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Old 04-02-2013, 04:54 PM
 
2,980 posts, read 3,734,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
I would disagree. I think we get the best of all worlds, with fantastic weather for almost 6 months of it. A few months it is too hot (but some people love that), and a few months it is too cold (but also liked by some).
That's fine but it was 30 degrees this morning and its April. In another month it will be so hot and humid it will be miserable to walk around after ten minutes
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,586,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Yes, that is lovely weather, but, as you say, it's the same ALL YEAR ROUND. Personally, I love seasons.
Personal preference. I loved being able to go outside every day and go for a run without bundling up or passing out from humidity. My father bikes to work 350 days a year (the rainy days he will drive). I'm envious of that.

I thought I wanted seasons (one reason I wanted to go to college on the east coast), but the novelty wore off pretty quickly for me. Tonight I am avoiding walking my dog tonight (IN APRIL) because it's so darn cold. I need a robot dog walker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hokiematt View Post
South Bay area also has great weather and wonderful scenery and more jobs than Santa Barbara but both South Bay and Santa Barbara don't have beautiful fall foliage color and there is no snow in the city, besides they are both in CA which is associated with higher income tax and other problems.
Beach >>> Fall Foliage (in my humble opinion, of course). I do enjoy seeing it snow--there's something neat about that. I think my ideal home is on the beach, within an easy weekend trip of skiing and snow. Many of my friends live in LA and vicinity now and take day trips to Big Bear or weekends to Mammoth when they crave snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
But you have wildfires--so there!

Ok, I admit that does sound pretty good if you can escape the fires, landslides, and double-digit property-tax rates.

But realistically, what's a 3BR house run in SB these days, if you can still find one?

If money were no object, many of us would spend summers in Maine and winters in Key West. (I'd spend winters in CO, summer and fall in VT, and spring here.)
Houses are more than here, for sure, but not drastically more. A decent 4 bedroom house can be found 10 minutes from downtown for $700k. If you're willing to be 20 minutes outside downtown, you can find a place for $500k. If you want to be in historic Santa Barbara, you'll pay 7 figures...but you'd pay that for a place in the heart of old town or parts of DC too. Property tax does suck. The laws don't allow for big increases, so those who bought long ago are nicely protected (they just can't ever move).

If money were no object, I'd be following the warm weather wherever it was, enjoying the beach all year long.

Darn money being an object

------------

Another good thing about DC/NoVA: I just bought a car, and found out that DC has some of the lowest new car prices in the entire country. Thank you, massive amounts of dealer competition.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:27 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,853,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMUAlum08 View Post
weather is certainly NOT one of the benefits
It sure is. More below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Disagree. Santa Barbara was between 50-80 all year long. I did not own a winter coat or have air conditioning in my house.
Some find that monotonous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Personal preference. I loved being able to go outside every day and go for a run without bundling up or passing out from humidity. My father bikes to work 350 days a year (the rainy days he will drive). I'm envious of that.
I L-O-V-E running in all kinds of weather. I go running even when it snows here (one great benefit: a little bit softer on the knees) and, frankly, it's usually tiny amount of snow. I also enjoy running here during the summer -- it gets my core temperature up very nicely and comfortably without it being unbearably hot. It gets a touch humid here, but not terribly so. Nothing a little Under Armour (summer) and Haglöf/Arc'teryx (winter) can't solve.

I've lived in areas where winters are so cold that cars sometimes do not start well (avg. low of about 10 degrees F in January -- that's MINUS 12 degrees C) with a ridiculous amount of snow (driving with a rear-wheel drive vehicle on a highway with a foot of snow can be fun). I also spent a little bit of time (a few weeks training) in an area where the avg. low was -22 F (-30 C), all before wind chill which was absolutely savage. And then, of course, there are the desert/arid and tropical areas. You know there is seriously high humidity when cuts don't heal well and you constantly get bacterial infections on your skin (and an occasional amoebic dysentery in the gut).

Once you've been exposed to these extremes, NoVA's climate is rather mild and pleasant. You get a little snow, a little wind, a little sun, a little humidity, a little rain, a little foliage -- a little bit of everything, as someone else wrote. Enough variety to be fun without the monotony of the same same and without fatigue from the extremes.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,586,420 times
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"It's not bad because other places are much worse" is kind of a weak argument.

Traffic isn't bad here! NYC is way worse!
Home prices aren't bad here--look at LA or SF!
Your girlfriend is pretty cute (when compared to the other girls you've dated.)

Etc, etc

If you like the weather here, great! But like it for what it is, not because other places are awful. I, for one, am not a fan of bundling up in under armor, long johns, multiple sweaters/fleeces/coats, double layers of wool socks, mittens with hand warmers, etc just to go around the block with my dog, which I did daily this winter. My body cannot handle cold. I'm also not a fan of setting an alarm for before sunrise in the summer to accomplish the same task before my poor black fluffy dog gets heat stroke. (Although I just bought her a neat reflective coat to try this summer--hopefully she doesn't fade during agility trials like she did last summer. They had to cancel one halfway through the day last year because it was too hot for the dogs to run )
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
"It's not bad because other places are much worse" is kind of a weak argument.
Well, I wrote "Enough variety to be fun without the monotony of the same same and without fatigue from the extremes."

People acclimate to weather. When you are used to harsher climates, NoVA's seems pretty darn mild. When I was in Nepal, I saw sherpas running up frigid mountains in t-shirt, shorts and sandals! No socks (okay, they were also carrying loads, so maybe they felt hot, but still...). I think they would find our winters very warm.
Quote:
If you like the weather here, great! But like it for what it is, not because other places are awful. I, for one, am not a fan of bundling up in under armor, long johns, multiple sweaters/fleeces/coats, double layers of wool socks, mittens with hand warmers, etc just to go around the block with my dog, which I did daily this winter.
If you needed "double layers of wool socks" for 30 F weather, you probably best live somewhere hot all year.

When I first moved from upper Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, I saw folks there wearing polar fleece and parkas in 40-50 F winter weather (with nice mild humidity that made it seem warmer still for me). I wore t-shirts and thought them bizzarre. To me, the winter here in NoVA seems just cold enough to let me know the season changed, but not cold enough that I would not go outside with moderate winter wear.

I think NoVA, climate-wise, is where humid continental meets maritime temperate and humid subtropical. That's why we see a bit of everything and there is nothing extreme.

I like the San Diego's Med-like climate for about 2-3 months, but after that I tire of that very fast. Remember that variety is the spice of life!
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:50 AM
 
7,968 posts, read 9,725,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
If you needed "double layers of wool socks" for 30 F weather, you probably best live somewhere hot all year.
Agreed. This winter was actually mild. I can count on one hand the number of times I dug out the gloves. Granted, I do prefer cold to hot, but, like ILD, we rarely get the extremes of either here. I've been enjoying the weather over the past month and look forward to a (hopefully) long spring before the dreadful heat comes. But I'll get through that, too, and revel in yet another fantastic autumn.

I don't like it here "just because it's worse elsewhere". I like it here because here is a very nice place. If I didn't, I would go somewhere else. Yes, I may not make as much, or have as much job flexibility, but I would like where I lived; which is important to me. I'm amazed at the number of people who continue to complain, but still stay here. Happiness is not all about the economy and jobs. If you are irritated with everything else about NOVA, but stay here for the economy; you will continue to be unhappy.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,230 posts, read 67,385,459 times
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When I lived in NoVA here are some things I truly valued:

1.) Undergroud utilities: I now live in a very historic Pittsburgh neighborhood with old rowhomes and brick sidewalks. That gorgeous aura is destroyed by a mish-mash of unsightly power lines running back-and-forth across our streets. When I was living in Reston I didn't fully appreciate just how much aesthetic beauty the dearth of above-ground utilities truly added to the landscape.

2.) Metrorail: Pittsburgh and NoVA are comparably-sized in terms of population, yet we have a terrible light rail system while NoVA enjoys the Yellow, Blue, Orange, and Silver (soon) lines of a great rail system. I really valued driving to West Falls Church, parking my car, and then hopping an Orange Line train for expedient access to all that The District had to offer.

3.) Diversity: While Pittsburgh now boasts the nation's most highly-educated immigrant population our immigrant population overall is still TINY! Our area is largely white, somewhat black (in self-segregated pockets), and increasingly Asian (thanks to Carnegie Mellon University, for the most part). Hispanics are very scarce, an forget about other types of diversity here (although I've noticed the LGBT population here seems to be MUCH larger than NoVA).

4.) Trails: I really do miss running on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Whether the scenery was running past Reston Town Center, through Downtown Herndon, or past the farm fields of Western Loudoun County that trail was one of my best memories of an otherwise dark time in my life. I regret never running on the Mt. Vernon Trail.

5.) Proximity to other areas: Pittsburgh is a phenomenal city, but it is surrounded by, well, ICK! Wheeling? Johnstown? Weirton? Youngstown? New Castle? Altoona? Cumberland? There's just nothing of value for day-tripping, and we find ourselves just patronizing the city whenever we have the rare coinciding day off from work. When I was in NoVA we could easily day-trip to Luray Caverns, Winchester, Harper's Ferry, Shepherdstown, Sharpsburg, Frederick, Annapolis, DC, Fredericksburg, King's Dominion, Charlottesville, Baltimore, and much more.

Other than that I don't miss much. While I appreciated the diversity of the area I didn't appreciate the area housing such a dense nexus of self-proclaimed self-important people. Urban planning of the prior generation of Northern Virginians was a short-sighted disaster that will take MY generation billions of dollars to rectify. The few safe, urbane, walkable areas NoVA did have were reserved for the affluent whereas MOST other major metropolitan areas, including Pittsburgh, have areas where the working-class can enjoy buying a modest home and walking to a modest business district. Everyone comments that the best reason to live in NoVA is "for the jobs". Why? Why would you want to live to work instead of working to live? I'm UNDERemployed in Pittsburgh. So is my partner. We still have a higher standard of living here than if we were both gainfully employed in our respective fields in Fairfax County. Our $55,000 household income would be near-poverty in NoVA. It's solidly middle-class in Pittsburgh, and it's permitting us to house-hunt. There was little of value for the LGBT community in NoVA. The traffic congestion was maddening. Overall I'm happy to be gone, despite those five aforementioned positives.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:48 AM
 
136 posts, read 191,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Everyone comments that the best reason to live in NoVA is "for the jobs". Why? Why would you want to live to work instead of working to live? I'm UNDERemployed in Pittsburgh. So is my partner. We still have a higher standard of living here than if we were both gainfully employed in our respective fields in Fairfax County. Our $55,000 household income would be near-poverty in NoVA. It's solidly middle-class in Pittsburgh, and it's permitting us to house-hunt. There was little of value for the LGBT community in NoVA. The traffic congestion was maddening. Overall I'm happy to be gone, despite those five aforementioned positives.
I think you're overgeneralizing about jobs. There's a difference between living to work and liking your job. Just because you spend a lot of time working doesn't mean that you're doing something wrong. Lots of people truly enjoy their jobs and don't see it as a waste of time. Personally, I don't love my job, but I obviously like it better than alternatives. For example, I could work retail or wait tables in a cheaper area, but I would rather work at my current job than do those things.

Also, you're neglecting the fact that housing is just one aspect of a person's expenses. Again, I could find housing in a cheaper area even while making less money in retail. But I wouldn't be able to do other things that I enjoy, such as traveling abroad or playing golf or saving money for my kid's college expenses. So my quality of life would go down.

I think overall, you're in the minority that thinks quality of life is better in Pitt than here (and there's nothing wrong with that, just preferences).
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:31 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,645,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
While I appreciated the diversity of the area I didn't appreciate the area housing such a dense nexus of self-proclaimed self-important people. Urban planning of the prior generation of Northern Virginians was a short-sighted disaster that will take MY generation billions of dollars to rectify. The few safe, urbane, walkable areas NoVA did have were reserved for the affluent whereas MOST other major metropolitan areas, including Pittsburgh, have areas where the working-class can enjoy buying a modest home and walking to a modest business district. Everyone comments that the best reason to live in NoVA is "for the jobs". Why? Why would you want to live to work instead of working to live? I'm UNDERemployed in Pittsburgh. So is my partner. We still have a higher standard of living here than if we were both gainfully employed in our respective fields in Fairfax County. Our $55,000 household income would be near-poverty in NoVA. It's solidly middle-class in Pittsburgh, and it's permitting us to house-hunt. There was little of value for the LGBT community in NoVA. The traffic congestion was maddening. Overall I'm happy to be gone, despite those five aforementioned positives.
I think there's a certain irony in your post, in that you complain about the short-sighted planning of a "prior generation of Northern Virginians" decades ago, but suggest that people should "work to live" today and happily accept under-employment. But wouldn't it also be short-sighted if individuals don't work hard enough (or strategically enough) to meet their potential retirement needs in the future?

I mention this because, without being cynical, one of the benefits that I do think this area offers is the ability - whether through jobs, RE appreciation or other factors - to give people options to explore other parts of the world that they might not have if they spent their primary working years in lower-paying areas. I think you know that I'm a big fan of Pittsburgh, but it seems to me that people who've spent most of their lives there could find it much harder to move, if necessary, to a more expensive area than people who've spent time here could find it to move to other parts of the country (or the world). Of course, if you like where you and you only want to spend your life in one place, that shouldn't matter, but I do feel like living and working in NoVa/DC can, in a very tangible way, give you options down the road that you might not otherwise have.

I raise this cautiously because I know it sounds like "the best thing about NoVa/DC is that you'll be able to leave eventually," which is rather faint praise, but I think there's something to it.

Last edited by JD984; 04-03-2013 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:01 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,816 posts, read 10,721,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
When I lived in NoVA here are some things I truly valued:

1.) Undergroud utilities: I now live in a very historic Pittsburgh neighborhood with old rowhomes and brick sidewalks. That gorgeous aura is destroyed by a mish-mash of unsightly power lines running back-and-forth across our streets. When I was living in Reston I didn't fully appreciate just how much aesthetic beauty the dearth of above-ground utilities truly added to the landscape.
Maybe in Reston, and some other recent planned developments well outside the beltway - in most of inner Fairfax, and most of the lower density areas of Arlington and Alexandria (and I think in Old Town too) power lines are NOT buried.

Arlington however is burying the power lines along Columbia Pike, as part of their redevelopment/densification efforts. I believe this was done in part of McLean a few years back.
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