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Old 04-18-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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We are a large family - Mom, Dad and six kids currently living in Germany with DoD. We have an opportunity to move to the NoVA area this summer. We love what Fairfax County seems to offer in terms of diversity, educational opportunities, culture, and family fun while also understanding what everyone in this forum describes as mind numbing traffic problems. We really just need to know if we can do this financially. So, can the experts try to answer a few of our questions?

We are topped out at $500K for a house. From my online research, it looks like the Springfield/Burke area might offer some five bedroom houses in that price range. Can anyone confirm this to set my mind at ease, or suggest other areas in Fairfax County? We don't need an estate, just a nice house (can't do a fixer-upper right now) in a nice community of other families.

With six kids who are all involved in sports and scouts, can anyone give me an idea what we would have to pay for, and some idea of how much it costs to get kids enrolled in these activities? We have soccer players, basketball players, swimmers, wrestlers, martial artists...Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, a Venture Scout...all 14 years old and under.

Many thanks for your help!
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Where will you or your spouse be working? Commute is a big factor to look at too. The furter out you go, the more affordable things are, but the commute becomes worse. I use the VRE--and recommend it if you live further out. People might complain about it running late every now and then, but it seems (to me) to be better and more reliable than driving).

As for activities. Girl Scouts really depends on the troop. I paid $20 for my daughter's first year, but since then they've used cookie sale proceeds to pay for everything for the girls (so other than a few field trips--it hasn't cost me anything). The martial arts place my daughter goes to is $80 a month for two, one hour lessons. She did soccer one year, but I decided it was too expensive (and she didn't seem to be that into it). I want to say it was $100 or so, but I really can't remember. If you find a neighborhood with a pool, swimming can be free too.

Last edited by jillabean; 04-18-2011 at 07:36 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:44 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
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You'll find some 5BR SFHs in/around Fairfax City. Not sure of their condition.

Where will you be working? For a generic commute, Fairfax City/environs and Burke are okay.

If you'll be working along the Route 28 or 267 corridors, I'd consider Loudoun County.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Thank you for the replies. I'll be at the Mark Center in Alexandria, DoD provides shuttles from several area Metro stops.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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wow, 6 kids...wow...

you won't be able to find any 5 BR houses and 3000+ sq feet in Fairfax unless its a foreclosure or short sale. if you kids can share rooms you could find a nice 3 bed or maybe 4 bedroom and 2400 sq ft for that price range
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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I've never lived there, but you could also consider Lorton. It's not that much father than parts of Springfield and is still part of Fairfax County. They've made the old state prison into an arts center too. I have a co-worker who lives there and he says as long as he leaves at the right time (well before school traffic) the commute to Alexandria isn't too bad.

I am not sure about house prices in Annandale right now, but that might also be an option.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:12 AM
 
Location: DMV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMUAlum08 View Post
wow, 6 kids...wow...

you won't be able to find any 5 BR houses and 3000+ sq feet in a desirable part of Fairfax unless its a foreclosure or short sale. if you kids can share rooms you could find a nice 3 bed or maybe 4 bedroom and 2400 sq ft for that price range
^Added something there

There are parts of Fairfax that have homes at that price that are in decent condition. Maybe not new, or even newer, but with a little work they could be lived in. The problem is these places are in not so hot areas like the Alexandria part of Fairfax and some parts of Springfield. With six kids, I doubt these are the types of places the OP would want to consider, considering safety and schools would be a factor.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatkins View Post
^Added something there

There are parts of Fairfax that have homes at that price that are in decent condition. Maybe not new, or even newer, but with a little work they could be lived in. The problem is these places are in not so hot areas like the Alexandria part of Fairfax and some parts of Springfield. With six kids, I doubt these are the types of places the OP would want to consider, considering safety and schools would be a factor.
good points. unless the OP is willing to live in rougher areas I don't think a house in Fairfax county will be obtainable at that price point
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:19 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,092,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatkins View Post
^Added something there

There are parts of Fairfax that have homes at that price that are in decent condition. Maybe not new, or even newer, but with a little work they could be lived in. The problem is these places are in not so hot areas like the Alexandria part of Fairfax and some parts of Springfield. With six kids, I doubt these are the types of places the OP would want to consider, considering safety and schools would be a factor.
Agreed.

I think the $500K in a desirable part of FFX is going to be tough. I think it WILL be a fixer upper. It won't be impossible, you just might luck out but it's not going to be an easy buy.

My coworker lives in a very old neighborhood off 123 near GMU and I think there are prices in that range (Robinson school district). The houses were built in the 60s and run on the smaller side though.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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Here's one possibility (4 BR) in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County. It may not be the most upscale part of the county, but so what? You might actually have neighbors with finances and values similar to your own, and the schools are still better than what you'd find in most areas. Plus, it's a heck of a better commute to Mark Center than somewhere in Prince William, not to mention Loudoun.

3413 SAPPHIRE CT, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22310 - HomesDatabase (http://www.homesdatabase.com/home-listings-KINGS+LANDING-ALEXANDRIA-VA-MRIS-FX7477009 - broken link)

Good luck.
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