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Old 03-08-2007, 01:34 PM
 
10 posts, read 39,717 times
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Default Suggestions for 30-45min commute to DC

We are considering moving to the NoVA area from Long Island, and currently searching for areas in NoVA which would provide a 30 min to a maximum 45 min commute into DC during rush hour. Any suggestions for areas in NoVA would be great! Don't have a job lined up yet, but wanted to first figure out which areas were commutable and then what we could afford to buy.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Assuming that your eventual job would actually be in DC (the majority in the region are not), there are three general areas in which your office would most likely be located -- K Street, Downtown, and Capitol Hill. Those are listed in increasing distance from the major Maryland and Virginia suburbs. You will have difficulty in reaching any of them in 30-45 minutes by car from anywhere in either state during peak rush hour periods. To meet those time frames, you would be better off to consider using Metrorail to commute, or living in the District, or both.

With all that in mind, the major NoVa communities in which DC commuters live tend to be scattered along the paths of the Metro Blue and Orange lines that extend out to Springfield in the first case and Vienna in the second. Check the Metro maps at http://www.wmata.com/maps/metrorail_street_map.cfm (broken link) to see the names of places that you might choose from. In addition to Google info, any number of people here can give you at least an idea of what any of these NoVa areas is like. Coming from Long Island, the grim details re traffic and cost-of-living in DC may come as less of a shock to you than to many, so suffice it to say that traffic is awful, and everyplace convenient is also expensive.

If it's the living in NoVa thing that you're really looking for (and it is a very attractive area on many counts), you would be better off seeking employment in NoVa. Fairfax County alone is larger than seven states, and little old Tysons Corner all by itself is one of the ten largest business districts in the nation, so the NoVa job market is a broad one.

Hope that helps some. If you can be more specific in terms of budget or interests or anything else like that, people around here will be happy to offer some useful tips and information...

Last edited by saganista; 03-08-2007 at 04:08 PM..
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Yorktown, VA
50 posts, read 122,621 times
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My daughter lives in Arlington, less than 10 miles from work in Georgetown. When she drives, which is quite often due to crazy work hours, it's, you guessed it, 30-45 minutes! When I used to drive from Woodbridge up I-95 to the Pentagon, it was an hour each way, and that was a good day.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:14 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 18,935,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaVet96 View Post
My daughter lives in Arlington, less than 10 miles from work in Georgetown. When she drives, which is quite often due to crazy work hours, it's, you guessed it, 30-45 minutes!
Sounds familiar. I'll bet that's travel time too, not door-to-door. Actually, the 'crazy hours' thing can be an advantage. If you can move your start time around either way to get off-peak, it can pay handsome dividends in reduced commuting time and stress...
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:57 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,407 posts, read 10,078,900 times
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Saganista summed it up terrifically. Basically, if you want to be within 30-45 minutes of commuting into DC at rush hour, you'll need to live close in in Arlington or Alexandria (perhaps McLean or Falls Church, depending on where in DC you'll be working) if you plan on driving. If you plan on taking Metro, you can push it out a bit towards Dunn Loring, Vienna and Springfield. However, you'd have to live very close to the station, as the areas around Metro stations get very congested, so even if you live five miles from a Metro station, it could take 20 minutes easily just to drive there, and then more time to find parking, walk to the station, wait for the train, etc. It adds up. I think Arlington is the most commuter-friendly part of Northern Virginia with it's multiple Metro stops and being located right across the Potomac from DC. Whether or not it's affordable is another issue.
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:00 AM
 
10 posts, read 39,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Assuming that your eventual job would actually be in DC (the majority in the region are not), there are three general areas in which your office would most likely be located -- K Street, Downtown, and Capitol Hill. Those are listed in increasing distance from the major Maryland and Virginia suburbs. You will have difficulty in reaching any of them in 30-45 minutes by car from anywhere in either state during peak rush hour periods. To meet those time frames, you would be better off to consider using Metrorail to commute, or living in the District, or both.

With all that in mind, the major NoVa communities in which DC commuters live tend to be scattered along the paths of the Metro Blue and Orange lines that extend out to Springfield in the first case and Vienna in the second. Check the Metro maps at http://www.wmata.com/maps/metrorail_street_map.cfm (broken link) to see the names of places that you might choose from. In addition to Google info, any number of people here can give you at least an idea of what any of these NoVa areas is like. Coming from Long Island, the grim details re traffic and cost-of-living in DC may come as less of a shock to you than to many, so suffice it to say that traffic is awful, and everyplace convenient is also expensive.

If it's the living in NoVa thing that you're really looking for (and it is a very attractive area on many counts), you would be better off seeking employment in NoVa. Fairfax County alone is larger than seven states, and little old Tysons Corner all by itself is one of the ten largest business districts in the nation, so the NoVa job market is a broad one.

Hope that helps some. If you can be more specific in terms of budget or interests or anything else like that, people around here will be happy to offer some useful tips and information...
Thanks for all the great information!! Since we are still not sure where our jobs will be, I wanted to keep all options open for commuting either to DC or within Fairfax Cty. I think our best bet would be stick close to the metro stations that you talked about. As far as our budget, we are trying to find something for around $400-500K. I think that will only get us a townhouse in Fairfax Cty from some research that I've done so far. I was really surprised to see the housing prices so high in NoVa...
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:03 AM
 
10 posts, read 39,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dullnboring View Post
Saganista summed it up terrifically. Basically, if you want to be within 30-45 minutes of commuting into DC at rush hour, you'll need to live close in in Arlington or Alexandria (perhaps McLean or Falls Church, depending on where in DC you'll be working) if you plan on driving. If you plan on taking Metro, you can push it out a bit towards Dunn Loring, Vienna and Springfield. However, you'd have to live very close to the station, as the areas around Metro stations get very congested, so even if you live five miles from a Metro station, it could take 20 minutes easily just to drive there, and then more time to find parking, walk to the station, wait for the train, etc. It adds up. I think Arlington is the most commuter-friendly part of Northern Virginia with it's multiple Metro stops and being located right across the Potomac from DC. Whether or not it's affordable is another issue.
We will definitely look into places close to the stations... I agree that Arlington is probably the best place to commute into DC... I know someone who just bought a place there but the prices are ridiculous!!
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:21 AM
 
Location: TX
3,025 posts, read 7,303,653 times
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Your commute from Fairfax city into actual DC will take longer than 45min. During rush hour a drive from Fairfax City to the Pentagon is 45-60min.
Good luck finding even a TH for under 500k (In an area you would want to live.)30min into DC. Try looking at condos.
How big of aplace do you need? Do you have kids?
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:41 AM
 
76 posts, read 222,009 times
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You might want to check out Falls church. It is metro convenient and should get you there in 30 min. Also- Vienna by Dunn Loring metro. Homes will be older and smaller, but you should be able to get a pretty nice lot.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:12 AM
 
19,178 posts, read 18,935,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dullnboring View Post
If you plan on taking Metro, you can push it out a bit towards Dunn Loring, Vienna and Springfield. However, you'd have to live very close to the station, as the areas around Metro stations get very congested, so even if you live five miles from a Metro station, it could take 20 minutes easily just to drive there, and then more time to find parking, walk to the station, wait for the train, etc. It adds up.
I live 2 miles from the Metro and have a reserved parking pass. I'm driving back roads opposite to the traffic flow and (most of the time) post-peak. I need to leave the house no less than 15 minutes before the train I want to catch, and sometimes that's not enough. It adds up indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dullnboring View Post
I think Arlington is the most commuter-friendly part of Northern Virginia with it's multiple Metro stops and being located right across the Potomac from DC. Whether or not it's affordable is another issue.
Agreed. But it's a balancing act. Housing you like and can afford versus commuting you can live with. I think it's the latter that people mess up most often, as in there would have been comparable housing with a far better commute that people overlooked because they underestimated the complexity of getting from Point-A to Point-B. Looks good on a map doesn't really cut the mustard in the morning...
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