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Old 07-31-2008, 06:58 PM
 
26 posts, read 66,695 times
Reputation: 11

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Ok lets talk. We will be moving to Northern VA, or somewhere up there in the very near future. My husband will be working in Tysons Corner, and also going to D.C.. His boss lives in Philly, and takes the train to D.C.. He said it takes thirty minutes on the train. I guess he could be lying, but I don't know why he would. Another coworker lives in Ashburn. He really likes it, but says the only way he avoids a killer commute is he has a hybrid and rides the HOV lane in for free. He said he passes everyone else up sitting in the horrible traffic. So we have to buy a hybrid? Here is my question. Most of the things I have read here about moving to NOVA scares the bajeezus out of me. Big house prices, gangs, toll roads, long commutes. There are trains that go to West VA, Vienna, Fairfax. I say that like I know where these places are. There are some others as well. Are these places horrible? Do people prefer to drive and have long commutes? Why? Does anyone know the commute times on various trains? The ideal of course would be to live close to where you work. It looks like Fairfax and Falls Church are the closest cities to Tysons Corner, of the desired places in NOVA. Chantilly is pretty close too. Whether or not we could easily afford it seems to be a concern, like everyone else. I know you all are not here to send people to other states (presumably) but it has to be a talked about subject, with gas and housing prices. Some companies are letting people use a pretaxed account to pay for trains as well. Ok, hit me! Just not too hard.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:25 PM
 
3,504 posts, read 7,944,397 times
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NOVA is not really as bad as your read here - it has top rated schools, tons of beautiful parks, low taxes (compared to NY/NJ/PA), Falls Church, Mclean, Fairfax, Vienna, etc are full of safe, tree-lined upsale suburbs - gangs are here but no one walks the streets in fear of their lives - gangs are everywhere these days -

30 minutes by train from Philly to D.C.? Is that true? Seems hard to believe.

Where are you coming from? If you are moving from NY/NJ/PA - it is better here in NOVA - less crime, lower taxes, and housing prices have dropped dramatically
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:27 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,363,563 times
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that's a lot of questions. Have you tried looking at the VRE and Metro websites? Personally, I would not live in Loudoun county because of the Greenway and Toll Road. If your husband is commuting to Tysons Corner and then taking the VRE he's going to be seriously warn out. Can you just stay in Texas.

Also dont believe everything you read about gangs, the crime is not THAT bad. Just a few moron posters like to post negative things on the board.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
1,430 posts, read 3,491,314 times
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Those places aren't horrible, in fact many people like living in them because of the convenience of simply sitting on the train into the city. The DC Metro system has the second largest mass transit ridership levels in the country, behind only New York...point being it isn't exactly unusued

I could go on forever about why traffic in the DC area is an absolute nightmare and why people don't use transit but the main reason (other than lack of new roads) is the location of the jobs. Sure downtown DC is still the heart of the region, but there are many other large edge cities spread out over the area and off the beaten path of mass transit.

I work in Tysons Corner, 40 years ago it was farmland, it is now home to 125,000 office workers and 2 large malls averaging tens of millions of shoppers per year. There is currently NO rail transit to Tysons except for the bus. Hundreds of thousands of people also live/work out along the Dulles Toll Road between the Beltway and Loudoun County, again no public transit other than the bus...translation LOTS of traffic. Those are just two examples and there are easily half a dozen more.

The hybrid laws are in effect until June of 2009 but you are required to have a "special fuel" plate issued by the DMV. If you bought right away I guess you could get 6 months to a years use out of it. If you purchased after 2006 then you can't use the HOV lanes on I-95/395 but you can still use the ones on Dulles Toll Road and I-66. I personally think that rule is ridiculous, I get so sick of single occupancy hybrid vehicles clogging up the HIGH OCCUPANCY vehicle lanes.

Last edited by NOVAmtneer82; 07-31-2008 at 09:26 PM..
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:28 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,363,563 times
Reputation: 1062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfax Mom View Post
NOVA is not really as bad as your read here - it has top rated schools, tons of beautiful parks, low taxes (compared to NY/NJ/PA), Falls Church, Mclean, Fairfax, Vienna, etc are full of safe, tree-lined upsale suburbs - gangs are here but no one walks the streets in fear of their lives - gangs are everywhere these days -

30 minutes by train from Philly to D.C.? Is that true? Seems hard to believe.

Where are you coming from? If you are moving from NY/NJ/PA - it is better here in NOVA - less crime, lower taxes, and housing prices have dropped dramatically

i thought you were on vacation
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:34 PM
 
3,504 posts, read 7,944,397 times
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Not for another week.

But really - people must think this area is terrible - what people think is a "bad area" here is nothing compared to the outskirts of most large cities.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,113 posts, read 12,684,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfax Mom View Post
Not for another week.

But really - people must think this area is terrible - what people think is a "bad area" here is nothing compared to the outskirts of most large cities.
I know. We both teach elementary students in West Springfield. Whenever we visit my in-laws in NW PA, we always get questions such as, "Do you have a lot of drug problems? Is it dangerous? I bet you have some stories to tell". We always try to explain what it is like, that the kids and their families are great, but they really don't believe us.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:49 AM
 
273 posts, read 1,350,486 times
Reputation: 72
You are not going to find an area where there is no traffic anywhere near DC or Tyson's corner. So people either deal with a longer commute to live where there is less traffic so their personal life is not so much in the hustle - this is also usually cheaper. The further out you are the less it costs generally speaking. They do have Marc trains from PA and West VA and the VRE from VA. Check the train schedules because I think it's more than 30 min from PA. Now even if you decide to live really close to the job that doesn't mean you won't sit in traffic either. It's funny because I live about 26 miles from DC and it takes me the same amount of time (45 min) as it takes a co-worker that lives less about 10 or 15 miles from work because I get on a highway that is cruising along at 65 mph and she is fighting a few roads with lights and merging onto a part of the highway that is bumper to bumper traffic. Also you could move somewhere convenient to metro and by the time you get on and if you have to change trains you could easily be spending 45 min on metro. However - that's a pretty low cost and not much stress so it really depends on what you prefer. I tried taking the VRE a few times from DC to Fredericksburg and found that it was much, much (about 30 min) faster to drive or slug. Slugging is a popular method of commuting off of 95 in VA. You have to have 3 people in your car to ride in the HOV lane so you either park at a commuter lot, get in a line and wait for a driver going your way or you can be the one that drives and pick some "slugs" up.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:58 AM
 
270 posts, read 803,485 times
Reputation: 172
Take a deep breathe. There are a few cultural curiosities here in NoVA, but nothing to be scared about.
1. Be ready for great diversity - where else will you see a Peruvian market, next to an Afghan restaurant, next to a Korean Church?
2. Hardly anybody is "from here." For that reason, it is relatively easy to fit in -compared to places where nobody ever moves.
3. Yes, you have to choose between a big house and a short commute. Everybody does. Some go for the short commute, others go for the big house - whatever you decide your neighbors will all probably have made the same choice.
4. As a veteran of the Philly-DC commute, I wish the train only took 30 mins. It's closer to 2 hours, even on the Acela.
5. Tolls are a fact of live on the East Coast. And more are on the way so you may as well get an EZ pass. The new HOT tolls on the beltway are in response to too many cars, not enough road.
6. If you tell us how much you plan to spend on housing - the fine folks in here will be able to narrow intelligently your realistic options. Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,538,663 times
Reputation: 1147
If your husband is going to work in Tysons, Reston is a really good place to look at living. Yes you do have the toll road but you are close to Tysons - about a 20 minute commute and Reston has lots of great housing in the whole spectrum of the market. Check out http://Reston.org for more about the nature areas, swimming pools, tennis courts, and organized activities. The Reston zip codes are 20191, 20190, & 20194.

I used to commute to Tysons (and wish my current job was there) but now I commute into DC. I have a carpool to get on the HOV and it ususally takes 45 minutes. Without the carpool it would take 1:10 to 1:20 on normal days and if I took the bus/train it would take 1:20 to 1:30.

Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.
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