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Old 12-29-2008, 07:47 AM
 
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I may be possibly moving from So. Virginia to No. Virginia. The job would be at Ft. Belvoir. Would look at areas like Manassas, Woodbridge, Dale City. What would the commute be like, and also, why are there so many houses and they are priced reasonably. Any advise is appreciate.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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Manassas is the worst of the lot, commute-wise. Woodbridge/Lake Ridge is closest, but some areas in Dale City aren't too much further. Commute times will vary greatly based on where exactly in the community you live, what time of day you will be driving to Ft. Belvoir, and what gate you will be heading to.

Houses are plentiful and very reasonable in price for a few reasons (search on other threads involving Woodbridge/Lake Ridge for some of the discussions), including:

1) Distance from DC lowers demand from commuters traveling into the Capitol
2) large numbers of foreclosures depressing housing prices; foreclosures due to many first time owners (including legal and illegal immigrants) who took out Alt-A and no-doc loans with resetting payments at the height of the housing boom.
3) PWC schools are a notch below Fairfax County Schools (though still better than most of the country)

If you price your rough housing needs (size, type (townhome or SFH), price range) and location you would travel to at Ft. Belvoir, I'm sure some others can help more with commute estimates.
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Woodbridge, VA
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We live in Lake Ridge and my husband works at Fort Belvoir. It takes him about 30-45 minutes most days, depending on traffic. We live in a 4 level townhome with a garage in a safe neighborhood with a good school. It would take over an hour from Manassas in the mornings, probably longer in the evenings.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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Default Lake Ridge to Belvior

Lake Ridge to Fort Belvior is an easy commute with some wonderful housing options. I have lived in three different homes in the area and my mother lives in Mt Vernon near Ft Belvior so we go their often.

Last edited by FindingZen; 01-27-2009 at 03:30 PM.. Reason: referenced blogs are considered "competition" to the forum
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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I am looking in woodbridge for a nice neighborhood with good schools and are an easy commute to Ft. Belvoir. Can you recommend a couple of communities that are safe, have good schools, and where the people take good care of their homes?
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ms. P View Post
I am looking in woodbridge for a nice neighborhood with good schools and are an easy commute to Ft. Belvoir. Can you recommend a couple of communities that are safe, have good schools, and where the people take good care of their homes?
Westridge, Springwoods, Lynnwood (all areas within Montclair), Hedges Run, a lot of places of Mohican Drive etc.

The neighborhood of Montclair (which is really Dumfries but is on the south end of Dale City). Nice neighborhood but a tad farther south.

The first few neighborhoods I've listed are off of Old Bridge Road, which leads right to I-95. Depending upon when you leave in the morning, Old Bridge Road can be a BEAR.

As for departing Montclair, it is very close to I-95 but a few miles South of the Lake Ridge neighborhoods, so there is that trade off. You can also depart Montclair and wind your way up through Dale City and hit an exit closer up.

As always, the earlier you leave home the better off you will be. If you want to start work at around 8:30, you will have one of the longer commutes.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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Hi, I currently rent a SFH in Westridge and we really like it. The problem is we want to buy and and the houses are older and comparable values can be found in new homes in the area. old Bridge can be a bear and it usually takes me 40min to Ft. Belvoir if I leave past 630 in the morning and 330 in the afternoon from Belvoir.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,049 posts, read 67,096,311 times
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I'm going to "piggy-back" here if you don't mind. I may very well have a promising job opportunity in Ft. Belvoir as well and will accept an offer if I am so fortunate as to receive it. From all I've researched Northern Virginia is essentially a "monstrosity" from an urban planner's perspective---great quality-of-life, but it's too "stressful" to enjoy most of it because most residents sit in heinous traffic just to get anywhere.

Are there any "in-town" areas that offer affordable 1-BR apartments? I'd ideally be looking to sign a lease in a reputable complex, but I have been scanning CraigsList now as well to see what I can find from private owners. Most options I'm finding look to be sterile newer constructions in nature in areas devoid of sidewalks and not in mixed-zoned areas.

Here's ideally what I'm looking for within a reasonable commute of Ft. Belvoir:

-An area that either has sidewalks/bike lanes or is easily-accessible to an area that has them. I'm an avid runner and currently live in a suburban wasteland where I must literally run IN the lane of traffic on roads that were never designed to accommodate the volume of vehicles they currently are burdened with. My prospective employer offers full reimbursement for a private gym membership because they promote physical fitness (it also probably reduces their health insurance liabilities to have a fresh, vibrant, and healthy workforce), but to me nothing beats the rush of the wind as you run outdoors. Is all hope lost for me to find such an area?

-I'm looking for an affordable apartment complex with MIXED ZONING. My starting salary of $42,000 may sound like "peanuts" to those of you higher-earners in NoVA, but I'm a frugal single guy who's easy to please; all I need is my own bathroom (no creepy old guys watching me pee), and a place to hang my hat. In addition though I'd like to be able to walk out my front door and WALK to most conveniences---grocery store(s), a barber shop, a church (preferably a Lutheran one), a restaurant or two would be nice (perhaps a place to grab a sandwich for lunch on my days off, even if it was the generic Subway or Quizno's), and a bookstore would be nice---preferably a smaller independent one. I'm not big into the Starbuck's/latte/coffee yuppie scene, but I'm sure being immersed with so many of my fresh college graduate peers would turn me onto that somewhat quickly, so access to a coffee house might not be such a bad thing either.

-I know most of you live in the traditional McMansions (i.e. vinyl-clad two-story detached dwellings with 3-5 BRs, 2-3 BAs, a two-car garage, etc., but I've always had a more "traditional" architectural taste (i.e. I frequently saunter through Scranton, PA's Victorian neighborhoods to feel "cozy" and "relaxed"). I'm aware of "cute historic areas" in the DC metro such as Leesburg, Alexandria, Georgetown, etc. Is anything similar to this anywhere within a reasonable driving distance of Ft. Belvoir? I'm NOT looking for cul-de-sac/soccer mom/unsupervised kids/yoga yuppie subdivisions, and I'd be willing to drive even FURTHER to remove myself from that sort of environment if I needed to. I've grown up in such an atmosphere, and I've HATED every enduring second of not being able to walk anywhere and of living somewhere that was 100% white, non-Hispanic, and 99% heterosexual as well. It's just so "blah" to me (maybe NoVA's tract housing areas are different?)

In short:

I want an affordable and small apartment in a non-"sprawly" sort of area (conducive to avid walkers/runners) where I could walk to a vibrant "downtown" sort of district to take my friends/colleagues out for a night on the town. Should I just set myself up for disappointment already? I'd even be willing to consider one of those "faux" downtown areas that I believe are now called "Smart Growth" communities that are designed to replicate the historic small towns that were destroyed by our nation's love affair with the automobile. I just do NOT want to be limited to feeling so "isolated" any longer. I'm guessing living in Alexandria and commuting would be a living HELL, right?! LOL!

Thanks in advance to any and all advice!

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 02-10-2009 at 09:57 AM.. Reason: Typographical Error
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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I'm thinking that Kingstowne might be your best bet but could be too pricey for you. Although, I'm not sure that you can walk to any nightlife. You might want to try the Clarendon area of Arlington. You would have a reverse commute that wouldn't be bad and could probably walk where you need to while at home.

I don't think you will find what you want south of Belvoir. The Lorton area has a new, very small kind of stark town center that's sort of cute and there are condo's and rentals above some of the retail, but it is very small and the area itself is sort of an island in the midst of sprawl. But you'd be very close to Belvoir.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,049 posts, read 67,096,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
I'm thinking that Kingstowne might be your best bet but could be too pricey for you. Although, I'm not sure that you can walk to any nightlife. You might want to try the Clarendon area of Arlington. You would have a reverse commute that wouldn't be bad and could probably walk where you need to while at home.

I don't think you will find what you want south of Belvoir. The Lorton area has a new, very small kind of stark town center that's sort of cute and there are condo's and rentals above some of the retail, but it is very small and the area itself is sort of an island in the midst of sprawl. But you'd be very close to Belvoir.
Thank you so much for your expedient reply! After re-reading my initial reply I apologize because I think I may have sounded a bit TOO "self-righteous" about my whole disdain for the tract-housing sort of environment. I know of many people who are indeed quite happy living in the sprawl zone on the other side of DC in Maryland, and in my humble opinion---more power to them!

I'm going to check into these leads. I read on another thread (after doing a SEARCH as I should have done in the first place! ) that someone commutes from Alexandria to Ft. Belvoir early in the morning (I can commute to start as early as 6 AM) and only has about a 30-minute commute. I'm not interested in "Old Town" Alexandria, per se, as I know it is probably offensively expensive for someone just starting out and getting their feet wet in a new area, but I want something with a "Bedford Falls" (-ish) sort of atmosphere---sidewalks, tree lawns, a main drag with mom-and-pop shops, cozy little older homes that may show some wear and tear but are still home to some fine salt of the earth souls, community festivals, an active Lutheran church within commutable range, etc.

Where do all of my fellow young twenty-something peers who work at Ft. Belvoir tend to settle down? I just wouldn't feel "comfortable" living in a subdivision. I'd be "that creepy single guy" amidst a sea of couples with young children, would I not? LOL!
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