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Old 03-05-2016, 10:30 PM
 
7 posts, read 5,722 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, I am looking to buy my first home. What i would like is a place with a garage, decent yard, and also not too old. So far the houses that meet that are mostly in stafford. Im going to bullet point some facts about me so you can give me your advice. Right now i rent in Alexandria but i fee like im throwing my money away.

-I am a 22 year old male

- i make roughly 70k a year

- I work in construction as an electrician which moves my job location a lot, in might be in DC for a few months or Sterling the next.

- I would like to keep my house under 250k

- not really into the whole social scene like bars and all that

- for 5 years my starting time has been before 6 am, which requires me to leave around 4:45 am most times. And quiting time at 2 or 2:30 depending on the job

So this this in mind, would you recommend i buy a house in stafford? I like the houses there because of age, privacy and affordability. What im worried about is the commute. I would appreciate any advice thanks
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,561 posts, read 10,861,310 times
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Stafford, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park. That price might be a small house and maybe a fixer upper but it can be done.
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:46 AM
 
10,598 posts, read 12,106,713 times
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It just depends on where you want to throw your money away. My husband is also an electrician and works the same hours as you do and his locations vary widely. Mostly he is DC, but he's had a couple of rough stints at Ft. Meade. I know a few other that have had to go closer to Baltimore even. Anyway, based on your age, I am assuming your income is going to increase (you are an apprentice?).

So back to the throwing money away: if you aren't throwing it away in rent, you will be throwing it away in commuting costs, time, and wear and tear moving down to Stafford. We live in Woodbridge and, to be be honest, most days it's just a smidge too far south. I wouldn't go any farther myself. I leave Woodbridge at 5:15 each morning for a 6AM job. There's plenty of traffic. Very glad everyday I am not one exit down, such as Dumfries. But you are right, that overall, leaving at 4:45 am is going to give you more good days than bad. Coming home in the summers will be pretty awful for you.

As you probably well know, home ownership is very expensive. I find it to be way more than I bargained for. (The roof, the windows, the driveway....). But if you buy a new home, at least you are set for a good number of years.

Your young. A lot can change for you over the next few years (such as a significant other that hates Stafford). Houses outside the "hot" areas are not so easy to turn over. So, you can probably see what my opinion is! Taking all that into account, some people just really love home ownership and that might be you. But I will heavily caution you against that commute. I would not do it if I didn't have access to a carpool and I know, for an electrician, it's not happening.
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:02 AM
 
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Stafford is REALLY far for someone commuting inside the beltway on a regular basis and is also not the hippest social scene.

Personally I would keep renting in Alex or even Arlington. You aren't throwing money away you are paying for a place to live...no more so than if you were paying nondeductible interest, property taxes, gas/commuting time, etc.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:10 PM
 
Location: northern va
1,589 posts, read 2,128,872 times
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up your budget and try and get into PWC. As mentioned, Stafford commute is gonna take years off your life
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:36 PM
 
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I am really trying to weight the pros and cons in stafford. I dont mind doing my own yard or working on my hous, in fact i enjoy doing it. Also i plan to buy a small boat and need a place to park it.

Right now i am commuting from alexandria ( mt vernon on rt 1) all the way to Ashburn. Don't know how long that will last and dont know where ill be next. I dont mind a commute a under and hour and fifteen minutes... I just dont want to get stuck in traffic for 3 plus hrs. Right now im 70% inclined to start looking for a house in stafford, based on my start and quittng time... The fact is i really want a house have the money, but i just cant spend 500k around here.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:04 PM
 
10,598 posts, read 12,106,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddiea57 View Post
I am really trying to weight the pros and cons in stafford. I dont mind doing my own yard or working on my hous, in fact i enjoy doing it. Also i plan to buy a small boat and need a place to park it.

Right now i am commuting from alexandria ( mt vernon on rt 1) all the way to Ashburn. Don't know how long that will last and dont know where ill be next. I dont mind a commute a under and hour and fifteen minutes... I just dont want to get stuck in traffic for 3 plus hrs. Right now im 70% inclined to start looking for a house in stafford, based on my start and quittng time... The fact is i really want a house have the money, but i just cant spend 500k around here.
Sounds like your mind is made up. You will probably be fine each morning. It is the afternoons in the summer that are going to be rough.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Sounds like you are going w/Stafford regardless of what everyone is saying.
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:47 PM
 
7 posts, read 5,722 times
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others options would be warrenton or marshall. Maybe bristow but i think that might be over my budget.
Another thing, any one has any experience or opinion on septic tank and well water im a house around this region?
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:43 PM
 
Location: northern va
1,589 posts, read 2,128,872 times
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in stafford, they are currently 24 homes priced between $100-250,000 that are detached (in the MLS). 8 of these homes have a garage (and most end up being in Aquia Harbour so you'll have an HOA to deal with so keep that in mind.)

In Warrenton, four homes show in the MLS, though only one has a garage.

In Marshall, three homes, two with garages.

Nothing really in Bristow unless you up your budget unfortunately.

* All of the above figures were pulled from the MLS, so you could possibly find something on another website but difficult to say how accurate.

For your second half of the question, pertaining to well/septic... plenty of homeowners are quite comfortable being on those type setups, I just make sure my clients are well aware of the pitfalls each could potentially offer.. No monthly/quarterly public utility bills might be nice, but having to offset by installing/upkeeping water filtration setups etc can be an annoyance, or dealing with a septic replacement every how ever many years could be expensive. Or a well that needs work, be it to the cap, or the well lining, or a well that runs dry..

As a buyer, make sure you have language in your offer to cover inspections for these systems. And make sure those inspections are not just casual walk over type.
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