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Old 09-14-2006, 02:25 PM
 
3 posts, read 14,680 times
Reputation: 10

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HELP!!

My fiance and I are looking to move to Northern VA from MD. We currently live in Laurel MD and have hefty commutes. She works in McLean VA and I work in Chevy Chase MD. We both have 1.5 hour+ commutes, and hate them. Her company (Northrop Grumman) will be moving to Herndon VA soon, and this will consequently tack on annother 30 minutes plus a toll for her commute. As much as we hate to do it, we now must move.

We are looking to buy. We have a budget cap of 350-425k and are looking for a townhouse with 2+ bedrooms (she needs a home office). I know that this limits us greatly, but I just dont know where to go.

We have looked at
McLean (way too expensive)
Vienna (a bit out of our $ range)
Falls Church (nice but we dont know about the commutes)
Herdon/Reston (great for her, but we dont know about the commute to Chevy Chase)
Fairfax (most affordable but seems far from both of our jobs)

The situation is that we have found some places, but we ultimately don't know where to decide on. We have no clue what the commutes are like in VA. We would be willing to each have 30-45 minute commutes or I would be willing to have 1+ hour commute so long as she didnt have any commute.

We are out of ideas for different places to live and furthermore need insight for traffic patters where we have looked.

Thanks for your concern in helping us figure out where to live.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:33 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,364,986 times
Reputation: 1792
With the exception of McLean, there should be quite a few townhomes in each of those areas that fit your criteria in terms of price. I wish I could remember the name of the community but I can't, but a friend of mine lives in a community in Reston where the townhomes are three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms that go for around 375K.

Commute-wise, I would recommend either Falls Church or Reston. Reston will give you access to the Toll Road which will enable you to skip some nasty stop and go traffic for eight miles or so until you hit the Beltway. I would say a commute to Chevy Chase would be doable in an hour from there. Of course, her commute from Reston to Herndon would be pretty minimal as a result as well, some 15-20 minutes. Falls Church is sort of a middle-ground between the two areas and will most likely give both of you somewhere around a 50 minute commute (assuming your wife uses the Toll Road. The closer you can get to the Dulles Toll Road and the Beltway (their nexus is at Tysons Corner/Dunn Loring), the better, if you choose this area. Although perhaps when you checked Vienna, this was the area you looked in since Vienna is in roughly the same spot. I would say a commute from Fairfax to Herndon would be roughly equal in time for her, but the commute to Chevy Chase for you would be a bit longer than it would be from Falls Church. Herndon is of course great for her, but I think that's just a bit too much of a commute for you. It's probably less of a commute than you've got now, but not by much.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:37 PM
 
146 posts, read 767,911 times
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Great- another rapacious defense contractor moves to Herndon, drives up the cost of living, and lengthens my commute. Now that I got that out of my system...
What kind of community are you looking for? Reston sounds like your best bet, but Maryland has that MARC train...is Chevy Chase on its line?
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Old 09-14-2006, 05:02 PM
 
20,917 posts, read 39,207,929 times
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Default I like Falls Church - the CITY

If you can get in the city of Falls Church, part of your commute in the morning will be outbound, while most of the flow is inbound.

There is still some walkability to downtown FC, and best of all it puts you in a place with two good subway stops for other things.

There are many older bungalows & cottages, as well as new stuff & TH's. It can be a bit pricey at times, it's inside the Beltway.

The Capitol Beltway is like a moat around the city. Many local roads were truncated where it went through, leaving mostly just main arterial roads to cross the Beltway. Seems that most every road that crosses the Beltway is a bottleneck in itself, almost as bad as the river crossings over the Potomac.

Someday the subway will go to Herndon, but I suspect that's 10 years off.

s/Mike
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Old 09-14-2006, 05:15 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,364,986 times
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I always forget that Metro is coming out this way. It's about time. According to the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project site itself, construction is slated to begin in early 2007, and the first phase which will include four stops in Tysons Corner and will end at Wiehle Avenue in Reston is "scheduled" to be in service in 2012. Then phase two will extend it to the Reston Parkway, Herndon, Dulles, and further into Loudoun County near Ashburn, and that is scheduled to be completed in 2015. We'll just see about that. I'll believe it when I see it. While it's needed in these areas, I also wish they'd look into extending the Orange Line beyond Vienna, continuing along I-66 and having stops in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Fair Lakes (what's with all the "fair"s?) and Centreville.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:58 PM
 
3 posts, read 14,680 times
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You guys are great. Thanks so much. I will continue to look in Falls Church/Vienna and Reston.

I just wish there was a nice community that provided a decent commute for both of us that wasn't outrageously priced. (But I guess thats like hoping for these extra 40lbs I lug around to dissapear overnight)

Anyway, does anyone know what the merge from the Toll Road to 495N is at rush hour? I would immagine its pretty bad.

Also, anyone have specific times that it takes to get into Chevy Chase from any communities along the toll road?

Finally, anyone have TH commutities to recomend in these areas or a realator that they like?

Again, thanks so much, you guys are a huge help. (JMARKD... sorry about the defencse contractors, Northrop is already out there though, along with a million others, so my fiance is not really a new addition.)
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:17 PM
 
Location: VA for now
8 posts, read 40,507 times
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The merges are horrendous. Every day there are backups for miles, whether due to driver idiocy or an accident (I believe there are maybe 5 per day total at least, and I wish I was kidding).

If you are going against traffic (i.e. everyone is heading north, you are heading south) you should be ok for a commute. If you are travelling with, expect just as bad if not worse than what you are used to.

What would take me 20-25 minutes to go from Leesburg to Sterling takes my fiancee about twice that amount the same route as me to get there.

If you take the traffic factor out, Reston seems like a nice place (I've only driven through there).

Leesburg is a nice area. Fairfax is ok, the traffic is horrid.

Can you tell I hate traffic in this area? LOL
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 14,680 times
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I was trying to ask....
Anyone know what the commute from Sterling to Chevy chase would be like.
Using either 7 to 495 or the Toll road to 495.

Then... does anyone know what Fairfax to Chevy Chase would be like.
Using either
1)66 to 495
or
2) 50 to Little River Turnpike to 495.

I am also Far more concerned with the PM commute in the opposite directions. I can get up early and get to Chevy Chase before traffic, but what about 5pm getting home to either of these places?

(PS, I know its going to be murderous, I am used to it... I am wondering actual time. 1 hour? 1.5 hours?)
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:37 AM
 
146 posts, read 767,911 times
Reputation: 100
Default Reston

Reston is built out, so any new construction would be in the surrounding areas, closer to Herndon for example.
I would like to point out that Reston made CNN/Money's 100 best places to live: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/money...PL5166672.html
I am taking a look at Reston myself. All the townhomes are 30-40 years old. I have not spent any time there so I am just passing on what friends have told me. Lots of bike trails, they even go under (rather than across) roads in a lot of cases. Lots of park space, lakes, golf courses. There is a ton of new condo construction so you might consider that.
Check vamlsrealty.com. You probably don't have kids, but that's not why I'm telling you this. If the elementary school is "Dogwood" or Terraset", the home is most likely in a crime-ridden area. This is straight from a coworker who lives in Reston, and it seems to hold true as the median price in those areas is lower and there are a lot of places for sale. We're talking vandalism, robbery, and probably some muggings here and there.
If $425k is your cap you will have no problem finding a 2BR, or even a 3 or 4, in Reston. You could probably afford a location more convenient for "both of youse."
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:00 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,364,986 times
Reputation: 1792
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWalmac View Post
I was trying to ask....
Anyone know what the commute from Sterling to Chevy chase would be like.
Using either 7 to 495 or the Toll road to 495.

Then... does anyone know what Fairfax to Chevy Chase would be like.
Using either
1)66 to 495
or
2) 50 to Little River Turnpike to 495.

I am also Far more concerned with the PM commute in the opposite directions. I can get up early and get to Chevy Chase before traffic, but what about 5pm getting home to either of these places?

(PS, I know its going to be murderous, I am used to it... I am wondering actual time. 1 hour? 1.5 hours?)
Sterling to Chevy Chase?! Oh lordy! I would say that commute would clock in at around somewhere between an hour to an hour and a half. Without traffic, the commute would already run some 40 minutes. Supposedly, they synched up the traffic lights on Route 7 to ease matters a bit, but I haven't noticed any market improvements in traffic flow.
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