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Old 06-23-2011, 08:13 AM
3 posts, read 2,640 times
Reputation: 10


-Where you are working - My husband will be working in Reston, I am a teacher and will be looking for a job.

-How much you are willing to spend on housing - $275k

-How long of a commute you're willing to tolerate - 30-45 minutes

-If you have kids: Private school or public school? - public, elementary

-What type of neighborhood environment you are looking for: small town feeling? small city excitement? suburbia delight? - family, sense of community

-Community amenities important to you - parks, libraries, children's programs, outdoor recreation

We currently live in Ft. Worth, Texas but my husband is on the cusp of getting a job in Reston. I am a high school teacher and know of two job openings (one in Fraconia and one in McLean) but I don't have to rush up there. One option was for me to stay in Texas for a year and let my husband feel out the area.

Before I knew of these job openings we were looking at Leesburg. We have some friends who live in Round Hill but that seemed a little too far out. We're used to a single-family home with a yard and we have two dogs and a cat but we aren't opposed to a town home. We'll most likely need to rent first and then buy in a year.

We will be going from private school (the public schools in FtW leave A LOT to be desired) to public because I've heard a lot of good things about the public schools in VA. I've heard good things about Fairfax County schools and Loudon County schools.

I'm looking for advice/info on areas to live, schools and travel time/traffic.

Thank you!

E. Miller
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:46 AM
Location: Reston, VA
1,923 posts, read 3,056,380 times
Reputation: 1069
Sorry to tell you that your price point is REALLY low for this area. At this price point I wouldn't even consider looking at detached homes. Townhomes in Loudoun County (Leesburg - Ashburn) would be your best bet. I would also recommend seeking a teaching job in Loudoun County schools - they seem to be building schools at an incredible rate and must need teachers too.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:54 AM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 23,619,909 times
Reputation: 42747
Welcome to VA! I'd check out townhouses in Cascades. That's in the north part of Sterling, north of Rt. 7. It's an easy 7 mile drive to Reston. You take Algonkian Parkway, and that stretch is actually not bad to drive in the morning. Lowes Island Elementary school in Cascades was for many years considered the best school in Loudoun. I'm not sure if it still is #1, but it's certainly one of the best ones. There are a lot of families with young kids in Cascades, and if you look at townhouses I think you'll find some fairly nice ones that could work with your budget.

Here are some photos you might like.

Cascades/Lowes Island (a part of the northern section of Sterling)

ps. If you're considering Sterling, please note that Sterling is a name for a huge unincorporated section of Loudoun County. As a result, several different communities with very different personalities make up Sterling. Aim for the ones north of Rt. 7.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:56 AM
Location: Washington DC
487 posts, read 1,082,848 times
Reputation: 515
Yes unfortunately price point is low and commute expectations are low.
Generally you can only get one.
Either a lower housing cost or a shorter commute
We just completed a house search and looked extensively in Reston and Herndon
For housing, my experience is that the lowest you will find in these areas is going to be in the mid to high 400's. and for anything nice expect to pay over 500K.
Redfin has an excellent RE search site for the area.
We are also relatively new to the area.
We rented for 3 years and just bought.
It took us some time to adjust to the realities of the real estate market here.
But if you can get past the sticker shock.
And if your budget can support it.
Now is a good time to be thinking about buying.
Prices are still low and rates are super low.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:05 AM
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,484,724 times
Reputation: 465
You probably SHOULD move to Loudoun or maybe Prince William. We've got a budget of up to $450K and for SFH's, that is VERY limiting - well, unless I want to live in the sketchy parts of Herndon or Sterling. If your husband can work odd hours (avoiding rush hour), he could get to Reston from many areas of Loudoun in 45 minutes.

But, $275K is not going to get you much, sadly. You have to go pretty far out before that price buys you a yard. Maybe as far as Front Royal.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:13 AM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 23,619,909 times
Reputation: 42747
I just did a quick search for townhouses in 20165 (that's Sterling north of Rt. 7) and found 10 for $275,000 or lower. There's one on Dorrell that looked especially nice to me. That section of Sterling is called Countryside, and it's very convenient to the mall, a couple of shopping centers, Algonkian Regional Park (a fantastic park) and the Cascades library, which is a very good library.

I agree, though, that these won't be luxury properties. Countryside is a nice location, but I'm sure the townhouses are older and smallish.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:54 AM
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,484,724 times
Reputation: 465
Just out of curiosity, I looked at realtor.com and searched Hamilton and Lovettsville. I actually DID see some SFHs there under $275K. Your husband would have to try to figure out commute, but these areas are really lovely.
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