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Old 05-15-2017, 07:08 PM
 
13 posts, read 17,750 times
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Hello all! My husband is active duty Army and is getting out this year (finally!) We are a young couple with two young kids (4 and 5) and we are looking to relocate permanently to the D.C./northern VA area from Georgia. I am a registered nurse and he has his Bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security. We have NO idea where to start with finding a decent place to live that is not too expensive but is still a somewhat reasonable distance to commute into D.C for my husband. We are probably looking at a $350-$375k price range for a home (I know that doesn't go far in northern Virginia!) Factors that are most important to us:

-safety, low crime rate
-good school system
-commuting distance to D.C for my husband (hopefully within an hour or less)
-affordability ($375k give or take)
-family friendly with activities for young kids
-historical town, even a small town feel (we are not big on night life or the huge urban city scene)
-lots of outdoor activities and pretty scenery!
-great hospitals (for me as a nurse since I more than likely won't be commuting into D.C)

After COUNTLESS hours of research, the towns that have caught my eye most are Fredericksburg and Leesburg. I do realize these are quite a ways from D.C, but my husband could also possibly work at Quantico Station or Fort Belvoir and they aren't too terribly far from those places. I absolutely loved Arlington, but pretty sure it will be out of our price range unless we opted for a tiny condo, which isn't feasible with two little kids and a dog! Could I get some input on these towns and more suggestions for other places to look into? Pros and cons of everywhere? Excited to hear back from everyone! Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:25 PM
 
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For that price range, I would target Fredericksburg, and hope he doesn't have to commute to DC. A commute from Leesburg to Quantico or Belvior would be a nightmare. Also, in Leesburg, you are limiting yourself to townhouses at that price point.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:37 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Stafford is a possibility. Additionally, the Leeland Station neighborhood in north Fredericksburg is possibly in your price range and is very convenient to the VRE.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:38 PM
 
Location: northern va
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Fredericksburg could hit on almost all of your criteria, provided the DC commute doesn't occur. That commute will be a nightmare. He could take the VRE in but then you have to factor in train times and $$
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Fredericksburg meets the majority of your criteria minus the one hour commute to DC- if your husband is driving solo and has a fairly conventional work schedule it will be closer to 2 hours. VRE is an option, but looking at the schedule it appears to be around 90 minutes from Fredericksburg to L'Enfant or Union Station- you will need to also add extra time onto that figure to account for driving to the station, parking and depending on the final destination, a transfer onto the Metro to get to his office in DC. Hopefully he can work from Quantico or Fort Belvoir.

A commute from Leesburg to DC will be better than one from Fredericksburg but still be time consuming. The prices in Leesburg are higher- you would be looking at a townhouse in your price range.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:02 AM
 
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I always steer people toward the Montclair neighborhood in Dumfries. It is not as far south as some Dumfries areas and is more in the Woodbridge vicinity. Schools are the better ones in Prince William Country, neighborhood is older/established, very pretty and VERY family friendly.

It also puts you very close to Quantico with a reverse commute (good), very reasonable to Belvoir, and TONS of public trans. options into DC if that happens that would be just under an hour. If your husband is a single driver and can work early hours, driving into DC at that time is also fine (just not during peak hours).

As to the historical town, small town feel, that's VERY rare in this area. You're definitely not going to find it in your price range.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Central Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuneycu12 View Post
-commuting distance to D.C for my husband (hopefully within an hour or less)
-affordability ($375k give or take)
-historical town, even a small town feel (we are not big on night life or the huge urban city scene)
OP, you'll likely need to sacrifice one of these three.

Occoquan has the historic, small town feel but there is just one townhouse currently listed for $379k.

https://www.redfin.com/VA/OCCOQUAN/2...5/home/9274431

Lake Ridge (22192) has plenty of townhomes for <$375k and even some single family homes in that price range. The commute could be less than an hour depending to where and which method. However, it's very much the suburbs. It doesn't have that historic, small town feel.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:22 AM
 
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Thanks for the info! I am really hoping he won't have to work out of D.C. Would the commute from Fredericksburg to Quantico or Fort Belvoir be more feasible? Is there public transportation for that? He has his truck but it's a gas guzzler... may need to consider a more gas friendly vehicle if he opts to drive!
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:31 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
Fredericksburg meets the majority of your criteria minus the one hour commute to DC- if your husband is driving solo and has a fairly conventional work schedule it will be closer to 2 hours. VRE is an option, but looking at the schedule it appears to be around 90 minutes from Fredericksburg to L'Enfant or Union Station- you will need to also add extra time onto that figure to account for driving to the station, parking and depending on the final destination, a transfer onto the Metro to get to his office in DC. Hopefully he can work from Quantico or Fort Belvoir.

A commute from Leesburg to DC will be better than one from Fredericksburg but still be time consuming. The prices in Leesburg are higher- you would be looking at a townhouse in your price range.

Thanks so much for the helpful info! We would only opt for Leesburg if he ended up getting a job in D.C. We are hoping he can work at Quantico or Ft Belvoir so we can live in Fredericksburg or in one of the smaller towns in that general area- I think it's Stafford county? Would the commute from Fredericksburg to Quantico or Belvoir be feasible? Is there public transportation there? From what I am reading it looks like he can get all the way to Quantico station by train but would have to go as far as Lorton Station for Belvoir, and that appears to be a good ways away from actual Belvoir. We could easily get approved for a loan higher than $375k, but we aren't wanting to die in debt... lol! We may just have to up our budget a bit more since we REALLY want to make the move to Northern VA.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:34 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
I always steer people toward the Montclair neighborhood in Dumfries. It is not as far south as some Dumfries areas and is more in the Woodbridge vicinity. Schools are the better ones in Prince William Country, neighborhood is older/established, very pretty and VERY family friendly.

It also puts you very close to Quantico with a reverse commute (good), very reasonable to Belvoir, and TONS of public trans. options into DC if that happens that would be just under an hour. If your husband is a single driver and can work early hours, driving into DC at that time is also fine (just not during peak hours).

As to the historical town, small town feel, that's VERY rare in this area. You're definitely not going to find it in your price range.
Thanks so much! I am looking at Dumfries now and it looks adorable and somewhere we'd definitely be interested in living... also plenty of homes in the price range we want! He would be driving by himself and I am not sure about his work schedule yet... but it would be fairly early and hopefully before the hugest morning rush hour. I figured with our price range we wouldn't be able to hit every "want" on our list, but Dumfries is pretty darn close! Thanks
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