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Old 12-11-2013, 04:18 PM
 
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Hello. My wife and I will be moving to Northern VA very soon for a job in the Reston/Herndon area. We would like to rent for $3k or less in an area with low crime and an excellent full-time elementary school. Family friendly and LOW or non existent crime is crucial. Being near the Metro or other types of public transit isn't relevant to us. Our first choice is a newer detached SFH with a yard for our dog. I'm absolutely willing to grow accustomed to public transit and other staples of the area, but I am from the southwest and am used to space and driving. Our second choice is an older home with similar features, then third is a town home.

Please, if you could just name a couple of areas that fit this bill or let me know which ones to stay away from, that'd be great. If you know of particular developments, etc.

I've searched through the forums and what I gather is, Tyson's Corner is a no go. Most places are full of strip malls, DC is for single folks, and the commute will always be 30 - 90 mins.

Thank you.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
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Why not the Reston area? Vienna/Oakton is a nice area. The Fair Oaks/Fair Lakes area is a nice area as well. Fairfax Co is well known for being lite on serious crime. Finding an area where crime is non existent does not exist. Even gated communities have some crimes. Traffic sucks no matter where you go in this area. I've owned since 83 in NOVA so can't really address the rent.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:05 PM
 
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Serious crime is not going to be a problem in any of the locations in or around the areas you would be looking and schools are for the most part all excellent. I lived in Reston for 9 years and really enjoyed the trails and community parks. Your best bet in Reston would be a town home but most are going to be 15 to 20 years old.

Other areas I would consider are Chantilly and Fair Lakes areas in Fairfax County. If you are willing to go a little farther west Ashburn, Broadlands, Brambleton and South Riding are all extensive developements with lots of amenities and young families. These will also have newer homes but the commute to Herndon/Reston will be 20-35 minutes depending on location - shorter if near the Dulles Greenway and willing to pay tolls.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
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You should seriously consider Reston. Not much is on the market for SFHs right now, but check out this one. It is in an excellent elementary school district.

10715 OLDFIELD DR, RESTON, VA 20191 | Listing Information | MRIShomes.com
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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Reston itself as suggested would be fine for your needs. So would Herndon away from busy Elden Street. What few persistent crime issues there are in Fairfax County would be far away from Reston and Herndon.

If a newer SFH is truly top priority, consider nearby Loudoun County towns such as Ashburn and Sterling. Many of the communities are newer and designed with families in mind and can be a relative value compared to Fairfax County. Others more knowledgeable than me can delve into the specifics of the more popular developments. Notwithstanding my suggestion, do note that a short commute is a valued commodity here. Ashburn-to-Reston may seem like a short commute but being on major road arteries makes it not the case.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:49 PM
 
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First, let me just thank all of you for posting so quickly. I'm doing my best to investigate each point. It appears the first point is very true, Reston proper has some great opportunities that more than meet what we could hope for. I'm glad you've all pushed me to look there again. Bigfoot, you're right. I don't expect no crime at all, but you're right on point about it being limited in that area. Nova, I'm going to look into those western areas, now that you mention it, having some younger families around could be a plus especially if the surrounding areas were already established.

J, I'll take a look. I noticed that Fairfax is top heavy; there are 3 to 4 elementary schools that are very well reviewed but one or two like Dogwood aren't recommended at all.

Tone, does that mean that the other towns you mentioned like Sterling will be a long commute? Nova mentioned towns further west such as Brambleton and South Riding, those are long commutes, too? I could research those commutes a little more if you or someone could tell me how reliable Google maps is in estimating these commutes? I do see people mentioning the reverse commute, I understand that to mean living further into DC/Beltway and commuting out to the Reston/Herndon area, yes?

Again, thank you all.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:26 AM
 
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Welcome to the area!!

The previous posters have given you some spot-on advice.

To answer your question about commuting times, please do NOT trust Google maps. In my experience, the only reliable source for estimated commute times is this forum. People here who make the drive everyday--in all directions-- know best. For example, a drive from Ashburn to Herndon will vary considerably according to time of day, your route, etc. Even reasonable commutes can be soul-sucking in this area; the traffic patterns and driving habits are just horrible (some drivers insist on driving like they're gunning for the heart of the Death Star).

I think Reston is wonderful for young families. We live in Reston and have yet to experience any scary or serious crime. We've had a couple of car (unlocked) break-ins in our neighborhood.

As for reviews of elementary schools: these ratings are somewhat controversial, at least those pertaining to Herndon/Reston. The methodology that garners a school a 5 versus a 9 is deeply flawed. There have been a number of posts about the reliability of the school ratings, so I won't go into the issue. Your 3K is more than adequate for most of Reston and Herndon, but even this amount won't get you a SFH with a yard in Oakton (often the highest rated elementary school).

I suspect, if I infer correctly from some of your concerns, that you won't like Sterling or west Herndon, north of the toll road. Parts of Vienna may fit your budget (especially if you're interested in THs) as well as parts of Falls Church.

You should also look into Leesburg-- it's lovely and affordable, albeit with about a 45 minute drive into Herndon.

Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
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Ashburn is chock full of young families! And a nice mix off dual income and one parent stay at home households. For elementary schools, Mill Run in the Broadlands neighborhood is the best in the area in my opinion. Not a fan of Cedar Lane and have heard not-so-great things about the new Discovery.

I think your budget could definitely get you what you're looking for. And most of Ashburn is under 20 years old (some is brand new- they are still building).

Your commute to the Reston/Herndon area from Ashburn will vary, depending on your work hours and where your job actually is.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,530,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d917 View Post
J, I'll take a look. I noticed that Fairfax is top heavy; there are 3 to 4 elementary schools that are very well reviewed but one or two like Dogwood aren't recommended at all.
The house I listed is in Sunrise Valley Elementary that usually ranks very nicely and I have friends with children at Sunrise Valley that really like it. There are several rentals available in the Dogwood district and I did not recommend them to you as I don't recommend Dogwood elementary.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d917 View Post
Tone, does that mean that the other towns you mentioned like Sterling will be a long commute? Nova mentioned towns further west such as Brambleton and South Riding, those are long commutes, too? I could research those commutes a little more if you or someone could tell me how reliable Google maps is in estimating these commutes? I do see people mentioning the reverse commute, I understand that to mean living further into DC/Beltway and commuting out to the Reston/Herndon area, yes?
Again, thank you all.
Brambelton is a community within Ashburn while South Riding is a town unto itself. I can understand how that would be confusing for a newcomer.

The newer "current" traffic estimations on Google can be fairly accurate although you would have to look at it during rush hour to get a good read on it.

Yes, a "reverse" commute would mean commuting from DC and inner-Beltway communities to further west. However, as Reston and Herdon - which along with parts of Ashburn and Sterling are often called the Dulles Tech Corridor - as well as Tysons Corner constitute the largest job center in the region, would-be reverse commutes aren't necessarily easier.
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