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Old 10-06-2012, 12:32 PM
 
39 posts, read 52,167 times
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My wife, Son (2 year old), I are relocating to the D.C. area (I'll be working at the Pentagon). My wife is still looking for a job---she's an internal medicine physician.

We are in the market for a 4Br/3Ba house that is >2000 sq ft or greater.
-We aren't picky in terms of having a backyard/land, but would prefer a single family home vs a townhouse/etc.
-Safe area is priority (low crime, decent neighborhoods/surrounding area, responsive police/etc)
-Good schools are also a priority (Plan to have at least one more kid)
-Would like to be around things shopping/dining/parks/etc
-Near a metro---would like have commute of less than an hour one way (No more than 75 min)

We've heard nice things about Kingstowne, Reston, and a few others, but would really like to hear any other opinions.

Our price range for the house is around $650K (is that laughably low for what we are looking for?---If so what would you recommend for something like what i've described---our combined income will be around $250K).

We aren't opposed to Maryland either we just haven't had any good recommendations.

Anything would be helpful---we've scanned/searched the forum and saw some interesting info, but just thought we'd ask more specifically about our situation---any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:57 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,986,759 times
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Best commute to the Pentagon is from north of the Pentagon--IF you'll be getting parking, which most likely will not be the case. Pentagon is on the yellow and blue lines of the Metro (train) and a whole mess of bus lines, so keep that in mind.

650K could get you a decent Cape or Colonial in N. Arlington (meaning north of Route 50), but probably not 4BR unless it's on a busy road. McLean is also very nice, but the parts that are most convenient (closest to GW Parkway) are billionaire territory. S. Arlington and most of Alexandria have less-desirable schools.

I'd look at N. Arl, Falls Church, McLean, Vienna, and maybe other parts of Fairfax County. (The latter includes McLean, Vienna, and other cities but not City of Fairfax.)

Alternatively, you could live way out past the Beltway and take one of those commuter buses in to the Pentagon. You'd get more space, but all the housing is newer (McMansions, mostly), there are fewer trees, and it's way more conservative.

Good luck!
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:20 PM
 
39 posts, read 52,167 times
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Thank you for the feedback! Two questions:
-Do you think my price is unreasonable for the commute/schools/safety i'm looking for (If so what price range would be reasonable)?
-Are there any areas that you would recommend south of DC?
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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In your price range, I would look at Fairfax, Oakton, Vienna, and Burke areas. These will all give you a reasonable commute to the Pentagon while also giving you excellent schools. I personally feel that there is a real shortage of internal medicine doctors (but that could just be my perception) and those areas have big populations to support the need for one more!!! As Carlingtonian pointed out, the Arlington area is going to give you the best commute to the Pentagon but it's pricey. My cousin just bought a home there last year and paid $1.2M for it and it's really nothing to look at.

As far as going to Maryland, the better areas in Maryland aren't going to give you a good commute to the Pentagon.

Another place you could look is the Ft. Hunt area of Alexandria (down by Mount Vernon). I know a few people that live there, love it, and have good commutes the Pentagon. I'm not sure about the schools there but someone could probably chime in on that.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:00 PM
 
7,970 posts, read 18,099,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Another place you could look is the Ft. Hunt area of Alexandria (down by Mount Vernon). I know a few people that live there, love it, and have good commutes the Pentagon. I'm not sure about the schools there but someone could probably chime in on that.
On the elementary school level, both Stratford Landing and especially Waynewood are attractive. Granted, these are further down the road than Fort Hunt but homes may be available there. Eventually, all kids will funnel into West Potomac, perhaps one of the most socioeconomically diverse high schools in the county. Students from both affluent and lower-income households mix reasonably well. Motivated kids and parents will ensure success. Being near the picturesque riverfront and fairly family-friendly Old Town section of Alexandria City will be make for convenient outings as well.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,116,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Another place you could look is the Ft. Hunt area of Alexandria (down by Mount Vernon). I know a few people that live there, love it, and have good commutes the Pentagon. I'm not sure about the schools there but someone could probably chime in on that.
I would strongly suggest you consider this. The elementary schools are fine and your child is young enough he/she will be able to establish a circle of friends of like interests and abiities all the way through high school. My kids went to both middle and high schools down here and did fine. We have a lot of officers who work at the Pentagonhere who really like it. The homes are generally older but it's a really great place to live.

You can find a 3,000 sq. ft. home in your price range on a 1/3-1/2 acre lot . Some of the neighborhoods have pools, tennis courts, and water access.

Last edited by CAVA1990; 10-06-2012 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:49 PM
 
518 posts, read 1,296,369 times
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In Arlington, to follow up to Carlingtonian, here are some recommendations for North Arlington close to Metro or bus routes to Metro stations. You should be able to find 3 bedroom homes in your price range. That should work fine for two kids and a finished basement could serve as a "guest bedroom" when needed.

Close to the East Falls Church Metro station I'd look at the East Falls Church, Madison Manor, and the Westover neighborhoods.
Close to the Ballston Metro station I'd look at Arlington Forest (north of rt. 50). You might find something in Waverly Hills north of the Ballston Metro, but most smaller homes there are teardowns and usually snapped up by builders. Just west of the Ballston station check out Dominion Hills.

In most of North Arlington the drive to the Pentagon down Washington Blvd could actually be quicker than Metro. But walking to Metro is a also a good way to get exercise.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,986,759 times
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I don't think your price is unreasonable--IF you are willing to give up having a 2000SF+ house. Where we are, a 3BR 1940s brick house goes for about 650-690, depending on a number of factors. And those have the smaller bedrooms that folks were accustomed to back around WWII (and which we too are used to, since we've known nothing else).

It's often repeated here on this forum: You can have square footage, a short commute, or a reasonable price. Pick two.

Here's one that might fit the bill--but it's across from some apartments. (But also super close to the hospital, GW Parkway, I-66, and Westover Village).

This one's on a ginormous lot and in one of the most desirable locations--but the exterior styling is nothing exceptional.

I agree with everyone who posted above me. I've heard nothing but good things about the areas Christine mentions. Likewise, I used to drive right past Stratford Landing every day, and that's a very nice area.

The only thing I wonder about regarding places south of Old Town is the commute time to the Pentagon. Going the other direction (heading south in the AM, from Arl to Belvoir) was a breeze. But I saw a lot of traffic in Old Town going northbound before 8AM. That said, it was moving. (Which was often not the case of the folks I saw going north on 395 when I'd take that route to work.) Still, I'm betting the commute from Mt. Vernon/Stratford/Ft. Hunt to the 'Gon is not that bad, because you're only talking, what--10 miles?

(Some of the high schools--e.g., Mt. Vernon HS--have a lower average SAT score, but high school is a long way off for your kid, obviously.)

Also, don't forget Annandale. We have friends who live there. There's a bus that goes straight to the Pentagon.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 10-06-2012 at 06:14 PM..
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,542,934 times
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You really need to wait to see where your wife will be working before zeroing in on your search area. If you get a house in one of the areas south of the Pentagon and she ends up working in Herndon - her commute will be hellish. Based on my recent experience in finding an internist she should have no difficulty finding a position - I had to shop around extensively before I found a practice willing to take a new patient. The good thing about working at the Pentagon is that there are express buses from all over the area that go there.
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/routes/595.htm
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,986,759 times
Reputation: 3858
Quote:
Originally Posted by JfromReston View Post
You really need to wait to see where your wife will be working before zeroing in on your search area. If you get a house in one of the areas south of the Pentagon and she ends up working in Herndon - her commute will be hellish. Based on my recent experience in finding an internist she should have no difficulty finding a position - I had to shop around extensively before I found a practice willing to take a new patient.
I thought about that, too--but won't she have more flexibility than he will? I'd assumed that she'd probably have several options in different locations, to include hospitals and private practices. I agree with your estimation of that scenario, though (re. Alex to Herndon in the mornings).
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