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Old 01-30-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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This one may be a little different. My wife has the opportunity to relocate to Northern Va which is something she would like, her parents are in Ashburn and sisters are in Centreville. I was born and raised in Boston, we now live in a suburb of Boston.

She would be traveling to these different towns, probably visiting each one every few weeks.

Springfield
Glen Allen
Midothian
Frederickburg
Gaiesville
Fairfax
Woodbridge
Waldorf MD

I am a master electrician in Ma and would pursue my electrical licenses in Va, I don't know where I may work but I feel confident I'd be able to find a decent job, or maybe even start my own small business. Our daughter is 7. We did just fly down and spend the weekend at her parents, we did a little house searching, looked in places like Haymarket ( Dominion Valley ), Gainesboro also looked in Purceville. We are looking for a sfh with good schools, activites, places where Abby could meet new friends.

Are there any suggestions based on her commuting and my potential job search, thanks for any helpful info. We would be looking in the $400-450's area. We do have a second home on Cape Cod which we will be keeping.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
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How often will your wife be in each of those areas?

Glen Allen, Midlothian: Richmond suburbs
Fredericksburg: between Richmond and DC
Gainesville: West of DC
Fairfax: West of DC but closer than Gainesville
Woodbridge: South of DC
Waldorf: South/east of DC, in Maryland.

I wouldn't look at Loudoun County at all (yes, shocking to see me saying that.) It's simply too far to some of the areas your wife needs to frequent.

Also consider how helpful will your in-laws actually be.

I'd be looking at something in western Prince William, Warrenton, or Fredericksburg, depending on how often your wife needs to go to the Richmond area versus the DC area, and how helpful your in-laws will actually be.

But most importantly, how well do you think you, your wife, and your daughter, would be able to handle the traveling?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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She travels now from the Boston area to Conn, some of her commutes are upwards of 3 hours, she sometimes will stay the night at a hotel if she's visiting 2 stores. She's been in this field her whole career and as a family we're used to it.

We're about 50/50 on this but if it happens it will happen quick. She could always stay with her parents while Abby and I finish out the school year. Our goal would be to be ready for the start of the next school year.

Should we be looking in the Stafford County area? What towns are the good ones?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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I live in Woodbridge and the house prices here are in line with what you are looking for. Some commute times for Woodbridge are (non rush/rush):

Springfield - 15 min/30 min
Glen Allen - Unsure
Midothian - Unsure
Frederickburg - 35 min/no rush from Woodbridge as it's reverse commute
Gaiesville - 20 min/no rush
Fairfax - 25-30 min/45 min rush
Woodbridge - You're there!
Waldorf MD - 1 hour/1.5 hours

My husband is a union electrician and commutes to DC. Most of the construction type folks in this area work very early hours so the commute is good.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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What are the schools like in Woodbridge? What local does your husband belong to ?
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johnnyrose View Post
What are the schools like in Woodbridge? What local does your husband belong to ?
The elementary schools in Woodbridge are very good. The middle schools, not so good. The high schools are fine. Prince William high schools give you the ability to transfer to different high schools for their speciality programs if you want to concentrate heavily in math, or international studies, or fine arts, etc.

Fairfax schools are going to be rated the highest because of higher test scores. I personally believe there is no difference in the curriculum or resources. However, because of the lower cost of housing, the Prince William County School system is much more economically diverse. You will have more people in these schools that come from disadvantage households than you will ever see in Fairfax and that is a drawback for many people. Keep that in mind when you are looking between counties and even between areas in Prince William. The eastern end of PWC is much more racially and economically diverse than the western side (Gainesville and Bristow) which is predominantly white.

My husband is a member of Local 26 and has been since the late 80s.

Edited to add: Gainesville might be a good fit for you as it puts you in better proximity to your wife's family. While you won't be able to skip over to Ashburn and Centreville, they are MUCH more doable than from Woodbridge on the southern parts of Prince William and Stafford counties. This is sort of important I think. However, Gainesville does put you at a disadvantage for hitting I-95 and it appears that everywhere your wife needs to go is best served by I-95 and not Rt. 66 or Rt. 7. I would NOT want to be meandering from the west all the time to get to my job. Bristow/Gainesville could be an okay compromise and I think you'll be happy with the schools out there.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:03 AM
 
Location: DMV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
The elementary schools in Woodbridge are very good. The middle schools, not so good. The high schools are fine. Prince William high schools give you the ability to transfer to different high schools for their speciality programs if you want to concentrate heavily in math, or international studies, or fine arts, etc.

Fairfax schools are going to be rated the highest because of higher test scores. I personally believe there is no difference in the curriculum or resources. However, because of the lower cost of housing, the Prince William County School system is much more economically diverse. You will have more people in these schools that come from disadvantage households than you will ever see in Fairfax and that is a drawback for many people. Keep that in mind when you are looking between counties and even between areas in Prince William. The eastern end of PWC is much more racially and economically diverse than the western side (Gainesville and Bristow) which is predominantly white.

My husband is a member of Local 26 and has been since the late 80s.

Edited to add: Gainesville might be a good fit for you as it puts you in better proximity to your wife's family. While you won't be able to skip over to Ashburn and Centreville, they are MUCH more doable than from Woodbridge on the southern parts of Prince William and Stafford counties. This is sort of important I think. However, Gainesville does put you at a disadvantage for hitting I-95 and it appears that everywhere your wife needs to go is best served by I-95 and not Rt. 66 or Rt. 7. I would NOT want to be meandering from the west all the time to get to my job. Bristow/Gainesville could be an okay compromise and I think you'll be happy with the schools out there.
Gainesville might be a tough haul. I was surprised to find out that Gainesville/Bristow is about 30 miles from I-95. That's a long way to get to I-95. Since most of the locations that she will be going to are off of 95, I believe Woodbridge or Stafford County makes the most sense. Also can you imagine what her commute will be to Waldorf from Gainesville? And really if they move to Woodbridge, it really isn't that difficult to get to Centreville. They could simply Yates Ford Road and cut through Clifton. I think it would just ultimately depend on where they believe they will spend most of their time.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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I would actually look in Loudoun County and or perhaps Springfield. I would look in Purcellville, Hamilton, Round Hill in Loudoun County. If you lived in Loudoun in one of the towns mentioned you could go 15 S to 29 and hit Gainesville, Fredericksburg (take 29 to 17). If you were in Springfield you could hit Fairfax, Woodbridge, Glen Allen (though you might be able to hit via 29)Miditholian (same might be able to hit via 29).

I live in Purcellville and perfer it. It's a nice family friendly town w/ good schools. You should be able to hit your budget somewhere in town or the outskirts. There are a couple subdivsions with tons of kids for your daughter.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Since most of your wife's destinations are along the I-95 corridor, commute wise (I don't have kiddos so I don't have an opinion on quality of schools), I would go with Stafford, Woodbridge or Lorton.

Plus, it's fine to be close to your in-laws - but you don't want to be too close. Know what I mean?
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
Plus, it's fine to be close to your in-laws - but you don't want to be too close. Know what I mean?
Yes, thanks for reminding me about this .

We looked in Purceville and liked it, there was a new development on a small lake and you could see the mountains and horse farms, it was beautiful.

It looks like she'll be getting the job, they're setting her up with a relocation company. This is about the time when I start to go into shock. I'm a Boston Boy, born and raised in the City, huge sports fan especially the Patriots and Bruins but she really wants this.
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