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Old 08-11-2008, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,447 posts, read 2,870,221 times
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Default Retire to Prince William Forest Park area?

I posted a similar question about Cedarville State Forest in the Maryland forum, so pretty much the same question here.

My wife and I are getting closer to retirement but are having trouble deciding whether we want to live in a bigger city or more rural. Actually living in a large metropolitan area concerns us, but so does living in the middle of nowhere.

It seems like the area near Prince William Forest is promising. (I've skimmed this forum and know enough to stay out of Triangle/Dumfries, so I'm talking west of there.) We would be looking for a smaller two-bedroom house on at least 3-5 acres for around $300,000. Ideally we'd love to back up to Prince William Forest since we now live on 5 wooded acres.

We'd be around an hour from Washington, DC and all the museums, etc. (Won't have to fight the rush hour traffic since I'll be retired.) Moreover, I'm a huge history buff and I can't think of an area more crammed full of interesting destinations, mostly free. (Yeah, another Civil War buff -- sorry!)

Am I on the right track? Thanks for any opinions or suggestions.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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Hi,Are you interested in a newer home/community or older?I mainly know the neighborhoods off of 234/Dumfries Road in Manassas (zip 20112), specifically Woodbine Woods. These are homes built in the 70s/80s on large lots and the neighborhoods are very shaded, peaceful, family friendly, etc.I didn't live there, but had several friends in that area. Quite a hidden gem of an area! These are your 3-4 bedroom homes, but I'm sure there are some properties that are smaller. You could also find something on the river, but it might be more $.Anyhow, I think that would be a lovely choice ... good luck with your decision!
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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We live about 4 miles west of I95, just off of 234 across from PW Forest Park. I don't know how many 2 bedroom homes can be found that back up to the park though. HAve you seen some in particular? In non-rush hour traffic we can get to DC for National's games in less than an hour. There is the 55 and over community of Four Seasons which is near the park, but does not back to it and would not have 3-5 acre lots.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
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Thanks for the responses. I'm probably not interested in a retirement community but a 55+ community does sound interesting.

I guess we have high expectations based on what we have now, which is a terrific blend of rural with close access to urban. We have about 20 homes in my subdivision on the outskirts of the county and all have 5 wooded acres. And just 45 minutes from a bigger city with all that offers. So it's a real paradise that we'd like to match somewhere. But our house is too large for us now, we both love history and are looking for a change, so this area just seems ideal.

An hour to DC sounds fine to me, so that part is great. And we'd be just an hour from several Civil War parks, so that's outstanding.

We could probably go a little more money, but I'd rather have land than a big house. Maybe buy a larger lot and build a smaller home?

Again, thanks for all comments.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:59 AM
 
805 posts, read 1,703,483 times
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Hey, I'm close to you now. Are you on the east side of Louisville? I'm in Lexington. I'd suggest you do a quick search of zip 20112 and look at a few of the options. The houses I am talking about are not huge houses, despite being 3-4 bedroom homes. They are sort of 2400 square feet homes rather than 4000, etc. But the other poster knows more about what is directly on the park. I think it is all within the same zip code, however. In my experience, 2 acres in a community of homes on acreage isn't too different from a little bit more acreage. (We used to live on 2.5 acres backed by hundreds of forested acres so I think it's really the overall environs that matter).
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,447 posts, read 2,870,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blossom4792 View Post
Hey, I'm close to you now. Are you on the east side of Louisville?
Bingo! I love being rural but having access to Louisville with the restaurants, shopping, etc.

Quote:
I'd suggest you do a quick search of zip 20112 and look at a few of the options. The houses I am talking about are not huge houses, despite being 3-4 bedroom homes. They are sort of 2400 square feet homes rather than 4000, etc.
A 3-bd would be fine since one bd could be an office. I'm actually looking to downscale to about 2000 sq ft at most. No kids!

Quote:
In my experience, 2 acres in a community of homes on acreage isn't too different from a little bit more acreage. (We used to live on 2.5 acres backed by hundreds of forested acres so I think it's really the overall environs that matter.
I think you are correct and what you describe is exactly what I am hoping for. Even 2 acres backing up to a forest will seem like a lot more. So you are hitting the nail on the head for me. I might send you up there to look for me!

In the meantime, I'll search 20112 as you suggested.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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We are in the 20112 zip code. It is nice in that you can get "rural" pretty quickly and "urban" pretty quickly. Suburban in a heartbeat. I saw some houses in the "Occoquan Forest" area along with "Lake Jackson". There is a 2 bedroom older home (built in 1970), search MLS ID# PW6796363. Is that too old? Do you want the lot itself to be wooded?
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,447 posts, read 2,870,221 times
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I would say that wooded would be a bonus. Mostly just because that's what I have now and love it. So I think what you are showing me is encouraging in that it looks like it can be done.

What about the Mason Neck area? (Gunston Road)
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I worked with someone who bought a house off of Gunston Road. It was a very small, vacation cottage type home. They basically built a new house on that lot. It has a rural feel off of Route 1, but I don't think of the area running north and south along Route 1 as a very good/safe area. Plus, once you got away from Gunston Rd. it could get pretty busy pretty quickly. Someone more familiar with that part of Fairfax County might know more.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,447 posts, read 2,870,221 times
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Maybe I should be looking more at Dale City, Lake Ridge or around the Occoquan Reservoir?
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