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Old 02-22-2007, 01:35 PM
 
7 posts, read 66,543 times
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My husband and I are moving to D.C. the first of April. We have been advised that we'd better plan on fending for ourselves since there isn't any room for us at Fort Belovoir--at least, I don't want to spend 6 months in a hotel waiting for space.

We need advice about where to live. My husband will be commutting back and forth between Fort Belvoir, VA & Bolling AFB (directly across the river from Reagan). We need to find a place that won't kill him to commute (more than 90 min one way seems ridiculous) back and forth.

We are in our 30s and, while not totally square, we're not college kids anymore either. We LOVE the college town sort of feel but probably couldn't handle living near the 3 a.m. bar crowd either...

We were hoping to rent a house in the $2000-$3000 range somewhere that I can get to a metro since I will spend all of my free time in D.C. and really adore mass transit.

Does anyone have any suggestions? We could really use the help.

Thanks for your advice!!

**I probably should have posted this here instead of the D.C. forum. Oops!*
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Metrorail is not going to be an option for reaching either Ft. Belvoir or Bolling AFB. Driving will be involved there, and since the two are on opposites sides of the Potomac River, use of the (new) Woodrow Wilson Bridge will come into play. The old bridge was usually a nightmare, the new one is supposed to be better. For getting downtown, there are some very nice neighborhoods in the Franconia/Springfield area that would put you within easy reach of the Metro Blue Line, while offering not too bad of a drive to Belvoir and quick access to 395 and/or 95 for the hop over to Bolling. Except in cases of snow or accidents, a 90-minute commute would never happen. Springfield itself is not a college town, but the median age there is a modest 36, with median household income being around $70K. Most of the DC area has a decent stock of single-family homes for rent because of the various government agencies that send people overseas for a few years at a time. Best to contact an actual realtor on that score when the time comes...
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:09 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,616,155 times
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I agree with Saganista that your husband will have to drive regardless of where you live because neither location has a metro stop. In terms of finding a home to rent, I suggest that you look for one walking distance to a metro stop (unless you don't mind relying on a bus to get you to the subway or driving to a park-n-ride). Areas near Huntington or Franconia/Springfield metro will put you closer to Fort Belvoir. A realtor can help you. If you are looking on your own, check out the Washington Post online, Craig's List, or Military by Owner for listings.

Good luck,

Maggie
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:03 PM
 
7 posts, read 66,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlv311 View Post
I agree with Saganista that your husband will have to drive regardless of where you live because neither location has a metro stop. In terms of finding a home to rent, I suggest that you look for one walking distance to a metro stop (unless you don't mind relying on a bus to get you to the subway or driving to a park-n-ride). Areas near Huntington or Franconia/Springfield metro will put you closer to Fort Belvoir. A realtor can help you. If you are looking on your own, check out the Washington Post online, Craig's List, or Military by Owner for listings.

Good luck,

Maggie
Maggie, thanks so much! The Military.com site ended up being a true gem. I found lots of places in the Springfield/Franconia area on that & perfectly within our price range! Offposthousing.com also was a good site. Thanks again for the tip.
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:06 PM
 
7 posts, read 66,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Metrorail is not going to be an option for reaching either Ft. Belvoir or Bolling AFB. Driving will be involved there, and since the two are on opposites sides of the Potomac River, use of the (new) Woodrow Wilson Bridge will come into play. The old bridge was usually a nightmare, the new one is supposed to be better. For getting downtown, there are some very nice neighborhoods in the Franconia/Springfield area that would put you within easy reach of the Metro Blue Line, while offering not too bad of a drive to Belvoir and quick access to 395 and/or 95 for the hop over to Bolling. Except in cases of snow or accidents, a 90-minute commute would never happen. Springfield itself is not a college town, but the median age there is a modest 36, with median household income being around $70K. Most of the DC area has a decent stock of single-family homes for rent because of the various government agencies that send people overseas for a few years at a time. Best to contact an actual realtor on that score when the time comes...
After pouring over maps & things that have been written in other posts, everything you said makes perfect sense to me now.

When heading to VA from D.C., isn't that opposite the commute rush? I'm wondering if that will help at least with the Ft Belvoir part of the commute...
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:01 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,380,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by army_wife View Post
After pouring over maps & things that have been written in other posts, everything you said makes perfect sense to me now.
Good! Glad to hear it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by army_wife View Post
When heading to VA from D.C., isn't that opposite the commute rush? I'm wondering if that will help at least with the Ft Belvoir part of the commute...
In theory, yes, it is a reverse commute, but that doesn't mean it will be easy to do DC to Belvoir. Fewer than 40% of people who live in the suburbs work in the city. The rest, plus all those who live in the city and work in the suburbs, are out there during rush-hour scrambling about in every conceivable direction, so the whole concept of reverse commute fails to hold in many locations. Pretty much anywhere that's habitable in the District will be 20+ miles from Belvoir. Not impossible, but a darn sight riskier, I would say, than doing the less than 10 miles from Franconia-Springfield to Belvoir. Even the Springfield to Bolling deal is only 15+ miles. All else being equal, I'd try to let that stand as the worst route that has to be covered...
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:12 PM
 
43 posts, read 135,921 times
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If you live 20+ miles out of DC and are driving in. How long would the average commute be?

Army-wife, I was looking to relocate in that area myself and did find some great sites to search for rental homes. There are some homes for rent right near Fort Belvoir which were between $2000 and $3000. A great site was militarybyowner.com, another is Remax.com, also right in the area I found longandfoster.com. These sites all had rental homes and great maps to search with. Best of Luck in your search!!
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:15 AM
 
689 posts, read 1,376,302 times
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[quote=macbunny;402966]If you live 20+ miles out of DC and are driving in. How long would the average commute be?
QUOTE]

I'd say you're looking at 45 minutes to an hour in rush hour, but of course that depends on where you're talking about. Every road has its own issues. Also, realtor.com has a rental page and there are some great options in noVA. You guys really should focus on a 5-10 mile radius of wherever your husband will be most frequently. At your price range, you should be able to find a lot, it sounds like you already have. So my best advice to you would be "Do not underestimate the drive times!" As saganista said, even going against traffic is not great. Look for nice neighborhoods close to where he's working and close to a metro for you, if you can combine these. Parking at a lot of the stations is crazy, too.
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:38 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,380,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novanwbie View Post
I'd say you're looking at 45 minutes to an hour in rush hour, but of course that depends on where you're talking about. Every road has its own issues.
Exactly. The average doesn't matter. If the average commute were an hour, but the best you could do from where you lived to where you worked was an hour and a half, it would still take you 90 minutes to get to work. Pretty much the key is to figure hey, I work here, what are the better than average ways to get here, where do I need to live in order to take advantage of those ways, and then isn't there something that I can afford and would be happy with in those areas. Problem solved. Everybody lives happily ever after...
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:32 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,685 times
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Default Try AHRN.COM

Army Wife,

I used Metro to go to the Pentagon every day for 2yrs, then drove to Ft Meade against traffic for the last two. The Wilson Bridge and changes there are great! At 0715-0730, Bolling is a 20 minute commute for me.
There is a shuttle to Bolling from the Metro, but driving is easier/quicker.

Take a look at our posting, and the Kingstowne area.

Good luck!

RAM

Last edited by FindingZen; 04-16-2008 at 08:31 AM.. Reason: Real estate advertising
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