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Old 12-04-2012, 11:58 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 9,099,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Like I said...maybe we'll all change our minds. We're all late 20's/early 30's now, and we still have bbqs and get togethers in townhouses. Honestly, we are the only ones with a SFH, and no one is willing to trek "all the way out to Burke" to spend time at our place, so we're constantly heading out to Arlington/Bethesda/DC to their townhouses or condos.

Our jobs are in suburbia, so we were able to buy in suburbia and maintain a <30 minute commute. Our friends mainly work downtown though, and the trade off just isn't worth the extra commute. The ones who already have kids are content (for now!) to raise little ones in townhouses to have the extra time at home. If they could afford SFH's 10 minutes from work, I think they'd jump on it--but that's not an option financially.
By the time we were in our mid 30's almost everyone that we knew lived in either a SFH or suburban TH - scattered all over the area. By the time we were 40, many had moved out of the area altogether (cashing in on profits from the housing boom or just life changes in general).

We've pretty much stayed put. The schools are really very good and we like the fact that we are so close to DC museums, culture. Plus the hiking/biking trails, libraries, nature centers, GMU, NVCC etc. are nice to be around. And of course - jobs. Always a blessing to be in an area with jobs.

I don't see us retiring here. I would really like to move to a more quiet area for that. But with two kids to consider, it'll be a while before dh retires and I'm sure I'll be back in the workforce, too, before long - maybe working PT to start. I have no idea of course where our kids will go to college but I would be very fine with them doing a combo of NVCC/GMU. It's good to be close to such good options.

Last edited by springfieldva; 12-04-2012 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:02 PM
 
136 posts, read 190,872 times
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Most are locals that attended public schools. And most of us enjoy what city living has to offer, but when it came time (or when that time will come) to prioritize things, we generally think that we can live a little farther out for "better" schools, more space, easier access to grocery stores, etc.

BTW, I noticed that a previous poster listed Bethesda as an example of urban living. So maybe this is where there's a disconnect because, to me, Bethesda is the suburbs. I grew up there and visit often, and it just doesn't seem very urban. There are some condos downtown, I guess, but I think most people in Bethesda live a typical suburban life. Same with Merrifield, which is where I live. Sure, we have Mosaic now, but most people drive there and it seems pretty comparable to Fairfax Corner or Reston Town Center.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,674,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC Merrifield View Post
BTW, I noticed that a previous poster listed Bethesda as an example of urban living. So maybe this is where there's a disconnect because, to me, Bethesda is the suburbs. I grew up there and visit often, and it just doesn't seem very urban. There are some condos downtown, I guess, but I think most people in Bethesda live a typical suburban life. Same with Merrifield, which is where I live. Sure, we have Mosaic now, but most people drive there and it seems pretty comparable to Fairfax Corner or Reston Town Center.
with reston, silver spring, etc, a distinction needs to be drawn between DTSS and the entire area called silver spring, RTC and all Reston, downtown Bethesda and the whole are called bethesda.

Similarly Alexandria has several more or less urban places (in addition to Old Town) but several quite suburban ones, Arlington has RB corridor, Pentagon City/Crystal City and Shirlington and Columbia Pike on the one hand, but lots of more or less suburban neighborhoods on the other.

Even the District has several rather suburban neighborhoods.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,771 posts, read 10,674,733 times
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BTW we DO now have two frozen yogurt shops in Annandale, but my sense is that's no longer a marker of hipness/yuppiedom/urbanism or whatever.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,315,521 times
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Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
FCPS should put out its Capital Improvement Plan for 2014-18 within the next few months. I expect it will discuss building new elementary schools in the Bailey's Crossroads and Tysons areas over the next five years or so. A lot of people would also like FCPS to build a new HS in western Fairfax in the Oak Hill area, but I don't know if that really has any traction yet.
The FPAC draft work program has some hints as to what might be coming in terms of boundary studies and new schools. The next meeting is tonight at Gatehouse.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,801,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
BTW we DO now have two frozen yogurt shops in Annandale, but my sense is that's no longer a marker of hipness/yuppiedom/urbanism or whatever.
cupcakes? or is that over, too?
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:39 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,616,501 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I admit to liking urban living, but still want to explore whether cultural shift is happening, and in what way. Note, not all cultural change, is simply an arbitrary shift in preferences ("I like nutmeg, you like thyme" whatever). Sometimes there is cultural learning involved - for example I am more inclined to use chopsticks than my parents were, not out of an intrinsically greater preference, but because I learned younger how to use them, and so the cost benefit of using them is different for me - Im less likely to drop food or otherwise make a fool of myself with them.

Many aspects of urban living involve learning - both about how to overcome negatives and about positives to take advantage of. As more people live in urban areas, the knowledge of how to do so with less inconvenience may grow more widespread, changing tradeoffs. Thats a change I would call a cultural change, though its not a change in deep preferences.

Similarly I think over the last 30-40 years there has been a learning in "how to transform a place" For decades urban planners and policymakers were stymied with how to overcome the mutually reinforcing externalities associated with issues of housing decay, poverty concentration, poor amenities, crime, etc. They tried to wipe the slate clean with urban renewal, which worked in a few cases, but was often blighted by both its political heavy handedness, and the poor architecture and urban design associated with it. In the 1970s and 80s the solution arose from the grassroots - in which housing bargains motivated disregard for the other externalities, and those were minimized by starting at a "good" end of a neighborhood, or in the place with the best archtecture, with a waterfront, etc. And then bootstrapping occured, as more people were drawn in, amenities grew, crime decreased, etc (the parallels with the process of carving farms out of forest land were what motivated the "pioneering" term).

But I would say even in the late 1980s it was not clear how widespread this could be - if it was limited ONLY to places with victorian arch, with the best locations, etc. Over the last 20 years I think its become almost routine - everyone knows the pattern, and real estate speculators and other entrepreneurs anticipate it.

Im not sure if one calls that a cultural change - but its a learning that will not be forgotten, and that has changed locational patterns independent of changes in the price of gasoline, etc.
I agree that one can learn what type of urban design makes a city appealing, just as one can learn from experience what types of policing is effective. It turns out that big ugly public housing complexes that look as if they were meant to punish their residents is not a plus. To the extent that some cities are safer than they used to be, and that shapes the default perception of what it means to live in an urban environment, that's a change and it can manifest itself in many ways. For example, in my suburban neighborhood, a builder has just built a very large SFH on a half acre, yet uses "Urban Homes" to describe his houses. 20 years ago it would have been marketed as an "estate house." That tells you something. However, given what people say is really important to them when asked about housing preferences, I'm skeptical that the purportedly changing attitudes of any generation, particularly a young one that may have come of age in a recession, represents some fundamental, permanent change among broad swaths of that demographic.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:55 PM
 
371 posts, read 730,628 times
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I'm a millennial and we live in the outer suburbs (Haymarket). We looked at some places closer in and some closer out. We chose further out since we much preferred newer homes. I telework 2 days a week, travel some, and don't mind waking up early, so the commute isn't bad. I'm not so sure there is any rule of thumb that says millennial will pick closer in. Some live closer in and some live farther out. Millennials probably are more likely to want to telework than others, so its hard to justify the much more expensive house closer in than a cheaper one farther out if you don't have to come in but a few days a week.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:31 PM
 
882 posts, read 1,776,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC Merrifield View Post
In 10 or 20 years (or whenever the next generation will be in their 20s and early 30s), I predict that the next generation will tend to live in urban areas. Most likely, someone will write an article about this "phenomenon" and try to attribute it to something like how they grew up feeling entitled, independent, tech savvy, whatever. But the most important attribute is that they are young, and when they're not young anymore, most of them will move to the suburbs. Rinse, cycle, repeat.
Exactly. This "phenomenon" is nothing new - Lisa Birnbach's excellent poke @ pink & green covered this exact cycle of youth - urban - suburban - exurban in a lighthearted fashion.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:40 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,860,633 times
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As I like to say elsewhere, I'll make sure to keep a spot open in Ashburn for all the Gen Y types now in DC/Arlington.
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