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Old 08-15-2016, 02:02 PM
 
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I live in Woodbridge. I work in DC. I am 8 minutes from a very busy and wonderfully "staffed" commuter lot. From that log you can take a bus or vanpool/carpool, or slug to the Pentagon or DC. Very easy. I am also the same distance from the VRE, so there's that option also.

Woodbridge is not rural but you can get more land with a home than you can closer to DC. There are some areas heading out towards Manassas that border on being more "woodsy" but then you increase your time to the commuter lots.

$2000 a month rent for a single family home is going to be tough. I would probably not rent a single family home where that cost might be. There are some VERY sketchy areas of Woodbridge and then some very nice areas. The place you are talking about (safe, good schools, etc) within Woodbridge is probably going to go over your budget.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
I could be wrong, but I don't think you are getting a SFH for under $2K in these areas.
AHHHH no! Yeah, no chance for that. Except a few 1950s 2 bedroom SFH in Falls Church or Fairfax City.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vduke View Post
Sorry for not including more info. Right now we have no kids but plan to in the near future. I'm not sure how long we will be in the DC area for so at least knowing about elementary schools would help. We are in our mid to late twenties and would like something in the rural area; somewhere that's not entirely crowded. I've never experienced using the metro before so it's definitely going to be something to get used to for me. I would like to live at least within 10-15 min from some sort of transportation into DC. For our budget we're trying to stay under $2000 a month for rent and hoping to rent a house, not a townhouse or apartment.
My advice would be not to worry about schools and kids if you don't have any yet. You'll have time to learn the area after you get here. In your price range I do not think you can rent a house, and I do not think you will find anything remotely rural within driving distance of a metro or DC. You're going to have to just move here into something you can afford (i.e. rent a regular one-bedroom apartment for a while), and worry about where to get a house much later, when you need one and really know the area.

Try a cheap apartment in or near Old Town Alexandria, for example, or near another metro station. Just get something convenient and affordable for now. Your desires are just too out of touch with reality here, and you're going to need to readjust your expectations after you see NoVa.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:52 PM
 
7,958 posts, read 9,699,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vduke View Post
Honestly all I'm asking for are some suggestions of some nice cities around DC to look into that doesn't have a crazy cost of living and isn't too far from the metro or VRE so we don't have to drive into DC and deal with the traffic. Rural is preferred but if we can't get that near the metro or VRE that is fine. Also hoping for less than an hour of a commute. Thank you
1) Close distance to DC
2) Reasonable Cost
3) Size/ style/ condition of house and lot

In the DC area you only get to pick two of these. You cannot get all three. Pick your top two and then we can help. Sounds like your top 2 are distance and cost. That's fine. It's doable, but you will be living in an apartment or a small, older townhouse in a non-ideal area.

We all make this sacrifice.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Lancaster, PA
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For the 1st year, live near the Pentagon in an apartment. Learn the overall area and real needs.

I'd go nuts with a Woodbridge commute, but that's me.
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,104 posts, read 5,387,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vduke View Post
Thanks for your input. Will check out those places. What kind of reputation does Woodbridge have if we do decide to move to that city? Do you know if it's considered safe, especially when out at night?
22192 is a nice, safe area of Woodbridge. However, it will be near impossible to find a SFH for $2000. You could get a nice TH for that amount though.

There are also different options for commuting to the Pentagon - VRE, carpool/slugging, and the bus.
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:29 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
I live in Woodbridge. I work in DC. I am 8 minutes from a very busy and wonderfully "staffed" commuter lot. From that log you can take a bus or vanpool/carpool, or slug to the Pentagon or DC. Very easy. I am also the same distance from the VRE, so there's that option also.

Woodbridge is not rural but you can get more land with a home than you can closer to DC. There are some areas heading out towards Manassas that border on being more "woodsy" but then you increase your time to the commuter lots.

$2000 a month rent for a single family home is going to be tough. I would probably not rent a single family home where that cost might be. There are some VERY sketchy areas of Woodbridge and then some very nice areas. The place you are talking about (safe, good schools, etc) within Woodbridge is probably going to go over your budget.
Thanks so much!
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:33 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your input. Obviously since I've never been in that area I don't really know what I'm getting myself into yet with the commute to DC and trying to find somewhere affordable to live. I'll definitely take everyone's advice into consideration
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:41 AM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,362,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vduke View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. Obviously since I've never been in that area I don't really know what I'm getting myself into yet with the commute to DC and trying to find somewhere affordable to live. I'll definitely take everyone's advice into consideration
Honestly glad that you came here, because commuting is next to hell if you desire a lifestyle of a traditional big yard and grass and a dog, it can crack marriages, ruin high expectations. Like the other posters said, come to DC with an open mind and a good attitude, rent first two years and learn about the area, get the scoop on how the traffic works, and the metro, VRE and Loudoun County Bus, and Omniride etc.. Hope your next post is : where should I rent.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:04 AM
 
734 posts, read 1,733,246 times
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Question for the OP: Have you visited the area yet? Northern Virginia is a very large, intimidating area. When I moved here, I remember being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options, expensive prices, and long commutes.


The good news: Your husband will be working at the Pentagon. As such, he has a number of commuting options, including commuter/express buses (ie, use I-95 or I-66, and don't crawl along local streets), VRE (regional rail), Metro, and slugging (hard to explain succinctly, but think low-tech, free Uber from commuter lots). This does give you some leeway.


The bad news: You don't have a job lined up yet. As such, it would be nearly impossible to give you good advice as to a good spot to live. If you have a particular career, you should probably get that lined up before settling on a place to live. If that is not possible, I would sacrifice a little of the rural feel to live close to a couple of major commute options (ie, I-95 or I-66, VRE, etc.). That would give increase the likelihood of an acceptable commute. If your skills are in general office work or retail, and therefore work is more widespread, then you can base housing choices solely on your husband's commute.


If you and your husband can come for a visit, I would suggest connecting with a local real estate agent before you arrive. He/she can work with you on budget and preferences, and save you time by eliminating certain properties/areas that don't meet your rental criteria, something that may not be obvious from a Google Maps view. We lucked into finding an excellent agent when we were scouting out the area for a place to rent, but would have saved time if we had contacted one before the visit.
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