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Old 09-15-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 13,943,707 times
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Too funny! I lived in Manhattan Beach, and also the Hollywood Riviera area for a short time. Do you know American Martyrs? When I moved out here I contacted someone I knew at Martyrs and she ended up hiring me for a small company that had also moved out here from Torrance (and is now in the Cascades area). What a small world. There are a surprising number of people from the South Bay here in the western Fairfax/eastern Loudoun part of Nova.

OK, so these are loose comparisons but it might give you a little bit of an idea. Reston is like Manhattan Beach. Herndon is like Torrance. Chantilly and Ashburn are like Irvine. Leesburg is sort of like Long Beach (although this comparison is stretching it a bit--but it's big area with a lot of different neighborhoods, a cute & historic downtown, and a fair number of large businesses). Sterling has many different communities. Sterling Park is the lower income area, similar to the section of Torrance near the Torrance DMV. Cascades is more like Hollywood Riviera or South Redondo (a little bit further from PCH or 405--but still close, more residential, families not young singles, strip malls but not necessarily all chain stores). Vienna reminds me a lot of El Segundo (older, so also has some character and a slight "main street" feel in some areas; next to a very busy corridor so can get bad traffic; near the metro).
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Too funny! I lived in Manhattan Beach, and also the Hollywood Riviera area for a short time. Do you know American Martyrs? When I moved out here I contacted someone I knew at Martyrs and she ended up hiring me for a small company that had also moved out here from Torrance (and is now in the Cascades area). What a small world. There are a surprising number of people from the South Bay here in the western Fairfax/eastern Loudoun part of Nova.

OK, so these are loose comparisons but it might give you a little bit of an idea. Reston is like Manhattan Beach. Herndon is like Torrance. Chantilly and Ashburn are like Irvine. Leesburg is sort of like Long Beach (although this comparison is stretching it a bit). Sterling has many different communities. Sterling Park is the lower income area, similar to the section of Torrance near the Torrance DMV. Cascades is more like Hollywood Riviera or South Redondo (a little bit further from the busiest roads--but still close, more residential, families not young singles, strip malls but not necessarily all chain stores). Vienna reminds me a lot of El Segundo (older, so also has some character and a slight "main street" feel in some areas; next to a very busy corridor so can get bad traffic; near the metro).
Caladium- that really helps put things in perspective, I know my wife will appreciate the LA comparison. Martys I do not know, but it is nice to know that I will run into some So Cal people there. At some point once we find the city I will be asking about sports bars to watch the Chargers lol
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
154 posts, read 204,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
Leesburg is sort of like Long Beach (although this comparison is stretching it a bit--but it's big area with a lot of different neighborhoods, a cute & historic downtown, and a fair number of large businesses).
Great comparisons Caladium! We relocated from southern California a couple years ago. We used to live in Long Beach and now live in Leesburg and I can definitely see the similarities. Never thought of it that way before!!
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
154 posts, read 204,560 times
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Originally Posted by InterestedinVA View Post
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.
If you are really interested in larger, newer homes within your price range I would definitely recommend looking in Loudoun county. You would definitely be able to find some great options in Ashburn and Leesburg. Also, both of these areas are fairly close to Dulles, which would be a plus for you.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Originally Posted by peanutrach View Post
Great comparisons Caladium! We relocated from southern California a couple years ago. We used to live in Long Beach and now live in Leesburg and I can definitely see the similarities. Never thought of it that way before!!
Oh good, I'm glad that made sense to a fellow Californian. It's important to note, though, that Nova is not the same as southern California. The two have very different vibes.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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This has really helped. My wife and I are heading down there in two weeks to do our initial search of the area and see what we like. I appreciate all the information and if you have any other thoughts please feel free to post. Thank you.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:04 PM
 
17 posts, read 9,564 times
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Originally Posted by peanutrach View Post
Great comparisons Caladium! We relocated from southern California a couple years ago. We used to live in Long Beach and now live in Leesburg and I can definitely see the similarities. Never thought of it that way before!!
What about the school districts there? Long Beach had some rough areas and the schools were not that impressive.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Nova doesn't have any areas as rough as those in California. The "roughest" area in western Fairfax/eastern Loudoun would be Sterling Park, and as I said earlier that's comparable with the part of Torrance near the DMV. In other words, not what I would call rough, but it is a little run down.

Most of the schools out here are pretty good. In western Fairfax/eastern Loudoun I tend to like Westfield in Chantilly the best.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:04 PM
 
227 posts, read 181,526 times
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Westfields eh? Have they solved their drugs issue?
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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No place has solved their drug issue. Just like no place has solved their stinkbug issue. Drugs and stinkbugs are a fact of life all over and will very likely continue to be so.

Otherwise, to get the house for the money, I'd go west for sure. The schools are at least quite good just about everywhere. If you go as far as or past Dulles though, you'll be making DC a pretty tough haul which may be a factor for you, but moreso once the wife returns to work. A lot of finance jobs are downtown, though hardly all. DCA is meanwhile easily reachable via Metro. The station literally exits into the main terminal. Unless you've got scads of luggage, it's more convenient than driving.
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