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Old 12-13-2012, 02:34 PM
 
101 posts, read 140,581 times
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Looking for relocation advice. I am a single African American mom (late 20's) of a 3 year old looking to purchase a home for no more than 200,000. From my budget I have narrowed my choices to either PG county or Woodbridge VA area. I would move to Montgomery County where my parents live, but the homes in the area are out of my price range. My ex-husband just moved to Woodbridge and really likes it. My most important considerations are the schools in both areas (esp. the quality of the elementary schools), followed by quality of life, dating options (open to all races, but prefer black men) and diversity. Which is better - PG county or Woodbridge, VA. If you live in either area, your advice is greatly appreciated as I have very little experience with either area.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:52 PM
 
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I live in Woodbridge, but used to live in Clinton, MD.

I will tell you that hands-down, Woodbridge is going to be your best bet. The PG County school system is notoriously horrible and has been horrible since I was there in the 1980s. I would not put my kids in those schools. Of the people that I do know that still live there (black and white) they usually use faith-based private schools. I also think you will get more diversity. For instance, the public high school that I used to attend in PG County is about 97% African American. Not very diverse. Most of the Woodbridge high schools are going to have a very good mix of all races. I think Asians are the only race that is really underrepresented in eastern PWC. I use high schools as an example because the population is large and that gives you a much better representation of what the eastern part of PW County is like. The elementary schools are neighborhood oriented so you can find some very diverse elementary schools and some that seem to be very heavy in one race.

There are a few nice areas in PG County and those tend to be more in the central area and heading out towards Annapolis or Howard County. You will find much more diversity there but still, IMO, not as diverse as Prince William.

Additionally, when I moved from Maryland to Virginia, I got a nice little raise in my paycheck. Payroll taxes in Maryland are quite a bit higher than in Virginia. Granted, when you come to Virginia, you will have to pay personal property tax on your vehicles but it will still cost less than your payroll taxes in Maryland.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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To be honest, Woodbridge and a great portion of Prince Georges County MD are not among the most popular choices in the metro. As much as an investment $200K is, you've already found it doesn't go far...and there may be a reason why it goes a bit farther in those relatively close areas.

I'd recommend checking out the "Washington DC suburbs of Maryland" sub-forum for more info on PG, but here's a sweeping generalization:

The paradox of PG is that it is home to the highest concentration of affluent African-Americans in the country while increasingly becoming a default option for former AA lower-income/working-class DC residents priced out of the city. Generally speaking, the schools do not have the best reputation although the efficiency of the school system may be as much to fault as the level of motivation by students and their parents. Although lacking in mid-to-upscale retail and restaurant options, you should not have much difficulty finding places to meet people. Do remember, of course, that PG is indeed a suburb. If you're working in DC, your commute will be generally shorter from much of PG compared to Woodbridge. On the other hand, a commute to VA could be rough unless you live in, say, Oxon Hill.

RE: Woodbridge, the consensus on this forum seems to advise against considering properties close to Route 1. A bit further away, the Lake Ridge community appears to be the most popular although options within your price range may be few. Schools in the Woodbridge area, while not "the best", are likely better than many in PG. In Prince William County, the most popular schools are located in the Bristow/Haymarket/Gainesville area although that could make for a longer commute depending on the job location. Northern Virginia in general is more diverse in all ethnicities - I like to call it "The United Nations" - while Prince Georges County is plurality-(if not majority-)African-American.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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Thank you both. In summary, dating options probably better in dc but schools and quality of life perhaps better in Woodbridge. I would choose Montgomery first if I could as it has everything I want but the price is too high for my budget.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacollins View Post
Thank you both. In summary, dating options probably better in dc but schools and quality of life perhaps better in Woodbridge. I would choose Montgomery first if I could as it has everything I want but the price is too high for my budget.

Yes, it's a shame but "everything I want" somehow always equals a higher price.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,644,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacollins View Post
Looking for relocation advice. I am a single African American mom (late 20's) of a 3 year old looking to purchase a home for no more than 200,000. From my budget I have narrowed my choices to either PG county or Woodbridge VA area. I would move to Montgomery County where my parents live, but the homes in the area are out of my price range. My ex-husband just moved to Woodbridge and really likes it. My most important considerations are the schools in both areas (esp. the quality of the elementary schools), followed by quality of life, dating options (open to all races, but prefer black men) and diversity. Which is better - PG county or Woodbridge, VA. If you live in either area, your advice is greatly appreciated as I have very little experience with either area.
Well I can give you a bit of both worlds. My wife and I are black and have two girls (3 years old and 5 months) and we currently live in Prince George's County but we will be moving to Lake Ridge, VA next week. I grew up in Prince George's County and have lived there for most of my life, I've been through the school system and my wife has taught in the school system. We will both without a doubt tell you that the school system has severe issues. Part of it is demographics, as far as having a lot of poorer areas and a lot of it also is just really bad administration. The school system is honestly poorly ran and lacks good leadership. It amazes me because I've volunteered in some of the schools since I've been out of school and the apathetic attitudes of the people running the school system has been a complete turn off.

So with that said, my wife and I have been dreaming of an affordable place to raise our children in. We love northern VA, but we especially love Prince William County. One of the things I really liked about Lake Ridge is not only are the schools great, but it's also very family friendly, and it's very safe. PG has much more crime and it makes it less attractive to raise a family. But another aspect that I really liked about Lake Ridge is the diversity. There are people of all types of races. It's a place where you won't feel like you're the only black person living there but you also will be able to expose your child to other cultures and people with different backgrounds. Unfortunately certain parts of PG can be very homogenous in population, although you will find a diverse area here and there. My recommendation should be obvious. I honestly wouldn't recommend anyone with a family to move to PG at this time. I believe that there is a lot of potential there but a lot it has not been realized and may never be. We have many friends who live or have lived in Lake Ridge and love it. Please let me know if you need more information, I would be happy to help you.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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I live in Woodbridge, and the Black population is growing...almost close to 30% of the the population in Woodbridge which is higher the any other place on the Virginia side of the DMV, except probably Alexandria I think...The percentages are probably close to or higher in Dale City and Dumfries areas too
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:58 AM
 
687 posts, read 1,131,375 times
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There really are different "Woodbridges". Lake Ridge and the new western most sections of Dale City are nice. The original Dale City neighborhoods and the Route 1 area are pretty run down. Lake Ridge reminds me of West Springfield or Burke while the Route 1 corridor reminds me of Blandensburg, MD.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: DMV
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Originally Posted by Fundman View Post
There really are different "Woodbridges". Lake Ridge and the new western most sections of Dale City are nice. The original Dale City neighborhoods and the Route 1 area are pretty run down. Lake Ridge reminds me of West Springfield or Burke while the Route 1 corridor reminds me of Blandensburg, MD.
I agree that is a very accurate comparison of those areas.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,871,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacollins View Post
Looking for relocation advice. I am a single African American mom (late 20's) of a 3 year old looking to purchase a home for no more than 200,000. From my budget I have narrowed my choices to either PG county or Woodbridge VA area. I would move to Montgomery County where my parents live, but the homes in the area are out of my price range. My ex-husband just moved to Woodbridge and really likes it. My most important considerations are the schools in both areas (esp. the quality of the elementary schools), followed by quality of life, dating options (open to all races, but prefer black men) and diversity. Which is better - PG county or Woodbridge, VA. If you live in either area, your advice is greatly appreciated as I have very little experience with either area.
If you'd prefer Montgomery County to be closer to your parents, why not Frederick -- there are options there under $200k.

From a quick scan you're getting a TH in Lake Ridge or the other parts of eastern PWC with good elementary schools.

Again, it's whatever works for you and your ex.
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