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Old 04-02-2008, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia PA
260 posts, read 828,381 times
Reputation: 124

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Hello everyone, my husband is in the military and lately we have been searching for work for him once he gets out. Yesterday he recieved an e-mail from the Dept. of the Navy saying that they are interested in him for a position as a civilian at the Naval Research Center in D.C. Now mind you, I am extremely happy at the fact that he might have a job right after he leaves the military, but I am a little apprehensive because all I have heard is horror stories about D.C. and its traffic...blah blah blah...He won't be making more than $50,000 (max is $57,000) and I am a "customer service representative" for now (I'm almost done getting certified by the state of VA for court interpreting/translation).
In other words, we would be a family of 6 with an income of maybe a little over $90,000-$100,000 a year.

Does any one know what are the pros of working in D.C. and whether it is a good idea for us to move there?
How is the housing market there or in the surrounding areas?
Is it hard to find decent housing not within D.C. but its suburbs?
Is a commute fron Nothern VA too hard?
We can commute an hour if necessary...
I'm so confused...I just need some help...I love the idea of being able to walk around and see all the monuments and things like that when I please, but I also want to be able to live in a peaceful community setting where I can raise my little ones in a good environment...any help would be greatly appreciated.
We probably need a 3-4 bedroom house, big enough for 3 adults and 3 children. We have 3 little ones and his mother is living with us as well, so she would need her own bedroom.
We don't need anything fancy, just comfortable, safe and of course, affordable.
Renting is also an option...
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
1,430 posts, read 3,482,145 times
Reputation: 773
The DC area is a great place to live, work, and play but it comes with a hefty price tag.

Northern VA is a huge area so the commute into DC will depend on where you chose to live. If you select Arlington or Alexandria then it USUALLY can be done in about 30ish minutes by rail or road. Live further out in say Ashburn to the west or Woodbridge to the south then you can expect a drive of around 90 minutes one way.

I don't have kids yet but there are many parents on this board who usually have nothing but excellent things to say about the school systems in Northern Virginia, in particular Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Of course homes in the higher ranked school boundaries will cost more.

As far as surviving in Northern VA on 90,000-100,000 with a family of six, it defintiely can be done. The average annual salary in Fairfax County is around $100,000 with other neighboring counties in the 90s so looks like you will indeed be right on the money with that. Housing affordability definitely can be an issue, especially if one moves to the DC area from other less expensive parts of the nation. If you want an easy commute into DC expect to pay top dollar, we're talking well over 500K for a 3-4 bedroom home (it will probably need some work) inside the beltway. These homes won't be new as there are little to no large tracts of land left for large scale SFH construction.

On average the further you go from the city the home prices are cheaper, areas around thirty miles or so away from the city probably have newer 3-4bdrm SFHs in the upper 300s to low 400s, as long as you don't expect to be in a gated community.

Good luck with your decision, I moved here four years ago and have loved every minute of it!
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
1,261 posts, read 5,044,629 times
Reputation: 719
* Does any one know what are the pros of working in D.C. and whether it is a good idea for us to move there?

DC is the place to be for retired military. Jobs galore plus the opportunities with contractors.



* How is the housing market there or in the surrounding areas?

Tons of housing options. Just depends on how much you want to spend.



*Is it hard to find decent housing not within D.C. but its suburbs?

No.


* Is a commute from Nothern VA too hard?

No.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:52 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,349,598 times
Reputation: 1060
my suggestion is get down here and rent a place in Fairfax/DC/MD somewhere. Take your time and get to know the area and the traffic. Then after a year then you can make your move to a better area or closer to work.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,183 posts, read 13,303,745 times
Reputation: 7353
You've heard right--the traffic is awful, and your $100,000.00 won't go very far, but it can be done.
A "normal" sized home will start at $500,000--homes are expensive! And that will probably require some updating!
Definitely do some research on housing, costs, traffic....
(I've lived in this area my entire life, and it gets worse every year!)
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