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Old 07-07-2008, 11:12 AM
 
16 posts, read 73,879 times
Reputation: 13

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We are newly married and are looking for a house .. we are having trouble deciding on the area to live in.

Some factors that play a role are the school system for future kids, ease of travel as I do a lot of travel for work as well as we want a newer house 2000 and up.

How are the commute times from Gainesville or Centreville in the morning if we need to get to anywhere as far as Annandale or sometimes even to Maryland by 10am? 66 always looks soooo bad and congested, we are afraid to live out there.

School system-wise , Lorton doesnt seem as good (or even somewhat poor at this point) is there any projection on it improving in the next 5 years?

The new housing in Gainesville/Haymarket are phenomenal, and the school system seems great. We are just worried about having nothing to do out there and trying to get out to Tysons etc would suck. Any concrete projections for malls and other restaurants etc out there?

Housing in Centreville just seems like its hard to get a $550 or lower price on a nice new house..

For a future family and/or resale value, which would be better - Lorton or Gainesville?

Thanks for the long read..
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
352 posts, read 1,442,336 times
Reputation: 85
My gut feeling is that Gainesville schools are better than either Centreville or Lorton, but I don't have the data to back that up.

More importantly, the commute from Gainesville or Centreville (or Lorton) to Maryland would absolutely kill you IF you plan on travelling as a single passenger auto. If you are taking any of the number of bus service, VRE, slug, or hybrid/carpool options, or a combination of any of the above with Metro, it can make excellent sense. At the top of this forum there's a sticky post with all of the public transportation options. As for me, I commute from Manassas (right on the Gainesville border) to Arlington/Ballston every morning and get in by 9am, and do it using OmniRide - PRTC - The Ride That's Right For You. Highly recommended, but there are other options too. Just don't delude yourself into thinking you can make it work as a single passenger auto - it's self-inflicted mental cruelty.
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:21 PM
 
34 posts, read 94,614 times
Reputation: 15
Knopfler,

For you to get in by 9, what time do you leave your house and how long is the ride into Arlington? I was just in Manassas this past weekend and was told Gainsville was a good place to live. But looking on the map, it seemed to far out to visit. Obviously, I would commute by VRE into DC.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:54 PM
 
16 posts, read 73,879 times
Reputation: 13
For a future family and/or resale value, which would be better - Lorton or Gainesville?
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:58 PM
 
Location: columbia, mo
51 posts, read 75,037 times
Reputation: 24
if i were to pick one spot as ideal place to live i would say near oakton. they have a top school program. i live in lorton rite now and property values are doing well, but frankly, the school system is rly bad
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:15 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,893,366 times
Reputation: 3774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanco View Post
if i were to pick one spot as ideal place to live i would say near oakton. they have a top school program. i live in lorton rite now and property values are doing well, but frankly, the school system is rly bad

Nonsense. There is no such thing as a "rly bad" Fairfax County public school. Some face greater challenges than others due to demographics....but you have to cross the bridge into DC or PG County to see "rly bad".

Parts of Lorton feed the brand new South County Secondary School which is excellent. Hayfield probably has the worst "rep" of all the schools around there, undeserved in my opinion.

If the choice is Lorton or Gainesville, I'd go for Lorton in a heartbeat.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:52 PM
 
16 posts, read 73,879 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by car54 View Post
Nonsense. There is no such thing as a "rly bad" Fairfax County public school. Some face greater challenges than others due to demographics....but you have to cross the bridge into DC or PG County to see "rly bad".

Parts of Lorton feed the brand new South County Secondary School which is excellent. Hayfield probably has the worst "rep" of all the schools around there, undeserved in my opinion.

If the choice is Lorton or Gainesville, I'd go for Lorton in a heartbeat.

Thanks for the input guys, very much appreciated!!

South County Secondary looks like a really good school. As far as elementary - Silverbrook seems decent, not so sure if I would pick a house that feeds to Gunston or lorton station elementary though.

I am starting to lean more heavily towards Lorton the more I think about it, since the commute to everywhere is quite easy.

Projection for Lorton real estate values, will it recover? The prices are higher than out in gainesville, and the houses are a little older, but it does seem like there are some 2000 or newer homes out there at least (seeing all the new homes in gainesville still has me dreaming)
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:57 PM
 
16 posts, read 73,879 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanco View Post
if i were to pick one spot as ideal place to live i would say near oakton. they have a top school program. i live in lorton rite now and property values are doing well, but frankly, the school system is rly bad

I would love to live in Oakton, but I can't afford the houses out there, or at least not for a newer one .. and I really dont want to live in an older house, I really really want to get one that is 2000 or newer, or a totally updated older home I guess ..

My budget is $500 max to *maybe* 580/600-ish if I see something totally outstanding, but I would rather not have to worry so much about making mortgage payments if the wife decides not to work anymore after a baby comes
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:10 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,893,366 times
Reputation: 3774
Quote:
Originally Posted by newandconfused View Post
Thanks for the input guys, very much appreciated!!

South County Secondary looks like a really good school. As far as elementary - Silverbrook seems decent, not so sure if I would pick a house that feeds to Gunston or lorton station elementary though.

I am starting to lean more heavily towards Lorton the more I think about it, since the commute to everywhere is quite easy.

Projection for Lorton real estate values, will it recover? The prices are higher than out in gainesville, and the houses are a little older, but it does seem like there are some 2000 or newer homes out there at least (seeing all the new homes in gainesville still has me dreaming)

There's a huge expansion of Fort Belvoir planned under BRAC. That has to be good for Lorton home values. Close-in is goiing to be the name of the game.

I don't think we'll ever see cheap gas again...and the folks out in the exurbs are going to be hurtin'...
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
352 posts, read 1,442,336 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMT660 View Post
Knopfler,

For you to get in by 9, what time do you leave your house and how long is the ride into Arlington? I was just in Manassas this past weekend and was told Gainsville was a good place to live. But looking on the map, it seemed to far out to visit. Obviously, I would commute by VRE into DC.
The completion of Sudley Manor Drive does start to blur the lines between Gainesville, Bristow and the northern part of Manassas in that area. It's worth checking all three of them out as one unit.

What I do for commuting is take the Manassas Metro Direct bus Manassas Metro Direct AM Schedule, then Metro from West Falls church to Ballston. Catching the bus at the 6:57am Stonehouse stop puts me in the office about 8:15am. Totally stress free. Going home takes about an hour to 70 minutes.
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