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Old 12-15-2015, 01:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,076 times
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My husband is looking at potential jobs in northern VA and we are thinking of taking a road trip up there this weekend to check out the area before we make a decision. We want to look at neighborhoods and areas that would be compatible with our needs. Any suggestions on cities/neighborhoods to explore, considering the following? I know in reality we may not find anything that ticks every box, but these are the ideal things we are looking for.

He'd work in Winchester, Quantico, or at Ft Belvoir (depending on the job he takes).
He'd be willing to commute, but our hope is that the drive is no more than 45 mins one way. More than that will wear on both of us, I'm sure.
We'd be renting- at least for the first couple of years. SFH is nice, condos/townhomes are okay but garages are desired. No need for a lot of land right away since we'll be renting, not buying, for now.
3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms desired.
Budget is 1800-2500/month, cheaper is better but we are willing to pay more for safer/nicer area.

We have two children- a 3 year old and 11 month old. We prefer good public schools, lots to do- libraries, community involvement, parks, festivals/street fairs etc, family vibe. I have lived in a variety of areas and I know that having lots to do with young children, being able to connect with other stay-at-home moms and find friends for myself as well as playmates for my kids, and having a sense of safety are all very important factors for me. I struggle with depression and staying home all day with the kids can be isolating. I would like to live somewhere with various things to do with my children and other families during the day- and then on the weekend we can go out and do stuff as a family.

This will be our 4th move in 5 years (our last move was from CA to FL, and was only four months ago) and we are hoping that we can find somewhere to settle for a long time and put down roots.

Thanks in advance for any input
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:43 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,689,871 times
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There is a huge difference between Winchester and Fort Belvoir/Quantico. Winchester is not even Northern Virginia and has very little traffic.


Fort Belvoir: Kingstowne, West Springfield, Burke
Quantico: Stafford or Montclair?
Winchester: Don't ask us. That's not Northern Virginia.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomason View Post
There is a huge difference between Winchester and Fort Belvoir/Quantico. Winchester is not even Northern Virginia and has very little traffic.


Fort Belvoir: Kingstowne, West Springfield, Burke
Quantico: Stafford or Montclair?
Winchester: Don't ask us. That's not Northern Virginia.
Thanks!
Sorry, I'm still learning the area and got mixed up with Winchester!
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:13 PM
 
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Well I took a good bit of time and wrote you a great deal of information. but the page expired and when I posted it I lost it all.


But to summarize we moved up here 3 years ago and ended up in Warrenton. I have worked in Quantico (1 hour drive), Fort Belvoir (90 minute drive) and we go to Winchester all the time (45 minutes).


There is lost of public transportation including the metro, VRE, express busses from outlying areas as well as something called Slugging, look it up.


Lots of communities are wonderful. If you are going to come up you may want to get a hotel in Manassas or south of Springfield so that you can avoid traffic and it will give you more time to drive around.


Good suggestion above with the exception that Winchester is in Northern VA. The upper Shenandoah Valley is part of Northern Virginia. The DC suburbs are just part of Northern VA.. lol


Anyway we just did all of this and if we can help please let us know. btw we are not realtors or connected with that industry just trying to help.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:14 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,689,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squigglesmcdee View Post
Thanks!
Sorry, I'm still learning the area and got mixed up with Winchester!
No problem!


I just recommend that if you end up moving to Winchester that you ask in the general Virginia sub-forum because you will get more responses: http://www.city-data.com/forum/virginia/.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:17 PM
 
Location: The South
3,897 posts, read 5,346,273 times
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There are actually several threads in this Northern Virginia forum regarding Winchester.

Winchester is kind of in no man's land -- it's not really in Northern Va but questions about it frequently end up here.

You can use the search at the top of this forum to find the threads.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:28 PM
 
7,934 posts, read 9,659,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomason View Post
Winchester: Don't ask us. That's not Northern Virginia.

If he accepts the job in Winchester, I would personally move to Purcellville to meet your criteria.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:21 AM
 
77 posts, read 74,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
If he accepts the job in Winchester, I would personally move to Purcellville to meet your criteria.


Why move to Purcellville if job is in Winchester? Why not move to Winchester? Winchester is cheaper, friendlier, and has more civilized traffic. It has good schools, lots of parks and recreation, and lots of community involvement. As for festivals/street fairs, the Apple Blossom Festival is one of the largest festivals in the region. Winchester has more restaurants and shopping than Purcellville and Leesburg combined. There are several blocks of streets in Old Downtown Winchester that are closed to traffic, and makes a lovely pedestrian mall with small independent restaurants and shops. They have live music concerts, beer festivals (Oktoberfest?), wine festivals, historic homes tours, and on and on. Check out the link below, scroll down and watch the short video. The video even has interviews of people who have moved to Winchester, and why they enjoy it over the DC suburbs to the east.
http://oldtownwinchesterva.com/


The best part of Winchester is that the people are genuinely friendlier. My wife and I moved to the DC suburbs from other parts of the country. We were truly surprised by the lack of friendliness, the rudeness, and the horrible traffic and drivers in the DC area. For those reasons, we are in the process of moving out of the area, and to another state. Had we decided to stay in the area, we would go a little farther west, and Winchester would be our pick. Though western Loudoun County is better than eastern Loudoun or Fairfax County, there is still a large degree of the DC area unfriendliness that rubs off in those areas. Winchester is over the Blue Ridge, and seems to have escaped most of that DC attitude, and has a truly caring community.


Best luck in your search!

Last edited by PonceDeLeon; 12-16-2015 at 01:52 AM..
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:13 AM
 
Location: The South
3,897 posts, read 5,346,273 times
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I agree with PonceDeLeon -- Winchester is wonderful community. So often people on here say they are seeking a "sense of community" and Winchester truly has that feeling. Get past the "redneck" reputation of people who have no clue and you'll see a community with long-term residents who have maintained a beautiful downtown and Historic District. There are many thriving community organizations because people actually have time to volunteer -- they're not stuck in traffic four hours a day.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:16 PM
 
Location: The South
3,897 posts, read 5,346,273 times
Reputation: 2744
Another thing you will find with the "Winchester is Redneck" v. "NoVa is the only civilized part of Virginia" crowd is a bit of a snotty attitude among some. What many of this crowd in NoVa do not understand is that there are educated, sophisticated, professional class people (doctors, lawyers, business owners, college professors) who CHOOSE to live in a "small pond". The small fish/big pond thing is not for everyone. The NoVa people (who post like this) do not understand the value of living a quieter life being a big fish in a small pond.

But for those in the middle/upper classes in Winchester, life is very, very good.

Are there "rednecks" and "low lifes"? Of course. But you have that in Fairfax and Loudoun, too.
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