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Old 09-15-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,938,746 times
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AC, I still think it can be done. (And I think a house is still nice even without a garage. It just means a few days in the winter when you have to scrape the windshield. To me, it's worth it for the location. Plus a one-car garage adds at least 30K to the asking price, at least around us.)

And why would a couple with a baby need more than 1400SF?

Here's one I think is pretty nice within this link--big, flat yard, huge lot, and a garage. (Dowdy kitchen, but that's not unfixable. And it's listed a $20K less than the top of the OP's range.)

Also this one. And this one.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Thank you for all the input, in regards to the heated tree debate it looks like we will be alright where ever we end up. I guess it all comes down to a newer home with more space or a more quaint style neighborhood. I could possibly afford more on the house, but coming in from NY we are sick of being house poor. We have lived in San Diego, LA and New York and have never really lived right in the downtown of any of them. We would like access to some decent restaurants realizing that we won't have the variety that downtown DC will offer. Ideally looking for about 2500-3500 sq feet, which sounds like I should probably look a bit further out, though I keep hearing great things about Alexandria. Schools are once again the key thing I am considering long term and at some point my wife will return to work and will have to be a decent commute (finance-risk management). The other question is should we pay a premium to be close to DC when I don't have to commute daily? It sounds like I would fly mainly out of Dulles with occassional flight from DCA. I love the comments and really appreciate the input. It always helps getting the local perspective.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post

And why would a couple with a baby need more than 1400SF?
Everyone has different ideas of space needs, but babies quickly grow into rambunctious kids and brothers and sisters have a way of appearing. When we lived in Los Angeles we had a 1400 sf townhouse with two kids and it was not fun at all. And that's in a city where the weather is nice all year 'round so the kids can work on all their projects outside every day.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Also we would like more space, we had a 2000 sq foot loft in NY but we were coming from 2400 sq feet in LA with a backyard and a garage. Also near a decent golf course would be amazing. Thanks again.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Its possible to have a delightful childhood in a family of 4 in less than 1400 sq ft - I can vouch for that! Love makes a childhood, not square footage (NB at least not in that range). And kids find places to play, and dont melt in the cold. BUT BUT BUT - I havent flown a lot lately, but from what I recall trying to get to smaller west of the mississippi point from National can be a pain. It sounds like Dulles is going to be a very important anchor for OP. Given that, I'd be reluctant to pay a huge premium in money or space to be in Arlington, unless you absolutely know you will be unhappy further out. I would second looking at Vienna, Fair Oaks, Reston, Herndon. And theres nothing to lose in looking at the planned communities in Loudoun.

While I love DC, and think convenience to it is a very positive aspect of the inner burbs, one should be aware that traffic is often not that bad on weekends when you would be going there. I could see taking something smaller and older in Reston over something bigger and newer in Loudoun for that reason - Im not sure it would be worth the North Arlington premium, not if you think over 2500 sq ft is your ideal.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Originally Posted by InterestedinVA View Post
Also we would like more space, we had a 2000 sq foot loft in NY but we were coming from 2400 sq feet in LA with a backyard and a garage. Also near a decent golf course would be amazing. Thanks again.
Where did you live in LA? I know parts of LA very well and could probably make some comparisons between the various communities if that would help you. For example, if you know the South Bay, Reston would be like Manhattan Beach (wealthy, lots to do there, artsy/liberal, the most likely of the nearby communities to draw young people), Herndon would be more like Torrance (not quite as wealthy, lots of large corporations, great ethnic restaurants), etc.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Caladium, we lived in Torrance and my offices had been in Manhattan Beach. It was close enough to the fun activities without being in the middle of things. We had the option of living in Manhattan in NY but because of how small the housing was we opted for downtown White Plains.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:29 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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Re. Dulles: Because of the convenient airport-traffic-only lanes, you don't need to live near it in order to reach it quickly. But the same isn't true for DCA. The best spot for proximity to both airports would be near an entry ramp for I-66 (which you use to reach the Dulles Airport lanes) but also not far from the GW Parkway, to reach DCA--e.g., Falls Church or (better yet) Waverly Hills or Maywood (both in 22207).

Gotta say I'm a bit amazed at the discussion on square footage. Our prewar house has just over 1400SF, and it has three BR (not counting the finished basement). That's enough for at least two kids, each in his/her own BR. To each his own, but I just can't imagine what we'd do with over 2000SF. The dog would have to get his own bedroom. (Mr. Fluffy, if you're reading this, it ain't gonna happen!)
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:36 PM
 
227 posts, read 344,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Re. Dulles: Because of the convenient airport-traffic-only lanes, you don't need to live near it in order to reach it quickly. But the same isn't true for DCA. The best spot for proximity to both airports would be near an entry ramp for I-66 (which you use to reach the Dulles Airport lanes) but also not far from the GW Parkway, to reach DCA--e.g., Falls Church or (better yet) Waverly Hills or Maywood (both in 22207).

Gotta say I'm a bit amazed at the discussion on square footage. Our prewar house has just over 1400SF, and it has three BR (not counting the finished basement). That's enough for at least two kids, each in his/her own BR. To each his own, but I just can't imagine what we'd do with over 2000SF. The dog would have to get his own bedroom. (Mr. Fluffy, if you're reading this, it ain't gonna happen!)
North Arlington or Mclean would work. I would avoid 66 to get to dulles airport, mainly due to stupid HOV setup.

Toll road and GW is the way to go.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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Carlingtonian-I appreciate the insight on Dulles airport. As for the sq footage we are coming from CA where the homes tend to be pretty good size (generally) and I also work from home, which will mean I will need one room for my office. We had 2000 sq feet in NY and it felt small, so I guess that just means we have too much stuff! Our families are also in CA so it is nice to have them stay with us and have an additional room for guests.
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