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Old 06-26-2012, 11:42 AM
 
371 posts, read 1,175,207 times
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Can we afford to live in NOVA? We are a family of 4 looking for a single-family home (with at least 4 bedrooms and a large yard) at under $400k in a good school (doesn't have to be the top notch best of all school, but solidly good and safe and great teachers) and in a safe, area with educated/professional neighbors.

I just want to check the area off my list if this area is a pipe dream at our budget (and move on to researching Frederick, MD and Hampton Roads area more closely). IF our budget and goals can come together in NOVA, could you share very specifically where to look (since I'm sure it would be a needle-haystack kind of find - in fact, private message me it, so somebody else doesn't take the one house LOL)
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,587,370 times
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Where is the job going to be located and what is your commute tolerance? If you're working downtown and are only willing to commute 45 minutes, then that's going to be really tough. If you're working in the suburbs or willing to have a 90 minute commute each way, there are more options.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:54 AM
 
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Assuming the job is DC proper, Frederick wouldn't be too bad in that the commuter(s) can take the MARC train in. I presume there are other career opportunities in Hampton Roads as that would not be a feasible commute at all to DC.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:01 PM
 
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Large house w/ at least 4 bedrooms and a big yard in an affluent neighborhood, and in a very good school district, for under 400k. Pipedream
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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Inside the beltway - not a chance.

Directly outside the beltway (Springfield or Alexandria areas) - you can find some 4 bedrooms with decent lots, but they are all built in the 50s, under 1,500 SF (tiny for a 4 bedroom), and need major work.

Further out (in the really rough commuting zones of Dale City, Manassas, and Sterling) - you can find houses up to 2,500 sf, but they are still (somewhat) older homes and need work. These are also the three areas that most people (on this board) say are "dicey" in terms of safety and schools.

Sounds to me like you don't have a job here, and are just researching possible areas. If I were you, I wouldn't plan on "affording" Northern Virginia if those are your limitations. If you can only afford Dale City, but you find your job is in Bethesda, you'll find yourself dropping $100+ a week on gas, and spending more than two hours each way to get to work.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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You would need to focus your search in Bristow in Prince William County (maybe there might be one next door in Gainesville) or Round Hill in Loudoun County (again, Purcellville might have a house as well and that's next to Round Hill). There are a (very) few SFH under 400k that aren't short sales. Like under 10 between those two areas. I'm sure there are more if you are patient enough to try a short sale.

But, it really depends on where you're going to be working because the commute is a MAJOR quality of life issue and if you are going to be working in DC, there would be no way I'd want to live that far away.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
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To get what you are looking for, you have to go pretty far out. Now, if your job is not in downtown, it is more doable.

We bought a 4 BR SFH with a decent yard in a good school district on the Fairfax/Chantilly line for $455K. There are some homes in our neighborhood that can be had for $400K with 4 BRs, but they are 1500 sf. We looked in several solidly middle-class neighborhoods with good schools between Reston/Herndon and Chantilly with a $450K budget. You're not going to get shiny and new in your price range or very close to the city, but there are some decent neighborhoods out there. You just have to be willing to accept that your budget doesn't get you a mansion, and compromises will have to be made.

I know someone said they bought in Burke on a $400K budget - That isn't a bad option. If you're willing to look out our way: Greenbriar (our neighborhood), some neighborhoods near Lees Corner ES, Fox Mill Estates, Franklin Farm/Chantilly Highlands and Stuart Ridge. You could also check out some other parts of 20151 and south into Centreville.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,587,370 times
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Burke/Springfield is doable on $400k if you're willing to play the foreclosure game or put in some sweat equity. Good schools, reasonable commute, but the houses will be old and small and a large percent of your price range will be SS and Foreclosures.

9052 Andromeda Dr, BURKE, VA 22015

7208 BRIARCLIFF Dr, SPRINGFIELD, VA 22153 | MLS# FX7856846

7789 NEWINGTON WOODS Dr, SPRINGFIELD, VA 22153 | MLS# FX7860047

Still, if you're patient it's a good option (so long as the job is within a reasonable distance)
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,121 posts, read 12,696,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Burke/Springfield is doable on $400k if you're willing to play the foreclosure game or put in some sweat equity. Good schools, reasonable commute, but the houses will be old and small and a large percent of your price range will be SS and Foreclosures.

9052 Andromeda Dr, BURKE, VA 22015

7208 BRIARCLIFF Dr, SPRINGFIELD, VA 22153 | MLS# FX7856846

7789 NEWINGTON WOODS Dr, SPRINGFIELD, VA 22153 | MLS# FX7860047

Still, if you're patient it's a good option (so long as the job is within a reasonable distance)
I agree. We bought our house in W. Springfield in '09 and it was not much over $400k. Maybe the OP can go a little over 400?
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:09 PM
 
371 posts, read 1,175,207 times
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Quote:
Where is the job going to be located and what is your commute tolerance?
There is a job. It's $100K, give or take each year and it's from home, so no commute expected. It's steady work.
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