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Old 09-14-2010, 10:16 AM
 
77 posts, read 137,320 times
Reputation: 33

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Hi there, I live in Alexandria, work in DC. This would be the easiest commute into DC of all the places you mentioned. It's also the most unique (in my opinion). Only problem is, it's also the most expensive! Alexandria is extremely expensive- my husband is an attorney and we can't afford to buy a house here. The further out you go, the cheaper, but the commutes are longer. It's the catch-22 of the DC area. Gainesville is a nice little suburb and near the mountains and pretty, but if you're working in DC, there is NO way I would live out there. You'd spend AT LEAST 2 hours a day in your car. I would also not come here without a job. The DC market is pretty terrible right now. If you are not in some way related to the government, forget it. My husband is an attorney and has been looking to leave his firm and work for a company (any company!) for OVER a year, and still NO job. And if you aren't already a federal government worker, it's extremely hard to break in. Don't get me wrong, I love DC, but it is going to be significantly more expensive than Miami and I wouldn't want you to get here and be out of work for a long time with 2 little mouths to feed. Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,860,633 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzgt81 View Post
stpickrell

I will look into the leesburg area when we go up there next time. We are planning on working either retail or temo when we get up there for the mean time. I work in local government here in Miami, FL and I started here as a temp. I hope to find work with the federal temp agencies up there when we go atleast until I can find somethinf permanent. The rental places you mentioned I had not looked up yet. I will check out craigslist to see what the rentals are like. Thank you
Yeah, no need to buy until you get a job you see yourself staying at for several years.

Then worry about commute, schools, house/lot size, etc., once you get a permanent job.

Renting in Leesburg may even be OK for your temp work period.

Good luck
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:14 PM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
Reputation: 6458
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzgt81 View Post
ChristineVA

we have looked into the areas of Woodbridge and Springfield along with Mt.Vernon area. We would like to stay within a decent commute to D.C as it is one of the main reasons we are moving. We loved the culture and diversity that we found in D.C/NOVA area. If I may ask, how has your experience been with Virginia? Coming from Miami, FL it is a world of difference from Virginia and now that we have a family we are looking for better futures both financially and economy wise. Thank you
I live in Woodbridge and it is fine. I work early hours in DC so I have a 40 minute door-to-door drive in both directions. Normal rush hour times are easily an hour to one hour and 15 minutes--that would be working an 8-4:30 schedule. The good thing about Woodbridge is the very organized commuting options and commuter lots. You can take a bus, a train, a private carpool, an organized, commercial vanpool, or you can slug for free! Living in Woodbridge is a pain if you want to be a single driver.

The schools at the elementary level are excellent and "spotty" at the middle and high school levels. If you have children with good study habits and are conscientious, they will get a good education in Prince William County. If there are problems with the student, then they can find trouble in the schools.

Even though I live in Woodbridge and I'm fine with it, ultimately, I would move in the Fairfax County area even though I am just about done with kids in school and don't need the school system anymore. I would just like to be a tad bit closer to work. Springfield would be fine (certain parts of it anyway).

I agree that Mt. Vernon is great and is a good place to commute from.

I have never even visted Miami so I can't begin to address the cultural changes that you are going to experience but it will be different for sure. I lived in Maryland for many years and even Maryland to Virginia is different.

Good luck with the federal job. While there are a ton of openings it seems you almost have to have some sort of contact inside the government to land these jobs. People are very afraid of hiring unknowns, especially in federal service because it's very hard to get rid of someone who isn't working out so people are very hesitant to hire someone without at least a few recommendations from someone they trust.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:18 AM
 
672 posts, read 1,012,358 times
Reputation: 597
Hi Cruz, My family and I moved here from Miami 20 years ago, Northern Va was much different then, it was easier to find jobs at the time because unemployment was around 4% or less. We moved to Lake Ridge as my Job was in DC at the time.The schools back then were awesome especially when compared to Miami Dade schools.

My Kids had a good upbringing here in Northern Va, we struggled at first but we made ends meet and we were very happy. We are now in Stafford and our Children have gotten their College degrees and are well on their way to success.

My wife and I are now very well off financially and couldn't be happier, we look back on it and the best thing we ever did was move out of Miami. It wasn't easy but worth it. My advise is find jobs before you come here as the economy is still hurting and " good Jobs" aren't as plentiful as in years past. Culturally it is different but not as bad as it use to be, I'm sad to say, even northern Va has succumbed to some of Miami's social ills in recent years. Overall its still a much better environment to raise a family than in Miami. Good Luck to you!
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
31 posts, read 63,731 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by elias9193 View Post
Hi Cruz, My family and I moved here from Miami 20 years ago, Northern Va was much different then, it was easier to find jobs at the time because unemployment was around 4% or less. We moved to Lake Ridge as my Job was in DC at the time.The schools back then were awesome especially when compared to Miami Dade schools.

My Kids had a good upbringing here in Northern Va, we struggled at first but we made ends meet and we were very happy. We are now in Stafford and our Children have gotten their College degrees and are well on their way to success.

My wife and I are now very well off financially and couldn't be happier, we look back on it and the best thing we ever did was move out of Miami. It wasn't easy but worth it. My advise is find jobs before you come here as the economy is still hurting and " good Jobs" aren't as plentiful as in years past. Culturally it is different but not as bad as it use to be, I'm sad to say, even northern Va has succumbed to some of Miami's social ills in recent years. Overall its still a much better environment to raise a family than in Miami. Good Luck to you!
elias9193

We went to lake Ridge when we last went to Virginia and loved the area. We found it close enough to D.C to be able to commute either by car or by transit. we are looking forward to our next trip up there so we can explore more areas to go to. Miami has become very depressing as time goes on because of the economy here. There is high unemployment that is affecting everybody, especially in local government. Thank you for your input and insight into what to expect. If I may ask, do you know of any other areas that we would like to look at when we visit again? We are looking for good schools and a nice walkable neighborhood. Thank you
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
31 posts, read 63,731 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by elias9193 View Post
Hi Cruz, My family and I moved here from Miami 20 years ago, Northern Va was much different then, it was easier to find jobs at the time because unemployment was around 4% or less. We moved to Lake Ridge as my Job was in DC at the time.The schools back then were awesome especially when compared to Miami Dade schools.

My Kids had a good upbringing here in Northern Va, we struggled at first but we made ends meet and we were very happy. We are now in Stafford and our Children have gotten their College degrees and are well on their way to success.

My wife and I are now very well off financially and couldn't be happier, we look back on it and the best thing we ever did was move out of Miami. It wasn't easy but worth it. My advise is find jobs before you come here as the economy is still hurting and " good Jobs" aren't as plentiful as in years past. Culturally it is different but not as bad as it use to be, I'm sad to say, even northern Va has succumbed to some of Miami's social ills in recent years. Overall its still a much better environment to raise a family than in Miami. Good Luck to you!
elias9193

We went to lake Ridge when we last went to Virginia and loved the area. We found it close enough to D.C to be able to commute either by car or by transit. we are looking forward to our next trip up there so we can explore more areas to go to. Miami has become very depressing as time goes on because of the economy here. There is high unemployment that is affecting everybody, especially in local government. Thank you for your input and insight into what to expect. If I may ask, do you know of any other areas that we would like to look at when we visit again? We are looking for good schools and a nice walkable neighborhood. Thank you
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:52 AM
 
672 posts, read 1,012,358 times
Reputation: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzgt81 View Post
elias9193

We went to lake Ridge when we last went to Virginia and loved the area. We found it close enough to D.C to be able to commute either by car or by transit. we are looking forward to our next trip up there so we can explore more areas to go to. Miami has become very depressing as time goes on because of the economy here. There is high unemployment that is affecting everybody, especially in local government. Thank you for your input and insight into what to expect. If I may ask, do you know of any other areas that we would like to look at when we visit again? We are looking for good schools and a nice walkable neighborhood. Thank you
The closer you get to DC the living expenses goes up, so you have to balance it with how far am I willing to drive so my family can live in a nicer house in a nice neighborhood. Burke is nice area more expensive as its close to DC. Mountclair in Dumfries is nice as well, nice homes a little more south prices are about the same but a little more spread out. PM me and I will give you more details if you want.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:12 AM
 
Location: NoVA
41 posts, read 65,995 times
Reputation: 36
Of course that coming from FL to VA is a HUGE difference. but the quality of life has a price. few years ago 1998 was living in MD then hubby working for Gov. (contract) I was looking for a better place in the whole USA. the best were above our budget... and the quality of life too... (Mass, part of New england, and CT) but Alexandria were woted the best city in the USA !!! but at certain area. of course school are very good every where in Va... (almost) then we moved oversees for 7 years. husband came back by the end of 2009 and started working while I was waiting with my 5 kids to find the right place. It took me 6 month to find the place to fit our way of life, my toddler, my small kids and my tenn boy !
I wanted a safe and easy life place. 45mn away from DC and Leesburg. then here we go I draw a L shape on the NOVA map and find gaineville-haymarket-brtistow and the surrounding area which is very rural... it is true that going to DC is not easy (but we have the 66 just few(5) mn away from our home.
then, there is the VRE that departs from manassas but a connecting bus depart from gainesville shopping plaza. there is also bus to the metro stop Fall church, fairfax and dc connection... once you are in fall church you are connected to "the rest of the real world"... do not move here if you have no job. wait...some body above suggest renting until....... we are right here renting too untill we buy a real "our home" (owning it !) but you will have to deal with the packing, unpacking and you do not want to put a young mom with baby into that... believe me... the last past 8 years I have moved more than 5 time... (job obligation) and it is too hard on a woman... (i was prego twice at a certain time of the moving)... wife and kids in FL and come over here with a lot of resume and cover letters and participate to those job fairs and carreer fair that DC or the area is offering... all depend also what kind of job you search... IT engineering is good, health and education... most governement agencies are just here in NOVA or prince william, fairfax... (FBI, CIA,State Depart, FDA, USDA... you name it ) what is your speciality ?
teaching is not bringing you enough money to buy a home in this area. you wife , yes, but you need a better job.
I just wish you luck. to you and your family.
do not hesitate for more infos... i'll be glad to help (the best I can... and in my possibility)
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
31 posts, read 63,731 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie13100 View Post
Of course that coming from FL to VA is a HUGE difference. but the quality of life has a price. few years ago 1998 was living in MD then hubby working for Gov. (contract) I was looking for a better place in the whole USA. the best were above our budget... and the quality of life too... (Mass, part of New england, and CT) but Alexandria were woted the best city in the USA !!! but at certain area. of course school are very good every where in Va... (almost) then we moved oversees for 7 years. husband came back by the end of 2009 and started working while I was waiting with my 5 kids to find the right place. It took me 6 month to find the place to fit our way of life, my toddler, my small kids and my tenn boy !
I wanted a safe and easy life place. 45mn away from DC and Leesburg. then here we go I draw a L shape on the NOVA map and find gaineville-haymarket-brtistow and the surrounding area which is very rural... it is true that going to DC is not easy (but we have the 66 just few(5) mn away from our home.
then, there is the VRE that departs from manassas but a connecting bus depart from gainesville shopping plaza. there is also bus to the metro stop Fall church, fairfax and dc connection... once you are in fall church you are connected to "the rest of the real world"... do not move here if you have no job. wait...some body above suggest renting until....... we are right here renting too untill we buy a real "our home" (owning it !) but you will have to deal with the packing, unpacking and you do not want to put a young mom with baby into that... believe me... the last past 8 years I have moved more than 5 time... (job obligation) and it is too hard on a woman... (i was prego twice at a certain time of the moving)... wife and kids in FL and come over here with a lot of resume and cover letters and participate to those job fairs and carreer fair that DC or the area is offering... all depend also what kind of job you search... IT engineering is good, health and education... most governement agencies are just here in NOVA or prince william, fairfax... (FBI, CIA,State Depart, FDA, USDA... you name it ) what is your speciality ?
teaching is not bringing you enough money to buy a home in this area. you wife , yes, but you need a better job.
I just wish you luck. to you and your family.
do not hesitate for more infos... i'll be glad to help (the best I can... and in my possibility)

Marie13100

Thank you for your insight on my post. I currently work for Miami-Dade County Corrections now and I have been with them for 3 years. I am considering teaching because the federal jobs I can apply for have a lower starting pay than a starting teacher. I have applied to over 90 jobs on usajobs.gov and have not heard anything yet. I had hoped to get into a federal position but I think for now i'll teach and see what I want to do in the future. With my wife and I both teachers the combined salaries should be enough to buy a house in a year or two. We are considering the woodbridge/lake ridge area to go to.
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