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Old 08-24-2011, 01:34 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,404 times
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Hello All!

I'm looking for some information, and all the "googling" in the world, isn't going to help me. I really need to hear some cold hard facts from actual people so here I am!

So I currently live in Lynchburg, VA, and I have a job opportunity in Ashburn. At the moment I make about 50k a year, and the opportunity I have will be "in the 60k range"

So I've been doing some searching, try to find a good cost of living comparison between the 2 areas. I have a wife and 3 kids, and I'm currently the only source of income, and we live in a lower middle class area of town in a 4 bedroom home about 1700sf.

So I have some questions I'm hoping you will be able to help me with:

What towns/cities, that are within commuting distances, should I be looking at as far as housing?

What areas should I AVOID (I have 3 elementary school children)?

What's your opinion of the schools in Loudon County?

What's average rent for a middle of the road 3 bedroom (or 4) apartment?

Does it sound like I'm shooting myself in the foot (is 60Kish a good middle class salary)?

Any and all input, is appreciated above and beyond the questions I've posed, and if you need more information, just ask.

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,527,369 times
Reputation: 1147
Quote:
Originally Posted by milesdm View Post
So I currently live in Lynchburg, VA, and I have a job opportunity in Ashburn. At the moment I make about 50k a year, and the opportunity I have will be "in the 60k range"

You will probably not be as well off but you may increase your opportunity for advancement and therefore future increased earnings. I don't think you will be significantly less well off.

So I've been doing some searching, try to find a good cost of living comparison between the 2 areas. I have a wife and 3 kids, and I'm currently the only source of income, and we live in a lower middle class area of town in a 4 bedroom home about 1700sf.

Here is an example of rentals you may want to consider.
43561 PLANTATION TER, ASHBURN, VA 20147 | Listing Information | HomesDatabase.com
43766 LABURNUM SQ, ASHBURN, VA 20147 | Listing Information | HomesDatabase.com
20970 KILLAWOG TER, ASHBURN, VA 20147 | Listing Information | HomesDatabase.com

So I have some questions I'm hoping you will be able to help me with:

What towns/cities, that are within commuting distances, should I be looking at as far as housing?

Ashburn is your best bet - you may find some less expensive places to live in Leesburg.

What areas should I AVOID (I have 3 elementary school children)?

There may be places to avoid in Leesburg, but I don't know where they are.

What's your opinion of the schools in Loudon County?

With only a few minor exceptions I've heard very good things about Loudon County Schools. Do some searching on this site and you will find specific recommendations.

What's average rent for a middle of the road 3 bedroom (or 4) apartment?

Looks like $1700 is about it for Ashburn for 3 bedrooms. Looks like the minimum for 4 bedrooms is $2000.

Does it sound like I'm shooting myself in the foot (is 60Kish a good middle class salary)?

I wouldn't consider $60K a "good middle class salary" for a family of five. You can certaintly get by but not in a good middle class life style.
I hope this helps.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:11 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,772 posts, read 10,674,733 times
Reputation: 2498
do you think your kids will aspire to go UVA at Charlottesville?

LCPS is a reputable school system, but the odds of admission to our selective Va Public Us will probably be higher from Lynchburg.

add that to the COL in offsetting the salary increase.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,641,584 times
Reputation: 1362
You will be able to get more housing for your money in Leesburg. As it has some older areas etc... and most of Ashburn is fairly new etc...

60K for a family of 5 is going to be tight, no it is not what I consider middle class, esp in the NOVA area.

Leesburg Elem area would be a good place to look there are some nice older neighborhoods close by. (Appletree, birch, cherry st etc...) AVOID the apartments off of Edwards Ferry and Plaza. lots of section 8 in there and higher crime.

Catoctin Elem, was having issues, but don't know if that is still true. I would avoid housing that feeds to that school if so.
Honestly, you might also be able to get free or reduced luches on your salary as well. (and that would help alot)

Purceville might also be an option, you might be able to find some more affordable housing there.

Overall Schools in Loudoun County are very good! Crime is low and there is alot of familiy activites etc...

What is your price range? that would help us help you.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,527,369 times
Reputation: 1147
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5stones View Post
Honestly, you might also be able to get free or reduced luches on your salary as well. (and that would help alot)
Family of 5
Free Lunch = $34,021
Reduced Lunch = $48,415
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: The South
3,880 posts, read 5,335,434 times
Reputation: 2742
Hi, there,

Well, I can tell you $60k is not going to go very far for a family of five in Loudoun County. According to the 2010 census, the median family income in Loudoun County is $114,200 (and many have significantly higher than that) and the median home was $508,000 -- and that's for not a fabulous house like the ones in Peakland/Rivermont. It's most likely a townhouse or older sfh on a 1/4 acre. Your $50k goes much further in Lynchburg than that $60k will in Loudoun.

Obviously, I'm partial to Lynchburg and the cost of living is only a small part of it. Loudoun is a much faster pace of life not at all like Lynchburg. It's not that people aren't friendly -- they're just so busy with commuting etc. The stress level is quite high. There are also a lot of small expenses that will gobble that $10k very quickly -- higher grocery prices, gas prices, cable tv, just about everything.

Unless you are miserable in Lynchburg (and I realize it's not for everyone), be careful about commiting to the new job. Spend several days visiting -- driving around, checking your options, getting a "feel" for the area. Go to the grocery store, the mall, etc.

Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:59 PM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
7,723 posts, read 18,519,853 times
Reputation: 8382
Ashburn is the Silicon Valley of the east. My son moved from Fredericksburg to Leesburg, the offer was too good to turn down. He was there for three months and he got a raise, "just because."

The money in Leesburg is insane, but you can live elsewhere within a reasonable commute to work. You don't have to be in Leesburg.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,619,006 times
Reputation: 8315
I wouldn't make the move to make $10K more as it is significantly more costly to live here. But, if you are unhappy with where you live or if you think this area offers more opportunities for you or your family, you may consider it. But, in general, $60K is very low in this area for a family of 5. But since the job is in Ashburn, it would allow you to live farther out to help keep the costs lower. Loudoun County is a beautiful area and is filled with wealthy residents so the schools are pretty good. Pace of life would be a lot faster and probably more competitive than where you live now.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:00 AM
 
Location: The South
3,880 posts, read 5,335,434 times
Reputation: 2742
Keep in mind, people suggest living "further out" but Western Loudoun is very expensive. Purcellville/Round Hill may look quaint but housing and taxes are very high. There is minimal "low income housing".

Even further west you have Clarke and then Winchester. In Winchester you would have more options but a 45 minute or so commute over a mountain that is notorious for bad weather issues.

I agree with michgc, unless this is a "foot in the door" opportunity for great growth opportunity, I wouldn't do it for that small raise.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,860,633 times
Reputation: 869
Western Loudoun is still pricey.

If this is truly a "foot in the door" you want to pursue, you might want to check out Winchester, which will keep you in the area and is a tolerable commute to Ashburn. Then if you make more money closer in you can move further in.

$200k will get you a TH or condo in a not so nice area of Leesburg or Sterling. Your income might get you an ok rental but I'd check it out.
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