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Old 03-13-2008, 06:06 AM
4 posts, read 8,107 times
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My family and I are relocating to VA from CT. We are looking in the Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania area. We have a baby who just turned 1!
I have been reading all the posts on this forum and they seem to be helpful so I thought I would join! Anyone living in these areas? Do you like it?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:15 AM
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Where will you be working? Anywhere north of there is going to be a commuting nightmare.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:26 AM
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I know, it looks like the commuting is the only negative so far. My husband will be working in ALexandria. He is going there first to check things out as far as the drive. It looks like he could take the train also. I will be staying home but most likely be looking for something part time in the future. thanks for your response.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:20 PM
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Commuting may be the only negative, but it's a huge one. The drive is awful. He will be on the road for AT LEAST 3 hours a day, probably closer to 4 if he works standard hours, especially in the summer with beach traffic on 95.
Unless he can take the train, I'd look closer in, even if you have to sacrifice some space. Otherwise, you will essentially be a single mom.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:35 PM
Location: Chesterfield, VA
1,218 posts, read 4,557,079 times
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Hi Patti. We just left Spotsylvania, so perhaps I can give you an honest assessment. We moved to the area in 2003, and at that time our kids were six and two. Honestly we had a great experience there - at least the kids and I did. We were in a planned community that was still in construction and there were tons of other families with kids about the same ages and I also stayed home. At least the first two years. Having the pool for the summer was my sanity. We found a great church off of Old Plank Road, and my daughter attended the preschool that rented space from the basement. My son was in the county schools and I had no complaints. As for schools, there are also several private and a growing home-school community.

There is lots to do with the historic aspect of the area and other recreational avenues with the Rappannock River and commercial venues. You also have old-town Fredericksburg that offers family events and things at the University of Mary Washington that is open to the public. My husband likes to fish and enjoyed going out to different spots when he could. And there are lots of golf courses in the area too.

My husband commuted north to Crystal City for the last three years we were there and was able to take the train for the last two and a half of that. And I will admit that his commute was the whole reason we left and headed south. So definitely make sure your husband understands that indeed his commute will take a lot of time. Of course he may be able to take the train, but if you live in the county, he will still have to get from the Fredericksburg station home, which could take at least a half hour depending where in the county you are. There are also van pools and buses he can sign up for, and if he is a government employee he could get a stipend to assist with public transportation costs.

Considering the housing market right now, and taking into account how long you will be in the area, you might want to consider renting for a while to make sure he can do the commute. When we first moved to Spotsylvania, the agent we used (I wasn't licensed at the time) told us that using Fredericksburg as a base, the same home would cost an extra $1000 for every mile north of Fredericksburg. But now, with this correction, I think prices have equalized, especially comparing Spotsy. and Stafford.

I hope all of this helps, and if you have any more questions just let me know.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:56 PM
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Hi! I've lived in the Fredericksburg area (S. Stafford County) since 1973. It's gone (and still going) through some major changes here! Except for the traffic issues, I think the growth has been to our benefit! We now have more and more shopping opportunities! There are alot of new restaurants in the area. But, because of poor planning, the roads are horrendous! I've never seen a locality that will allow building right up to existing 2-lane roads--KNOWING that in a year or two, the road will need to be widened! Going to northern Va. can be a nightmare, which is too bad, since there is an awful lot to do there! A trip that should take 40 minutes can take 2-21/2 hours--and that's routinely.

Part of the reason for the growth and congestion is that I-95 runs right through our area--making it a desirable location!
Just know that this area is very suburban--no easy walks to anywhere! Car needed! Expect traffic!
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:14 PM
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Please don't buy until you or your hubby have tried his commute awhile. On a Saturday morning, it took me over 3 hours to drive one way, what should be a 45-50 minute drive from my home near Alexandria to Fredericksburg. It was bumper-to-bumper AFTER the first 10 miles on 395. I had asked a Fred. resident for advice and she said "take Route 1 as the locals do - avoid 395." So, I got off 395 and took Route 1. Route 1 was even worse because it was two-lane traffic most of the way and many stoplights. Absolute agony. Although this might have been worse than on weekdays because it was in August and people were heading to lakes etc., it might not have been, since there should have been little or no commuter traffic. I do not know how people do this every single day. It would be better to live in a small townhouse than to endure it.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:30 PM
Location: Arlington, VA
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I agree with the other posters, the commute from Fredericksbug to Alexandria will be absolutely horrendous. Unless your husband enjoys sitting in gridlock for 3.5-4 hours a day then I would highly recommend you consider a closer in locale.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:13 PM
4 posts, read 8,107 times
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Thanks for all the honest feedback.
To onevtoki- thanks for the details on spotsylvania. In fact my husband is there now and I am sure he is driving around aimlessly! He actually really loved the spotsylvania area because it is very rural and scenic. However, he thinks I won;t like it. I am open but I admit I am a city girl! I am not a big shopper so I would travel to go to the mall for instance. I do like having a grocery store nearby. we live in somewhat of a rural town here in CT and I think since I had a child, I would like to have more of a neighborhood.
He said he also thought Stafford seemed nice homes etc.
Fredericksburg we are also looking at. He drove through the downtown and think that was it.

SO, even though your husband took the train it was still too much..?probably time I would imagine. I definitely will see how we do with my husbands commute maybe look for a place to rent.
I will be looking for possible day care for my son when I find something part time. I know your children were older when you moved there but if you or anyone knows of any reputable places? thanks again. patti
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:59 PM
Location: Chesterfield, VA
1,218 posts, read 4,557,079 times
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Patti - Glad you found the info helpful. If your husband is there now, definitely have him drive around. There really are some wonderful subdivisions in the area. Has he already started work? If so and is staying in a hotel, suggest to him that he stay in a Fredericksburg hotel for a week and try the train. He should be able to get a 10-trip ticket that would last him for the week. That would give him a good idea of what to expect with the commute. I will also PM you with some other suggestions. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Also, you mentioned the shopping. There really is just about any store you need right there in Fredericksburg. That is one thing I really miss. Here is Richmond everything is so spread out, but there you could consolidate trips (a big plus considering the gas prices right now). And since I mentioned gas, when figuring apples to oranges, consider the cost of gas if your husband will not be able to take the train.

Let us know if you have any other questions.
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