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View Poll Results: Fairfax, VA vs. South Bend, IN
Fairfax, VA 11 84.62%
South Bend, IN 2 15.38%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-25-2015, 08:33 PM
 
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DH has teaching positions open to him at universities in the two cities
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Notre Dame > George Mason

That said, I would choose Fairfax over South Bend. I couldn't live in a tiny college town like SB. Fairfax, although very suburban in nature, has a nice downtown and is very close to the Vienna metro station.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:13 PM
 
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Fairfax is suburban DC, so this is a bit unfair to South Bend.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:26 PM
 
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Any more input would be welcome
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Norfolk (ODU)
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Fairfax by a long shot!
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
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I'm going to go against conventional logic here and say South Bend, presuming compensation packages at both employers (presumably Notre Dame vs. George Mason University) would be similar. Why? The cost-of-living in Fairfax is dramatically higher than it is in South Bend. Would your rather be struggling on $70,000/year in Fairfax or living large on $70,000/year in South Bend? I used to live in Reston, which is just north of Fairfax, and although I was earning a $50,000 salary, which most in the U.S. would consider to be decent money, I was drowning financially because of the high cost-of-living.

Basically this comes down to a question of "Do I want to be a big fish in a little pond (South Bend)" OR "Do I want to be a medium-sized fish in a huge pond (Fairfax)"? Have you priced comparable housing in both cities? You may be able to comfortably afford a large detached single-family home in South Bend on your husband's salary there whereas that same price tag will get you a smaller starter townhouse in Fairfax County.

Yes, DC is a great city, but, as I learned, Northern Virginia is only a nice place to live IF you bring home the bacon. It was no fun living there where I had to obsess over my budget on a daily basis. I've since taken a pay cut to move to Pittsburgh, PA, yet I live more comfortably because the lower cost-of-living means I have less financial anxieties.

Want my honest opinion?

If salaries will be comparable move to South Bend, live inexpensively, and bankroll your retirement accounts like crazy. THEN when it's time to retire you can consider moving to a more expensive area.
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