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Old 06-20-2011, 10:41 AM
30 posts, read 37,162 times
Reputation: 12


Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post

(Though as one so cal transplant to another...I'd kill for the chance to go live in San Diego right now...)
I miss it here already! I'm so turned off by this move now, I just can't WAIT to come back to San Diego! It sounds like we're going to be absolutely miserable in the DC area, one way or another. Such a shame. I was trying my best to have a positive attitude about this move but after listening to you guys describe the area.....wow. I knew it would be tough, but everything about this area just.sounds.bad.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:47 AM
5,070 posts, read 8,609,827 times
Reputation: 2722
Hope that's not the case, but it will be what it will be.

Here's a rental property within your budget just outside the town of Vienna - it's an older house than I think you had in mind, but within an hour from DC (except for a particularly bad day at rush hour) in a family-friendly community with a great school district.

9227 Talisman Dr Vienna VA - Home for Rent - MLS #FX7615865 - Realtor.com®
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:52 AM
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,799,651 times
Reputation: 471
Originally Posted by MaiTaiMary View Post
Ummm... nothing from this move is coming across as "rosy"!

The more I read about the area, the more and more I'm getting concerned about how horrible our lives are going to be here. The area sounds bad. Really.

Sounds like I"m in the minority, but I can't sacrifice my families safety in a high crime neighborhood, won't sacrifice my children's education and send them to schools that rank horribly, and I'm not willing to make my children sleep in sleeping bags all over our 900 sq. foot house just so my husband doesn't have to have a long commute. Again, sounds like a lot of you will, but I just can't do that.

Sorry, just very frustated here. No, nothing about moving to this area sounds "rosy". I appreciate all of the honest opinions and unfortunately I feel like I have a much better idea of what life is going to be like living here.

Sounds like I"ll be counting the days until we move back to San Diego
Please don't get discouraged. This area really isn't bad at all. There are very few public schools that anyone would consider horrible. There are lovely neighborhoods in all price ranges. Yes, you have to think about what your commute will be like before settling on a neighborhood. Metro and busses are not all sunshine and roses, but they are viable options. I found that even without a seat, I can still read a newspaper - I used metro to get to a conference downtown last week, and I saw lots of people with e-readers, books and papers standing in the crowd. Once you get downtown, the crowds dwindle. To me, it beats road rage and $300+ monthly parking fees in addition to high gas prices and the miles you will put on your car driving to work.

Come out here and look at your options. You might have to rent in an older neighborhood - that doesn't mean you're giving up good schools or decent neighbors. There are many older neighborhoods with virtually no crime, community parks, walkable schools, etc. Yes, you may not get a 4K sf home, but I think you can find something to suit your needs.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:53 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,547,583 times
Reputation: 3656
If you would be willing to consider a townhouse (with 4 bedrooms) or a 1950's house (with 4 bedrooms) instead of the new construction SFH, your options will open up a bit.

8105 Ashtonbirch Drive, Springfield, VA 22152 - House for Rent in Springfield, VA - HotPads (http://hotpads.com/rentals/8105-Ashtonbirch-Drive-Springfield-VA-22152--ekbzra3cqgmf - broken link)

8841 Winding Hollow Way, Springfield, VA 22152 - House for Rent in Springfield, VA - HotPads (http://hotpads.com/rentals/8841-Winding-Hollow-Way-Springfield-VA-22152--51x64pv1nd19t - broken link)

6848 Signature Circle, Alexandria, VA 22310 - House for Rent in Alexandria, VA - HotPads (http://hotpads.com/rentals/6848-Signature-Circle-Alexandria-VA-22310--3eckp9mc42vtk - broken link)

All in nice, safe neighborhoods. All with decent commutes.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:57 AM
1,280 posts, read 1,725,671 times
Reputation: 877
I think you're misreading these posts and jumping to a lot of conclusions. All these posts were to address your assumption that your husband would simply deal with a long commute. We were all trying to open your eyes to the reality of what a long commute really "costs". If everyone that lived near public transportation and worked in DC had to live in 900 sq feet, deal w/ crime and go to bad schools......... The point is everyone makes tradeoffs/compromises and your family needs to decide what those are. Better to be armed with the commute times then be surprised after you have locked yourself in. I mean, would you move to an area without checking out the schools? same thing
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:21 AM
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,635,710 times
Reputation: 1362
The DC has so much to offer and it's very pretty in NOVA. I miss it terribly. (and I live in newer 3300sqft house now!! ha)

Just trying to give you a realistic picture... Traffic is bad, its crowded etc... BUT it's a GREAt place for a family! We loved going inot DC about 1x per month, my kids look ack at how nice it was to be in DC, the Smithsonians, the museums, the history etc...

Crime ridden? NO one suggested an area that is unsafe or high crime! Horrible schools? NO ONE suggested that. NOVA has some of the BEST pubic schools in the country. Trust me...TX schools are a shadow of what VA schools had. (and from all the CA transplants here in DFW, don't think CA public schools are all that great either)
900 sqft? kids in sleeping bags? Again I don't see where anyone said you would have to do that.
Sharing a bedroom with twin beds is what I sugggested. (many kids, special needs included do this)
But if you don't think that works ofr your family then 4 bedrooms is doable! (you stated 4+ which is why I said 5)

BUT..you won't find a shiny new home with 3000sqft and grantie etc... For those rentals you will have to go out west.
Look AT BURKE and WEST Springfield ... great area and good schools. (springfield has some no so great areas, but WEST springfield is nice)

found this one :
5 bedrooms,3 bath 2 car garage, built 1999. FOR $2650/month

Then this one it's older but has nice lot and space
BURKE, VA 22015
4 bed, 3 bath, 2 car garage, huge laundry room!! built in 1978 FOR $2500/month

5 bed, 3 bath, 1 car nice lot!
hardwoods...cute cape
ALL re-done baths and kitchen (wow this is a nice one) $2750/month
Depending on school and exact location...I would jump on this one!!

SO see there are alot of nice houses out there, most just wont be new. I put in 3000 as max and came up with alot of hits! (and quite a few 5 bedrooms...surprisingly!)
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:21 AM
Location: Herndon
139 posts, read 280,185 times
Reputation: 45
Mary, I hate that you are getting discouraged. I felt the same way at first but not for the same reasons as you (which I think you have misunderstood and your anxiety is making it seem worse than it actually is--I know, I have been there). I was a little discouraged because at the time I did not know which school I would be teaching at therefore it was hard to determine where we'd live....it was just more OVERWHELMING because there are actually so many WONDERFUL places to choose from.

I honestly think you have misunderstood some of the posts. I am moving to Herndon and, being a very protective mother who is also a teacher, I don't feel one single bit of apprehension about moving my son, my treasure, there. So, all the concern about your family's safety is misplaced, depending on where you are looking.

Another thing, Fairfax County Schools are very highly ranked. I cringed when you said "horrible schools" because that is so untrue. Granted, every school system has a few, but you just have to do your research, which I have done. There are too many well-educated, professionals living in NOVA for it to be a place with lousy schools. The people there would not tolerate that. So, let that thought go. FCPS is highly regarded. I can tell you from a teacher's point of view, that they definitely have their act together and have some of the best programs I have ever seen. I have taught in 3 other states...

The other thing...the commute is gonna be tough no matter where you are! Like I said, the government pays for my husband's bus/metro commute so it would be foolish to do otherwise. However, he has gotten use to it and wouldn't drive now for all the money in the world. At least on the bus and metro you have time drink your coffee, read the paper, read a book. SO MANY PEOPLE DO IT EVERY DAY. An hour commute, which is what my husband will have from Herndon, via bus to metro, is very common. Actually, it's pretty good considering the other options. I'd rather be able to read the paper or a book than to drive and sit in traffic.

I grew up in central Virginia (the country) but I have found NOVA to be a great place during my visits. There is so much there for families to do, so many choices, and EXCELLENT schools.

I hope this helps somewhat. If it was a bad place, I sure would not be leaving my beloved South to go there. Actually, I am very excited about living in such a lovely town and meeting new people, finding a new church, etc. Personally, though, and this is just my opinion because I have checked out a lot of things, I prefer to live on the western edge where there is more suburbia than in McLean or Vienna (which are all wonderful) but where the commute is the same for my husband but on the other hand, we'd get less house for our money.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:30 AM
158 posts, read 330,125 times
Reputation: 54
I moved here 7 years ago from Cali and the I don't find it horrible at all. I love the season, great schools, and being so close to all the museums in DC. people are being brutally honest about the commute because a lot of people become disillusioned real fast here thinking it is going to be all sunshine and roses and then complaining about how horrible the traffic is. Is there any way you and dh can take a trip out here this summer to test drive the commutes? I wouldn't want to live any further out than Vienna if you a doing downtown commute. We live inOakton(22124) and my neighbor metros in to Rosslyn and it takes 1.5 hours door to door.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:39 PM
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,398,660 times
Reputation: 734
Not to be a downer, MaiTaiMary, but I think your current attitude is *realistic*. The people who have the biggest problems after moving to NoVA (or the DC suburbs in general) are the ones who come with (unrealistically, considering the area's reality) high expectations (myself included). I think the best way to deal with a move here is to be WELL aware of the area's problems in advance (traffic, general overcrowding [yes, even out in the suburbs], various 'lacks' [e.g., a couple restaurant categories - esp. 'new American'/fusion and cute foodie bakeries with salads and such ()]) and to have plans for how you will deal with each one.

For instance, I've finally accepted that I will have to live 'closer in' to have access (via Metro) to restaurants (of my preferred variety) in DC proper. I've also become a much better cook since moving here (not that I was that shabby before - but now I've added bread [*mean* crusty mini boules, little cornmeal pizza crusts, etc.] to my repertoire ). I also plan to have a small VEGETABLE GARDEN(!!! ) in my future tiny yard. So I guess I've taken a preserved pepperoncini and made lemonade, or something.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:51 PM
1,280 posts, read 1,725,671 times
Reputation: 877
I guess that's correct and everyone needs to define their own "high expectations"

Frankly, I've been hearing how great San Diego is for years and I had family that lived there for 20 years and visited frequently. Beyond the nice weather year round, I've never been that excited about San Diego in comparison to here.
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