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Old 02-27-2013, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
304 posts, read 854,227 times
Reputation: 245

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Middlin View Post
I think you're the only one that can determine if a newer, larger home is worth the commute. Are you willing to sit in your car for an hour plus? THe new commuter lot opens this summer that will offer more parking than the current one on Limestone. Bus goes to West Falls Church metro and times are 1 hr plus and then of course you would still have to add in time to get to Ballston. I live in Bristow and commute to Fair Lakes and it typically takes me 40 minutes. If you added 40 minutes to your current commute is that worth it?

If you're planning on kids in the near future, it's always nice to have one parent that doesn't have much of a commute. All about tradeoffs and how you measure them.
My company is pretty small (about 22 people) and my supervisor seems pretty willing to let me not have to come in if he's out of the office...but our company President who I also do work for is pretty old school so emails won't work if we need to discuss a map or project I'm working on...they both said we can probably work something out WHEN I settle on a specific area/house to live...I'm just waffling between western Fairfax and eastern Prince William but really would like to rule one or the other out to narrow my options...

Oh, what time do you leave Bristow to get to Fair Lakes in 40 mins?

Your last note about being close to kids is why we were thinking Gainesville, I'd have a longer commute (but would still be around in the morning before school) but my wife is close for emergencies...it certainly is tough planning a family in NoVa, I don't know how our parents did it!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:10 PM
 
1,283 posts, read 1,730,763 times
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I leave anywhere between 7:30 and 8:30. Some days it takes 30 minutes, but a bad day can be 1 hour
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:04 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,047,371 times
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Any particular reason you are considering buying a house now?

It might make more sense to hold off, and continue to save, until after you start your family. Unless you are absolutely, positively certain that both of you will want to continue working fulltime for your current employers, then postponing the house purchase will give you the chance to test the commute/job/family balance that works best for all of you. A few more years to save might also put you in the position to buy a nicer house than is possible now. You have tremendous flexibility as a renter, and once you buy it is much harder to move.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,803,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
You have tremendous flexibility as a renter, and once you buy it is much harder to move.
This. I am currently a little sad that we didn't wait another year to purchase our SFH, as our search radius would have changed now that my husband went from a job in Ashburn (when we purchased) to one in Stafford (now). We probably would have looked in South County, or at least considered Burke a little more. Don't get me wrong, we actually enjoy our neighborhood and our house very much - it would just be nice to have an option to lessen his commute, which owning doesn't really give us. We're kind of stuck now.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,803,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
We opted to stay close in. I know that the houses are nicer further out, but ugh...I become a cranky person after a long commute. We found a 1970's home in Burke that was more than enough space for us for $450k, and we actually get to enjoy the home because our commutes are under 30 minutes each.

It's really a personal preference though. There are people who value the housing size over commute--I'm just not that person.
I think you and I would get along, CaliTerp07.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:24 PM
 
371 posts, read 731,323 times
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I really like the Gainesville/Haymarket area. I commute early and leave the house at 5:30 and traffic is bearable (not great) on I-66. I also commute from home 2 days a week. I don't have much experience with commuting in to be at work at 10:00, but do know that when I leave for Dulles airport at 9:00 in the morning, the traffic hasn't yet cleared on I-66. I think you might still be looking at a lot of traffic getting into Ballston at 10:00, but others might have more experience at your time.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
304 posts, read 854,227 times
Reputation: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by PolandSprings View Post
I've done the long commute, although it was from a different Point A to a different Point B. It is absolutely not worth it.

If you have not already done so, figure out how much gas will cost you each month commuting from Gainsville. Consider whether living closer in with a higher mortgage payment but lower gas expense might equal out in the end.

You did not mention children, but it you plan to have children, the extra commute time will really cut into your quality time with them each day. You will likely be leaving before they get up in the morning and see them for a short time before they go to bed or if you go in late, you will see them briefly in the morning, but they will be asleep before you get home. This will also impact your wife as she will be the primary carer. As your children get older and their activities increase, your commute will limit your ability to participate in that aspect of their life. I know it is far off, but it you are thinking of a forever home and your job may never change, this is something to consider.

It is very tiring to make such a long drive each day. Slugging or train will help, but the extra time commuting has to come from somewhere and your sleep hours will most likely shrink as a result.

FYI, I gave up a brand new home far out for a 30 year old home closer in. I couldn't be happier.
Yeah, I figured most people would say the commute is not worth it, it is a bit of a haul I'll admit. My parents are telling us the same thing about living closer in too.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:42 PM
 
1,283 posts, read 1,730,763 times
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A lot people have the same idea.... leave later, but even leaving this area at 9:00 isn't a lot better. One thing to note is there can be an accident (it seems like) every day for two weeks at 66/Bus 234. That stretch of 66 between 29 at Gainesville and 234 can CRAWL. I used to take 29 through the battlefield and jump back on 66 at Centreville, but Lee Highway started to get really bad. I now ususally take Balls Ford and get on 66 in Manassas. Once the fly overs on 29/Gainesville finally get done that will bottleneck 66 even more IMO. If you decide on this area, I would think carefully on neighborhood and how easy other alternatives to that stretch of 66 is to avoid.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
304 posts, read 854,227 times
Reputation: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by kww View Post
what about Centreville? Wouldn't be a newer home, but would get you just a bit closer than Manassas/Gainesville
We've driven by a bunch of houses the last few months in Centreville and saw a few inside with a realtor a couple weeks ago within a day or two of being on the market and they already have 5-10 offers and are sold extremely quickly...it's like you have to decide right then and there if you want to buy the house, no real time to compare what little supply of homes for sale there are.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
304 posts, read 854,227 times
Reputation: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Any particular reason you are considering buying a house now?

It might make more sense to hold off, and continue to save, until after you start your family. Unless you are absolutely, positively certain that both of you will want to continue working fulltime for your current employers, then postponing the house purchase will give you the chance to test the commute/job/family balance that works best for all of you. A few more years to save might also put you in the position to buy a nicer house than is possible now. You have tremendous flexibility as a renter, and once you buy it is much harder to move.
Thanks for the suggestions, we're considering buying a house for a few reasons:

1) We (especially my wife) are tired of apartments and the rising rent being close to a monthly mortgage payment
2) Rent payments go nowhere, we'd like to invest in the place we live
3) Rates are low but creeping up
4) We'd like to have our first child in the next 1-2 years and I would strongly prefer having a house to raise a kid...I don't want to wait until we're 35-40 like some people to have a child (no offense to anyone that does, just my preference)
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