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Old 03-28-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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I can set up my office anywhere in northern Virginia... i don't have much knowledge about office buildings, areas etc. My wife and I are leaning towards McLean and Great Falls areas...
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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[www.taxfoundation.org] has a lot of accurate info on overall tax rates. According to their data, MD is slightly lower for income tax, but VA does better overall.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Springfield VA
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I'd advise getting an office close to your clients. This is such a big spread out area you'll want to do as little driving as possible.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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It used to be easy. Conservatives live in VA, liberals live in MD. Singles live in the city. Now all of DC suburbia leans liberal, so things are a lot less clear cut. However, the liberal end of the spectrum still favors MD in general and Montgomery County in particular.

1. Kids are in private school currently (we live in LA- public schools are not great here). Advice on public versus private for Fairfax County? Montgomery County?

Public schooling is terrific and about equal in both counties for kids up to HS. Public universities in VA are much better than those in MD. That being said, the private schools are great, too, and plenty of people (including me) send their kids to private schools for a variety of reasons even though the public schools are very good.

2. Neighborhoods? McLean, Vienna, Falls Church, Great Falls, Potomac, Bethesda, Rockville?

For the wealthier neighborhoods, basically McLean is Bethesda, Great Falls is Potomac. The former two are inside the Beltway (or straddle it), have better commutes and better communities for families (your kids can walk to a house nearby to play with a friend). The latter two are outside the Beltway, have worse commutes, but bigger yards and houses. However, lots are so large that there are fewer "kids playing in the cul-de-sac" neighborhoods. Vienna and Falls Church are a lot like McLean, with slightly less expensive housing. I know nothing about Rockville.

Ultimately, I think where you'd want to live depends on so many factors, most notably your housing budget and work location. Keep in mind that commuting here sucks, just like in SoCal, so buy something near where you work. For schools and appreciating home values, if you stick to Fairfax and Montgomery Counties, you can't go wrong. But if you find someplace where it takes you less than 30 minutes to drive one way to work, that will make you happiest. For you, based on your follow-up post, that means somewhere in NoVA. If you were to drive from Tysons to Bethesda during non-rush hour, it might take 15 minutes. Maybe less. But during rush hour, it will take you 45 minutes or more. The Beltway that direction backs up to Route 7 every single night, and it is stop and go. You don't want that.

3. Good restaurants? Parks? Outdoor activities?

Too many of those to name. Some of my favorite places to go include Great Falls Ntl Park and Riverbend Park in VA, the C&O Canal Park and Glen Echo Park in MD, and Harper's Ferry National Historic Park in WV. Tons of good restaurants around here.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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The question of NOVA vs Montgomery County seems to come up here regularly. So I'll simply repeat what I have said before.

If you like high taxes, busybody liberals, and your kids learning condom use via demonstrations with cucumbers, you'll LOVE Montgomery County.

If you like lower taxes, slightly less liberalism, and a more traditional approach to education, you'll prefer NOVA.

Full disclosure: I lived in Montgomery for 15 years before fleeing to Fairfax County. Life has been a lot saner here.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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Auto insurance is cheaper in VA than MD. So are cigarettes if that's a factor, and usually a gallon of gas is a few cents cheaper, too. Basically, you get more and pay less west of the Potomac. Particularly if work will be in NOVA, living in MD would be just buying yourself a headache. No reason to consider it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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Default Huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Margery View Post
Where in Northern Virginia will your office be located (it's a large area) and what is your price range? There are many regional parks here and this area is very family oriented, except perhaps in the Arlington/Rosslyn/Crystal City area close to D.C.. There are many people on this forum with children, if you give them a little time they will come up many activities.
Arlington is very family-friendly, and welcoming to people who aren't in family households.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:37 PM
 
2,042 posts, read 2,363,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcrox View Post
I can set up my office anywhere in northern Virginia... i don't have much knowledge about office buildings, areas etc. My wife and I are leaning towards McLean and Great Falls areas...
I agree with the poster who said your commute should be a primary determining factor in making your choice. If your office will be near Tysons, for example, commuting from Bethesda will be a pain.

If you are progressive politically and want to live near plenty of like minded people, there tends to be a higher proportion of them in closer-in suburbs than in suburbs farther from DC.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: NOVA
381 posts, read 500,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerideaf View Post
>>>In Virginia, you pay personal property tax on your cars<<< If VA, you have to pay this tax every year!!!!!!
Maryland has a "piggy-back tax" that is deterimined when you file your MD state income tax. This tax goes to the county in which you reside.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
1,543 posts, read 1,555,611 times
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I recently returned to live in the DC area and I am currently house hunting. I will not even consider looking in MD.

I have previously lived in VA (18 years) and MD (5 years) and to me, there is no comparison. MD has enormously high taxes and it is ULTRA liberal..to the point of being a nanny state in my opinion. I loathe the politicians in MD. It is an ultra liberal good-old-boys club that will probably never be broken. Arrogant leadership is a total turn off to me.

VA is a great place to live. Is it perfect? no. But compared to MD, it is so much nicer.
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