be avoided -- I-66 can be bad also during the peak hours. Another possible tool is Google maps -- they can display historical traffic data for days of the week at various times of the day -- I don't know how accurate it is, but it might help a little in narrowing down an area.

User currently offlineGatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

Globalflyer, what is most important to you? Short commute time? Schools? A lot will factor into this decision. Fairfax County (Fairfax, Vienna, Falls Church, Herndon) is one of the highest rated school systems in the country and housing is cheaper (probably not by much though), but your commute time will greatly increase if you live in these areas. If you want a short commute, live in Arlington. There are great shopping centers and restaurants, you will have a reverse commute, plus you will be very close to DC.

DC and its surrounding areas are geared towards exercise. There are plenty of parks and trails that would take years for you to cover them all. Even if you live in an urban jungle, you can quickly get outside of the city and be on a trail. Below is the link to all of the national parks in and near DC:

NPC District of Columbia

If you can, bite the bullet and live as close to DC as possible. My wife and I pay an arm and a leg to live in the city, but we wouldn't trade our experience for anything. If you have more specific questions feel free to PM me.



Cha brro
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):

I have close friends in Leesburg, VA.

I'll second Leesburg, I spent a few years there for work, and loved it. A bit of a drive to Arlington, but worth it.



Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3411 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3037 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
Traffic is just bad pretty where ever you are in the DC metro area.

Only L.A.has worse traffic

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
Tyson's Corner is the perfect example of that type of planning.

At least the Metro will/now goes there and on to Dulles!

As other posters have said get as close to a Metro stop as possible. Living in DC wouldn't be all that as you'd have a reverse commute.



"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 926 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3022 times:

Thanks all. I guess I will know mid Dec as I just found out this morning the Company is flying me in for a 4 hour interview!   I will let you know and hope to get a good feel at that time. I may even try and just "commute" for a while til the Summer if it works out and get an apt near or in Arlington. This is great information and I really appreciate it! Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineGatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 16):
I just found out this morning the Company is flying me in for a 4 hour interview!

Good luck Will. If you end up in the area, you will really enjoy it. Keep us updated...



Cha brro
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2997 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 11):
My suggestion would be to move as close as possible to the office and find the schools the 'inside the beltway politicians' send their children to.

Best advice. The schools in Norva are fine. Nice place to live, high quality of life is possible there if you keep the commute to a minimum.


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