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Old 08-12-2017, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,879 posts, read 6,326,716 times
Reputation: 1249

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First of all, thank you all for being helpful answering my (many) other questions. After a few weeks house hunting, and 1 offer made that was declined, I'm at the point where I think I can make another offer.

I'm looking at a great townhouse in Oakton at around $500K. It has no obvious defects, and is in a great school district. I don't have kids yet, but 1-2 in the next 5 years are likely.

However, there is another home in the Danbury Forest community, outside of the beltway in Springfield. It's close to the walking trails of Lake Accotink, which I really love. It's listed at around 430K.

Is Oakton really worth 70K more? Both are roughly comparable in terms of commutes. I know that Springfield is considered less desirable than Oakton, of course, but the Lake Braddock HS pyramid seems pretty good, at least according to GreatSchools.

What would you do?
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:10 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 875,624 times
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If you're looking at a townhome at $500k in Oakton, that means you're looking at Arrowood. It's a fabulous community, and you really can't beat the location. When we lived there, it took me no time to get anywhere because you just had to hop on 66 and go up or down a few exists. Fairfax City and Vienna are still convenient. We always liked heading west on weekends to explore rural VA. It's also very walkable. We miss our neighbors there. And the HOA isn't crazy.

I've never lived in Springfield, but I can say that it was nice being in a community with mostly single family homes and just a few townhouses and condos. There was never the constant parking headache like we experienced visiting friends in Springfield and Burke with its huge townhouse communities.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:16 PM
 
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I'll also say that we bought our townhouse around 2011 for $400k and we were able
To sell it last year no problem. And you see the prices they are fetching.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,879 posts, read 6,326,716 times
Reputation: 1249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
If you're looking at a townhome at $500k in Oakton, that means you're looking at Arrowood. It's a fabulous community, and you really can't beat the location. When we lived there, it took me no time to get anywhere because you just had to hop on 66 and go up or down a few exists. Fairfax City and Vienna are still convenient. We always liked heading west on weekends to explore rural VA. It's also very walkable. We miss our neighbors there. And the HOA isn't crazy.

I've never lived in Springfield, but I can say that it was nice being in a community with mostly single family homes and just a few townhouses and condos. There was never the constant parking headache like we experienced visiting friends in Springfield and Burke with its huge townhouse communities.
Arrowood indeed! It's good to hear that you had a good experience there. It seems like a quiet, wooded neighborhood, with tons of guest parking. I also love going hiking out near Front Royal, so just hopping on 66 on a Saturday is an appealing thought.

When you say "walkable," what do you mean exactly? Are there trails nearby, or do you mean the shops around Oakton ES that are 10-15 min. away? This wouldn't be a bad walk, just want to confirm that's what you mean.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,879 posts, read 6,326,716 times
Reputation: 1249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
I'll also say that we bought our townhouse around 2011 for $400k and we were able
To sell it last year no problem. And you see the prices they are fetching.
That was great timing on your part. I model any big financial decisions in Excel, and I'm only assuming 1% annual appreciation in the future since I like to be conservative and think there's no way we see similar appreciation in the future.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:41 PM
 
8,579 posts, read 10,660,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destinedtodave View Post
I'm looking at a great townhouse in Oakton at around $500K. It has no obvious defects, and is in a great school district. I don't have kids yet, but 1-2 in the next 5 years are likely.
While you should still consider schools as part of your home purchase, my guess is that you will have upgraded to a SFH before the first one is in school, if you have two (or more).
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:57 AM
 
1,109 posts, read 875,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destinedtodave View Post
Arrowood indeed! It's good to hear that you had a good experience there. It seems like a quiet, wooded neighborhood, with tons of guest parking. I also love going hiking out near Front Royal, so just hopping on 66 on a Saturday is an appealing thought.

When you say "walkable," what do you mean exactly? Are there trails nearby, or do you mean the shops around Oakton ES that are 10-15 min. away? This wouldn't be a bad walk, just want to confirm that's what you mean.
We would often walk over to Borge Street Park which has sidewalks all the way there via the AT&T office building. We would sometimes walk over towards the shops near the elementary school. We always liked walking around our neighborhood and never once felt unsafe.

There are quite a few kids from baby through elementary school age around too. We were saddest to leave our neighbors both child-free and with kids. We just drove by yesterday to say hi to them and I see that they replaced the whole community which was a big project that had been needing to do for a while. The HOA is self-managed at the moment but not as disf****ional as many. It's also dirt cheap compared to most at $80 a month.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,879 posts, read 6,326,716 times
Reputation: 1249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
We would often walk over to Borge Street Park which has sidewalks all the way there via the AT&T office building. We would sometimes walk over towards the shops near the elementary school. We always liked walking around our neighborhood and never once felt unsafe.

There are quite a few kids from baby through elementary school age around too. We were saddest to leave our neighbors both child-free and with kids. We just drove by yesterday to say hi to them and I see that they replaced the whole community which was a big project that had been needing to do for a while. The HOA is self-managed at the moment but not as disf****ional as many. It's also dirt cheap compared to most at $80 a month.
What do you mean by replacing the community? Do you mean the old HOA management co or something else?
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:24 AM
 
1,109 posts, read 875,624 times
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Apologies. They repaved* the whole community.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:43 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 1,830,932 times
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I guess it depends on what you want to be closer to. My sister lives across Braddock off Wakefield Chapel so very familiar with that area. Can't beat being close to the beltway, but I used to live right by Borge Street Park renting a condo. I worked in Tyson's at the time and had friends in N Arlington and Fairfax so the location in Oakton was ideal. Having quick access to Vienna metro was a plus. I have to say a small irritation was 123 to the grocery store, etc was ALWAYS backed up. The parking lot at that shopping center was a huge PITA. While I lived there I started dating someone that lived in MD and yes, 66 was almost constantly backed up on the weekends.
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