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Old 06-22-2016, 09:46 AM
 
Location: North Carolina by way of New Jersey
175 posts, read 151,873 times
Reputation: 105

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Going to make this as short and brief as possible...we've lived in NJ our whole lives, but things took a downturn in the last half decade or so when we experienced financial hardship. I've thankfully left for college now (heading into my second year), but my family MIGHT be following me out Jersey's exit door fairly soon. The only obstacle is that my dad for some reason has an undying loyalty to the state of New Jersey despite us having a very difficult time in the last several years...STUBBORN loyalty that I fear may hold us back from reaching our full potential.

We're an African-American (immigrant) family based in North Central NJ. We reside in an apartment in a wealthy/upper middle class suburb 25 miles outside of NYC. One of the snobbiest towns in the whole state of NJ, it's known for having a high-ranking school district and very uptight, elitist residents who all live in a bubble. Hypocritical, too - a lot of residents would say the same thing but take exception to me saying it. Had awful growing pains here in this town which was a massive motivating factor for my choice to go as far away as possibly comfortable for college. Highly doubt we as a family would have remained in this particular town for nearly 15 years if the school district wasn't so reputable. Yes it is higher-paying in NJ, and we are only a train ride away from NYC, but I don't see any other pros in staying here outside of that. The COL is so overpriced here that it's not even funny. I personally have a pronounced distaste for the collective cultural attitudes of NJ residents, the irritating arrogance consistently on display (though my dad doesn't seem to see it that way...IDK why). The state as a whole is, simply put, incredibly overrated. There's a reason it always tops the list for the most moved-out-of state in the country each year...in addition to being the most disliked.

The entire family discussed the possibility last weekend, so it's in the VERY early blueprint sketching stages. Mom aired her frustrations about how things have been in recent years for us and desires nothing more than a fresh start, as there's nothing really left for us here. I echoed her sentiments and went on to mention that that's one of the (many) reasons I left Jersey for college. Dad didn't say anything for some reason even though our struggles have arguably hit him the hardest of all. We discussed North Carolina (where I go to school), Maryland, and Virginia as possible options. Mom and I are looking at a move in summer 2017, but my sister would prefer to wait until the year after when she graduates from high school. Don't know exactly how my little brother, who enters high school this coming fall, feels about moving in general.

Personally, my first choice is in VA is the capital of Richmond. But I do have interest in NOVA, particularly the cities of Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington. I plan on presenting this as a potential choice to my mom at the end of this week (not sure how receptive dad would be right now). How would starting businesses (caring home for the developmentally disabled and a FitBiz aimed at empowering women) go for my parents? How's the COL? The taxes? How are the people and the mannerisms? Would we fit in as AA transplants from NJ? Generally, what is it like to live in the DC Metro area?

Last edited by rekaten; 06-22-2016 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:19 AM
 
7,926 posts, read 9,639,531 times
Reputation: 13939
Northern VA will be just as expensive as your NJ town. You don't mention employment. Are you moving without jobs?
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:30 AM
 
Location: North Carolina by way of New Jersey
175 posts, read 151,873 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Northern VA will be just as expensive as your NJ town. You don't mention employment. Are you moving without jobs?
My mom is employed, but my dad isn't.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:35 AM
 
7,926 posts, read 9,639,531 times
Reputation: 13939
While I love this area, I do not think NoVA will help any of the issues you have with New Jersey. Lower cost areas (Richmond or NC) may help.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:07 PM
 
91 posts, read 72,987 times
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^^^What's already been said. Nova is just as expensive as NJ, so I don't think you will get a break. They do generally call this area a "salad bowl", where people gather here but tend to keep their own cultural identity.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:07 PM
 
Location: North Carolina by way of New Jersey
175 posts, read 151,873 times
Reputation: 105
After some further investigation (on threads and through examinations of COL differences), I guess NOVA probably wouldn't be in the cards. You are right that Richmond and NC are better options.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
94 posts, read 83,855 times
Reputation: 41
Yes we are NJ transplants, and our grown children followed us down here from your area. My son in law keeps telling me taxes have gone up so much its almost NJ again. I do not think it is as bad as north NJ tax wise. VA is a bifercated state with low taxes in some areas and high taxes in northern VA and to some extent Hampton Roads (VA Beach). Some places here can be reasonable price (eg; Burke, Springfield) if you play your cards right. We annually tax the living crap out of new cars over $20k cost, but you can manage that by car purchase choices.
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:01 PM
 
8 posts, read 12,249 times
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I moved from NY to NOVA a few years ago. It's not a huge amount cheaper here for many things, but in some key areas it was quite different.

We were living in Westchester county, which is expensive, basically one of the most expensive counties in the country. For us NOVA provided a lot more housing at a lower price point, both rental and purchase, and in good school districts. Property taxes are about a third here what they are in Westchester (where they're pretty exorbitant).

Schools are generally pretty good. People are friendly.

My only quibble here is services for special needs. After three years my son still doesn't have a Medicaid waiver because there has been some nonsense going on with the state and the federal government and some freeze. My son also received more services in NY.

Lots of tech companies and government contractors are here, and quite a bunch of other large companies have branches or HQs in this area.

If you're looking for a lot cheaper, then further south is where you should look.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:36 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,685,249 times
Reputation: 1550
Taxes are dramatically lower. NJ is like the second or third most taxed in america and I think VA is in the 30thish range last I looked. COL won't be lower though unfortunately in NOVA.

Arrogance is also much lower here. Some people from the south think this area is unfriendly but my family is from NYC so I know what an ******* sounds like when I hear one. People are definitely friendlier here -- cant get much worse than Jersey/NYC.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:02 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,940,261 times
Reputation: 3857
Sounds like a lot of change to contemplate at one time. Why not wait till your siblings are out of high school?

And I wouldn't think about moving till you have a dependable source of income lined up. Re. a group home for disabled people--I have no idea if that's something you can start up as a private individual here; I thought most of those were run by nonprofits. Even if VA or NC law would allow it, I would think there'd be a lot of regulatory requirements before you could actually set it up. I think your best bet would be for you (after getting your degree) to find the best-paying job you can, wherever that ends up being, and then move the family there.

As you may have realized, the areas you named are incredibly expensive and probably not worth it unless you have a high-paying job. Richmond would be far less stressful and costly, as would Virginia Beach or Raleigh-Durham.
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