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Old 09-21-2008, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Arlington
12 posts, read 42,489 times
Reputation: 13

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Welcome to VA! I also moved from Ann Arbor to VA (Ballston, Arlington) - made the move this past July, in fact. I'm not a MI native but worked there for almost 4 years, living in A2 the entire time. I am surprised to say that there are certain aspects of Ann Arbor I miss - perhaps in time I will be able to find replacements in VA. For example, I loved the Michigan & State Theaters - they were so convenient and always had great movies. So far, I haven't found a good alt. movie theater in NoVA. I also liked the charm and small scale of downtown A2, especially the Old West Side and the Main St. area. Very walkable & manageable. I think DC - rather than Arlington - offers more of Ann Arbor's quaint feel. Arlington for the most part seems a little too new, clinical, and sterile for my tastes.

I will certainly not miss MI's winters. I think the cloudy skies more than the coldness was what got me down. The entire area also had a really depressing feeling apart from the grey skies - the bad economic condition that caused stores to go out of business/repossessed homes/etc. VA is so much more economically vibrant overall than Southeast MI. I'm also really happy to drive on roads that are actually paved - MI roads are disgraceful! Finally, it's nice not to be inside of Detroit's bubble. For example, you don't see only American cars on the roads, and I'm hoping Virginians - as opposed to Detroiters - won't key my Honda again!
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: East Coast
6 posts, read 12,691 times
Reputation: 12
Welcome to VA! I moved from the Detroit area to Arlington last November for a job of course. I've lived and worked in Southfield, Wixom, Lansing, East Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Farmington Hills before moving out here. I've seen a lot of other Michiganders here, though a disproportionate amount of them have been Michigan fans unfortunately (GO GREEN!).

The things I like the most about NOVA are:
  1. Weather - The weather here is great, plain and simple. There are definitely 4 seasons here, but winter is such a joke. Summer gets a little hotter than Michigan, but unless you don't have a/c or you work outdoors, it's not much of a problem. I did notice that it did rain a bit during the spring/summer transition, but it wasn't anything major.
  2. Lots of things to see and do - It's great being in the nation's capital and at the center of the East Coast. Several major cities are within somewhat reasonable driving distance, and DC has a lot of tourist attractions.
  3. Great public transportation - The Metro is my favorite way of getting around, especially when I'm heading into DC. Buses aren't for poor people here, unlike Michigan (college campuses aside).
  4. Cuisine and people from all over the WORLD - This might bother some people who aren't used to diversity, but I think it's great. People here don't care what kind of car you drive. Most people don't know what the 'Big Three' are. Once you get settled here, you realize how much of an influence the Big Three has had in Michigan. This is a discussion for another post.
  5. 'Limitless' supply of jobs - At least for educated workers and former military, the job opportunities seem endless. Not only is the area huge in the tech sector, the government and contractors alike will always provide a ton of jobs. I believe I just read an article stating that the DC area is the best paying place to be.
The things I dislike the most about NOVA are:
  1. Ridiculous traffic - In addition to being very densely populated, this is a very transient area with residents from all over the country and the world, so everyone has their own driving style. Most of these people would not survive driving in Metro Detroit. I drove with some Virginians in Michigan last week, and they were kind of freaked out.
  2. Very high cost of living compared to Michigan - The cost of living inside the beltway on the Virginia side is insane. Prices are better outside of the beltway, but the money you save will pay for your future stress related bills from commuting. Property taxes are also higher here, but that's one reason why the schools out here are pretty good. Car insurance is cheaper here, but you also have to pay property taxes on your vehicles.
  3. BUGS, specifically the occurrence of cockroaches - Newer places don't usually have bug problems, but older buildings or dirty neighbors might get you a few critters.
  4. Yuppies and rich people - There's nothing wrong with having money, but some people around here have way too much money for their own good and aren't afraid to flaunt it. I'm sure you've seen the hoards of BMW's and Mercedes driving around town. Some people around here don't have a care in the world, and don't have the slightest idea what it feels like to be truly middle class or lower. Then again, I live in Ballston, so this is probably more exaggerated here.

All in all, I really like it out here. Michigan will always be home, but I definitely wouldn't mind staying here for a long time. This area has a lot to offer for all types of people. If you're used to a more rural or conservative environment, Southern VA might suit you better.

Now if I only could get my current salary in the Detroit area somehow, I'd be set!
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:20 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
993 posts, read 2,330,568 times
Reputation: 308
Glad to see Michigan folks thriving in NOVA. I left NOVA for Texas, so yeah, and I am getting paid more. Easy decision for me.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:23 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,195 times
Reputation: 10
Default Michigan Transplant Coming in July

I am relocating from Troy to the area. My hubby has already transferred there for work. I don't know where to live once we get there! We have looked from Ashburn VA all the way to Annapolis. I like the Annapolis area (near the water) and my hubby wants to be near Fairfax. Any thoughts on the commute from either area into DC? We found blue ribbon schools in each area and also found great houses, so we are just boiling it down to drive time.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Reston
2,734 posts, read 7,781,164 times
Reputation: 1076
Quote:
Originally Posted by loyer09 View Post
I am relocating from Troy to the area. My hubby has already transferred there for work. I don't know where to live once we get there! We have looked from Ashburn VA all the way to Annapolis. I like the Annapolis area (near the water) and my hubby wants to be near Fairfax. Any thoughts on the commute from either area into DC? We found blue ribbon schools in each area and also found great houses, so we are just boiling it down to drive time.

Thoughts?

You're in for a real shocker if you don't like traffic. I would suggest renting first before jumping into a mortgage. Get to know the area a little bit more, then make a decision.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 29,026,331 times
Reputation: 42952
The commute from Annapolis to DC gets old very quickly. Live as close to work as possible. And welcome to Virginia, I lived in the UP for a few months when I was young, loved it there but the weather and general disposition of people is much better here.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Burke, VA
269 posts, read 945,291 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrippingJay View Post
Meijer's is the inventor of the supercenter, since 1962 to be exact. While SuperTarget and Wal-mart are relatively new, Meijer's has been around for quite sometime. It's a local chain and has proven to be imensely popular in areas near college campuses because it's open 24 hours, and has pretty much everything you need (including alcohol) at reasonable prices. Without Meijer's, you probably would not have SuperTarget or Walmart.

I LOVE Meijer's, and we had that store in Illinois (Champaign and Springfield)! I do really miss it, and there is no comparison out here, plus it was 24hr and always had the freshest foods. Even the Amish ladies would shop there!
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,858,640 times
Reputation: 316
Quote:
I like the Annapolis area (near the water) and my hubby wants to be near Fairfax. Any thoughts on the commute from either area into DC?
Of those two choices, I'd vote for Fairfax.

I love Annapolis, too - I grew up in New England and Annapolis reminds me very much of "home." But there is no easy way to get to DC from there. The drive would be brutal. MARC might operate a commuter bus, which would make the commute somewhat less stressful, but even still I imagine it would take well over an hour.

But the DC Metro system - both rail and bus - extend into Fairfax County. So public transportation to the city is an option almost anywhere you might live in Fairfax. Meanwhile, the drive isn't fantastic - lots and lots of traffic - but it would still be shorter than the drive from Annapolis. (Or I imagine so, anyway. Fairfax County is very big, so it depends on where exactly you would live and where exactly in DC the job would be.)
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:07 PM
NSX NSX started this thread
 
869 posts, read 1,985,138 times
Reputation: 701
To update, after about a 8 months of living in NOVA, I found the area way too expensive (Even though I can easily afford it, I hate paying a high price for a low quality service/product) and pretentious. However, I didn't move back to Michigan, I went to the Gulf Coast of Florida and I'm loving it there.

I'd say if you really crave museums, nightlife, "culture", and the urban life NOVA is fine. Assuming that you can find work in both places, however, Michigan beats NOVA in all aspects. Yes, I'll take a 6 month winter any day over an overcrowded, overpriced, traffic-filled yuppie hell.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:25 PM
 
11 posts, read 25,023 times
Reputation: 10
My wife, son and I just moved to N. Va 2 weeks ago.......as of now we love it. The cost of living is definitely more expensive, but, the opportunities to make more is definitely there depending on your profession. So far, everybody that we have met, loves it here minus the traffic of course. The area that we are renting in is Bristow. The area is very family oriented, actually, there are lots of young families here. In my opinion, this area reminds me of my hometown of Novi, MI.
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