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Old 07-23-2007, 10:41 PM
 
141 posts, read 687,960 times
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Thank you Everyone.. This helped a lot!
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:14 AM
 
141 posts, read 687,960 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessnboys View Post
Hi Move from FLA:
I agree with DavidS827...there are definitely bad areas of Woodbridge and Dale City as a whole isn't fantastic but I never fear for my life by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn't wander around strip malls on Route 1 after dark or hang out at pawn shops in my free time but for the most part, I feel it's a safe area (I grew up outside of NYC so maybe it's all relative?).

Anyway, I've seen the crime statistics too and the majority of the problems generally appear in the same addresses/neighborhoods over and over again. If you come up to visit, you'll be able to spot the safe and not so safe areas just driving around. Most of the homes around here (apart from Lake Ridge) are built in developments so if you get the crime statistics for that area from PWC Police (they have a Neighborhood Watch Police Liaison who can give those to you), you can look for homes in a specific development and feel confident that you know what you're getting into.

Woodbridge is HUGE and really encompasses other towns (Lake Ridge, Dale City, Montclair, parts of Dumfries, Southbridge). For the most part, the areas off Route 1 are not as safe as the areas west of 95, although again, most of Dale City is sketchy. There are some BEAUTIFUL homes right on the water though fetching over a million so the blanket statement that you don't want to live off Route 1 is debateable. That being said, Potomac High School (which serves much of that area) is not great (lower test scores, gang issues).

As far as commutes go, it all depends what you consider commutable. Figure 1-2 hours to get into DC during rush hour depending on whether or not you use the HOV lanes, slug, take the train, bus, or drive yourself by yourself (closer to 2 hours then). Most of Fairfax County (except Springfield, Newington, Ft. Belvoir which wouldn't be difficult) will take you an hour as well. Centreville you could do in 30-40. Chantilly, Reston, etc will take at least an hour too but that's solid driving on a bunch of back roads to avoid all the mess. And again, depends on what parts of Woodbridge you're talking about. We live about 8 miles west of 95 and it takes my husband sometimes between 20 and 30 minutes just to get home from the highway. The majority of PWC commutes out of the county so you're fighting your way home with all of them. It's one of the main reasons we're looking at transferring to another city in a few years with a lower cost of living and less of a commuting nightmare.

Good luck with it all!
Hello, jessnboys
Thanks.. Just out of curiousity, are you looking to leave or move to another part of the Nova area completely or are you looking to move out of state? I ask because if there is another area of Nova that has a lower cost of living and less of a commutting nightmare, please let me know!
Thanks
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:16 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
130 posts, read 608,015 times
Reputation: 51
No, we're looking to get out of northern Virginia completely. Hubby's job will be transferring us and we're in the midst of trying to figure out where to request we be placed. There are cheaper areas of Northern Virginia (Fredericksburg and Stafford to the south (although their prices are rising too)and far to the west like Front Royal) but then you're increasing your nightmare commute to insanity levels. Although people do it everyday so it just depends on what your preferences are.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:43 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
130 posts, read 608,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tish Thompson View Post
How did you decide on Woodbridge/Lakeridge? I lived in that area a few years ago....Woodbridge has a bad reputation and I really don't know why. I've heard stories about MS-13 being in Woodbridge and other stuff like that, but I've never really seen anything to led me to believe gangs or crime are a problem in Woodbridge. It's older than other areas in Prince William County...which means just about anyone can afford to live there, but that's not a bad thing. I think labeling an area 'crime ridden' may be the way some people say 'it's old and I don't want to live there' or 'it's too affordable and too many different ethnic groups live there'. If they tell you crime is high, you won't second-guess what they say. Check out the crime blotter on potomacnewsonline.com, the local Woodbridge area paper. They list crime information, and you can see for yourself that the 'crimes' are things like people stealing PS2s or change from cars, or construction workers stealing appliances from newly built homes.

As for the commute, there are back roads that you can take and it won't be so bad. You could also look in the Western end of Prince William County (Bristow, Gainesville, Manassas) and accomplish all of your house hunting/commuting goals.
There definitely is a gang issue in Woodbridge, PWC as a whole even, and a task force within the PWC Police Department has been set up to deal with it. (My husband works in law enforcement). Our community has been dealing with a graffitti problem lately and our Neighborhood Watch Police Liasion has passed pictures of the tags along to their Gang Unit. For checking out local crimes, the link to the Potomac News is actually Potomac News Online | Prince William County Va. News, Classified & Lifestyle and you can search "Police Blotter" to see the past week's issues. Looks like the crime of the week was car theft in Dale City (2) and Woodbridge (1).

I was just driving down Route 1 today and there are a number of gorgeous communities going in between Cardinal and Dale Blvd and their signs advertise 400-600,000 starting prices. Really beautiful homes but then the nearest strip malls include a Cigarrettes Unlimited, a Pawn Shop, a Check Cashing store, and the grocery store is Bottom Dollar Food.

I agree that the western end (Bristow, Gainesville) has some beautiful homes and the communities are newer so seem to show nicer sometimes. I think your commute to DC could be longer from there though and I don't believe there are any slugging options (if you're into that).

Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Northwestern VA
982 posts, read 3,098,361 times
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OMG have you been in that area (newer homes on Route 1) over the weekend? Bumper to bumper traffic in BOTH directions. It took me an hour and 15 minutes to get back to my side of the county. I sold a house over there a few weeks ago...and thought traffic was caused by all the heavy construction equipment over there....I guess it's typical of what happens in this area. Build and sell the houses then worry about building roads to accommodate the influx.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:06 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
130 posts, read 608,015 times
Reputation: 51
Isn't it insane??? Worry about building schools later too like they're shocked to see that a 4 bedroom house actually sells to a family with 2 or more kids.

Route 1 seems to be a nightmare no matter what day of week or time of day it is. And since it's an alternate to 95, people take that on the weekends to avoid that traffic as well. Come to think of it, there was a horrible back up on 95 on Saturday...maybe that contributed then. And what is the new mall that is supposed to be built in a few years on Route 1? With a Macy's and a Wegman's? Sounds nice...should help traffic. ;-)

In any event, I rarely have to go over there but we do sometimes go to Leesylvania State Park so it's interesting to see what they're building over thataway. Did you see Eagles Pointe, or Eagle something or other? Gorgeous homes that would be easily 100-200,000 more if they weren't on Route 1, don't you think?
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:36 AM
 
141 posts, read 687,960 times
Reputation: 45
Tish and Jessnboys, I will tell you that one of the main reasons we were so interested in Woodbridge is because we did not want to invest in an older home in Alexandria (our 1st choice) or a townhome in Lorton (our second choice) because of the affordability issues. Our price range is $450-500K and in Lorton and Alexandria, that price does not go far. It seems as if builders are investing in Woodbridge, so we are assuming that its resale value may be greater in the future..

Since traffic seems to be a such great issue in this area, is it bad enough to discourage potential homeowners, such as myself? I wonder if we should just stick to Alexandria, and Lorton....
Is traffic that horrendous within Woodbridge even on weekends???
Any input???
Thanks!!
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:11 AM
 
40 posts, read 174,305 times
Reputation: 29
MovefromFla, you really have some tough choices to make. We recently left Northern Virginia after 25 years. The area has advantages not found in many places. The traffic is horrible. My husband spent anywhere from 2-3 hours a day commuting and we lived 14 miles out of DC. He drove, then he took the bus and the train, then the VRE. The VRE was great when it started, but we hear now it is not running as efficiently as it was.

The decision you need to make is, do you want a bigger, better home or do you want to spend more time with your family? That commuting time adds up over the years. My son lives in a western state and it takes him 5 minutes to get to work. Finally realizing what a price we paid all of those years. I worked right by 95 and saw the traffic every day. It is not only time consuming, but dangerous.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:17 PM
 
141 posts, read 687,960 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandapanda View Post
MovefromFla, you really have some tough choices to make. We recently left Northern Virginia after 25 years. The area has advantages not found in many places. The traffic is horrible. My husband spent anywhere from 2-3 hours a day commuting and we lived 14 miles out of DC. He drove, then he took the bus and the train, then the VRE. The VRE was great when it started, but we hear now it is not running as efficiently as it was.

The decision you need to make is, do you want a bigger, better home or do you want to spend more time with your family? That commuting time adds up over the years. My son lives in a western state and it takes him 5 minutes to get to work. Finally realizing what a price we paid all of those years. I worked right by 95 and saw the traffic every day. It is not only time consuming, but dangerous.
I think you hit the right button. Yes, I want to spend more time with family...
Once we sell our house here in FLA (wish us luck with the market the way it is), we will nail down the job and rent until we become more familiar with the area. I cannot imagine any other option at this point...Thanks again
This forum is amazing!
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:25 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
130 posts, read 608,015 times
Reputation: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovefromFla View Post
Is traffic that horrendous within Woodbridge even on weekends???
Any input???
Thanks!!
It can be. Actually in the summer it's worse often times on weekends! Took hubby 2 hours to get home tonight simply because it's Friday and everyone's driving out of town to the beach. Sunday night will be horrible too. Plus, we have Potomac Mills here which draws in a LOT of people from all over. It's all relative though and you get used to things which mandapanda pointed out that you probably shouldn't have to!

There's no way to downplay the traffic---it's bad everywhere. The other night I drove to a store about 7 miles from my house in the afternoon. Was running late meeting a friend and just happened to notice it took me exactly 11 minutes to get there. Unfortunately I drove home during the evening rush hour and it took me 36 minutes to get home (and this is on Minnieville Road...not a highway). Frustrating. That being said, I used to live in Alexandria and it often took me nearly an hour to commute to my job in Arlington. The side streets are often just as bad as the highways.

I think the idea to rent for a while is a great one. This way you can wait until you nail down specific job locations, scout out the various areas, and get a feel for the region yourself. Good luck with it all!!!
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