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Old 03-09-2011, 08:46 PM
 
23 posts, read 46,348 times
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Yes.. once again another where should I live question.

Here's my situation, we are moving to the area in June and my wife has a job near the Friendship Heights metro in Chevy Chase, MD. I have an interview for a job in Chantilly, VA and will most likely be working somewhere in that area.

We want to find an area that is on average < 45 min commute for the both of us. Our price range is $500-575k for a SFH with 3 bedrooms and preferably a large basement.

I am mostly concerned about my wife's commute to Chevy Chase. We looked on google maps and it says ~30 mins and 55 mins with traffic, is this accurate? Meanwhile the metro site states that from the East Falls Church station to Friendship Heights it is 31 mins. Would it be better for her to just take the metro?

Is there anything you could tell me that might help in my decision or if you have any other options?
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,540,040 times
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This isn't going to be easy for either of you. Your $500K budget will find you a good house in Reston - it will either be small or in need of updating. It won't find you much of a house in Vienna - and I don't know much about Falls Church but my guess is think very small 50's ranch with lots of need for updating.

I don't think any of these will find you wife a 45 minute commute to Freindship Heights. (door to door). East Falls Church metro station has parking issues - the lot is VERY small -I'm not sure what time you need to be there to get a spot but my guess is before 7:00 AM. The Metro Trip planner works well and is usually pretty close to accurate. Look at the buss rides into the METRO stations. It will most likely be better for your wife to take METRO rather than fight the top end of 495 every day.

Here are a few properties that went under contract in Reston recently to give you an idea of what has sold.
2501 GOLDCUP LN, RESTON, VA 20191 - HomesDatabase
2501 GOLDCUP LN, RESTON, VA 20191 - HomesDatabase
1701 RED OAK CIR, RESTON, VA 20190 - HomesDatabase

My current take on your price range in Reston is that the nice properties in this range get taken VERY fast. You may have to sit and wait for a good property to come on to the market. In 2003 I spent 6 months in a temporary apartement waiting for an acceptable property to come on the market.

Reston on the market
11200 WEDGE DR, RESTON, VA 20190 - HomesDatabase

Here is a Vienna house to check out.
2112 GUNNELL FARMS DR, VIENNA, VA 22181 - HomesDatabase (http://www.homesdatabase.com/home-listings-GUNNELL+FARMS-VIENNA-VA-MRIS-FX7543185 - broken link)
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:19 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,873,297 times
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JfromReston, it'll get you a rambler in Vienna that has been maintained decently. Now that might not be enough for some folks (myself included to be honest) but it's not a full-on dump.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:51 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,057,112 times
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Trying to minimize your wife's commute will most likely increase your housing costs, especially if you are seeking housing near a Metro stop. But driving to Friendship Heights doesn't have to mean sitting on the Beltway -- there are a number of "back roads" leading to Chain Bridge that can get you there too.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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The region's Metrorail was designed to get people in and out of DC, not so much around the MD/VA suburbs. So from Vienna or Falls Church, it's a ride to Metro Center, change trains in a very busy station, and ride the Red Line. She'll probably have to stand on that leg of the trip. I used to commute Pentagon City to White Flint and I started driving after trying the Metro for a while (but I also had the inconvenience of a White Flint shuttle to my office building, and White Flint is farther up the line than Friendship).

The drives back home in the evening were typically worse than the morning drives, on 495. And it really backed up in Virginia just after the GW Parkway exit, luckily for me, that was where I got off. Expect extra time to continue on 495 towards Tysons. I think 55 minutes is fairly accurate except on days with an accident on the road.

In Falls Church near Tysons, the neighborhood of Pimmit Hills has older, small homes under $500,000. I was thinking about that area because your wife could take Idylwood to Kirby to 123 to cross Chain Bridge into DC, then go up Western Ave or Nebraska to Friendship Heights. Homes between McLean and Falls Church, around Kirby, Westmoreland, look to be around mid $600K and up. Although I did spot this: MLS FX7547524, 6601 Placid St Falls Church.

Good luck!
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
540 posts, read 642,035 times
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Some good options above. Another option is the area of Falls Church just W, SW, or S of the West Falls Church metro just outside of FC city (McLean or Marshall school districts). It is easier to park at WFC than EFC if you choose to go with metro, or you could wind through N. Arlington on Glebe/Williamsburg to get to Chain Bridge. And it is better to get on 66 in the morning at 7/Leesburg Pike rather than back by Sycamore or Glebe. Houses are bumping up against your limit, but most seem to be going several % points below ask. From looking around that area, post-1960 houses, or houses with additions are most likely to meet your space requirements.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:13 AM
 
815 posts, read 1,110,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Trying to minimize your wife's commute will most likely increase your housing costs, especially if you are seeking housing near a Metro stop. But driving to Friendship Heights doesn't have to mean sitting on the Beltway -- there are a number of "back roads" leading to Chain Bridge that can get you there too.
Correct about the back roads to Chain Bridge, but I think most people know about this back way into the District, so it's not exactly undiscovered.

FWIW by way of comparison, I sometimes drive into the District from Reston using the Toll Road, 123, and Chain Bridge. Even leaving from home at 10:00 a.m., it takes me at least 40 minutes to get from Reston to Connecticut and Van Ness. I'm sure it would take considerably longer in rush hour.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,540,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
JfromReston, it'll get you a rambler in Vienna that has been maintained decently. Now that might not be enough for some folks (myself included to be honest) but it's not a full-on dump.
I wasn't implying "full-on dump" just little and old.

This is a good example - currently under contract in Vienna. Also, My search for Vienna indicated that there are a substantial number of properties on the market for just over the OP budget - between 575K and 600K.
419 HOLMES DR NW, VIENNA, VA 22180 - HomesDatabase (http://www.homesdatabase.com/home-listings-VIENNA+HILLS-VIENNA-VA-MRIS-FX7473562 - broken link)

Here is the other Reston under contract that I goofed up the link in my previous post. I went to the open house for this one and the kitchen was AMAZING!
2069 COBBLESTONE LN, RESTON, VA 20191 - HomesDatabase
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:20 PM
 
23 posts, read 46,348 times
Reputation: 10
JfromReston, it may just be me but those houses don't seem that small or bad. I know they need some work but from the pictures they look livable. Again, it may just be my perspective, as this would be my first home and I have no kids so these houses seem to fit the bill.

For some reason I had the impression that Reston was more expensive than Falls Church/Vienna. I really like the Reston area from pictures online and it seems like a nice place to live.

On that note, would the 7/267 towards Reston be easier than the 495 through Tysons Corner? In other words, which is better for the wife's commute Reston or Vienna/Falls Church?
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:51 PM
 
18 posts, read 60,412 times
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The WMATA Trip Planner can be handy (seems a bit optimistic in this example)-

http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/tri..._form_solo.cfm


Bus Departs from
HERNDON MONROE PARK & RIDE
at 7:00am
Board
FAIRFAX CONNECTOR BUS 950
towards WEST FALLS CHURCH STATION
Arrive
WEST FALLS CHURCH METRO
at 7:20am
Rail Departs from
WEST FALLS CHURCH METRO
at 7:25am
Board
ORANGE LINE Rail
towards NEW CARROLLTON
Arrive
METRO CENTER METRO STATION
at 7:47am
Rail Departs from
METRO CENTER METRO STATION
at 7:53am
Board
RED LINE Rail
towards GROSVENOR
Arrive
FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS METRO STATION
at 8:05am

Another distinctive Reston home-

http://www.homesdatabase.com/home-li...MRIS-FX7539012
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