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Old 01-03-2011, 06:39 PM
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,196,266 times
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Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
It depends on what you mean by "a lot less expensive" and which parts you are comparing as well as what aspects of your budget you're considering. Since housing cost is a big % for more people, I'll offer the following. If you compare 22207 in N. Arl. to 20007, 20008, 20015, 20016 in DC, I would say DC housing is slightly more expensive, but the main difference is that the lot sizes are much larger for the same size house in 22207 so the houses aren't entirely comparable. So you could argue that DC is a lot more expensive if you somehow tried to give a $ value to the land factor. Some of the DC houses in those zips are older and have more interesting features - not as many 40s colonials or 50s split and bilevels as in Arl. That one depends on your taste.

Property taxes for the same value of property are actually lower in DC (for now) partly because DC limits the annual increase in assessed value counted for taxes (I think to 10%) and gives a homestead credit (about $67K, I think). So if you bought for $300K before the bubble but your house's value zoomed to $800K, you may only be paying on about $600K of value as your assessed value inches up, but your taxes may eventually get to where they are in NoVA with regard to the rate.
This is certainly interesting. I completely discounted the idea of ever being a home owner of any kind in the DC area - either costs or family safety issues. (Actually I more or less have given up on Arlington as well - except possibly South Arlington, from the sounds of it).

But interesting that it's stated that DC or Arlington are basically a wash. For me, I think the smaller lot sizes of DC allow more access to more things nearby - which mean less car usage, which means less car costs.
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