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Old 09-23-2011, 11:18 PM
 
418 posts, read 1,319,303 times
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We, a family of 3 with 1 middle schooler, are tired of living in the suburbs and are considering renting a condo in Arlington and paying almost twice as what we pay for our townhouse in Ashburn. Reasons: better location, more opportunities in DC for software contracting work, and urban lifestyle.

Is this a stupid idea?
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Novastan
384 posts, read 900,038 times
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Arlington living is very nice. I often think about moving back. On the plus side, you have excellent schools, lots of restaurants, access to bike trails, and proximity to DC. On the downside you may have less living space for more money, busy roads, and lack of parking. I think a big question is: can you deal with condo living? I've looked at numerous places there, and while I love the area, I can't deal with a no-view condo. It is a deal breaker for me.

I don't think this is a crazy idea. Good luck on your decision!
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,849,198 times
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Well, moving to Arlington seems smarter than moving to San Francisco, since it's easier to undo if you change your mind. You could always rent out the house in Ashburn for the first few years, which would make it even easier to move back if you wanted to.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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How close is your job? (assuming you already have the job, never move somewhere before you get a job...)
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,739 posts, read 8,948,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
We, a family of 3 with 1 middle schooler, are tired of living in the suburbs and are considering renting a condo in Arlington and paying almost twice as what we pay for our townhouse in Ashburn. Reasons: better location, more opportunities in DC for software contracting work, and urban lifestyle.

Is this a stupid idea?
Not at all--definitely less risky in my view than a full-on move to a new city.

We rented in Rosslyn for a month when we were between houses. It was fine, but if you want the real urban feeling--as in people everywhere, even late at night--I'm not sure Rosslyn fits that. At night, it's fairly quiet (which was fine by us). But then you are a quick walk across the Key Bridge to the main shopping district of Georgetown. The most urban-feeling places are Clarendon/Courthouse/Ballston--within a quarter-mile of the Metro.

The only drawback to renting temporarily is that you have to move twice. But if you store most of your stuff in a POD or storage unit, it's not so bad.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:53 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,045,591 times
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That depends a lot on your t(w)eenager and what you plan to do about his schooling. If you keep him in his current private school, you'll have two round trips daily, one of which will be during prime commuting time. You'll also be running him back to the suburbs evenings and weekends for social activities, games, practices, concerts, etc. Public school is obviously an option, but there aren't many families with school-age kids in Rosslyn so you'll still have to be prepared to schlepp him around to see his friends. You could move him to a new private school closer to Rosslyn, but, again, you will find yourself driving about almost as much as you (presumably) do now, because most private schools have students from all over.

You might have better options if you consider other parts of north Arlington that are a little less urban, such as the areas near East Falls Church Metro, with solid public schools that would give your son more of a handy peer group.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,317,220 times
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Not stupid at all, but I'm not sure if I would pick Rosslyn; I would likely opt for another part of Arlington instead as teenagers need social groups. (Most parts of Arlington provide great access to DC.)
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