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Old 06-15-2014, 09:06 AM
 
55 posts, read 60,455 times
Reputation: 25

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Hi All,
I recently had my 2nd interview with Stuart HS & it looks promising. But in the meantime, I'm still applying to openings in Prince William, Arlington, & Alexandria districts. My colleague just accepted an offer at Rippon MS in Pr Wm Cty.

Housing is the next hurdle...from yahoo maps, I figure distance between job & home should be 20 miles or less for a good commute time. Is this about right? For instance, if I get the job at Stuart, I'm looking at Woods of Fairfax @ Lorton apartments - 15 miles from school. I'd prefer to drive south of home to work rather than north, but housing north or near Falls Church is more expensive.

Coming from FL, it's going to take a minute to wrap my head around housing costs in NoVa, as well as parking fees? Not sure what that's about...do tenants pay to park in the complex parking lot?

Does anyone have suggestions on reputable apartments or private housing complexes, townhomes, duplexes, etc? My colleague and I will have separate housing, and we don't want to get stuck in horrible lease situations.
In addition to the Lorton apts, we're looking in Woodbridge at Windsor at Potomac Vista, Lancaster Mills, Woodside, and Wyndham Pointe in Dumfries (long commute to Stuart HS??). I have a large dog, so I'm limited to those with no weight limits. My friend's dog is 18 lbs, so she has more options. Any other housing suggestions and/or advice would be appreciated. Budget limit is $1500 month- 2BR. Thanks!
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:38 AM
 
519 posts, read 699,105 times
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I don't have answers to all of your questions, but I'll take a stab at some of them.

First, you're looking at such a wide variety of locations for jobs (and that's smart!) that it's hard to advise you on location. You said you're having a hard time wrapping your head around costs in NOVA -- I suspect you'll have an even harder time wrapping your head around commute times. I've heard people toss around the suggestion to take your commute in miles and triple it to get an estimate of your commute in minutes. And depending on your exactly work location and your hours, that could still be a low estimate. So it's equally important to have an idea of how long a commute you're willing to tolerate as it is to have a budget. And also keep in mind that a longer commute incurs a tangible cost in mileage on your car, gas, etc, besides playing havoc with your life outside of work.

When you say your colleague and you will have separate housing, do you mean that you'll be sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with him/her? Or are you looking for a 2-bedroom unit for yourself? If it's the latter, think long and hard about whether you need two bedrooms. Also, you should strongly consider finding a roommate if you're not sharing an apartment with your colleague. A lot of new college grads do that around here because housing costs are so high.

Parking fees depend on where you are. I think that a lot of apartment complexes outside the beltway have outdoor parking that's free. If you're closer in (Rosslyn, Crystal City, etc) then you'll pay pretty dearly for parking. Given your budget and your large dog, I'm guessing you'll be further out.

Good luck in your quest! NOVA can be crazy and maddening and it's expensive and traffic is a nightmare, but there's a lot to do and see and it can be a really fun place to live!
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:08 PM
 
55 posts, read 60,455 times
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Thank you for your response. My friend and I will not be roommates. I have a daughter who is going to college, so the room would be for her during summers, holidays and spring break. My colleague and I are veteran teachers, 10+ yrs, so we would like a more quiet setting, not so much college-age. However, we want to live below or within our budgets for the first year until we take on additional income, so we'll compromise on housing among "youngsters" if necessary!

You're right, there will be many aspects of NoVa that I will have to adjust to, but I am ready for the change of seasons and the multitude of activities and events NoVa has to offer. Thanks again!
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:52 PM
 
519 posts, read 699,105 times
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Glad you clarified -- I totally had you pegged as a brand new college grad!

Until you know where you'll be working, there's not too much you can do except what you're doing -- locating possibilities that are in your price range. Just don't underestimate what a long commute can do to your life!
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:03 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,682 posts, read 10,568,876 times
Reputation: 19830
Your colleague will be better off living in Woodbridge. It is hard to say where you should live until you get a job. For instance if you get the job at Stuart commuting to Falls Church from Lorton will be a pain in the rear. That is a 40+ minute commute - if you get good traffic. On the other hand if you get a job on the East side of Prince William, it's not so bad a commute from Lorton, mainly because it will be a reverse commute (traveling the opposite direction of the average commuter). What you want to avoid as a teacher are commutes with a high probability of traffic hold ups. IMHO you want to avoid any commute that will put you on the beltway. It's going to be challenging to find a 2 bedroom under $1,500 a month, especially one that will take a large dog.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,083 posts, read 5,357,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
Your colleague will be better off living in Woodbridge. It is hard to say where you should live until you get a job. For instance if you get the job at Stuart commuting to Falls Church from Lorton will be a pain in the rear. That is a 40+ minute commute - if you get good traffic. On the other hand if you get a job on the East side of Prince William, it's not so bad a commute from Lorton, mainly because it will be a reverse commute (traveling the opposite direction of the average commuter). What you want to avoid as a teacher are commutes with a high probability of traffic hold ups. IMHO you want to avoid any commute that will put you on the beltway. It's going to be challenging to find a 2 bedroom under $1,500 a month, especially one that will take a large dog.
Just want to chime in on the beltway comment. A portion of my morning commute is on the outer loop of the beltway starting at the I95/395 interchange at Springfield to Alexandria and then the reverse on the inner loop in the afternoons. This portion of my trip is hardly ever a problem and traffic is usually running smoothly at speed. So not the entirety of the beltway needs to be avoided.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:26 AM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,687,699 times
Reputation: 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
Just want to chime in on the beltway comment. A portion of my morning commute is on the outer loop of the beltway starting at the I95/395 interchange at Springfield to Alexandria and then the reverse on the inner loop in the afternoons. This portion of my trip is hardly ever a problem and traffic is usually running smoothly at speed. So not the entirety of the beltway needs to be avoided.
That is true. Outer loop in mornings and inner loop in afternoons between Wilson Bridge and 66 is a breeze. However, as you already know, to take advantage of this, you would have to live in a more expensive area. Have you looked in the Falls Church area? There are definitely some affordable places on Route 50 and 29.
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