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Old 04-09-2017, 07:44 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,806 times
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I am a retiree considering moving to Northern Virginia from California. I currently reside in SoCal, but spent the majority of my years in the East Bay Area. I am interested in leaving CA due to the extremely high cost of living here. In researching potential retirement destinations, I read Arlington was rated as one of the best places for retirees in 2016. I am contemplating visiting in several weeks to look at Arlington and the surrounding suburbs. That said, before I make a trip out, I have several questions:

1.) I would like to keep my monthly rental costs under $2,500. I am looking for a 2 bedroom house with yard (I have a dog), in a very safe neighborhood. Ideally, I am seeking a walkable setting with close proximity to nice shopping/stores (i.e. - Whole Foods) and restaurants.

2.) I have come across comments on this site that people in NOVA are often transient (short term residents) and are generally not friendly or welcoming.

I would greatly appreciate the group's opinions.

thanks!!
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
948 posts, read 535,057 times
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Regarding question #2: I would say it depends. When I lived in Alexandria, my husband and I met few people in our townhouse complex. We joined the civic association and met tons of people that way. Also the street area next to our townhouse complex had block parties and were very neighborly, but our townhouse complex was meh! We moved to Mt. Vernon, and no one talks to us here. We are over 55, and people out here are either very young, with kids, or very old original house owners. Nothing in common! A lot has to do whether or not you live in an established neighborhood or new construction.

My advice to you is that VA is nothing like California. Not that it is bad, just different. Had things worked out differently, I would still be out there. The cost of living is not cheap here, either. If you find a place here (Arlington is great!), you can just join groups, meetups or organizations to meet people. Why not fly out to visit and check out the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia?). Annapolis is great, as is Frederick, MD and Norfolk, Williamsburg, and Richmond. DC has some fantastic up and coming neighborhoods such as the waterfront area.

J from Reston will probably post here to tell you about that location. She will not steer you wrong, so consider her advice as well.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,531,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm0484 View Post
J from Reston will probably post here to tell you about that location. She will not steer you wrong, so consider her advice as well.
OP you are trying to trade one high cost living area for another. In Reston you will find yourself farther away from the core of DC and lower housing costs. Though you won't find a 2 bedroom house with a yard in Reston for $2500. There just are not very many 2 bedroom houses in Reston. You will find lots of areas of Reston that are walkable to shopping and dining. You will also find a good number of townhouses in your price range. Consider one that is close to the 100+ acres of open space and 50+ miles of trails that Reston offers for walking your dog. Here are a few options to check out.

11418 LINKS DR, RESTON, VA 20190 | MLS FX9911941 | Listing Information | MRIShomes.com
2017 SARAZEN PL, RESTON, VA 20191 | MLS FX9907923 | Listing Information | MRIShomes.com
12065 TRUMBULL WAY #2065-5, RESTON, VA 20190 | MLS FX9909031 | Listing Information | MRIShomes.com

Nothing available right now near my favorite area near South Lakes Village Center.

Welcome to South Lakes Village Center!
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,588 posts, read 33,342,895 times
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I say if you are looking for relief from a high COL area Northern VA is not the place for you. If you are going to look in Virginia I'd steer towards Richmond, Norfolk, or Virginia Beach for more cost-friendly options.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,282 posts, read 5,575,674 times
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Agreed all but you should look into South Carolina. ---SanDiego lady
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:43 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,806 times
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Thanks all for your advice. From the research I have done, I thought NOVA would be expensive, but was hoping for some insider information. I checked out the houses suggested. Unfortunately I do not do well with stairs (arthritis), so was hoping for a single level house. Can you recommend any communities with single story housing? The backyard was because I watch my daughter's Great Dane and he is getting more challenging for me to walk. Am I looking for the impossible??
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:02 AM
 
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You really should check out Richmond, Williamsburg and VA Beach. We made the move from SoCal to Southeastern Virginia (VA Beach, Norfolk, Newport News metro) ten years ago and would NEVER go back to California, the quality of life here is so much better and IMO there are lots of similarities to California.
NoVa is uber expensive and typifies the rat race of Cali, can't imagine retiring there.

Check out the New Town area of Williamsburg, very walkable and full of amenities.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:22 AM
 
1,825 posts, read 2,588,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalifornia View Post
Thanks all for your advice. From the research I have done, I thought NOVA would be expensive, but was hoping for some insider information. I checked out the houses suggested. Unfortunately I do not do well with stairs (arthritis), so was hoping for a single level house. Can you recommend any communities with single story housing? The backyard was because I watch my daughter's Great Dane and he is getting more challenging for me to walk. Am I looking for the impossible??
The Greenbriar neighborhood in western Fairfax has single story homes. Here's a link to see,
https://www.redfin.com/city/33016/VA/Greenbriar. It is an older neighborhood but well kept up with lots of shopping around it. I'm not sure how often a rental comes up in their single story homes. My impression is these sell fairly fast as there are not a lot of single level homes in NoVa.

Now, truth in advertising, we retired away from NoVa, mainly due to the crazy traffic. I know, it's not as bad as So. Calif but the poster above is right about cost and traffic. However if you want NoVa, there is lots to do and see. Just letting you know there are some options there for single level living.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:17 AM
 
230 posts, read 187,093 times
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Retiree? Do you currently own or rent? Have you considered the high cost of leaving if you own (Prop 13)???
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:14 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,806 times
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Default What about the people?

Thanks again for more housing ideas. I checked the cities you all suggested out. Glad there are some one story houses. I sold my house in Ca and cannot buy it back!! So I will be renting.
No one mentioned anything about the friendliness of NOVA people. That was a big concern of mine also. Lots of negative comments about this on other threads. Even on my research on Williamsburg, several noted that people there are set in their friends and not that open. I am concerned that I will not be able to make new friends. Sound like lots of the population is pretty busy and not that interested in more than their own lives ..... not those of you who responded to me of course!!! Thanks for whatever you can share on this front.
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